Hello everyone! Welcome to another Modern Musings!  This week I am going to take an in depth look at Jund decks and how you can beat them.  Thanks to the recent unbanning of Bloodbraid Elf, the deck is as popular as ever, so stay tuned to find out what decks you can run to beat this classic giant.

If your meta is like mine right now, Jund is everywhere.  Last week, I think my local store had 7 Jund players out of 30-something total players, a whopping 23 percent.  I was playing my usual janky brew (wonky lotus cobra + renegade rallier shenanigans this time) so naturally I got crushed by these lean, efficient Jund decks.  So I figured if my store is like this, then at least some of your stores must be similarly Jund infested.  I figured I’d write this article to help some of you combat the Jund-gle overgrowth.

What does Jund do Exactly?

Bad puns aside, let’s take a look at the typical Jund deck:



This was the Jund list that Jadine Klomparens took to a top 8 finish at SCG Dallas Modern Open, and I think a perfect example of the Jund archetype.

The deck’s general game plan is to run a bunch of disruption, while killing you with its effiecient 2-drops. Simple, but effective.

Jund’s disruption is mostly in the form of discard, packing 11 cards that can make their opponents discard.  They also run a fair bit of removal, but more general types of removal than you typically see in a midrange deck.  Jund decks typically forego some number of Fatal Pushes for Abrupt Decays.  They also tend to run 1 or 2 Maelstrom Pulses to give them an out against higher converted mana cost threats.  This allows the deck the ability to deal with a wide variety of archetypes.  Liliana of the Veil deserves a special mention as she is an absolute force to be reckoned with in this deck. Often times the way Jund wins is that they get you down to zero cards in hand with Liliana and discard spells and then force you to play off the top of your deck, since any cards you draw will have to be discarded to the Liliana if you try to keep them in hand.  They can also break the parity by drawing extra cards with Dark Confidant.  The freshly unbanned Bloodbraid Elf lends itself quite well to this strategy as it allows them to generate extra value from their topdecks.

What Beats Jund?


How do you beat a deck that relies on the top of their deck being better than yours?  One way is to simply have better topdecks then them.  This is how and why Tron has classically had such a good matchup against Jund.  Most of Tron’s threats require multiple cards from Jund to be beaten, like Wurmcoil Engine for instance.  A resolved Karn Liberated and/or Ugin, the Spirit Dragon usually spell game over for most Jund decks as well.  This matchup is exacerbated by the fact that the deck doesn’t really have any way to attack it’s opponent’s lands.  Admittedly, Bloodbraid Elf does make this matchup a little less miserable than it used to be, but I still wouldn’t look forward to it if I were Jund.


I can see a theme emerging here.  Big mana decks are a problem for Jund, and Valakut is no exception.  Playing a bunch of lands into Primeval Titan or Scapeshift is a strategy that Jund has a hard time dealing with, since they can’t stop you from peeling either of those cards off the top.  Even just having an active Valakut in play can be a real problem for Jund as it can deal with most of their cards with the exception of Scavenging Ooze and Tarmogoyf.  Ultimately though it doesn’t really matter as the deck ramps too quickly for Jund to shut them down.


Breaking from the rest of the list so far, boggles is certainly not a big mana deck, but instead preys upon a different weakness of Jund, mostly targeted removal.  While Jund technically has a maindeck way to kill hexproof creatures in Liliana of the Veil, it has become notably less effective since the boggles decks started including Cartouche of Solidarity in their maindeck in addition to Dryad Arbor to combat sacrifice effects.  With that addition to the deck, boggles seems like it just becomes a miserable match-up.

Living End

Living end is a deck where you don’t care to much if you’re discarding cards, and some of the time, it can help you by filling your graveyard faster for your Living Ends.  All this deck needs to win is resolve a single living end and it’s probably game over for Jund as the deck doesn’t play any sweepers.  It’s also one of those matchups where Street Wraith‘s swampwalk ability is super relevant.

Wilted Eldritch Abzan

This  last matchup is brutal for Jund as it punishes all their discard with Loxodon Smiter and Wilt-Leaf Liege.  The deck compounds that advantage by running creatures made of pure value like Voice of Resurgence and Kitchen Finks.  Finally the deck tops off their advantage by running cards like Thragtusk and Sigarda, Host of Herons.  The deck uses Eldritch Evolution to generate value by sacrificing creatures that want to go to the graveyard while also tutoring scary 5 drops that can ruin most deck’s days.  The fact that this deck also runs Lingering Souls just means that Jund has very little chance of ever beating it.


Anyway, that’s all for this week!  I hope that you have more of a handle on how Jund plays and where its weaknesses lie.  Join me next time when I start looking over the leaked Dominaria notes for any delicious modern cards! Spoiler alert:  There are a TON.  See you next week!

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