Updating Jund Midrange In Modern With The Addition Of Modern Horizons 2

A high-powered Modern Horizons set means rethinking classic archetypes. How will Michael Majors refurbish Jund Midrange? And which major card is he leaving out?

Tarmogoyf, illustrated by Ryan Barger

The initial results after the release of Modern Horizons 2 are starting to pour in. As expected, it is making a large impact. The iteration towards finding the first “broken” deck of the format is fast and aggressive.  I’d feel a bit awkward entering that arms race so quickly, given my participation with the set. Still that doesn’t mean I don’t want to get involved.

Where I do feel a lot more comfortable is taking some of the more fair tools and decks and seeing how they evolve with the ever-changing metagame.  I’ve spent time browsing on Twitter and peeking at streams to see what folks are up to. Today I'll share an update to an old favorite midrange strategy for those who enjoy playing their interactive Modern.

I’m not exactly on the level of Brad Nelson’s Jund Guy (is that trademarked?), but I’ve been known to sleeve up a midrange deck or two in Modern, and have run with the trailblazers when it comes to Thoughtseizing folks over the years. Even though the narratives of the Modern community seem to simultaneously contain both “Jund Midrange is unplayable” and “Unban Splinter Twin” at all times, I’m at least going to put forth the effort into debunking the former today.

Unban Splinter Twin

Step 1: What has Jund Midrange potentially gained?

This isn’t entirely comprehensive, but these tools made the most sense for me out of Modern Horizons 2.

Endurance Grief Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer Tourach, Dread Cantor Dauthi Voidwalker Ignoble HIerarch Break the Ice Gorilla Shaman Grist, the Hunger Tide Territorial Kavu Urza’s Saga

There are a lot of cards.  For now, I believe the bar for moving outside of Lurrus of the Dream-Den builds of Jund Midrange is high. Although the strength of Liliana of the Veil and Bloodbraid Elf is also high, the format has received a power influx and for now I think it best to keep the deck as lean as possible until the dust settles and we have an established metagame.  Perhaps when the format's linears get streamlined and more folks know what interaction to include, the format will slow down a tad and allow you to play the deep games that the aforementioned iconic Jund duo thrive in. 

That said, Lurrus naturally gives Jund some free grinding power. I’s tough to get away from that without good reason.  It also makes our job a little easier, crossing off the mythic Elemental Incarnation cycle and Grist, the Hunger Tide. 

Step 2: Know Your Enemy

I’ll preface this section by reiterating again that Modern is in an absolutely ridiculous period of flux.  That said, we’re starting to see a trend. It’s possible that the most format defining card, at least early on, will be Urza’s Saga.

Ari did a great job tackling Urza's Saga from a high level. In practice the Saga has contributed to a variety of linears and offered potential for grinding power and as a toolbox answer-of-sorts to a variety of other linears.  Like he made the case for, it’s both extremely powerful and broad. Still, to me at least, so far it's unclear whether it's a true villain despite its obvious power level.

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