A very interesting phenomenon is happening right now in Magic: The Gathering. In the past, blue decks were the big thing. For the most part, every Legacy deck still runs blue. However, we are seeing Standard, Modern, and even Legacy shift towards a particular color combination –- Jund.
Jund provides players with some powerful tools. It has the best burn and aggro cards from red, the best removal spells from black, and the most efficient creatures from green. Combining these different strengths results in some very powerful spells, such as Bloodbraid Elf and Abrupt Decay.
What Does This Mean for My Portfolio?
There are quite a few cards that fit into ultra-efficient Jund strategies. We are starting to see these decks in Standard, and I’d like to talk about the cards that go into them and what we can expect to see increase in the future. These decks can dominate a format, as we’ve seen with the 37% peak in Modern. If this happens, we will see Standard flooded with Jund decks, and we can be the ones there to make some money off of it.
The Midrange Cards
Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells –- This card has been on our radar for quite a while and has finally passed the $30 mark. Since it has replaced Bloodbraid Elf in Modern Jund, it could potentially become the next $40+ Standard mythic. We may be close to sell right now, but I see it gaining popularity, not losing it.
Olivia Voldaren –- Olivia is the ultimate sleeper rare. It has dropped to sub-$10 multiple times and shot to $20 overnight. I will be sad when it rotates for that reason. However, it is currently gettable at around $10, and is being played in the Jund decks, as well as some other midrange decks.
Rakdos's Return –- This card shuts down control if it resolves, and hurts aggro if it comes down early. Paired with Liliana of the Veil, you can destroy your opponent’s hand. The fact that it does damage to the opponent as well makes it a huge blowout at any point in the game.
Abrupt Decay –- Very efficient removal, and it hates on blue? This card gets rid of most of the scary cards in Standard. Silverblade Paladin, Liliana of the Veil, Domri Rade and even Detention Sphere. It has some limitations late-game, but it will usually shine in any Jund or 5-color control deck.
The Aggro Cards
Hellrider –- This card is at its all-time high right now. I can’t see it going too much higher anytime soon. However, it is holding its popularity, and is quite the blowout in aggro decks.
Domri Rade –- Aggro-oriented card advantage, removal, and impending doom for any opponent, especially control? Yes please! In a deck with even 40% creatures, you are looking at the same card advantage of Liliana’s +1 ability, and the removal is often more specific! Get that emblem off, and no control player can beat you. That means they spend their time dealing with Domri, while you build up an army to take them down.
If you've read my articles, you know I follow foils closely. I like to know which ones have increased, which ones might increase, and how to make money off of them. So, I almost always devote a part of my articles to the shiny rectangles we all know and love.
Burning-Tree Emissary –- When I saw this free 2/2, I squealed with delight. It seems a few others squealed as well, as it was the third most popular card in the SCG New Jersey top sixteen -- right behind Boros Reckoner and Hellrider. TCGPlayer is currently almost sold out of these in foil at $3-4, but you may be able to pick some up cheap from the previous naysayers.
Flinthoof Boar –- Foils of these were available at $.25 a month ago, but those days are long gone. You can still get these at $1-2 in a few places, and I would pick them up in a heartbeat. I will be grabbing some myself.
Notable Non-Jund Mentions
Blind Obedience –- We have seen this pop up in a few control lists -- but now it has appeared for the first time in an aggro/midrange deck. Monowhite Humans was running a full set, and they worked extremely well, leaving the field clear for attackers. It also helps them outrace their opponent, and use up extra mana on extort to widen the life gap.
Boros Reckoner -- This guy has shot up due to his current popularity. Drop them fast while they are at $20 or so. As more stock piles in from Gatecrash, they will drop in value fairly quickly. I see them as an $8-10 card max.
Stromkirk Noble -- I love seeing this guy. I know he's a big deal, and he should be a $6-7 card easily. He hurts Humans bad, and should make it into a lot more decks than we see him in now. He continues to grow as he hits, and if you get him in once or twice, there is little stopping him.
So, SCG Edison was a very interesting development -- please remember to keep an eye on your decks and bags. I have seen quite a few pots about theft at this tournament, and it should remind us all to watch our stuff. Jason wrote a great article on protecting your items a few days ago.
Until next time, remember to pick up the shinies!