Ravnica Allegiance Guild Reviews – Gruul, Jund, and Temur
We’ve arrived at my favorite of the five 2-color guilds. Once again please keep in mind that the rankings are pretty arbitrary. The best part about this format in my opinion is that all of the colors/guilds are well balanced and you can have success drafting any of them if you make good choices in your card selections/theme(s).
Just because Gruul my pick as the strongest archetypedoes not mean you should force it. But, there are certain cards (that I will break down below) that help build a Gruul deck that is powerful and consistent. This is a large part of why I think Gruul is the best archetype. In Gruul we will be drafting a lot of creatures and removal spells, which are the bread and butter of any limited deck. If we compliment those with some strong synergy between certain cards we have a deck that is almost certain to get at least 5 wins.
The best cards here are Rhythm of the Wild and Trollbred Guardian, and they interact really nicely together.Sunder Shaman and Enraged Ceratok exemplify what this deck excels at putting out: very efficient creatures that are difficult to block. Burn and fight spells, along with creatures like the guildmage or Clamor Shaman help remove additional blockers and keep the damage flowing. Keep in mind Rhythm stacks with creatures that already have riot, so it makes them all extremely mana efficient and hasty. The anti counter spell aspect is just icing on the cake.
Frenzied Arynx and Savage Smash are absolutely bonkers at common, and are a wonderful payoff for playing Gruul. Scorchmark is great at eliminating pesky afterlife creatures, while Skewer the Critics is a card you can never have enough copies of. Even without spectacle it clears the high curve creatures of most guilds (think chillbringer or grasping thrull), and having the flexibility of bolting your opponent as a finisher is just great. You’ll notice I included a lot of expensive creatures in this review. I like to round out my curve with 2-drops that can grow like Sauroform Hybrid and Gravel-Hide Goblin. These cards can score some damage early and are still relevant late.
Draft a minimum of 16 creatures on a solid mana curve. Supplement them with cards that make them better (Rhythm of the Wild) or clear a path for them (Savage Smash/Scorchmark/Skewer). 1-2 combat tricks are okay but you never want to be in a situation where you can’t use them due to not drawing enough creatures. A deck like this drops threat after threat and efficiently deals with most obstacles your opponent might have. Some archetypes have flashier combos or bigger upside if certain cards are drawn, but this archetype is consistent, doesn’t need any rares (several good uncommons are necessary though), and exemplifies the conventional wisdom as to what a strong limited deck should look like.
Jund (GRB) and Temur (UGR)
Along with Esper, I think Jund and Temur are really strong combinations in this format. While with Jund you want to choose aggro based Gruul cards, Temur is firmly mid range and has great synergy between the riot and adapt abilities. If I had to choose a favorite, I believe Temur is the best deck in the format if you are able to assemble a good chunk of the uncommons/commons I identified in my reviews. I am planning on coming back and extending the 3-color sections in these articles along with identifying key cards in their particular archetype. In the meantime, check out my twitch (http://www.twitch.tv/compulsion02) where I will be drafting more of these decks and seeing how these ideas fare on the Mythic ladder.