When The Shadows Get Angry

Everyone can see it.
That thing in the corner of your eye on a dark night, other times you feel like you’re being watched but you can’t put your finger on what it is.
Then you hear it.  Not a loud noise, but there is definitely something there.  You turn, but nothing is there.
Another noise.
You turn to face it, but still nothing.
Then you realize and look up.
There it is, the creature of your torment.
It can only be described as a shadow, but not any shadow.  It’s your shadow!

The reason I’m making a strange reference to shadows is not because I’ve slightly lost it.  No, it’s because of the exciting new evolution of a favorite deck of mine, Death Shadow Jund.  This takes the incredibly efficient disruption of the original Jund using Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek  and my girl Liliana of The Veil.  It then adds the additional information element and creature base of Death Shadow aggro.  You get to use cards like Mishra’s Bauble, Tarfire and Street Wraith (yes I’ve cast this card to kill an opponent).  These cards let you play the powerful tutor effect Traverse The Ulvenwald.  This means you effectively get to play an additional playset of either Tarmogoyf or Death Shadow.

So playing this new version of Jund lets you do some incredibly powerful things.  I got to experience this first hand taking this deck through an event and going 4-2 with it.  The list I played was:

Death Shadow Jund

4 Tarmogoyf
4 Death’s Shadow
1 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Street Wraith

3 Tarfire
2 Fatal Push
2 Kolaghan’s Command
2 Liliana of The Veil
1 Liliana, The Last Hope
4 Mishra’s Bauble
4 Traverse The Ulvenwald
1 Temur Battle Rage
4 Thoughtseize
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Collective Brutality

4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Wooded Foothills
1 Marsh Flats
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Blood Crypt
1 Stomping Ground
1 Godless Shrine
1 Swamp
1 Forest

Sideboard:

2 Lingering Souls
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Kataki, War’s Wage
1 Terminate
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Fulminator Mage
1 Ancient Grudge
2 Kozilek’s Return
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Fatal Push
1 Gnarlwood Dryad

This list is built off a list posted by Gerry Thompson a few weeks ago and I’ve been pretty high on this deck since then.  I made a few changes to the board for my suspected meta game.  For example, I added a Gnarlwood Dryad to the board and a Liliana, the Last Hope to the main.  These cards were both added because I expected a decent amount of Affinity.  I also understand that the Liliana can be slow, but it also pulls percentage points in other places.  The Liliana gives you extra percentage points against more traditional Jund decks, Abzan and Grixis control because she is a steady regrowth effect for your hard to deal with threats.

Cards that stood out to me throughout the event were the main deck Ghor-Clan Rampager this was just a powerhouse killing people on the spot when I attacked with Death’s Shadow and breaking through Tarmogoyf mirrors because of it.  Being able to be tutor’d up with Traverse the Ulvenwald is also a nice touch.  It’s not as much of a surprise since you are usually going in for the kill in these situations.

Out of the sideboard, having access to better removal spells such as Terminate and Maelstrom Pulse defiantly helped pull punches in a couple of match ups mostly against the Eldrazi, both The Bant and Tron variety.  Being able to kill an Engineered Explosives before it goes off against Bant is a blessing in disguise. The Terminate for really any of the high impact threats that can’t be hit with Fatal Push or Tarfire.

Flex Slots and Suggestions:

Now, the thing that really pulls me on the deck is the fact that, just like Jund, you have a bunch of flex slots in the main to help you deal with the problems of a format.  The fact that your playing Traverse the Ulvenwald lets you include high impact threats as silver bullets but effectively have 5 copies of the card.  Some of my suggestions for main deck cards would be:

  • Renegade Rallier (For high attrition meta games)
  • Gnarlwood Dryad (Combo heavy meta game) – Being able to play an additional aggressive one drop would not go amiss.
  • Ghor-Clan Rampager (Combo heavy meta game) – This card has the same sort of reason as the dryad except you expect more mirrors and you require something to be able to get through opposing Tarmogoyfs.
  • Fatal Push (small creature beatdown meta game) – This card is more when you aren’t playing the decay or brutality in the main and expect more of infect, affinity, and the mirror to pop up.  I’d suggest playing the additional copies in the main instead of the board to have an edge.
  • Collective Brutality (Burn and Combo meta games)

As for the sideboard, I would change that a decent amount from event to event.  The sideboard I played felt fairly solid, but there were definitely holes in it.  For example, I played 2 Kozilek’s Return but only sided one in once and it I was not very impressed.  I would most likely change these for either Collective Brutality, an additional Fulminator Mage or another copy of Ancient Grudge.  I could also see cutting the white all together and just playing a straight jund list with an additional Liliana, the Last Hope, a 4th copy of Fatal Push, another Gnarlwood Dryad and another copy of Collective Brutality.

All in all, I’m very big on this deck right now.  It has a lot of lines of play to it that reward you well throughout the game .

As always I would love to hear your guys feedback on this and any ideas/suggestions you would have for the deck.

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