Hey, Good Grief Gamers, my name is Michael Kidd and this is my first article for Good Grief Games. Last weekend I piloted Jund at SCG’s Modern Open in Worcester to a 12-3 record for 10th place. Today I will share my sideboarding strategies and thoughts on the deck. The decklist is available here.
Matchups and Sideboarding
I did not track exactly how I sideboarded in all the match-ups, play/draw differences in particular, so what you see below is more of a suggestion than exactly how I sideboarded.
Rd 1: 2-1 over Spirits
-1 Bob, -1 LOTV, -2 IOK, -1 Kommand, -1 Pulse
+2 Anger, +1 EE, +1 Brutality, +1 BBE, +1 Ishkanah
Rd 2: 2-0 over Storm
-1 Goyf, -2 BBE, -3 Push, -3 Trophy, -2 Kommand
+2 Fulminator, +2 Surgical, +2 Spellbomb, +2 Anger, +1 EE, +1 Brutality, +1 Sphere
Rd 3: 2-1 over Burn
-4 Bob, -1 Pulse
+2 Fulminator, +1 Brutality, +1 BBE, +1 Finks
Rd 4: 2-0 over Traverse Shadow
-1 IOK, -3 Bolt, -2 Kommand
+2 Spellbomb, +1 EE, +1 BBE, +1 Finks, +1 Ishkanah
Rd 6: 2-0 over Infect.
-2 Ooze, -3 BBE, -1 Pulse, -1 Treetop
+2 Fulminator, +2 Anger, +1 EE, +1 Brutality, +1 Grudge
Rd 7: 2-1 over UW
-3 Bolt, -3 Push, -1 Tomb
+2 Fulminator, +2 Spellbomb, +1 Brutality, +1 BBE, +1 Ishkanah
Rd 8: 0-2 against Storm (Paul Muller)
Rd 9: 2-0 over Elves
-1 Goyf, -2 Liliana, -1 IOK
+2 Anger, +1 EE, +1 Brutality
Rd 10: 2-1 over Izzet Phoenix (Tariq Patel)
-4 Bob, -2 BBE, -1 Seize
+2 Surgical, +2 Spellbomb, +1 Brutality, +1 Ishkanah, +1 Sphere
Rd 11: 2-0 over Jeskai (Jonathan Sukenik)
Same as UW except bring in Finks and only brought in one Spellbomb
Rd 12: 1-2 against UW
Rd 13: 1-2 against Amulet (Dominic Harvey)
-1 Ooze, -3 Push
+2 Fulminator, +1 EE, +1 Sphere
Rd 14: 2-0 over Storm
Rd 15: 2-0 over Burn
Thoughts on the Performance
Liliana has been better against Spirits for me than most other Junders have found as the ceiling is very high. When we are taking out Wanderers and Nobles on sight the floor is usually that Lilly eats a somewhat relevant creature, soaks up some damage, and lets us race back with Goyfs and BBEs and I am fine with that. Against combo decks, if they have graveyard synergies and Ooze is good, I have experimented a lot with my Goyf/BBE ratio. Siding out Goyfs might seem weird but I like disrupting them while applying pressure and cards like Ooze, Bob, and BBE do that in one card. Goyf is just pressure and I do not want to get too flooded on him. Against Shadow I used to try to treat it like a mirror and board out most of the discard and leave in both Kolaghan’s Commands but it doesn not kill much, is bad against Stubborn Denial, and the discard is super hit or miss because they can easily pitch discard spells or lands. They have a lot of random cyclers, no mana sinks, and do not need a ton of lands.
I boarded differently against Tariq than what is listed, but after talking with him I think I would utilize the strategy in the guide above. I also want to note that he took the draw against me and we talked about that and his experience with the match-up; which was much more than mine. I think in the future I might try taking the draw but I am not sure that it is correct. Also, I think Finks is bad against the UR version because it lines up so poorly with Thing and Drake and is very little in the way of pressure, but I would like it more against Mono Red Phoenix. Explosives against Amulet is weird because they board out Amulets and Scouts a lot of times. However, I have actually enjoyed using it against Plant and Hornet tokens, their EEs, and just to pump our Goyf in a pinch. This could be incorrect but I have liked it so far and, for what it is worth, it likely would have won me the match against Dominic Harvey had I drawn it.
Thoughts on the List Going Forward
Regarding the decklist, I think 3/3 Push/Bolt is where we want to be in our main deck with Shadow and Thing in the Ice’s popularity. I could even see another Push in the board over something like an Anger of the Gods. I want to play 3 Seize, 3 IOK, but it is probably just wrong and Trophy deals with most 4+ CMC problems. Speaking of Trophy, I think I might want a 4th Trophy over the Pulse because Pulse is mediocre. I wanted another removal spell after Columbus but I think this was a lazy addition. Personally, I like 4 Confidant, at least 3 BBE, and 4 Liliana; you will notice I left in Lilianas against Elves, Spirits, and Phoenix. I do not know if I play Jund differently than others but she has always been good to me and even when she “shouldn’t” be.
I had Kalitas and Tracker in and out of the decklist, but I ended up cutting them. They were too low velocity and Kalitas forces you into this weird play pattern where you sometimes need to hold removal spells and hope to not lose too much on tempo. I prefer Huntmaster because he immediately impacts the board and is better in our typical “kill, kill, follow up with haymaker” play pattern. He is fine against control and requires no set-up against midrange decks. Compared to Kalitas that may be traded down on mana at the expense of one card or even a planeswalker activation for no gain. You can also cast Huntmaster through Blood Moon more easily. In fact, Huntmaster might be fine over the Bloodbraid in the side as another card with lifegain attached. It is weaker overall but is what we want against small creature decks.
I also have cut Last Hope for weeks because she is not good against the recursive decks, combo decks, or big mana decks and creature decks can sometimes get too big for her to matter. Also, Ishkanah was great against Tariq, Shadow, and Spirits when I drew it. She is not a card I have played a ton with but she has earned a spot going forward for me.
We do hope that you enjoyed this tournament report and that it will be of use to you going forward. Tomorrow we will be taking a look at the the decks most affected by the recent B&R update and things are looking up for good old Jund. Until next time, fellow Good Grief Gamers!