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Against the Odds: Modern Jund


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 282 of Against the Odds. As you probably know by now, Against the Odds is all about trying to make really janky, underpowered cards that nobody else plays work. Well, today, we're playing Modern on hard mode with one of the jankiest decks we've ever attempted! What if I were to tell you that our plan was to curve a two-mana 0/1 into a three-mana 2/2 into a four-mana 3/2 and that this plan would (hopefully) allow us to win in a format as powerful as Modern, where we have one-mana 13/13s running around and Karn Liberateds hitting the battlefield on Turn 3? Would you laugh? Cry? Well, that's exactly what we're doing today as we try to figure out what the odds are of winning in Modern with Jund. Can our powerful combo of returning a land to our hand each turn with Wrenn and Six so we can discard it to Liliana of the Veil (a planeswalker some say is worse than Gatekeeper of Malakir) lead to Modern success? Can the 0/1 beatdown plan work? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Jund

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The Deck

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Step one for your aggressive midrange deck? Playing two drops with less power and toughness than a Grizzly Bears. Sure, if we get lucky and our opponent doesn't have removal or graveyard hate, our Tarmogoyf potentially can grow as the game goes along, but we don't have Buried Alive or dredge cards to really power it up, which means when things go wrong, we're left spending mana on a two-drop that does quite literally nothing. Let's take a look at what the community thinks about our four-of. 

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Thankfully, Tarmogoyf isn't the only two-drop in our deck. We have another, and this one even has honest-to-goodness power! Sure, it's still not quite a Grizzly Bears, but at least we're heading in the right direction. In theory, Dark Confidant can draw us a bunch of cards, but sadly, it mostly will be more 0/1s. Plus, the card-draw ability comes with the drawback of costing us life. If Sensei's Divining Top were legal, Dark Confidant might be a legitimate card as a bad Phyrexian Arena for aggro decks. But since Sensei's Divining Top is banned, we're mostly just YOLOing it and hoping that we don't accidentally die to our own two-drop.

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The good news is that we're not restricted to playing just creatures. We even have room for a planeswalker or two like Liliana of the Veil. While it might not be Gatekeeper of Malakir, we're pretty light on flashback cards to take advantage of the +1, and it's certainly not a Koth of the Hammer, the –2 seems somewhat helpful against creature decks, at least. Plus, Liliana of the Veil is essential to our main combo: we can use Liliana of the Veil's +1 to discard a land; then, if we have Wrenn and Six, we can return that land to our hand, which is like drawing an extra land every turn, basically guaranteeing that we'll at least get to complain about flooding out every game.

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Rounding out our creatures is Bloodbraid Elf, which can be powerful thanks to cascade. But in our deck, we'll likely end up getting a free 0/1, which is something, I guess, but not especially exciting. Seasoned Pyromancer lets us discard our 0/1s in the hopes of drawing into a 2/1 or 2/2, but in a format like Modern, where Karn Liberated hits the battlefield on Turn 3, a three-mana 2/2 is pretty far below the curve. Meanwhile, Scavenging Ooze gives us a way to shrink our Tarmogoyf and potentially fizzle a Giant Killer or Humble the Brute when our opponent tries to kill it. 

Other Stuff

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As far as the rest of our deck, it's mostly removal spells and lands that lose us life. Thoughtseize can get a counterspell out of our opponent's hand so we can stick a 0/1, but is that really worth losing 10% of our life total? I'm honestly not sure. Even our lands are painful. Verdant Catacombs offers a way to thin lands out of our deck to make sure that we don't flood and instead draw more almost-a-Grizzly Bears creatures. But after playing the deck a bunch, I can tell you that the life loss adds up. Next time I play it, I'll probably replace it with Jungle Hollow, which doesn't deck thin but can put us in the lead as soon as Turn 1 by gaining us a life when it enters the battlefield.

The Matchups

Honestly, I'm not sure our deck has any good matchups. While it felt like we had a chance in a lot of matches, I'm not sure we were actually favored in any of them. Against control, our opponent can kill all of our threats with removal—it might be worth considering Strangleroot Geist so our opponent will at least have to spend two removal spells to deal with our below-the-curve creatures. Against aggro, our opponent's creatures are just bigger than our creatures. Even our four-drop can't block a Goblin Guide profitably, which makes it hard to stabilize. Plus, as we talked about a minute ago, it seems like every other card in our deck loses us life in one way or another, which is especially problematic against decks with burn. 

The Odds

All in all, we went 2-3, giving us a 40% win percentage. This might sound bad, but I was actually thrilled with the performance since, heading into our matches, I was worried that we wouldn't be able to win any games at all. More importantly, we even pulled off our combo of repeatedly discarding the same land to Liliana of the Veil and returning it to our hand with Wrenn and Six, which made all of the losing more than worthwhile!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Next week we're having a second chance poll, giving a card that came in second or third over the past few polls another chance at glory! But which one should we play? Click here to vote!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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