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Posted by on Jan 6, 2017

Eldrazi Tron Sideboarding Guide – Part 2

Eldrazi Tron Sideboarding Guide – Part 2

Let’s see now the other sideboard plans that have not been covered in my previous article. Eldrazi Tron does well in general versus Midrange decks, as we will see first. Then, it is fine versus Graveyard decks, even if you should pack more hate if you expect Dredge to be super popular. It can grind most control decks, unless they also pack the tron, which would make you the underdog. We will see how it does against combo decks, which is usually great because of Chalice and some hosers. Lastly, we will analyze what happens versus the other Eldrazi decks. Enjoy discovering the inner workings of Eldrazi Tron.

Here is the decklist, as a reminder:

The Midrange Decks

GBx strategies

Tarmogoyf, Grim Flayer, Liliana of the Veil, Dark Confidant, Scavenging Ooze, Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek are all very strong cards that have made GBx midrange strategies very resilient and flexible. Their clock can be fast, especially with an early Grim Flayer, but in general you have enough time to assemble your tron. Their curve is more spread out so your Chalices are not as effective, even if they are still okay at 1 and 2. The good news is that you can easily clog the ground to slow them down and then win when you play All is Dust.

Jund (favourable)

In:

All Is DustAll Is DustPithing NeedlePithing NeedleRelic of Progenitus
Relic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusKarn Liberated

Out:

Chalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidWarping Wail
Warping WailSpellskiteSpellskite

Another favourable match-up. Eldrazi Tron preys on midrange decks and you have solutions to all of their threats. Liliana of the Veil can be annoying, but Pithing Needle and Reality Smasher can often deal with her, and sacrificing a Matter Reshaper to it can accelerate your game plan. One with a dedicated land destruction plan with 4 Fulminator Mages post board and 3 or 4 Kolaghan’s Commands can be a real pain. If they have Dark Confidant, you may want to keep one more Warping Wail in your main deck.
Pithing Needle targets: Liliana Of the Veil, Raging Ravine.

Abzan (favourable)

In:

All Is DustAll Is DustPithing NeedlePithing NeedleRelic of Progenitus
Relic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusKarn LiberatedRatchet BombRatchet Bomb

Out:

Chalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidWarping Wail
Warping WailSpellskiteSpellskiteKozilek, the Great DistortionEndbringer

If you can stabilize, your top decks which are often stronger than theirs. Relic shines even more in that match, as it can remove Lingering Soul, prevent some delve spells like Tasigur or Murderous Cut, and shrink their Grim Flayers and their Tarmogoyfs.

Pithing Needle targets: Liliana of the Veil, Shambling Vents.

Abzan Company (slighty favourable)

In:

Spatial ContortionSpatial ContortionSpatial ContortionAll Is DustAll Is Dust
Ratchet BombRatchet BombRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of Progenitus

Out:

Chalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidSpellskite
SpellskiteKozilek, the Great DistortionWarping WailReality SmasherReality Smasher

They can sometimes combo off out of nowhere with Melira, Kitchen Finks and a sacrifice outlet, thanks to Chord of Calling and Collected Company, so destroy parts of their combo if you have the chance. Relic can remove Kitchen Finks when it goes to the graveyard with the persist trigger on the stack, and can be used if they try to go off with Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit. The deck also plays Eternal Witness so your Relic can be quite useful. As usual, try to make sure they do not go off until you can play All is Dust. Even if they combo off and gain a million life, you can still get back control with All is Dust and then mill them with Ulamog.

W/R Prison (favourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleKarn LiberatedAll Is DustAll Is Dust
Ratchet BombRatchet BombWarping Wail

Out:

Chalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidDismember
DismemberDismemberSpellskite

Their Chalices are not really hurting you and yours do not do much, unless you wait until you play them with 3 counters, to stop their Blood Moon, or at 4, to stop most of their kill cons. Nahiri, the Harbinger is their main kill condition, so Pithing Needle naming that blind will give you plenty of time. Ideally your starting hand should have a Wastes or an Expedition Map, or a Ghost Quarter and a few other lands. They often keep all-in Blood Moon hands with Simian Spirit Guide, hoping to catch us, without much pressure. Even with Blood moon in play, we have plenty of spells that do not require colorless mana, like Batterskull, All is Dust, Ratchet Bomb and Karn. In response to Blood Moon you can cast Warping Wail, giving you an extra colorless mana source, which can allow you to cast one more Eldrazi. They have sweepers like Wrath of God, so countering that is another reason to side it in. All is Dust, again, if you manage to survive until then, will clear the board, removing Blood Moon and planeswalkers and probably your opponent’s belief in fairness and justice.

Pithing Needle targets: Nahiri, the Harbinger, Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Skred Red (slightly favourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleKarn LiberatedRatchet BombRatchet Bomb
All Is DustAll Is DustRelic of Progenitus

Out:

Chalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidUlamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Kozilek, the Great DistortionSpellskiteSpellskite

Same as against RW prison, play as if they had Blood moon, and prioritize having access to Wastes. Post-board, Molten Rain is very annoying, so keep your wastes in your hands until you really need them. Relic is there only to cycle and get you the lands you need. It could be correct to play more Relics and cutting something else, but the problem is that if it is in your opening hand you have less information to judge if you will have a good start.

Pithing Needle targets: Koth of the Hammer, Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Chandra, Torch of Defiance.

The Graveyard Decks

If you expect a lot of them, you can tweak the sideboard to include one more Relic of Progenitus and 1 or 2 Surgical Extractions. I used to have more graveyard hate but Dredge did not do too well in the Montreal metagame as everyone and their brothers were packing a lot of hate against it last month. Surgical Extractions in other match-ups were okay but a bit clunky, rarely as great as I thought they would be when I was daydreaming about them in the subway, late at night, after a night out. Relic of Progenitus on the other hand is an all-star and was useful versus a wide range of strategies.

Dredge (slighty favourable)

On the Play

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleWarping WailRelic of ProgenitusRelic of Progenitus
Relic of ProgenitusAll Is Dust

Out:

Chalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidDismemberDismemberDismember
Kozilek, the Great DistortionEndbringer

On the Draw

In:

Warping WailRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusAll Is Dust

Out:

Chalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidDismemberDismemberDismember

Chalice at 1 can slow them down, often stopping Faithless Looting Flashbacked. Dredge can have explosive starts, but you can usually have enough blockers if you get the tron out early. Countering Cathartic Reunion, Faithless Looting or Conflagrate with Warping Wail is brutal and gives you considerable time to put a critical mass of Eldrazis on the table. Warping Wail can also exile Bloodghast, which is nice. You have a lot of creatures with 4 or more toughness, so you can hold the grounds versus Prized Amalgam and company.

Pithing Needle targets: Insolent Neonate, Haunted Dead.

Living End (favourable)

In:

Relic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusAll Is DustAll Is Dust
Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleWarping Wail

Out:

DismemberDismemberDismemberUlamog, the Ceaseless HungerKozilek, the Great Distortion
EndbringerEndbringerEndbringer

Not really a popular deck anymore, but it should not be a problem if you are paired against it. Chalice for 0, Relic of Progenitus and Warping Wail take care of stopping Living End while you grind them out with small eldrazis. Fulminator Mages are annoying, so land-light hands may not be a keep.

Pithing Needle targets: Fulminator Mage, Street Wraith

Grixis Through the Breach with Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn (slightly favourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of Progenitus
Warping WailKarn Liberated

Out:

Kozilek, the Great DistortionAll Is DustSpellskiteSpellskiteDismember
DismemberDismember

The deck is solid but you have some tools to fight it. A turn 4 Through the Breach with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is not something you can handle, but if you manage to play Chalice for 1 and then a Thought-Knot Seer you should be okay. There is a negative synergy between that plan post-board and all the one-drop spells you side in, but you usually play your one-drops first, then land a Chalice second or third turn and you should be fine.

Pithing Needle targets: Griselbrand, Polluted Delta, Bloodstained Mire.

Grishoalbrand (slighty favourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of Progenitus
Warping WailKarn Liberated

Out:

Kozilek, the Great DistortionAll Is DustSpellskiteSpellskiteDismember
DismemberDismember

Similar match-ups as the previous deck, Chalices should be put at 2 instead. Pithing Needle does a good job at stopping their Griselbrand engine.

Pithing Needle targets: Griselbrand

The Control Decks

These decks do not have a fast clock, which leave you usually plenty of time to assemble the tron. Your match-ups against them is better than it would be for Bant Eldrazi, as you can put a lot of pressure early and Ulamog and Kozilek give you top-end threats that are hard to deal with. Your All is Dusts and Pithing Needles give you solutions against planeswalkers. These are the match-ups where Sanctum of Ugin will be the most useful. There is a lot of variation in the lists, so make sure you keep in mind their threats when you sideboard.

Jeskai Control (favourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of Progenitus
All Is DustAll Is DustKarn Liberated

Out:

DismemberDismemberDismemberSpellskiteSpellskite
EndbringerChalice of the VoidChalice of the Void

Chalice for 1 hinders them considerably, cutting their Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile and Serum Visions, amongst others. Chalice for 2 stops their Mana Leaks, Snapcaster Mages and Lightning Helixes. If they play the Nahiri version, you have plenty of ways to deal with her (Pithing Needle, All is Dust, Karn, Smasher). Getting to cast Ulamog or Kozilek is usually enough to win the game. It is often a war of attrition and getting to play Sea Gate Wreckage late game can provide you sufficient card advantage to win the game.

Pithing Needle targets: Nahiri Harbinger, Celestial Colonnade

W/U Control (slighty favourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of Progenitus
All Is DustAll Is DustKarn Liberated

Out:

DismemberDismemberDismemberSpellskiteSpellskite
Chalice of the VoidWarping WailWarping Wail

Similar to Jeskai control. Ratchet Bomb comes in if they have a lot of token makers like Elspeth, Sun’s Champion or Timely Reinforcements. Decks have a lot of variation, so you have to sideboard in consequence. Play around Cryptic Command and Supreme Verdict.

Pithing Needle targets: Tectonic Edge, Celestial Colonnade, Elspeth Sun’s Champion

Grixis Control (even)

In:

Relic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusKarn Liberated

Out:

Ulamog, the Ceaseless HungerKozilek, the Great DistortionWarping WailWarping Wail

Chalice for 1 or 0 is great, but they have solutions maindeck in the form of Kolaghan’s Command and Cryptic Command. Ideally, you want a quick Eldrazi beatdown hand. Fuminator Mage with Kolaghan’s Command post-board can be quite a headache.

Pithing Needle targets: Fulminator Mage, Creeping Tar Pit

Lantern Control (slighty favourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleKarn LiberatedRatchet BombRatchet Bomb
Relic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of Progenitus

Out:

SpellskiteSpellskiteDismemberDismemberDismember
All Is DustWarping WailWarping Wail

Your deck can win despite an Ensnaring Bridge thanks to Endbringer, Karn or Ulamog. Pithing Needle, Ratchet Bomb and Sea Gate Wreckage are other problematic cards that they have to deal with. Relic of Progenitus allows you to draw instant speed, which makes it more complicated for them to deny you good cards with Codex Shredder and others. Your opponent is in the difficult position where they can select what you draw, but contrary to other match-ups, drawing lands is often a good thing for you as you can assemble tron and play powerful threats from your hand.

Pithing Needle targets: Codex Shredder, Academy ruins

W/G Tron (35-65) or B/G or R/G (unfavourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleWarping WailKarn Liberated

Out:

All Is DustDismemberDismemberDismember

Other tron decks are your most difficult match-ups. They go bigger and are geared toward getting to tron more effectively. Karn Liberated is hard to manage, Pithing Needles are your main solutions post-board, even if you enter a Karn of your own. Wurmcoil Engine is another card that may ruin your day. Chalice for one is one of your best chances, stopping their Chromatic Spheres and Stars as well as their Ancient Stirring. Another strategy is to use Ghost Quarter aggressively and pray they never assemble the tron. You need to be on the beatdown plan and cross your fingers to get a bit lucky.

Pithing Needle targets: Karn Liberated, Oblivion Stone.

Mono-Blue Tron (unfavourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleKarn LiberatedRelic of ProgenitusRelic of Progenitus
Relic of ProgenitusBasilisk CollarSpatial Contortion

Out:

SpellskiteSpellskiteWarping WailChalice of the VoidChalice of the Void
Chalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidAll Is Dust

They also get tron with more regularity and their top ends usually trump yours. Mindslaver and Wurmcoil Engine are really hard to deal with, and Oblivion Stone wrecks your board. Again, your Ghost Quarters and a fast clock are your only hope.

Pithing Needle targets: Karn Liberated, Oblivion Stone.

The Combo Decks

You have plenty of hateful cards in your main deck and sideboard that could hinder their progress. Thought-Knot Seer, more than ever, is an all-star, giving you time, information, disruption and a fast clock. Try to be as aggressive as you can be before they get a chance to combo off.

Ad Nauseam (slightly unfavourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleRatchet BombRatchet BombKarn Liberated

Out:

DismemberDismemberWarping WailBatterskullBatterskull

Chalice for 1 delays them, stopping Angel’s Grace and their cantrips. Chalice for 0 is also useful, stopping Lotus Bloom and Pact of negation. Ratchet Bomb for 3 deals with Laboratory Maniac and Phyrexian Unlife. At last, Pithing Needle on Lightning Storm will force them to accumulate more mana before going off so they can bounce it with Echoing Truth or cast Laboratory Maniac and a one-mana cantrip. If they try the Maniac way, you always have Dismember or Warping Wail to potentially disrupt their plan.

Pithing Needle targets: Lightning Storm.

Scapeshift (slightly favourable)

In:

Relic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusKarn LiberatedWarping Wail

Out:

DismemberDismemberDismemberAll Is DustEndbringer

Warping Wail is great in that match, countering the acceleration and their namesake kill card, as well as potentially Bring to Light. Being a Snapcaster Mage deck, Relic comes in. As you do not have fetch lands and shock lands, they need to get to 8 lands before playing Scapeshift, which is an extra turn for you. Play around Cryptic Command if you can.

RG Valakut (unfavourable)

In:

Relic of ProgenitusPithing NeedlePithing NeedleKarn LiberatedWarping Wail

Out:

Chalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidDismemberDismemberDismember

It is a really tough match-up. You need to bring in Pithing Needle and hope to have a bit of chance playing them blind on Wooded Foothills on the play, or Sakura-Tribe Elder on the draw. Ghost Quarters can be very important in that match, as you can deal with Valakut. Chalice is too slow to stop their ramp, but you can play it on zero to stop their Summoner’s Pacts. Versions playing Scapeshifts are easier to beat, as you can counter one of their kill conditions with your Warping Wails. Through the Breach versions are faster and it is nearly impossible to stop them if they have the nutz.
Primeval Titan is really difficult to manage, if you are lucky you can play Dismember and Warping Wail on one, but it is one of your only outs to an early Titan.

Pithing Needle targets: Wooded Foothills, Sakura-Tribe Elder

Pyromancer Thing (slighty favourable)

In:

Ratchet BombRatchet BombRelic of ProgenitusRelic of ProgenitusRelic of Progenitus
Karn LiberatedWarping Wail

Out:

EndbringerEndbringerEndbringerUlamog, the Ceaseless HungerKozilek, the Great Distortion
BatterskullBatterskull

Warping Wail is pretty useful as you can counter their cantrips and get rid of their Thing in the Ice. You have to aggro them out before they get to have an active Ascension, so the plan is to lower the curve. Chalice for 1 shuts down half their deck, and for 2, the second half.

Amulet (unfavourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleSpatial ContortionSpatial ContortionSpatial Contortion
Karn LiberatedWarping Wail

Out:

Kozilek, the Great DistortionBatterskullEndbringerEndbringerMatter Reshaper
Matter ReshaperMatter Reshaper

Decks with Primeval Titans are not your friends. You bring all the spot removal to deal with the Sakura-Tribe Scout and Azusa, Lost but Seeking. Chalice for 0 may give you some extra time, blocking their Summoner’s Pact. Ghost Quarter can also stop them from having insane bounce land fun if you leave it untapped.
Pithing Needle targets: Slayer’s Stronghold, Sakura-Tribe Scout, Tolarian West, Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion

The Eldrazi Decks

Eldrazi Tron (even)

In:

Karn LiberatedBasilisk CollarSpatial ContortionSpatial ContortionSpatial Contortion

Out:

Chalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidChalice of the VoidAll Is Dust

The mirror is usually a question of who gets to tron first, so mulligan accordingly. Spatial Contortion is not great, but at least it can do something, more often than not a Giant Growth impression.

Bant Eldrazi (even)

In:

Basilisk CollarSpatial ContortionSpatial ContortionSpatial ContortionPithing Needle
Pithing NeedleKarn Liberated

Out:

Warping WailWarping WailWarping WailAll Is DustChalice of the Void
Chalice of the VoidSpellskite

I thought it was a tough match-up but I win more often than I thought I would. Eldrazi Displacer can wreck your day but you have plenty of solutions. Worship post board can be problematic, you have a few outs though, like Basilisk Collar and Endbringer, Ulamog or Karn. Pithing Needles are mainly for Eldrazi Displacer, play them before they can exile them from your hand with Thought-Knot Seer. If you can get to the late game, you have stronger cards and you should dominate. Chalice for 1 protects you from Path to Exile and stop Ancient Stirrings. Their Cavern of Souls do limit the power of your Chalices with more counters, which is why some of them are cut post board.

Pithing Needle targets: Eldrazi Displacer, Misty Rainforest.

Eldrazi and Taxes (favourable)

In:

Pithing NeedlePithing NeedleSpatial ContortionSpatial ContortionSpatial Contortion
Ratchet BombRatchet Bomb

Out:

Ulamog, the Ceaseless HungerKozilek, the Great DistortionAll Is DustChalice of the VoidChalice of the Void
Chalice of the VoidChalice of the Void

Displacer is also their most powerful card against you, but luckily you have answers. Your Spatial Contortions and Ratchet Bombs do a great job against most of their creatures. If you do not get wreck by their Leonin Arbiter and Ghost Quarter, you should be fine.

Pithing Needle targets: Aether vial, Eldrazi Displacer.

Hopefully these few plans will help you out in your quest to conquer standard. Modern is skill intensive but as well a format where you can play something you really like. Eldrazi Tron is a really fun deck to play, where you get to cast massive eldrazis and get free wins with Chalices or early tron. Good luck in your matches and be as excellent as you can be.

  • Kerrydan

    Hey Vincent… Chalice seems like a really all or nothing card in the deck. As you said, sometimes it’s getting you free wins. Other times, it’s getting in the way.
    Imagine if Chalice were suddenly banned in Modern – what card(s) would you want to play in its place in Eldrazi Tron?

    • Roberto D’Aurelio

      My guess is more maindeck copies of Spatial Contortion or Warping Wail to free up more SB slots, as these cards are also good against what Chalice was good against.

    • Vincent Thibeault

      A big pull towards Eldrazi Tron is the ability to play Chalice and All is Dust, so the appeal to play that deck would be considerably reduced without Chalice. I would have to see if the recent bans change a lot the metagame, Infect was already a good match-up, Dredge and Death’s Shadow were harder, so it is great that they are gone. I do not like Hangarback Walker so it would not be a replacement. The cards that would replace Chalice would have to be good against aggro as the match-ups would become a lot more difficult. The truth is, without Chalice, I am not sure the deck would be a real contender anymore. Thanks for the support and enjoy the eldrazis.

    • Kerrydan

      Thanks, both of you! Great food for thought.

    • I saw some Eldrazi Tron builds with Chalices on the side. Playing Hangarback Walker (set) main and 3of All is Dust. Not sure if this will work or how it interacts (depending on local Meta)

  • Phil Pham

    Hey! First of all, thank you for the HUGE guide and primer. Its super insightful. I took the deck to a 4-1/8-2 finish at our TNM only losing to bant eldrazi due to mana issues. The deck felt fantastic. My only question is, is there anything that youll change in the decklist as AER gets released? Any saucy cards you think will make the cut due to the changing metagame? Thanks again 🙂

    • Vincent Thibeault

      Thanks! I intended to write a smaller article, but Modern is such a massive format that I felt I had to say a little something about all the most popular archetypes. After the ban, I am not sure how the metagame will change, but for the time being I would keep the deck as it is. You still need graveyard hate for Tarmogoyf, Grim Flayer and Snapcaster Mages.
      Hopefully, opponents will not pack more land hate to deal with tron as it would make our life harder, even if Eldrazi Tron can still fonction with only a few lands, contrary to the other tron decks. As for the new set, nothing caught my eye for Eldrazi Tron, so nothing would change there. Fatal Push could make our life a bit harder, but that is about it.

      • Phil Pham

        Thanks!

  • TonTo

    Great guide, I’m really loving this deck, so thanks.

    Is there potentially an error with the Grixis Control sideboard? You mention pithing needles in your description, but no needles are boarded in. You also mention chalice is easily answered by them, which implies maybe they should come out? Thanks again 🙂

    • Vincent Thibeault

      Hey TonTo, I have to say that I have been going back and forth on the way to sideboard properly versus that match-up. Pithing Needle is great to stop Fulminator Mage, but Cryptic Command and Kolaghan’s Command are simple solutions to that problem from their part. Chalice is useful too but encounters the same problem. Here would be my current sideboard plan + 1 Warping Wail (as a solution to Ancestral Vision, Serum Visions, Thoughtseize and Damnation from the SB), + 3 Relic, + 1 Karn, + 1 Spatial Contorsion, – 4 Chalice, – 1 Kozilek, – 1 Ulamog. I can imagine the match-up being quite difficult if they have the package Fulminator Mage, Kolaghan’s Command and Surgical Extraction.

  • Toddington

    Hi there, great deck.

    In the matchups where you side in both All is Dust, it seems like Ugin, the Spirit Dragon would do work (although maybe not against Bogles etc.).

    Have you ever tested Ugin over the 3rd Dust, or is “Tribal Sorcery – Eldrazi” too important with Temples?

    • Vincent Thibeault

      A friend of mine tested Ugin and really liked it, but as for myself I am not convinced. I feel that most of the time you play one of these two cards in the match-ups you bring them in, you are winning anyway, as it gives you a massive advantage. All is Dust cost one less, which can be crucial at time, and you can cast it off Temples, which also allows you to cast it a few turns earlier. We would have to figure out in what match-up you prefer Ugin over All is Dust and see if it is worth it.

  • Jonny McKee

    Hi Vincent

    I know you have moved on but do you reckon you can do an update?

    walking balista and karn in the main has confused me so much especialy when i went 8th with a list similer to yours.

    PLEASE HELP!

    contact: jvmckee@hotmail.co.uk

    • insomnyteq

      i second this, ive invested in this deck and tried tweaking this but i constantly getting edged.

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