Vizier Company Sideboarding Guide [Part 2/2]

This is a continuation of Wotjek Radosz’s (Laplasjan’s) article on sideboarding with Vizier Company.  For Vizier Company Sideboarding Guide [Part 1/2], follow this link.


Jeskai Control

We are unlikely to combo off in this match-up. Usually, these games are focused around value: Kitchen Finks, looped Eternal Witness with Collected Company, and finally, Gavony Township are key players. The latter is especially useful as not all Jeskai decks play Field of Ruin. Use your Duskwatch Recruiter wisely as this match-up is value-oriented. These days, when Baneslayer Angel and his sister Lyra Dawnbringer are popular, bring in all your Path to Exiles from the sideboard. Even without them, it is useful in the late game when Celestial Colonnade stops your offense. Consider Kor Firewalker in heavy red-removal versions or tempo-oriented ones as he is quite bulletproof. Unfortunately, single creatures, even Snapcaster Mage, can stop him. Use him wisely, when necessary.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 0-1 Kor Firewalker
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Voice of Resurgence
  • 1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
  • 2 Sin Collector

Out

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

  

Jund

Grindy, grindy, grindy match. Sometimes, we can sneak the combo through in game one (happens to me quite often despite Jund being so removal-heavy). Keep Chord of Calling for the right moment and, typically, to find your one-of Scavenging Ooze. Their playset of Liliana of the Veil is quite weak against Kitchen Finks and recursive card advantage. Postboard Liliana, the Last Hope is the real problem. Kill her asap. Use your life as a resource because we have many ways to gain it back and plenty of ways to chump block. All in all, I’m happy when I see Raging Ravine on the other side of the table.

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

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

Lantern Control

This is a favorable match-up for us as almost all of our creatures do something besides attacking. Our deck is difficult to lock out of the game. Remember that they will often try to Whir of Invention for a maindecked Grafdigger’s Cage or Pithing Needle. Nowadays, Lantern is usually pushed out of the format by other, faster artifact decks but be prepared to face it from time to time. Keep some creatures that can put up a fast clock (Scavenging Ooze, Brimaz, King of Oreskos) when Ensnaring Bridge is not on the battlefield so that you can finish your opponent later with Noble Hierarch‘s exalted ability. Remember that you can decrease your own Devoted Druid to attack under the Bridge. Activate Gavony Township before damage to get underneath the bridge and finish off your opponent.

In

  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage

Out

  • 1 Forest
  • 3-4 Kitchen Finks
  • 0-1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 1-2 Collected Company

Living End

This is a very fast and combo-oriented match in which we should be favored. With combo draws we can kill our Devoted Druid in response to Living End and get it back on resolution. Sometimes we can even combo off before our opponent can cascade into it. Also, Viscera Seer shines here as we can get our whole board back by sacrificing it in response to a Living End. The reality sometimes is much darker. Living End always goes for their fast cascade plan while we cannot always go for the combo. Also, Faerie Macabre can exile valuable combo pieces when they are in the graveyard. Don’t change too much in boarded games as we tend to have the right tools in the main. A timely Eidolon of Rhetoric can destroy their gameplan so keep eye on Chord of Calling for three. Consider Qasali Pridemage as the answer for Leyline of the Void.

In

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

Out

  • 1 Forest
  • 3-4 Kitchen Finks
  • 0-1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
  • 1-2 Collected Company

Mardu Pyromancer

Probably the most grindy match-up of all. This might end surprisingly quickly with an early Young Pyromancer backed up by a couple of removal spells. Kitchen Finks, especially with Gavony Towship, are of key importance. Go for basics early to make their potential Blood Moon irrelevant. Post-board, I find this match-up quite good, although chained Bedlam Revelers can be annoying. Both Kor Firewalker and Scavenging Ooze are powerful against this exact deck. Don’t underestimate lifegain of Kor as we can quickly face a fast clock with flying Lingering Souls tokens.

In

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

Out

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

Modular Affinity/Hardened Scales

One might say this is “New Affinity” but this match-up is quite different. Pre-board we don’t care about their synergistic gameplan, lots of counters and flying thopters until they threaten lethal damage. Game one is usually focused on one card; Walking Ballista. If they are able to kill Devoted Druid and keep Ballista (or find the second one) we can almost never win. Otherwise, we are favored. Post-board focus on combo and removal. We just can’t overpower their late-game in many situations (Hardened Scales plus Arcbound Ravager, Hangarback Walker plus Steel Overseer and so on). The life combo will rarely matter or go off, mainly because of Inkmoth Nexus and Walking Ballista. I typically cut it.

In

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

Out

  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 4 Kitchen Finks
  • 2 Collected Company

R Prison

Watch out for Chalice of the Void for one on turn one or turn one-two Blood Moon on the play as those are often the biggest problems in this match. But not only for us, most decks would struggle in these situations. Fortunately, we play a lot of diverse mana costs on our cards (wide spread from one to four cmc) and we can operate nicely with one Forest. Also, Ensnaring Bridge in game one is not difficult to beat as it is in many other match-ups. For those reasons this match-up is very good for Company decks. Be careful and play around Anger of the Gods or other maindeck sweepers. Go for basics asap and everything should be fine. Post-board cut a couple of Chord of Calling as triple green can be difficult to achieve. Remember to bring in Abrupt Decay for problematic permanents. Path to Exile can deal with Hazoret, the Fervent, Goblin Rabblemaster, or Goblin Chainwhirler and other (probably) singleton creatures. Don’t overvalue Path as it does not have too many targets but remember that we can always Path our creature to get a precious basic.

In

  • 1-2 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Kor Firewalker
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Courser of Kruphix
  • 1-2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 2 Vizier of Remedies
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 2-3 Kitchen Finks
  • 2-3 Chord of Calling

RG Ponza

This is a good match-up but we need the combo to win. In the late game, we lose to any big dragon or Inferno Titan tearing our board. Blood Moon is not a problem as we can operate with single mana dork or Forest. Side out the midrange package and focus on keeping them off their mana (Abrupt Decay is a perfect answer for both Utopia Sprawl and Arbor Elf). Path to Exile can be good against Tireless Tracker or Pia and Kiran Nalaar but more than one copy is usually too much. We rarely have a real chance to use it and win as extra land for out opponent is very valuable.

In

  • 0-1 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1-2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 2-4 Kitchen Finks

Scapeshift/Titanshift

This is one of the worst match-ups we can have. The first game should be fairly easy (in comparison to post-board games) as we face the least amount of removal. Unfortunately, we need a quick combo – midrange hands will not do it. Four copies of Lighting Bolt in the main and one to three red mass removals are usually backed up with two to three more removal spells, one to two Grafdigger’s Cage and one more mass removal. The main problem is that they disrupt our combo plan easily and we cannot interact with their plan almost in any way. Try to mulligan to fast hand (mana dork into Collected Company or Devoted Druid). Sin Collector can be helpful but unfortunately, not against Primeval Titan. It is difficult to go off with the Kitchen Finks combo as they usually play some number of Relic of Progenitus. Keep only one to two copies.

In

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

Out

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

Storm

“S” is not our letter….another very bad match-up. Next to Scapeshift, this is one of two or three worst match-ups. Game one is 5-95% or 10-90%. With no maindeck removal for Goblin Electromancer we need a turn three combo kill on the play. On the draw, it can often be too slow. Unfortunately, a single Remand or Grapeshot can easily stop our efforts. We are well-prepared for this match-up and, in my opinion, we are even slightly favored post-sideboard. Winning both games, however, can still be challenging. As removal spells are as good as gold here, I usually side out some number of Collected Company (creature count is lowered). Wait for a good moment to play Chord of Calling for Sin Collector or Eidolon of Rhetoric. Bluff one if necessary! Both of those cards are very effective here. Mulligan aggressively, either to fast combo hand or removal (Sin Collector/Eidolon hands are preferred). Others might simply not be good enough. Kor Firewalker might be nice against value-Grapeshot or small Empty the Warrens.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Kor Firewalker
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
  • 2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 3 Vizier of Remedies
  • 4 Kitchen Finks
  • 2 Collected Company

U Tron

The later they assemble Tron the better for us. If we can get ahead on mana we might sneak a combo under their counter magic. Remember the importance of your Scavenging Ooze as he is a perfect answer for the Mindslaver/Academy Ruins combo (however not all players leave this combo in post-board). Sin Collector and a fast clock are very important in this match-up. If they focus in on our creatures, we can resolve Collected Company or Chord of Calling.

In

  • 0-1 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 0-1 Voice of Resurgence
  • 2 Sin Collector

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 0-1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 3-4 Kitchen Finks
  • 1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos

UR Moon/Breach/Control/Pyro-Thing

This is quite a difficult match-up pre-board but gets a lot better post-board. Their removal usually stops our combo while threats like Thing in the Ice, Young Pyromancer, Blood Moon, or Jace, the Mind Sculptor gives control an advantage in the late game. Through the Breach combo is the worst of these decks.  While killing our creatures, they can kill us turn five or six with an unstoppable Emrakul, the Aeons Torn (pre-board). The sideboard provides tools for both: kill their threats and influence their hand/game-plan. Cards like Abrupt Decay and Sin Collector are at their best here. Path to Exile and Eidolon of Rhetoric are also very potent. Because of more removal (including Anger of the Gods) coming in from their sideboard, I usually side out the combo. Only the Breach version is so difficult to beat that I leave in Devoted Druid and one to two Vizier of Remedies.

In

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

Out

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

UR Wizards

Wizards can be very fast and even burn us out. With Walking Ballista or Kitchen Finks we can turn the corner and win the first game. Otherwise, it can be difficult as they operate on many Lightning Bolt effects and countermagic. Any removal spell we can bring will make this match-up much easier as they usually rely on one to two creatures.

In

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

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 4 Vizier of Remedies
  • 3 Devoted Druid
  • 4 Chord of Calling

UW Miracles

This is another very difficult match-up. For versions of our deck with blue or land destruction (with Knight of the Reliquary) it can be beatable in the late game but it is typically not good to go long vs. Control. We have to try to combo early on before they can cast Cryptic Command and Snapcaster Mage into Path to Exile. Playing around both Terminus and Supreme Verdict is exceptionally difficult (they play one to three, usually). I keep all four Devoted Druid and one to two Vizier of Remedies with some Chord of Calling. It gives an option to go combo but not devote too many resources for this. We still have to be able to kill them with regular damage and need Path to Exile for big angels and Celestial Colonnade.

In

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

Out

  • 1 Wooded Foothills
  • 1 Viscera Seer
  • 1-2 Vizier of Remedies
  • 4 Kitchen Finks
  • 2-3 Chord of Calling

Wx Taxes/ Eldrazi & Taxes

This is another good match-up for us. We don’t suffer too much due to the land destruction paired with Leonin Arbiter‘s ability. Having lots of mana dorks give us the flexibility we need to play around Arbiter and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. The addition of black and powerful Eldrazi abilities (Eldrazi Displacer and Wasteland Strangler) make things more difficult. My advice is to side out Chord of Calling as both noncreature spells and searching your library will be strongly taxed. We can give a fair fight without combo, anyway. Consider cutting Kitchen Finks or Eternal Witness as our opponent might bring in Rest in Peace or Relic of Progenitus.

In

  • 3 Path to Exile
  • 3 Abrupt Decay
  • 1 Qasali Pridemage
  • 1 Courser of Kruphix

Out

  • 2 Vizier of Remedies
  • 1 Scavenging Ooze
  • 1 Kitchen Finks
  • 4 Chord of Calling

Vengevine/BridgeVine

This match-up is usually combo or bust. Kitchen Finks blocking a creature like Vengevine can give us an extra turn nor two. Meanwhile, we should go for combo at any cost. Post-board, one Path to Exile, an extra Scavenging Ooze, and Qasali Pridemage (for Leylive of the Void) is enough. We can’t disrupt our own game-plan too much as our opponent will usually have no interaction. Walking Ballista as win con is not necessary as they will concede to either infinite life or all creatures put on the battlefield with Duskwatch Recruiter‘s ability.

In

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

Out

  • 1 Gavony Township
  • 1 Chord of Calling
  • 1 Walking Ballista

Discussion