So, Wilds of Eldraine is out. This set is strong and has a lot of potential to really impact the format. I'm eager to see these cards in challenges over the next few weeks. However, let's take a look at my favourite card from the set.
About Jund Wildfire
Jund Wildfire has been a deck since Bridges and Cleansing Wildfire have been released. Originally, it ran powerful threats like Boarding Party, Annoyed Altisaur, Llanowar Visionary and Sarulf's Packmate. However, I have taken a different approach to really showcase the power of the new card, Brave the Wilds.
Let's take a look at my take on this list to see how we are tackling the meta:
We are running 9 Bridges in this build as I believe 9-10 is the perfect amount to turn two Cleansing Wildfire. However, the current setup of this deck doesn't need to have Wildfire on turn two like previous builds of this deck do.
Cleansing Wildfire is really the heart of the deck and the namesake card. It allows you to have access to more mana a lot sooner and also replaces itself. Having access to four mana on turn three really helps control the board or gain serious card advantage. I hope this deck works well as a Jeskai Ephemerate in that it doesn’t need Cleansing Wildfire to compete, but it explodes its gameplan to the next step when it has it.
Deadly Dispute needs no introduction and explanation; it is simply the best draw spell this format has access to. It shows up in other shells like Golgari Gardens and Grixis Affinity, having the ability to ramp like Cleansing Wildfire does whilst also drawing you three cards when combined with Ichor Wellspring.
Lightning Bolt is still the most efficient and versatile removal spell in Pauper, being able to kill most creatures, especially ones out of UW Glitters, and also little creatures to aid Chainer’s Edict hit the real target.
Skred is the middle ground. I needed a one mana removal spell that could kill small and large creatures like Tolarian Terror. I believe it is between Skred and Ghastly Demise, but, overall, I am unsure which is better in this current metagame.
Chainer’s Edict is just the best hedge against the metagame. It really helps clean up the Terror matchups. There are also a lot of Hexproof or Voltron decks around at the moment, such as Heroic and Bogles. Chainer’s isn’t the greatest against UW Glitters, but it really helps stem the bleeding alongside Skred and Lightning Bolt.
Brave the Wilds is the new shiny toy that I’m really excited to play with. If it were just a Caravan Vigil, I wouldn’t be too excited about it, but the fact you can Kenku Artificer the Bridges really helps this deck. Being able to indefinitely block an All that Glittersed threat or a Tolarian Terror is really when it shines.
Nihil Spellbomb in the maindeck is due to the current state of the metagame. Slowing down the pace of Terror can be the difference between you finding the removal spell and not. The worst-case scenario is sacrificing it to draw a card or draw three with Deadly Dispute.
One Blood Fountain allows you to gain card advantage and recycle the strong threats you have played early, like Troll of khazad-dum or Avenging Hunter. You can even get back Ardent Elementalist to get another Indestructible 3/3 with Brave the Wilds.
Ardent Elementalist is a nice tool to redraw all the cheap interaction. This is why I wanted to lean on Lightning Bolt and Skred as removal; with them, you are more likely to be able to cast Ardent Elementalist and a one mana removal in the same turn. Brave the Wilds is what I really redraw, as I want to make an army of Bridges.
Thorn of the Black Rose really overperforms against Blue-based Control decks. It won't directly kill the opponent, but the card advantage from the Monarch will definitely end the game. A Black Deathtouch is also nothing to complain about. It trades with Tolarian Terror and can't be Snuff out or Spinning Darkness'd either.
Avenging Hunter is the real threat and powerhouse in this deck, being able to close the game out super quick with the Initiative. The card has proven itself to be one of the most powerful creatures in Pauper, so we are trying to have the ability to cast it early.
Troll of Khazad-Dum is just free. If you're struggling for mana, cycle it early, rebuy it later with Blood Fountain. If you draw it later on in the game, it's just a free threat. It's as simple as it gets. Troll is the best out of the other one mana cyclers; Generous Ent is the next best option due to its stats. But Troll being unable to be Snuff Outed and hard to block is why it really shines.
Ideal Hand & Mulligans
This hand is the sort of hand I like to keep. It has a turn two Cleansing Wildfire, a lot of card draw and early disruption with Lightning Bolt and your early land drops. You are a Midrange/Control deck, so these hands are perfect for the style of deck this is.
A lot of these sideboard choices are very self-explanatory, like most Pauper sideboards at the moment.
I've been personally leaning towards Deglamer, but haven't played the deck enough to come to a conclusion.
Red Elemental Blast is a crucial card in sideboards, and even mainboards, to deal with the metagame. Ultimately, having access to this card was the reason I omitted Boarding Party from this deck, as Cascading into it generally makes you feel bad.
Nihil Spellbomb is a clean, free way to deal with graveyard-based decks. It isn't the ideal answer for Terror, but it slows them down enough that your removal should be able to clean up the board in a reasonable fashion.
Weather the Storm is a simple but effective way of taking the game into the late game against Red-based Aggro decks. It is especially useful now as Red decks are trying _____ Goblin, so they tend to cast numerous spells in one turn.
Fiery Cannonade is a way to access to a board wipe. This allows you to deal with multiple decks at once, like Kuldotha and Glitters if they go wide.
The Emblem mechanics of Initiative and the Monarch are too much of a liability against Red, especially how quickly they get onto the board.
So we lower the threat count, which can cost us games, but it ultimately should help us stabilize with Weather the Storm.
VS Mono Blue Terror
The Blasts and the Spellbomb really help slow down the opponent's gameplan.
VS Caw Gate
This matchup will be tough, as this deck can grind hard and produce difficult-to-deal-with threats due to Prismatic Strands.
VS UW Glitters
This is a strong matchup. These are simple and easy-to-answer threats with cheap removal that can go underneath Metallic Rebuke.
VS Golgari Gardens
This game is going to go long. It will be grindy. So bringing in the Nihil Spellbomb will prevent them from getting as much value, by either cutting them off Spinning Darkness, Blood Fountain or even the flashback of Chainer's Edict.
Alternative Card Choices
There are many different options for this deck.
One thing I do like about the original builds of Jund Wildfire was it was excellent at playing to the board, with Llanowar Visionary and Sarulf's Packmate. This may be a better option in your given metagame, and might be worth exploring.
Boarding Party, Vampire Sovereign and Bleak Coven Vampires are all interchangeable threats. If, for whatever reason, Avenging Hunter isn't well positioned, there is no chance you will be short of options to play. All have their pros and cons, but ultimately, Initiative is the best way to end games quickly.
This deck seems surprisingly outdated, but is a solid option to play with new cards.
Can you Brave the Wilds?
Until next time!