Jund Smasher by Motoaki Itou at GP Shizuoka – 5th

Creatures (22)
3 Catacomb Sifter
3 Reality Smasher
2 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
2 Tireless Tracker
1 Verdurous Gearhulk
4 Walking Ballista
3 Winding Constrictor

Non-Creature Spells (16)
3 Heart of Kiran
1 Oath of Nissa
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
3 Attune with Aether
4 Fatal Push
4 Unlicensed Disintegration

Lands (22)
4 Aether Hub
4 Blooming Marsh
1 Evolving Wilds
4 Forest
1 Game Trail
1 Hissing Quagmire
1 Mountain
1 Smoldering Marsh
3 Spire of Industry

Sideboard (15)
1 Distended Mindbender
2 Harnessed Lightning
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
2 Natural Obsolescence
1 Nissa, Vital Force
1 Noxious Gearhulk
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 Release the Gremlins
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
3 Transgress the Mind

Summary

At Grand Prix Shizuoka this weekend, Mardu Ballista was top dog, putting 6 copies into the top 8, including eventual winner Ryohei Kirino. However, the real takeaway from Shizuoka isn’t how good Mardu Ballista is (we already knew that). It’s the other two deck that made top 8, and their viability going forward. Those decks are Temur Tower and Jund Smasher, the latter of which we’ll be discussing in this Deck of the Day. For the past few weeks, we’ve discussed more than one Reality Smasher deck on Deck of the Day, and it seemed a matter of time before someone struck the perfect balance and broke through with the powerful 5/5 on the Grand Prix level.

 

The core of this deck is very similar to Ben Stark’s top 8 deck from Grand Prix New Jersey, which most people call Jund Energy. The notable change that Itou made was taking out some of the more energy-focused cards in favor of beefier creatures and Heart of Kiran. The beefiest of these beefy creatures is Reality Smasher. What makes Reality Smasher so good is its flexibility for a card with so few abilities and really only one action (turn that bad boy sideways!).

 

It can pressure planeswalkers or pressure the opponent’s life total, both of which force the opponent to deal with it. When some of the format’s most played removal spells are Fatal Push, Shock, and Grasp of Darkness, a 5/5 for 5 is well-sized. Even if they manage to deal with it with something like Unlicensed Disintegration, you gain card advantage, which is exactly what a deck like this one wants to be doing.

 

This deck also goes bigger than the traditional B/G Constrictor deck, which indicates its strength in the pseudo-mirror as well. Reality Smasher and friends also help massively in the Mardu Ballista matchup, which is becoming less and less favorable for these types of deck by the day, as Mardu sideboards into bigger and bigger threats.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Oath of Nissa

+1 Heart of Kiran

Sideboard

-2 Natural Obsolescence

-1 Nissa, Vital Force

+2 Release the Gremlins

+1 Distended Mindbender

This is day 79 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 78 here, where we featured a Modern Death’s Shadow deck, but not in the colors you might expect.

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