Last week, my brother was visiting from abroad along with his wife and three kids. I had little to no intention of going to a Modern Grand Prix on the weekend as I would have no real preparation for it.

On Tuesday, I talked to Jérémy Dezani, who told me I couldn't miss another European Grand Prix and had to play some Modern to prepare for the World Magic Cup. I had already missed Grand Prix Rimini, and Lille was only an hour and a half away. I told him I wouldn't have time to test, had no cards, and that he would pretty much have to do all the work for me.

"I have you covered," he said.

How could I not go? I bought a ticket for the Saturday morning and a return on Sunday evening, and booked a couple of hours to playtest online with him during the week.

I hadn't played Modern for a while. Last time I played was with my Rise of the Robots deck that didn't look very well-positioned in the current metagame due to the popularity of Jund and powerful sideboard cards in most decks: Stony Silence and Engineered Explosives, just to name a few.

While I was overexcited when Prized Amalgam got spoiled, the new explosive version of Dredge made too much of a splash, and my strategy that once flew under the radar was now a number one target.

Dezani felt strongly about Jeskai in the beginning. After a few games, he realized the deck wasn't quite adapted to all the threats in the format and was flawed in many ways. So he started investigating somewhere else. He found a W/R Control list that kept going undefeated in Magic Online Leagues. We liked the idea of having maindeck Blood Moon, but the shell wasn't very reliable or efficient. It was fine against some decks, but there were matchups you couldn't beat. We then tried to add Blood Moon to a Jeskai deck, but again, it wasn't working out.

We had no choice but to fall back to a default deck. Jund was our weapon of choice and we quickly worked on it to have an acceptable version. Just like a couple months ago, when I threw the idea of Chandra, Flamecaller into W/G Tokens, I hinted that we could have Blood Moon in Jund. The idea didn't stick.

On Friday, Dezani was looking for the cards and stopped by the trials to check out what people were playing. He noticed a black/red deck, quite similar to Jund, running Blood Moon. The deck looked okay but was missing a good creature for two mana. Then, Dezani thought: "How about I add some green for Tarmogoyf?" I was all for it, and trusted him to build a working manabase in what would be a Jund deck with Blood Moon in the main. After a long night of first testing with me, then solo-tweaking the deck, he came up with this list:

DECKID=1269496

Historically, Blood Moon is good against Jund. It's even more efficient when the Jund player is caught off guard. There are ways to play around your opponent's Blood Moon, but it usually costs flexibility for later plays.

You have to play with Blood Moon in mind. That means playing around it the whole game. Since you're only running two colors, it won't hurt you very much. Just fetch Swamps and the Forest more often than usual.

You have to be a lot more careful with the amount of damage you take with your manabase and from your opponent as you have less ways to gain life (no Scavenging Ooze) which end up being relevant when it comes to playing with Dark Confident.

So why would you play Blood Moon in Jund anyway?

We found out that Jund had trouble against some decks, mostly against Eldrazi, a deck on the rise, and Tron. Blood Moon completely turns these matchups around: you had a bad matchup, but now you're happy to play against them.

It also improves all the matchups Blood Moon is already good against. In games where you would play the attrition war but sometimes run out of gas and lose, you're just playing this one card and lock your opponents away for the entire game. Your game plan changes if you have it in your opening hand as your discard spells make sure they don't have an answer for it. That works in the mirror, against Infect, Suicide Zoo, Scapeshift, Titan Amulet and many more decks that either heavily rely on their multicolored manabase or on their utility lands. The "fairest" deck in the format suddenly becomes a one-card prison deck.

Against Affinity and Merfolk, Blood Moon locks down all their creature lands — not great but not a dead card either. Even against Burn, you can keep them from having access to their white and green sources for Lightning Helix/Boros Charm or Atarka's Command. I wouldn't keep them after game one, but the downside of having almost dead cards in a few matchups, is made up by the fact that it makes your other matchups so much better.

Over 22 matches, (2 players, 15 rounds of tournaments, 6 byes, 1 match played against each other), Dezani and I probably regretted once or twice to have drawn a Blood Moon in a game one; and we won so many games thanks to it. That alone should help you make the decision whether or not you want to run it.

Here's the sideboard plan:

VS Affinity:

+1 Engineered Explosives
+1 Ancient Grudge
+1 Rakdos Charm
+2 Shatterstorm
+1 Spellskite
+1 Damnation
+1 Vampire Nighthawk

-4 Blood Moon
-2 Thoughtseize
-2 Dark Confidant

We might have underestimated this matchup. Even though we had eight sideboard cards for it, two of our six losses came from Affinity. We probably want one or two extra Ancient Grudges.

VS Infect

+1 Engineered Explosives
+2 Collective Brutality
+1 Spellskite
+1 Thoughtseize
+1 Ancient Grudge

-2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
-1 Tarmogoyf
-1 Blood Moon
-1 Dreadbore
-1 Liliana of the Veil

Your plan is to shoot everything on sight in the early turns. Once that's done, you can start attacking. The discard spells along with removals should be enough for you to stabilize. Infect is also vulnerable to Blood Moon. As soon as the enchantment is in play, they have one or two basic Forest to play around it and can't play any of their blue spells or activate Inkmoth Nexus.

VS Death's Shadow

+1 Engineered Explosives
+1 Damnation
+1 Vampire Nighthawk
+1 Spellskite
-1 Thoughtseize
-3 Dark Confidant

With so many ways to disrupt their strategy, this matchup isn't bad. Again, if you manage to clean the board and play Blood Moon, they have one win condition left: Monastery Swiftspear. Just be ready for that.

VS Burn

+2 Collective Brutality
+1 Vampire Nighthawk
+1 Thragtusk
+1 Spellskite

-3 Blood Moon
-2 Dark Confidant

Collective Brutality is a good way to make up for everything: you pitch the useless cards in the matchup while taking care of one of their creatures, one of their burn spells in hand, and gain 2 life.

VS Jund

It's tough to write down a proper guide against Jund as the way you will sideboard will depend a lot on if he saw the Blood Moons or not, and if you're on the play or on the draw. I talked to a few Jund players and the consensus seems to be that you have to take out your discard spells. While I could get behind taking out a few of them, I don't like taking out all of them. You are the Blood Moon player and will play accordingly, which means fetching the right lands and discarding their answers to it (most likely Abrupt Decays). Even if your opponent knows about it, it will still hinder his mana and lock down his Raging Ravines.

In any case, I suggest adding a couple of anti-graveyard artifacts to keep some control over Kitchen Finks (Blood Moon is great to keep them from playing them as they don't have 2 basic Forests).

VS Eldrazi

+1 Thoughtseize
+1 Damnation
+1 Vampire Nighthawk

-3 Inquisition of Kozilek

With only one or two Forest as basic lands in their deck, they won't be able to cast any of their Eldrazi once Blood Moon hits the battleground. Kill their Noble Hierarch, and they won't be able to play anything at all.

The sideboard probably needs a bit of work if you decide to take this deck to a future tournament. I'd like to have more anti-affinity cards (see above) and more anti-dredge card as this matchup looks like a nightmare if you don't hit your hate cards. You might want to cut Vampire Nighthawk which was a fine card, but would not have as much impact as an extra Ancient Grudge or an Anger of the Gods would.

Dezani finished 11th (at x-3) and I finished 58th (at x-4, including a loss to Dezani) and we both thought the deck was great. We didn't want to face Dredge but felt confident playing against about anything else.

Do you think Blood Moon is going to be a staple in future versions of Jund?