Magic: the Gathering
IN: Yes, I am taking out 9 cards and adding 10. I do this frequently. I am the 61-card deck guy. Despite not being a fan of
Chained to The Rocksin a matchup that normally has only eight creatures (4 Uro + Tokens from
Shark Typhoon), we need to respect the opponent's Uro, because if he stays in game and attacks at least once, you’ve probably already lost the game. The nature of this matchup is always to try to play under, and although
Light Up the Stageoffers us gas in a matchup where the game is usually extended to mid or late-game, it contributes very little to what we are trying to do. I have my doubts whether it would be better to take
Ghitu Lavarunnerinstead of
Wild Slashsince we have significantly reduced our number of Instants and Sorceries, but having a constant source of damage instead of "just" 2 of damage in a turn with potentially more coming from the Prowess Trigger seems like a safer option.
Roiling Vortexis the card that "replaces"
Light Up the Stagein this matchup, as it is the type of permanent that will give much more reach during the match, in addition to preventing Uro's life gain .
Light of Hopeenters because both
Wilderness Reclamationare cards that simply
cannotstay on the game for more than one turn or will generate an absurd amount of value.
Soul-Guide Lanternserves as yet another source of hate against Uro that also serves as Cantrip and value engine with Lurrus. The cards you need to keep in mind in this matchup are
Shadows' Verdictin the Sultai version and
Anger of the Gods,
Nightpack Ambusherin the Temur version.
Omnath, Locus of Creationusually means game over and he has the necessary pieces to ramp and hold the ground with mastery after the sideboard. Burn will NEVER outvalue Omnath, so its priority is, again, playing under and setting a clock.
IN: In this Matchup, I choose to remove
Ghitu Lavarunnerbecause we need efficient responses against Omnath and
Lotus Cobra, as well as ways to serve to remove a
Teferi, Time Ravelerif necessary. The cards that come in aim to remove the larger creatures and prevent the opponent from gaining life to the point that it becomes impossible to return to the game.
Part the Waterveil,
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon) usually means game loss, 'sideing-in' more removal makes the matchup even worse. The opponent will likely include some number of sweepers like
Radiant Flamesand point removals like
Magma Sprayagainst you post-sideboard.
Nissa, Who Shakes the World, but at the same time you need to be aggressive and have a good enough board position. to punish the opponent for playing a Planeswalker early. I don't consider it a favorable match.
IN: One card I particularly miss for this matchup is
Abrade, but that is another story.
Eidolon of the Great Reveldoes is not effective on this matchup, serving only to punish explosive hands with
Burning-Tree Emissary, since
Chained to The Rocksis the best removal we have for deal with the giant creatures that the deck usually does, it comes in.
Alseid of Life's Bountyand
Hateful Eidolon's lifelink, which if combined with [[All That Glitters] ] can easily mean game over. The game is many times defined by who is in the play and which are the drop 1 presented by both players. It is important to use removals to "bait" cards like
Karametra's Blessingdepending on what is on the board. The ideal is to bet on a beatdown plan, using burn spells as removal for the main threats or wait until the moment when your opponent has a quantity of life where you can win the game with direct damage. Expect cards like
Light of Hopefrom your opponent. Sometimes,
Hushbringercan also be used because of its lifelink ability.
IN: As usual in most Aggro matchups, you will be exchanging your burn spells as resources against your opponent's creatures, trying to create as many favorable exchanges as possible while developing the board with creatures. Both
Light Up the Stageare cards that do not contribute to a more interactive game.
Searing Bloodis a card that is much more relevant on the play as it serves to commonly punish an opponent's turn 1 play if it is not a removal and helps to put the clock in your favor. In the draw, Burn usually takes a more "control" posture at the beginning of the game, being the removals deck and playing the game for the mid-game, where Auras can resort to
Lurrus of the Dream-Denthat , if not answered immediately it can generate too much value The decision between
Roiling Vortexdepends on how much you want to respect your opponent's Lurrus or his ability to gain a lot of life very quickly. I usually respect the life gain, but I recognize that Lurrus is a big problem to deal with in other stages of the game.
Eidolon of the Great Revel, which needs to be played when there is already a significant difference between your life and the opponent's, or should be used to establish the initial pressure if the opponent does not have a permanent on the game in the first turns. The Mono-Red version has a great triumph against Boros called
Bonecrusher Giant, which is a difficult threat to remove with a good part of our magic while establishing a clock that we need to respect in a significant way because it hits much stronger than any of our creatures.
INAlthough this match is often defined by resolving a
Lurrus of the Dream-Den, I don't like to put
Soul-Guide Lanternbecause it has a very specific utility for a matchup that is all about racing. The sideboard plan is simple: Fewer cards that do not interact with the table or are harmful in this matchup for more removal. On the draw, I remove
Zurgo Bellstrikerbecause it is a card that blocks very badly while is blocked very well, so it is replaced by another
Light of Hopethat allows us to catch our breath if the opponent comes with too much aggression. Mono-Red usually uses
Chandra, Torch of Defiancepost-sideboard and my advice to deal with it in this matchup is: Unless you can kill it with an attack or a single Burn spell, it is better to dedicate your resources to continue to set a clock against your opponent since, unless you draw very badly, Chandra will not deal any more damage than you can deal to your opponent. It's a risky move, since Planeswalker generates a lot of value, but it's one that usually works for me.
Rankle, Master of Pranksand
Spawn of Mayhem, which most of the time will be extremely disruptive to our game plan or significantly speed up the opponent's clock, killing
Mutavaults if the opponent chooses to attack with them may be an option to delay the use of these cards.
IN: Like Burn,
Eidolon of the Great Revelare cards that interact poorly in the race proposed in that match, so we swap them for more removal.
Soul-Guide Lanternis the best answer we have for cards like
Scrapheap Scroungerthat can be permanently problematic to deal with and offers a considerable board advantage for them. Keep in mind that the opponent tends to side-in cards like
Kalitas, Traitor of Gethand
Aethersphere Harvesterto gain life. It is almost mandatory for you to be able to respond to Kalitas as soon as he enters the game as it is the card that usually dominates the board, but instead of start spending resources on
Aethersphere Harvester, I usually prefer to deal with other creatures and increase the clock instead, removing it would require virtually the same amount of life it can earn on its own.
IN: Geting the card advantage to increase the clock is your best bet.
Roiling Vortexadds more clock to the deck while punishes the opponent for using the combo route with
Omniscience(which, honestly, he is unlikely to do without responding to the enchantment first, usually he will choose to
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon).
Soul-Guide Lanterncomes in as a way of trying to delay
Dig Through Time, but honestly I don't know how far it really is worth using it in this matchup.
Eidolon of the Great Revelhas very little impact on this matchup while
Ghitu Lavarunnerare cards whose opponent's blockers easily deal with Removals come in for the bigger creatures (which the deck has a lot) and
Roiling Vortexwhich, in addition to giving the deck more range and preventing life gain, also serves to "counter" the
Bring to Lightof the opponent. I don't like the idea of including
Soul-Guide Lanternfor having little interaction with the rest of the deck other than
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, but it may be feasible to include it in the draw by removing 2
Ghitu Lavarunnersince the opponent will normally have a blocker or removal in turn 2. You can expect more removal from your opponent and I've seen some include
Voice of Resurgenceas a card that forces unfavorable exchanges.
Oath of Kaya,
Yorion, the Sky Nomadin addition to several creatures that are great removals, blockers and ways to gain extra life like
Elite Guardmageand it is particularly the version I have faced least so far, but I can easily say which is a horrible matchup in which I never won a game.
IN: Don't really expect to win this matchup unless you get lucky. It is horrendous and gets even worse post-sideboard. Your best option is to interact with the creatures and try to win the race.
Gideon of the Trialsand keeping him alive because, the more the opponent allows Gideon to grow, the more difficult Burn's life becomes. The most important cards for you in this match are
Eidolon of the Great Reveland
Boros Charm. Eidolon, unlike most games, should be played as soon as possible against Control decks as it significantly punishes the opponent for failing to respond and Control will hardly be able to establish a clock faster than yours (If he did , the game was probably lost before). [[Boros Charm] protects your creatures from sweepers and serves as a significant amount of damage that can be done at Instant-Speed. Usually, it is not a good matchup unless the opponent fumbles and does not find the right cards or you are able to close the game before the opponent is able to estabilish his game. Playing your spells with the best possible timing is your best option, prioritize playing burn spells always on the opponent's end step or upkeep to force him to take damage or spend resources on his turn. Like
Chandra, Torch of Defianceagainst Mono Red, it is preferable to spend few resources to deal with the opponent's
Teferi, Time Raveler.
Gideon of the Trialsshould be answered immediately as it will make it impossible for you to win the game if you stay at the table for a long time.
Light of Hopehas many valid targets in this matchup, depending on the deck build:
Chained to the Rocks,
Fires of Invention,
Shark Typhoonand still collaborates with the Prowess trigger in Instant Speed. Depending on the list, you can choose
Chained to the Rocksinstead of
Light of Hopeto deal with cards like
Yorion, Sky Nomad. There are many situations that can significantly alter the sideboard plan to include other cards like
Soul-Guide Lanternand it depends a lot on what you see your opponent play during the matchup, which makes it very important
not to concede and do plays that force the opponent to take time interacting to get to know his deck better.
Gideon of the Trialsor more efficient ways to gain life. The most important cards for you in this match are
Eidolon of the Great Reveland
Boros Charm. Eidolon, unlike most games, should be played as soon as possible against Control decks as it significantly punishes the opponent for failing to respond and will hardly be able to establish a clock faster than yours (If he did , the game was probably lost before). [[Boros Charm] protects your creatures from sweepers and serves as a significant amount of damage that can be done at Instant-Speed. The card of most concern here is
Ashiok, Nightmare Museor
Torrential Gearhulkand, in particular, I always prefer not to spend my resources dealing with Dimir Control threats and focus entirely on causing the most amount of damage in the least amount of turns.
IN: As the deck has plenty of removals And Ashiok's Nightmare tokens block these cards very well, I choose to remove
Zurgo Bellstrikerand include
Roiling Vortex, which gives a significant range to the deck, in addition to
Soul-Guide Lanternto delay the opponent's
Dig Through Time, or "counter" the
Kalitas, Traitor of Gethand
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy.
Zurgo Bellstrikerare easily blocked by dorks or become too slow for how this matchup develops.
Roiling Vortexserves to prevent the opponent from gaining absurd amount of life with
Creeping Chill, thereby "countering" their
Silversmote Ghouland giving you a chance to stay alive in the match, while
Soul- Guide Lanternis your best bet to keep the combo in check and win a few
Spell Quellerare his worst enemies because, in addition to delaying your game plan, they set a significant clock. Game 1 is usually quite unfavorable, with game 2 and 3 becoming much easier to play against:
INPost-side, you take the position of a "control deck", responding to threats from the deck while dealing some damage with your creatures. Don't be afraid to spend a spell to keep your creature alive or to kill creatures that collaborates to take the pressure off the board by the opponent.
Eidolon of the Great Revelis a great card to play as it is easier for you to set your clock and use your removals more efficiently than your opponent can place threats, so playing an Eidolon after removing the opponent's first creatures can be a good way out. But on the draw,
Eidolon of the Great Revelbecomes a terrible topdeck if you are behind. Therefore, I choose to remove it on that occasion and focus on having more damage and combat tricks with
Soulflayerdecks because they can turn practically won matches in a defeat very easily in a single turn. Your best option against this deck in Game 1 is to try to run to take your opponent's life to zero and hope he doesn't make a
IN: As we apply a lot of pressure and this deck interacts very badly outside blockers, it is very common for the opponent not to expect to throw a
Nullhide Feroxto the graveyard before making a
Soulflayer, causing [[Chained to the Rocks] ] to be our best way out against the creature. Since we are removing spells and I particularly find
Ghitu Lavarunnerslow and easily blockable for this matchup, I include
Roiling Vortexto deal with
SoulflayerLifelink while setting another clock that the opponent will normally have little response to deal with.
Soul-Guide Lanternis our classic hate, nothing more can be said about it. It is not an easy match, in fact it is quite annoying especially if the opponent drops any combination between
Zetalpa, Primal Dawn,
Samut, Voice of Dissent,
Murderous Riderand [[Nullhide Ferox] ] in the first turns, but your best option is to count on his inconsistency and try to take your opponent’s life to zero as soon as possible.
Roiling Vortexby maindeck, minus Eidolons,
Rest in Peaceand
Abradeon the sideboard. The reason? That list was a huge meta call. The good thing about independent tournaments like Pioneer Royale is that they reflect the tournament environment that we usually see in stores, with the same friendly and community atmosphere that we usually have when playing in any local Magic tournament, at least here in Brazil. After knowing that, even without playing for three weeks (I decided to take a break from Magic during the end of the year), I was in the Top 8 of the Season and knew who were the other participants, I prepared this decklist the morning before the tournament considering what each player usually plays at Pioneer Royale events: Bandit Keith usually plays
Spiritsand was recently playing
Burn, as I was not sure what he was going to play, I adopted a posture that would suit both decks. (2 Abrade, 2 Searing Blood and 3 Light of Hope on the sideboard, -2 Eidolon on Maindeck) Mutrol always plays
Soulflayer(3 Rest in Peace on the sideboard) Danielpena has played all recent tournaments with
Orzhov Auras(3 Light of Hope, 2 Abrade on the sideboard) Gnarr usually plays
Temur Marvel, I bet on him playing Marvel, but he was on Dimir Control (4 Roiling Vortex Main, 2 Abrade on the sideboard) luanbraga usually plays
Sultai Reclamation, I preferred to try to respect both decks. He was on Sultai. (4 Roiling Vortex Main, 2 Abrade sideboard, -2 Eidolon of the Great Revel) walter_neto almost always plays
Mono-Red(-2 Eidolon maindeck, 3 Light of Hope and 2 Abrade sideboard) Finally, kaosbr is always on
UW Control(4 Roiling Vortex maindeck). When I finished making the list, I was sure I wanted
Rest in Peaceon the sideboard and
Roiling Vortexon the maindeck. As
Zurgo Bellstrikeris a flex slot, he was the first card to come out and I am a player who commonly uses 61 cards, getting 2
Roiling Vortexto the maindeck. Since there was a considerable probability that I would face decks that were naturally aggressive or a red-deck mirror and as I was already adding constant loss of life with Vortex, I chose to remove two
Eidolon of the Great Revelto make room for the other Vortex , which honestly may not have been the wisest option and I should have kept a 3-3 split. Also, if it weren't for the likelihood of facing a
Soulflayerdeck and my constant respect for the "free-win" aspect of the archetype, I would have reduced the number of
Rest in Peaceto two and added more
Abrade, since it is a card that collaborates a lot for matchups against Aggro, especially against Spirits, and is a good sideboard to have against decks like Mono-Green Walkers and occasional decks that appear on Pioneer Royale as Ensoul and Marvel.
Rest in Peaceinstead of
Soul-Guide Lanterncomes only from the fact that the spell is more efficient at handling the things I wanted to deal with without giving my opponent room to do any play that could significantly hinder me since we cannot respond directly to Delve or Escape. I don't know if I would use exactly that list in a more open tournament where the probability of you catching Burn or other aggro decks is higher, but I definitely found the reach provided in games by
Roiling Vortexvery interesting and I intend to change this build a little more later, but first I prefer to wait and see what Kaldheim has to offer us and how the new set will affect Pioneer.