Modern Jund by Carson_Caruso
Although it’s no longer one of the best decks in Modern, I’ve still been enjoying Jund lately, and believe it has a lot to offer in a world where Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Urza’s Saga are so popular.
I intend to do some dedicated writing about the archetype, perhaps updating last year’s Deep Dive to reflect the many things that have changed in Modern. There are many questions to answer: Scavenging Ooze or Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger? Ragavan or no Ragavan? Lurrus or no Lurrus? Just to name a few. But while I continue to research and build my expertise, I thought I’d highlight one of the many directions you can go with the Jund color combination in Modern.
Magic Online player Carson_Caruso says yes to Kroxa, yes to Ragavan, but no to Lurrus. Ragavan and Kroxa are incredible cards, and it can never be a big mistake to play with them in any deck that can access red and black mana.
The Lurrus question is much more interesting. A Lurrus version of Jund would include Mishra’s Bauble, and possibly dip into a delirium theme with Unholy Heat and/or Seal of Fire. In a format centered on efficiency, it’s no great hardship to play mostly cheap cards. So what do you gain in giving up on the companion?
Liliana of the Veil has historically been one of the most important cards in Modern Jund, and happens to be one of my favorite Magic cards ever printed. Seasoned Pyromancer provides much-needed card advantage, and helps you pull ahead after an early exchange of resources. Pyromancer also happens to pair well with Wrenn and Six and Kolaghan’s Command.
Two new printings from Modern Horizons 2 are Grist, the Hunger Tide and Endurance. I’ve played with both of these cards (granted only as one-ofs) and I’ve been impressed. Grist comes down early, and goes up in loyalty while protecting itself with a blocker. It also builds in valuable answers to larger creatures like Murktide Regent, without having to play too many narrow removal spells.
Seeing Endurance in the full four copies between main deck and sideboard is the biggest surprise, but it makes sense to me. The 3/4 reach body matches up well against much of the format, including the deadly Dragon’s Rage Channeler. It also corrects traditional weak points when it comes to matchups like Living End and Dredge.
These are some other permanents which would interest me once I’ve committed to going without Lurrus, and I think Carson_Caruso going without them is telling. Bloodbraid Elf is still a useful card, but the days of starting your deck list with four and never looking back are over. Modern games don’t always go long enough for you to utilize a four-mana spell. Plus, it matches up badly against Teferi, Time Raveler, which stops your cascades.
A final point to notice about this deck list is the full four copies of Alpine Moon, which is great against Urza’s Saga. Due to a rules subtlety that’s beyond the scope of this article, Alpine Moon naming Urza’s Saga simply kills the land. Dead! Directly to the graveyard! Once that card is out of the picture, the opponent is forced to play your game, where your spot removal and resource management techniques can allow you to win the game. Naming Inkmoth Nexus and Urzatron lands also comes up.
It’s refreshing to see Jund putting up a strong finish in Modern. It may not be the flashiest strategy, but some of us aren’t quite willing to give up on it, particularly when there’s so much new ground to explore!