Modern League with Jund

Daniel Grundy | October 3rd 2018

So since work has been pulling me away from FNMs I decided to run Jund through a modern league on MTGO to see how I would do. I have to say overall I’m happy with most of the games came out.

Below is the list I played for Jund:

INSTANT/SORCERY
2 Fatal Push
2 Kolaghan’s Command
3 Thoughtseize
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Dreadbore
1 Terminate
3 Lightning Bolt
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Abrupt Decay

PLAINSWALKER:
3 Liliana of the Veil
1 Liliana, the Last Hope

CREATURE:
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Tarmogoyf
3 Scavenging Ooze
4 Dark Confidant

LAND:
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
3 Raging Ravine
1 Blood Crypt
4 Verdant Catacombs
1 Forest
2 Swamp
1 Stomping Ground
3 Overgrown Tomb
1 Wooded Foothills
3 Bloodstained Mire
1 Mountain

SIDEBOARD:
1 Damnation
2 Kitchen Finks
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Olivia Voldaren
1 Anger of the Gods
3 Fulminator Mage
1 Collective Brutality
1 Hazoret the Fervent
2 Damping Sphere

You will find when you look through most Jund lists that they are all very similar and only really differ on a few cards. A lot of the time the main variations of Jund consist of not what cards you run, but rather how many of a certain card you include. For example, some of the main changes you find in most Jund lists are normally 24 lands vs 25 lands, 3 Dark Confidants vs 4 or the split between Liliana the last hope main board vs sideboard; of course they are lots of other options people could consider but you get where I am coming from when I say most decklists are virtually the same.

Over the past few months, I have changed this list multiple times to try and find a decklist that can be consistently good against the current meta in modern and I am happy with how this version is currently performing. My Mainboard choices are really just trying to be as mana efficient as possible and constant with what I’m trying to achieve but for this blog, I’m going to focus more on my sideboard choices, as this is the main difference between Jund decks you normally see.

I’ve managed to squeeze a little bit of everything into my sideboard which is good for Jund as it expands your chances of winning games 2-3, which is what Jund is trying to achieve. For graveyard decks I’ve chosen Nihil Spellbomb I prefer this over other choices like Grafdiggers cage or Leyline of the void as its more controllable in your favour and the card draw can be handy at times too; also as good as Leyline of the void can be in your opening hand against a deck like dredge, revealing it later on with a Dark Confidant can be a painful thing to happen..

As Tron is one of our most painful and depressing matchups I have a lot of answers for this in the sideboard which can often enough be plenty to swing the direction of the game in your favour. For this matchup we have 2x Dampening Sphere and 3x Fulminator mage; the single Ancient grudge can also be included if you feel like it to take out early Expedition maps or Wurmcoil Engines.

The Fulminator Mage‘s are also used against control decks to keep them back on mana progression or simple as a removal for cards like Celestial Collonade; Collective brutality is also an option as an extra hand disruption spell and can be used as removal for Snapcaster mage or Vendillion Clique.

For ‘go wide’ or creature decks such as Affinity, Elves or even decks like Dredge we have two wrath effect cards, Damnation and Anger of the Gods. The reason I have gone with these is that even though they both do the same thing, they are very different. In most games, I will side in both, however, depending on your matchup, depends on which one could end up being more effective. For example, if you are against Elves then Damnation could be the better of the two to stop pesky Regeneration effects from cards like Ezuri, Renegade Leader, whereas against a deck like Dredge a Damnation simple puts them back a turn, like most of their threats will return at the snap of a finger (or simply them making a land drop..). This is where Anger of the Gods really shines as not only does it clear the board, it exiles them all keeping them off the board and out the graveyard for good! This can also go very much in your favour if you have Scavenging Ooze‘s or some Tarmogoyf‘s down with more than 3 toughness that can start to run away with the game whilst your opponents starts struggling to climb back into the game. Cards like Kitchen finks can also be included in these types of matchups to provide a blocker over 2 turns to keep you in the game long enough to start taking board control.

Last up we have our 4 drops, the big boys of the Jund sideboard! These are usually cards you sideboard in against decks you can grind out more than usual. For these slots in my sideboard, I have gone with Hazoret the Fervent and Oliva Voldaren. Both of these cards can be huge game changers against the right opponents. With cards like Oliva Voldaren and her ability to deal 1 damage to a creature can keep certain decks from being able to ever climb back. Hazoret the Fervent is the most recent addition to my sideboard as I’m still deciding on her effectiveness. Indestructible can be one of the most difficult keywords in Magic the Gathering depending on your deck. However when playing against other grindy decks like Mardu and control then Hazoret can really shine. Sometimes they just don’t have an answer for her and she can run away with the game on her own, using whatever you draw for fuel for her discard ability, or simply swinging with a 5/4 body every turn can usually get the job done!

So that is a general summary of my sideboard, now onto how it played out in a modern League!

GAME 1: Hollow One (2-0)

Hollow one is quite a popular deck in modern at the moment because of its effectiveness early on in the game. However, the deck can suffer from its own randomness from cards like Goblin Lore or Burning inquiry as this can be the difference between dropping multiple Hollow ones onto the board or discarding them straight to the graveyard. I Feel Jund does well against this deck because of the early game hand disruption for things like Faithless Looting, Goblin lore and burning inquiry as most games if you take these away, then the deck really doesn’t do much. having Fatal Push and Lightning Bolt in your opening hand can also help slow the deck down by removing all of their early game creatures. I managed to do all this in game one to start the game of with a win.

My sideboard changes:

IN-
Nihil Spellbomb x2
Anger of the gods x1
Damnation x1
Hazoret the fervent x1

OUT-
Abrupt Decay x1
Liliana of the veil x3
Dark confidant x1

For obvious reasons, the spell bombs had to come in to deal with delve/flashback cards and the creatures that can be brought back like Bloodghast and Flamewake Pheonix. I brought in the two wrath cards just in case they got off to a fast start and this was my back up to try and put them back to square one with an empty board. This won me the game when they emptied their hand over the first few turns and I managed to Anger the Gods with a Large Scavenging Ooze in play which controlled their graveyard for the remainder of the game. I went on to win this from there.

GAME 2: Mono White Martyr (0-2)

Unfortunately, I lost this game due to falling behind too fast early on in the game. This deck in both games managed to rapidly gain the life it needed to make a pretty fast clock with Serra Ascendant. Even with a lot of disruption and removal early game, this deck just managed to hang in and stock up with creatures to stay ahead with cards like Squadron Hawk and Ranger of Eos,

My Sideboard changes:

IN-
Damnation x1
Oliva Voldaren x1
Kitchen Finks x2
Dampening Sphere x1
Anger of the gods x1

OUT-
Thoughtseize x3
Dark Confidant x2
Scavenging Ooze x1

This was only my second time playing against this deck so I generally struggled on sideboard options. I went with the general creature hate with the addition of a dampening sphere. This helped the early game as they weren’t able to drop multiple small creatures a turn and although game 2 went on for a fair duration of time, I could just come back from the life gain throughout the game and again lost to a slow and painful beatdown from Serra Ascendant.

GAME 3: Hollow One (2-1)

I managed to play this deck twice and lucky for me, after already beating it quite comfortably in match one, I felt quite confident going into this game. However my confidence was shaken early in game one when my opponent managed to drop two Hollow One‘s turn one with the fastest start I’ve seen from this deck, safe to say I lost game one.

My sideboard changes:

IN-
Nihil Spellbomb x2
Anger of the gods x1
Damnation x1
Hazoret the fervent x1

OUT-
Abrupt Decay x1
Liliana of the veil x3
Dark confidant x1

I made the exact changes as I did in facing the deck before and didn’t make any changes for game 3. This again felt comfortable and I went on to win games 2 and 3. This really does show the randomness of the deck and sometimes (like in game one) there really is nothing you can do against this deck if they have the perfect start.

GAME 4: Blue Moon (2-0)

This deck can be tricky as against control you normally fetch up shocks to give you as much colour variation as possible, however with this deck, it threatens the appearance of Blood Moon, and unfortunately for Jund, this card preys on decks like ours with greedy mana bases so playing around this card proved challenging as it always is. Lucky for me I managed to take it, in turn, one with an Inquisition of Kozilek and from there knew what I was up against so I could start to tailor my fetches to basics when needed. I always feel control matches can be easy games for Jund, as late game you can play around counter spells more with cheap creatures, for example when you are on 5 land with a Tarmogoyf and a Liliana of the veil in hand you in theory get to choose which one you need more at that given time by playing the one you don’t want first to eat up the counter spell and they resolving the second one in peace. I managed to win game one with a Tarmogoyf that they simply dont have an answer for if it after it hits the board.

My sideboard changes:

IN-
Oliva Voldaren x1
Hazoret the fervent x1
Collective Brutality x1

OUT-
Fatal push x2
Scavenging Ooze x1

Sideboarding against this particular type of control deck is different to what I would bring in against decks like Jeskai or U/W. I tried sideboarding more late game threats that anything else against this deck as I felt pretty comfortable with my main board. Again playing around counter spells manages to allow me to drop threats when needed to take the win again in game two.

GAME 5: Mardu Tokens (0-2)

This game was a strange one for me, I had never really played against this before and there is always that one rogue deck floating around that you come up against. Unfortunately playing against this deck blind in game one lead to the loss as I didn’t have or draw the needed removal.

My sideboard changes:

IN-
Oliva Voldaren x1
Hazoret the fervent x1
Collective Brutality x1
Damnation x1
Anger of the gods x1
Kitchen Finks x2

OUT-
Liliana of the veil x3
Dark confidant x4

Again, as this was my first time against the deck I went with some general creature hate along with the 4 drops for late game advantage and Oliva‘s damage ability to try and keep board control. However the magic gods had other things in mind as I had to mulligan down to 4 before seeing and land in my opening hand.. this made it too difficult to try and catch up and I went on to lose this game.

So overall I went 3-2 in this league and still feel confident with the current deck list I’m running. I’m open to any recommendations or advice from others to how you might have side boarded or even if you just want to talk about general Jund options. I Hope you enjoyed reading this and if you’ve just picked up Jund yourself, maybe this can help in some way!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.