Sideboard Cards by color in Pauper

Magic: the Gathering

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Sideboard Cards by color in Pauper

This article is the last on the series Pauper for New Players. We'll discuss the sideboard, separating our options by color and artifacts.

By PROSA, 09/09/20, translated by Exylem, with help from our readers

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Hello friends! I'm Betão and today we'll continue our series of articles dedicated to those players who are initiating their journey on Pauper. Today's theme is the choice of a sideboard which is efficient in the metagame. You can read more about this on my first article, in which I discussed the basics of a Sideboard in this format. Some decks have a standard sideboard, in relation to the current metagame, which today happens on MTGO, its leagues and challenges. However, when we talk about Tabletop Magic, this conversation may take us to a different line of thought. The metagame on a physical store is different from the online metagame, and the way you play the game also changes, because in online play you face an additional opponent, the clock, and that makes a lot of difference in the game, not only on the practical part, which is playing, but also on the theoretical part, because the player may choose to play a deck which is more adequate to the speed he/she is used to play.

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If the player knows the local metagame on the store, that's a considerable advantage to him/her. However, if the player doesn't know that, it is possible to build a strategy by considering the online metagame, on MTGO. You may check the metagame and the most popular decks on MTGO right here on CardsRealm by clicking on this link. With the intention of trying to assist new Pauper players, I'll list now five cards of each color, in addition to artifacts, which are considered the best sideboard options. I'll also highlight in which decks these cards see play and against which decks they should be chosen.

Red

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This card destroys artifacts, which makes it a strong choice against

Affinity

decks, especially since you may destroy their artifact lands just by paying 1 mana (lands have CMC 0). It may also be used to remove a

Relic of Progenitus

, preventing it to be used in a moment in which it may cause problems, allowing the player to get back to putting cards into his/her graveyard as part of a game strategy. Decks which use the Gorilla Shaman: (These are hyperlinks, so you just need to click them to be directed to the deck webpage) AFFINITY TRON UR SKRED SLIVERS
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Pyroblast is a card which comes into the deck every time the opponent has blue spells, because it may not only counter blue cards, but also destroy blue permanents, which may help a lot during the game. It is sided in against

Mono Blue

,

Tron

,

UB

,

UW Familiar

and others, and the decks which usually use Pyroblast are almost every deck with red cards. It may also be replaced by

Red Elemental Blast

, which has basically the same effect, with the difference that it needs a valid target to be cast. Decks which use Pyroblast: BOROS BULLY JESKAI AFFINITY
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Excellent against aggressive decks, token generation decks, UB Gurmag decks and elves decks. The interesting thing about this card is that the player may save it for a moment where the opponent's battlefield is full and the game is practically lost, to "reset" the game. Decks which use Swirling Sandstorm: UR Skred
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This card is essential for decks which use red. It will swipe most of the board against

Elves

,

Fairies

and

Goblins

, also helping against

Stompy

and, in some cases,

Bogles

. Decks which use Electrickery: BURN JESKAI EPHEMERATE
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This instant spell is more and more considered to be one of the best artifact removal cards in the format, especially in decks which use cards that may generate mana of any color, as it has Flashback for one green mana. Although Abrade is more versatile, spells which may be cast twice tend to be preferred on the sideboard. It will come into the deck against

Affinity

,

Tron,

Boros Monarch* and others which use many artifacts.

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Decks which use Ancient Grudge: TRON MARDU MONARCH

GREEN

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Some Pauper players believe that this card is too strong to be a common card. Indeed, the Storm ability makes this card a little stronger than others, allowing the caster to obtain more turns against very aggressive decks, like

Stompy

,

Bogles

and also against

Burn

. Decks which use Weather the Storm: ELVES STOMPY FRACTIUS
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Serene Heart is an Aura Enchantment "hate", so, basically it will be used against

Bogles

and

Mono White Heroic

. Decks which use Serene Heart: TEMUR AFFINITY 5c TRON
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Natural State is used only against green decks or decks which have restricted access to different colors besides those which their lands may generate. It practically removes any artifact on Pauper, at least the more important ones and those which may be the key to the opponent's victory, thus thwarting their plans. It may be chosen against

Tron

,

Affinity

and

Monarch

. Decks which use Natural State: ELVES MONO GREEN
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Damage prevention against decks which attack a lot, in other words, the most aggressive ones, like

Mono White Heroic

and

Stompy

. It may be an essential piece when you need some breathing space during the game. Decks which use Moment's Peace: SIMIC MILL WALLS COMBO
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This is another card against damage prevention. However, it is a creature which may be included into decks which resurrect creatures from the graveyard. Decks which use Spore Frog: TORTURED EXISTENCE BG ARISTOCRATS

BLACK

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Duress basically comes into decks which have black cards as their value generators, needing to avoid counter spells or burn spells. Duress removes a threatening resource from the opponent's hand, helping to protect your more valuable spells. Decks which use Duress: MBC BW PESTILENCE RAKDOS MIDRANGE
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This card is also used on the main deck, because of its versatility in dealing against

Elves

and

Fairies

. It shows up in the sideboard of practically all decks which use Black. Decks which use Suffocating Fumes: TRON MONARCH

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UB CONTROL
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Shrivel does the same as Fumes, although it costs one less mana, which may make the difference in some matches (although it can't be cycled). Decks which use Shrivel: ORZHOV CONTROL
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This card works really well against decks which remove your creatures, as its Storm creates the possibility of returning a good number of creatures and reuse them during a moment in which our opponent may not have more removal spells to deal with the "new" threats. Decks which use Reaping the Graves: GRIXIS AFFINITY
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This edict has lived in times of glory, and now is being used less and less. However, it is still a powerful weapon against

Bogles

because of the hexproof on its creatures. Decks which use Diabolic Edict: UB FAIRIES

WHITE

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This card deals with

Bogles

and especially

Mono White Heroic

really well by destroying their enchantments, which are the base of their decks. It shows up on decks which are presenting good results on tournaments and leagues. Decks which use Leave no Trace: JESKAI AFFINITY
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Its main use is to stop the Heroic ability, but it may also be used to delay Bogles. Decks like

Slivers

and

Jeskai

may see a lot of value in this card.
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This is a key card to

Heroic

against Burn and aggressive decks, also appearing in

Bogles

, although less frequently. As other spells and enchantments on these decks increase the power of its creatures, the life gain may be crucial to the opponent conceding, as he/she may not see a way to remove so many life points.
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This enchantment is the best creature removal on the white color, preventing trigger-on-death effects to be used. It may be played on

Mardu Monarch

,

Boros

,

Heroic

and almost every other white deck on the format.
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Like the previous card, this costs one more generic mana, but it can target nonland permanents, removing important pieces like a Prophetic Prism or a Bonder's Ornament in Tron, or that Oubliette of a MBC.

BLUE

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Hydroblast in decks with Blue, like Pyroblast in Red, is obligatory, as it can remove threats and counter important pieces of the opponent's deck while facing decks with red. It is used in

Mono Blue

and

UB Thief

.
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Another very useful card in almost all decks which use blue. This card is a good option against

Boros Bully

, as it may remove many of its tokens. It may also return the Prisms of

Tron

and

Boros Monarch

to the opponent's hand, and also some attackers from the more aggressive decks. It sees play in decks with blue, generally all of them. Even on the main deck it usually sees play with at least one copy.
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Dispel counters only instant spells and, on most cases, it is used to counter another counter spell, with the objective of forcing your initial play to be used with success. It will also see play in most decks with blue.
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This creature plays in most

UX

decks, in other words, decks which use blue and one more color, or even

Mono Blue

.

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It is indeed really good against decks with removal spells, as it returns to the battlefield stronger than before dying for the first time, and it also has flying, which may be really good against

MBC

and

Burn

.
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Annul sees play just in

Mono Blue

, but nothing stops it to be used in other decks with blue, as it is a great card to stop the best enchantments of

Bogles

.

ARTIFACTS

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Without any doubt, this artifact is the best graveyard "hate" on the format. When it comes into play early it can exile cards one by one from the opponent's graveyard and, when you need a more aggressive answer, you may "press the button" and exile everything at once, while still drawing a card. This card has been used with two copies in almost every deck, but it is losing a bit of space, since there aren't many decks which may make an abusive use of the cemetery. It will come in, basically, against

Tron

and

Tortured Existence

.
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This is very similar to the previous card, with the difference that you may pay one black mana to draw a card when exiling the opponent's graveyard, without the option of removing the graveyard little by little. Decks like

MBC

and

UB

are some which may see use for this card.
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Certainly a good

Tron

"hate", especially in decks which may generate a lot of mana and also put a lot of creatures onto the battlefield, like

Elves

. It causes damage on the creature bit a bit, until it removes the threat from the board.
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This artifact was also more popular in the past, but it is being left behind, perhaps due to its high mana cost. However, it may be really efficient against fairies which help to draw cards and also against fairies which counter spells, on the decks "UX". A deck which makes good use of this artifact today is UW FAMILIARS.
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Feldon's Cane is certainly not a unanimity today, at least on competitive decks, but, see, this is one of the best ways to avoid defeat against decks which put cards into the graveyard. In these last weeks,

UG Mill

is increasing in popularity, which is much more consistent than the old

Turbo Fog

decks. As it is an artifact, any deck may use it, so I advise you to pay attention to the meta where you will play so you know whether you should use this card or not. That's it for today, folks! Thanks CardsRealm for the support and trust. Thanks everyone for reading up to this point and until the next article!

This article belongs to the series Starting to play the Pauper format:

1. Got excited about Pauper and want to get into it! Where should I start?

2. Pauper: What to expect when you are waiting!

3. A short overview around the history of Pauper bans

See more

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PROSA

Betão, professor of Physics, enthusiast of all formats, has dedicated himself solely and exclusively to Pauper since 2019 and recently to the PDH.

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