by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Looking for a great budget Magic the Gathering deck to play in Modern? We were happy to come across this gem of a Budget Modern Jund deck that cost YouTuber TOTALmtg only 29 event tickets on Magic Online! It can be had for about 39 tix as of February 2018.
While it's a bit more expensive to build in paper, around $170, it's a great way to build a Jund deck on a budget. I mean, most of us don't have the cash to drop on a playset of Liliana of the Veil or Tarmogoyf, do we? So, this is a pretty solid Modern deck under $200.
Here's the deck list:
3 Bloodhall Ooze
3 Pain Seer
4 Putrid Leech
3 Sprouting Thrinax
4 Managorger Hydra
1 Olivia Voldaren
3 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
NON-CREATURE SPELLS (17)
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Chandra, Pyromaster
1 Rootbound Crag
1 Smoldering Marsh
1 Temple of Abandon
3 Blood Crypt
4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Woodland Cemetery
2 Nature's Claim
2 Rending Volley
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Golgari Charm
1 Gruul Charm
2 Feed the Clan
Here's TOTALmtg playing the deck against G/W Enchantments in Magic Online.
Thoughts on the Deck
Bloodhall Ooze was played back when Jund first became a deck archetype in Shards of Alara Standard. This Ooze gets bigger and bigger very quickly, especially if you have a Green and Black permanent on the board on a consistent basis. This can become a 3/3 very easily after a single turn. It's pretty underappreciated now, but it is definitely one of the best original Jund cards out there.
Pain Seer was heralded as the "Budget" alternative to Dark Confidant, a Jund staple. The problem with the Seer is keeping it tapped on a regular basis. Still, he is as good as "Bob" (named so since the original art depicts Magic expert Bob Maher) when he is able to untap. He may seem quite underpowered for Modern, but in a budget shell, he's really the best option for the card advantage he can provide.
Putrid Leech was one of the cornerstones of Jund for a long time. Paying the 2 life is well worth it when you can punch in with the Leech for 4 damage. This is just a really good creature that just doesn't get much love anymore.
Sprouting Thrinax may cost 3 colors of mana, but when it dies, you get three 1/1 tokens out of it. Essentially, you can get 4 "cards" by casting one. Of course, if he gets exiled, you don't get the tokens. Very sad. And yeah, Path to Exile existed back in the original Jund days, too. Still, his synergy with Bloodhall Ooze, and the fact that he can trade with an opponent's creature and still net you value is pretty neat.
Managorger Hydra is an awesome card. You benefit from it getting bigger when anyone casts a spell, which is awesome. This gets out of Lightning Bolt range very quickly, and even Dismember has problems with it after a certain point. And you can't chump block it because it has trample. This did some work in Standard and people are trying to break it in Modern. This is perhaps one of my favorite cards from all of Magic Origins.
Olivia Voldaren is actually a one-of in a lot of "real" Jund decks, and for good reason. Not only can she pick off little creatures and swing in for a lot of damage, but she can ping bigger ones and steal them! She's not getting the love she once did, but she's still awesome!
Goblin Dark-Dwellers is just an awesome card. Usually, you're going to want to target Blightning or Putrefy with his ability to get the most value from him. Being a 4/4 keeps him out of Lightning Bolt range, and having Menace means he can only be blocked by 2 or more creatures. He's just oozing with value.
The rest of the deck is very similar to a more expensive Jund deck. There are 3 copies of Duress in place of the usual Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek (there are 3 copies of Inquisition in the sideboard, actually). There are the 4 Lightning Bolts and several Terminates. Four copies of Blightning and two copies of Putrefy hearken back to the old days of Jund, when Blightning was one of the best cards in Standard. Forcing your opponent to discard 2 cards and take 2 damage for only 3 mana is still a pretty good deal!
There's also one copy of Chandra, Pyromaster, someone we've seen as a one-of in Jund decks before. Her 0 ability provides nice card advantage, and her +1 can be relevant more often than not. While her ultimate isn't something you're aiming to do in this deck, it's nice to have.
The mana base looks random, but it's actually well-balanced and the shock-lands Blood Crypt and Overgrown Tomb are necessary to give this deck the speed it needs to keep up in the Modern format. Without fetchlands, this deck isn't quite as quick as traditional expensive Jund decks. But it makes up for that by color-fixing pretty well, at the cost of having a lot of lands come into play tapped.
The sideboard is full of answers to many different matchups. It can deal with artifact-based strategies like Affinity, go-wide aggro strategies, and take out bigger creatures that this deck couldn't otherwise handle.
Overall, while I don't see this deck winning tournament after tournament, it's a fun deck to play with solid synergies throughout. If you're looking to build Jund on a budget in Magic Online, this is definitely one to try. In paper, it's pretty cheap for a Modern deck and the pieces are all worth picking up if you're foraying into the format.
Again, thanks to TOTALmtg for this awesome deck!
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