Ever since she showed up, I'm sure everyone has been eager to build around or play with the latest green planeswalker, Nissa, Worldwaker. She was definitely one of the most exciting cards in M15, despite Garruk, Apex Predator taking the cake for me personally. I mean, he's a planeswalker with four abilities. Do you know the last time that happened!?
Oh, you do? Well...nevermind then.
Nevertheless, despite Garruk being a super spicy meat'a'ball, Nissa, Worldwaker actually seems to be the competitive powerhouse of the set. I decided to pick up the list played by Yuuki Ichikawa at Pro Tour M15 to a Top 8 finish and see how she fares in a competitive environment. As you can see his decklist utilized the full set of Nissa, Worldwakers, so he had to have a little faith in the old elven girl. (She is an elf, right?)
Usually I'm not a big fan of Jund decks. In fact I might have even referred to them as "the enemy" before. They're kind of the bad guy colors, right? I also dislike the fact that they generally lack a traditional form of card advantage, such as something like Sphinx's Revelation or Blue Sun's Zenith, despite this version of Jund (and the most recent planeswalker-centric versions) having multiple card advantage-generating planeswalkers. But maybe that's something I can get past. After all, here we are, virtually sleeving up some Jund planeswalkers and battling. Let's see how we do!
Jund Superbros vs. RUG Midrange
Jund Superbros vs. Orzhov Control
Jund Superbros vs. Azorius Control
Jund Superbros vs. RW Devotion
The first thing we absolutely need to cover is the fact that Nissa, Worldwaker is utterly ridiculous. I didn't get to see any of the coverage with Ichikawa playing the deck, so I'm not sure what kind of plays and interactions with Nissa were made, but being able to create a 4/4 creature every turn is just an insane amount of pressure. I didn't find myself using the second ability very often, especially with the low number of Forests in the deck, but the first ability is often good enough to steal the show by itself. We came close to ultimating once, but our opponent scooped before we could do it. The only concern I would have after ultimating is Supreme Verdict or an overloaded Mizzium Mortars. If you can somehow avoid playing into these two, yeah, her ultimate is pretty game winning.
The other version of Jund Superfriends I was looking was a version with one more copy of Vraska the Unseen in the maindeck, and a copy of Garruk, Apex Predator in the sideboard. I am a huge fan of both of these cards, and I was all set to try that list out, but I figured that the list that made the Top 8 at the Pro Tour might be a little better. Either way, I have the other version saved in Magic Online, but I can't for the life of me remember where I found it. I do like the idea of adding a second Vraska the Unseen as she's an amazing way to deal with literally any problematic permanent you may come up against. And there's nothing more demoralizing for your opponent than having one of your planeswalkers trapped under a Detention Sphere or a Banishing Light, only to break them out with a Vraska the Unseen and be that much farther ahead.
Other than planeswalkers, the removal suite is diverse and powerful. I found it odd at first that there weren't any copies of Hero's Downfall, but Dreadbore is often just as good and being an instant isn't that terribly relevant when most of the time we're tapping out on our own turn to play planeswalkers. In fact that's the exact reason that costing two mana instead of three is incredibly beneficial. Golgari Charm is also an amazing spell that has finally earned some maindeck inclusions. The fact that it can save your team from a Supreme Verdict or a Planar Cleansing, kill an army of X/1 toughness creatures, or destroy things like an Underworld Connections or a Detention Sphere makes it one of the most versatile cards in the deck and I've been a fan of it for a long time.
Llanowar Wastes was probably my least favorite land in the deck, but it might be a necessary evil. I kept wondering why we weren't playing more Overgrown Tombs, especially with a full suite of Nissa, Worldwaker. There are times where you might never take damage from an Overgrown Tomb and there are times where you might need to take damage from a Llanowar Wastes every single time you tap it. While I do like the pain lands from M15 and know they'll see a ton of play, I don't think I like them more than the shocklands, and I would often choose to run a full set of shocks before I start adding pains.
Well, that's about all I have for today. This deck felt immensely more powerful than I thought it would, and I might find myself playing it more in the near future. If you happen to be heading to Gen Con, come check out TCGplayer! Melissa DeTora, Craig Wescoe, Cassidy Silver, and myself can all be found there this week, at booth #2529, signing tokens and chatting with you guys! Thanks for reading, and I'll catch you then (either in person or on the interwebs).
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV