Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Magical Comeback: Sideboard

Last article I showed the deck I am going to play at the SCG Open in Orlando this weekend.  For reference here it is…

4x Noble Hierarch
4x Birds of Paradise
4x Troll Ascetic
4x Geist of St. Traft
4x Quasali Pridemage
4x Daze
3x Spell Pierce
3x Unstable Mutation
2x Spectral Flight
4x Brainstorm
3x Psionic Blast
4x Wasteland
2x Forest
1x Island
1x Savannah
4x Tundra
4x Tropical Island
3x Windswept Heath
3x Misty Rainforest

I got a chance to get a handful of matches in against real Legacy decks.  Nothing at all like a real gauntlet, and I wasn’t able to get matches in against all the decks I would want to test against.  But time being an issue (and playtesting partners being another issue even if time wasn’t) I felt it was more important learn my own deck.  I feel like after getting these test matches in I have a better idea of how the deck plays, so that’s good.

What I learned was the deck is fast.  The nut draw when goldfishing is Turn 4.  The slowest is turn 6.  You might ask what the value of goldfishing is.  Goldfishing is useful because it helps you learn about how an aggressive deck mulligans.  If you know an aggressive deck has a 80% chance to goldfish by turn 6, and your opening hand does not look like it will be able to do that, you need to mulligan.  You don’t need to actually be able to win by turn 4 every game in order to win matches, but you need to have early pressure/disruption otherwise your opponent will just goldfish you while you sit around waiting to do something.

I also learned the deck mulligans very well.  The nut draw is a Hierarch, Geist, Spectral Flight, and two lands.  That means I can mulligan down to five and potentially have a hand that can win by turn 4.  And since many of the cards (like the Hierarch and Geist) have redundancy I can feel confidant mulliganing a hand of 7 cards that doesn’t look good at all.

So my sideboard philosophy is based around a couple of concepts.  First, I never want to lose to Dredge.  Dredge is just dumb and I would hate to lose to it.  Surgical Extraction would be enough to beat Dredge usually if I can get my normal early pressure, but Surgical Extraction doesn’t have a tremendous amount of game against Reanimator.  Reanimator has counterspells and redundancy, so Extracting one reanimation target is not likely to be a game ender.  With that in mind, Leyline of the Void is how I want to roll.  Since the deck mulligans so well, I don’t mind mulliganing aggressively to get it in my opening hand.

Next, I fear losing to combo decks in general, because it feels cheap.  So I’m packing 3 copies of Force of Will.  FoW plus the counters I main deck should help a bunch against most combo decks.

Against Maverick, I will side in Sword of Feast and Famine, as well as a Jitte.  Since I don’t have any equipment game 1, most people will side out whatever artifact hate they have, so bringing these in could steal me a game here and there.  These will probably come in against any “fair” deck game 2 for that reason.  Feast and Famine was chosen for it’s Pro-Green ability mostly.  Jitte was chosen because it dominates creature match ups, and has good game against Burn or RUG Delver decks.  I also pack Path to Exiles in this match up.

Against said RUG Delver decks, the Jitte is key, especially since they won’t be siding in Ancient Grudge until game 3.  This deck does fairly well against them since it has enough mana dudes to not be intimidated by Wastelands, and the main threats can’t be killed by Lightning Bolt.  Path to Exile also comes in to deal with Delvers.

So right now my Sideboard is…

4x Leyline of the Void
3x Force of Will
2x Path to Exile
1x Sword of Feast and Famine
1x Jitte

That leaves me 4 slots left.  I kinda want to add another Path to Exile, which still leaves me 3 slots.  Another Spell Pierce would be fairly strong.  And I was thinking of Threads of Disloyalty which seems very strong.  But I’m open to suggestions of what would be good and what match ups it would be good in.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Questions?


  1. Just one Jitte? I might go 2.

    More thoughts later.

    1. Yeah, I was thinking of replacing the Feast and Famine with another Jitter. My other thoughts were 3x Submerge, which has insane synergy with the deck or 3x Chill.

  2. Ok. Universal verdict is FoW should be main. Remove the pierces for them.
    Also, there are some ideas of maybe dropping a couple/3 Geists and 1 Unstable for some ColdEye Selkies, for Exalted purposes.

    1. Tell your friends thanks, but that advice is super sketchy to me. Especially removing geists, which is the best card in the deck, I really dont understand that.

    2. For Legacy play, you're going to face folks with islands, so you get an unblockable that gives you card draw when you deal damage. You've got exalted buffs, so the plusses on the Selkie are just extra gravy on a card that's already good. That's the rundown I got.

      I'm personally not a fan- flying is always better in my opinion; but I thought I'd pass on the idea.

      I firmly stand behind the FoW being main, though. I don't understand the sideboard mentality for a blue/white control aggro deck.

    3. Two reasons not to include selkie:

      1) No hexproof, which makes it vulnerable to a bunch of removal that geist just laughs at. This vulnerability would also make the enchantment-based buffs a lot riskier...

      2) This deck wants to race, not grind out long games through card advantage. One power vs. six power is a huge difference, especially when both cards are the same mana cost and the one he's playing is just so much harder to kill.

      All that said, I'd still consider running FoW main. I know it's typically more of a control card, but don't you find yourself spending your first 2-3 turns tapping out to drop threats?

    4. @Lo Thats the thing, this isn't a control aggro deck. It's a tempo aggro looking to end the game on turn 4 or 5 ideally.

  3. Also, Dredge is not Magic. It's some other game that happens to use Magic cards... I HATE Dredge, so, so much.

    PS: Got anything to deal with infect? There are a couple new up-and-coming Infect legacy killers...

  4. Possibly a bit late to add comments; but if you have not finished the sideboard yet I would say you want something against Burn. COP: Red, Leyline of Sanctity or Chill. Personally I do not like playing Leyline of the Void in a deck that can not cast it.

    I assume your deck is based on the one that won the Sacramento Open in March?