Sideboard Guide: 5C Humans (10/19)

Hogaak is dead and Stoneforge Mystic has returned. The stage is set for a new Modern format. Now we must figure out if Humans still has a place it in. Thankfully we now have the Fresh Prince to help us through. It is the perfect time for a new list and in-depth sideboard guide with twenty-five archetypes; telling you what to board in and out as well as what to name with Meddling Mage against everyone of them. The full printer-friendly PDF is available for download here.

Decklist
Lands (19)
4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Cavern of Souls
3 Horizon Canopy
1 Plains
1 Island
1 Silent Clearing
4 Unclaimed Territory
1 Waterlogged Grove
Creatures (37)
4 Champion of the Parish
3 Charming Prince
4 Kitesail Freebooter
4 Mantis Rider
4 Meddling Mage
4 Noble Hierarch
3 Phantasmal Image
4 Reflector Mage
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Spells (4)
4 Aether Vial
Sideboard (15)
3 Collector Ouphe
2 Damping Sphere
2 Dismember
2 Deputy of Detention
2 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
2 Plague Engineer
2 Unsettled Mariner
75 Cards Total

The Build
The format finally has an air of certainty to it and we can settle on a build. The manabase is a little unusual compared to what I am used to but has worked very well. It is pretty much stock now to run Waterlogged Grove in what was once the Seachrome Coast. The more interesting change is Silent Clearing; a land I typically do not like in our deck. However, my list has more black than ever before with the full set of Freebooter, the two Kambal, and the two Engineer. Remember that having a stock manabase is usually a mistake. Play the lands that cast the spells you chose to play. I would not recommend playing it over Waterlogged Grove though. This puts you at six lands that do not generate blue or red; meaning that if you draw more than one you will not be able to hardcast Mantis Rider (22.2% of the time).

The key mainboard change was the addition of Charming Prince. If you are still sleeping on the fresh prince, I am not sure what I can do for you. To repeat myself from our Spoiler Review: “Would Modern Humans pay one more for Serum Visions if they could cast/Vial it and the drawn card was always a zero mana 2/2 human? What if you had the option to gain three life or flicker a creature instead of scrying? That is absurd flexibility and intense value potential. It is a human, it is a two drop, and it gets better with Aether Vial. This card was tailor-made for Modern Humans. I think anywhere from two to four copies could be correct.

So why did I trim Image for Prince? Well they serve surprisingly similar functions when you look at the flicker ability. I often appreciate Image because it lets us replicate abilities and when you respond to removal by Vial’ing it in, you are basically saving the creature. Prince has similar applications. Will is worse than Image at replicating abilities; not particularly exciting with Booter or Meddling and has to reset Lieutenant to reuse the ETB. However, he is better at saving creatures from removal because you end up with the original creature and a 2/2 in the end; not just a summoning sick copy of the original creature. We would not play him if this was all he could do though. Gaining three life against Burn and other aggressive decks feels great, especially now that we are up to five canlands. Scrying around for better draws and properly counting up your Vial is good in literally any matchup. I do find myself boarding him out against combo and ramp decks but even against those he is not actively bad.

The sideboard is not particularly wild. Collector Ouphe is stock and we play a third copy because of the difficulty of the Whirza matchup. I expect ramp decks to pick up so I am back on Damping Sphere; Teeg is getting worse over time as UW heads to Stoneblade and Threeferi. We do need to pick up the slack against decks like UW though so Kambal pitches in; he is pretty amazing right now. The four best decks (Burn, UWx Control, Jund, and Whirza) hate to see him across the table. The Dismember, Deputy, and Engineer are totally stock at this point. Probably the most noticeable choice is Unsettled Mariners with no Auriok Champions. When I tried this card in the mainboard, I was very put off by how hit or miss it was. In some matchups it was a 2/2 and in others it was game-winning. That sure sounds like a sideboard card and it has impressed me. Auriok, on the other hand, just is not what it once was. Burn has Path and Skullcrack; now Husbringer as well). Shadow has Engineer and Temur Battle Rage. Dredge has Blast Zone. It is more narrow and answerable than it used to be so I am dropping it.

If you want to change the build up a little I could definitely see Sphere going back to Teeg and Kambal becoming Knight of Autumn. The reduced black costs and increased green costs would push you back to four Canopies. I do think I would also want to side the fourth Thalia and give up the third Collector Ouphe in such a build though; need to pick up the multi-spell hate slack from Sphere and Kambal’s exit. The result would be something like this:

Lands (19)
4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Horizon Canopy
1 Plains
1 Island
4 Unclaimed Territory
1 Waterlogged Grove
Creatures (37)
4 Champion of the Parish
3 Charming Prince
4 Kitesail Freebooter
4 Mantis Rider
4 Meddling Mage
4 Noble Hierarch
3 Phantasmal Image
4 Reflector Mage
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Spells (4)
4 Aether Vial
Sideboard (15)
2 Collector Ouphe
2 Dismember
2 Deputy of Detention
2 Gaddock Teeg
2 Knight of Autumn
2 Plague Engineer
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Unsettled Mariner
75 Cards Total

Top 8 Matchups (Full downloadable guide in the opening)

Burn
-2 Meddling Mage, -2 Reflector Mage
+2 Kambal, +2 Unsettled Mariner
Meddling Mage names: Searing Blaze, Lightning Bolt

Eldrazi Tron
-3 Kitesail Freebooter, -3 Thalia
+2 Deputy of Detention, +2 Dismember, +2 Plague Engineer
Meddling Mage names: Thought-Knot Seer, Reality Smasher

Grixis Shadow
-4 Meddling Mage, -4 Thalia’s Lieutenant
+2 Deputy of Detention, +2 Dismember, +2 Kambal, +2 Unsettled Mariner
Meddling Mage names: Fatal Push, Death’s Shadow

Jund
-4 Meddling Mage, -3 Phantasmal Image, -1 Thalia’s Lieutenant
+2 Deputy of Detention, +2 Dismember, +2 Kambal, +2 Unsettled Mariner
Meddling Mage names: Lightning Bolt, Wrenn and Six

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

UWx Control
-4 Reflector Mage, -2 Thalia’s Lieutenant
+2 Deputy of Detention, +2 Dismember, +2 Kambal
Meddling Mage names: Path to Exile, Cryptic Command

UWx Stoneblade
-4 Reflector Mage, -2 Thalia’s Lieutenant
+2 Deputy of Detention, +2 Dismember, +2 Kambal
Meddling Mage names: Path to Exile, Stoneforge Mystic

Whirza
-3 Charming Prince, -4 Reflector Mage, -2 Thalia’s Lieutenant
+3 Collector Ouphe, +2 Deputy of Detention, +2 Kambal, +2 Plague Engineer
Meddling Mage names: Whir of Invention, Ensnaring Bridge

Wrap-Up
I hope that covers the strategies for any deck you could care about. If you think I overlooked any though, I would be happy to discuss it with you in Modern Humans or our discussion group. Sideboarding is an art, not a science. So do you perceive the deck as still being competitive? Is it being overlooked in the new metagame? Please share your thoughts with us 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 on Sunday with another article for you to enjoy. Until then my friends.

2 thoughts on “Sideboard Guide: 5C Humans (10/19)

  1. Hello!
    Will there be an update to this coming out for November, as the month is almost through.
    I’m really anticipating the next update!
    Cheers

    Like

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