Junk Rock

If you’re looking for something to try in Standard at #SCGMINN or #SCGKNOX this weekend, check out the Junk Midrange deck Brian brewed up last week.

All last week Standard was the hot topic here in Michigan because of the upcoming local PTQ at RIW in Livonia. I got to play a ton of Standard as a result and brewed up a pretty sweet Junk Midrange deck that I’m going to share today.

The big decks I wanted to beat were various B/W Aristocrats decks and Jund Midrange. Going into deckbuilding, I was intrigued by one very specific card that I thought was an extremely powerful “build around me”-type card.

“Baneslayer 2.0”

In general, the more I played with the card, the more I realized that when I drew it I tended to win. As a result, I determined that it was a card I wanted to play multiple copies of.

Unfortunately, I lost power on Sunday morning and didn’t end up waking up in time to actually attend the PTQ. 🙁 I had been looking forward to the opportunity to take my new deck for a test drive in a large event.

Here is what I ultimately would have sleeved up:

So far all year long my favorite archetype to play has been W/B/G Aggro / Midrange because of how much play I feel it gives me during a match. Whenever I play Junk, I always feel like I have the tools to have a serious chance of winning my games and matches.

It’s similar to Jund Midrange in the sense that all of its cards are efficient and powerful on their own but are also very synergistic.

I guess I should probably explain some of my bizarre card choices.

“I like my five-drops to be mythic—not Thragtusk.”

Thragtusk is an amazing Magic card, but the more I played with him, the more I felt he just wasn’t very good in my deck. And by not very good in my deck I mean he was still a great card but that I thought other large drops might be better for what I was trying to accomplish.

Basically, Thragtusk is better when you need him to be Thragtusk (which happens!), but in this deck I am really banking on my five-drops to do a different kind of work.

I absolutely love the fact that Blood Baron of Vizkopa is immune to Olivia Voldaren; in my mind, it’s a pretty major plus.

After playing infinite games, I’m willing to admit that I may be wrong about playing so many Blood Barons and no Thragtusks. However, I’ll also say that without Thragtusk in the format Blood Baron would absolutely positively be the best.

With that in mind, I strongly advise people to start picking up Blood Barons for Standard for when Thragtusk rotates out, as his piece of the metagame pie is apt to multiply.

I found that everyone has a ton of ways to deal with a Thragtusk; despite it being very good, it just wasn’t getting the kind of work done that I wanted from my five-drop.

The cool thing about Archangel is that it can straight-up race a Thragtusk in the air, which is pretty sweet, and though Blood Baron matches up poorly head-to-head against Thragtusk, it’s better against most other decks and has the capability of becoming super deadly against even the Tusk when paired with an Archangel, Silverblade, or Gavony Township.

Blood Baron is pretty much the best possible creature to soulbond with a Silverblade Paladin or put Township or Archangel counters on. It’s also not trivial that Thragtusk is pretty mediocre against the various Aristocrats decks and Blood Baron is a free-win card.

Basically, the deck plays some dorky guys, stalls the board via giant lifelinkers, and then goes way over the top with Archangel of Thune or Blood Baron of Vizkopa.

“The NOT so Secret of the Ooze”

Scavenging Ooze is not much of a secret these days; the card is clearly amazing at multiple things. The cool thing about Scavenging Ooze in this deck is that it goes totally bananas if you untap with an Angel and cast an Ooze.

Exile 3 creatures = put 3x +1/+1 counters on my team.


If Scavenging Ooze is the most bonkers enabler for Archangel of Thune, then Lingering Souls is equally the most broken place to put the broken counters we are setting up!

If you want to Glorious Anthem your team, the best possible place to put that bonus is often on a slew of little tokens that fly.

The other thing I love about this deck is that the cards are just sweet. I mean, Scavenging Ooze and Lingering Souls fighting side by side? I’ve played both of these cards in Legacy before!

“What midrange deck would be complete without some walkers?”

I love having planeswalkers in a midrange deck as an additional angle from which to pressure an opponent. Sorin is obviously sweet, as the emblem is quite good with Lingering Souls, but also because the Vampire tokens have lifelink, which will trigger Archangel of Thune’s ability.

You can curve out with Sorin into Angel and suicide the token to pump your team and put Archangel out of Mizzium Mortars range, which has come up a couple of times so far.

The sideboard is pretty straightforward in the sense that it’s pretty easy to tell which cards are for which matchups. Hmm, I wonder who these Ray of Revelations come in against? Is it Hexproof?

I’ve been pretty happy with Nevermore and am considering playing more copies. It’s versatile in the sense that every deck has some specific card you don’t want them to slam against you at various points in the game. Bonfire of the Damned is a good one, as is Rakdos’s Return, but you can also Nevermore Sphinx’s Revelation, Aetherling, or Supreme Verdict, which is pretty sweet.

While Witchbane Orb is one of the best sideboard cards, it’s pretty annoying that it does nothing in multiples. Nevermore is kind of a hedge against that as well as a very good board card against blue decks.

“Never lose to red again!”

If you’ve never curved turn 2 Fiendslayer Paladin into turn 3 Rhox Faithmender, you haven’t really lived. 🙂

With all the life gain in this deck, it’s a challenge to lose post-sideboard games against fast aggro if you draw decent starting hands.

Now I have a question for you: if you could play any random, ridiculous, screwed-up sideboard card for Jund Midrange, what card crushes them the hardest?

“Is this good enough?”

If they don’t have Putrefy immediately, all of my creatures are unkillable and unblockable and have a zillion abilities, including vigilance and first strike, which means you can never actually attack me. So . . . good luck with that.

I’ll leave you with one final thought.

Imagine yourself calmly casting Akroma’s Memorial against some unsuspecting Jund Midrange player. Imagine them having to read the card and then watching the expression on their face as they try to figure out what to do . . .   

Now imagine you also have Nevermore in play naming Putrefy!

Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoy the deck!

Brian DeMars