As we all know, two powerhouse four-drops have finally had the shackles loosened from their wrists. Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf are free and they are going to begin their reign over Modern. While I expect there to be many great shells that Bloodbraid Elf will fall into, today I am going to dive into the Bloodbraid Elf's natural home, Jund.
Last week Reid Duke wrote a fantastic article talking about Jund with Bloodbraid Elf. After reading it I was inspired to give it a spin myself. Now, when it comes to Jund style decks, Reid Duke is the man, and anytime you decide to make changes from one of his lists people tend to raise an eyebrow. In no way shape or form am I positive that the changes I made are in fact better – they are just different.
When it comes to mana bases, I don't think you can really differ to far from this set up. The only fringe spots are Blooming Marsh, Twilight Mire, and Treetop Village. Having another non-Raging Ravine creature land is nice just in case you run into a Ruined Halo. The Marsh and Twilight Mire are so close in comparison that if Reid made this list, I am sure he ran the numbers. I will not be arguing with the Duke on this one.
One change I made was diversifying my hand disruption spells. I went with a split between Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek. With Jace, the Mind Sculptor running wild now, I wanted some effective cheap ways to deal with it. Also being able to hit some of the game-winning spells coming from Tron or other big mana decks is a big deal. With Jace in mind, I cut the Fatal Push for a second copy of Maelstrom Pulse. I have a fear of flipping into it with Bloodbraid Elf and not having a target. Maelstrom Pulse just adds an extra layer of range when it comes to dealing with problematic cards, though the extra mana cost is a real concern.
Luckily for us, with the help of Bloodbraid Elf, they cost the same! Liliana of the Veil was one card that had not been impressing me in testing for the Pro Tour; so I decided to just play three of this powerful planeswalker.
That decision was completely WRONG! That card not only is so much better at dealing with Jace, the Mind Sculptor decks, but it also just got so much better with adding Bloodbraid Elf. Liliana of the Veil should for sure be a four-of. The last change I made was adding some Kitchen Finks to the main deck. I wanted to maximize the good creature hits off Bloodbraid Elf, and I also wanted to be able to have the option to gain some life when Dark Confidant and Thoughtseize are chipping away at our life total. Jund in general usually has a pretty rough Burn matchup as well, Kitchen Finks really skews those percentages.
Overall, the deck played out excellent, a lot better than I would have ever expected. Everyone is very worried about how Jace, the Mind Sculptor is going overpower the format; but truly I think Bloodbraid Elf is going to be public enemy number one. I hope you enjoy the games as much as I enjoyed playing them!
- Corey Baumeister