Vizier Company Sideboarding Guide [Part 1/2]

Hey everybody!

Recently I’ve been busy with some non-magic stuff but in my free time I read your messages and comments. I’ve been asked quite often how to sideboard against certain decks or strategies. In this article I will describe, in detail, what to expect in several match-ups and my sideboard plan for each. 

PS-I’m very happy to see that you’ve watched my videos and read my articles. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask in a comment below or via email (reach me atlaplasjanmtgo@gmail.com). If I’ve missed some details or important match-ups let me know.

My current decklist is presented below. All sideboard plans consider this set of 75 cards.


Laplasjan’s Vizier Company [Aug 2018]

Creature (30)
Birds of Paradise
Noble Hierarch
Viscera Seer
Devoted Druid
Duskwatch Recruiter
Scavenging Ooze
Vizier of Remedies
Eternal Witness
Kitchen Finks
Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Walking Ballista

Instant (8)
Chord of Calling
Collected Company

Land (22)
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Verdant Catacombs
Forest
Plains
Swamp
Gavony Township
Horizon Canopy
Overgrown Tomb
Temple Garden
Sideboard (15)
Path to Exile
Abrupt Decay
Kataki, War’s Wage
Kor Firewalker
Qasali Pridemage
Scavenging Ooze
Voice of Resurgence
Courser of Kruphix
Eidolon of Rhetoric
Sin Collector


SIDEBOARDING

Abzan Midrange/Traverse

This match-up is fairly close but I find it better than Jund. The lack of Lightning Bolt, Kolaghan’s Command, and post-sideboard Anger of the Gods tend to favor us a bit more. Extra lands from Path to Exile give us an option to go wide with Eternal Witness and Duskwatch Recruiter. Also Gavony Township is hard to beat as they usually have no sweepers in the main. Post-board games go in a bit different way. We can’t overextend with creatures because of Damnation or Wrath of God. Fortunately, the removal that we have access to and midrange creatures are good enough to give us a fair fight with no combo, which I advise to side out. Against Lingering Souls, keep Walking Ballista in. Otherwise not.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Voice of Resurgence
  • 1 Courser of Kruphix
  • 2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 4 Vizier of Remedies
  • 2-3 Devoted Druid
  • 4 Chord of Calling
  • 0-1 Walking Ballista

Affinity

We are the favourite in this matchup as we can often combo off faster than robots can kill us. If our opponent has fast clock and Galvanic Blast, then things might get complicated. Kitchen Finks does not block too many creatures in this match-up but sometimes we have a window to go infinite with it. I advise to cut almost all midrange cards and focus on combo plus anti-artifact disruption.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Kataki, War’s Wage
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 3 Kitchen Finks
  • 2 Collected Company

Ad Nauseam

This is probably the most consistent turn four deck in the format. Pre-board, our only way is to combo off. Post-board, play Chord of Calling for Eidolon of Rhetoric or Sin Collector at crucial moments. Watch out for Bontu’s Last Reckoning and Supreme Verdict. We have to balance between going combo and disrupting our opponent. Save Abrupt Decay for Phyrexian Unlife or Laboratory Maniac.

In

  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
  • 2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 4 Kitchen Finks

Amulet Titan

Strange matchup. They don’t play much removal main-deck but can go off faster then we do. Besides killing Sakura-Tribe Scout with Walking Ballista (and maybe destroying Amulet of Vigor if you have such options main-deck) we can’t do too much. They can’t do much either, though. Post-board, go into straightforward combo with artifact removal and maybe one to two copies of Path to Exile.

In

  • 1 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 3 Kitchen Finks
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze

Bant/UW Spirits

Going faster then Spirits usually involves Walking Ballista, Birds of Paradise, and/or Gavony Township. This happens. Rarely, but it happens. Try to avoid being caught by Spell Queller in pre-board games as it is a hard counter with an extra flying body. Remember to Chord of Calling with X=2 so it can’t be “Quellered”! Post-board, go into combo with removal. Qasali Pridemage sounds strange but Rest in Peace or Worship can be hard to deal with.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oresk
  • 2 Kitchen Finks
  • 2 Collected Company

Bogles

This is one of our opponents that punishes our midrange draws. Generally, this is a very good matchup, however. They have usually have only two to three main-deck answers to Devoted Druid. Use midrange creatures only to stop the bleeding and go into “combo at all cost”. Always bring your Path to Exile (don’t get fooled by hexproof). It is still an important answer for Kor Spiritdancer, Dryad Arbor, and Gaddock Teeg. Mid-range is not important in this combo-oriented match-up. Do not hesitate to cut the value package.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 2 Kitchen Finks
  • 2 Collected Company

BR Hollow One

This is a rather good match-up for us. One good double block can slow the pressure significantly. Combo is still quite possible game one. When it gets its crazy fast draws, nobody can beat Hollow One. Post-board, my strategy is to go value. I used to leave a small window to combo off but I find this strategy less and less effective against opposing Grim Lavamancer and Collective Brutality. That, paired with Lightning Bolt is hard to overcome by combo. Unfortunately, it is difficult to say what our opponent has in side. Definitely both options (combo and value) are reasonable depending on the situation and opponent’s sideboard.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Voice of Resurgence
  • 1 Courser of Kruphix

Out

  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 3 Vizier of Remedies
  • 1 Devoted Druid
  • 4 Chord of Calling
  • 1 Walking Ballista

Burn

In this match-up, fetch for basics (what I usually try to do against an unknown opponent anyway). We can’t do much against their fastest draws (Eidolon of the Great Revel on the play or multiple Searing Blaze) but we have our options to get back into the game (Scavenging Ooze is usually a very important part of it). Of course, when meta-game gets full of Burn, it is easy to keep multiple Kor Firewalker in the sideboard. Unfortunately, it is very rarely the case. We face Burn once every 15 rounds and we want to win. Thus, keeping two Kors is not the best idea because of its small impact besides Burn. I play a second Scavenging Ooze and Courser of Kruphix. Decent in wide variety of match-ups. Play Kitchen Finks and Collected Company when you can gain life, not simply as fast as possible.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Voice of Resurgence
  • 1 Courser of Kruphix
  • 2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 4 Vizier of Remedies
  • 3 Devoted Druid
  • 4 Chord of Calling
  • 1 Walking Ballista

Dredge

This very tricky match-up usually is usually decided in the first couple of turns. If we have Devoted Druid, they need to find Conflagrate. If they do, we usually loose. Otherwise, we usually win. Scavenging Ooze helps but only when drawn early enough. Our capability of making tons of green mana is of key importance. Unfortunately, even Ooze sometimes can’t handle the massive waves of quick attackers. Believe in fast Druid/Ooze draws and don’t sideboard too heavily. Many anti-dredge cards do not fit our sideboard strategy well. You may consider a third copy of Scavenging Ooze or Remorseful Cleric somewhere in your 75. Expect very fast games and mulligan aggressively. They will do it, too. Keep Qasali Pridemage as one-of answer for Leyline of the Void.

In

  • 1 Path to Exile
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 2 Kitchen Finks

Eldrazi Tron

One of the best Tron decks we can face. Unfortunately, it is becoming less and less popular with the rise of Hollow-Vine strategies. In theory, game one is ours and we can usually win one of two post-board games. In reality, when they have turn three Tron there is not much we can do but this doesn’t happen too often. Don’t attack in the face of Matter Reshaper, block only if necessary. The real threat is Walking Ballista. After sideboard you might consider Sin Collector as silver bullet for All is Dust (or one of many removals they bring). Chord of Calling for Collector can give an option to play longer game on a stalled board. All is Dust ends the game almost every time. Be aware of Grafdigger’s Cage (yeah, they still play it). Singleton Path to Exile sometimes helps against Reality Smasher or Endbringer. Bringing more does not work too well as both Ballista and Thought-Knot Seer are difficult to deal with. Infinite life is not an auto-win but its good to have it as a back-up plan (as they focus on killing Devoted Druid leaving Vizier of Remedies and Viscera Seer alive).

In

  • 0-1 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 0-1 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 1-3 Kitchen Finks

Elves

Another good, if not very good match-up. No removal, slower combo. Kitchen Finks are fine blockers until Ezuri, the Renegade Leader comes into play. Focus on killing (Pathing if necessary) Elvish Archdruid asap (don’t wait until their upkeep!) and proceed with your own combo. Watch out for Aven Mindcensor and Phyrexian Revoker coming from Chord of Calling. Walking Ballista is an all-star here.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 2 Kitchen Finks
  • 2 Collected Company

Grixis Control

The lack of Path to Exile makes this match-up much better game one than Jeskai Control. Chained Snapcaster Mage / Kolaghan’s Command are very powerful but Gavony Township and Kitchen Finks is also a value engine. Try to bait your opponent with combo creatures and focus on the mid-range plan. Probably, the best match-up of all control decks.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Kor Firewalker
  • 1 Voice of Resurgence
  • 1 Courser of Kruphix
  • 1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
  • 2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 4 Vizier of Remedies
  • 4 Devoted Druid
  • 1 Walking Ballista
  • 4 Chord of Calling

Grixis Death’s Shadow

With no main-deck removal, big Death’s Shadow in game one is a huge problem. In fact, it is unsolvable but we have tons of blockers for it. Play around Temur Battlerage only if you can afford it. I rarely win with combo, more often it is Kitchen Finks and Gavony Township or chained Collected Company and Eternal Witness. Post-board, don’t play too many creatures into an empty board (due to Anger of the Gods). Try to kill them with one to two hits (dream, not always possible). Stubborn Denial and Dispel are their best weapons against our toolbox spells. Eidolon of Rhetoric enables us to push those through.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Voice of Resurgence
  • 1 Courser of Kruphix
  • 1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
  • 2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 4 Vizier of Remedies
  • 3 Devoted Druid
  • 1 Walking Ballista
  • 4 Chord of Calling

GW Valuetown

We can’t beat their lategame but their early plan is harmless against us. Multiple Ghost Quarters become dangerous only in the mid-game. Our lack of removal makes game one easier for combo than against other midrange decks. Go into combo in games two and three as well. Be prepared for Worship, Surgical Extraction, Engineered Explosives, and Aven Mindcensor. Cast Chord of Calling in the right moment for more than you need (three instead of two) as we might find more expensive creatures when Mindcensor restricts searching ability. From the mid-range creatures, you might keep Scavenging Ooze to stop Extraction and Ramunap Excavator.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 2-3 Kitchen Finks
  • 1-2 Collected Company

GWx Company

Bant Company is definitely favoured game one but all mirror matchups with Devoted Druid decks are focused on the speed. Unfortunately, we have only singleton Walking Ballista to stop an opposing combo, so whoever has it earlier simply wins. The addition of blue provides Reflector Mage and Spell Queller which are both difficult to beat pre-board. Post-board, focus on removal to kill their Devoted Druid (Do it asap! Don’t wait until upkeep with Path to Exile!). Cut infinite life combo as it does not win the game. From value creatures, Scavenging Ooze is the best hate and pressure card. Against Bant, consider cutting some number of Collected Company. With the removal package, you have quite a low creature count already. Plus Company is quite bad against opposing Quellers. Sin Collector on the play is a reasonable option.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 0-1 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Wooded Foothills
  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 4 Kitchen Finks
  • 1-2 Collected Company

Gx Tron

Mono Green Tron is the most popular version recently. Keeping mid-range hands is ill-advised but fast hands might lead to an easy victory in game one. They could potentially have one Dismember in the main which makes one Devoted Druid usually enough. Mulligan aggressively as we have no chance in the late game. Be prepared for colorless hate cards coming from their sideboard like Grafdigger’s Cage, Pithing Needle, Spatial Contortion, Warping Wail. In the face of Warping Wail, use Druid’s ability and put it into graveyard. It is always better than exile.

In

  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 4 Kitchen Finks

Humans

This is a very difficult match-up but is very situation-dependent. Sometimes, multiple Meddling Mage destroys our hand and plan completely. Sometimes they don’t impact our hand at all. Reflector Mage, of course, is the biggest threat. Use chump blockers wisely as Humans’ clock can increase rapidly. Think and respond if they activate Aether Vial. An incoming Thalia, Guardian of Thraben or Meddling Mage can be a real blow out! Post-board, be ready for Grafdigger’s Cage, Izzet Staticaster, and Gut Shot. Don’t make your Devoted Druid -1/1 if its not necessary. Kill your Druid in response to a Reflector trigger if you have a second copy in hand. We loose a creature but we earn one turn of pace.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 2 Kitchen Finks
  • 2 Collected Company

Infect

Historically, this is a very good match-up. Not any more. Our lack of Melira, Sylvok Outcast or Spellskite strongly reduces our chances. A straightforward race (to combo for us, attack for them) is the only thing we can do. Side out the infinite life package, put in Eidolon of Rhetoric (they cannot chain pump spells first any more!). Try to keep the pressure and go off. This is easier said than done but our ability to chump block both ground creatures and fliers give us quite some time to do it.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
  • 2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 0-1 Vizier of Remedies
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 4 Kitchen Finks
  • 1-2 Collected Company

Ironworks Combo

Our combo is one turn faster than theirs but we have almost no option to stop them in game one. Scavenging Ooze, to be efficient, needs a lot of mana. They have the option to make infinite damage so cut all Kitchen Finks as the life gain is irrelevant. Eidolon of Rhetoric is a perfect answer for their shenanigans but multiple Engineered Explosives, Galvanic Blast, and Nature’s Claim (yeah, they do side it in against us, too) make his life shorter. Brimaz, King of Oreskos is quite surprisingly a perfect card. He diversifies threats making tokens (more difficult to clean the board with Explosives), puts up a fast clock, and gives extra bodies for Chord of Calling. Path to Exile is a clear answer for Scrap Trawler but very rarely can we stop their combo this way. More often, it is just a way to get rid of an irritating blocker. I cut one Vizier of Remedies as we don’t play four Collected Company and go for Vizier usually with Chord of Calling. Also, Kataki, War’s Wage is a nice “Chord-for-two” target. Besides, or instead of Vizier, consider cutting Eternal Witness as this match-up is often too fast for him.

In

  • 1 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Kataki, War’s Wage
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Eidolon of Rhetoric

Out

  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 1 Vizier of Remedies
  • 0-1 Eternall Witness
  • 4 Kitchen Finks
  • 1-2 Collected Company

That’s all for part one.  I’ll cover the rest of the match-ups in part two soon.  In the meantime, tune in to my stream (https://www.twitch.tv/laplasjan_mtgo).  The next time I go live will be Sunday, August 19th at 2:00pm CST (9:00pm in Poland).

Discussion