Hello again, Premodern humans! Last week in the Premodern Facebook group, discussion came up about whether you could build a viable BGx non-Survival of the Fittest midrange deck, and what such a deck might look like. I have seen some lists for straight BG Rock, and I think that archetype can be quite good, but it seems that they sometimes struggle with the lack of good one CMC removal like Lightning Bolt or Swords to Plowshares.
I decided to try my hand at brewing a couple of decks, and I think they might be pretty decent, particularly my “Jund” list (my apologies for the decidedly Modern terminology).
Just like Jund strategies in Modern and Legacy, this deck attempts to play an attrition game, answering the opponent’s threats, picking apart their hand, then pulling ahead with card advantage and big beaters.
Hypnotic Specter is sort of like our Liliana of the Veil, and I’ve actually been very impressed with the card in my limited testing so far, especially when played turn two off a Birds of Paradise. Lightning Bolt, Terminate and Wall of Blossoms deal with early creatures, Duress and Cabal Therapy further destroy the opponent’s hand, and Blastoderm, Ravenous Baloth, Call of the Herd and Treetop Village close out the game once you turn the corner into beatdown around turn four or five. The synergy between Ravenous Baloth and Blastoderm was too cute to not include, and both are excellent cards on their own.
Before we move on, a word on Pernicious Deed: this card might seem far too strong to not include maindeck, but I’ve decided to move them to the sideboard in both of my BGx decks. They simply aren’t effective enough against control and most combo decks, and this strategy is much more interested in gaining incremental advantages and building up a board presence, often starting on turn one with Birds of Paradise.
My other deck this week is a “Junk” deck with a lot of typical midrange elements, but I also wanted to try out Veteran Explorer along with the full complement of Cabal Therapy. Yavimaya Elder also makes it in here as another nice Therapy outlet. Basically we’re skipping the fours and ramping up into five-drops ASAP.
Spiritmonger is everyone’s favorite five-drop fatty, but the consensus in the community is that it’s a little to vulnerable to Swords to Plowshares. Well with eight targeted discard spells, I’m quite confident in this deck’s ability to clear a path for the lovable Beast, and the dream of playing it on turn two with a Veteran Explorer and Phyrexian Tower is just too sweet to pass up.
Our other five-drop, Deranged Hermit is much less concerned about Swords to Plowshares and can get out of hand very quickly, especially in multiples. Overall I think the Jund deck is a little more well-rounded, but this one is very capable of steamrolling the opponent with raw power, especially if they’re on a deck with no basics.