Sideboard Guide


A guide for sideboarding against each Legacy archetype – explaining what to take out and bring in against those decks. Keep in mind that this is a rough tutorial and sometimes straying from these instructions is correct. Situations, game states and the opponent often call for a different plan of attack.

» Download a PDF sideboard guide

Recommended reading:

09-24-2017 Card Considerations: Removal by Alex McKinley on theepicstorm.com
08-14-2017 Sideboard Musings: Contextualizing Card Values by Jasper Gardener Burch on theepicstorm.com
05-25-2016 The Current State: Massacre by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com
02-08-2016 The Current State: Chain of Vapor by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com
09-04-2015 Xantid Swarm Vs. The Metagame by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com
06-08-2015 Post-SCG:WOR Sideboard Developments by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

Force Of Will
Flusterstorm
Ethersworn Canonist

 

In the past when sideboarding for the control matchup, you couldn't grab your copies of Chrome Mox fast enough. It made sense for that time, you wanted to be on a more consistent game-plan with more resiliency – this is where the "Grinding-Station" theory came from. That said, this plan is out-dated in today's metagame. With the printing of Search For Azcanta, the control decks have such a strong late game as they create actual card advantage instead of theoretical card advantage with Sensei's Divining Top. This creates situations where even multiple copies of Past in Flames isn't effective against their flurry of Flusterstorm, Surgical Extraction, Force of Will, and Snapcaster Mage.

 

Well, how do we beat that?

By going under them! This is where our good friend Chrome Mox comes back to the equation. These control decks are actually weakest in the set-up stage of the game, meaning that fast hands with a single piece of disruption are generally good enough to defeat these menacing control decks. Other than Search For Azcanta, there's also Counterbalance out of Miracles and Hymn to Tourach out of the black-based control decks.

An easy and effective way of playing around these cards is to simply combo off before they're relevant. With Hymn to Tourach based control decks, one strategy I personally like is playing out my artifact mana (Chrome Mox, Lotus Petal, and Lion's Eye Diamond) and then allowing the Hymn to Tourach happen. TES is a very threat based deck with typically 7-8 "tutor effects" to draw off the top of your library, allowing a lot of "I win the game" scenarios.

 

Sideboarding Concepts

When sideboarding you should think of how your opponents are trying to combat you, for these matchups, all types of control decks are bringing in copies of Flusterstorm, Surgical Extraction, and Pyroblast. This is manageable, you can combat Surgical Extraction rather easily as it's not actually that good against TES (we don't really utilize Past in Flames as much as Ad Nauseam Tendrils). What you should do is sideboard in your copy of Tendrils of Agony because if the control player hits a copy of Burning Wish (with Surgical Extraction) that will leave you with Empty the Warrens as your win condition. This is an issue because Empty the Warrens isn't typically the strongest in these matchups due to cards like Terminus, Batterskull, Toxic Deluge and Marsh Casualties.

I've been trying to do something different recently when sideboarding against control decks. Cards like Defense Grid that are effective against Miracles but not as useful against decks like Grixis Control (due to discard and Kolaghan's Command) have become a liability. Instead, we're looking for a plan that can cover both decks. If you've read any of my sideboarding strategies over the years, you know that I like diverse plans. Because of this, we're siding in Tendrils of Agony and Past in Flames to pair with our Cabal Rituals to act as Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT) in post-board matches.

The last card to fend off would be Flusterstorm, which isn't always the easiest. Against the blue & white based control decks, cards like Xantid Swarm or even Defense Grid are very effective against this, but if you don't like these cards you can always attempt to overload on discard spells. I'm personally not a big fan of going over seven discard spells as you're only fighting them on one axis while they're combating you on several (the stack, graveyard, and permanents). In theory, discard spells can answer all of these, but in actual game play cards like Brainstorm or Snapcaster Mage can hide cards long enough to defeat you at an opportune time. Something like Xantid Swarm or Defense Grid can't be targeted by Flusterstorm and have a huge impact on the game. These strategies only work agains the blue & white based control decks, against the Hymn to Tourach based control decks I don't think permanent based answers that stop counterspells are effective. When the opponent has a solid mixture of discard spells and counterspells, it makes Xantid Swarm and Defense Grid rather embarrassing. Not to mention the fact they're both answered by Kolaghan's Command.

The last way to fight back (blue & white based control decks) is to bring in answers for permanents, it doesn't matter if you're splashing green for Abrupt Decay or staying Grixis. You should bring in some sort of answer for Counterbalance, Ethersworn Canonist and the uncommon Meddling Mage. Against the Hymn to Tourach based control decks, if they play more than two copies of Leovold, Emissary of Trest I try to sideboard in a few answers as I don't want to be forced into an Empty the Warrens line if the situation doesn't call for one. If you don't understand why, please read the "Small Creature Combo" decks section for the answer.

For more information on how to beat Control decks, please check out the resources links!

Important Cards in the Match-up

Sideboarding

Resource Links

Videos

11-04-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. Convo with Shardless BUG on Magic: the Gathering Online

10-07-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. AnziD104 with Miracles on Magic: the Gathering Online

10-07-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. flowerdayonyon with Grixis Control on Magic: the Gathering Online

10-07-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. Redviking1993 with Grixis Control on Magic: the Gathering Online

10-07-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. Condescend with Miracles on Magic: the Gathering Online

08-08-2018 Bryant Cook vs Brian Braun-Duin with Grixis Control on Legacy Premier League

07-14-2018 Michael Connin vs. Ali Mirghahari with UW Stoneblade at Prodigy Games: Lake Worth, FL

06-24-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. atdawn_theysleep with 4c Control on Magic: the Gathering Online

06-24-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Iwouldliketorespond with UW Control on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-29-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. flowerdayonyon with Deathblade on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-29-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Mikeantor11 with UW Stoneblade on Magic: the Gathering Online

03-04-2018 Bryant Cook vs. Jim Davis with Miracles at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

08-06-2017 Albert Lindblom (alli) vs atdawn_theysleep with 4c Control (Round 4) on Magic Online (MTGO)

08-06-2017 Albert Lindblom (alli) vs Momsen with 4c Control (Round 3) on Magic Online (MTGO)

05-04-2017 Romario Neto vs Anuraag Das with UWr Stoneblade on Legacy Premier League

04-17-2017 Nick Linder vs. Gabriel Meier with Miracles at Gameplace in Lucerne, Switzerland

03-18-2017 Bryant Cook vs. Joe Stempo with 4c Control at Eternal Extravaganza VI in Washington, DC

04-22-2016 Steven Fierro vs. Fred Chen with Deathblade at Fire & Dice in Woodland Hills, CA

08-22-2015 Joey Valente vs. Corey Armstrong with Shardless BUG at Fire & Dice in Woodland Hills, CA

08-11-2015 Jordon Robbins vs. Jon Ha with Miracles at Ready to Play Trading Cards in Columbia, SC

01-10-2015 Bryant Cook vs. Zane Knapp with Esper Deathblade at StarCityGames: Philadelphia, PA

08-10-2014 Bryant Cook vs. Lloyd Kurth with Shardless BUG at StarCityGames: Syracuse, NY

06-13-2014 Bryant Cook vs. Reid Duke with Miracles at StarCityGames Invitational: Columbus, OH

08-27-2013 Bryant Cook vs. Harry Corvece with Shardless BUG at StarCityGames: Baltimore, MD

06-23-2013 Matthew Bevenour vs. Brad Nelson with Esper Deathblade at StarCityGames: Philadelphia, PA

03-17-2013 Bryant Cook vs. JD Nir with Esper Stoneblade at StarCityGames: Washington, DC

05-12-2012 Bryant Cook vs. Sam Roukas with BUG Control at Jupiter Games in Binghamton, NY

02-11-2012 Bryant Cook vs. Tariq White with Stoneblade at Jupiter Games in Binghamton, NY

Stifle
Wasteland
Delver Of Secrets

 

In general, your main deck is set up to combat these styles of decks. You want to stay mana efficient and flexible on your game-plan, if your opponent has a fast start, maybe you should consider another option other than Ad Nauseam. I wouldn't recommend playing your discard spells into possible Daze effects, if you can discard a copy or two of Force of Will, you can plow through their soft counter magic.

Over the last few years The EPIC Storm has added one Basic land and then a second, match-ups like this are why they're here. Search for them! Often these decks try to keep you off of mana using Wasteland and Stifle. How you can fight back is to search up your basics, then play your non-basics or fetchlands into a red mana source last.

 

What is effective in this matchup?

Empty the Warrens, plain and simple. For lists playing more than a single copy of this card in the sideboard, they should be bringing in their extra copies. This plan is effective during time periods in which Cabal Therapy and/or Spell Pierce out of the Delver of Secrets decks is popular over cards like Stifle or Flusterstorm. What's nice about these matchups is Flusterstorm isn't played in the same numbers as control decks, it's rare to see more than a single copy in most Delver of Secrets sideboards. How they try to fight through Goblin tokens is typically Tarmogoyf, Young Pyromancer and then the sideboard Izzet Staticaster.

 

Sideboarding Concepts

As mentioned above, if you have extra copies of Empty the Warrens bring them in, this card is naturally good against them but is also another threat to hedge against Cabal Therapy. If your list has the extra copy of Chrome Mox in the sideboard, you should bring it in. It serves a dual purpose of increasing the amount of turn one copies of Empty the Warrens as well as smooth out your Ad Nauseams. This plan is good because against opponents with a lot of graveyard hate, you can just ignore the issue.

An alternative plan to sideboarding in the additional copy of Chrome Mox is to instead bring in your additional Past in Flames over Ad Nauseam. This way you have a storm resource in your deck that isn't life-total dependent against decks trying to pressure your life-total, which can be an issue with Empty the Warrens sometimes not racing Delver of Secrets fast enough.

If you don't play multiple Empty the Warrens or the second copy of Past in Flames, you just don't sideboard.

The exception would be for Jeskai Delver variants, which tend to be uncommon, but they always seem to have hate-creatures like Ethersworn Canonist and Meddling Mage. I would bring in some sort of answer for these annoyances.

Lastly, there's the odd ball in the group - Merfolk! If you're playing Green, Xantid Swarm is incredibly effective against them as they can't remove it from the table. They will most certainly have brought in three copies of Flusterstorm to pair with their copies of Force of Will and Chalice of the Void. Unfortunately for us, Flusterstorm is still very good with Chalice of the Void on the table. I would highly recommend bringing in all copies of Abrupt Decay or Echoing Truth (if you're on Grixis) to answer Chalice of the Void. I wouldn't be too defeated if you can't seem to defeat this deck, as it's of little shock the deck with Force of Will, Daze, Chalice of the Void, and Flusterstorm is tough matchup. They've also been known to bring in Echoing Truth to answer our Goblin tokens, keep that in mind.

For more information on how to beat Tempo decks, please check out the resources links!

Important Cards in the Match-up

Sideboarding

Grixis Delver:

-1 Burning Wish
+1 Empty the Warrens

Sultai Delver:

-1 Burning Wish
+1 Empty the Warrens

RUG Delver:

-1 Burning Wish
+1 Empty the Warrens

Jeskai Delver:

-1 Burning Wish
+1 Empty the Warrens

UR Delver:

-1 Burning Wish
+1 Empty the Warrens

Death's Shadow:

-1 Burning Wish
+1 Empty the Warrens

Infect:

None.

Resource Links

Videos

11-04-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. qbturtle15 with RUG Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

11-04-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. cspickle with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

11-04-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs.Leastbean with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

10-07-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. poporon3n with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

10-07-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. Pikula with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

07-14-2018 Bryant Cook vs. Nathan Robinson with RUG Delver at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

07-08-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. AdventuresWithTarmo with RUG Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

06-24-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. AntzzzOnALog with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

06-24-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. ReneRandrup with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

06-24-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. AntzzzOnALog with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-29-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Ultimar with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-29-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. yamakiller with BUG Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-22-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Kentaro_hokori with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-22-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Lennny with BUG Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-22-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. James_Zhi with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-22-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Mzfroste with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-22-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Eronrelentless with Grixis Delver on Magic: the Gathering Online

03-03-2018 Bryant Cook vs. Benjamin Nikolich with Grixis Delver at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

01-27-2018 AJ Kerrigan vs. Bob Huang with Grixis Delver at StarCityGames: Philadelphia, PA

10-21-2017 Bryant Cook vs. Hans Jacob Goddick with BUG Delver at Eternal Weekend in Pittsburgh, PA

08-06-2017 Albert Lindblom (alli) vs vs r4wk5t4r with Grixis Delver (Round 2) on Magic Online (MTGO)

08-08-2015 Bryant Cook vs. Jonathon Morawski with Grixis Delver at StarCityGames: Washington, DC

08-08-2015 Bryant Cook vs. Dylan Donegan with Grixis Delver at StarCityGames: Washington, DC

06-26-2015 Nicklas Lallo vs. Hannes Eriksson with Jeskai Delver at Scandinavian Open #5

05-23-2015 Bryant Cook vs. Andrew Boswell with RUG Delver at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

08-10-2014 Bryant Cook vs. Dan Jordan with Jeskai Delver at StarCityGames: Syracuse, NY

07-20-2014 Bryant Cook vs. Dylan Donegan with RUG Delver at StarCityGames: Baltimore, MD

04-28-2014 AJ Kerrigan vs. Eric Rill with RUG Delver at StarCityGames: Somerset, NJ

09-08-2013 Bryant Cook vs. Ben Friedman with Jeskai Delver at StarCityGames: Philadelphia, PA

07-07-2013 Bryant Cook vs. Jacob Wilson with RUG Delver at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

03-17-2013 Bryant Cook vs. Ben Green with Jeskai Delver at StarCityGames: Washington, DC

03-17-2013 David Fleischmann Rose vs. Ben Green with Jeskai Delver at StarCityGames: Washington, DC

Goblin Guide
Eidolon Of The Great Revel
Lightning Bolt

 

These decks attack The EPIC Storm a little differently, they attempt to lower your life-total very quickly to shut off Ad Nauseam. Outside of this and the fact they're all red, they don't have a whole lot in common.

 

What's the plan?

Well it depends on which deck you're facing, against Burn and Zoo, I typically prefer to cast Empty the Warrens from a high life total. I wouldn't risk an Ad Nauseam due to cards like Fireblast. Against Goblins, I think Empty the Warrens is a bit of a risk as they can make enough blockers or even put into play Goblin Sharpshooter – I would use Ad Nauseam. Against all three, Duress is lacking – while Duress has targets in each matchup, it's not exactly what you want to be spending your resources on as the cards that matter most are all creatures. The two most common and important creatures against these decks are Eidolon of the Great Revel and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Both of these are very difficult to win through after they've resolved, which means that you should aim to combo before they can land or keep a hand with Thoughtseize (at least in game-one).

 

Sideboarding Concepts

With Duress being lackluster, it's the first card to come out – no surprise here. The next card may shock some and that's Thoughtseize, but it makes a lot of sense when our opponents are trying to aggressively lower our life total. That said, the difference between Burn and the other two decks is we know what we need to name with Cabal Therapy and the speed of their clock. With Burn they generally only have Eidolon of the Great Revel, sometimes there's an uncommon Pyrostatic Pillar, but it typically has legs. The other two decks aren't as fast as Burn and are more known to diversify their hate cards. Zoo could have Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Gaddock Teeg, or an Ethersworn Canonist because of this and a slower clock it's safer to keep in Thoughtseize. The same concepts can be applied to Goblins with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Thorn of Amethyst, and Chalice of the Void.

These decks try to fight us using permanents, meaning that we should bring in things that answer those permanents - either Echoing Truth, Chain of Vapor, or Abrupt Decay depending on the list.

Against burn specifically, it's the only matchup in which I sideboard out Ad Nauseam for a Past in Flames package. If they're going to shut down our primary "Storm Engine", there's no reason to keep it in the deck. Stay flexible. Don't force yourself down a Past in Flames line when your deck post-board has two copies of Empty the Warrens and three Chrome Mox.

For more information on how to beat Aggro decks, please check out the resources links!

Important Cards in the Match-up

Sideboarding

Resource Links

Articles

10-08-2018 TES Matchup Battles: Goblins by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

08-06-2018 Matchup Mulligan: Burn by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

08-09-2017 TES Matchup Battles: Burn by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

Videos

06-24-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. TMT_Noski with Burn on Magic: the Gathering Online

07-07-2013 Bryant Cook vs. Jon Ashworth with Goblins at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

03-03-2012 Bryant Cook vs. Nick Patnode with Goblins at Jupiter Games in Binghamton, NY

03-30-2011 Liam Kane vs. Patrick Sullivan with Burn at StarCityGames: Los Angeles, CA

Thalia Guardian Of Thraben
Gaddock Teeg
Ethersworn Canonist

 

These sort of decks can be divided into two categories, those with heavy hand disruption and those with permanent disuption. The more prevalent decks would be the Thalia, Guardian of Thraben based decks like Death & Taxes or Maverick with the other decks being a little more uncommon, such as Jund or Nic Fit.

 

Combo off!

In the permanent based matchups, it all comes down to speed, especially in game one. On the play, you want to mulligan aggressively for hands that can generate a lot of mana paired with a "tutor effect". It's okay to plan for a second turn to combo off against most of these decks (4c Loam being the exception), meaning Ponder is a strong card when on the play.

Against discard based decks, consistency based cards are exactly what you would like, so Ponder is an all-star where our own hand disruption is rather weak.

 

Sideboarding Concepts

On the draw for a majority of these match-ups, Ponder is the opposite of what you want to be doing. You should be trying to combo on turn one or have a Thoughtseize to discard Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. If there's a third game, you can consider boarding Ponders in if you're on the play as long as you aren't against a version of these decks with Chalice of the Void. Due to these all being "creature-based" decks, Duress is very embarrassing to have in your hand, side these out as fast as possible.

In matches where "speed is king" and our opponents aren't combo decks, additional copies of Empty the Warrens are always welcome as naturally drawing one can lead to more explosive hands without the need to mulligan aggressively.

The exact opposite of above is true for the discard decks, they generally have too many sweepers for Empty the Warrens to be effective. I would highly recommend swapping it with Tendrils of Agony, this works in two ways. It takes a weak card out of your deck and helps play around Surgical Extraction.

For more information on how to beat Midrange decks, please check out the resources links!

Important Cards in the Match-up

Sideboarding

Death & Taxes:

-3 Duress
+3 Echoing Truth

Maverick:

-3 Duress
+3 Echoing Truth

4c Loam:

-3 Duress
-2 Ponder
+3 Echoing Truth
+2 Wipe Away

Resource Links

Articles

08-23-2018 TES Matchup Battles: 4c Loam by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

05-24-2018 TES Matchup Battles: Maverick by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

08-22-2017 Matchup Mulligan: Death & Taxes by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

12-19-2016 TES Matchup Battles: Death & Taxes by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

08-29-2016 TES vs. Sanctum Prelate by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

05-25-2016 The Current State: Massacre by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

01-08-2016 The Current State: Chain of Vapor by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

Videos

08-08-2018 Bryant Cook vs Bob Huang with 4c Loam on Legacy Premier League

07-08-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. D00mwake with Death & Taxes on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-22-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Karolmo with Death & Taxes on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-22-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Magic-Michael with Death & Taxes on Magic: the Gathering Online

03-03-2018 Kazu Negri vs. Zachary Koch with Death & Taxes at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

10-28-2017 Bryant Cook vs. David Kagan with Death & Taxes at StarCityGames: Washington, DC

08-06-2017 Albert Lindblom (alli) vs HeyNongMan with 4c Loam (Round 5) on Magic Online (MTGO)

05-04-2017 Romario Neto vs Michael Bonde with Death & Taxes on Legacy Premier League

05-22-2016 Jesse Onland vs. Steven Liao with 4c Loam at Face to Face Games in Toronto, CA

04-30-2016 Jordon Robbins vs. Dane Davidson with Maverick at Ready to Play Trading Cards in Columbia, SC

04-22-2016 Steven Fierro vs. Cory Haukka with Death & Taxes at Fire & Dice in Woodland Hills, CA

09-22-2014 Spencer Miller vs. Greg Pino with Bant Maverick at WUBRG.xyz

12-15-2012 Bryant Cook vs. Eli Kassis with Junk at Jupiter Games in Binghamton, NY

06-17-2012 Ari Lax vs. Devin Badaczeski with Death & Taxes at StarCityGames: Detroit, MI

06-30-2011 AJ Kerrigan vs. James Rynkiewicz with NO-Bant at StarCityGames: Edison, NJ

Ruric Thar The Unbowed
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Mindbreak Trap

 

This category doesn't really follow any rules. Let's break it down by looking at the two that are most alike - Food Chain and Aluren. To TES, these decks are essentially the same, they both play Force of Will, Thoughtseize, and Leovold, Emissary of Trest.

 

The Problem

Leovold, Emissary of Trest is an issue for the obvious reasons of shutting down our cantrips and weakening the effects of discard spells. But the reason problem for us is that for each copy of Tendrils of Agony, our opponent will draw a card. So what? If our opponents only had Force of Will, this wouldn't be a big deal. But it often leads to our opponents drawing into Mindbreak Trap or Flusterstorm to counterspell all of our copies. How we can combat this is by using Empty the Warrens or removing Leovold, Emissary of Trest from the table using Chain of Vapor, Echoing Truth, Rending Volley or Abrupt Decay. Grapeshot is ineffective here as they'll draw a card for each copy, similar to Tendrils of Agony.

Empty the Warrens is fine against Leovold, Emissary of Trest, with the only downside in these matchups being that they could kill us before we deal them lethal damage.

 

Elves & Infect

Against most combo decks, Empty the Warrens isn't an all-star – these decks are no exception. The issue is that they can both kill us through blockers with huge trample creatures. The strategy for TES is to be fast while not using Empty the Warrens unless you have to. The problem here is that Infect has Force of Will and Daze, making it a little trickier. That said, it's completely manageable.

 

Sideboarding Concepts

Against Food Chain and Aluren, while these are combo decks, due to Leovold, Emissary of Trest you can't afford to take out Empty the Warrens. Instead, you should be looking to limit it's effectiveness. Which means siding out all copies of Ponder for answers, I recommend removal spells and if your sideboard contains them, either Defense Grid or Xantid Swarm. If you're having trouble finding more sideboard slots to remove, these decks don't play Wasteland – which means it's acceptable to sideboard out the basic Island in some circumstances.

Against Elves, you should be looking to swap Empty the Warrens for a win-condition that isn't terrible in the matchup. Either Tendrils of Agony or Grapeshot, this decision is up to you. Tendrils of Agony is a lot easier to make work, while Grapeshot can serve as a sweeper to buy time if need be. If your opponent has things like Gaddock Teeg or Ruric Thar, The Unbowed you should strongly consider siding in bounce spells.

For more information on how to beat Small Creature Combo decks, please check out the resources links!

Important Cards in the Match-up

Sideboarding

Resource Links

Articles

04-23-2018 TES Matchup Battles: Elves by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

04-03-2018 Matchup Mulligan: Elves by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

01-15-2018 TES Matchup Battles: Aluren by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

10-17-2017 Through the Looking Glass: Elves with Julian Knab by Jasper Gardener Burch on theepicstorm.com

Videos

07-14-2018 Bryant Cook vs. Oliver Tomajko with Infect at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

06-24-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Cartesian with Aluren on Magic: the Gathering Online

11-28-2015 AJ Kerrigan vs. Tom Ross with Infect at StarCityGames: Somerset, NJ

10-13-2015 Jordon Robbins vs. George Boone with Infect at Ready to Play Trading Cards in Columbia, SC

08-09-2015 Bryant Cook vs. Zach Koch with Infect at StarCityGames: Washington, DC

01-10-2015 Bryant Cook vs. Rich Meyst with Elves at StarCityGames: Philadelphia, PA

10-02-2011 Jason Golembiewski vs. Chris Anderson with Elves at StarCityGames: Indianapolis, IN

07-24-2011 Liam Kane vs. Joe Lossett with Elves at StarCityGames: Seattle, WA

Griselbrand
Show And Tell
Leyline Of Sanctity

 

A series of blue-based (RB Reanimator being the exception) combo decks where you need to be fast, but not use Empty the Warrens! Delightful!

 

Our Plan

Draw discard spells and then cast them! Well, it's a bit more complicated than that. You have to decide in each game what's more important, hitting their disruption (counterspells or discard) or their own combo pieces. The decision is all based around what you have in hand, if you think you'll be able to win in a timely manner – I'd consider the disruption. If you think you're going to need more than a turn or two, I'd aim for their own combo pieces.

I mentioned not using Empty the Warrens, this is because these decks can simply go over our Goblins. Griselbrand is not only a better Batterskull against us, but will likely draw into Emrakul, the Aeon's Torn or Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. I think the only time it's acceptable to use Empty the Warrens is when you have the lone Cabal Therapy in your graveyard to flashback using our critters.

One tool that we have in this matchup (if your list is playing it), is Telemin Performance! Putting Griselbrand into play can often end the game on the spot, even if you are "unlucky" enough to get an Emrakul, the Aeon's Torn you're still in a good spot. Against Reanimator, I would try to figure out the percentages of hitting a Griselbrand vs a Chancellor of the Annex as hitting the white angel is generally low impact for us.

 

Sideboarding Concepts

Against the Show and Tell based decks, I would be prepared for Leyline of Sanctity. This means bringing in some sort of bounce spells, if your list contains Echoing Truth I would advise for these before Chain of Vapor. If only for the off chance that they draw multiples. Another way to play around Leyline of Sanctity is to use effects like Defense Grid or Xantid Swarm as they don't target, helping to render their copies of Flusterstorm and Force of Will dead when your discard spells will be useless.

For the Reanimator matchups, Chain of Vapor is the preferred answer for their big creatures as these decks rarely play Leyline of Sanctity. It's rather uncommon for our opponent to have two of anything in play and it's best to be mana efficient, other than that, a spell that is easier to resolve through Chancellor of the Annex is ideal. The other white flying angel we need to be concerned with is Iona, Shield of Emeria, which is another reason to bring in bounce spells!

For UB Reanimator specifically, if your sideboard contains green and Xantid Swarm I would strongly recommend bringing it in. They have a tough time answering a resolved insect and if they use a Force of Will on one, it makes Exhume awkward for them for the remainder of the game.

For more information on how to beat Large Creature Combo decks, please check out the resources links!

Important Cards in the Match-up

Sideboarding

Resource Links

Videos

11-04-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. Aylett with Mono-Black Reanimator on Magic: the Gathering Online

07-14-2018 Bryant Cook vs. Bob Huang with Sneak & Show at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

05-04-2017 Romario Neto vs Patrick Dickmann with Sneak & Show on Legacy Premier League

06-26-2015 Nicklas Lallo vs. Mikael Johansson with Omnitell at Scandinavian Open #5

05-23-2015 Bryant Cook vs. Max Brown with Omnitell at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

07-20-2014 Bryant Cook vs. Todd Anderson with Sneak & Show at StarCityGames: Baltimore, MD

11-13-2013 Ari Lax vs. Allen Pennington with Tin-Fins at Grand Prix: Washington, DC

02-10-2013 Si Ning Li vs. Joshua Ravitz with Sneak & Show at StarCityGames: Edison, NJ

12-09-2012 Jacob Kory vs. Richard Centanni with Sneak & Show at StarCityGames: Las Vegas, NV

05-12-2012 Bryant Cook vs. Eli Kassis with Sneak & Show at Jupiter Games in Binghamton, NY

 

Duress
Surgical Extraction
Flusterstorm

 

These matches are two ships passing in the night with slight interaction. You want to keep explosive hands, usually containing Lion's Eye Diamond and "tutor effects" or at the very least a piece of hand disruption or two.

 

Be Fast!

It's our primary plan. You can do this against Storm and High Tide by using Telemin Performance as an easy way to steal the first game. That said, post-board I wouldn't feel so confident in casting this as you'll likely hit a creature sided in for this purpose.

Once again, I don't recommend using Empty the Warrens in these types of matches.

 

Sideboarding Concepts

It's fairly easy, take out Empty the Warrens for pretty much anything. If you expect Surgical Extraction, then sideboard in Tendrils of Agony. If you expect opposing copies of Telemin Performance, a Xantid Swarm if you have them. I like bringing in a spare Past in Flames against the decks with a lot of discard spells if your deck list contains two in the sideboard.

If your sideboard has them, I like bringing in copies of Echoing Truth versus Belcher and Dredge has it's a clean answer to a horde of tokens.

High Tide is a little different as we can expect to fight against copies of Force of Will and Flusterstorm. If you have Defense Grid or Xantid Swarm, these should come in.

For more information on how to beat Combo decks, please check out the resources links!

Important Cards in the Match-up

Sideboarding

Resource Links

Articles

11-06-2018 Matchup Mulligan: Dredge by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

12-29-2017 TES Matchup Battles: Dredge by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

09-17-2017 Matchup Mulligan: Storm by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

Videos

11-04-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. albertoSD with Dredge on Magic: the Gathering Online

10-07-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. LindenPaine with ANT on Magic: the Gathering Online

07-14-2018 Michael Connin vs. Anthony Garcia with High Tide at Prodigy Games: Lake Worth, FL

07-08-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. mh99 with TES on Magic: the Gathering Online

07-08-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. ExpectNoMercy with Dredge on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-29-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. muecke with ANT on Magic: the Gathering Online

10-16-2013 Jeremy Stowe vs. Andrew Dziedz with Dredge at StarCityGames: Milwaukee, MN

07-07-2013 Bryant Cook vs. Royce Walter with TES at StarCityGames: Worcester, MA

11-05-2011 Liam Kane vs. Caleb Neufeld with Dredge at StarCityGames: Las Vegas, NV

Wasteland
ChaliceoftheVoid
Sphere of Resistance

 

Against all of these decks, you want to be fast and protect your lands. While hopefully dodging Chalice of the Void or Sphere of Resistance!

 

Playing Around Hate

The first step is search for your basic lands. This is especially crucial for playing around Wasteland, if your opponent is also packing Ghost Quarter, maybe you should consider leaving one in your deck. One way to do this is to sit on your fetchlands as long as you can.

Against MUD and/or Eldrazi, if you're not winning quickly you're going to want to have discard spells for Chalice of the Void, Thorn of Amethyst, and maybe even Warping Wail. But the main goal should be to dump some Goblins on the table quickly as these decks don't play The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, unlike Lands. Against Lands, I almost never cast Empty the Warrens due to the Legendary Land. They have so many ways to find it that it's a huge liability.

Instead, if you're in game one, you should look to mill their library using Telemin Performance. This plan is generally shut off post-board due to Tireless Tracker.

Burning Wish is rather weak outside of Telemin Performance against Lands, as Empty the Warrens is easily answered by The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Past in Flames as well as Dark Petition are both risky due to Crop Rotation into Bojuka Bog.

 

Sideboarding Concepts

It's rather easy, bring in bounce spells! All of them! Against all of these decks, it doesn't matter if you're bouncing a Marit Lage or a Sphere of Reistance, these cards have great applications.

Once again, when you want to be winning quickly or having a first turn discard spell, Ponder is on it's way to the sideboard. It's a card for maximizing your draws and playing the long game, which isn't what we're trying to do.

For more information on how to beat Prison decks, please check out the resources links!

Important Cards in the Match-up

Sideboarding

Eldrazi/Chalice Aggro:

-4 Ponder
+3 Echoing Truth
+1 Wipe Away

MUD/Stax:

-4 Ponder
-1 Duress
+3 Echoing Truth
+2 Wipe Away

Resource Links

Articles

03-22-2018 Through the Looking Glass: Lands with Jarvis by AJ Kerrigan on theepicstorm.com

03-19-2018 TES Matchup Battles: Eldrazi by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

03-16-2018 Matchup Mulligan: Eldrazi by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

02-27-2018 TES Matchup Battles: Turbo Depths by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

12-13-2017 Matchup Mulligan: Lands by Bryant Cook on theepicstorm.com

09-27-2017 TES Matchup Battles: Lands by Alex Poling on theepicstorm.com

03-07-2016 Storming Through the Rise of the Eldrazi by AJ Kerrigan on theepicstorm.com

Videos

11-04-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. Nocley with Eldrazi Ramp on Magic: the Gathering Online

08-08-2018 Bryant Cook vs Jarvis Yu with Lands on Legacy Premier League

07-08-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. DNSolver with Reanimator Depths on Magic: the Gathering Online

06-24-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. hardtimes4Nik with Eldrazi Aggro on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-29-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Call1Me1Dragon with Lands on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-30-2016 Jordon Robbins vs. Eric Yu with Lands at Ready to Play Trading Cards in Columbia, SC

Blood Moon
Sneak Attack
Painters Servant

 

This matchup is very similar to the Prison decks above, I recommend reading that as well. The difference between those decks and these, is that this category of decks goes after our mana harder. Between Blood Moon, Magus of the Moon, Chalice of the Void, Sphere of Resistance, Thorn of Amethyst, and Trinisphere it's a lot to take on!

 

Playing Around Hate (Again)

More important than ever, it's important to search for your basics! Fortunately here, you don't need to worry about Ghost Quarter. What's nice about these decks (as well as Lands above) is that Chrome Mox acts as a basic land that is very difficult for our opponent to interact with.

Something you should keep in mind is that while I do like Empty the Warrens against these decks as it allows you to combo quickly, they do play between three and four copies of Fiery Confluence. Meaning, if you can play a discard spell post-Goblins, look to hit this.

 

Sideboarding Concepts

Once again, bounce spells are terrific because you can cast them off of Basic Island. If you're on the green splash, you should still aim to bring in Abrupt Decay. While it's not as easy to cast as Echoing Truth, you do need some sort of answer for those problematic hate cards.

Ponder out!

For more information on how to beat Blood Moon decks, please check out the resources links!

Important Cards in the Match-up

Sideboarding

Dragon Stompy:

-4 Ponder
+3 Echoing Truth
+1 Wipe Away

Mono-Red Sneak Attack:

-4 Ponder
+3 Echoing Truth
+1 Wipe Away

Painter:

-4 Ponder
+3 Echoing Truth
+1 Wipe Away

Resource Links

Videos

07-08-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. utley26 with Painter on Magic: the Gathering Online

07-08-2018 Legacy Challenge - Bryant_Cook vs. Allewri with Dragon Stompy on Magic: the Gathering Online

04-29-2018 Bryant_Cook vs. Bayesta_93 with Dragon Stompy on Magic: the Gathering Online