The Rogue Corner: Jund Persist Primer

Léo "Moudou" Bartolomé
28/04/2023 · 18 min read

1. The Plan

It all starts with a new card.

For many people who may not have thought about it too much, this card might seem as though it was primarily designed for Jund Creativity, but the reality is different.

Jund Creativity already has access to four Bitter Reunion of which we often only play three, proving that we don't particularly need more of this effect, this card digs less into the deck, is not easy to flip, and overall, creating a treasure token is not a problem for Creativity. So thank you, but no thank you.

But we've inadvertently touched upon the crux of the issue. There was a somewhat enjoyable version of Jund Creativity that was showing up for a week or two, some time ago, as follows:

The idea behind this deck was that we need more creatures in the deck to consistently use Reunion on them, and that hard-casting Titan worked much better than Archon (and even allowed for ramping towards Archon in the worst-case scenario).

Archon of Cruelty
5.77 Tix
Primeval Titan
1.88 Tix

Of course, the deck was disastrous, adding randomness to a Creativity is only desirable if the effect is very powerful (like Iona, etc.), not to mention adding Valakut to the mana base. However, the concept of adding more creatures to strengthen the Persist plan wasn't entirely off the mark. But if the goal is to assemble a creature + Reunion + Persist combo, even if we add more creatures to the deck, there are still two other aspects to complete, so the idea never really took off.

0.16 Tix
Bitter Reunion
0.02 Tix

But now, we have twice as many Reunion effects. Moreover, Invasion of Ergamon help us ramp towards Titan, which is far from negligible. With 8 Reunions and 4 Fables, we're starting to dig pretty viciously through the deck to find Persist, and with 7+ creatures, we can assemble the combo quite consistently. We need to make room, so we're dropping Creativity, since as we mentioned, hoping for an Archon and ending up with a Titan is just gross. But now we have a very consistent game plan, and we can reasonably expect it to happen regularly.

And so the deck exists.

The pros:

  • In the mid-term, this deck consistently puts significant pressure on the board by turns 6-7, one way or another.
  • Its gameplan is highly proactive, so you don't need to be deeply familiar with the format to know what to focus on.
  • The “Rummage Into Persist” game plan is consistent enough to improve the percentages in our worst matchups, ensuring we're never completely out of the game against any matchup.
  • The Valakut game plan provides an additional win condition that keeps slower decks in check. This, combined with Wrenn, usually offers enough backup plans to get out of trouble if we get stuck on plan A.
  • Surprisingly, the deck holds up quite well against Blood Moon. We can afford to fetch the basic forest in the early game without severe repercussions, and then cast Invasions, Reunions and Fables to dig through our deck and find those Boseijus. Or just TTB.
  • The sideboard is packed with great options. Green offers some insanely powerful cards for sideboarding, and without the constraints tied to Creativity or Cascade, we are free to draw into whatever we need.

There are cons too, obviously:

  • The deck requires some setup and has limited interaction with the board in the early game.
  • It's fairly linear, and the backup plans tend to be quite weak, even compared to slower decks in the format.
  • While the deck is consistent, Magic is a game of probabilities, and there will be times when the deck just doesn't do anything – more often than we'd ideally like.
  • Even when it does work, the deck's linearity can work against it, as most decks are inherently prepared for this type of situation. Even without specifically adapting to the deck, there's a lot of hate against the format that also affects Jund Persist.
  • Blood Moon might not be terrifying, but Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines definitely is (Invasion, Reunion, Mine, Valakut, Titan, Archon and Fury are all shut down) and without Teferi, Prismatic Ending or counter-magic, we can’t get out of it. Beware of Sanctifier en-Vec as well, it’s a little more manageable but still very painful.

2. The Main Deck

The Main Deck is generally well-established and doesn't change much. There's likely room for innovation, but you can easily refer to my list as an example.

A few insights on the choices:

  • To effectively trigger Valakut, you'll need a minimum of 25 lands, ideally mountains, which is great since our early game will consist of many red spells.
  • Wrenn is, of course, part of the plan. However, with only 25 lands, we're only playing 7-8 fetches, while Wrenn would ideally want 11-13. The trick (for what it's worth) is that with all our deck filtering, we can fill the graveyard with lands without having to crack fetches, allowing Wrenn to generate card advantage smoothly. I won't lie, I added the 8th fetch because it's a bit of a workaround…
  • Through The Breach is included because although we're digging for Persist, having additional tools to put threats into play ahead of schedule is always welcome. The possibility of putting a threat into play on turn 4, attacking, and then reanimating it on turn 5 is quite powerful. And going over the Moon with an Archon is amazing. Only two though, it does cost 5 mana.
  • With 4 Titans and 3 Archons, there's not much special to say; these creatures are inherently excellent, usually generating a 3-for-1 with each trigger. We have ways to give them haste to chain those triggers. If you’re ever slightly Timmy at heart, this deck will light up your eyes.
  • 4 Bolt, because we can!. Unholy Heat could be an option as well, we do have a bunch of different types and the means to bin them, but I like burning people too.
  • 4 Reunion, 4 Invasion, 4 Fable. The goal is to put creatures and lands into the graveyard, but more importantly, to dig, dig, dig. We don't have many reactive cards in the deck, so if things get bogged down, we need to find them.
  • Fury vs Dryad. We've seen Togores playing Dryad of the Elysian Grove for obvious reasons starting with V and ending with Alakut. However, most other versions I've seen run Fury, an additional reactive card that's easy to evoke in this shell, doesn't mess with Creativity, and can be reanimated  after evoking it. My preference goes directly to this card, as Dryad is only interesting if the game is already going well.

20.97 Tix
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
1.05 Tix

3. Playing the Deck: Tips & Tricks

The deck is one of the easiest to play, for better or worse. But just in case you need some basic advice:

Keep a land in Hand

Unless it's absolutely necessary for casting a big spell like Titan or Archon, try to always keep a land in hand, or at the very least always have one card in hand. Topdecking Invasion or Bitter Reunion to dig through the deck is an important part of the game plan, so avoid being hellbent as much as possible.

About Through the Breach

Through the Breach is an instant that can be cast at the end of your opponent’s turn, which is very clever to bait out counterspells.Turn 5 TTB end of turn, untap land Titan is a pretty brutal sequence. Don’t forget that you can cast TTB even if you don’t have a creature in hand if it can bait a hate piece (it doesn’t come up that much though) and that even if you do, you don’t have to put the creature in play after resolving TTB (Hallowed Moonlight is usually the one thing at stake here).

Through the Breach
0.57 Tix

Attacking Invasion of Ergamon

99% of the time, you won't be attacking the Invasion because killing the opponent is more effective, but don't forget that it's an option. Attack with Titan, get two Valakut triggers, defeat the Invasion and get the creature to have a blocker is sometimes the right move. Even more so when fetching Boseiju or a Mine is relevant.

Titan VS Archon

Titan ramps you straight into Archon. So, generally speaking, if you're choosing between two high-powered creatures, it's usually better to prioritize Titan first. However, with Persist, it's often more advantageous to go for Archon, as its impact is significantly stronger and more immediate. Of course, don't be rigid in your thinking, as there will be times when these guidelines may not hold true – I'm simply speaking in general terms.

Primeval Titan
1.88 Tix
Archon of Cruelty
5.77 Tix

What is Meant to Happen will Happen

Having respect for your opponent is fine, but winning is better. Sure, Blood Moon could slow you down, or a Counterspell could ruin your game plan. But at some point, you'll have to accept that you have little reactive power and your best weapon will be your stability by just throwing your threats in your opponent's face. Sometimes, just go for it, and what is meant to happen will happen.

4. The Sideboard

Currently, the sideboard is akin to the wild west, with limited consensus on its optimal configuration. For the sake of providing a practical guide, I'll share my own sideboard, which has undergone extensive fine-tuning. However, I must acknowledge that my approach may not be the definitive solution for everyone.

Here are a few honorable mentions that didn’t make the cut:

Force of Vigor

Damn it, I love this card and I was really high on it until very late in the process. However, truth be told, we naturally over-fill the sideboard with incidental anti-Hammer tech. It has a few other relevant applications, of course, such as Amulet, Breach Combo, etc. But as close as it was, something had to go.

Force of Vigor
19.61 Tix

Fatal Push

The deck's biggest weakness is having to play Reunion effects in the early game, which leaves the board wide open to aggro decks. Push is a great option against Prowess, Hammer, and Zoo, not to mention Yawgmoth and even Murktide. However, we already have a few better options than a 1-for-1 in that slot, and having to fetch Blood Crypt untapped is somewhat cringe-worthy in those match-ups anyway.

Fatal Push
0.55 Tix

Leyline of Sanctity

I haven't had the chance to test it yet, but this one has surprising applications, such as protection against Thoughtseize, Necromentia, Burn, Archons, Endurance, Scapeshift, and Yawgmoth. We have the means to rummage it away if we draw it midgame. It may seem a little light on every front, but the fact that there are so many fronts means it's probably worth considering.

Leyline of Sanctity
3.52 Tix


I mean, you're playing black and not blue, so Thoughtseize has to be a consideration. Kind of like Leyline, I feel we can pack a bit more punch with our sideboard options. However, given that this one will be effective against mostly everything in the format, it needs to be on this list.


This may not necessarily be the best Orvar deck, as we can't tutor it up like Elementals or Goblins. However, we do draw a lot of cards, so it's not the worst either. Creativity isn't a significant problem for Jund Persist (in proportion to it possibly being the best deck in the format versus a deck that isn't even tier-level yet) that I would want a card specifically for that one match-up. As we mentioned, we have access to many options, and a lot must be cut, so I don't want to take up space for narrowly focused cards.


Damn, I hate that card, and I hate even more that it costs double black. I'm not sure why anyone would play that card anywhere, any time.

Ancient Grudge

Togores played Atraxa's Fall, so you really have a lot of leeway if you want to run some Naturalize effects. However, it is too narrow for what I'm trying to do here.

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

This one is only for Mill, and the matchup is already more than okay, so we don't want the narrow stuff.

5. Sideboard Guide

Here are a few of the most common match-ups sideboard guide with my 75. These matchups were chosen as being the top 10 most relevant decks according to the various measurements of Anaël Yahi, and I won’t go into too much detail as to how that is done, but please give him a follow on Twitter and you’ll thank me later.

VS Murktide

You have a simple and linear game plan that will strain their resources. Titan is usually a 3-for-1, and if they play Heat on it, you can reanimate it later. Of course, a good Murktide player will probably tempo you out sooner rather than later with little creatures, which is why Endurance is important here, while Fury can be ineffective. Boseiju can destroy Blood Moon. It is possible to over-sideboard here, so do your best to keep your plan online, and you should have a fighting chance.

VS Creativity

Creativity doesn’t like Persist, and their Spell Pierce + Binding can often times not be enough to stop your plans, making it a surprisingly decent match-up. Most of what’s here is self-explanatory, except the Furies. They are instrumental in pressuring your opponent, which is not an option considering they will have the late game, and you do want to TTB and hardcast as many things as possible.

VS Rhinos

Rhinos are the bane of rogue decks, but our nut draws prevent our win rate from going too low. Hope you enjoy that because that's as good as it gets. There is no way out but straight through; you have to pressure them back. There might even be an argument for ditching an Engineered Explosives and putting an extra Veil in the sideboard since you'd ideally not want to spend a turn destroying their tokens, but that's where we are. Thankfully, you do have the means to set up a big "early" board that can give you the time to set up your big stuff.

VS Hammer Time

Game one is rough, but game two will be rather easy, making it an average matchup overall. Be sure not to underestimate their ability to pull a win out of nowhere, and respect Sanctifier. However, apart from that, your post-sideboard deck will be filled to the brim with interaction, so it should be feasible to keep them at bay and set up either a Hidetsugu Consumes All or a big creature.

VS Scam

Beware of Dauthi Voidwalker (and stack those Fury triggers in the right order), be careful with Blood Moon, and you should be good to go. We have a strong ability to recover from a Grief scam; they crumble under the 3-for-1 creatures, and our post-sideboard removal is more than decent with Furies of our own. Ragavan is still nasty, of course, but that's probably the worst it'll get, making it one of the best matchups for the deck.

VS Living End

Another matchup where we are not really behind by most metrics, but we can still manage to oversideboard. Dump your creatures in the graveyard early and refuse to Persist, that should slow them down enough for you to make a play. This idea, while nice and pretty, doesn’t work as well in game 2, when they go for their Leylines and Endurances. Both Leylines are a problem on their end by the way, hence the Boseijus. Games tend to get grindy with hardcast threats and Wrenn ultimates post-sideboard, so make sure you can endure that (pun intended).

VS Elementals

This one is very ambivalent. On the one hand, your Plan A wrecks them quite nicely and harshly, so you'd think this is an easy win. On the other hand, if they cast Elesh Norn MoM, you're out of luck because they're not going to let you use double Bolt + W6 -1 that easily, even if you manage to draw the cards. Your sideboard plan is to keep doing what you're doing but bring in Terminate, hope they don't have Veil if it comes to that, and plow through. There's a good argument for bringing in Boseijus over the Furies, but at this point, it's more about getting the Bolts out of here.

VS Amulet

Kind of a tough cookie to crack, since their nut draws beat ours. Thankfully, we have more interaction vs their Amulets in game 2, and if they have to move to their midrange plan, things get better for us. Overall, I'd say the match-up is pretty balanced, maybe even slightly favorable for us.

VS Burn

Burn is rough, and without Weather the Storm in our sideboard, it will continue to be difficult. Our best hope is to try to apply our plan as effectively as possible. We do have good odds of that happening, or of them failing at their own plan, so it's not as bad as you might think. However, facing Burn when it's firing on all cylinders is a tough beast to wrangle.

VS Yawgmoth

Being a Creativity player myself, I cannot overstate how liberating it feels to have four Furies to play against Yawgmoth. Blast them all the way home, targeting their mana first if possible, and you should be in a good position. If they opt for an aggro plan, you should shift gears as much as possible to adopt your own "aggro" plan, since you cannot fight off those Undying creatures without a Fury. Grist matters little if you play your Persists slowly, and beyond that, the matchup is generally quite easy.

6. Final Thoughts

Much like Jund Creativity, Jund Persist has an ability to spike really hard, making it hard to effectively counter in spite of its linearity. But like most decks that are more proactive than midrange, it is likely not destined to dominate Modern metagame . Which doesn’t mean we can’t expect some very good results from this deck, and in fact I expect some to come up sooner rather than later. But without the consistency behind those results, they will only be wildfires, shining bright but not meant to establish themselves in the long run.

There are probably a few things to work out in the deck. The manabase can probably be improved upon, the sideboard is definitely not locked at all, and a few sideboard plans for the many many decks existing in Modern still have to be thought through. But at any rate, these optimizations will not represent a 15% raise in the archetype’s winrate, at best 5%. And that won’t be enough to make it break into Tier 1 ans stay there for any amount of time.

I find this deck to be in a similar position to Zoo. Strong and reliable game plan, big proactivity, very strong sideboard options. And much like Zoo, Jund Persist can probably establish itself as an eternal Tier 2 deck, hard to bring down, but even harder to elevate higher.

I hope you had a blast reading this, I sure had one playing the deck since it was legal. Please let me know what you think of it, how you built your own sideboard, and what you would change to the sideboard plans in consequence!

La bise!

Annex: Exportable List

3 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

2 Fury

4 Wrenn and Six

1 Ziatora's Proving Ground

1 Boseiju, Who Endures

2 Through the Breach

4 Bitter Reunion

4 Invasion of Ergamon

4 Persist

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Stomping Ground

4 Primeval Titan

3 Archon of Cruelty

4 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker

2 Dwarven Mine

3 Mountain

1 Forest

4 Wooded Foothills

2 Blood Crypt

4 Bloodstained Mire

2 Boseiju, Who Endures

2 Terminate

1 Hidetsugu Consumes All

2 Engineered Explosives

2 Veil of Summer

2 Fury

2 Endurance

2 Turn the Earth

If you liked this article maybe you will also find interesting on of the following ones Breaking Standard with Atraxa Reanimator: In-depth & Sideboard Guide, UB Terror Tips Tricks & Sideboard Guide By Mogged

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Léo "Moudou" Bartolomé
MTG Theory specialist
Moudou might not have many accomplishments to his name, but his numerous articles have helped many understand the basics of some of the most important theories in Magic. He now returns after a break to share some more timeless knowledge.


Published: 2023-04-28 00:00:00