“Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” – Colin Kaepernick
My journey began in Roanoke, VA. Boxes littered the floor as my life partner and I prepared for an epic adventure out west to Washington. All the tension that comes with moving cross-country was only compounded by the fact that my services were needed in bloody London the week before we moved. One would think the pressure of moving and competing in a Mythic Championship would be too much for one man, but I was up for the challenge. I was ready to give it my all!
I boarded my planes prepared to amp myself up during my journeys. I had Black Summer, Rocky V, and The Devil Wears Prada all queued up on my iPad. There’s just nothing more badass than zombies, punching, and Meryl Streep. As others were sleeping on the voyage, I was counting up all the wins I’d be taking with the greatest three colors of mana in the history of Magic.
I landed at the same time my brother did (smart) so we headed to our rental home for the week. There would only be three of us in the house for a day, but that was enough time for us to crush a Magic Online Championship Monthly. My weapon of choice was obviously Jund, and I’d be wielding it alongside the greatest mage to walk our lands.
Reid and I fought valiantly, but neither of us ended up getting the six wins needed to qualify for the MOCS Playoff. It would have been a sad affair, but I took my third loss in Round 8 to Logan Nettles. He was also playing the best deck in Modern, so I wasn’t too sad about it.
I took some time to reflect after our defeat. Maybe the best deck in Modern isn’t actually the best deck in Modern? Jund has always treated me well, but at the same time I’ve always been one win away from everything I’ve ever wanted. Always 4-1 in Leagues, 12-3 in Grand Prix, and now 5-3 in the MOCS Monthly. Maybe the haters are right and Jund isn’t as good as I believe it is.
Five days now remained to prepare for this Mythic Championship and I was questioning if the Jund Gods would bless me with perfect Bloodbraid Elf cascades and Dark Confidant triggers. I decided to do a blasphemous act and try another deck. The next day was the Modern Challenge and I registered Jund’s most hated enemy: Azorius Control.
Yuuki Ichikawa played this deck in a 300-person Modern tournament the week before, and it looked pretty good. Dredge seemed like the deck that would gain the most from the London Mulligan rule and also perfect information. Maybe I was supposed to play Dredge, but it was a deck I was inexperienced with, even though it also plays the three best colors in Magic.
I ended up losing in the Top 8 to the man in the yellow hat in an Azorius Control Mirror. I made a few mistakes in Game 2 to not get a third game, but that’s how it goes. The deck felt very good, but something deep down felt wrong about playing it. I don’t know if it was my inexperience with building the perfect version, my fear of the good mirror pilots, or the fact that there’s so many different decks to beat. All I knew is that I probably shouldn’t register the deck.
Good thing two of the best Jund masters in the game were on my side. Reid Duke and Logan Nettles both were confident in the decision to Jund, and by that I mean were willing to play the deck. I, being the voice of reason, told them we would dominate with the deck. Who cares if the deck has a bad matchup against almost all the top decks in the format – there are bound to be good ones to luck into playing against. I mean, it’s Modern!
So many times when I play this format, the metagame breakdown comes out with a deck like Mono-Green Tron being the most played deck at 12% or whatever, but I end up playing against Elves, TitanShift, Burn, and Affinity. Sure, those aren’t great matchups for Jund either, but you get what I mean.
Before I hit submit on the greatest build of the greatest deck in Modern, I conversed with my best buddy Brian Braun-Duin. He was going to play Humans and I was considering making that choice as well. It’s a very good deck, I believe I could play it well, and is kind of my style. Ultimately though, I couldn’t fight who I was and I registered this list.
In the sideboard:
I can’t give you my sideboard numbers, because that would help my opponents try to beat me, but you probably can guess on the numbers anyway. There are some interesting decisions that had to be made for the list, so I’ll go over them.
Seven Discard Spells
Most Jund decks play six discard spells because they aren’t great in multiples or off cascade. While true, it’s also important to have higher numbers of them due to targeted mulligans now that we know decklists. Mulligans will just happen more in this tournament, which makes them stronger. We will also mulligan, and having multiples isn’t bad, as you can get rid of one if you want to.
I fought for a long time between playing two Forests or a one-one split with a Mountain. In the end I thought it was important to play the Mountain, as decks with Field of Ruin could use that against me with perfect information on maindecks. If they know I can’t fetch up a Mountain, they might aggressively Field me off my red mana, leaving Bloodbraid Elf stranded in my hand. While I dislike not playing four Blackcleave Cliffs, I think it’s more important to respect Field of Ruin and Assassin’s Trophy in this tournament.
Abrupt Decay over Assassin’s Trophy
Look, I don’t beat Tron. “Jund Guy” is one thing, but “Tron Guy” is just on another level. I think Tron is horribly positioned for this tournament, but that’s not going to stop Tron Guy, no it is not. They are going to continue searching up their lands and casting big things. Their blind obedience for Tron will beat my affinity for Jund any day. I never beat Tron with Jund and I’ve just stopped trying.
I don’t even know why I have Fulminator Mage in my sideboard still…
Leyline of the Void
I’m scared to death of Dredge. I think graveyard hate is very important right now and there’s nothing better than this card. Sure, it’s sometimes awkward with Bloodbraid Elf and Dark Confidant, but it’s just the best thing you can have against Dredge. Again, I probably should have registered Dredge personally, but I didn’t, so here we are.
Second Maelstrom Pulse
This is a card I usually wouldn’t play, but I think it’s going to be good. Right now, Golgari-based decks can’t really get into the midrange arms race, so I’m not expecting many midrange haymakers in the mirrors. I’m also not expecting the busted cards out of the blue decks like Entrancing Melody. That’s why I’m playing the great removal spell, as it’s also good against four-Phantasmal Image Humans builds. It’s slow, but it’s powerful!
As a Jund player, it’s hard to remember you’re not a god (it’s tough, you know, because of all that winning). That’s why it’s important to play Engineered Explosives in your deck so you have something to cascade into just to remind yourself that you’re merely human. It’s also great against Mox Opal decks and those pesky Humans.
Well, I guess we can spend some time talking about the matchups that I expect to play against in the tournament. After all, I bet you’re eager to know exactly why I chose this deck.
This matchup is bad. They have Faithless Looting still, which should get banned. I mean, seriously, Wizards, this card is disgusting! I’ll play a Tarmogoyf, and then all of a sudden I’m at eleven life? On top of that, they have eight power on the battlefield and are threatening lethal damage the next turn. Seriously, this deck is stupid, and I hope it doesn’t win the tournament.
Hopefully I draw graveyard hate.
This matchup is bad. They have so many ways to get Arclight Phoenix onto the battlefield and I can’t even really answer them without Scavenging Ooze. Even when I get a Tarmogoyf on the battlefield, they just put it back in my hand with Thing in the Ice, and last time I checked, there aren’t enough card types for my favorite creature to block that bad boy. At least they got rid of Gut Shot, because that card was so good against Dark Confidant.
Hopefully I draw graveyard hate.
- 4 Meddling Mage
- 4 Noble Hierarch
- 4 Phantasmal Image
- 4 Champion of the Parish
- 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
- 4 Mantis Rider
- 4 Reflector Mage
- 4 Thalia's Lieutenant
- 4 Kitesail Freebooter
- 1 Deputy of Detention
Another bad matchup, because for some reason they keep printing good Humans. Jund hasn’t gotten a new good card in years, but this deck gets something every set. It’s just unfair, if you ask me. Maybe they needed to even the playing field? I have everything I could ever want for the matchup, so I’m hoping for the best!
I’ve never beaten this deck with Jund in my entire life.
This matchup is also bad. You always think you’re going to win, and then two turns later your battlefield is empty and they have a planeswalker. Sure, Liliana of the Veil is great, but Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is better. It’s so good that I spent last year playing Jeskai Control and part of me regrets not just registering that deck, as I consider it a part of the midrange family.
Another terrible matchup. Your hand disruption and Fulminator Mages can sometimes do enough, but for the most part we’re just not fast enough to stop their deck. Good thing this deck is inconsistent, which is what you have to lean on to win against it. I’m hoping not to get paired against it at all!
Grixis Death’s Shadow:
This deck is tough to beat sometimes and I think it’s a bad matchup. It’s another deck that’s inconsistent, though, which means sometimes it will draw really badly and lose. That’s why I never play it anymore, because I just couldn’t get past the bad draws with it. I just hate being so threat-light in Modern.
Those are the big decks I expect to be played. Everything else is easy to beat (?), which I hope to get paired against. That’s not too much to ask for, right?
Anyway, that’s it for Jund Guy. I have to go and crush this tournament. After that, I then prepare for my move all the way to Seattle. I’ll be taking next week off unless I win the whole damn thing, so look for me in a couple of weeks when I get back into War of the Spark Standard!