Today, I’m continuing my deck primer series. In these articles I discuss a deck archetype and talk about the best way to build it. I also give other card choices that you may want to use, whether it’s just personal preference or if your metagame calls for them.

Feel free to check out my other primers:

Gifts Tron | Melira Company

Today I’m going to be talking about Jund.

What is Jund? Sideboard Choices
The Core of the Deck The Ideal Sideboard
Flex Spots Matchup Analysis

What is Jund?

The name ‘Jund’ is derived from the Jund Shard from the plane of Alara. This shard contained only red, black and green mana, which are the colors of the Jund deck.

Ever since the creation of Modern and the Jund Midrange that we all know and love, the word ‘Jund’ in Modern has been synonymous with only one deck:

Jund is commonly referred to as the ‘Best Deck’ in modern. This isn’t to say that Jund always wins, it just means that the cards in the Jund deck are objectively better and individually more powerful than cards in other decks.

In fact, two cards from the Jund core, Bloodbraid Elf and Deathrite Shaman were previously banned for being too powerful, but the Jund lives on.

At its core, Jund’s strategy is to dismantle the opponent’s strategy.

It does this by trading 1-for-1 with cards like Thoughtseize and Abrupt Decay. At the same time, the aforementioned discard alongside The Queen of Jund empties the opponent’s hand until both decks are in topdeck mode.

Dark Confidant allows Jund to stay ahead on cards.

Jund performs best when both decks are in topdeck mode. Tarmogoyf will always outclass a lone Thalia or Young Pyromancer. Cards like these work best in decks that support them, but all of Jund’s cards are chosen based on their ability to perform alone.

One of the greatest things about Jund is it can be adapted to do well in any metagame.

The Core of the Deck

The Creatures

Tarmogoyf, being the largest 2 drop creature in the game, allows Jund to be fast enough to compete with unfair decks and hyper aggressive decks like Affinity, Burn, and Zoo.

The Goyf is also resilient to Lightning Bolt, which is a huge advantage versus a lot of decks. In fact, if there are two card types in the graveyard, and one of them isn’t an instant, you can safely cast Tarmogoyf against a Lightning Bolt deck. He’ll be a ⅔ and when lightning bolt resolves, he’ll grow to a ¾ as a state-based action before he has a chance to die from the damage.

To top things off, Jund is just the best Tarmogoyf deck. Jund employs instants, sorceries, creatures, planeswalkers, and fetchlands, which means the average Jund Goyf is a 5/6.

Run 4.

The second most powerful creature in the deck, Scavenging Ooze is great against the majority of the field in modern.

Against aggro, it has plenty of food to grow and gain you life.

Against control, it can eat their graveyard and keep them from casting Delve Spells and invalidate Snapcaster Mage.

Against other BGx Midrange decks, it is a great topdeck, can fight Lingering Souls and Kitchen Finks, and can shrink Tarmogoyfs.

Also, most combo decks are grave-based and it hates on that as well.

Run 2-3.

Also referred to as “Bob”, Dark Confidant is the most powerful source of card advantage in modern.

He can attack and block, which is really great when you need to be aggressive or are feeling the pressure.

Your opponent must kill Dark Confidant or die. The card advantage he creates will literally kill them.

Bob comes with the tradeoff of having to build your deck with a lower curve. Luckily, Tarmogoyf is as powerful as some four drops.

In Jund, ‘Lower Curve’ doesn’t mean ‘Less Powerful.’

Run 4.

Kalitas is a new card, but I feel like the overwhelmingly positive reviews I’ve read about him, along with my own experiences, mandate him a spot in the ‘Core’ section.

First of all, a ¾ is larger than most of the other 4 drop options that suit Jund’s Play style.

Second, his exiling ability shuts off Melira Company and he adds a free 2/2 zombie to all your removal spells, and his lifelink is extremely helpful in many matchups.

His exile ability also helps in random matchups like Tron, where he keeps Wurmcoil halves from spawning.

Run 1-2.

The Planeswalkers

After Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Wizards got it right with this one. Any more powerful, and she would be broken at just three mana.

Her -2 is good against most aggro and midrange decks, her +1 is great against control and combo, and her -6 is pretty much victory against anything.

A planewalker this efficient and flexible is exactly what Jund wants, and she goes right along with the plan of putting both decks into topdeck mode.

Run 4.

The Spells

Many players like to do a 4/2 split on Inquisition/Thoughtseize, but I personally prefer a 3/3 split. I also like 1-2 discard in the side in the form of more Thoughtseize or Duress.

These allow you to trade 1-for-1 with your opponent in the early game, strip troublesome cards from their hand, punch holes in a control deck’s defense, and dismantle an opposing combo.

Run 6 Maindeck, possibly 1-2 in Sideboard.

One of the most powerful (and versatile) removal spells in the game, this is yet another reason to play black and green in your deck (as if you needed more reason).

Can’t be countered and hits the majority of creatures in modern, along with many enchantments, artifacts, and planeswalkers.

Great spell at just two mana.

Run 2-3.

A truly versatile spell, it has 4 modes:

Shock | Shatter | Raven’s Crime | Disentomb

All of these are mediocre, but put two of them together at instant speed and you got one powerful card.

Here’s a few tricks and tips for using it:

Run 1-2, personally I like 2 main as it allows me to run, less Affinity hate in the sideboard.

I shouldn’t have to tell you why this card is good.

For just one mana, you can kill the majority of creatures in modern, finish off a planeswalker, or, if drawn late, possibly finish the game.

Run 4.

This card is fairly hard to evaluate, but most Jund pilots agree, it’s a necessary evil.

On one hand, it’s great. It kills every single token from Young Pyromancer, Wurmcoil Engine, and Lingering Souls, against aggro it can be a two-for-one fairly often, and it can kill any permanent regardless of mana cost.

On the other hand, it’s slow, can be countered and costs more than Abrupt Decay.

Overall, this card is great to have in your deck for those scenarios when it’s really good.

Run 1-2.

The best unconditional removal in these colors. Regeneration comes up from time to time.

Run 2-3.

Lands

Manlands are an integral part of Jund’s strategy and most often, you will close out the game with this one.

One of the best manlands in modern, it can deal 15 damage in just three turns if unanswered.

Manlands improve the matchup versus control, because they can’t counter them.

It’s worth noting that your opponent can Bolt Ravine in response to the first activation, killing it, but once it becomes a 4/4 or larger, it’s much harder to kill.

Run 3-4.

This is the best land in the deck.

It allows a painless turn one Inquisition or Lightning Bolt, which are your turn 1 plays and having the ability to take no damage without losing tempo is invaluable.

Run 4.

This fetch gets both of the basic land types in the deck, which is very important for dealing with Blood Moon, something Jund is weak against.

Run 4.

These are your other choices of fetch lands.

Run 3-5 of the above, depending on your specific build’s mana requirements.

Shocklands are your bread and butter lands.

Run 3-5 of these.

Flex Spots

Most players agree that there are four flex spots in the maindeck for Jund.

In my deck above, the flex spots are: Kolaghan’s Command #2, Abrupt Decay #3, Scavenging Ooze #3 and many players consider the fourth Liliana a flex.

Creatures

Not a creature, per se, but close enough.

In the past, this card was very good, when modern was dominated by Abzan Midrange and Splinter Twin, but nowadays, I don’t like this card.

It seems extremely powerful, but the decks you might want to use it against-Grixis, Jund, and Jeskai-all have access to maindeck artifact destruction.

Run 0-1.

Many players said this was the new Bloodbraid Elf-Spoiler alert: It isn’t.

I like what it tries to do, but the majority of the time, it either hits a land (Which is ok) or it hits a card you can’t play that turn.

The best way to use the card is to wait until after turn 5, or later, and by that stage of the game, you just have more powerful things to do.

I have seen streamlined versions of Jund with no 4 drops, that instead use this card, but those variants aren’t as good in my opinion.

Run 0-2.

This card is all about conserving your life total.

Four toughness makes it an excellent blocker against aggro, and it’s hard to kill for Lightning Bolt decks.

Also, when you play a land, you gain a life.

You can handle its ability one of two ways: You can play lands earlier than you would normally draw them, which allows you to dig faster with Dark Confidant, or you can keep the land on top so you’ll always get a land off your Bob trigger.

Another reason to play this is that it gives you an enchantment maindeck, which grows the Goyf.

Run 0-1.

Jund master Reid Duke loves this card and rarely leaves home without one in the maindeck.

The card is good, but I dislike how it can compete with your own Scavenging Ooze, shrink Tarmogoyf, and increase your vulnerability to graveyard hate.

Overall, though, he’s nice to win Goyf wars, can combine with other damage to kill creatures, locks down Infect hard, and can contribute to a lot of burn damage over the course of a grindy game.

Run 0-1.

Huntmaster is great against control, aggro, burn, and Midrange mirrors.

For this reason, many players like it alongside Kalitas as their curve toppers.

At worst case, he gets Bolted immediately and he’s a 2/2 wolf plus 2 life, which is good for the cost.

Best case, he brings a 2/2 friend, gains 2 life, flips, dealing 2 damage to the opponent and possibly killing a creature, then Ravager of the Fells and his friend come crashing in for 6 more damage.

Many opponents will feel pressure to keep him from flipping, because it benefits you each time, and this has the side effect of them making bad plays from time to time.

Very strong choice.

Run 1-2.

Very strong maindeck or sideboard choice. This card is good in almost every matchup.

It has to die twice to be gone, which means it takes a combination of a two removal spells, and/or combat steps to get rid of it. Unless the opponent has Path to Exile, in which case they’re gone for good the first time.

All the while, they gain you life.

Very powerful card.

Run 0-2 maindeck or 1-3 sideboard.

Years ago, Olivia was a Jund staple, but today she’s mostly relegated to sideboard in all but the most aggro dominated metas.

Her ability to machine gun creatures makes her very powerful in aggro matchups, especially Infect, where she can basically Terminate all their creatures in response to pump effects.

In the right matchups, she steals the game.

Unless your meta is all aggro, run 1 in the side.

This card was a Jund staple from the time of his printing until Kalitas was printed.

Tasigur is very powerful with his ability to generate card advantage, and he can be cast for as little as one mana.

He’s also a supplementary Tarmogoyf, which is great, but the fact is, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is just better.

Run 0-1.

Thrun is a great card that interactive decks like control and midrange have a really hard time overcoming.

He can crash in for 4 every turn and even if he gets blocked by a Tarmogoyf or Celestial Colonnade, he can be regenerated for just 2 mana.

Unless your meta is dominated by control and midrange, keep him in the side.

Run 0-1 in the side.

Spells

Personally, I like this as my Terminate #3, it allows instant value off of Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, it helps lessen the damage from Bob, and it’s awesome to create some blowout situations when you’re tapped out and the opponent does something risky.

This also kills Master of Waves, which Jund struggles with.

Run 0-1.

This is basically Lightning Bolt #5, and many players are choosing to run this card for instant value off of Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, just like Slaughter Pact.

This also gives you an enchantment in your maindeck, which increases your Tarmogoyf’s maximum size.

Many players are expecting to see a rise of infect and other aggro as a way to try and metagame the rise of blue decks as a result of the recent B&R announcements and this card is very good against those decks as well.

Run 0-2.

Good as a replacement for a Terminate in a planeswalker-heavy meta, such as one full of Nahiri, the Harbinger, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and Jace, Telepath Unbound.

Run 0-1.

Terminate is generally better than this, but if Master of Waves is wrecking your day, you might want to run this card.

It’s really nice in that it can be cast off 1 mana, even if Spreading Seas is constricting your mana base.

Run 0-2.

In the past, some Jund pilots have elected to run this card maindeck.

Personally, I’m not a fan of that configuration, but if the majority of your matchups are aggro, this could help improve your odds against them in game one.

For your average meta, it’s better in the side.

Run 1-2, main or side, depending on meta.

Planeswalkers

Chandra is a versatile card that has uses against control/midrange and aggro.

Versus aggro, you most often want to use her to kill small creatures or keep them from blocking while you put the nail in the coffin.

Against control or midrange, she’s great at generating card advantage and your opponent will be forced to devote resources to removing her.

Her ultimate is for the most part useless in this deck.

Run 0-1 in the side.

I see Ob as a better, more expensive Chandra.

First of all, drawing a card and losing one life is generally better than exiling a card that can only be played this turn.

Ob can also kill creatures of any size (or color) and his ultimate puts a quick clock on the opponent if you manage to get it off.

Many players see Arlinn as a more versatile Huntmaster of the Fells that’s easier to flip.

The only downside is that both of her +1 abilities require a creature to be on the field, which makes her not the greatest topdeck if your field is empty.

Worst case scenario, you create wolf tokens and bolt things until she dies, which equates to 3 2/2’s and 3 Lightning Bolts as long as she isn’t damaged along the way.

Fairly solid choice, run 0-1.

Lands

These are flex lands, if you choose to run them, do so in place of Forest #2 or Fetch land #9.

Sideboard Choices

Creatures

This is one of my favorite cards, I bring it in almost every matchup just because it’s so versatile. If I had room, I might run some maindeck. In fact, Brad Nelson does this a lot of the time.

Basically, if your opponent has manlands that you’re afraid of, bring in Fuliminator.

If your opponent has a greedy manabase, and/or greedy spells, bring it in

Obviously, if your opponent is doing unfair things with land, I.E. Scapeshift or Tron, bring it in.

Useful against control for manlands and Cryptic Command, tron for tron lands, Scapeshift to keep them from ramping, Infect for Inkmoth Nexus, etc.

Run 2-4.

Great hate for control, unless your meta is full of it, relegate this to sideboard.

Run 0-1.

This card is primarily used for its life gain. It can help you stay ahead of Burn and Scapeshift.

Also, it’s useful for Liliana hate.

If you have need for Jund/Abzan hate and burn hate, this card is good.

0-2.

As mentioned above, this is a great card for aggro decks.

Completely takes over the game.

Run 1.

As said above, this card is great.

If you want more burn hate, or midrange hate, more copies can perform quite well.

Run 0-2.

Spells

Primarily Affinity hate, but this card is great against Lantern Control, Thopter Foundry and many others.

Run 1-2.

Shatterstorm is clearly the best card here, but with 2-3 Abrupt Decay, 4 Lightning Bolt, 1-2 Kolaghan’s Command, and at least 1 Ancient Grudge, I don’t think these are needed unless Affinity is wrecking your meta. .

If you can cast a card like Fracturing Gust against affinity (where you really want it), you’d do fine without it. It’s a very slow card against a deck that kills turn 3-4.

Run 0-1.

EE is a great, versatile answer for a variety of threats.

Set to 0 to kill tokens (even random large tokens like angels), set to 1 or 0 to kill most of affinity, set to 1 to kill most of zoo, and set to 2 to nuke the boards of both merfolk and elves.

Run 0-1.

This is a great toolbox card.

It represents Pyroclasm, Tormod’s Crypt or a pseudo-Dragonscale Boon, all at instant speed..

Overall, very versatile and useful in many matchups.

If you have the need for a board wipe, but also want to cover graveyard hate and could use another card in midrange mirrors, this is your answer.

Run 0-2.

Another great toolbox spell.

This one represents Regenerate, which is sometimes useful for control, Allay, or Nausea, all at instant speed.

Personally, I like this better than Jund Charm, because I have enough sweepers and graveyard hate.

I feel like the modes covered by this spell are more relevant than those covered by Jund Charm.

Run 0-2.

Enchantment hate that is really only needed if Keranos, God of Storms is prevalent in your meta. Otherwise, something like Golgari Charm is good enough enchantment hate.

Run 0-1.

Great option if something like Hexproof Bogles is wrecking your day.

Otherwise, not needed.

Run 0-1.

One of the best cards against burn. Be careful of Skullcrack effects and only try to gain the 10 life if there’s no risk of immediate death.

Jund actually has the creatures to trigger ferocious, so it’s a very good card in this deck.

Run 0-2, depending on your other burn hate.

As I said above, this is definitely a good card for sideboard.

It also exiles, which can be very relevant against Melira Company.

Run 1-2.

Languish is pretty much a budget option.

If you have the means, Damnation is what you should run.

Helps put the nail in the coffin versus aggro and midrange.

Run 1-2.

Many decks are vulnerable to this.

For instance, Infect and Affinity get locked out of the game if you get the chance to cast this.

Run 0-1.

Best graveyard hate available.

This card is absurdly powerful, and is especially good against grixis.

Blue decks like Grixis can hardly deal with Leyline and it is best when played on turn zero.

If you run this, you need 2-3 to make sure you can see it in your opening hand as often as you can.

Run 0-3.

Many players like 7-8 total discard in their 75 for control and combo decks.

Depending on your maindeck configuration, you may want a third Thoughtseize (Or Fourth), or you may like Duress better because it’s painless.

Run 1-2.

These cards are narrow combo hate, but if combo is prevalent enough, it may call for these answers.

If you run either of these (Or both), you need to be aware of what cards to get rid of versus the decks where it matters.

Also, you need to be prepared for their plan B.

For that reason, many players dislike these, since the combo decks have a backup plan that they can still use to win.

This one does Shatter, Tormod’s Crypt, and your opponent’s creatures all Blisterstick Shaman on them.

I like this one, but I think Jund Charm is the better graveyard hate toolbox spell. The Shatter mode is not as good as Ancient Grudge and the Blisterstick mode isn’t terribly useful.

Run 0-1.

Out of these, I like Nihil Spellbomb the best, for the cantrip.

The others are all good, but I think in the matchups where you want this type of effect, the cantrip really helps.

Run 0-2.

These cards you need to keep up with Control and Midrange decks.

Normally I would say that Outpost Siege is the best, since it can dodge Abrupt Decay, but with the rise of Nahiri, the Harbinger, I’d say we might want to use Painful Truths instead.

Run 1-2 of some configuration of the above cards.

The Ideal Sideboard

A Jund sideboard needs to cover many different bases. In my opinion, a good sideboard has the following:

  • 2-3 Sweeper/Board wipes
  • 1-2 Affinity hate (At least 1 Ancient Grudge)
  • 2-4 Land Destruction
  • 1 Olivia Voldaren (Unless aggro is an abysmal portion of your meta)
  • 1 Night of Souls’ Betrayal
  • 2-3 Control hate (Discard, Resilient Threats, Card Advantage)
  • 2-3 Midrange Hate (Resilient Threats, Card Advantage)
  • 2-3 Combo Hate (Discard, Graveyard Hate)

This is a lot to cover, luckily many cards can cover multiple bases.

Matchup Analysis

I will be using my list for sideboarding. Obviously, if your list is slightly different, your choices may differ but you should have a general idea for how to approach each matchup.

I will also be breaking down my boarding out choices, as I feel like many players know what to board in, but not what to board out.

Grixis Control

Even Matchup

Grixis is basically the anti-Jund in terms of grinding. They can do it well, but the thing that hurts them in many matchups is the lack of Abrupt Decay. Their card advantage engines can be hard for us to overcome.

Sideboarding

In Out
3 Fulminator Mage 3 Abrupt Decay
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited 1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Thrun, the Last Troll 2 Thoughtseize
1 Kitchen Finks 1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Surgical Extraction  

Treat this like similar to the mirror. It’s an attrition war, and the one with the last threat standing wins, so bring in all your resilient threats you have, and board out some of your discard. Kalitas and Abrupt Decay do very little in this matchup.

Ob Nixilis Reignited is great to try and keep up with their card draw and it’s difficult for them to overcome. Also, if you manage to ultimate him, you’re very likely to win.

Personally, I like Surgical Extraction targeting Snapcaster Mage, it severely neuters the deck and stops some of their most powerful plays.

Jeskai Control

Slightly Unfavorable

Jeskai Control used to be slightly favorable for us, but the recent Ancestral Vision unbanning has shifted things slightly in their favor, and now they are running 4 Nahiri, the Harbinger and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn as a win con.

Sideboarding

In Out
3 Fulminator Mage 3 Abrupt Decay
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited 1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Thrun, the Last Troll 2 Lightning Bolt
1 Slaughter Games 1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Surgical Extraction  

Boarding out: Abrupt Decay and Kalitas are bad here for the same reasons as versus Grixis. Lightning Bolt has very few targets, but since it can be used to win the game, I leave some in. I also board out 1 Inquisition of Kozilek for Slaughter Games. You may prefer to board out more Bolts.

Fulminator Mage is great against Celestial Colonnade and keeps them off Cryptic Command. I used to run Outpost Siege, but Nahiri can easily answer that-I switched to Ob for card advantage. Thrun is almost impossible for them to overcome. I also like Slaughter Games targeting Nahiri and Surgical Extraction targeting Snapcaster has been very effective for me.

Infect

Favorable Matchup

All your removal is live here and your discard is very good as well. The main threat is surprise pumps, they like to use Vines of Vastwood to invalidate your removal, so remove something after combat damage. Keep hands with discard, removal and Liliana and you should do fine.

Sideboarding

In Out
3 Fulminator Mage 1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Olivia Voldaren 3 Scavenging Ooze
1 Night of Souls’ Betrayal 1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Damnation 1 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Anger of the Gods 2 Tarmogoyf
1 Golgari Charm 2 Lightning Bolt
1 Ancient Grudge  

Boarding Out: Maelstrom Pulse is just too slow for this match. You want as much instant speed as you can get. Ooze and Kalitas do nothing here, you definitely want to be in control here and life totals don’t matter. Huntmaster can perform reasonably well, but Olivia Voldaren is much better here. Tarmogoyfs come out because like I said, you’re the control player in this matchup and I like to bring in as many cards as I can to hurt Infect. Some Bolts come out because their numerous pump effects make Bolts less good and I feel like the cards we’re boarding in are better in this matchup.

Most of these choices are straightforward. It’s all removal. Ancient Grudge is useful if they have Spellskite and Night of Souls’ Betrayal completely locks them out of the game. Fulminator Mage is for Inkmoth Nexus, which is a huge threat.

Burn

Slightly Favorable

Jund has quite a bit of life gain, which is burn’s Achilles Heel. The trick is to play conservatively, draw the right cards and minimise the damage you do to yourself.

Sideboarding

In Out
1 Anger of the Gods 3 Thoughtseize
1 Damnation 2 Dark Confidant
1 Golgari Charml  
1 Kitchen Finks  
1 Surgical Extraction  

Boarding out: Obviously, you want to remove these cards that hurt you, fairly straightforward.

Fetch your lands conservatively, don’t shock unless you need to, and possibly get basics if you can.

I like Extraction to target a burn spell, which takes about ¼ of their possible spell damage they can do. Also, Golgari Charm is for the eventual Leyline of Sanctity that they will try and play against you. Prioritize Inquisition of Kozilek as often as possible and Duress is also a very good card here.

Merfolk

Slightly Unfavorable

Aside from Tron, this might be your hardest matchup.

Basically, Kira, Great Glass-Spinner is great against you, as is Spreading Seas and Master of Waves.

Sideboarding

In Out
1 Anger of the Gods 2 Kolaghan’s Command
1 Damnation 2 Liliana of the Veil
1 Golgari Charm  
1 Engineered Explosives  

Boarding out: I like Liliana in this matchup, but she gets weaker later in the game. Hand disruption is great against them, but when they flood the field, the Queen of Jund becomes pretty useless. Also, K Command is good, but few creatures have two toughness once they get rolling with a few lords and they side out Aether Vial versus us, so there’s no artifacts to destroy postboard.

Anger and Damnation are fairly straightforward. Engineered Explosives set to 2 kills almost every lord and Spreading Seas. Golgari Charm can also kill all the Master of Waves tokens and if the master has no lords, he’ll die as well.

Be sure to remember that Abrupt Decay can get through Kira, Great Glass-Spinner’s ability.

Melira Company

Favorable Matchup

Jund has the tools to easily dismantle their combo. As long as you play to those strengths, you should be fine.

Sideboarding

In Out
3 Fulminator Mage 2 Lightning Bolt
1 Damnation 1 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Anger of the Gods 2 Liliana of the Veil
1 Olivia Voldaren 1 Inquisition of Kozilek

Boarding Out: None of our removal is particularly great against this deck, but after a few Gavony Township activations, Bolt becomes the worst. Huntmaster of the Fells | Ravager of the Fells doesn’t do a large amount either. Hand disruption can be good and we especially want to keep in Thoughtseize to maximise the chance to plucking a Collected Company or Chord of Calling.

Fulminator Mage is for the aforementioned Gavony Township, which is usually their plan against us since they can’t reliably combo. Damnation is nice, but Anger of the Gods is even better since it exiles and stops their persist combo. Olivia is also really nice to kill their creatures.

If you have additional graveyard hate, bring that. Scavenging Ooze is great, stopping their combo while growing larger. Kalitas is the real MVP here, as they have no way to deal with him and he just stops their combo in its tracks. Some builds of Melira Company have Path to Exile in the sideboard, so watch for that.

Affinity

Favorable Matchup

Your removal is all live here and Kolaghan’s Command can 2-for-1, hitting 2 creatures. Bring in more removal and play things safe.

Sideboarding

In Out
1 Ancient Grudge 3 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Damnation 3 Thoughtseize
1 Anger of the Gods l 4 Liliana of the Veil
1 Olivia Voldaren  
1 Golgari Charm  
1 Night of Souls’ Betrayal  
1 Engineered Explosives  
3 Fulminator Mage  

Boarding out: Basically this deck vomits its entire hand turn 1-2 and discard is pretty dead against them.

So I bring in anything that I think might be more useful against them. The board wipes all hurt affinity massively, and Engineered Explosives can do massive damage while set to 0, 1, or 2. Olivia is great here, and Golgari Charm can kill many of their creatures. If you get the chance to play Night of Souls’ Betrayal, it pretty much locks most of their creatures out of the game.

Tron

Unfavorable Matchup

Tron does one of the few things that Jund can’t adapt well to beat: go bigger. You want as much hand disruption here, plus land destruction. This match also calls for some luck, you need them to get a bad draw to really have a good chance.

Sideboarding

In Out  
3 Fulminator Mage 3 Abrupt Decay  
1 Slaughter Games 4 Lightning Bolt  
1 Surgical Extraction 1 Huntmaster of the Fells  
1 Olivia Voldaren    
1 Ancient Grudge    
1 Golgari Charm    

Boarding out: This removal is pretty much useless here and Huntmaster is just too slow.

Fulminator Mage will help you win this one. Recur with Kolaghan’s Command whenever you can and never stop putting pressure on them.

Slaughter Games can call out Ugin, Karn, or Wurmcoil Engine, but this won’t be enough. You have to stutter them and put a quick clock on them to win. Golgari Charm can save your creatures from Oblivion Stones and Ancient Grudge can be useful to kill Wurmcoil Engine. Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet puts an exile on your Terminate for Wurmcoil Engine as well.

Surgical Extraction is a pseudo-Crumble to Dust in this matchup.

Finally, I only mention Olivia Voldaren because I’ve seen players have just enough mana to steal an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.

Scapeshift

Even Matchup

When you’re up against this combo-control deck, you need hand disruption, land destruction, and combo hate.

Sideboarding

In Out
3 Fulminator Mage 1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Slaughter Games 3 Abrupt Decay
1 Surgical Extraction 2 Lightning Bolt
1 Thrun, the Last Troll 1 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited  

Boarding out: Kalitas does nothing here, like all control matchups. The same could be said for Abrupt Decay and Lightning Bolt. Also, I took out Huntmaster of the Fells to make room for the 4 and 5 drops that I brought in.

First priority, keep them from ramping as much as possible. When you can use Fulminator to keep them off double green (For Scapeshift) and triple blue (for Cryptic Command)

Slaughter Games and Surgical Extraction can keep from off their combo and also from other key cards they need to beat you such as Cryptic Command or Primeval Titan.

Thrun presents a quick clock that they can’t interact with and Ob Nixilis Reignited helps you keep up with their card draw and his ult punishes them for drawing.

Also, be careful with your Lilianas. This is the best card against them, but they will bring in 2-3 Obstinate Baloth postboard.

Jund

Even Matchup

In this matchup, whoever has the last threat standing wins. You need resilient threats, card advantage, and you need to board out discard.

Sideboarding

In Out
3 Fulminator Mage 3 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Damnation 3 Thoughtseize
1 Thrun, the Last Troll l 2 Liliana of the Veil
1 Olivia Voldaren  
1 Kitchen Finks  
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited  

Boarding out: the game will spiral into a topdeck war and the person who draws one or two discard spells will likely lose. Liliana of the Veil is great, especially early game. She’s not something I want to see many of, as I want as many threats as possible and late game she’s less useful.

As you should know, Jund is very vulnerable to land destruction. Most of our spells require colored mana and very little generic mana. Damnation is also great to stabilize.

Other than that, everything is a huge threat that must be answered, or else you’ll win the game. Olivia and Thrun, the Last Troll can each take over the game if not answered in a few turns. Kitchen Finks helps you stay in the game and helps run the opponent out of removal.

Ob Nixilis Reignited is great here, as he draws cards and removes threats.

Abzan

Slightly Unfavorable

This matchup is almost exactly like the Jund mirror, except Siege Rhino and Lingering Souls are pretty hard for us to overcome.

Sideboarding

In Out
3 Fulminator Mage 3 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Damnation 3 Thoughtseize
1 Thrun, the Last Troll l 4 Liliana of the Veil
1 Olivia Voldaren  
1 Kitchen Finks  
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited  
1 Night of Souls’ Betrayal  
1 Golgari Charm  

Boarding out: This is the same as in the Jund Mirror, except Liliana is a bit worse in my opinion. Some Abzan decks run Loxodon Smiter or Obstinate Baloth in the sideboard they can also pitch Lingering Souls with little downside.

Treat this exactly like the Jund mirror, but try and hold on to your small removal spells and watch out for Siege Rhinos. Use your Night of Souls’ Betrayal to shut off Lingering Souls, this can only be answered by their few Maelstrom Pulses.

Golgari Charm can also kill their spirit tokens.

Wrap up

Well, this was the longest article I’ve ever written. I have a lot to say about Jund apparently (It’s my favorite, who knew?)

If you made it to the end, I congratulate you and I promise I’ll try not to write this much next week!

Hope to see you again, thanks for reading!

A photo of Cody Revels Cody Revels

Cody Revels is an IT Professional who enjoys playing Magic in his spare time. He’s a competitive player who has enjoyed relative success at a local level and hopes to attend a Pro Tour one day. His favorite thing about Magic is the Modern Format and the friends he’s made.