When I first saw get spoiled, I went ahead and preordered a playset of these bad tree, person, things. I thought it’d be alright but not great, however when you have a fleshed out Modern Jund deck, you’re a little bought into those colors. I certainly started to realize, along with most players, that the card is just such a value engine. Getting fetch lands or Wasteland back again and again just feels so good. Tie that with the ability to ping some creatures here and there, and you got something pretty darn good.
She (or is it they, since there’s two of them technically) has earned her slots in Modern Jund, as her ability to get back discard fodder for , or grab some fetches to go for basic lands, has turned out to be pretty good. She’s already paired well in many decks in Legacy, including 4c Delver and RUG Delver, getting played alongside a full set of in both.
Old Dog, New Tricks, Old Format
About a year ago, I tried playing with some really grindy Jund decks that were kind of copies of the Modern version, albeit with a few more busted cards. One of the things that I found was that while these decks were admittedly not great, they did have some strengths. One of the main things was that you can eat blue decks when you’re throwing and our there. With some new toys like and , and tons of people playing more Delver decks, I wanted to see how viable the strat could be. With that in mind, I came up with the following list, and have been running it with some success
The gist is simple, try and eke out two for ones in as many places as you can. We aren’t playing blue, so we can’t grind with spells quite as hard as Grixis can, but we can drop our opponents hand out of existence and beat face, or get reactive with our suite of removal that Jund has (aka and , among other things).
One of the biggest questions about a strategy like this is “why wouldn’t you just play 4c Loam”? There are some benefits to not throwing in and , in addition to the additional White. We’re trying to keep our hand around as long as or slightly longer than our opponent, and then speed up that hand shredding with Hymn and Liliana. While dropping a turn one or is ridiculous, it’s pretty easy to drop tons of resources into a single threat like that, have it get dealt with, and be down 3 cards to their 6. is also a toolbox house, but is a bit slower than Goyf to come out, and if it comes out early isn’t likely to be as big. 4c Loam also has less of a spell suite, whereas cutting s and gives us plenty of room to add in more interaction. I won’t sit here and say that straight Jund is better than the deck with a long listed pedigree (and I price tag to prove it), but it isn’t strictly one-for-one worse.
Pieces of the Puzzle
People say is bad now, that can’t outclass . But if you get a few swings in here and there, you easily can pop your opponent down to lethal. I’d argue that in a format where is becoming a true staple, Goyf only gets better simply as a creature that doesn’t die to her pings, as well as the fact that Planeswalkers are a bit more prominent, like Wrenn and also . I’d been seeing a lot of games where Goyf is easily a 5/6.
A card that has been seeing more and more play has been . In the same vein as ruining the day of so many 1 toughness creatures, can shut off so many threats. If you’ve played against Hogaak Zombardment, the new hot deck that echoes the pre ban Hogaak Deck, you know how annoying their various threats can be. Resolving Engineer and naming Zombie has turned off a lot of opponent’s game plan. If you’re trying to win with some aggro against something like Grixis Control, you can name Bird to get rid of . If you’re worried about a deck running or , naming Wizard kills the latter and essentially turns off the former’s ability.
is really good. Yes, it does die to on the other side of the board, but if you get it out and it sticks, get ready to have a grip stocked up with gas. If it eats a counter or removal spell, worst case is you got one-for-one, and it feels pretty good when you’re trying to win with that game plan.
The package helps us deal with all the Delver variations that are popping out of the woodwork. Getting to remove stuff every turn when combo'd with , in a strategy that wants to grind is just the best. It also works as discard fodder for , which is great when you need that other card to stick around until next turn.
I love in this deck, but its a bit odd compared to other decks that run it. is most often used as either a tempo play (like in Delver decks that want to have their turn one threat be uncontested by answers), a grind play (like in Lands or 4c Loam), or a direct answer to a threatening land. Even a deck like Maverick can rock a after dropping a and therefore be up a mana, as well as grind out later by tutoring for them with . In this deck though, we're really just relying on them for turn 3, and the only recurrence we have is with . I think that that interaction is good enough to warrant the full playset. The fact that we're a bit heavy on mana (we have 22 Lands) means that we have some wiggle room to have colors lands, even in such a color heavy deck.
Who doesn't love a good BBE? This card has had a bit of a fall from grace in the past year after it's unbanning in Modern, but the card still can be sick. In Legacy, it's much more likely for you to drop this on an empty board, and there are some nasty threats that you can hit off it. A 3/2 is good enough for Delver decks, so I'm sure it'll be good enough for us. Really though, 's power goes up in a format that is less board focused. Sure it's power level also goes down in a faster format, but you wont be keeping her in against the blazingly fast decks.
Some Interesting Sideboard Choices
Running a super fair strategy like this Jund list has some serious weaknesses in places. We need our sideboard to cover those spots. Unfair decks like ANT or TES, Reanimator, and Sneak and Show are incredibly difficult for us to deal with in game one. We might be able to steal a win with snagging some key pieces, but overall it doesn't look great for us. I've been playing a lot of Abzan Maverick lately, and that deck has some much better combo hate pieces than we do mainboard. However, one of the thing that Maverick lists utilize, which has been working awesome for me, is in the sideboard.
People just don't expect it from decks like these, I've found. And getting to drop it early-ish is often enough to steal a game. We also get to run the best blue-hate with and , to help deal with some fair decks as well as things like Sneak and Show or Omnitell. There's a bit of a nonbo between these and , so you do have to be careful with them. As mentioned, Storm is pretty hard for us to beat, but so is 12-post or any other form of big mana deck. We have for them, but our clock isn't quite fast enough to deal with them after killing a single land. can help with that. The meta I run in has a decent amount of creature decks as well as Burn, so should be able to help with either.
Sometimes just playing some good old fair Magic is the best way to play. Like the deck or have some criticism? Let me know down below! Until next time.