Jund Sacrifice in Historic and Kaldheim Upgrades

Fabrizio Anteri

Fabrizio Anteri

Introduction

Hi everyone,

Mayhem DevilWitch's OvenClaim the FirstbornPriest of Forgotten Gods

Today I’d like to share my thoughts on one of my favorite archetypes in Historic: Jund Sacrifice. We all know by now the power of 《Mayhem Devil》 when combined with 《Witch’s Oven》, 《Claim the Firstborn》 and 《Priest of Forgotten Gods》. The question really is, what’s the best build for the rest of the deck?

Jund Company

Collected Company

Let’s start with what’s the most popular version right now: Rakdos splash green for 《Collected Company》. A fast and proactive plan of mostly creatures that can also interact with the opponent with enter the battlefield or dying triggers. Even 《Claim the Firstborn》 has some utility against creatureless decks when you can give your own creatures haste for the final points of damage.

Dreadhorde Butcher

There are two points I’d like to mention about this version: The first is about 《Dreadhorde Butcher》. The card per se is fine, but it creates awkward scenarios with 《Collected Company》. Against 《Aether Gust》, counterspells or sweepers you want to cast 《Collected Company》 at instant speed, but then you also want to be able to attack with your haste creature as soon as possible if you find the 《Dreadhorde Butcher》.

Gilded Goose

I’ve been happy with the replacement I’ve found for it and I got more confident when some of the MPL and Rivals players also started adding the card to their list: 《Gilded Goose》. The lists I saw had two copies of it, but I am sure soon they will also be playing the whole four copies.

The bird is not only an extra good one-drop that the deck really wants and happens to block very nicely 《Dreadhorde Butcher》, but it also works great in speeding up your 3 and 4 drops and the extra Food Tokens you can generate are never irrelevant. Each one of those tokens become damage when you can find a copy of 《Woe Strider》 and a copy of 《Cauldron Familiar》, giving you many scries in the process.

Here’s the Jund Company list as I play it:

Scavenging Ooze

One of the interesting card choices I have is 《Scavenging Ooze》: Once you replace a Rakdos two-drop for a Green one-drop, the mana base changes and you can add some extra green cards. The 《Scavenging Ooze》 is an excellent option right now with so many Sacrifice and 《Uro》 decks around.

The other big difference you can see here is the sideboard and the reason for it is also the second point regarding this version of Jund. 25 hits for 《Collected Company》 the first game of the match is a reasonable number to have, the problem is during the sideboard games when you bring in multiple copies of 《Noxious Grasp》, 《Abrade》, 《Thoughtseize》 and 《Korvold, Fae-Cursed King》 and that number drops significantly.

Brain Maggot

I don’t want my 《Collected Company》 to be inconsistent, so I think there are two solutions here: the first one is to adapt the options in the sideboard so the card remains good after the first game. 《Brain Maggot》 is not better than 《Thoughtseize》, but it does a decent impression and coming from a 《Collected Company》 alongside another creature is never too bad (at least not worse than only hitting one creature off the top). You can even cast 《Collected Company》 during their draw step, looking for 《Brain Maggot》 and denying them of casting any sorcery speed spell they’ve just drawn.

Bonecrusher Giant

The same happens with 《Bonecrusher Giant》: for two mana you would prefer having more 《Abrade》, but if your 《Abrade》 could also come as a 4/3 creature when casting 《Collected Company》, then I think the sacrifice is worth it.

Klothys, God of DestinyReclamation Sage

Both 《Klothys, God of Destiny》 and 《Reclamation Sage》 have been very good, especially the latter to replace those 《Abrade》 and have a good answer for cards like 《Leyline of the Void》 or 《Grafdigger’s Cage》.

The second solution would be to sideboard out 《Collected Company》. Why play it in the first place if you don’t intend to keep it after the first game. Here’s another list I’ve been playing:

Jund Sacrifice

I believe 《Collected Company》 is an excellent card and I am happy with the solution I found to keep it relevant in post sideboard games, but I think the deck is becoming too good for its own good and soon people will adapt to it. Even Sultai had a bad weekend and it’s very likely that Azorius Control will get back in the picture with their maindeck 《Grafdigger’s Cage》 and many other strategies will be packing answers as well.

Chandra, Torch of DefianceKorvold, Fae-Cursed KingVraska, Golgari Queen

The Sacrifice archetype is very good against most creature decks, so I don’t think it is going anywhere, but it will need to adapt again to stay on top. 《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》 and 《Korvold, Fae-Cursed King》 are excellent finishers and that’s the direction I’d like to head next. Both also happen to be great at giving you a new angle of attack when people are ready with 《Grafdigger’s Cage》 and 《Yasharn, Implacable Earth》. Even 《Vraska, Golgari Queen》 deals with the annoying artifact.

Angrath, the Flame-Chained

From the sideboard 《Angrath, the Flame-Chained》 is a great tool for putting pressure on your opponents without committing too many creatures to a board sweeper. It’s also a great answer to the 《Doom Whisperer》 most Sultai lists are playing now to avoid losing to 《Claim the Firstborn》.

Cindervines

《Cindervines》 is not only destroying many relevant permanents from Azorius control and Paradox combo, but the trigger is actually very painful to them.

Legion's End

Finally, 《Legion’s End》 is something a bit different I’ve been trying to help against those nut draw with multiple 《Burning-Tree Emissary》 from Gruul. The card is also good to exile 《Cauldron Familiar》 and 《Dreadhorde Butcher》.

Sideboard Guide

A quick sideboard guide to help you get started if you want to pick this list up for a spin:

Against Sultai

vs. Sultai

Out

Mayhem Devil Mayhem Devil Priest of Forgotten Gods Priest of Forgotten Gods
Claim the Firstborn Scavenging Ooze Gilded Goose Cauldron Familiar
Vraska, Golgari Queen

In

Angrath, the Flame-Chained Angrath, the Flame-Chained Klothys, God of Destiny Klothys, God of Destiny
Noxious Grasp Noxious Grasp Thoughtseize Thoughtseize
Angrath's Rampage
Cry of the Carnarium

Post-sideboard they normally bring in 《Cry of the Carnarium》 and some extra spot removal spells, so I like cutting some creatures and bring in permanents that are harder for them to deal with while also keeping in check their threats.

Against Gruul

vs. Gruul (On the Play)

Out

Scavenging Ooze Scavenging Ooze
Midnight Reaper Midnight Reaper
Woe Strider

In

Abrade Abrade
Noxious Grasp Noxious Grasp
Legion's End

vs. Gruul (On the Draw)

Out

Scavenging Ooze Scavenging Ooze
Midnight Reaper Midnight Reaper
Vraska, Golgari Queen

In

Abrade Abrade
Noxious Grasp Noxious Grasp
Legion's End

Here I just want some extra removal and make sure I don’t get run over before I set some of the sacrifice engines to take over the game. Gruul is very new to the format in its most recent build, I’d like to see how it evolves from here to get a better idea of what’s the best plan against them.

Against Rakdos/Jund Sacrifice

vs. Rakdos/Jund Sacrifice

Out

Midnight Reaper Midnight Reaper Priest of Forgotten Gods Priest of Forgotten Gods
Chandra, Torch of Defiance Chandra, Torch of Defiance Cauldron Familiar

In

Klothys, God of Destiny Klothys, God of Destiny Abrade Abrade
Angrath, the Flame-Chained Legion's End Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

I know cutting 《Midnight Reaper》 or 《Priest of Forgotten Gods》 is not very popular among Sacrifice players, but I prefer the creatures that generate some value before dying or getting stolen by 《Claim the Firstborn》. This guide is very generic and I think you need to adapt based on exactly what cards are they playing because some versions are more aggressive than others.

Against Auras

vs. Auras

Out

Midnight Reaper Midnight Reaper Scavenging Ooze Scavenging Ooze
Chandra, Torch of Defiance Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King Gilded Goose

In

Abrade Abrade Thoughtseize Thoughtseize
Noxious Grasp Noxious Grasp
Legion's End Angrath's Rampage
Kaya's Ghostform

The only consideration I would have here is to keep the 《Scavenging Ooze》 against the Orzhov list with 4 《Kaya’s Ghostform》 to exile the creature in response to the trigger. You could also sideboard out a land when you are lowering the curve of the deck like in this match.

Against Azorius Control

vs. Azorius Control

Out

Claim the Firstborn Claim the Firstborn Claim the Firstborn Claim the Firstborn
Scavenging Ooze Scavenging Ooze Priest of Forgotten Gods Priest of Forgotten Gods
Mayhem Devil Gilded Goose Cauldron Familiar

In

Cindervines Cindervines Thoughtseize Thoughtseize
Angrath, the Flame-Chained Angrath, the Flame-Chained Korvold, Fae-Cursed King Klothys, God of Destiny
Noxious Grasp Angrath's Rampage Abrade

This is one of the hardest matches, but this list puts a better fight than the others. Don’t let them keep a 《Teferi, Hero of Dominaria》 going and sequence around 《Wrath of God》 and eventually, you generate enough value to pull through.

Moving Forward

There is not only metagame evolution, but we also have the release of Kaldheim around the corner. We don’t know yet if new archetypes will rise or which ones are getting the most from the new cards, but we can at least have a look at the options we get for Jund.

In terms of spells, there are two that got my eye. 《In Search of Greatness》 is going to see play in Food decks with 《Gilded Goose》 and 《Trail of Crumbs》. That’s mostly for the Standard version, but also the Food focused version of Jund Sacrifice in Historic with multiple numbers of 《Korvold, Fae-Cursed King》, and 《Bolas’s Citadel》 could use the new card. This version is currently not seeing much play because the format is getting faster and unfortunately 《Trail of Crumbs》 doesn’t have the time during the games to shine. 《In Search of Greatness》 could change that though.

The other spell is 《Rise of the Dread Marn》. In the mirror match or against Gruul there are many turns when 3 to 5 creatures die in a single turn during combat or if you think about it, even just a 《Priest of Forgotten Gods》 activation normally puts 3 creatures in the graveyard. At instant speed and only for 3 mana 《Rise of the Dread Marn》 has plenty of potentials. You could even exile it with Foretell early in the game and later on cast it after activating 《Priest of Forgotten Gods》 during their turn (finally something else to use that mana at instant speed).

That’s for spells from the new set, but also very important for the mana base is the release of the remaining Pathways! This is great news especially for Jund because we are getting the missing two: 《Blightstep Pathway》 and 《Darkbore Pathway》. These are going to be an upgrade in some numbers over some checklands and fastlands.

Conclusion

Historic keeps evolving and I really enjoy trying new decks and new cards. I am sure this won’t be changing anytime soon with the new set coming up and Jund Sacrifice is going to be one of those interesting places where to look for innovation.

Thanks for reading!

Fabrizio Anteri (Twitter)

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Fabrizio Anteri

Fabrizio Anteri Fabrizio Anteri is a Pro Player from Venezuela. He has 11 Grand Prix Top 8s and won 5 trophies. He went 2nd place at GP Bologna with his teammates and he joined Hareruya Hopes at The 2nd Hareruya Hopes Open Recruitment. Read more articles by Fabrizio Anteri