Bard “Jund Guy” Narson Goes To Charlotte ([15] Brad Nelson’s Jund)

Posted in GRAND PRIX CHARLOTTE 2016 on May 21, 2016

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

(15) Brad Nelson is known as one of the best Standard players in the world. However, when it comes to Modern, Nelson hasn't found success as himself. Instead, Nelson channels Bard “Jund Guy” Narson, an alternate personality that Nelson taps into for Modern events.

Brad Nelson

Brad Nelson is calm, methodical, and honest with himself. Bard Narson is none of these things. Narson knows that Jund is the best deck in Modern and he's on a quest to prove it to the rest of the world.

I found Narson digging through the venue's garbage cans and asked if I could talk about the format's best deck with its greatest pilot.

“Of course you want to talk about Jund. Jund is great. Jund wins more than any other deck in Modern. Why would anyone want to play other decks? Hell, Splinter Twin banned itself because it was afraid of Jund. How do people still need more convincing.”

I needed some actual information. I pressed further.

Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant are far less ubiquitous than they once were in Modern. Have these cards declined in power as the format changed over the years?”

Narson scoffed, “Tarmogoyf is the best card in Modern and everyone should be playing four in their deck. Patrick Dickmann once Top 8ed a Pro Tour by shoving four Tarmogoyfs into a Blue deck that was not as good as Jund. Tarmogoyf bench presses Eldrazi and punches planeswalkers directly in their stupid faces.

Dark Confidant is the best card in Jund and Jund is the best deck in Modern. Do the math.”

Jund is a deck of answers. The current diversity of Modern means that there are a lot more questions.

“There are a lot of decks right now. Jund doesn't like that. The best part about Jund is Dark Confidant, Inquisition of Kozilek, and the sideboard. Now Jund's sideboard gets stretched out a lot and needs to play less high-impact cards and more cards with a lot of applications. My Jund deck plays Fulminator Mage this weekend mostly to make more space in the sideboard.”

Normally, Jund plays some four-mana cards to close the game. Olivia Voldaren, Huntmaster of the Fells, and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet have all filled this role in the past. I wondered why Narson wasn't playing a four-drop this weekend.

“Am I supposed to play Kalitas? That card is training wheels. Go put your lifegain in your Abzan deck. Jund is brave. Lifegain is for chickens. Jund is not a chicken. If I played a four-mana card then I'd want it to be able to win the game by itself. Kalitas can't win the game by itself and it's not the best topdeck. Kalitas encourages people to play cards like Slaughter Pact or Seal of Fire for synergy. Synergy,” Narson made a disgusted look, “Jund doesn't do synergy. Jund beats synergy.”

The new Jeskai decks featuring Nahiri, the Harbinger seem like they would do well against Jund on paper. Are these decks something that Jund needs to worry about?

“People say the Jeskai matchup is bad for Jund. Now Jeskai decks play mulligans as cards [Ancestral Vision] and permanents they care about [Nahiri, the Harbinger] - if they want to play Jund's game then Jund will beat them. In fact, I played against the deck three times on Magic Online and I won every time. The deck used to win the long game. Now it tries to play the short game. Bring it on!”

I looked over Narson's sideboard and asked about Sword of Light and Shadow.

“The card is great and no one seems to play it. Protection from White and +2/+2 is the part of the card we care most about. If there were other equipment that gave Protection from White and +2/+2 then I'd probably be playing that.”

“What about Sword of War and Peace?”

“I already told you. Lifegain is for chickens. Jund is not chick...”

“Doesn't Sword of Light and Shadow gain you life?”


I didn't even get to ask about Kitchen Finks.

Jund is brave. As a result, Narson isn't scared and is happy to share his list right away.

Brad Nelson’s Jund

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