BG/x is most commonly seen in three different flavours – BG (Rock), BGR (Jund), and BGW (Junk or Abzan). They are all midrange decks that switch quickly between taking a controlling approach to the game or taking an aggressive one. The central goal of this archetype is to win a battle of attrition. This means that you will use your resources to remove your opponents threats, whilst trying to gain card advantage in order to eventually get to a game state where you have a threat or two in play and they have few answers or threats themselves. To this end, the deck plays efficient removal and creatures, discard spells in Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize, and some number of manlands in order to have a more consistent late game. Scavenging Ooze, Dark Confidant and Tarmogoyf comprise the core creature suite of the deck, but Jund and Abzan have access to a few more options that the Rock cant support. All have access to fantastic late game threats like Thrun, the Last Troll and more recently, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. The differences between the three versions are that Jund and Abzan have access to more cards, granted by the addition of an extra colour. Red adds sweepers such as Volcanic Fallout or Anger of the Gods in addition to the powerful Lightning Bolt, Kolaghan’s Command, and Terminate, whilst white adds strong token strategies through Lingering Souls; it also makes casting Kitchen Finks easier, and allows you to use Siege Rhino for its impressive body and life gain. Adding a third color also creates more sideboard options that can be used to combat certain common matchups. While this may sound enticing, the advantage to simply playing BG is a much more solid mana base, to help against Blood Moon, that is also less punishing in terms of life loss – which can be a large help against aggressive decks. The other advantage is consistency.
Sideboarding Against This Deck
Sideboarding against BGx Midrange is difficult in that there are no cards that completely shut it out of a game, unlike some other decks (e.g. Affinity). Sideboarding in powerful midrange tools such as Thrun, the Last Troll and Batterskull is a good starting point, while Engineered Explosives destroys all of the core three creatures used by the deck, given that they are 2 mana. Some decks will be able to access counterspells to stop the powerful Liliana of the Veil. In general, when sideboarding against this deck one should aim for having as many cards that generate more than one cards worth of advantage as possible. It is worth noting that these decks almost completely (except for Jund with Lightning Bolt) attempt to win the game with creatures. With no creatures, a BG/x deck cant end a game. However, some lists play some number of Treetop Village or Raging Ravine as creatures that are also lands.