This weekend I have a RPTQ for PT Kaladesh that I’ve been preparing for. I religiously played W/r Humans before Eldritch Moon’s release, but I think that the deck has lost a lot of its mojo, and it’s pretty poorly positioned in this metagame. So, I needed to find a new deck that I felt was positioned well in this metagame. Eventually, I’ve landed on Jund Delirium. Here’s how:

Firstly, I took a look at the decks that I felt would accurately represent what people will be bringing to the RPTQ. This is the general list of decks:

  • Bant Company
  • Temur Emerge
  • U/R Burn
  • Jund Delirium
  • B/G Delirium
  • B/W Control
  • B/U Zombies

I knew from the get-go that I wanted a deck that had a very positive matchup against Bant Company. I tested Bant Company against each of these decks and found that the only matchup where Bant felt solidly behind was against Jund Delirium, B/G Delirium, and B/U Zombies. For the other decks, I felt that Temur was about 50/50 with Bant, B/W was the same, and U/R Burn was great against everything else but struggled mightily against the Bant menace.

I expect that the next most popular deck in the room will be Temur Emerge, so balancing the Bant Company matchup and the Temur Emerge matchup would be key. Ideally, I would have a good matchup against both, but that’s a little difficult. Of the three decks I was considering at this point, Jund Delirium, B/G Delirium, and B/U Zombies, none had amazing matchups, but Jund Delirium seemed to be slightly over 50/50, while B/G Delirium struggled in the matchup and B/U Zombies was not explosive enough against what Temur was doing.

At this point, I had basically settled on Jund Delirium. But before I fully committed myself, I needed to test the other matchups. I felt slightly favored against the traditional B/G Delirium decks, especially if they were playing the Sylvan Advocate/Tireless Tracker package. B/W Control was around 50/50, and B/U Zombies was great. That only leaves 1 deck from my expected metagame: U/R Burn.

The U/R Burn matchup is an absolute nightmare. A Fevered Visions is close to unbeatable, and the second one is truly the final nail in the coffin. I tested this matchup for hours, trying to figure out some way to get the matchup somewhere close to 50/50. It felt like I was banging my head against the wall hoping to paint it red. Some improvements had to be made to the stock mainboard and sideboard as a concession to this matchup. The way I found that was most successful against U/R Burn game 1 was putting as much power on board as possible, force them to use 2 or more burn cards to kill it, then rinse and repeat and hope they don’t land a Fevered Visions. As the deck currently stands after Robert Santana’s Grand Prix Portland victory, there are only 6 non-Emrakul creatures that can provide an sizable beatdown: 2 Distended Mindbender, 3 Ishkanah, Grafwidow, and 1 Mindwrack Demon. So, I cut 1 To the Slaughter and moved 1 Liliana, the Last Hope to the sideboard in order to make room for 1 more copy each of Distended Mindbenders and Mindwrack Demon. If you’re wondering, against U/R, the Mindwrack Demon is almost always just a 4/5 flyer for 4, and the drawback has rarely been relevant. Additionally, I felt that these changes made the deck a little more streamlined than it was. Sometimes the deck fumbles around looking for a payoff card turns 4-6, but simply putting more of the payoff creatures in the deck prevents that from happening as often. Moving 1 Liliana to the board was something I didn’t take lightly, but I felt that the Planeswalker was mediocre against Bant and only really shone in the Zombies matchup and the grindy matchups, which I expect to see less often than Bant.

I also changed Robert’s sideboard to hedge against the metagame that I’m expecting. So, here’s my Jund Delirium list that I’ll be registering this weekend at the RPTQ:

Lands (24)

4 Evolving Wilds

4 Llanowar Wastes

4 Smoldering Marsh

1 Cinder Glade

6 Forest

4 Swamp

1 Mountain

Creatures (15)

3 Pilgrim’s Eye

2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist

3 Distended Mindbender

1 Emrakul, the Promised End

2 Mindwrack Demon

1 Gilt-Leaf Winnower

3 Ishkanah, Grafwidow

Spells (21)

3 Kozilek’s Return

3 Languish

4 Grapple with the Past

2 Vessel of Nascency

3 Fiery Impulse

1 To the Slaughter

3 Traverse the Ulvenwald

2 Liliana, the Last Hope

Sideboard (15)

1 Liliana, the Last Hope

3 Transgress the Mind

2 Pulse of Murasa

1 Orbs of Warding

2 Springsage Ritual

2 Infinite Obliteration

1 Languish

1 Fiery Impulse

1 Duress

1 Dragonmaster Outcast

Hopefully I’ll have a successful tournament report for you all next week.

Until next time.

Read my recap of this past weekend’s competitive Magic action here.

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