Modern Jund Primer

0
Posted June 7, 2017 by Abdullah Elhawary in Tabletop

On the 3rd of October in 2008, my soulmate was born.

Well, not exactly born, but rather re-branded and re-purposed. It was given a nudge which helped it develop into one of the most dominant shards in Magic’s history. It put its everlasting mark on the game after a show of utter dominance at Pro Tour San Diego in 2010. A shard that was defined by cheap interaction and efficient threats during its time in Standard would not be forgotten in Modern, but rather would go on to define the format.

At this point, you all should know it (since it’s in the title of the article and I spent a solid few lines introducing it) but if you somehow don’t, it is Jund. Over the last few months, Jund has been going through a rough time in Modern. Perhaps for the first time, Jund pilots have to ask “In a world of unfair decks, why would you choose the fair one?” In my not-so-humble opinion, the draw of Jund is in its grind. You don’t have free wins but you aren’t giving them out either. 90% of your wins, if not more, are earned through making a series of intricate decisions that test your resource management and threat evaluation skills.

Recently Reid Duke has been crushing it (as usual) with a classic Jund build so I combined his list with Olli Raudsus’ list that had recent GP success.

Jund Decklist:

Maindeck:

Lands (24):
2x Blooming Marsh
1x Forest
3x Raging Ravine
4x Blackcleave Cliffs
1x Stomping Ground
3x Bloodstained Mire
1x Wooded Foothills
2x Overgrown Tomb
2x Swamp
4x Verdant Catacombs
1x Blood Crypt

Creatures (12):
4x Dark Confidant
3x Scavenging Ooze
4x Tarmogoyf
1x Huntmaster of the Fells

Sorceries (8):
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
3x Thoughtseize
1x Maelstrom Pulse

Instants (11):
1x Abrupt Decay
3x Terminate
3x Fatal Push
2x Lightning Bolt
2x Kolaghan’s Command

Planeswalkers (5):
4x Liliana of the Veil
1x Liliana, the Last Hope

Sideboard:

2x Anger of the Gods
2x Leyline of the Void
2x Fulminator Mage
2x Collective Brutality
2x Grafdigger’s Cage
2x Kitchen Finks
2x Ancient Grudge
1x Damnation

Card Choices

Blooming Marsh

Most Jund decks have adopted Blooming Marsh as a 2-of, and I think it’s a change for the better. Having more painless duals is always nice especially now that the deck is less dependent on Red due to the fall of Lightning Bolt (and rise of Fatal Push). I have never been a huge of fan of Twilight Mire. It increases the number of hands you have to mulligan, which is close to unacceptable.

Dark Confidant

I never thought there would be a day where I have to defend good ol’ Bob. His position in the current meta has been under duress as some people view it to be either slow or under-powered. I find Confidant to be the cornerstone of the entire deck as it allows you to 1 for 1 with your removal spells while gasing up. It is also the main reason that Liliana of the Veil is incredible in Jund, as it allows you to break the symmetry.

4 Drop Slot

 

The 4 drop slot in Jund has always been controversial with Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Chandra, Pyromaster, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Olivia Voldaren and Huntmaster of the Fells all being viable options for different metagames. My main issue with Chandras is that the double red in their casting cost makes them difficult to cast. They both excel in slower metagames  – which unfortunately this is not.

Kalitas has always felt a little too weak for Modern because it can’t really take over a game by itself. That being, said with the popularity of Counters Company and Dredge, Kalitas may be worth testing. No 4 drop in the format can single-handedly win you a game like Olivia Voldaren (if you don’t believe me ask Shota Yasooka). Before watching Reid run people over with Olivia, I was skeptic of it in the current meta but it is quite powerful in the right field.

Huntmaster of the Fells is Captain Reliable as he gives you guaranteed value. The life buffer and extra body is nice with the hyper aggressive decks running around. Additionally, the 2 life may be enough to keep you out of burn range or may allow you to draw one more card with Bob. That’s all ignoring what happens if Huntmaster flips as you can kill a small creature and apply a lot of pressure on your opponent’s life total. All in all, I think Huntmaster is ideal in a field as diverse as this one.

Fatal Push vs Lightning Bolt

Another card I would’ve called you insane for running less than 4 copies of a year ago is Lightning Bolt. Unlike Dark Confidant, I believe that a changing of the guard has already occurred in Modern. Fatal Push can simply kill creatures that Lightning Bolt doesn’t such as Death’s Shadow, Tarmogoyf, Master of Etherium, Thought-Knot Seer and Celestial Colonnade. With that in mind, Lightning Bolt’s ability to steal and/ or close out a match is something that the deck would lack otherwise. A 3-2 or 4-2 split in Fatal Push’s favor is ideal in the current metagame.

Liliana, the Last Hope

As opposed to running two 4 drops, I have opted to run a Liliana, the Last Hope because of her absurd power level. Her plus ability alone kills or neutralizes a lot of Modern’s creatures. She is especially good given the new Vizier of Remidies/ Devoted Druid combo. Recurring the mainboard creatures is quite good, but recurring the sideboard silver bullets is the real draw to this Liliana. You can lock someone out of the game with this ability plus Fulminator Mage, grind through removal with Finks and can even mill an Ancient Grudge for additional value.

Match-up Guides:

Grixis Death’s Shadow:

In:
2x Kitchen Finks
2x Leyline of the Void

Out:
1x Liliana of the Veil
1x Maelstrom Pulse
2x Lightning Bolt

Eldrazi Tron:

In:
1x Damnation
2x Fulminator Mage
2x Ancient Grudge
2x Fulminator Mage

Out:
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
2x Lightning Bolt
1x Fatal Push

Affinity:

In:
2x Anger of the Gods
2x Ancient Grudge
2x Collective Brutality
1x Fulimantor Mage

Out:
3x Thoughtseize
4x Liliana of the Veil

U/R Gifts Storm:

In:
1x Leyline of the Void
2x Collective Brutality
2x Grafdigger’s Cage

Out:
2x Kolaghan’s Command
1x Liliana, the Last Hope
1x Maelstrom Pulse
1x Huntmaster of the Fells

Burn:

In:
2x Collective Brutality
2x Kitchen Finks

Out:
3x Thoughtseize
1x Maelstrom Pulse

Dredge:

In:
2x Leyline of the Void
2x Grafdigger’s Cage
2x Kitchen Finks
2x Anger of the Gods

Out:
4x Liliana of the Veil
3x Fatal Push
1x Terminate

Counters Company:

In:
2x Grafdigger’s Cage
2x Collective Brutality
2x Anger of the Gods

Out:
3x Liliana of the Veil
3x Inquisition of Kozilek

 


About the Author

Abdullah Elhawary