Trevor Holmes Plays MTGO: Jund Midrange

What’s up guys! Welcome to Episode 1 of a new weekly video series here on Modern Nexus, where I take a Modern archetype and break down the decklist, basic strategy, tips, sideboard, and finer points and run it through an event on MTGO! This video series will almost always be two parts (video and text), usually in the form of time-stamped notes that reference plays/mistakes/amazing brilliance in the video and/or things I forgot to mention or would like to elaborate on.

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This is all new territory, so if you have any thoughts/opinions about the structure of this series feel free to let me know in the comments! Let’s get to it!

Creatures (13)
Abbot of Keral Keep
Scavenging Ooze
Tarmogoyf
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Dark Confidant

Instants (11)
Abrupt Decay
Kolaghan’s Command
Lightning Bolt
Terminate

Sorceries (8)
Maelstrom Pulse
Inquisition of Kozilek
Thoughtseize

Planeswalkers (4)
Liliana of the Veil

Land (24)
Forest
Swamp
Blackcleave Cliffs
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Ghost Quarter
Overgrown Tomb
Raging Ravine
Stomping Ground
Twilight Mire
Verdant Catacombs
Wooded Foothills
Sideboard (15)
Nihil Spellbomb
Fulminator Mage
Kitchen Finks
Abrupt Decay
Ancient Grudge
Outpost Siege
Anger of the Gods
Kolaghan’s Command
Damnation
Buy deck on Cardhoarder (MTGO)Buy deck on TCGPlayer (Paper)

Deck Tech

2:20 I wouldn’t play two Abbot of Keral Keep in the list. Part of my reasoning is my general bias towards cheap effects, which is the primary reason why I am supporting Abbot as a de facto “four drop” in the list over a more traditional card, but also because while Abbot is excellent, it can sometimes be a bit clunky. As a two drop, it doesn’t stabilize anywhere near as well as Tarmogoyf can, and as a four drop, it’s more “risky” than something like Huntmaster of the Fells. Hands with multiple Abbot of the Keral Keep should play better than hands with multiple four drops, but I would still like to avoid awkward draws if possible.

We sort of brushed over Scavenging Ooze, but it’s worth pointing out that Ooze gives us great maindeck hate for Living End, Grixis Control, Lingering Souls, and Burn strategies. The couple points of life it can gain are nothing to scoff at, and any deck that plays Thoughtseize and fetches shocklands would love access to any lifegain, no matter how small. Scavenging Ooze can sometimes be just a 2/2 for 1G (in matchups like Tron/Amulet Bloom) but we can easily cut them for Fulminator Mages in those matchups while it does excellent work elsewhere. Similar to Tarmogoyf, you can find uses for Scavenging Ooze against aggro, control, and combo.

4:38 Keep in mind that all board discussion is dependent on exact sideboard choices, and can vary widely based on matchups/what other options we have/where we want to position ourselves in the matchup. Jund can take advantage of a large spread of possible sideboard options/hate cards, and things like Choke, Shatterstorm, Bitterblossom, Feed the Clan, Night of Souls’ Betrayal are all possible options.

Final Note: At the time of recording I was having difficulties capturing the MTGO Preview Pane, expect visual aids in future videos.

Round 1

2:10 Playing Abbot into our opponent’s Lightning Bolt in hand is also obviously poor. There’s a discussion to be had about playing spells quickly as we know our opponent has a poor hand clogged with Dispels and expensive stuff, but our hand composition (threat light) kind of forces our hand.

4:40 This same reasoning is why we play Tarmogoyf over the Lightning Bolt. It’s important to keep in mind that the Lightning Bolt wasn’t a wasted “hit” off of Abbot of Keral Keep; we didn’t really want to be drawing that anyway, so Abbot’s ceiling is really “draw a card” while it’s baseline is “scry 1”.

7:14 I missed a couple points by not animating Raging Ravine. I have failed you all.

12:00 All the Lightning Bolts should probably come out, but I like the ability to clear out Snapcaster Mages so our Liliana of the Veil can keep +1’ing, and I don’t mind using Lightning Bolt as Lava Spike either. It’s not the best use for the card, but two Lightning Bolts over the course of the game usually speeds up our clock by 1 or 2 full turns. Just something to consider.

18:48 Taking the other Remand with the Thoughtseize (as opposed to a Snapcaster Mage) is a strong play if we plan on our opponent not hitting his fourth land in time. If we can get an activation out of Tasigur (by playing it next turn, then activating once he is able to Snapcaster-Remand) we are still ahead on resources and compounding the advantage that Dark Confidant has been giving us. Since our opponent drew his third land, I expected him to mainphase kill the Dark Confidant to stop our card advantage, which is why we left Remand as we could just play Tasigur while our opponent was tapped out. I can understand why he didn’t kill Confidant (he knew we had Tasigur and possibly just wanted to Remand again) but I think he would have been better off just killing Bob.

Round 2

There really isn’t much to say about this match, other than I feel this is a clinic on how to successfully cast discard spells and rip apart an opponent’s hand (skillgame). I still found this match interesting however, because it clearly demonstrates the power of Jund’s gameplan when executed correctly. Granted, our opponent’s hand was usually slightly poor, but Game 2 showed how powerful discard can be in the matchup. If I’m unable to remove my opponent’s Tarmogoyf, I believe that game goes very differently. The positioning that comes from Jund’s gameplan (disrupt, cast varied threats, find a path to victory) when lined up against Temur Twin (control, combo, tempo, all three?) is interesting and makes the matchup a lot of fun to play.

Round 3

4:30 Lightning Bolt was definitely wrong here, as we can’t Abrupt Decay an Inkmoth Nexus. Whoops.

This matchup was a lot of fun and feels pretty favorable for Jund. Killing creatures is what we do best, and Infect’s plan is to try and stress our mana and make our two-mana removal awkward. Classic Infect strategy applies here as well; kill their creatures anywhere except inside the combat step.

22:30 I can’t clear out my opponent’s board as he has Become Immense and the mana/GY to cast it. In response to the Bolt he grows his guy, which then stops my attack. Also, Ghost Quarter can’t fetch me a Mountain, as we’re not playing a Mountain!

Conclusion

Thanks for watching! While we played a few favorable matchups and dodged Tron, I think this video series was pretty instructional and showed what Jund is capable of when executing its gameplan. Let me know in the comments what you think, about both the content and the presentation. We have a lot of freedom regarding deck choice, so let me know what you would be interested in seeing me play! Feel free to comment below or hit me up on Twitter, I’ll play whatever archetype gets the most votes! (Yes, even Lantern Control). See you guys next week!

Trevor Holmes
The_Architect on MTGO
Twitch.tv/Architect_Gaming
Twitter.com/7he4rchitect

Trevor started playing Magic in 2011. He plays primarily online and studies Architecture at UNCC. Recent paper Magic accomplishments include a 2015 Regional PTQ win qualifying for Pro Tour: Magic Origins and a Day Two performance at GP Charlotte. He also streams weekdays at twitch.tv/Architect_Gaming! Follow him at twitter.com/7he4rchitect and architectgaming.wordpress.com!

20 thoughts on “Trevor Holmes Plays MTGO: Jund Midrange

  1. I don’t know how much you can/want to cater these articles to people who don’t want to watch the videos, but as little as just adding your opponent’s deck and the match result next to the round would provide some value for those (probably few) of us who fall in this category.

    i.e.
    Round 1: 2-1 vs Temur Twin
    Round 2: 0-2 vs whatever

    etc.

      1. It’s a good suggestion, but I’d add that if you want to have a summary like this it should be at the very bottom of the article. Some of us who do want to watch the videos would prefer not to have “spoilers”.

        I’m very glad that you’re doing this video series btw, it will be great to have more video resources available in addition to Channel Fireball and SCG.

        1. Agree here ~ I do like to watch without spoilers. Adding it at the end satisfies everyone/ with the SB summary.

          Enjoyed the article/vids and also a convert to the Abbot plan.

  2. Nice article. You’ve convinced me to at least give the Abbots a try over Olivia Voldaren (anything that makes Bob less painful will always get traction with me). Speaking of which, I also wasn’t terribly impressed with the singleton Tasigur given that you have Bob (was just a big beater) – have you considered swapping it for the likes of Gurmag Angler or even a Huntmaster of the Fells? I’ve been running sans Tasigur for a while now, and I’ve been pretty happy with the results.

      1. I think you’re misinterpreting my comment. Given that Bob already draws you cards, Tasigur’s activation isn’t quite as impressive (he used it once that I saw, and it didn’t move the needle when he did). Hence, I was wondering if Trevor would consider swapping it for a Gurmag Angler (more power) or a Huntmaster (less painful to flip, gains life, brings extra bodies). I’ve opted for Huntmaster, and I’ve been pretty happy with it.

  3. I actually had a great time watching these videos and reading the little notes in your article. Great work Trevor.

    I would like to see some UR / Grixis action in the near future.

    1. I’m sure I’ll record a Grixis vid eventually, but probably after a little while as about half of my articles have been about Grixis. U/R Twin, or maybe Grixis Twin if I feel like cheating seem like interesting decks that I might record with soon. Thanks!

  4. Hey Trevor, great videos!

    I’m not a great Jund player by any means but I do have a lot of experience with the Infect matchup. I feel like you under-sideboarded a bit for it. Basically, as Brad Nelson said, “you win the matchup if you don’t lose”. If you can keep them from killing you, you will get there with Bob/Goyf beats and don’t really need additional threats that much.

    My general plan is to side in any and all relevant removal – this includes Ancient Grudge and Fulminator, since Inkmoth Nexus is usually the most problematic creature. I also like an Anger of the Gods or two, since it clears the board of annoying Hierarchs. Most of the time I lose to Infect it’s not against the super fast turn 1 Elf + tons of pump spells draws, but rather against the multiple Inkmoth + multiple Hierarch draws. Siding in artifact removal/Fulminators as well as ways to deal with Hierarchs help a lot against these kinds of draws. You also have to watch out for Spellskite as it will be bad news if your hand is bolt-heavy. Ancient Grudge answers a Skite very well. Night of Soul’s Betrayal locks them out of the game, if you are running it.

    For cuts I usually begin with Tasigur, as you pointed out he is clunky and slow and really not necessary in this matchup. Scooze is also fairly underwhelming because his lifegain is irrelevant most of the time, and he does nothing against 2/3 of their creatures. On the draw, Liliana can actually be a bit lackluster as well because of her edict getting blanked by Hierarch and her inability to deal with Inkmoth.

    1. Excellent points, thanks for all the suggestions! That makes perfect sense and I can see how basically all removal, even narrow options, are necessary because as you said, that’s the only way we lose the matchup is if we don’t draw our removal. The matchup seems very favorable for Jund assuming our removal light/Lightning Bolt draw doesn’t line up against their Spellskite draw. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Hi Trevor, thanks for taking time to do such a video to guide people along in their play. Could you do one of such primer for affinity? I think currently many player are unsure of the interaction of arcbound ravage, cranial plating and such. you could do an interaction explanation, tempo explanation, sideboard plan and weakness and fear that you have while piloting this deck and also how player can defeat this deck since it is a big part of the meta and more or less a pillar in modern. I have pilot affinity for almost a year and even then I still realized that there are some interaction is possible or not possible. also in game 2 and 3, how to control my tempo in certain match up and what to look out for and such. I think it will be helpful for players to know and understand the deck better. cheers.

    1. Sounds great! Affinity is definitely a deck I want to pilot in the near future, and I think a video will be helpful as there are a lot of interesting lines/sequencing that might not be immediately apparent that are worth talking through. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. I enjoyed watching those while doing the housework. It did seem though there was a lot of time of you talking and not playing when you could have been moving the game forward by making plays as you talked about them.

    The main area I need to improve on is Sideboarding so when you do a summary it would be nice to see a list of cards you added/removed rather than only having it in the video.

  7. Hey great series! Excited to watch the rest of them. Been playing Jund proxied up when playtesting with friends and some lines I wasn’t sure about:

    Match 1 Game 2: I’m not sure I would play into the Remands. I’d consider trying to strand them in his hand as we have an active Bob and he desperately needs to hit a land to have a chance. On the turn in question we know his hand is: Remand, Remand, Snapcaster, Snapcaster, unknown. The only combination of cards I’m upset to see if I just go, attack with Bob, land, pass, is EOT Bolt he draws and plays a land, pass. You go with Tasigur, gets Remanded, and as you say “he has a decent opportunity to draw out of this now” after you Thoughtseize and I think that may have been because you gave him an extra draw with Remand. I’d consider not even Thoughtseizing him until he hits that 3rd land. What do you think about that line?

    Match 2 Game 2: Why Abrupt Decay in response to Exarch tapping your land? Is there any argument to play Stomping Ground untapped and pass? You have a Bob and a Liliana in play with an Inquisition on the stack. I guess if he draws Electrolyze he can get you pretty good, attack with Liliana with Exarch, you don’t block, Electrolyze your board. I always wonder about forcing your opponent to go for the Splinter Twin for the blowout versus just removing Exarch immediately. Do you have any thoughts on that?

  8. Hey
    Just wanted to say these are execellent videos. Usually i’m on Channelfireball for watching matches.
    I think your thought processing and walk through during the games were great. I learned a lot, and i dont even play Jund.

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