Choosing Your Sideboard Cards in Modern

Kelvin Chew


Modern Meta is always changing from week to week. Do you have trouble deciding what to put in the sideboard for your deck? I will be talking about various sideboard cards which will help you prepare for the top various matchup which you will likely face in Modern.

Against Cascade Decks (Living End and Temur Rhino)

Shardless AgentViolent Outburst

Very Effective Cards

《Chalice of the Void》

Chalice of the Void

《Chalice of the Void》 is one of the best cards against Cascade which can be used by every deck, X for 0 mean they require to draw or board in extra answers in order to combo. I recommend every blue deck with counter magic to play 《Chalice of the Void》 before 《Void Mirror》 as 《Chalice of the Void》 costing 0 mean we can safely resolve it if we have counterspell backup.

《Teferi, Time Raveler》

Teferi, Time Raveler

Most Cascade decks have a hard time answering 《Teferi, Time Raveler》 once it resolves. Its ability is also useful for bouncing a Rhino token.



The Best card for blue deck against Cascade as it requires only 1 mana and can’t be stopped by 《Force of Negation》.

《Void Mirror》

Void Mirror

I will play this as a third answer if you need additional help against Cascade as we can’t cast 2 《Chalice of the Void》 for 0 as the other will get counter. This also serves as sideboard hate against Eldrazi Tron.

《Drannith Magistrate》

Drannith Magistrate

1/3 is a decent body against 《Bonecrusher Giant》, 《Dead/Gone》, and 《Prismari Command》, 《Drannith Magistrate》 also can’t be countered by 《Force of Negation》 which is a plus point for playing it.

Against Temur Rhino

Brazen BorrowerCrashing FootfallsFury

Very Effective Cards

《Engineered Explosives》

Engineered Explosives

This answer both 《Crashing Footfalls》 tokens while also being effective as a sideboard card against multiple matchups.

Against Living End

GriefLiving EndStriped Riverwinder

Very Effective Cards

《Rest in Peace》

Rest in Peace

Your go to graveyard hate against 《Living End》 if you do not care about your own graveyard as it just shut down their deck completely.



The bad part about 1 shot graveyard hate is that they can still cycle after the 《Endurance》 ability resolves to get back creatures with 《Living End》. The good part about 《Endurance》 compare to 《Soul-Guide Lantern》 and 《Relic of Progenitus》 is that they usually pack 《Force of Negation》 as counter magic which means your 《Endurance》 will always resolve.

Against 《Urza’s Saga》 Decks

Urza's Saga

Very Effective Cards

《Alpine Moon》

Alpine Moon

This is the best 1 mana answer to answer 《Urza’s Saga》 permanently as it causes 《Urza’s Saga》 to loses all ability and get the sacrifice.

《Spreading Seas》

Spreading Seas

We have been seeing 《Spreading Seas》 a lot in Azorius Control deck as it is basically a 2-mana cycle card that acts as a 1-time answer against 《Urza’s Saga》. It can also stop problematic lands like 《Cavern of Souls》 and bounce land which also pairs well with 《Teferi, Time Raveler》.

《Dress Down》

Dress Down

Although 《Dress Down》 does not answer the land part of 《Urza’s Saga》, but it does kill both constructs as it causes them to lose both abilities and become a 0/0.

《Engineered Explosives》

Engineered Explosives

Same as 《Dress Down》, it provides solutions to decks that can’t answer big constructs which also serve its usefulness in multiple matchups.

Ineffective Cards

《Blood Moon》

Blood Moon

Decks that play 《Urza’s Saga》 are usually aggressive deck which makes 《Blood Moon》 likely too slow against them as you do not want to waste 3 mana for the effect. Only board in against non-aggressive 《Urza’s Saga》 decks.

Against Izzet Murktide

Ragavan, Nimble PilfererMurktide RegentDragon's Rage Channeler

Very Effective Cards

《Rest in Peace》

Rest in Peace

This is the best card against them as this shut down their graveyard completely. It stops Delirium from 《Dragon’s Rage Channeler》 and 《Unholy Heat》 which also turns off 《Murktide Regent》. They do not have many ways to deal with it except with 《Brazen Borrower》 and 《Engineered Explosives》.

《Leyline of the Void》

Leyline of the Void

This is also one of the cards that I do not wish to see when I was playing . Only play 《Leyline of the Void》 or board it in against if you are able to cast it or have ways to discard additional copies.



Although 《Endurance》 is one-time graveyard hate, it does a great job blocking 《Dragon’s Rage Channeler》 and also Dash 《Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer》. If time is well, it can also turn off Delirium from 《Unholy Heat》.

Ineffective Card

《Soul-Guide Lantern》

Soul-Guide Lantern

I saw some people board in 《Soul-Guide Lantern》 when I was playing Izzet Murktide. 1-time graveyard hate is usually ineffective as Izzet can fill their graveyard relatively fast and trade down on card advantage is not what you want against an 《Expressive Iteration》 deck.

Against Elementals

Risen ReefOmnath, Locus of CreationSolitude

Very Effective Cards

《Torpor Orb》

Torpor Orb

This turns down the whole card advantage engine of Elementals and requires the Elemental decks to have 《Prismatic Ending》 in order to answer it. Even though they get to Evoke the elemental for free, it is easier to answer them without the CIP effect.

《Blood Moon》

Blood Moon

Elementals have to fetch for basic early if they do not want to be 《Blood Moon》 lock and it usually makes elemental unable to cast most of their spells even they have 2 basic lands in play.

Ineffective Cards

《Lavinia, Azorius Renegade》

Lavinia, Azorius Renegade

《Lavinia, Azorius Renegade》 only shut down the Evoke part of Elemental and the decks are usually capable to survive until turn 5 which is too low impact card to board in against them.



Not a fan of 《Hushbringer》 as Elementals usually play 3 《Lightning Bolt》 and 3 《Prismatic Ending》.

Against Boros Burn

Goblin GuideEidolon of the Great RevelBoros Charm

Very Effective Cards

《Blossoming Calm》

Blossoming Calm

This sideboard card is only good if you expect to face a lot of Burn. This card is a 7-8 points life gain against Burn but you still need to put enough pressure against an opponent, if not they can just top deck enough Burn.

《Sunset Revelry》

Sunset Revelry

《Sunset Revelry》 is better than 《Blossoming Calm》 if your deck lack of removal as the 2 mana 1/1 can trade with 《Goblin Guide》 or buy you turn by chump blocking.

《Lightning Helix》

Lightning Helix

Same as 《Sunset Revelry》, if you are light on removal, 《Lightning Helix》 provides life gain and removal in a single card while useful against creatures decks.

《Force of Negation》

Force of Negation

《Force of Negation》 is usually good if your deck has enough blue cards to pitch. It allows us to progress with our game plan without needing to hold up mana for counter magic.

Against Tron

Urza's TowerKarn, the Great CreatorKarn Liberated

Very Effective Cards

《Blood Moon》

Blood Moon

The Best card against Tron is it turns off their Tron land as well as 《Blast Zone》, just make sure you have a way to interact early with their play as 《Blood Moon》 can be too slow on the draw.

《Spreading Seas》

Spreading Seas

As mention earlier, it is a 2 mana cantrip that also stops their Tron land.

《Alpine Moon》

Alpine Moon

Probably the most common sideboard card as it serves its usefulness against Tron, 《Valakut Exploration》 and 《Urza’s Saga》.

Against Mill

Hedron CrabTasha's Hideous LaughterArchive Trap

Very Effective Cards



《Endurance》 helps us shuffle back the cards that was Mill. In order to beat 《Endurance》, Mill usually has to have 《Soul-Guide Lantern》 in order to exile the cards in the graveyard.

《Emrakul, the Aeons Torn》

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

If this was being milled, it allow us to shuffle back our graveyard back to our library. This was also one of the solutions for the deck which is weak to 《Tasha’s Hideous Laughter》.

That marks the end of my article. I am grateful for the opportunities that Hareruya have provided me and while this is my last article for Hareruya, if you have any questions, you can still find me at Twitter (@KelvinCh3w).

Kelvin Chew (Twitter)

Recommended Items

  • このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加

Kelvin Chew Kelvin Chew is one of the great player from Singapore. He has 2 GP top8s with his favorite format Modern, but he is like an all-arounder and top 8ed three more times with different formats. He took his first trophy with super impressive "Cartouche Strategy" at GP Beijing 2017 (Limited). He then reached 4th place at World Championship 2017 and became one of the world best for everybody. Read more articles by Kelvin Chew

Series Archive