[deck]Whispy Dragons, 2nd at MTG TOP Series Amsterdam, 25th June 2016[/deck]
Matchup and Sideboard Guide:
GW Tokens (unfavored)
This matchup is hard, especially on the draw. I find that the best chance is to out-tempo them, especially when we are able to use a Lightning Axe (or a Rending Volley after Board) to kill their Angel. If I manage to stick one or two early creatures, I can use my removal on their creatures to invalidate their Dromoka's Commands. Need to carefully assess every time whether it's worth killing a walker or better throw everything at their face.
OUT: 4 Lightning Berserker
IN: 2 Rending Volley, 1 Coldnight Castigator, 1 Roast
Lightning Berserker get's blocked by everything, and you can't afford to the tempo loss for trading up. Rending Volley is the best tempo play, and Roast is a bit of extra removal for Pacifists + Advocates
Wr Humans (even)
This matchup get's significantly better after board, when we should be able to break their synergies. Basic rule for me is to remove his creatures via trades and removal as early as I can - as on a 1:1 basis our individual threats are almost all better than theirs, and Declaration loses a lot of value as the games goes on. I try not to make plays that turn declaration into huge blowout (such as playing Thunderbreak against a full board while we still have removal, playing the same creature multiple times etc.), as we often don't recover from that. I play my Abbots as late as possible, CA is badly needed.
OUT: 4 Insolent Neonate, 2 Lightning Berserker, 4 Exquite Firecraft
IN: 4 Fiery Impulse, 2 Roast, 2 Rending Volley, 2 Twin Bolt
Firecraft comes out as the most mana-inefficient removal (you never have it going to the face in this matchup). Note that Twin Bolt can kill Thalia plus an x/1 creatures if you play it while the trigger is on the stack. Now that you've got so much removal, play Abbot only if flipping a removal spell gives it a target.
Bant Humans (even)
Similar to GW tokens, I think our advantage is that we have better tempo plays then them. Their deck is strong when it fully develops, but the manabase is a bit shaky so they often take some time to get their powerful engines going. I try to develop some sort of a board before / while you remove their creatures. Again, I like cheap removal, expensive one less so.
OUT: 2 Whispering Dragon, 2 Lightning Berserker, 4 Exquisite Firecraft
IN: 2 Zurgo, 4 Fiery Impulse, 2 Rending Volley
Sultai / Abzan Control (even)
Similar Matchup. This is not really a control deck, but much more of a midrange deck which will grind you out. Clear Blockers and try not to overcommit to the board. Berserker is almost always dashed here. Try to engineer a situation where you can follow up a Languish with a dashed Berserker. Before and after sideboarding, try to assess how many creatures they run and board accordingly.
OUT: 2 Whispering Dragon (or Shaman), 2 Lightning Axe, 2 Fiery Temper
IN: 2 Zurgo, 2 Roast, 2 Goldnight Castigator
I find both Axe and Temper not ideal here. Our 2-drops are a little bit slow and the evasion doesn't matter that much, bit we don't want to side out too many creatures. I like Shaman on the play since they sometimes keep mana open for an ultimate price and the morph is colorless.
BW Control (even)
They have less early blockers but tokens, so while the matchup is similar, I sideboard differently
OUT: 2 Lightning Axe, 4 Draconic Roar
IN: 2 Zurgo, 2 Goldnight Castigator, 2 Twin Bolt
During the tournament, I was considering to side out 2x Lightning Berserker, but the card is just too important against Languish decks
Grixis Control (even)
Kolaghan's Command is very annoying, so again a bit of a different sideboard configuration
OUT: 2 Lightning Axe, 2 Whispering Dragon, 2 Draconic Roar
IN: 2 Zurgo, 2 Goldnight Castigator, 2 Roast
Remember we can discard Fiery Temper to a Kolaghan's Command...
Last but not least a word of warning: In my view, what this season's Red Deck deck does well is to be able to play a bit of a longer game thanks to good value creatures and a serious removal package. What it lacks is the ability to simply run your opponent over - and in that sense it's very different than Red decks of old.
Last edited by dauntless268
on Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MTGO handle: Clemens268