Hello, everyone! This is probably the third time I've had a Kresh deck built. I've never been happy with it in the past -- here's hoping this time is different!
For your convenience, and mine, the cards are organized by type, and then by CMC, and alphabetically within those categories. Lands, since they have no CMC, are instead sorted by mana production type and/or function. Here's the list!
It strikes me only now that this deck's name is "The Blood of Jund." As you're all aware, Jund is the Shard of Alara that is primarily red, with green and black as its secondary colors. Though, as you can plainly see, this deck's alignment features green and black at the helm, with red taking a backseat to the action. That said, this deck's name is somewhat misleading in that regard. Oh well!
Anyway, the next thing that usually comes here is a card-by-card breakdown! I know that some of you find this part quite tedious and even superfluous; as a result, this portion of the post has been placed under the protection of the mysteriousSpoiler tag! Click at your own risk!
Bloodghast - Recurring creature that adds +1/+1 counters for Kresh, and is perfect Skullclamp fodder? Yes, please!
Reassembling Skeleton - Everything I said above, except it recurs differently. That said, although it's more mana intensive to recur, it's also more reliable in the later game, when land drops can be more difficult to come by.
Sakura-Tribe Elder - This should go without saying: this is a green deck that wants to ramp, and can recur creatures. Clearly, STE is an all-star here.
Scavenging Ooze - A graveyard hate-bear that gets bigger when it eats creatures! This fills the Kresh with joy (and +1/+1 counters)!
Eternal Witness - Recurs any card for me, while itself being recurrable by several different methods = ridiculously good. This can lead to many shenanigans, such as recursive Tooth and Nail, as well as Living Death (my personal favorite play). Skullclamp target.
Yavimaya Elder - Some people have been criticizing the quality of this little guy lately. Whatever, the Elder might not be at the top of his game anymore, and can be downright unwanted in some situations. However, ol' Yavi has been great so far in this deck. Yet another 'clampable creature, and fetches me two basic lands upon his death! Very good for this deck especially, as you'll soon see.
Disciple of Bolas - What the hell? Nicol Bolas's presence is felt even outside of his shard's colors! This Disciple pulls its weight in this deck, nonetheless. Sacrifices a creature to help you gain life and draw? Recurring Momentous Fall effect? That is awesome. Also, Clamp target. It's a good thing!
Oracle of Mul Daya - Oh. Hello, there. What's that, Oracle? You want me to have an extra land drop? And you'll let me see the top card of my library, and I can play it if it's a land card? Holy crap. Oracle of Mul Daya, you're alright. Seriously, this card's value in the deck cannot be stated enough. Often described as the "diesel engine" of ramp, that description is actually quite apt. If I can keep my hand stocked with extra land, or change the top card of my library often enough, Oracle will reward me with +1 ramp per turn. The Oracle is probably my favorite Birthing Pod search result, by far.
Solemn Simalucrum - Does it really need to be said? Sad Robot/Jens is incredible. Though he normally isn't necessary in a green deck, SS fits right in for this build. A great pod search if Oracle isn't available or viable, its card draw is also quite welcome here. If you get this on a Mimic Vat, revel in the glory of ramping every turn in a row for as long as you want!
Acidic Slime - Deck-Builder Tested, Player Approved! The Slime's deathtouch can be quite an effective deterrent, but that's not its main draw. The ability to destroy an artifact, enchantment, or land? This creature has caused grief for and against me countless times. The premiere 5-drop Pod critter!
Malignus - A newer, and somewhat untested card. However, I couldn't resist this creature's potential huge body -- Kresh will get huge, and fast! Alternatively, Malignus' unpreventable damage makes it pretty great with a Kessig Wolf Run power and trample pump. Like, "oh good lord, someone's gonna die" levels of power.
Puppeteer Clique - Persisting creature! Steal a creature from their graveyard! Sacrifice it (or the Clique!) using any of your myriad of sacrifice outlets, and get "free" advantage off your opponent's creatures. Most assuredly awesome.
Urabrask the Hidden - One of three Praetors in this deck, meaning I have the complete set of Praetors that my colors are allowed. Having haste, and slowing down my opponent's creatures, are insanely good things to do.
Zealous Conscripts - Remember the creature steal that Puppeteer could do? Now, imagine that steal coming from the battlefield! Also, not limited to creatures, you can do some absolutely heinous things -- steal and blow-up an opponent's Oblivion Stone: steal your opponent's Planeswalker just in time to use its "ultimate." The Conscripts are an excellent creature at pretty much any point in the game.
Duplicant - Exiling a creature is good, especially in a deck that can't run StP or PtE. Having this ability on a creature makes it a great target for recursion abilities.
Grave Titan - Comes with extra bodies to power up Kresh! Is part of an infinite (excuse me, arbitrarily large) mana combo with Ashnod's Altar and Nim Deathmantle (ie, the jankiest, slowest combo ever!). This card is boss.
Harvester of Souls - Given the amount of creature death that occurs in a game, the draw power of this card should be pretty scary. Though, it also makes the Harvester a big ol' removal target. Nooo~! Its 5/5 body, while below average, is given Deathtouch to make it a threat to almost every creature, barring first strike and/or indestructible shenanigans.
Primeval Titan - Absolutely disgusting. As anyone who has faced a turn four Prime Time knows, this thing can completely dominate games, and usually does! If the player using this is able to fetch 4 or more lands with the Titan, their mana lead is probably going to overwhelm the table. Very powerful, very ridiculous dominant card.
Soul of the Harvest - So glad that they made a Primordial Sage that triggers off your creatures entering the battlefield, rather than being cast. That said, a deck with 30 creatures and various recursive properties can definitely benefit from a creature like this. A 6/6 trampling body is also relevant, as Prime Time has taught us.
Avenger of Zendikar - The Army in a Can(TM), AoZ is crazy-good. The Tooth and Nail pairing of Avenger and Prime Time is extremely uninspired, yet wins games quite easily. In a deck that can give creatures haste, this is even better for surprise victories! The abundance of land-dropping cards is especially helpful here. Fetchlands, ramp cards, Oracle, Prime Time...All welcome.
Rune-Scarred Demon - Yes. A 6/6 flying body that tutors when ETB? Extremely useful. Using this ability a second/third time in a single game feels like you're living in Magical Christmas Land!
Sheoldred, Whispering One - Two of three in the Praetor cycle. Sheoldred is just...wow. She usually gets killed before more than one full turn rotation, because people hate her that much. You can't really blame them, though. Causing them to sacrifice a creature, and recurring a creature on your own turn, can lead to pretty ridiculous card advantage in a short-ass time.
Stalking Vengeance - Oh hi, Wrath-deterrent! The Vengeance is completely awesome to have on the battlefield. If you have this and a sac outlet on the board, with a ton of huge creatures, you can probably even threaten lethal on a player soon enough! Completely outrageous.
Terastodon - Big ol' 9/9 Elephant body! Destroy 3 noncreature permanents! Give/get 3/3 green Elephant tokens! Everybody "wins!"
Vorinclex, Voice of Power - Three of three in the Rath cycle...err, in the Praetor cycle. This creature is quite possibly the biggest douche in the entire deck! People hate when your mana is effectively doubled, but especially hate that you deny them mana as well! If you get to untap with Vorinclex more than a couple of times, you should be winning your games.
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre - The giant Eldrazi has invaded Jund! Luckily, he's here to help! Vindicate upon cast, and Annihilator 4 on a big 10/10 indestructible creature? That is just...stupid good. Ulamog also serves as my anti-mill insurance, as well as being incredible Greater Good/Momentous Fall fodder.
Garruk Relentless - Well, this is the deck's only Planeswalker, this should be a short section! Garruk Relentless has green and black as its color identities, which makes the list of decks that I can run it in somewhat limited. That said, I can absolutely justify using this Garruk! There are plenty of creatures in this deck with 2 or less power. This means you can quite easily get your Garruk transformed into Garruk, the Veil-Cursed! Also, your opponents will usually run small creatures for Garruk to "fight."
Once transformed, Garruk has even more to offer. His +1 ability gives him some added protection in the form of a 1/1 Wolf token with deathtouch. Meanwhile, the -1 ability lets you sacrifice a creature to search for a creature from your deck. Creature tutoring is always welcome, and this is no exception. Finally, the -3 ability isn't going to be used often, but will often be devastating when it's finally used. +X/+X and trample, for all your creatures? Can lead to back-breaking gamestates.
Sol Ring - Since we're not playing French 1v1, we run this. Auto-include, for better or worse.
Skullclamp - Is a broken-ass "draw spell." That's all there is to it. There's a reason why it's banned in Legacy, Block Constructed, and Modern. It's a format warping/defining card, which can't be said about very many cards. It's just that sick.
Lightning Greaves - Haste/shroud is a welcome addition for any deck that wishes to be aggressive, and this deck is obviously no exception. It's not necessary for the deck -- just really, really good.
Nim Deathmantle - Yes, it's any-creature-recursion! For...4 mana. Oh. Fortunately, this deck is really good at getting obscene amounts of mana. This can only mean good things!
Ashnod's Altar - The arbitrarily-large mana enabler. An awesome sac outlet. Yes to both. This, Nim Deathmantle and Grave Titan lead to the jankiest method of "going infinite" that I could possibly use. Even better, if you have other good EtB triggers to abuse, this combo allows you to use them as many times as needed! Completely douchey to do with Acidic Slime and/or Fleshbag Marauder out, and probably wins the game instantly with Stalking Vengeance around.
Mimic Vat - An amazing card in a deck that can cause creatures to die so readily and easily! Love it here.
Birthing Pod - Sac outlet and creature tutor all at once! Possibly my favorite new card in recent memory. It's really great, and I hate when this gets destroyed before I've used it even once, Matt.
Survival of the Fittest - This broken creature tutor makes absolutely no apologies for being as broken as it is. And it is! Drop something like Blooghast or Reassembling Skeleton that wants to be in the graveyard, in exchange for any other creature? For only G and a discard? Completely busted, and I don't blame any opponent for blowing this up early and often. Usually wins games.
Sylvan Library - Insane card draw. When a format gives you 40 life, you should be paying 8 life to get extra cards a large portion of the time. Also helps set up draws for Oracle land drops, which is a really important feature.
Pernicious Deed - Green/black enchantment that blows up almost all permanent types, except lands/Planeswalkers! Especially good since I can control the "level" of destruction. Just an awesome card.
Phyrexian Arena - A wise man once said that an unanswered Arena wins games. That man has been mostly correct, thus far.
Greater Good - My favorite sac outlet/draw power card returns! Greater Good has enabled so many disgusting plays, and I love it every time! Drop a ton of creatures in the graveyard for a future Living Death, draw through until you find what you need, get Grave Pact triggers. This does it all!
Grave Pact - Speaking of Grave Pact triggers -- this card! Grave Pact is such a disruptive card, all of your creature-using opponents will hate you for running this. Bask in their delicious, delicious hate!
Skyshroud Claim - WHAT? MORE? Yes, more ramp is very much a welcome sight. And much like Nature's Lore, this fetches Forests, including Forest shocklands! It is perhaps my favorite sorcery-based ramp spell.
Living Death - In a deck that gets creatures into the graveyard, this is really good. In a deck that can also deplete other players' graveyards? Even better! In a deck that can recur the card to reuse it, sometimes even during the same turn? The best. Spell. Ever!
Tooth and Nail - Boring, always-entwined Tooth and Nail! This card can "earn" you an instant victory, and also a few seconds of booing from your friends as you search out your stupid win condition. =/
Decree of Pain - Destroy the board, and often draw entirely too many cards! Or, simply cycle it for a mini-Mutilate effect. Either way, really good.
Vampiric Tutor - Single mana tutoring for any card. Pay 2 life. Turn 1 tutor for whatever you want. Seriously.
Chord of Calling - Creature tutoring straight to the battlefield, can use convoke to make it cheaper! It's really good.
Beast Within - Destroy anything you don't like, and give them a 3/3 green Beast token for their trouble? A necessary evil!
Krosan Grip - Split-second artifact/enchantment removal. Enemy of Tops everywhere! I think it screwed over my Nihil Spellbomb once, too...
Putrefy - This would be a Chaos Warp, but the only one I have is reserved for my Gisela deck. That said, Putrefy is a welcome replacement. Instant-speed creature/artifact answering is incredible. Also, I have the full-art textless version for maximum swag level!
Momentous Fall - Sac and draw and gain life. So many creatures break this card! My personal favorite, though I hate to do it, is to sacrifice Kresh when he's absolutely doomed to be in the graveyard anyway.
In that case, it generally draws me 15-20 cards or more, which is often enough to swing a game in my favor.
Cauldron Dance - I activate my trump card! Cauldron Dance is my under-the-radar, huge 6-manasink, and it's totally worth it. Switching a card in my hand for one in the graveyard, but having them enter the battlefield with haste for combat before switching, makes this an incredibly easy card to abuse. Recent favorite moves include flashing Rune-Scarred Demon from my hand, and returning Eternal Witness from the graveyard.
Lands are pretty self-explanatory, but I can include them later too, if need be. Well, that basically covers it. This is a Kresh deck that likes to sacrifice, draw, make Kresh powerful and lethal-commander-damage-inducing, and generally just cause lots of pain. I'd say it gets the job done, but it also hasn't had much testing just yet. Come Tuesday, we'll see how it does in its latest incarnation!
I haven't done a changelog for any of my decks before, but this time I'd like to keep a record, so I'll try to be pretty meticulous about keeping a changelog for this deck.
Also, quite a few cards had to be scrapped for space, generally really good things like Praetor's Grasp or Butcher of Malakir, things that work really well in the deck -- but aren't really needed.
Any and all criticism is welcome, although constructive is of course the preferred type! As usual, thanks in advance, all of you!
Special thanks to Dm225, whose Kresh deck basically inspired me to rebuild Kresh! Also, my decklist is heavily inspired by his list, as I just recently realized. So, I must give credit where it's due! Here's a link directly to his thread: Dm225's Kresh the Bloodbraided Deck!
You're right, Jens/Sad Robot is a bit out of place in a deck using green ramp. That said, his extra card draw has been pretty relevant, and it's another good Birthing Pod search and sacrifice creature. Until I can find a better 4-drop for my Pod-chain, the 'bot will probably stick around.
In the three games I tested with Malignus in the deck, I never saw him in hand once, so I haven't had a chance to test it in actual games.
However, while goldfishing, I've found him to be insane! It really helps that in almost every single game we play, one or two players end up untouched by turn 6 or higher! So, Malignus is regularly a 20/20 monster.
My favorite "goldfished" board state involved having Kresh the Bloodbraided, Malignus, and Greater Good all on the battlefield. This could only happen after turn 7 or so on average, but the card draw is incredibly overpowered here. Drawing 43 cards here (sac Malignus to Greater Good to draw 20, get 20 +1/+1 counters on Kresh, then sac him while he's at 23/23, drawing a further 23 cards), and only discarding 6 of them, I could easily power my way to Reliquary Tower. Having that kind of hand advantage usually ends in something extra "Magical Christmas Land-ey," which means the aformentioned Jankiest Mana Combo -- into stuff like recurring Living Death, destroy all lands via Acidic Slime and Nim Deathmantle revivification. All really silly, really impractical (but awesome!) applications. Yay!
Heh, that's pretty awesome. It's unfortunate that I don't own a Deathrender, and Sneak Attack's $30-40 price tag is out of reach for me at the moment. Really cool, though! I'll definitely keep that in mind for later revisions.
Yeah, Altar of Dementia was actually in an earlier draft of the deck, but it was cut to make room for something else (I forget what, though). In any case, good call on that; I'll probably need to find some room to put it back in pretty soon here.
I'm behind you on Yavimaya Elder and Zealous Conscripts. The elder doesn't ramp, but making land drops each turn is less conspicuous than ramping. Plus, his power 2 is relevant in the very early turns. The fact that he sacs himself is a handy bonus. Conscripts has all kinds of uses. I once grabbed a storage land with 7 counters to pay for a Flowstone Slide.
I shall have to take some things away from this for my own kresh deck. For planeswalkers i ran both sarkons (later trading a mad for vol). Also, a card that seems odd but can be incredibly powerful for a kresh on the field is flowstone slide. While adding in damage, as long as you dont kill kresh off, increases his damage almost exponentially since the creatures that DO die from it have increased power from the effect. I also try running with alot of kill cards. One final idea that won me a game once was essence harvest. When kresh comes out, he sometimes gets dealt with in non-fatal ways like the vow cards or the like. He is then kept on the field to soak up counters, and you can instantly drain you opponent for fatal with just a few turns.
Sorry for reviving a old thread, I like my kresh deck and wished to share.