Jund Energy by Martin Juza at Pro Tour Aether Revolt

Creatures (19)
4 Greenbelt Rampager
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
4 Longtusk Cub
4 Voltaic Brawler
1 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
2 Tireless Tracker

Non-Creature Spells (21)
3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Nissa, Vital Force
3 Heart of Kiran
2 Fleetwheel Cruiser
4 Attune with Aether
2 Shock
2 Harnessed Lightning
4 Unlicensed Disintegration

Lands (20)
4 Aether Hub
4 Blooming Marsh
4 Game Trail
1 Cinder Glade
4 Forest
2 Mountain
1 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
2 Tireless Tracker
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2 Nissa, Vital Force
1 Shock
4 Fatal Push
2 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
3 Verdurous Gearhulk

Summary

The top 8 decks at Pro Tour Aether Revolt are in! Going into the tournament, it seemed that the two most popular decks would be Copycat (mostly Jeskai) and B/G Delirium, with several others trailing behind. However, Mardu Vehicles seems to have turned the format on its head. It was clearly the most popular deck at the top tables and in the tournament as a whole. This showed, as it was able to put 6 (!) copies into the top 8 of the Pro Tour. Meanwhile, B/G Delirium put one copy into the top 8, with a few more barely missing out on the elimination rounds. Copycat put zero copies into the top 8, which was certainly a surprise, but perhaps not as much as of a surprise as the other top 8 deck which we will be featuring today: Jund Energy.

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Even though the rest of his team opted for other decks, Martin Juza registered this sweet pile of synergistic cards featuring the core mechanic of Kaladesh block. Scrapheap Scrounger and the energy-users Voltaic Brawler and Longtusk Cub provide early attacks for sizable amounts. Heart of Kiran and Fleetwheel Cruiser are the vehicle base in this deck and provide evasion and haste beats respectively. The 3/2 split seems a little odd on the surface, but I think that this deck doesn’t need to draw Heart of Kiran as much as Mardu Vehicles does, so it doesn’t need to maximize its copies. Fleetwheel Cruiser is in the deck to make sure that you stay on the front foot and to take care of planeswalkers, but multiples are almost always bad, so keeping it at 2 seems good.

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The 3 copies of Chandra, Torch of Defiance are very good in this metagame, where decks like B/G Delirium are floating around. Frequently, it will be a removal spell that demands an answer, but sometimes it can be protected and single-handedly win the game for you. The removal suite seems like it was made to cover all of the bases, rather than attack what the metagame ended up being, so I think that will need to change moving forward.

It’s still a bit of a mystery as to Jund Energy’s matchup with Mardu Vehicles, since the former hadn’t been seen prior to this weekend. But, we will find out soon enough, as Martin Juza’s path to the finals guarantees that he will have to defeat Mardu Vehicles 3 times in a row (potentially 4) if he wants to take home the trophy. Without seeing the matchup play out, I believe that Jund Energy also has a good matchup against the Copycat decks that ended up underperforming this weekend.

This deck could very well become a force to be reckoned with in this Standard format, but only time will tell. Here are the changes I would make going forward:

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Just a note, I’m putting 4 Walking Ballista in the sideboard here and it’s not an accident. Against non-Mardu Vehicles decks, the creature package in the maindeck gets the job done, but the combination of Walking Ballista plus either Rishkar, Peema Renegade or the sideboarded copies of Verdurous Gearhulk is extremely powerful and is an excellent gameplan to have against Vehicles. Longtusk Cub and Greenbelt Rampager can both be on the chopping block going into sideboarding to facilitate this.

Mainboard

-2 Tireless Tracker

-1 Nissa, Vital Force

+1 Shock

+2 Rishkar, Peema Renegade

Sideboard

-2 Tireless Tracker

-1 Shock

-1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance

+4 Walking Ballista

This is day 36 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 35 here, where we featured a Legacy deck utilizing an unbecoming enchantment to full effect.

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