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Last time I covered the main deck, and today I will be going through the many sideboard options available for Bant Control in Modern. First, let’s establish the top 8 archetypes we are trying to cover with the 15 cards:

Tron Decks

Urza’s Tower

Green Tron and Eldrazi Tron are two of your hardest matchups, but there’s hope. While not being a sideboard card, quadruple Field of RuinField of Ruin in the manabase help out immensely, and after sideboard we get access to Damping SphereDamping Sphere, Disdainful StrokeDisdainful Stroke and Ceremonious RejectionCeremonious Rejection. I’ve recently cut Rejection since it felt too narrow and the others had more crossover use. Surgical ExtractionSurgical Extraction can one-two punch Green Tron with Field of RuinField of Ruin while being versatile in graveyard and Uro matchups as well.

Monastery Swiftspear Decks

Monastery Swiftspear

Mono Red Prowess and Burn can be tricky if you get behind from the start, but thankfully there are numerous sideboard options available. The first is the most powerful turn two play in Kor FirewalkerKor Firewalker, which will win the game a very high percentage of the time if cast early. The second is Timely ReinforcementsTimely Reinforcements which is great with Snapcaster MageSnapcaster Mage and Mystic SanctuaryMystic Sanctuary while also being relevant in other matchups where the three 1/1’s are likely to matter. The third and least extreme option is to load up on cards like Celestial PurgeCelestial Purge and Aether GustAether Gust for crossover use and hope that the help is enough against the red decks. Lately I’ve been playing all three configurations and am uncertain about which to settle on.

Primeval Titan Decks

Primeval Titan

Maindeck Shadow of DoubtShadow of Doubt and Field of RuinField of Ruin can’t solve this matchup on their own, so we need to upgrade for games two and three with some heavy hitters. Ashiok, Dream RenderAshiok, Dream Render is the perfect card for the job as it stops the enter-the-battlefield trigger of Primeval TitanPrimeval Titan and even Summoner’s PactSummoner’s Pact, but be careful about maintaining its loyalty and keep an eye out for Beast WithinBeast Within as an answer. Damping SphereDamping Sphere helps against Castle GarenbrigCastle Garenbrig and Ravnica bouncelands to hopefully delay the Titan and zombie army long enough to win the game. Disdainful StrokeDisdainful Stroke does a good “counter target Primeval TitanPrimeval Titan” impression here.

Cryptic Command Decks

Cryptic Command

This category includes Urza variants, Blue-White(-x) Stoneforge and Blue-White based Control, but the same cards are usually good against these. Veil of SummerVeil of Summer and Mystical DisputeMystical Dispute lets you win counter wars over the important cards like planeswalkers, and Surgical ExtractionSurgical Extraction gets rid of Uro for good and even messes with Mystic SanctuaryMystic Sanctuary. I have also liked Ashiok as a 1-of to lock down fetches and empty the opponent’s graveyard of juicy targets for Mystic SanctuaryMystic Sanctuary and Snapcaster MageSnapcaster Mage.

Noble Hierarch Decks

Noble Hierarch

With Ice-Fang CoatlIce-Fang Coatl, Path to ExilePath to Exile, Snapcaster MageSnapcaster Mage and Supreme VerdictSupreme Verdict in the starting 60, I haven’t dedicated a lot of the sideboard to creature matchups like Infect, Humans and Collected CompanyCollected Company strategies. Aether GustAether Gust is great against them all, and Celestial PurgeCelestial Purge is good against Humans.

Thoughtseize Decks

Thoughtseize

Mainly Death’s ShadowDeath’s Shadow and JundJund in this section, which are both positive matchups thanks to the cheap removal paired with Snapcaster MageSnapcaster Mage, deathtouch snakes and planeswalkers. Sideboarding-wise we don’t need much help, but Celestial PurgeCelestial Purge and especially Veil of SummerVeil of Summer will work wonders. Imagine “dismissing” a turn one discard spell or protecting an Uro and draw a card for a single green mana.

Creeping Chill Decks

Creeping Chill

Graveyard strategies like Dredge and CrabVine are very powerful if they do their thing, but our gameplan hope to take advantage of their inconsistency and add a few nasty surprises after sideboard. Rest in PeaceRest in Peace is the heaviest hitter while Surgical ExtractionSurgical Extraction and Ashiok have the most use elsewhere. Since these two decks combined are at such a low percentage of the metagame share, I’ll stay a little soft to them and play the more versatile cards, but I can definitely see running Rest in PeaceRest in Peace or even Soul-Guide LanternSoul-Guide Lantern as a onesided Tormod’s CryptTormod’s Crypt that still takes care of Uro in the yard.

Serum Visions Decks

Serum Visions

Storm and Ad NauseamAd Nauseam are both decks that you want when you sit down for your round, but that doesn’t mean that you beat them easily every time. Storm is soft to graveyard hate and Ashiok which stops Gifts UngivenGifts Ungiven cold, and Ad NauseamAd Nauseam is a lot less consistent and “all in” when it tries to combo. Watch out for Veil of SummerVeil of Summer out of both decks. What they have in common is that Damping SphereDamping Sphere is very annoying for them to play against. Just remember to be careful about spending mana on your own turn since Damping SphereDamping Sphere also taxes your actions.

My sideboard is changing from week to week, but to sum it all up this is what I’m sleeving if I had a tournament today:

Modern Bant Control Sideboard by Andreas Petersen

(15)
Kor Firewalker
Surgical Extraction
Ashiok, Dream Render
Aether Gust
Mystical Dispute
Celestial Purge
Veil of Summer
Damping Sphere
Disdainful Stroke

To round out the article, here are some tips (some more advanced than others) that will hopefully help you understand the deck better.

Until next time, have fun winning on turn 25!

Andreas Petersen

Andreas Petersen

Andreas is probably better known as "ecobaronen" on MTGO. After 2nd place of Team Trios #GPMadrid playing Modern he's heading to his second Pro Tour in Minneapolis this year. Andreas has an opinion about every constructed format except Standard.