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Fair Magic is a term that gets tossed around, seemingly at random. Few players fully understand the concept, and fewer still genuinely prefer to play with fair decks. Still, Jund is the epitome of playing fair, as you try to win the game with a battle over resources. Stripping players down to just combat steps and draw steps is the highlight of fair gameplay in a format like Modern, and the closest analog to a “combo kill” is through curving out.

In this article, I’ll be briefly discussing the card choices available to Jund, as well as the importance of each sideboard piece and my recommended inclusions.

The Threats

Scavenging Ooze | Interacting with the graveyard is important, and even newer Jund lists play Scavenging Ooze in large amounts. In many ways it is similar to Tarmogoyf — it grows large based on removal and discard, and acts as just enough disruption to win in many circumstances.

Tarmogoyf | Goyf takes the crown as the premier two drop beatstick for Jund. Enabled by both discard spells and removal, Tarmogoyf can quickly become a 4/5 or a 5/6 — threatening to win the game in a matter of turns. Few versions have sought to trim Goyf, with most decks looking to supplement this quick clock with additional threats.

Bloodbraid Elf | A formerly banned card, Bloodbraid Elf gives the deck a grindy threat that can snowball the game quickly. Presenting both a hasty clock and card advantage in the fair matchups, Bloodbraid Elf is a welcome addition to new Jund.

Wrenn and Six | While not a threat in the same vein as the above creatures, Wrenn and Six does a reasonable impression nonetheless. By creating an endless supply of cards, this duo mitigates the discard effect of Liliana of the Veil, while setting up for an eventual win. One damage a turn may not seem like much, but the rebounding ultimate certainly is — as is endlessly looping either a draw land or a Raging Ravine.

Raging Ravine | One of the few utility lands available to Jund, Raging Ravine is a threat that quickly grows to unstoppable strength. Starting out as a 4/4 makes Raging Ravine an attractive option when racing, and entering tapped is a small price to pay for a “free” threat.

The Removal

Fatal Push | A staple since Aether Revolt, Fatal Push gives Jund access to a variety of one mana plays — setting the stage for a proactive Turn 2 threat. Redundant removal spells also protect Wrenn and Six from early pressure, making the snowballing aspect of Jund even more potent.

Lightning Bolt | Like Fatal Push, bolt is early removal, but can pressure opposing planeswalkers or combine with Wrenn and Six to burn an opponent out. Many decks turn to Lightning Bolt as their go to removal spell, so it should come as no surprise that even midrange decks are in the market for this effect.

Abrupt Decay | While formerly a format icon, Abrupt Decay is still potent at handling a diverse metagame. With an abundance of three mana planeswalkers and an uncounterability, Abrupt Decay gives Jund a catch all answer that also protect its planeswalkers.

Kolaghan’s Command | While not nearly as versatile in the removal department as Abrupt Decay, Kolaghan’s Command gives Jund additional 2-for-1s as a way to recur removed threats. Combining it with Bloodbraid Elf is pretty gross — try beating a 4-for-1!

Maelstrom Pulse | A card that has dropped in popularity over the years, Maelstrom Pulse gives Jund access to a “sweeper” of sorts that can double as planeswalker removal. Don’t play too many copies, as it is both three mana and a sorcery, but access to one is quite powerful.

Support Cards

Liliana of the Veil | An iconic planeswalker, Liliana of the Veil forces the game into a low resource state — exactly the situations in which Jund is set to thrive. Liliana also doubles as a removal spell, resulting in an archetype filled with few dead cards.

Inquisition of Kozilek | The first hand disruption spell listed here, Inquisition of Kozilek is a proactive removal spell that can slow down combo decks just enough for a Goyf or a Scavenging Ooze to end the game. It also is decent against Lightning Bolt decks, as it does not cost you any life and can strip away a crucial piece of burn.

Thoughtseize | Trading two life for the ability to hit even more expensive spells, Thoughtseize provides both redundancy with regards to disruption and an easy Turn 1 play against nearly any deck. The life loss can add up, and most cards in Modern that matter are able to be hit by Inquisition of Kozilek, so play fewer copies of Thoughtseize than Inquisition.

Other Choices and Recommendations

Hexdrinker | A strong recommendation, Hexdrinker gives Jund a Turn 1 threat that can quickly snowball into a win. Hexdrinker combines a clock with inevitability, and ensures that Jund always has something to do with its mana. I would recommend at least two copies going forward.

Seasoned Pyromancer | Another powerful Modern Horizons addition, Seasoned Pyromancer converts resources in a similar way as Liliana — your “dead” cards can be used to either generate bodies or draw an extra card. Seasoned Pyromancer is likewise a strong hit off of Bloodbraid Elf and gives an endless stream of cards when paired with Kolaghan’s Command.

Dark Confidant | A former archetype staple, Dark Confidant was an untouched four of for years. In a world of Hexdrinker and Wrenn and Six, however, other creatures have come to the forefront as grindy threats, though Dark Confidant still has a place in an Azorius Control filled metagame. Two copies is the minimum I would play.

The Sideboard

Nihil Spellbomb | Interacting with the graveyard is always important in Modern, and Nihil Spellbomb gets the nod over Leyline of the Void due to a favorable interaction with Tarmogoyf, as well as the ability to churn through your deck.

Surgical Extraction | Surgical Extraction is likewise an appealing option, trading the cantrip effect and wide graveyard hosing of Nihil Spellbomb for velocity due to the free nature of extraction. Try saving this for critical cards like Arclight Phoenix or Aria of Flame, though it can combine with discard spells in nearly any matchup.

Ancient Grudge | Removing Ensnaring Bridge or other problematic artifacts is often a recipe for success, and Ancient Grudge does that at perhaps the best rate of any early game play. Some players opt for Collector Ouphe, which is a more appealing option if Tron and Scales make a comeback.

Collective Brutality | Additional discard spells gives Jund a potent postboard plan against control decks, and Collective Brutality saves sideboard space by doubling as a backbreaking interactive element against Burn.

Fulminator Mage | The perfect land destruction spell for Jund, Fulminator is a clock when needed, and can be brought back with Kolaghan’s Command. This is a pivotal piece in the Tron matchup, as you often want to continually destroy their lands, but has utility against Azorius Control as well.

Kolaghan’s Command | As discussed above, Kolaghan’s Command gives Jund access to additional forms of “card advantage”, and the copy in the sideboard is potent in slower matchups — but also gives the deck extra game against artifacfts.

Plague Engineer | A relatively unorthodox addition to Jund, Plague Engineer is set to be one of the most powerful creatures in Modern. Deathtouch is a relevant ability against larger threats, and a board wipe like ability against Humans and other creature types (like Elemental against Mardu Pyromancer) make Plague Engineer a backbreaking threat in many matchups. I would consider a main deck copy, and highly recommend a few spots in the sideboard.