The strategy as old as the format itself is back for more with some new toys and favorable position in the metagame despite Primeval Titan strategies being stronger than ever. How can it be? Read on about my reasoning for picking up the deck, explanation of the less obvious cards in my main deck and all the sideboard cards. In part 2 you can look forward to a matchup guide for 10 of the most played decks in Modern.
Theros Beyond Death introduced a lot of tasty tools for Primeval Titan-based strategies to the format which resulted in a lot of Primeval Titans being cast and a lot of decks trying to go under the dreadful Giant. I thought to myself, “what if I can play a deck that is favored against the rest and sideboard my way out of Primeval Titan matchups”, and next thing I knew I was sleeving up good ol’ Jund Midrange. I felt an excitement I hadn’t felt in a long time, and honestly I think Wizards of the Coast did an awesome job with the banlist, but that’s a talk for another day. I know you’re here for the Jundy stuff!
The Ooze is lose and will come in handy in attrition matchups where both players’ cards die, in matchups where the graveyard matters, and matchups where your life total is under pressure early and often. Scavenging Ooze is an attacking swiss army knife that fits the curve perfectly.
I didn’t find room for Bob Maher‘s awesome invitational card this time around. Greatness, at any cost is great and all against combo and control decks, but between being under pressure from hyper aggressive decks like Mono Red Prowess and Humans to dying to Wrenn and Six in the mirror match where it used to be the MVP, it got relegated to the binder.
The fact that Black-Green-based midrange ramps its opponent voluntarily says a lot about the requirement of having “hard” removal spells in Modern at the moment. Whether you need to blow up a Tron piece, Primeval Titan or all the cheaper cards that Abrupt Decay can also deal with, the Trophy is the right item for the job.
While too powerful for Legacy where Wasteland is available for recycling and puts other decks in too rough of a spot, the two-mana planeswalker is perfectly balanced for Modern. Combined with a fetchland it secures your land drop, it makes Liliana of the Veil asymmetrical and is even a card draw engine with Barren Moor and Nurturing Peatland. In matchups where the ping ability is less relevant, I like sideboarding out a single copy since drawing multiples doesn’t accomplish much.
Traditionally, I’ve loved four copies of Fulminator Mage because of its obvious utility against big mana decks like Tron and Amulet Titan which are both bad matchups, but also because it was fine against Control and Midrange where you sometimes want to keep it around for attacking or blocking before blowing up a land. It’s also playable as a removal spell for Inkmoth Nexus against Infect. However, Veil of Summer made some clever people play a split with the following card, and I like that a lot.Stone Rain is basically a less flexible Fulminator Mage that doesn’t get hit by Veil of Summer with the little added bonus that you can destroy opposing basic lands in a Blood Moon matchup.
With Primeval Titan-strategies being the decks to beat in Modern right now, it makes a ton of sense that shutting off the opponent’s ability to search their library is powerful. Ashiok even doubles as graveyard hate and stops Gifts Ungiven completely out of Storm. Be careful of ticking it down without a purpose.
Another sweet addition from Modern Horizons which helps out in various niche spots aside from the Humans matchup where it’s absolutely bonkers. Lingering Souls, Empty the Warrens and Seasoned Pyromancer are all great cards against a 1-for-1 strategy like Jund, and Plague Engineer is conveniently a great answer.
I debated a lot about the choice of graveyard hate, but I ended up with the card that also stops Neoform from searching up a Griselbrand. Nihil Spellbomb will come in for more matchups, but sometimes let the Dredge opponent rebuild again and doesn’t do anything against Neoform.
A little anti-synergy with Bloodbraid Elf in exchange for a powerful hate card against big mana decks to supplement the land destruction. I decided to load the sideboard with anti-land cards to make up for the bad game one against those decks, which is necessary to justify playing Jund in this metagame. I like that it costs two mana, so sequences like Thoughtseize, Damping Sphere, Liliana of the Veil are possible.
To round out the sideboard I knew I wanted three cards to help against Mono Red Prowess that all contributed to different matchups as well. Huntmaster of the Fells and Kitchen Finks are great in the mirror match and other grindy matchups where Collective Brutality is good against spell-based combo and Collected Company decks. I have been dropping a few matches to Red Prowess lately, so maybe lifegain card number four will find its way back to my sideboard in the future.
Jund Midrange by Andreas Petersen
Thank you for reading this far, and I hope you look forward to the upcoming matchup guide as much as I do!