Hey everyone! Corey Burkhart here with my first installment of a new series. In this series, I’ll be covering a deck early on in the week, discussing its merits and place in the current metagame, and then playing it through a video series later on in the week. So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Grixis is taking over the Modern scene right now. Grixis Shadow is the consensus best deck, but it’s not the only deck out there. There are plenty of powerful decks to choose from, and many more just in the Grixis shard. This week, I’m trying out a Jund-style Grixis deck.
Actual Jund has nearly disappeared from the metagame as a result of the rise of Eldrazi Tron and Death’s Shadow variants. Eldrazi Tron can outsize Jund’s creatures and removal quickly, and the big mana strategy lets the Eldrazi Tron decks go over the top of the Jund end game of Liliana and Chandra. Death’s Shadow is just more efficient on nearly every metric. Being able to play fewer lands, more threats, and getting to play 56 cards thanks to Street Wraith, allows the Death’s Shadow deck to play out the same way each game where each of their cards cost 1-2 mana whereas a Jund decks can scale all the way up to 3 and 4 mana for cards of a similar power level.
So why play Jund? Well, I wouldn’t advocate for Jund per se, but a Jund-style Grixis deck. Tarmogoyf is at the worst it’s ever been, and cards like Dismember and Liliana of the Veil continue to have their stock rise. Dismember is ideal right now, as the largest of the Eldrazi monsters that will be cast without an assembled Tron are a 5/5 Reality Smasher or a 5/5 Endbringer. It also cleans up the delve threats of Gurmag Angler and Tasigur, the Golden Fang for 1 mana. The efficiency of Dismember cannot be understated right now, and it’s important to have access to Dismember or Path to Exile—cards like Lightning Bolt are not cutting it.
Liliana of the Veil hits on another angle of removal. These large threat strategies suffer from a big weakness in depending on one big threat that they try to ride to victory. Eldrazi Tron plays the largest colorless creatures they can at each spot in the curve, tapping out and playing about one spell a turn while they’re not on active Tron. Grixis Death’s Shadow attempts to get one threat into play and defend it with cards like Stubborn Denial to finish their opponents off. Thus, a resolved Liliana of the Veil can be a disaster for these decks. They’re not very quick to empty their hand, and their threats usually come out one at a time. Tie this together with a decrease in direct damage spells like Lightning Bolt and Lightning Helix, and planeswalkers are more likely to take over the battlefield.
Speaking of planeswalkers, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy is in a great place right now. While there’s more cheap removal running around to kill Jace, the low threat density of decks makes it such that it’s difficult to remove a Jace, Telepath Unbound from the battlefield. If Jace manages to loot away a land and flashback two spells, you’ve basically drawn three spells over the course of a longer game. Thus, you need a diverse spell base to maximize Jace and his best friend, Snapcaster Mage.
This deck has some serious advantages against the linear decks and the creature strategies, but gives up some game against the combo decks because of its lack of counterspells and low quantity of discard spells. You’ll see later in the week how I fair, but I’d first be looking to cut down on a removal spell or two to for additional copies of Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize.
I’d also like to try out Rise // Fall, Claim // Fame, Dark Confidant, and even Chandra, Torch of Defiance if the metagame became friendlier to Flame Slash effects. I think planeswalkers are exceptionally powerful right now in the Modern metagame, and this Blue Jund version of Grixis can show off the power of Jace and Liliana!
I’ll see you later on this week with the first video, and I promise looking forward that I’ll be mixing it up with some non-Grixis decks in a variety of different Constructed formats!