Breaking Triple ARB Draft: Aggro Jund Cascade

Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 by Gasface
More articles by
Posted in ALR contest entry, mtg, serious business, strategy

Alara Reborn has been causing a lot of commotion throughout standard and extended because of the power of cascade to enable cards like Hypergenesis in extended and Seismic Assault/Swans in standard. Therefore, it is not surprising that cascade is overwhelmingly powerful in limited. I have been drafting triple Alara Reborn since it was released online and have developed a strategy that has been blowing other decks out of the water left and right: Aggro Jund Cascade.

Let’s take a look at this archetype and what makes it so good. Aggro Jund Cascade is focused on cheap and powerful creatures that overwhelm your opponent before they can stabilize. It takes advantage of the power and synergies between Jund Hackblade, Putrid Leech, Violent Outburst, Bloodbraid Elf and Bituminous Blast to create explosive and overpowering starts. Direct damage and hasty creature cards like Sewn-Eye Drake, Giant Ambush Beetle, Breath of Malfegor and Igneous Pouncer help seal the deal before your opponent can make any truly impressive plays.

The first thing to realize about triple ARB draft is that there are no turn one plays, aside from borderposts. The second thing to realize is that the sweeper spells, Zealous Persecution and Lavalanche are slower and less effective than Jund Charm, Infest and Volcanic Fallout. As a result, triple ARB really rewards playing an aggressive deck.

Aggro Jund Cascade is faster than Naya or Bant beatdown because it’s men are either overpowered for their cost, like Putrid Leech or have haste like Jund Hackblade. Let’s take a look below at the sort of cards Aggro Jund Cascade wants at each casting cost before we discuss relative pick order.

Two CC:

Jund Hackblade

Putrid Leech


Colossal Might

Sangrite Backlash

Trace of Abundance

Naya Hushblade

Grixis Grimblade

Three CC:

Kathari Bomber

Violent Outburst

Jund Sojourners

Vithian Renegades

Four CC:

Bloodbraid Elf

Rhox Brute

Sewn-Eye Drake

Five CC:

Bituminous Blast

Deadshot Minotaur

Giant Ambush Beetle

Gorger Wurm

Breath of Malfegor

Slave of Bolas

Six CC:

Igneous Pouncer

Valley Rannet

Vengeful Rebirth

Drafting this deck is pretty easy. Bloodbraid Elf and Bituminous Blast are both easy first picks. Beyond that, you assign a much higher priority to two-drops and Violent Outburst. Putrid Leech and Jund Hackblade are both worth a first pick in a pack without Elf, Blast or other removal. Terminate, Sangrite Backlash and Colossal Might are all great utility spells to hit off cascade. Grixis Grimblade is another fine two drop. Naya Hushblade is simply ok. Trace of Abundance is a fine card, but if you start drafting them, you have to make sure you are going to make good use of your acceleration. Rhox Brute is a good card to accelerate into. It’s also worth noting that almost every R/G/B rare is a bomb in ARB.

To some extent, Violent Outburst is what keeps this deck ticking. Grab as many as you can.

Early on, try to cut off R/G and R/B as much as possible. If you have the choice between two cards, you want to go for the faster and cheaper option or the cascade card. If you cut off R/G and R/B, what will likely happen is that you will start getting fed Putrid Leeches since no one else will be in G/B. Keep this in mind while you draft since you can focus early picks on Jund Hackblade and Violent Outburst, picking up Putrid Leeches later in the draft.

Kathari Bomber is a great card in this deck since the 1/1 tokens it provides get turned on by Violent Outburst. The deck loves haste, too, so the unearth ability of the Bomber is great. Other notable creatures with haste are Giant Ambush Beetle, Swen-Eye Drake and Igneous Pouncer. The unexpected nature of these monsters can put a lot of pressure on a deck that thought it was stablizing, enabling you to squeeze through the last few points. Igneous Pouncer also does double duty of fixing mana, so in this regard, Valley Rannet is also worth a late pick. Sometimes a turn four play involves landcycling to get off three lands and playing a Jund Hackblade, so I usually try to pick up a couple of the landcycling guys.

Finally, cards like Breath of Malfegor, Slave of Bolas and Vengeful Rebirth top out your curve, enabling you to sneak in the last few damage you need after your explosive starts. Colossal Might also accomplishes a similar role and should not be overlooked.

All in all, this is a really powerful deck that can be drafted to be very consistent. Most of my deck lists have multiple Putrid Leeches, Jund Hackblades and Violent Outbursts. Everything else you draft should be to support that core strategy. Alara Reborn drafts are only live for a few more days, but armed with this archetype, you have plenty of time to go win some packs! Good luck.