Best of 2013: Marking Your Territory

Posted in Daily Deck on January 7, 2014

By Gerry Thompson

It was no surprise to see Josh Utter-Leyton attacking with Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant at the World Championship, as he's played Jund at almost every Modern tournament he's played in. The strange part was seeing him playing straight BG, eschewing the red from the deck entirely. As a replacement for Lightning Bolt, Josh turned to Dismember and... Deathmark?

In the biggest tournament of the year, Josh took a gamble that the vast majority of his opponents would have green or white creatures in their decks. Doing something like that can be a huge risk, but it paid off for him with a Top 4 finish.

By sticking with just two colors, Josh was able to incorporate Tectonic Edge into his mana base, which gave his lands more utility and allowed him to fight Tron decks and help mitigate the effect of his opponent's Sphinx's Revelations. The recent release of Scavenging Ooze gave him another creature similar to Tarmogoyf, which was another reason not to splash something like Lingering Souls.

Since that tournament, people have more or less returned to the usual Jund or Junk (or both), but Josh provided everyone with a valuable lesson that more isn't always better. Sometimes it's correct to keep it simple and only play with the bare essentials.

Josh Utter-Leyton's BG Midrange

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Gerry Thompson is a former professional Magic player and strategy writer, whose career highlights includes a Top 8 at Pro Tour Gatecrash and two Grand Prix wins in Denver and Nashville. He's currently a development intern for Wizards of the Coast.

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