Running JUND at a Modern PPTQ

            With the recent modern un-bannings of Bloodbraid Elf and Jace The Mind Sculptor, we saw a change in the modern metagame. One strategy that was expected to do better was good old-fashioned Jund.  As a Jund player, the unbannings gave the deck the extra push it needed in the four drop slot. Prior to the unbanning of the elf, my list looked like this:

Creatures (14)
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Dark Confidant
3 Scavenging Ooze
1 Tireless Tracker
1 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Olivia Voldaren

Spells (17)
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Thoughtseize
2 Abrupt Decay
3 Fatal Push
2 Lightning Bolt
3 Terminate
1 Maelstrom Pulse

Planeswalkers (4)
4 Liliana of the Veil

Artifact (2)
2 Mishra’s Bauble

Land (23)
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Verdant Catacombs
1 Blood Crypt
1 Stomping Ground
2 Overgrown Tomb
3 Bloodstained Mire
2 Raging Ravine
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Swamp
2 Forest

            The inclusion of Mishra’s Bauble was to get extra card draw that also grew my Tarmogoyfs much quicker than expected. By turn two, I could have a 4/ 5 Tarmogoyf because I had  bauble as well as a fetch land and a discard spell in my opening hand. With the exception of Bauble and Tireless Tracker in the mainboard, my list was pretty stock. However, after the releasing of the elf and Jace into modern, Jund was due for an upgrade. There was much debate on the correct number of elfs to play.

            At the start of my testing, I moved up to 24 lands and cut 1 Abrupt Decay, 2 Fatal Push, 1 Terminate, 1 Tireless Tracker, 1 Olivia Voldaren, 1 Huntmaster of the Fells, 2 Baubles.  I added a Twilight Mire to the mana base as well as changed my fastlands to 2 Cliffs and 2 Blooming Marsh. Because of  the threat of Jace, I maindecked 4 Lightning Bolts and 1 Kolaghan’s Command. I also added 1 Liliana, The Last Hope to the mainboard as another cascade hit. I was playing 4 Bloodbraid Elves at the time. At my LGS modern night, I would consistently go 2-1 with 4 elves. In most matchups, I found myself taking out the elf when sideboarding.  I decided to cut 1 elf for an extra fatal push. This finalized Jund list was what I had decided to play at a Modern PPTQ in Erie, Pennsylvania.

MAINBOARD

Creatures
4 Dark Confidant
4 Tarmogoyf
3 Scavenging Ooze
3 Bloodbraid Elf

Spells
2 Fatal Push
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Kolaghan’s Command
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Abrupt Decay
2 Terminate
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Thoughtseize

Walkers
4 Liliana of the Veil
1 Liliana the Last Hope

Lands
2 Blooming Marsh
2 Blackcleave Cliffs
2 Overgrown Tomb
1 Stomping Ground
1 Blood Crypt
1 Mountain
1 Forest
2 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Bloodstained Mire
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Raging Ravine
1 Twilight Mire

SIDEBOARD
3 Fulminator Mage
1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Anger of the Gods
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Collective Brutality
1 Ratchet Bomb

            In this 6 round tournament with Top 8 cut, I certainly jund-ed ‘em out with an undefeated record till the finals. My first 6 rounds were against, Grixis Death Shadow, Storm, Dredge, GW Company, Burn, BW Tokens.  The most difficult match was against Death’s Shadow where I won in three. For this matchup, I brought in 1 Huntmaster, 2 Spellbomb, 1 cage, and 1 Collective Brutality. Taking out my thoughtsiezes, lily the last hope , and 2 bolts. Little did I know bolt would win game 3. The top 8 was against 5c humans,  Jeskai Control, and UB Faeries in the Finals. UB Fae was an interesting match. This deck relied on the wonderful combo of Jace, The Mind Sculptor being protected by and endless stream of Bitterblossom tokens. Ended up losing 2-0. Game 1 to a Jace ult. Game 2 to being grinded out having all my spells countered. Midrange like Jund tends to have a favorable control matchup, in this case, Faeries combines control and wide creature strategy to out grind jund. Overall, Jund was a good deck choice over my other options (we’ll discuss those another time) good luck and enjoy Junding ‘em out!

Guest author: Nick Navarro