September 11, 2017

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Jund Commander Review Part 1

Continuing on this week with the three-colour card review is Jund.

A land of extremes, Jund has much synergy and many different play styles. Jund loves to have goblins as much as dragons, and knows how to handle “going wide” and Voltron strategies. That it's a well balanced shard of the colour pie is one explanation of this, and the other is that there's just great card design for Jund in general. This shard likes to sacrifice creatures, work with graveyards, pump up its commanders, control the board, and get aggressive. Jund really covers a lot of ground when it comes to EDH, and is definitely a great colour combo for anyone looking to rack up the WS.

But how are Jund's actual cards? The ones that define the colour combo? Not just the mono cards that get used in it. Let's take a look at the shard of Jund.

The grading looks like this:

A: Bombs/broken cards and excellent commanders. A lot of fun with unique design and interaction. Will effect the board in a big way in just about any deck or will allow for a very strong deck to be built around it if it is a commander.

B: Very good cards in most decks or total bombs in only one particular deck. Solid commanders but perhaps not the best in the colours.

C: A playable commander card, not great, maybe you're running it because of budget reasons. This card may be perfectly good in a specific deck yet not playable in others. An average commander, the abilities make for a mildly interesting/fun commander.

D: Not really a playable card in EDH except in some corner cases and specific builds. Generally not good. A commander that has no relevant abilities or is just not very fun.

F: Unplayable in a Commander deck or as the commander itself.

Let's see what Jund has to offer!

Adun Oakenshield – B

The problem with most of the old Legends cards is that they don't really do much in the modern game. Adun Oakenshield, however, is a happy exception to this otherwise pretty steadfast rule of thumb. Adun gives you a mana sync as well as creature recursion, albeit limited by tapping, which is just great. A decent addition to most 99s that could have him, and a fairly underwhelming commander, let's give this guy the B he deserves.

Bartel Runeaxe – D

A 6/5 Vigilance for six is only OK, but when you add the text that it can't be the target of Aura spells you get, well, basically the same card. Not enough impact for its mana cost, Bartel is basically unplayable. Don't summon a cow, man!

Broodmate Dragon – C+

An all-star in Dragon or Jund token decks, Broodmate Dragon is a great ETB creature as well. It needs specific strategies to have a large impact, but is still respectable on its own.

Carrion Thrash - F

Way too much work to get a Gravedigger. Just play Gravedigger.

Charnelhoard Wurm – B

Now this is a card that's better than Gravedigger. At 6/6 with trample, the big Jund wurm is definitely hard to block, and it creates card advantage as it beats down your opponents.

Darigaaz's Charm – D+

It works as a one-time (wait for it) Gravedigger effect and not much more. Three damage might get a utility creature of some kind, but in EDH that just isn't enough. Not one of the best charms we've seen, but not completely unplayable either.

Darigaaz, the Igniter – C+

At first glance, Darigaaz seems not that great because often commander players are playing multi-colour decks and you may not even be able to get your dragon through, let alone pick the correct colour to deal maximum damage. But if you do choose the correct colour, you could (possibly) deal a ton of extra damage. Of course, that extra damage is not actually commander damage, so also forget about that. So is my first glance accurate? Yes. Yes it is. He's not terrible, but I'd argue he's about the worst of the cycle of pay-dragons.

Destructive Flow – C

If you build your own deck a certain way Destructive Flow can be a nice land removal card that doesn't actually feel that bad. If you run a Jund land destruction deck then this is a real MVP. Give this one a try sometime and tell me how it did.

Dragon Appeasement – D

You have to give me a pretty crazy upside to convince me to skip my draw step, and giving me the same effect I can get out of a Grim Haruspex isn't what I need. This card may have been worth it when it first appeared, but we just have better options today.

Earthlink – D

Another piece for the Jund land destruction deck, this one doesn't quite ring with the same level of playability as its other enchantment cousin, Destructive Flow. It also has an upkeep which I really hate.

Flesh // Blood – D+

Flesh gives anything in your yard scavenge but for the set cost of five mana, and Blood is a standard fight card. I see what you did there, but neither of these effects is really that desirable in EDH outside of some very specific decks. Even if you fuse them together, you're talking some pretty condition removal for a huge cost.

Giant Ambush Beetle – F

I don't get this card; by having haste and attacking and forcing something to block it, isn't it the beetle who's getting ambushed? Like wouldn't an ambush creature have flash? And want to block? Not only that but this guy is a 4/3, so it trades with smaller creatures or even just three 1/1 tokens. This is one beetle that doesn't please, please me.

Hellkite Overlord – B

For eight mana and three colours, I better get something that will basically win me the game. Hellkite Overlord won't win you the game automatically, but it'll get you pretty close. The flample is pretty impressive, but the gem in the crown of this dragon is the Haste. Your opponents will need some pretty specific removal for this guy at the right time in order to get rid of him, and only a few hits will usually finish off whoever is causing you grief this game.

Hit // Run - D-

An edict you can get out of by sacrificing a signet and an overrun that only pumps power without trample. I feel like unless you're VERY desperate for edict effects this card reads quite unplayable.

Jund Charm – C+

You might be surprised to hear I like Jund Charm a lot more than I like Darigaaz's Charm. Mostly because the instant speed nature of both charms is great, but Jund Charm really utilizes it. Wiping someone's yard or a quick Whipflare? Both are solid when you need them, not to mention the pump mode on this one is permanent vs the slightly larger, but temporary, pump the other Jund charm has to offer. Pshh.

Jund Hackblade - F

Let's get real, Jund Hackblade, go to bed forever please.


So there's Part 1 of the Jund review. As a person who doesn't actually have a Jund commander deck (I'm working on it!) I hope things look about right? Jund has some of its more powerful stuff coming up, so stay tuned for some real monsters coming your way!

Let me know what you guys think of the Jund cards so far! Are my ratings and comments way too much or not enough? Let me know in the comments below!