Hello, fellow planeswalkers!  Welcome to Standard Weekly!

This week I want to talk about the LGS metagame.  Primarily, I play at Caffeinated Gamers and another LCG close to my home.  When I go to each store the metagame is different than what we see online from data from Arena, Magic Online play, or large tournament results.

Why?

The simple answer is that the playgroup is smaller and the regular members of that playgroup each have unique play styles that tend to remain the same regardless of what are the most successful decks in the larger metagame we see on Arena, Magic Online, or from large tournament results.

This means that we need to be very aware of what the members of our playgroup will bring to Friday Night Magic.

Know Your Local Metagame

I’m known as an aggro player in these groups, so other players sideboard against me.  This also means that I have to sideboard against what I can expect to see on Friday nights.  On a typical Friday night, I know that I can expect at least one Esper Raffine deck, a Dimir Midrange/Control deck, one or two Atraxa decks, a Rakdos Midrange deck, an Azorius Simulacrum Synthesizer Artifact deck, and at least one other aggro deck.  Depending on the night I must be ready for each of these players.

My sideboard typically is a work in progress.  Usually, I start with a general meta-deck sideboard that the deck I’m using plays.  Then, I begin to adjust the sideboard based on what decks I expect to see on a given Friday night.  For a while, I had to sideboard against graveyard strategies because I could expect at least one player to use that strategy.  As a result, I always had with me graveyard hate cards that I could put into my sideboard if I needed to.

According to Untapped.gg data, below is the most popular version of Boros Convoke.  It has a 60% win rate and over 2000 matches played since Outlaws of Thunder Junction’s release.

BOROS CONVOKE

CREATURES: (27)

  • 4 Knight-Errant of Eos

  • 4 Resolute Reinforcements

  • 4 Voldaren Epicure

  • 1 Yotian Frontliner

  • 4 Imodane’s Recruiter

  • 2 Sanguine Evangelist

  • 4 Warden of the Inner Sky

  • 4 Novice Inspector

SORCERIES: (4)

  • 4 Gleeful Demolition

ENCHANTMENTS: (7)

  • 4 Case of the Gateway Express

  • 3 Warleader’s Call

LANDS: (22)

  • 2 Mirrex

  • 3 Plains

  • 2 Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire

  • 3 Mountain

  • 4 Battlefield Forge

  • 2 Cavern of Souls

  • 4 Inspiring Vantage

  • 2 Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance

SIDEBOARD: (15)

  • 2 Destroy Evil

  • 3 Brotherhood’s End

  • 3 Urabrask’s Forge

  • 2 Get Lost

  • 2 Rest in Peace

  • 1 Kutzil’s Flanker

  • 2 Lightning Helix

FINDING THE RIGHT ANSWERS

The standard sideboard for Boros Convoke works well against the expected metagame you will see on Arena.  It has no cards that deal with graveyards or can deal with problematic cards opponents play in some of the decks I expect to play.  As a result, I have altered the sideboard.

My new sideboard includes cards that deal with specific problems I expect to face.

3 Brotherhood’s End

3 Urabrask’s Forge

2 Destroy Evil

2 Get Lost

2 Rest in Peace

1 Kutzil’s Flanker

2 Lightning Helix

I decided on these changes to help me in specific matchups that I feel I need help.  Rest in Peace and Kutzil’s Flanker each help against the graveyard strategies.  Get Lost and Destroy Evil help against decks with enchantments.  I specifically need answers for Temporary Lockdown, Wedding Announcement, and Virtue of Loyalty.  Brotherhood’s End is not to deal with creatures.  Rather it is for the Simulacrum Synthesizer deck because it can destroy each artifact with a mana value of three or less.  Finally, Urabrask’s Forge is for decks that are using board wipes because they rarely have cards that deal with artifacts.  This will allow me to continue attacking my opponent with the token that Urabrask’s Forge creates each turn.

Does the sideboard answer every potential deck I could face?  It does not, but the sideboard does offer me answers to the problems I expect to see and that is the best I can ask for most nights.

That’s it for this week.  I’ll see you next time!

By: Scott Trepanier

Scott began playing Magic the Gathering in 1994.  His preferred format is standard.  Typically, you will see him playing aggro decks focused on quickly defeating his opponent but will pivot to midrange or control when standard is unfavorable for aggro decks.  He began creating Magic content in 2019.