Deck Tech: Blood Moon Jund

Posted in Event Coverage on August 28, 2016

By Craig Jones

While I was looking at the 3-Bye decklists yesterday one particular version of Jund stood out to me. When we write up interesting decks we don't normally post the full list until after the final round. We don't want to disadvantage the players we cover by giving away all their secrets. For this version of Jund it's impossible to talk about it without giving away its surprise value. That's because of this card:

Blood Moon turns all non-basic lands into basic mountains, only able to tap for red mana, and can completely shut out some strategies and prevent them casting any spells for the rest of the (likely short) game. It's especially brutal out of the main deck of an archetype not normally known for running it.

Long-time French pros Jérémy Dezani and Raphaël Lévy were the ones running this nasty little surprise. Lévy has been playing the game pretty much for as long as it's existed and was admitted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. Dezani is a former Player of the Year and has a Pro Tour title (Dublin, 2013).

One of the things that surprised me about the main deck Blood Moon is I thought the BGx decks were traditionally soft to the powerful enchantment.

“Not if you're expecting and playing around it,” as Lévy put it.

I thought they'd added Blood Moon to evolve the Jund deck, but as it turned out it was the other way around.

“We were trying to build the best Blood Moon deck,” Lévy said. “We tried a lot of decks with Blood Moon, but none of them really worked. So then we thought why not try Jund with Blood Moon.”

Jund is already one of the strongest decks in Modern, but it does have weaknesses.

As Dezani explained: “Jund has some bad matchups – Tron, Bant Eldrazi. Blood Moon completely transforms those matchups. Those decks don't like Blood Moon at all. Even decks like Death's Shadow Aggro and Infect aren't happy about it. You can kill their early creatures and then drop Blood Moon and they struggle to cast more.”

Lévy said the same. “It turns around the bad matchup with Bant Eldrazi.”

Blood Moon isn't good against everything, though.

“It's bad against Burn and Affinity,” Dezani said.

Both players picked up two losses each on Day 1. Lévy to Affinity and RW Aggro, and Dezani to Affinity and a tight game against Esper Control that revolved on the Esper player topdecking Lilliana of the Veil and having the two basic swamps in play to cast her through a Blood Moon.

Dezani did beat one of the Affinity decks he played, however, and had an interesting story about catching them out in game one.

“I had two big guys and he needed to block with his two man lands. Then I dropped Blood Moon and he couldn't. Afterwards he said, ‘I didn't expect to lose to Blood Moon out of the main deck.'”

Of course, with them both on X-2 records, the inevitable happened, leading to this:

 

 

This left Lévy with a dilemma.

“I flew in Saturday morning with no cards. Jeremy spent the Friday beforehand picking up the 150 cards for both decks. So I'm paired against the guy that built the deck and got me all the cards for the deck. Feels bad I had to play him.”

Which he resolved by scooping to the other player. A hard decision to make, but one he reckoned was the right one.

Unfortunately, that was followed by a loss to Infect to leave the French Hall of Famer out of contention for prizes. However, Dezani is still going strong. His 10-2 record at the time of writing this still gives him a shot of making Top 8 and ambushing more unsuspecting non-basic lands.

Jérémy Dezani’s Blood Moon Jund at GP Lille 2016

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