6, May, 24

Underrated Thunder Junction Sorcery Has Become Multi-Format All-Star!

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Article at a Glance

Pro Tour Outlaws of Thunder Junction is now in the books, and the new cards have been available on MTG Arena and Magic Online for roughly two weeks at this point. As such, we’ve been able to get a good sense for what the best cards in the set are for Constructed play. Cards like Slickshot Show-Off and Simulacrum Synthesizer, for instance, have more than lived up to the hype they received during spoiler season.

One card that seemed to be slept on early on, though, is Pillage the Bog. There’s nothing inherently broken about Pillage the Bog, but the consistency it provides is invaluable. Over time, the card has started to emerge in a multitude of archetypes in Standard, Pioneer, and Modern. Pillage the Bog is one of the most underrated cards from the whole set and has encouraged multi-format innovation. Let’s take a closer look at what archetypes best maximize the powerful Sorcery.

Jund Lands in Standard

Pillage the Bog

First, we have a breakout deck from the Pro Tour. This deck is quite similar to Temur Lands in its goals. Thanks to the cycle of common Streets of New Capenna Lands, such as Maestros Theater, both decks get access to a large number of Lands that naturally go to the graveyard.

This helps enable Aftermath Analyst, Splendid Reclamation, and Worldsoul’s Rage as incredible sources of ramp. If you have Nissa, Resurgent Animist or Spelunking in play at the time, you’ll even have a bunch of mana to spend the same turn.

Where the Jund deck differentiates itself from Temur is with the inclusion of two major black powerhouses. Pitiless Carnage definitely has the highest ceiling, contributing to crazy Splendid Reclamation turns. However, Pillage the Bog’s role cannot be overstated.

In the early game, Pillage the Bog functions similarly to Impulse. However, unlike Impulse, Pillage the Bog scales incredibly well into the late game. The more Lands you have in play, the closer Pillage the Bog comes to Demonic Tutor. As such, this deck definitely gives Pillage the Bog the most potential.

One of the general weaknesses of these Land-focused strategies is that the majority of the cards in the deck are either Lands themselves or ramp elements. Similar to Memory Deluge out of Temur Lands, Pillage the Bog helps ensure that you can find the necessary resources to close the game once you have a ton of mana. But, the fact that Pillage the Bog doubles as a turn-two play to dig for your ramp enablers makes it much more flexible.

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Niv to Light in Pioneer

Bring to Light

In Pioneer, Pillage the Bog has made a name for itself in Niv to Light shells. Niv to Light has existed in Pioneer for quite a while but has only recently become one of the major pillars of the format. When Lightning Helix was added to Pioneer in Murders at Karlov Manor, this deck drew some extra attention. After all, Lightning Helix is a solid removal spell early in the game. The life buffer is a huge deal for a deck that is trying to get to five mana to cast Bring to Light.

On top of that, Lightning Helix is a multi-colored card for Niv-Mizzet Reborn to grab. As such, Lightning Helix became a Niv to Light staple. Now, with Pillage the Bog in the mix, the deck has skyrocketed even further in popularity.

Like Lightning Helix, Pillage the Bog is a great card to hit off Niv-Mizzet Reborn. With Lightning Helix and Vanishing Verse cementing themselves as the primary two-mana removal spells in the deck, Abrupt Decay fell out of favor. Now, Pillage the Bog is here to fill the Golgari void and make Niv Mizzet Reborn a more consistent bomb.

The main reason Pillage the Bog is such an incredible addition to the deck, though, is that it greatly increases the frequency of games you can find Bring to Light. Bring to Light is the glue that holds this deck together. It can find Niv Mizzet as a win condition, Sunfall to stabilize the board or hate pieces like Unmoored Ego. Pillage the Bog makes it much more likely you’ll have access to your potent one-ofs in different matchups.

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Golgari Scam in Modern


While Pillage the Bog has primarily shown up in Standard and Pioneer, its sheer efficiency has encouraged players to give the card a shot in Modern as well. In a recent Magic Online Modern Challenge, a unique Golgari Scam list put up a strong performance utilizing a full playset of Pillage the Bog. This deck features the typical Scam package of Grief and Not Dead After All, but intriguingly also showcases the combo of Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord and Vein Ripper.

Interestingly, Vein Ripper is the only Vampire present in this deck to pair with Sorin. Normally, this would lead to major issues of inconsistency. Fortunately, both Grief and Pillage the Bog do a decent job minimizing the likelihood that one of these cards will rot in your hand all game. First of all, both Sorin and Vein Ripper can be pitched to Grief early in the game if you don’t think they will be useful. Secondly, Pillage the Bog can dig pretty deep for whichever piece of the combo you’re missing.

It doesn’t take much to make Pillage the Bog an elite source of card selection. It can help smooth out your draws early. It’s an amazing topdeck late. It’s nice to see the card finally getting the respect it deserves.

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