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Everything I Know About Jund Sacrifice In Historic

Does Gilded Goose have a place maindeck in Historic Jund Sacrifice? Brad Nelson shares both sides of the debate and extensive sideboarding analysis.

Gilded Goose, illustrated by Lindsey Look

The SCG Tour Online takes a break from Kaldheim Standard this weekend to check out what’s been going on in Historic. It’s been a couple of months since “The Tour”™ made a stop in Historic, and since then we’ve seen the release of Kaldheim and just recently Historic Anthology IV. Most importantly though, we saw the death of my favorite deck thanks to the banning of Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. Luckily for me I just recently learned how to play a different Historic deck, Jund Sacrifice (Jegantha). 

Jund Sacrifice, as the cool kids call it, was probably the best deck even before Uro bit the dust. Now that it’s gone though, there’s really not much standing in its way from becoming the best deck in Historic. 

Okay, so there are a couple of things standing in its way. From Angels to Vampires (seriously), Historic is chock-full of new threats just waiting to dethrone Jund. That’s why today I’m going to go over everything I know about the archetype in preparation for this weekend’s $5K Strixhaven Championship Qualifier

The Mana

A few new options opened up for the archetype in the form of Blightstep Pathway and Darkbore Pathway. Before Kaldheim, Jund Sacrifice was forced to play Dragonskull Summit, which wasn’t all that great in combination with both itself and Blooming Marsh. Now it’s possible to design the manabase so that you don’t need to play Dragonskull Summit and never really have to fear early lands entering the battlefield tapped. 

One debate I’m still having internally is the value of Gilded Goose, and its impact on the manabase. I really like having two Gilded Goose in my builds, as it allows for some quick starts and really helps out with early Priest of Forgotten Gods activations. I’ve just never really been a fan of the last couple of options for the maindeck of Jund Sacrifice and Gilded Goose just felt like it smoothed things out a lot of the time.

What it doesn’t do, however, is allow for simple manabases. 

Lists without Gilded Goose have it easy, as they can skimp on green sources and just play a lot of copies of Darkbore Pathway. With Gilded Goose in the mix, you’ll most likely want to stretch things a bit for additional green sources and some copies of Blooming Marsh. You just really don’t want to lead on a land that only produces green mana, as it doesn’t combo well with Turn 2 Dreadhorde Butcher.  

This will sometimes cause your later lands to enter the battlefield tapped, which isn’t great, but also puts more stress on wanting to play a basic land or not. Most builds of Jund Sacrifice play a basic Swamp but there are only two reasons to play basic lands in this deck:

  • Dragonskull Summit
  • Field of Ruin

Well, we don’t have to worry about the former, but the latter is pretty important with Azorius Control garnering a lot of excitement last week when players were initially testing the format. I could just add a Swamp to my build with Gilded Goose, but I really love living life on the wild side.

All right, fine, that’s not true, I love playing it safe.

Anyway, here are my current Goose and Goose-less maindecks. 



I know it’s nothing revolutionary, but that’s honestly why I want to play Jund Sacrifice right now. The format’s in flux with a lot of new decks popping up, and many of them are creature decks. Instead of risking my next tournament on an unknown entity, I’d rather tune a sure thing to take into battle. Obviously the first SCG Tour Online Satellite could undo all of my work on the format thus far, and if that’s the case, I’ll pivot. Until then I might as well work on a sideboard in preparation for this new metagame! 

Predicting the Metagame

Jund Sacrifice’s maindeck really is stock at this point — we all know that. You can change a card or two, but things are pretty much in place already. What does need constant focus is its sideboard. Plenty can go wrong when designing a Collected Company deck’s sideboard and that’s especially true when there are so many real hate cards to watch out for from the Jund perspective. You not only have to deal with these hate cards, but also keep your creature count high enough so your Collected Companies don’t whiff on creatures. 

So let’s talk about the “projected metagame.” Honestly, it’s a fool’s errand to even try to predict what’s going to happen this weekend. Jund Sacrifice, Gruul Aggro, and Azorius Control will be heavily played — that’s pretty obvious. Also decks like Selesnya Company, Selesnya Angels, and multiple Death’s Shadow-style decks will also be played. I mean, it’s not like people stopped loving good or new decks. We’re just never going to get it exactly right, you know what I mean?

Odds are something awesome is going to come out of this weekend that shakes things up, but we can’t prepare for that. What we can do is go over all of our sideboard options and figure out what we don’t think we’ll need, either because we don’t expect that side of the metagame to show up or the cards are simply bad. 

Cards I Know I’m Not Playing

I really disliked Leyline of the Void before but now I couldn’t imagine putting this card in my deck. Uro’s gone so some of the fringe graveyard decks like Kethis Combo and Simic Paradox Engine are dead, but also this week’s Rakdos Arcanist decks are going to be messing around with Death’s Shadow, meaning they won’t fold to graveyard hate like they used to. Plus it’s not even a good card to bring in the mirror since your opponent will always know if it’s in your deck or not thanks to having to remove Jegantha as your companion. Yuck! 

Klothys, God of Destiny is much more defensible as it’s a Collected Company hit, but I’m still not a fan since it doesn’t synergize with the rest of your deck. You have to get one thing straight about Jund Sacrifice — it’s a synergy deck. That’s why we’re playing Collected Company in the first place. We know we’re going to brick every once in a while, but just having more swings for combo pieces is worth it. Klothys “might” interact with an opponent and it “might” put pressure on them in a way the rest of your deck can’t, but we’re not in the business of diversifying our threats.

Well, I guess we are when it’s a five-mana Dragon that wins the game when we untap with it.

Get that sh*t out of here! If you’re looking for an effect to kill opposing Korvolds, I suggest trying out Liliana’s Defeat. At least there you can kill an opposing Mayhem Devil on the cheap and don’t have to feel stupid when they have a sacrifice outlet for your Act of Treason anyway. 

I struggle a lot deciding if either of these two cards deserves space in my decklists. Obviously they can be very good in certain situations, but also they’re expensive and go against the ways of the Collected Company. That said, they can both be great against Azorius Control, which is still one deck I haven’t found the perfect sideboard configuration for, but I haven’t run out of ideas yet, which is good! More on that later. 

Cards I Know I Am Playing

This card is just too good not to play in Jund Sacrifice. It’s great in the mirror and also can win games even through hate cards, which not a lot of our deck can say. I was skeptical at first about adding two copies to my sideboard, but looking back I now realize how much of a novice I was. It’s really easy to be wrong about a sideboard card here and there, but you’ll never go wrong making room for two copies of this beast. 

Sultai Midrange might be gone but green and white permanents are more popular now than ever. Selesnya Company or Selesnya Angels will be a thing in Historic, but at the moment I just don’t know which one is better. Regardless of which one ends up being better, Skyclave Apparition is a pretty messed-up card to Collected Company into and these decks will be packing a lot of copies of Yasharn. 

Abrade and Reclamation Sage are also necessary to hit hate cards that Gruul Aggro and/or Azorius Control will be packing. Both have their moments and deserve at least one slot each in the sideboard — I’m just not confident on how many just yet. 

I saw Eli Loveman play one copy of Bonecrusher Giant in his sideboard for February Kaldheim League Weekend play and thought it was kind of genius. It helps kill early creatures but also is a hit off of Collected Company. Really, it just comes down to how many removal spells you think you want in each matchup and if your list can afford playing a Bonecrusher Giant over an Abrade.

Since I predict a lot of creature decks to also be hurt by Grafdigger’s Cage, it might just be a fine addition to the sideboard! 

I wasn’t too happy about playing Thoughtseize while the Sultai and Four-Color Midrange decks were around, as it wasn’t the game you wanted to play against them. Things are different now though, making this the perfect card for fringe combo decks that’s also good against Azorius Control variants. Still, I don’t think I’d play more than two copies unless I did something really off-the-wall. 

Cards I Still Need to Test

Back in December, PVDDR took 9th place at the Zendikar Rising Championship using Jund Sacrifice as his deck of choice during the Historic portion. Afraid of Four-Color Midrange, he came up with an innovative sideboard plan that involved sideboarding in four Noxious Grasp, three Thoughtseize, and two copies of Chandra, Acolyte of Flame. What this accomplished was giving the deck more answers to the problematic permanents in the matchup and also adding some spell density thanks to the three-mana planeswalker.

Now I never tested this out myself, but it’s something I’m really looking towards if Azorius or Bant Control starts gaining popularity. My gut says that won’t happen given that control decks struggle with Gruul Aggro, but it’s something I want to test out just to be sure. 

I’ve been looking at Angrath’s Rampage for an answer to Azorius and Bant Control permanents, as it answers both Grafdigger’s Cage and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. That’s pretty much it though, making it a card I don’t feel too strongly about including into my sideboard. 

Putting this all together, here are my current two builds of Jund Sacrifice (Jegantha). 



As you can see they’re extremely similar lists. The only real difference is that I put Scrapheap Scrounger and the fourth Midnight Reaper into the sideboard to make room for the two copies of Gilded Goose. That gave the other list room for a single copy of Vraska, Golgari Queen and Klothys, God of Destiny, but by no means do I have confidence in either of those cards. They’re just what I’m testing for now just to make sure I don’t like them, but you for sure can choose your own “fun-ofs”™. 

I’m really happy with these two cards, as Heartless Act can kill Yasharn and Death’s Shadow, and Liliana’s Defeat can kill Death’s Shadow and Korvold. It’s just nice to have a few more situational removal spells to help shore up problematic permanents and all three of these threats can get out of hand. One can argue that I’m caring too much about Death’s Shadow since I already have four Claim the Firstborn, but Death’s Shadow always gets paired with Thoughtseize, making it nice to have a little higher density in ways to interact with them. 

It’s not like you have to play Scavenging Ooze in this deck, but if you choose to, you need to make sure you’re playing Blooming Marsh. The value of this card goes up with each green source you have, making Darkbore Pathway a pretty bad land to play alongside it. That said, this is the first card I remove from the deck when I want to try something new, which is usually a sign that the card’s not long for this world. Most likely I’m just playing it as a placeholder from my previous builds, but I do like having it for the Gruul Aggro matchup. 

So yeah, that’s pretty much everything I know about Jund Sacrifice (Jegantha) going into this weekend. I have full confidence in both of my lists for Friday’s SCG Tour Online Satellites. After that, someone’s most likely going to show up with something really exciting that completely shifts the metagame. We might be dealing with a global pandemic, but if there’s one constant through all of this, it’s that the SCG Tour Online is where innovation happens. 

See you on the battlefield this weekend!