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Compulsive Research: The Old Apartment

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern

Compulsive Research 700x235

This about sums up my feelings going into this week’s stream

On my list of decks which I am looking to settle on for GP Boston, one of the more prominent forerunners is of course, Jund. Fans of the stream know that I have a lot of history with various iterations of the deck, from Duke’s Punishing Fire/Liliana combo, to Bloodbraid Elf cascading into Liliana of the Veil on turn 3 thanks to a Deathrite Shaman activation. You should also know that I went into a deep dark place right around the time of the most recent bannings in Modern, what with Deathrite Shaman being banned and all. It seemed initially like the deck was destined for mediocrity in the wake of the final banning nail in the coffin for Jund. At Pro Tour Born of the Gods however, our faith was restored by none other than the Master himself, Willy Edel. Willy went back to the basics with the new take on Jund, and it’s positioning as the “true control deck of the format.” Willy took the extra slots available now that the splash colors and mana accelerants were no longer available, and added main deck copies of Anger of the Gods in order to combat the Birthing Pod and Affinity Menaces, and then added some copies of Courser of Kruphix. Courser was a body with 4 toughness, who allowed you to look at the top card of the deck, leaving it to be manipulated by a number of the other card advantage engines in the deck, all of which interact favorably with the top of the deck. Not dying to a Lightning Bolt or Helix, and surviving Anger of the Gods would come to be very valuable in the tournament, and earned it a slot in the 75 of most of the Jund lists still played today.

Jund was mostly quiet for GP Richmond, but found it’s way deep into the top 16 of GP Minneapolis, once by Willy Edel himself, but again in the hands of my guest this week, GP Minneapolis runner up (and fellow Canadian), Andrew Huska. Andrew and Willy had very similar lists, and for the purpose of this stream, I opted to try to take some of the best elements of both in the quest for the perfect Jund list. Here is what we ended up running.

We discuss most of the deck choices and strategies up front of the video, up until just past the 30 minute mark. Andrew does a great job of going over the reasoning behind the choices for the cards, and some strategy regarding game play. The battles come fast and furious after that, so check them all out here!!

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I hear going 4-1 with a deck is pretty good… Oh… and that BOW!!

I was very happy with the deck. It played out in a very familiar way to old Jund. This should be of no surprise really, since so few of the cards have changed. There is something that Jund has now though, that it never really had before; a way to come back from behind in the creature matches. Anger of the Gods is a game changer for me. Pod and Affinity were traditionally not too favorable for Jund in Game one, and often it was wiser to concede to grind more time for games 2 and 3 in hopes that you find one of your infinite sideboard cards to help swing the match in your favor. Anger of the Gods gives us a great reset button against the two aforementioned decks, and in some cases, any simple threat which you resolve after casting it will decidedly win you some game ones in this case. I honestly feel that Jund is one of the best decks against combo and twin in modern right now, and being able to pick up some major points against pod and other more aggressive strategies is a huge leg up over the way it used to be. This still being said, Courser of Kruphix is perpetually only “fine”. It really just does nothing except survive some popular removal, but I guess it could be that the Courser is not the hero we want right now, but it’s possible it’s the one we need. To that end, I took a slightly modified version of the deck with me to Niagara Falls this weekend to battle a bunch of Modern and Standard gunslinging. One of the cards that has been on some radars is Prophetic Flamespeaker. I have been personally curious about the card since it showed up in a 4-0 version of Jund on MTGO, and when Gerry T posted this on SCG, I knew I had to try it out.

Playing Flamespeaker means that Anger moves to the Sideboard, but it could be Dark Confidants 5 through 7, so it was worth a shot. After battling most of Saturday with it, I have only to say that I’m not impressed. In order for Flamespeaker to earn the slot, I feel like it needs to be good enough to stand by itself. In a metagame where Lightning Bolt and Snapcaster Mage are two of the most highly played cards, Flamespeaker was not the card I wanted it to be. It ate removal, but I want more out of my 3 drop than 1RR: Target Opponent discards Lightning Bolt. Having and relying on the ⅓ also takes Anger out of the deck, which causes us to lose more points against the decks which we are already quite soft to. The effect can be very powerful, but at present, it’s not where I want to be.

I do feel that at current, I would like another piece of Graveyard hate in the deck. Some lists are running Grafdigger’s Cage, but it’s entirely possible that the Ancient Grudge could just be a second Rakdos Charm as it would accomplish both effects which I want out of that slot. Time will tell. I have a GPT coming up soon, so I have to decide on a deck quite soon. This one feels very very good, but there are still a couple I want to test.

One of these is of course, still Zoo. It was where I was after banning announcements, and I have generally been happy with all of the non twin matchups that it possesses. In order to really get the right feel for the deck, I of course enlisted an expert to help with the decision. This time it is none other than the Dragonmaster himself, Brian Kibler.

Come tune into the stream tonight as we listen to Brian talk about his current build of Zoo, and why it might be the right fit for you this PTQ season!!

Thanks to everyone that is giving me their support with nominations to the Community Cup. I sincerely hope that your support is enough to help the decision makers choose me as one of the team this year.

See you soon!

Monday 930PM EST

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