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Much Abrew: Vorinclex Jund (Standard)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're heading to our new Kaldheim Standard format to play one of the decks I've been enjoying the most in the new format: Kaldheim Jund! Initially, my goal was to just mess around and instantly ultimate some planeswalkers, with the help of Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider. But after playing the deck a bunch, it started to feel oddly strong. While planeswalkers like Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon are obviously strong, the biggest surprise is how powerful Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider is as a standalone card. Apart from letting us essentially win the game by ultimating a big planeswalker the turn when it comes into play, it also shuts down our opponent's sagas completely, which makes it really hard for some decks to interact with our threats (a lot of decks are leaning on Binding the Old Gods, The Akroan War and Elspeth Conquers Death as removal, and Vorinclex stops them completely), while also powering down any planeswalkers our opponent might play. Now, Vorinclex Jund is one of my favorite decks in the format, and it seems like it could actually be a fairly competitive option (probably with some tuning) in our new format! How insane is Vorinclex in Kaldheim Standard? How practical is it to ultimate planeswalkers immediately with the help of Vorinclex? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Vorinclex Jund

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, we went 4-1 with Jund Vorinclex, ranking up through Platinum on Magic Arena along the way. While we did get Eldrained once, losing to Gruul Adventures, other than this one blemish (which went three games), not only did we win the rest of our matches, but we didn't even drop a game!
  • So, the primary game plan of Jund Vorinclex is simple: ramp into Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider and then either Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, or even Liliana, Waker of the Dead; ultimate the planeswalker immediately; and essentially win the game. 
  • While the planeswalker insta-ultimate games are super fun and hard to lose, the real reason the deck is good is that Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider is an absurd card and one of the best Kaldheim cards for Standard. It's easy to overlook the six-drop because it's such a great Commander card, but Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider is a great card in a Standard format where a lot of decks are using Sagas for removal, even without your planeswalker synergies. I'm pretty sure almost all of our opponents punted by trying to remove Vorinclex with a Saga at one point or another. Add in a strong 6/6 trample, haste body, and Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider really deserves much more respect in Kaldheim Standard. It's legit!
  • Oh yeah, as bad as Vorinclex is for our opponent's Sagas, it's great for our Sagas, allowing us to get the first two lore counters right away. This means Binding the Old Gods is a four-mana, blow up any non-land and Rampant Growth, which is a great deal. I've also added a couple of Elspeth's Nightmares to the sideboard because getting the removal and Duress mode immediately is really solid (plus, it's already a very flexible sideboard option). 
  • Speaking of Kaldheim Standard sleepers, Dream Devourer is also a lot better than I expected. While it does sometimes die to removal before doing anything, it's insane if we can get it to stick for even one turn and foretell something like Tibalt or Ugin, allowing us to have a big planeswalker at least two full turns early. The foretell discount also helps us play Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider and a planeswalker in the same turn. While getting to 14 mana to play Ugin and Vorinclex (or 13 for Tibalt and Vorinclex) naturally is almost impossible, getting to nine or 10 to foretell Vorinclex and a finishing planeswalker in the same turn isn't really all that hard in a deck full of ramp spells like Cultivate, Solemn Simulacrum, and Binding the Old Gods
  • The one card in the main deck I'm not completely sold on is Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast. In theory, it offers a way to find Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider by exiling a Solemn Simulacrum or even a Dream Devourer (with a bit of luck), and it is cute that Lukka's +1 can help us find Tibalt since the big planeswalker is technically Valki, God of Lies, as far as Lukka is concerned. But Lukka also has the weakest ultimate of our planeswalkers (we usually don't have enough creatures for it to kill our opponent outright), and with only 16 total creatures in the deck, the +1 can be inconsistent. While I don't think I'd cut Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast altogether, it might be worth going down a couple of copies for a bit more removal in the main deck. 
  • All in all, Vorinclex Jund feels really solid. It plays a lot of powerful cards and has a super-powerful game plan; plus, Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider is just an absurd threat against the current meta. While I'm sure Jund Vorinclex could use some tuning, I wouldn't be surprised if something like this ended up being a real, competitive option in Kaldheim Standard; plus, ultimating planeswalkers is super fun!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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