With so many possible archetypes players can expect to face over the course of Day 1 of a Grand Prix, sideboards play a crucial role in enabling players to tweak their decks based on their opponent and to shore up their weaker match-ups. But with only 15 available slots, space is at a premium, so it can be tough to figure out how to divvy up that precious space. With that in mind, we asked four top pros in Providence which card was the last one to sneak into their sideboards.
Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa: Perilous Vault
No. 17 Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa had, begrudgingly, given Perilous Vault the nod in his Esper Dragons deck. “I don't like the card very much, since the deck is generally more tempo-oriented than straight-up control,” he said. But since he expected a lot of Red-Green Devotion and Green-White Devotion here in Rhode Island, he decided to give it a shot. Against Red-Green, the Esper player can often rely on countermagic as defense, but the Vault can prove crucial against Green-White, he said.
Craig Wescoe: Glare of Heresy
Ari Lax: Gainsay
Ari Lax had managed to find room for Gainsay with the final spot in his sideboard. Since he was playing Jeskai he was lacking in the flexible removal for planeswalkers and creatures provided by a card like Hero's Downfall. Given that, he wanted an answer for cards like Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver and Dragonlord Ojutai, he said.
Brian Braun-Duin: Elspeth, Sun's Champion
Brian Braun-Duin was playing Abzan Aggro here in Providence, but had made space for a copy of the 6-mana planeswalker more commonly seen among the deck's larger Abzan Midrange cousins. “I've played with and without Elspeth before—in some formats it’s good, and in some it's awful,” he said. “At the last minute I decided I wanted something for the grindier match-ups and I've been happy with it.”