This article will get straight down to business, and I’ll share how I approach the most common matchups in Modern. If I’m leaving out a matchup or details about the mentioned matchups that you are wondering, feel free to ask me on twitter @ecobaronen. Make sure you read part 1 if you haven’t because this article will assume you did. Here is the list from last time for reference:
Jund Midrange by Andreas Petersen
Mono Red Prowess
Make sure to kill their attackers on sight to preserve your life total and prepare yourself to fight at least one Bedlam Reveler. Between Liliana of the Veil, Bloodbraid Elf and Kolaghan’s Command, you are able to keep up with them on card advantage, and usually Tarmogoyf early or a late Scavenging Ooze is how you reduce their life total to zero. Make sure to prioritize attacking their life total as too much time will turn their low impact burn spells into a real threat.
The plan is for them to never allow Primeval Titan to resolve, which is a very hard task game one. After sideboard we get a huge pile of hate cards and punish their mulligans badly. If you can sneak in a Tarmogoyf while casting disruptive spells before and after, you are in good shape. I leave in Fatal Push over Lightning Bolt because it kills Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, but feel free to leave in the removal spell that can finish off the opponent if you like that better.
Death’s ShadowDeath’s Shadow is the talented littlebrother of Jund, and the matchup is all about how the removal spells you draw line up against the threats they draw. Fatal Push is great when facing Death’s Shadow itself, but is a blank vs. Gurmag Angler, Assassin’s Trophy is always great, and Liliana of the Veil can be “countered” by a timely Snapcaster Mage. You will generally be favored in a longer game, but you can easily lose to an early sequence of multiple discard spells, Death’s Shadow and a timely Stubborn Denial.
The gameplan against Humans is very similar to the strategy against Mono Red Prowess in the sense that you want to fend off early aggression and hopefully let your superior individual card quality take over. Humans don’t have burn spells to finish you off, but the hasty flier Mantis Rider does a solid Lightning Bolt impression when it’s crunch time. Them having Aether Vial makes their deck more unpredictable, but focus on their creatures and try to capitalize on the virtual “mulligan” of Vial.
We have great tools to keep their combo bears in check with removal, their graveyard with Scavenging Ooze and handsize with the black suite of discard spells and Liliana. After sideboard you can expect a secondary plan like Blood Moon, Empty the Warrens or something even more creative, so things don’t necessarily get easier after you upgrade your weaker cards.
Paired up against one more big mana deck, your plan is to prevent their deck from functioning and attack them dead with Tarmogoyf before they recover. We have a massive amount of sideboard cards that will make our lives easier, but playing against Tron is no walk in the park. Make sure to mulligan hands without discard spells or land destruction.
This is one of the most tricky matchups because while they don’t go as big as normal Tron, they don’t lose hard to the disruption either. Even cards like Matter Reshaper and Reality Smasher can be enough to beat Jund sometimes, and Chalice of the Void on one makes discard spells unreliable as answers to their fatties. If you’re good at drawing the right combination of answers to their mixed bag of threats, you will stand a chance.
On the draw you can get crushed by Teferi, Time Raveler which by the way disables the “cascade” ability on Bloodbraid Elf. You need to decide of you want to strip Cryptic Command or Path to Exile from their hand depending on your draw’s ability to either race or play long. If they play a Stoneforge Mystic package, you should be fairly well set up to deny getting hit by Sword of Feast and Famine, and if they’re Bant, Wrenn and Six got the Ice-Fang Coatl value covered. If you give them enough time, you will die a horrible death to Cryptic Command and Snapcaster Mage to do it all over again. Lightning Bolt gets better during sideboarding if they play Stoneforge in which case I could see cutting a Scavenging Ooze and keeping in 3 Bolts.
Dredge is a reasonable deck these days compared to the days of Golgari Grave-Troll and Faithless Looting, but it faces less hate and exponentially performs better as a result of it. Therefor, we need to have a plan to beat it. Winning the dieroll is crucial since Dredge will often keep a hand containing a single enabler, and snagging that with discard could buy you several turns. If we can prolong the game, Tarmogoyf will hit hard and Scavenging Ooze will hopefully take you home. We improve a little bit after sideboard while they will play a guessing game of which sideboard hate they’re facing. With a much lower game 1 win percentage than previous iterations of Dredge, we can take advantage more often and win the match before they have time to adapt with clever sideboarding.
Last up we have Infect which players have picked up thanks to its positive big mana matchup. Thankfully for us, it struggles against a deck full of creature removal and discard spells, and coincidentally also against Wrenn and Six as well as Plague Engineer. Personally I like playing my removal at sorcery speed or their endstep and try and deal with their pump spells via discard spells or Liliana of the Veil, but if the opponent adapts to this style after the first two games, switching it up and baiting on their attack step can be a good strategy for game three.
That does it for my two-part article on Modern Jund. I hope you learned a thing or two and will pick up the deck in an event near you in the future. Until next time, I hope your opponent always have their good cards in hand and lands on top of their library!