This past weekend I competed in my first ever SCG Invitational, where I played Jund for the Modern portion and Bant Company for Standard. I’m a man of easy choices, and I love to play tier 1 decks, especially decks that I’m most comfortable with.
For the upcoming GP Indianapolis and Worlds, I worked a lot on Jund, mostly after Eldritch Moon and Shadows over Innistrad significantly affected Jund and Modern in general, so today I’ll dig deeper.
Grim Flayer is very good when you are on the play and you are able to remove their blocker, just like in Standard, but it might not be as good if you are on the draw and your opponent has a Wall of Roots.
Dark Confidant doesn’t need anything to go right to work—it just needs to survive. But 1 toughness is less than 2, and way less than 4. It’s not unusual to get delirium on turn 3 with a discard spell, a fetchland, and a Tarfire/Seal of Fire/Mishra’s Bauble, and once you connect with Grim Flayer, putting a creature or a planeswalker in the graveyard is easy.
Once Grim Flayer is active it’s going to give a boost to the deck, making it way more aggressive and closing the game quickly, whereas Dark Confidant wants to drag the game out and bury the opponent in card advantage. I’m not sure if Grim Flayer is better than Dark Confidant, but it definitely fits my play style better.
Julian Wildes played Bedlam Reveler in both the Invitational and the Open and loved it. Playing an 8-drop alongside Dark Confidant can be risky—that’s why I think it shines the best with the Grim Flayer version, since it can help the Reveler by putting spells in the graveyard.
A 3/4 prowess for 4 mana that provides you with card advantage is no joke, and playing it in a shell with discard spells and removal is where it shines best.
Liliana, the Last Hope
I saw multiple deck lists running 1 copy of this new planeswalker, and I played her myself as well. The problem with Liliana, the Last Hope is that she can be insane in some matchups and horrific in others, and in a format like Modern, playing a main-deck card like that can be risky.
Liliana of the Veil is just better because even when she’s bad she’s still good enough.
I see tons of copies of Grafdigger’s Cage and Leyline of the Void—way more than there should be. Dredge is a deck that, if left unchecked, is just going to do unfair things that Jund can’t stop. But decks like this already existed, such as Living End, and they were already awful matchups for Jund.
I’m not going to overhaul my sideboard just for this one new deck that everyone else is already hating on. I’ll just play a couple of hate cards such as Nihil Spellbomb and Grafdigger’s Cage and call it a day. And even main-deck Scavenging Ooze does the job pretty well.
On Suicide Zoo
Suicide Zoo is a very explosive deck played by Team EUreka at PT Oath of Gatewatch, and since then has been putting up good results when piloted by one of its members—Simon Nielsen won a Denmark WMCQ, beating Martin Deng in the mirror match in the finals.
Last weekend Brad Nelson, member of Team EUreka, Top 4ed the SCG Invitational with the deck, and now it’s finally time for the world to give it a look. On top of this, Josh Utter Leyton and LSV played at the MOCS a Death’s Shadow deck that was playing 4 copies of Traverse the Ulvenwald and Gnarlwood Dryad, without Become Immense but with Ghor Clan Rampagers. A different take on the same deck.
How’s Jund against this deck? Good.
This deck is almost like Infect, but on top of that, sometimes you only need 1 Tarmogoyf attack or a Lightning Bolt targeting your opponent to get the job done. I’ve played this matchup a number of times, and between Lightning Bolt, Terminate, and Abrupt Decay, you can handle it. Hand disruption and removal spells are also great against Infect, but here you even get another haymaker in Kitchen Finks.
I don’t want to claim that this is an unlosable matchup—I’m just saying that if Death’s Shadow is rising in popularity, then Jund players will be happy.