Mono Blue Tempo Sideboard Guide
29 Jul 2019

Hey folks, this is Nerduckt, here with another sideboard guide for Mono Blue Aggro. Similar to my Simic Flash Sideboard Guide, I’ve played a lot of games on Arena using this list and now I’ve upgraded the sideboard to match the Elemental-heavy and Scapeshift-heavy decks running around the ladder.

How Do You Sideboard With Mono Blue?

Sideboarding with Mono Blue was something that took me quite a while to really finalize, mostly because I end up replacing just a few cards on my mainboard for certain matches.

Right now on MTG Arena, I’ve decided to stop playing Simic Flash and give Mono Blue another chance because this is actually my deck on Paper. Over the next couple of days before this season ends, I will be piloting Mono Blue Aggro using the list below and give you my win-rate percentages.

Check out the list right here: Mono Blue Aggro.

Now, I want you to understand just how this deck works because you’re going to be torn between racing your opponent and controlling the tempo, and sometimes, you have to know what you’re going for. For most of my matches in Arena or on paper, I find that it’s more important for me to dictate tempo than anything else even against aggro decks.

The sideboard that I’m running hasn’t been updated yet on paper, but I run this list Sunday afternoon on Bo3 with a 5-0 record. I think I made the right decision in updating the sideboard before attempting to climb up to Mythic.

Now, here’s the sideboard guide:

Against Esper Control and Grixis Control

In:

+2 Negate

+2 Wizard’s Retort

+1 Spell Pierce

Out:

-1 Spectral Sailor

-2 Siren Stormtamer

-2 Opt

Both Esper and Grixis Control have the same sideboarding strategies because of the decks’ control capabilities. You actually want more copies of Negate and Wizard’s Retort lying around on your deck to catch their Planeswalkers, board-wipe spells, and even Thought Erasure.

In my matches against Esper and Grixis, being on the draw and having a Spell Pierce helps protect you against Thought Erasure.

Now I removed more copies of Siren Stormtamer than Spectral Sailor because of the latter’s draw ability in the late game. I also have enough counter spells to keep me and my creatures from being targeted.

Against Temur Elemental

In:

+3 Aether Gust

+2 Wizard’s Retort

Out:

-1 Spectral Sailor

-2 Siren Stormtamer

-1 Merforlk Trickster

-1 Opt

Temur Elemental is actually a very tough match up for me since they board in a color hosing spell, Veil of Summer, which prevents me from countering their spells and allows them to draw a card.

Aether Gust is boarded in for only two cards: Shifting Ceratops and Chandra, Awakened Inferno. Having 3 copies ensures me that I have a higher chance of drawing it within the next few turns.

During the postboard matches, it’s actually more difficult to counter Temur Elemental

But that doesn’t really matter at all since the main priority here is to catch those two cards mentioned above.

Against Bant Scapeshift

In:

+2 Negate

+2 Wizard’s Retort

Out:

-1 Siren Stormtamer

-1 Dive Down

-1 Spectral Sailor

-1 Spell Pierce

Similar to Grixis and Esper Control, you want more of your counter spells not for countering their creatures but for countering their ramp cards such as Circuitous Route, Grow from the Ashes, and of course, Scapeshift.

Arguably I could just board out more copies of Spell Pierce since it becomes a dead card by the time they amass more lands, but I find that they are quite handy for the first few turns and I would rather use them first than use Negate and  Wizard’s Retort.

The goal here is to just prevent them from ramping up and dropping a Hydroid Krassis, which Lookout’s Dispersal and Wizard’s Retort are here to do.

However, postboard matches usually become a pain in the neck because they are also equipped with Veil of Summer to help protect their cards from getting countered. That’s also one reason why Spell Pierce isn’t completely boarded out too.

Against Orzhov Aggro

In:

+1 Sleep

+1 Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer

+2 Wizard’s Retort

Out:

-1 Siren Stormtamer

-1 Spectral Sailor

-2 Spell Pierce

Now you’re probably wondering why Entrancing Melody isn’t on this sideboard list. First, while the payoff allows me to gain control of a creature, it puts me at great risk for tapping out, which gives them the opportunity to drop Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord.

Instead, I use Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer as a way to keep Knight of the Ebon Legion from getting too fat. Her ability to give a creature -2/-0 comes in quite handy for Orzhov Vampires, and if she survives the next turn, she gives me a 4/4 flyer which is a decent body that takes care of a lot of their creatures.

Against Simic Flash

In:

+2 Wizard’s Retort

+1 Sleep

+3 Aether Gust

Out:

-1 Siren Stormtamer

-2 Dive Down

-1 Opt

-1 Spectral Sailor

-1 Spell Pierce

Again, this is a tougher matchup for Mono Blue because you’re both trying to out-tempo one another. Because I know Simic Flash runs Shifting Ceratops, I board in Aether Gust to give myself a turn or two.

This matchup is also difficult because they have access to Veil of Summer, so it makes it difficult for me to counter their spells.

Against Mono Red and Boros Feather

In:

+4 Cerulean Drake

+1 Sleep

+1 Wizard’s Retort

+1 Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer

Out:

-2 Spell Pierce

-2 Opt

-2 Siren Stormtamer

-1 Spectral Sailor

So both these decks have more or less the same sideboard because they both run the same color, which is Red. This is why Cerulean Drake is played in so it becomes an efficient attacker and blocker.

When given a chance, Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer also shuts down Feather the Redeemed or at least forces them to use their protection spells on him.

Check out MTG Rock’s take on Mono Blue Aggro as they take it to the Meta Challenge:

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