The nemesis of modern still reigns.

Back in 2011, i came back into MTG. While playing standard and draft, i began letting my eye wander over to the modern tournaments at my LGS. And I saw a deck that seemed a bit suicidal.

I watched a guy start the game at 15 life. Fetch>Shockland>Thoughtsieze, go. I saw an opponent drop threat after threat. and they all died. I watched a player, literally play nothing but value, (both literally and figuratively).

This suicidal player ended his game at 8 life, and never got dealt damage by his opponent, yet he still won. I was mesmerized. I was hooked on jund.

The best way to describe how this deck plays can be wrapped up by Reid Duke's recent intro to a Jund primer:

"Playing Jund is about systematically dismantling your opponent."

After I built this deck in 2013, I understood the game plan.

I went undefeated at a GP Trial that took place at my LGS, through attrition, card quality and makin' it rain goyfs.

These days, I am jaded. I play other decks, and I feel like i am too light on removal, or I don't have a series of resilient threats, and GODDAMNIT, I just really REALLY need some T1 Thoughtseize action! All I really want to do is play magic in a way that looks as if I kicked in your door, drank your last beer, ate your food and banged your lady friend on your own couch, (while you sat and helplessly watched).

Soak it in ladies and gentlemen... This. Is. Jund.

When I play this deck, I cannot help but think about this song. You should enjoy it.


Updates Add

I moved in late August, and spent a week doing the grown up things that come with moving your family; unpacking, hooking up internet, going to the store for a new set of essentials, going back to the store because you forgot dish soap even though that's why you went to the store in the first place, shit like that.

Once I got sort of settled in, my wife and I took a trip to find a shop near the area for me to start playing at. I wanted a place that played modern FNM, or at least spent some time with the format since it's the only format I really care about.

We came across a place about 15 minutes from my house. It was huge, it had pretty much any game you can think of, and it had a super efficient system to get singles (more on that another time). I asked one of the clerks if they did Modern FNM, they said yes. Bingo. This may be the place I hang out at. My wife then asked them if they had any bigger events, since I do enjoy going to IQ's, regionals and state championships. The clerk also said said yes. And then told me about the PPTQ happening on a Saturday that very weekend. My wife looked and said to me, “You should go to that.” Have I talked about how awesome she is? If not, then she totally is.

So at this point in the story, it's a Thursday. The PPTQ is on a Saturday. I know I will be playing Jund, (duh). I know where my cards are, but I am unfamiliar with the meta, so my sideboard is all effed up. I need time to study the metagame. But even then, I dont know what the local area is doing. Damn it, did I just set myself up for failure?

I spent some time on Friday looking up some recent PPTQ top 8's from the United States and comparing results. That's when I realized... I still have no idea how I am going to set up even my main deck for this. There is too many variants of Jund to make a proper comparison. I threw my hands in the air and let the magic Gods decide my fate.

I went with the only version of Jund that matters. I didn't go with some new flavor of the week Jund, I went with the tried and true. The battle hardened version. The one we all know. The old school. No synergies. No mercy.

Before we get into my rounds and matches, I know some of you are wondering about some of my card choices. Shit, I am wondering about some of my card choices! Either way. The main things that I was asked is how I feel about running two bolts in the main and why Kalitas and Huntmaster? The bolt answer is easy; reach. During the matchups you will see what I am talking about. For the Kalitas/Huntmaster question; I went with these two because I hardly cast four drops on curve, so something like Kalitas on turn 5+ gives me two bodies, and Huntmaster on turn 5+ gives not only two bodies and lifegain, but backed with some kind of removal it creates a huuuuge game tempo swing. Olivia was something I was thinking about putting in, but I went with it in the sideboard because I feel its really great against other midrange decks and I didnt think I would see a whole lot of those.

The matches:

While shuffling up for the first round, I felt like a racecar driver in the movies. You know, where they are in the driver's seat and grip the steering wheel and look at the dashboard all excited, like they've reunited with an old friend...

Round 1: UWR Control. I looked at my opening seven and had to take a moment to say to myself, yes. My hand was cliffs, catacombs, inquisition, goyf, goyf, ravine, and thoughtseize. And I was on the play. Game 1 went exactly as you would expect. My turn 2 draw was LotV and he was empty handed facing two 4/5 goyfs. Game 2 was simliar, I took out the pushes and the terminates and added some more versatility along the lines of explosives, 2x fulminators, cage, surgical, and another pulse. He fell into the trap, I expected geist, and he let me have it. My turn 1 thoughtseize let me see a geist in his hand and I took it, then gladly dropped to 13 life to surgical extraction it out of his deck. I snatched all four of them. Later on turn 6, I topdecked Maelstrom Pulse and immediately used it of his Elspeth, Sun's Champion. He was salty. I got it, 2-0.


Round 2: UWR Control. This deck was actually more of a midrange set up. It was different, and I played against it differently. Removal was live in this one. He had restos, and realized there were some shenanigans afoot when I upticked liliana and he pitched a Kiki Jiki. I wrecked him in game 1 with ravine beats. Game 2, I brought in cage, 2 fulminators, 2 finks and olivia. I took out bolts and decays a copy of push and a copy of K Command. On turn 1, I dropped cage then ooze, then liliana. He got stuck on lands for a few turns and I started upticking lilly, and casting my discard spells I was drawing. He was empty handed and I was ulting Liliana of the Veil while he only had 4 lands in play... feels good. 2-0


Round 3: UWR Control. Jesus! This one was a hard core control shell. My opening hand had no early interaction but a lot of threats and some removal, In the end I couldnt get there. I Sideboarded similar to round 1, but saw no sideboard cards in game 2, but still managed to eek out the win with two bolts in hand when he was at 5 life and I am at 8. He taps and attacks with two colonnades, he has no cards in hand. I don't think he expected me to have bolts. Game 3, was bad. I mulligan to 5 and kept a really clunky hand with no discard spells and he just ran over me with an early geist of saint traft. 1-2.


Round 4: GB CoCo Elves. My opening hand was a solid keep: swamp, mire, 2 push, thoughtseize, goyf, bolt. I was on the play, and I play swamp>thoughtseize to see elves... lots of elves. And 1 copy of Collected company. Yoink, Coco gone. At this point all my other cards are live... like, REALLY live. And it also helped that My opponent thought I was on DS for a while in game 1. He took some good old fashioned lone goyf chin work while anything he played died on the spot. I boarded out the thoughtseizes, 2 bobs, and a liliana in exchange for Pulse, Lilly last hope, Cage, Explosives, Anger of the Gods, Damnation. During game 2, my opponent had some elves out and I had two goyfs. I untap, draw Lilly last hope, play a land (fetch for a swamp) play push on one elf, cast lilly last hope... and start ticking up. Eventually, I had ooze out and gaining me life. He was blocking like crazy, and lily got the emblem. Boom. Game over. 2-0.


Round 5: Affinity. In game 1 he opens up with citadel, 3 ornithopters, that zero drop mana rock and cranial plating. Shit. So onto game 2. I boarded out thoughtseizes and 2 bobs and brought in 2 ancient grudge, explosives, damnation and pulse. Game 2 was waaaaaaaay better. I open up with swamp, with push in hand and explosives set to 0. A pair of goyfs raced their way to the end after I edicted his champion. Life was good. Game 3, my opponent mulliganed to 5 and kept a really bad hand. I did not and started off with inquisition into bob into liliana. K command made a very timely appearance and he scooped. 2-1.


Round 5: Intentional Draw. In standings, I was in 4th place. No need to do anything weird.

Top 8: Eldrazi and taxes. Game 1, really cheap removal was the key to success. And at one point a Maelstrom Pulse got two Tidehollow Scullers and re-filled my hand with more cheap removal and a goyf! Top score. Two 5/6 Tarmogoyfs took it down in the end. I know last hope came in, but I cant remember what I took out or what else came in. In game 2, he plays Leonin Arbiter, which sort of shuts me off mana for a bit, I have two usable lands in play; a cliffs and an overgrown tomb and a catacombs. I draw Ghost quarter, sweet. I play GQ. Now, the plan here is to pop GQ, then fatal push his Arbiter, THEN use my Catacombs, then Play goyf. This was the line of play I wanted in my head. What I did was get excited and fuck it all up. I GQ his land (I think it was shambling vent), then I crack fetch.... shit! So I kill his arbiter with a bolt and push something else and pass. At this point I thought I punted the game really bad. But I managed to crawl back into it and take it 2-0.

Top 4: UWR Control. Same guy as the one from round 3. I won game 1 by having a good hand against him after a mulligan to 6. In game 2, he wins off of geist and me not ahving a way to deal with it. Game 3, here we go. I think I boarded differently, I stopped writing down what I did at this point, I know last hope made it in. I figured I could stick it and uptick for emblem and watch it win. I played an explosives and set it to 3 in case geist made an appearance, but it sat there and did nothing. I mean, it looked cool, but thats about it. So the wild play that got a lot of questions asked, that got things going: Its late in the game, lots of lands out, yadda yadda. I have 2 cards in hand. A bob and an ooze. I am low on life, and need to gain a little. I know he has electrolyze in his hand... I play bob. He shoots it and lilly, killing both. Cool. I play ooze, and start eating creatures to get out of bolt range, then eat cryptics and some other stuff. He paths it, but not without messing everything up first. The killing blow was he had 1 card in hand. I have goyf as a 4/5. He is at 6, I am at 5. I attack, hoping he wont block with one of his colonnades. He says, “no blocks”. I cast bolt. I am all in. He fetches down to 1 life. Casts thought scour targets me, flip two cards, whatever, he draws a card and reveals a land. Boom! 2-1.

Finals: Bant Eldrazi. Game 1 I kept the perfect jund hand: catacombs, Thoughtseize, goyf, liliana, cliffs, push and terminate. I am on the draw. I do the fetch>shock>thoughtseize thing. Take path. Turn 2 goyf. Turn 3 Lilly. Pretty much I had the unbeatable curve. And he took a beating. I did discard an Iquisition to terminate a reality smasher. Which felt nice. In Game 2 He won from double smashers and the 6 drop blue eldrazi that taps your shit. Game 3, he had double TKS out and the 6 drop dude and the scions. I said fuck it and cast liliana, then cast damnation. Killing my own bob and goyf. Then upticking lilly to make him pitch his last card. I play Kalitas, and follow it up with a Huntmaster later on. Kalitas and liliana are making zombies together, life was good. He paths kalitas. I decide to swing in with huntmaster, the token, and the zombie token. He is at two life with two blockers, what could go wrong? One of his dudes was that eldrazi that blinks stuff and the other was a TKS. He blocks huntmaster and a token... then blinks the other token. Shit. I seriously forgot that he could do that. I mean, He had the mana to blink like 5 times... I am an idiot. So I play liliana of the veil, and make him edict. He kills the lilly, I play ooze and start gaining life, and charging with ravine. He slam through his blockers and steal the game despite my terrible mistake.

At the end of it, I won 100 packs and the RPTQ invite. I gave the invite to my finals opponent, once I realized I wouldnt be able to go to any RPTQ's in the near future.

I didnt think I would do as good as I did. I actually thought I would scrub out at some point. So now the new shop knows who I am. Lol.

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