VIDEO: The History of Modern Jund


Want to know how Jund has changed over the past ten years? In this video, HarryMTG breaks down every Modern Pro Tour where Jund has played a relevant role in the metagame. Follow the evolution of this beloved archetype from Lightning Bolt to Fatal Push, from Dark Confidant to Kroxa.

Time StampTranscript
0:00 Hey everyone! I am HarryMTG. I am up with Cardmarket's YouTube channel. Today we are going to be discussing the history of Modern Jund. In this series, we look at every single Modern Pro Tour that has happened over the past 10 years, and we discuss all the decklists in these events. As always, if you do like type of content, please like, subscribe, and drop a comment as it really supports the channel. We should start this by going back a few years. This whole story begins back in 2012 at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica. In this event, Jund was quite a popular deck, with three getting into the top eight. If we look at one of the Jund decklists in the top eight by Willy Edel, one thing you will notice about this list is that the spells are very inefficient. I am talking about the non-creature spells. Willy is playing cards like Jund Charm, and Dismember. All these cards are very uncommon to see in a Jund list nowadays, and looking at this list you can see there are no Liliana of the Veil even though it was legal at this time – which is very surprising. We have cards like Kitchen Finks, and Thrun, the Last Troll – cards that are very uncommon nowadays – that Willy was playing to tackle decks like Burn or the Jund mirror in the format.
1:08 One thing that is also good to look at in this progression line is the mana base. Looking at the mana base we can see so many taplands two Raging Ravine, four Treetop Village. We can see that they could really afford to play taplands back in that old Modern metagame. Moving a year down the line, Bloodbraid Elf is banned. Sadly, with Jund winning too many GPs, they decided to ban Bloodbraid Elf as it was giving Jund too high of a win percentage in the format. This leads on to 2014, Pro Tour Born of the Gods. With Bloodbraid Elf banned, there were literally zero Jund decks in the top eight, and I also could not find one Jund list in the event. This event is so old and the decklists are so few that I just could not find any Jund decks. That leads us on straight to February 2015 at Pro Tour Fate Reforged. Jund, still, cannot be found. It was so unpopular that the only midrange decks I could find close to Jund were people playing Abzan. The reason people were playing Abzan – you can see the list on the screen – is because of Path to Exile.
2:11 You needed a Path to Exile because Splinter Twin was still a deck at this time. You could not beat Splinter Twin because Jund did not have access to Fatal Push, and without that, people had to go to Abzan to play with Path. Not only that, Lingering Souls was very good against Twin. Also, Siege Rhino gave you a very good Burn matchup. Players used Liliana of the Veil and Abrupt Decay; thus, we are leaning towards more mana-efficient spells as well as permanent-based answers. Going into 2016, we have Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch. This is the same problem again. Jund is nowhere to be seen. With six Eldrazi decks at the top eight, and two Affinity, we can all agree why Jund was just not there. The only list I could find was this one – only 18 people brought Jund to day one – and that is specifically because it was horrible against Eldrazi or Affinity as well as Infect being a very popular deck at this tournament.
3:06 What is nice to see is Kolaghan's Command has been printed into Modern, people are using it as well as Tasigur, the Golden Fang, and many new sideboard cards like Anger of the Gods, Blood Moon or Painful Truths. Moving on from that terrible Pro Tour for Jund we have Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan. This is the first Pro Tour with Fatal Push printed. However, Jund is not popular. There is a different reason for Jund not being popular at this event; it is because Lantern Control was extremely popular. With that, and Jund being terrible at answering artifacts, Reid Duke decided to bring Abzan because of Stony Silence in the sideboard. We can also see new editions of Tireless Tracker, Grim Flayer, Liliana, the Last Hope. There are more mana-efficient spells being printed into these midrange strategies that allow us to replace the clunky old cards. Just because Reid Duke made top eight with Abzan does not mean it was played that much. It was only a 1.9 meta share on day one because there was so much Mardu Pyromancer, Grixis Shadow, and Jund shadow.
4:14 "Due to Fatal Push being printed, all these decks got a huge boost in popularity and power level; that is why people were leaning away from Jund. Shortly after Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan, we have the unbanning of Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf in February 2018 – the first big boost for Modern Jund. This leads on to the Pro Tour 25th Anniversary in August 2018. However, there still was not a lot of Jund or Abzan because of the discovery of Hollow One, again with Jund Shadow and Grixis Shadow getting huge boost from Fatal Push. The only list I could find is the one up on screen. It was extremely hard to even find one Jund list as these decklists could not really compete with Hollow One. At that time, it was extremely good at disrupting your hand and your game plan that Bloodbraid Elf was actually extremely slow in the format, and was not very good. Looking at a Pro Tour that actually had people playing Jund, it was Mythic Championship 2 in April 2019. "
5:06 Logan Nettles managed to play Jund to an 8-2 finish which was very impressive as – do not forget – this was the Arclight Phoenix-Dredge metagame. It was very hard to play a midrange strategy at this time because people were playing so many degenerate decks in the format. Logan tried to tackle this with four Nihil Spellbomb in the sideboard, three Scavenging Ooze in the main to specifically fight these decks. What is surprising about this decklist, though, is seeing two Fatal Push in the main. Two! You would be crazy to run that many in Modern right now. I am surprised that Logan has gone with that decision. He has started to cut down on the taplands, there are only three Raging Ravine whereas at the start of Jund we could see four Treetop Village, two Ravines. We have gone down to three taplands. After this Pro Tour, we have the biggest event on this timeline. In June 2019, Modern Horizons was printed. We all know one planeswalker that came out of this set that absolutely blew Jund over the top, and that is the printing of Wrenn and Six. What is interesting about this Modern Horizons set is the hidden card, Seasoned Pyromancer, a card that will not even be seen along this timeline until the very end.
6:18 This moves on into July 2019 of Mythic Championship 4, with one Jund deck in the top eight of the event. Do not forget, Modern Horizons did not just bring Wrenn and Six, it also brought Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. Being able to play Jund to a high skill-level at this time was very difficult, but looking at this decklist it is clearly built to beat Hogaak. There are three Scavenging Oozes in the mainboard, more Inquisition of Kozilek than Thoughtseize this time because all the Hogaak decks were playing mono one-drop spells. There are even less taplands, two Raging Ravines – we have gone down to even just two taplands – as well as this being the first time someone cut down on Dark Confidant; only two copies in the main. At this time, Jund is starting to become more mana efficient. Spells are very efficient and cheap.
7:07 This is the first Jund list that I would say is very powerful and very competitive. Wrenn and Six allowing the deck to just always hit its land drops is quite good, as well as the draw lands Nurturing Peatland, made it difficult for Jund to flood out while making it so it could operate on very few lands. Leading on from 2019, we have the printing of Lurrus of the Dream-Den. Companions are printed into the Modern format in April 2020 in the Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths set – probably one of the most detrimental meta games from the Modern format. This, literally, killed Jund. While people could play Jund with Wrenn and Six and Mishra's Bauble, it just was not powerful enough because all the power in Jund comes out of Bloodbraid Elf and Liliana of the Veil. This led people straight to B/R Aggro which is the closest deck you can get to Jund in the format at this time. While there were people playing Jund with the build I spoke about, it is rather difficult to find a decklist then because so many people were playing Rakdos midrange.
8:08 No one was making the top 32 of the Modern Challenge which is where I got this deck list. In this time though, we can see that Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath have been printed which is both, a buff and a nerf to Jund at the same time. Kroxa is – obviously – a nice addition to the Jund deck that many people adapted into their lists. Jund was not gone for long. In June 2020, companions were errated. Bye-bye companions. Lurrus was nerfed, Yorion, Sky Nomad was nerfed. Jund could come back. This brings us to Jund today. Where is Jund now? It looks pretty similar to what it looked like before Lurrus was printed. The spells are still very mana efficient; players are still casting very powerful planeswalkers either Wrenn and Six or Liliana of the Veil. Bloodbraid Elf is around, which lets Jund be a top tier deck in the format; but, why do not we compare Jund to what it looked like at the beginning? First off, there are far less taplands. We went from two Raging Ravine and four Treetop Village down to two Ravines.
9:04 Not only that, the addition of planeswalkers; many planeswalkers have been added and removed from the deck. People started playing Liliana, the Last Hope, then, it disappeared and came back in order to be gone again. Dark Confidant has been completely removed from the list. A staple back in 2012 is draft chaff in 2020. The removal is more diverse, we have Kolaghan's Command, Fatal Pushes, Lightning Bolt whereas back in the day we had Dismember, Abrupt Decay and Bolt. This is the same for the sideboard where it is more mana efficient. Players are running cheaper, more efficient cards that do more things in more match-ups, for example Ashiok, Dream Render, Boil, or Choke, and more cards that disrupt our opponents for a lower amount of mana. That was the history of Modern Jund. Did you enjoy this video? Then, please do not forget to like, subscribe, and drop a comment. That does support the channel. I have been HarryMTG. This has been Cardmarket's YouTube channel and I will see you guys in the next one.

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