Sideboard Guide: 5C Humans (4/19)

It is a new month and that means an updated guide to Modern Humans. As we saw in the results of Grand Prix Calgary and SCG Cleveland, Human decks are very well positioned in the Modern format at the moment. This guide will tell you how to sideboard and what to name with Meddling Mage for nearly thirty Modern archetypes. The full length PDF is available here. A special thank you to Chris Carlile for his assistance throughout.

Decklist
Lands (19)
4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Cavern of Souls
3 Horizon Canopy
1 Island
1 Plains
2 Seachrome Coast
4 Unclaimed Territory
Creatures (37)
4 Champion of the Parish
1 Kessig Malcontents
4 Kitesail Freebooter
4 Mantis Rider
4 Meddling Mage
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Phantasmal Image
4 Reflector Mage
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Spells (4)
4 Aether Vial
Sideboard (15)
3 Auriok Champion
2 Chalice of the Void
2 Damping Sphere
2 Dismember
3 Deputy of Detention
2 Sin Collector
1 Whirler Rogue
75 Cards Total

The Build
The build you see today is mostly just the adoption of the ideas mentioned in last month’s guide. The third copy of Deputy of Detention, more on this further down, has pushed me over the edge so I am now running one fewer Horizon Canopy and one more Seachrome Coast. Without Knight of Autumn or Gaddock Teeg in the board, Canopy’s green mana is less necessary than ever; reduced mana pain also helps make up for the loss of Knight.  My flex slot this time around is Kessig Malcontents at the recommendation of Chris Carlile. How can you not love a Human Fireball? It is a solid choice unless you expect to face a ton of GBx and Jeskai. As is usual for this deck, most of the innovation is in the sideboard. I have cut Knight of Autumn entirely. It is a fine card but Deputy of Detention is just better. I would only go back to Knight if lifegain was very important and Auriok somehow became bad. The most notable inclusion is Chalice of the Void, which I spoke about at length in last month’s guide. I had played it about a year ago but had sent it back to the binder for some time. However, Chris’s impressive performance and my discussions with him have convinced me to bring it back. As I said last month, it did not take much convincing. The only other non-stock choice is the single copy of Whirler Rogue. This was added to help out in the mirror, other creature matchups, and grindy matchups. It could be Riders of Gavony if you are especially concerned about the mirror but you must be careful of Phantasmal Image.

Top 8 Matchups

Amulet Titan
-4 Thalia Guardian of Thraben, -3 Reflector Mage
+2 Chalice of the Void, +2 Damping Sphere, 3 Deputy of Detention
Meddling Mage names: Primeval Titan, Summoner’s Pact

Dredge
-4 Phantasmal Image,  -3 Kitesail Freebooter
+3 Auriok Champion, +3 Deputy of Detention, 1 Whirler Rogue
Meddling Mage names: Conflagrate, Cathartic Reunion

GBx Midrange
-1 Kessig Malcontents, -4 Meddling Mage, -1 Thalia’s Lieutenant
+3 Deputy of Detention, +2 Dismember, +1 Whirler Rogue
Meddling Mage names: Fatal Push, -Varies based on build-

Grixis Shadow
-1 Kessig Malcontents, -4 Meddling Mage, -4 Thalia’s Lieutenant, -2 Phantasmal Image
+3 Auriok Champion, +2 Chalice of the Void, +3 Deputy of Detention, +2 Dismember, +1 Whirler Rogue
Meddling Mage names: Fatal Push, Lightning Bolt

Humans
-1 Kitesail Freebooter, -4 Meddling Mage, -4 Thalia Guardian of Thraben
+3 Auriok Champion, +3 Deputy of Detention, +2 Dismember, +1 Whirler Rogue
Meddling Mage names: Mantis Rider, Thalia’s Lieutenant

Izzet Phoenix
-1 Kessig Malcontents, 3 Meddling Mage, -4 Phantasmal Image
+2 Chalice of the Void, 3 Deputy of Detention, +2 Dismember, 1 Rogue
Meddling Mage names: Thing in the Ice, Lightning Bolt

Tron
-4 Reflector Mage, -1 Thalia Guardian of Thraben
+2 Damping Sphere, +3 Deputy of Detention
Meddling Mage names: Oblivion Stone, Ugin the Spirit Dragon

UW Miracles
-4 Reflector Mage, -4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
+3 Deputy of Detention, +2 Dismember, +2 Sin Collector, +1 Whirler Rogue
Meddling Mage names: Path to Exile, Terminus

Going Forward
Honestly, I have no thoughts going forward. The format is just too volatile. Obviously, Phoenix is busted and we need to stay focused on it. But we have B&R updates, the London mulligan, and Modern Horizons coming down the pipeline. There is too much going on and this is the list I would play to target the current top decks. I have seen nothing from War of the Spark that I would play either. My advice going forward is to stay the course and make small adjustments as necessary.

Wrap-Up
We hope that this guide will be beneficial to you as we wait for the shakeups on the horizon. Do you think Humans will benefit greatly from what is to come? We would love to hear your thoughts in our discussion group. Or if you would like to take a swing at writing content for the site you can contact us directly here. We will be back tomorrow with the April update to our Modern Humans guide. Until then my friends.

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