Deck Tech: Jund Delirium with (23) Oliver Polak-Rottmann

Posted in GRAND PRIX RIMINI 2016 on August 13, 2016

By Frank Karsten

Some players frantically switched decks in the week leading up to this Grand Prix. Oliver Polak-Rottmann is not one of them. He's running back the Jund Delirium deck that brought him success at Pro Tour Eldritch Moon, albeit with a few updates for this weekend's metagame.

The Player


Oliver Polak-Rottmann

Oliver Polak-Rottmann is a 28-year old professional trader and team EUreka member from Vienna, Austria who had an excellent season with deep finishes at multiple events. Chasing Platinum level and his country's World Magic Cup captaincy, he needed a good finish at Pro Tour Eldritch Moon. It was a close call, but with a crucial victory in the very last round, he clinched both of his goals. This meant a lot to him, in part because it enabled him to focus on Magic even more in the 2016-2017 season.

"I want to stay Platinum," he said. "My main goal for this season is to finally make my first Pro Tour Top 8. Hopefully, that happens in Hawaii. I also intend to play more and travel more. I already preregistered for Grand Prix Chiba in Japan, for instance."

The Deck

The deck he played in Sydney was Jund Delirium, also called Jund, the Promised End by its main creator Joel Larsson. Although it flew a bit under the radar in comparison to some of the Top 8 lists, the deck put 6 members of team EUreka in the top 25 of the Pro Tour, and Polak-Rottmann registered an updated version for Grand Prix Rimini.

Oliver Polak-Rottmann's Jund Delirium – Grand Prix Rimini 2016

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"It's the most controlling in the format," Polak-Rottmann explained. "There are some sweepers with Languish and Kozilek's Return, and there is cheap interaction with Fiery Impulse."

"You can hit delirium pretty fast to make Traverse the Ulvenwald into a Demonic Tutor and to make Ishkanah stall the board," he continued. "Eventually you get to Emrakul. You have several ways to find it and several ways to recur it from the graveyard. You can also win through planeswalkers in the form of Nissa, Vastwood Seer or Liliana, the Last Hope."

His list for this Grand Prix was generated by making several small changes to his list from the Pro Tour. The first change was to de-emphasize the emerge package. "I removed 1 Kozilek's Return and 1 Distended Mindbender because they felt clunky. I replaced them with a Den Protector and an extra Languish, which seemed to be better right now."

"I also cut Ultimate Price for To the Slaughter, which is great versus Liliana, the Last Hope or Elder Deep-Fiend. Those cards are hard to deal with otherwise. Finally, I added two Tireless Tracker instead of Mindwrack Demon. My experience was that you can flood out in the late game, and then Tracker is better than Demon."

The Sideboard

The sideboard also had several sweet new additions, most notably Orbs of Warding and Conclave Naturalists.

According to Polak-Rottmann, these new additions are mainly for the U/R Alchemist matchup. "I thought that this deck would be a thing somehow—it's cheap, it's aggressive, it had a great result, and it got hyped on social media. Orbs of Warding shuts down the whole deck except for Fevered Visions. You can find it with Vessel of Nascency, so it's a strong silver bullet for the matchup." To make room, he cut Nahiri's Wrath. "That was a card against G/W Tokens, which is not in the format anymore."

As for the rest of the sideboard, the discard package of Transgress the Mind and Pick the Brain ("a Lobotomy for Elder Deep-Fiend; Gideon, Ally of Zendikar; or Emrakul, the Promised End") comes in against any deck where sweepers and spot removal are not needed. For instance, Emrakul mirrors. In those matchups, Distended Mindbender, Den Protector, Emrakul, and Dragonlord Kolaghan come in as well.

"Against mirror matches or other control decks, Dragonlord Kolaghan is hard to deal with, and they usually take 10 as their graveyard is filled with cards already." Indeed, in a world with Grapple with the Past, Vessel of Nascency, and Gather the Pack, Dragonlord Kolaghan's ability shoots up in value.

Rounding out the sideboard, there is a Dragonmaster Outcast as a cheap spell for matchups that flood the board, like G/W Tokens, and extra copies of To the Slaughter versus planeswalkers and Elder Deep-Fiend.

Tips and Tricks

"It's important to practice with the deck," Polak-Rottmann said. "Games go long as you don't have a fast clock, but you can get card advantage and extra resources from almost all of your cards, and given your tutoring and recursion effects, you're essentially playing with 60 cards all the time regardless of where they are currently."

The deck contains all possible card types in Standard, so Emrakul can cost 6 mana if all goes well. Perhaps the hardest card type to get into the graveyard is artifact, as the deck only contains 2 Pilgrim's Eye. "Sometimes it is correct to kill your own Pilgrim's Eye with Liliana, the Last Hope or to decline to take it off Grapple with the Past so you can play Ishkanah with delirium on the next turn," Polak-Rottmann offered as a final tip.

According to him, Jund Delirium has a poor matchup against R/G Ramp, but it's fine against B/W Control and U/R Burn, and it's excellent against Bant Company. If you like control decks with powerful plays, then give this deck a try!