Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – Let's talk about Jund, Mackl

Posted in Event Coverage on January 19, 2014

By Olle Rade

If the Modern format was a Charles Dickens story, the ghost of the formats present, past and future would surely be named Jund. For the last year it has been claiming Pro Tour and Grand Prix top 8's alike and not even the banning of Bloodbraid Elf has been able to keep it from being a constant force in the format. We caught up with Austrian Valentin Mackl, who went 9-0 the first day here in Prague and takes pride in being a disciple of Jund.

“It's Jund, what is there to talk about that hasn't already been said?,” he started by asking, throwing a small laugh at the questions that he has indeed heard before.

Valentin Mackl with some of the best cards in the format. 

How long have you been playing Jund?

– For this Grand Prix, and the one in Modern before this one. And before the last Modern Pro Tour. So I guess for as long as I've played Modern basically. It is always the safe bet, and if you end up playing Jund at a tournament you know that you've done at least something right.

How did you end up playing it?

– Playing the obvious deck in a format is pretty much always good, and I like playing decks that have already proven themselves and I play mono Blue devotion in standard for the same reason.

How strong is the archetype today?

– Not as strong as before they banned Blood Braid Elf obviously, but I still think it's very strong and one of the best decks. I play two Huntmaster of the Fells, which I think is both a good and fun card.

What makes Jund so strong?

– First of all it plays the best cards in the format, which are Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant, Deathrite Shaman and probably Liliana of the Veil. But it also has a very high spell count, as the man lands also function as spells.

How did you tweak your deck for this tournament?

– At the last Modern Grand Prix I lost my win and in against Living End, and then also the match for top 16 against Living End, so I added more graveyard hate in the form of Jund Charm and Rakdos Charm to the sideboard. Although I still don't feel over confident in the matchup, but at least it's better.

The ghost of the format it sure is, as we keep seeing Jund at both the top tables and the feature match tables here in Prague. The end of the day will show if it is will claim the throne, or at least how many copies of the deck makes the prestigious top 8.

Valentin Mackl's Jund - Pro Tour Return to Ravnica 2012

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Valentin Mackl's Jund - Grand Prix Prague 2014

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