Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sideboarding mastery

Over half of our games are sideboarded, but sideboarding is perhaps the most underrated art in Magic. The aim of this article is to provide some tips and key ideas that you can incorporate into any deck you play.

  • Don't reveal the number of cards you sideboard. Put them all in your deck at the same time and then remove the number at the same time. In Limited, players often don't make any changes and if you don't have any card which will improve your performance, you can always bluff your opponent. Side out 3 Plains and side in 3 Plains. Confuse him.
  • While we are on the subject of Limited and you are facing an aggro deck, which you cannot catch up with, consider changing your mana curve. Bring in some not obvious choices, like 2/1 for 2 mana in order to trade with their 2-drops. The point here is that you already win the late game anyway so you can afford a bad card. Contrary with both slow deck. Add a 7/6 for 6 mana. A creature that makes a difference in a long game.
  • Base sideboard plan on whether you are on the play or on the draw. Take a card like Knight of the White Orchid as example. It is great if you are on the play and you can search for a plains card, but if you are starting you will probably not benefit from its ability. So, it is rather a safe bet to sideboard it out, while you are starting. 
  • It may seems very unpopular, but consider siding out few land cards when the matchup is not about speed or you are significantly changing the mana curve.
  • Be aware of fact that your opponent is sideboarding as well. He may totally change a game plan, for example side out all creatures he has, so adding more removal spells against him might be not the best move. 

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