Thursday, January 12, 2012


Good morning peeps >w< This post is about Magic so it might be abit long but bear with me

I told ya in the intro that I will touch a little bit on Magic: The Gathering. I know I should make and intro to the trading card game itself but since I had a good question from one of my friends recently. I am going straight to.... Sideboarding (hang in there for a while noobs :p).

Be reminded that this is my views entirely, Im no pro especially when it comes to Constructed format. 

Intro to Sideboarding

As most of us are well aware of, every T1 and T2 decks allows us to have 15 cards as sideboards for players to change between the original cards in the deck. In competitive tournaments, the 15 sideboard cards should be registered together with the maindeck cards. Sideboard is very important as some might say, the 15 sideboard cards are the performance determinant factor of a particular deck. What cards should I put in the sideboard list U ask? Im just about to go there... be patient young padawan.

Types of Sideboards

There are two types of sideboarding (or three if you take into consideration the combination of both)

  • Reactive Sideboards
Reactive Sideboards requires a lot of attention and knowledge about the meta game (the current deck trend in the community or tournament). Reactive Sideboarding refers to siding in cards that is super effective against the deck that U are up against at the point of time. Since the sideboard size is only 15, one should maximize the usage of that 15 slots for cards taking into consideration the probability of match-ups against the deck. 

In other easier terms, you dont want to waste having 4 slots in your sideboard for some cards to go against decks that people are not playing. U might end up not using that card at all.

Since alot of people is playing wolf run with Inkmoth Nexus, running Wring Flesh in my sideboard is a good idea 

  • Proactive Sideboards
Proactive Sideboards is a basically a second gameplan for your deck. Bear in mind that not all decks out there are suitable for proactive sideboarding. 

An easy example for those regular players out there is, a swap from Pyromancer's Ascension to Kiln Fiend is one example of a very good proactive sideboarding (some might also call this transformational sideboarding). Noticing that the opposing player is playing green and thinking ahead that he might side in naturalize for the enchantment, why not make those Naturalize a dead card in his/her hand by siding out the enchantment and gearing into beatdown burn with kiln fiend instead.

Pyromancer Ascension to Kiln Fiend, always a good surprise x_x

Once this transformational sideboards is widespread, it allows U to make opponents think into U making transformational sideboard even though ur not. Its like playing poker!! How many cards should reserve for sideboards U ask? What? You didnt ask?.... Im gonna tell you anyways so shut the fug up.

# of Sideboard Card Copies

This was actually the question asked to me by one of my friends. To my opinion sideboard card copies depend on what role does it represent as a sideboard card and against how many decks does this card is effective with. Do take into consideration the number of sideboard cards which is also already in the maindeck. Lets do a little breakdown for those types:

  • Tranformational Cards (3-4)
Usually deck build around these are combo cards. Lets look back at the Ascension deck. This deck mainboard 4 Pyromancer Ascension and transform to beatdown + burn mode. In order to win the game, these newly born Kiln Fiend is the win con hence having 4 pieces is necessary.

  •  Super Effective Cards (2-4)
Cards like these may vary in numbers as it depends on the effectiveness of the card and ability to be at least decent against a number of other decks in the meta. These cards are usually suitable for proactive sideboarding. If its good against other deck as well, increase the numbers to optimize your sideboard limited size.

  • "Tutorable" Cards (1)
Cards like these might be essential in having an edge against your opponent but as the term implies, it is tutorable. For those new to magic, tutor is a widely known term defined by a cycle of well-known cards back in Classic Sixth Edition (I think) as looking for a specific card in your library. A good example for this is the once off Swamp in previous Valakut decks to fuel Memoricide which is "tutorable" with Rampant effect.

  • Secret Tech!! (1??)
Hahahaha, as this is where opponents go "Wha? who the hell plays this card?! Im not prepared for this $h1T!!". It is somewhat useful against some decks but not that good in your deck to have more than one copy as some of this card does not fit that well. Simple example is Elesh Norn in GW Gavony piloted by Martin Juza recently. Elesh Norn hav a very high casting cost which makes it not very suitable for a deck which runs a small number of lands but against monored or mirror, the praetor serves as a one sided wrath and overrun to your cute creatures. Apart from that, the praetor is way out of burn range.

Example :

Lets go through a simple example of my UBw control's sideboard list

1 piece

Quite a good sideboard card now where flashbacks cards and graveyard recursion is abundance. Already have 2 in mainboard so 3 copies is more than enough for a costly counterspell.

2 pieces

This card is good against other UW decks which uses Phantasmal Image + Sun Titan. Also decent against token decks but both this decks does not see play that much recently hence 2 copies are enough. Remember to target the Titan not the Image as it will fizzle due to the Image's trigger effects. T^T.

3 pieces

This card is very good against the current meta. The main reason I run this in my sideboard is to go against Inkmoth Nexus in Wolfrun decks but apart from that, this card is also very very effective against agro decks killing 1 drops such as Stormkirk Noble and Champion of the Parish not to mention those pesky illusions. Being an instant gave me an advantage for me to reuse this card with Snapcasters.

1 piece

Playing black gives me the access to the best removals of the set. Having 1 in main board and another Doom Blade makes a piece of this awesome card sufficient as sideboard.

2 pieces

Even though black has the access to the best removals, unfortunately the only board sweeper available for black is Black Sun's Zenith. It is pretty decent but quite costly. Ablility to reshuffle this after blowing up the board is quite a big plus as this deck allows frantic digging with Forbidden Alchemy.

2 pieces

This card is very good against control players which runs alot of counterspells. Against those players this card is alot better compared to mana leaks when players go on a "draw-go" mode until someone pull the trigger.

2 pieces

A hidden gem most people hav forgotten due to the banning of Stoneforge Mystics. This is exceptionally good against agro players in buying time before Wurmcoil Engine. Semi resistant against board sweepers and creature removals.

2 pieces

The meta with alot of wolf runs makes this card better than any other counterspells out there. The restriction does not allow you to play it mainboard but a hard counter for 2 mana on the sideboard is very hard to ignore. Also quite effective against agro red decks.

Wow! Thats a long one. Well that is to be expected I guess.

I guess that’s all for now. Good day freaks~

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