Welcome to part two of my Urza Charm deck guide. This is my sideboard guide, in which I will discuss various matchups as I have experienced them.

Here again is the deck:

Urza Charm

Creatures (12)
Gilded Goose
Urza, Lord High Artificer
Ice-Fang Coatl

Planeswalkers (4)
Oko, Thief of Crowns

Spells (24)
Cryptic Command
Archmage’s Charm
Metallic Rebuke
Arcum’s Astrolabe
Mishra’s Bauble
Mox Opal
Engineered Explosives
Lands (19)
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
Breeding Pool
Mystic Sanctuary
Snow-Covered Island
Snow-Covered Forest

Sideboard (15)
Damping Sphere
Drown in the Loch
Fatal Push
Dead of Winter
Veil of Summer
Mystical Dispute
Pithing Needle
Ashiok, Dream Render

Sideboard Choices

Autumn and Sam have preferred a Simic build of the deck with a smoother manabase, but I have found a black splash beneficial for Thoughtseize and better removal. Here are the cards I’ve chosen and what they do for the deck.

Damping Sphere: Powerful hammer in several difficult matchups, especially Amulet and Storm.

Drown in the Loch: Hard counter or removal spell against decks that fill their own graveyard. Not good enough elsewhere.

Fatal Push: Straightforward removal. Easy to Revolt in this deck.

Veil of Summer: Immensely powerful, but defensive. Great for fighting counter wars and against black removal.

Thoughtseize: Good against decks with haymakers (Titanshift, Amulet, Tron). Do not rely on casting it turn one or board it in where you’d need to do so.

Ashiok, Dream Render: Does double duty stopping decks that rely on searching and their graveyard.

Mystical Dispute: Amazing against other blue decks. Keeps their threats off the table and does great work in counter wars.

Pithing Needle: There are many great targets for Needling in the metagame—Liliana of the Veil, Thopter Foundry, Oblivion Stone, and Devoted Druid are just a few.

Dead of Winter: The best board wipe for this deck. It’s cheap, and your fetchlands let you control your snow count. Coatls live through it to assassinate the next threat, and recurring with Sanctuary is powerful.

Other Potential Sieboard Cards

Ceremonious Rejection, Disdainful Stroke, etc.: Some of your sideboard is about optimizing your interaction suite to better suit the matchup. Metallic Rebuke is mediocre, but general. You can do better post-board. I’m using Drown in the Loch and Mystical Dispute, but your selection of sideboard counters should be tailored to your targeted metagame.

Grafdigger’s Cage: A cheap anti-graveyard option that works with your artifact synergies, but doesn’t deal with Sanctuary. Can become an Elk.

Dismember: Removal that takes care of Gurmag Angler, but is worse than Fatal Push against aggressive decks.

Assassin’s Trophy: Flexible, though difficult to cast. So many of your games come down to mana advantage that I have not liked it, but it has a few critical applications. In particular, Cavern of Souls and Field of the Dead in Amulet Titan.

Path to Exile, Teferi, Time Raveler: You could try a white splash instead of black. I’ve been very happy with my black sideboard cards and strongly dislike ramping my opponents, but it’s another angle to try.

Matchups & Sideboard Guide

Urza Midrange (slightly favored)

+2 Ashiok, Dream Render, +1 Pithing Needle, +2 Fatal Push, +2 Mysical Dispute, +1 Veil of Summer; -2 Metallic Rebuke, -3 Engineered Explosives, -1 Mox Opal, -2 Ice-Fang Coatl

You have the upper hand in this pseudo-mirror. Having more countermagic goes a long way, and stealing a construct token with Archmage’s Charm is powerful. Oko can also steal Urza with his -5 ability. Post-board, Ashiok answers Emry and Sanctuary, incidentally disabling Whir of Invention if they are running it. Pithing Needle can shut off opposing Explosives, Emry, or Thopter Foundry.

Amulet Titan (unfavored)

On the play: +3 Damping Sphere, +2 Ashiok, Dream Render, +2 Thoughtseize; -3 Engineered Explosives, -4 Ice-Fang Coatl

On the draw: +3 Damping Sphere, +2 Ashiok, Dream Render, +2 Thoughtseize, +2 Fatal Push; -3 Engineered Explosives, -4 Ice-Fang Coatl, -2 Metallic Rebuke

Amulet is tough. They rely on a few haymakers, so shredding their hand and holding up countermagic is effective until they have Cavern of Souls. Damping Sphere and Ashiok are great hosers. You can include Fatal Push on the draw, as you are less likely to have Rebuke set up to counter Azusa. Cavern of Souls and Field of the Dead are the biggest issues, and this is the one matchup that makes me want access to Assassin’s Trophy.

Druid Combo (slightly favored)

+2 Fatal Push, +1 Pithing Needle, +2 Ashiok, Dream Render, +1 Dead of Winter; -4 Ice-Fang Coatl, -2 Cryptic Command

You have enough interaction to handle Druid Combo, but it’s close. They can get under your disruption sometimes, so you want more early interaction to stay in the game until you can sling hard counters and run them out of gas. Ashiok, Dream Render shuts down their tutors as well as exiling their graveyard so they can’t win off of Postmortem Lunge. Dead of Winter can take down Giver of Runes and Shalai, Voice of Plenty.

Eldrazi Tron (very favored)

+2 Fatal Push, +1 Dead of Winter; -3 Engineered Explosives

This matchup is great. Their aggression is usually slow enough to cope with. Countering or quickly removing Karn, the Great Creator is critical, but otherwise you can answer their threats and run them out of cards while you’re drawing extra, activating Urza, and generating value with Oko. Chalice doesn’t do much against you, and Oko deals with it easily.

Grixis Death’s Shadow (slightly unfavored)

+2 Drown in the Loch, +2 Fatal Push, +1 Veil of Summer; -2 Metallic Rebuke, -2 Gilded Goose, -1 Mox Opal

This matchup is about grinding; so you can drop a couple of Geese, shave an Opal, and cut Rebukes as they are bad draws late. The third mode of Archmage’s Charm becomes powerful when facing down Death’s Shadow. Gurmag Angler is their biggest threat because it grants Ferocious, can’t be swept away by Engineered Explosives, and weakens Drown in the Loch.

I’ve still found Drown to be worth it for their other spells, all of which are cheap, as well as removing Shadows. Elking a Gurmag Angler to power down Stubborn Denial is often worth it. Ambush Coatls are also fantastic here. This is the one matchup for which I’d like Dismember in my sideboard.

Jund Death’s Shadow (slightly favored)

+2 Drown in the Loch, +2 Fatal Push; -2 Metallic Rebuke, -2 Gilded Goose

Though the board patterns are similar, the Jund Shadow matchup is better. Not facing down Gurmag Angler matters a lot. All of your removal is great, Explosives can take out any of their threats, and Drown in the Loch is never weak. Veil is excluded here because it has fewer applications without Stubborn Denial in the mix.

Infect (slightly unfavored)

+2 Fatal Push, +2 Drown in the Loch; -3 Cryptic Command, -1 Archmage’s Charm,

Infect is sometimes too fast for your interaction, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Coatl is fantastic against Inkmoth Nexus with no concern for Blossoming Defense. The same can be said for Engineered Explosives when it comes to Blighted Agent and Glistener Elf.

Elking non-Inkmoth threats helps a lot, and stealing an Elf with Archmage’s Charm is another good line. Remember to use your targeted removal on your turn so you don’t take extra infect damage if they have Blossoming Defense. When sideboarding, keep in as many blockers as you can and switch to cheaper interaction.

Humans (unfavored)

+2 Fatal Push, +2 Drown in the Loch, +1 Dead of Winter; -2 Metallic Rebuke, -2 Cryptic Command, -1 Archmage’s Charm

Another tough matchup. Your countermagic is bad against Aether Vial and Cavern of Souls. Oko isn’t fantastic here, as he is too slow for a lot of their draws. Often, they can ignore him and you are stuck on the back foot chump-blocking with food-elk. If you can stabilize, though, Oko blanks Meddling Mage and binds Mantis Rider to the ground.

Ambushing with Coatls and building giant Constructs are strong plays. Charming large Champion of the Parish can work in the right circumstances; and if you see your opponent missing land drops, steal their Aether Vial. Every now and then you can sneak an Urza in under Meddling Mage if you tick it up to four. Overall, you’re looking to get into a board stall, survive with food, then slowly turn the corner or Cryptic tap for the win.

Burn (favored)

+2 Fatal Push, +2 Drown in the Loch; -3 Cryptic Command, -1 Archmage’s Charm

This matchup is about resolving an early Oko. They have no choice but to answer, effectively gaining you nine life. Goose is effectively gain six, as it usually eats an early bolt. Stealing a small creature to block another is great. Remember to keep food available 100% of the time when you are at low life so you can respond to a bolt by gaining life, rather than die to one in response to your snacking. Watch for Skullcrack, and overpay for your Explosives to get around Eidolon of the Great Revel.

Prowess (favored)

+2 Fatal Push, +2 Drown in the Loch, +1 Dead of Winter; -3 Cryptic Command, -2 Archmage’s Charm

Very similar to Burn, but Coatl is better here. Even without deathtouch, you can waste a lot of their resources with an unexpected chump block. The best spells to counter are usually Light Up the Stage and Manamorphose, to deplete their resources.

Tron (favored)

+2 Damping Sphere, +2 Thoughtseize, +1 Pithing Needle; -2 Metallic Rebuke, -3 Ice-Fang Coatl

Another deck full of haymakers. You will draw more cards than they will, so you’re looking to hold up answers and wear out their pressure. You are not in a hurry to close, so don’t go shields-down unless you absolutely have to. Oblivion Stone is your go-to Needle name if there’s nothing else going on.

Jund (favored)

+2 Fatal Push, +2 Drown in the Loch, +1 Pithing Needle, +1 Veil of Summer; -2 Guilded Goose, -1 Mox Opal, -2 Archmage’s Charm, -1 Ice-Fang Coatl

You and Jund both want to grind each other out, but you have a better capacity for card advantage. Explosives on 2 is a great way to find two-for-ones, and deathtouching Coatls also help you pull ahead. Liliana of the Veil is their strongest card against you, so hold countermagic for her or shut her down with Needle. Wrenn and Six shouldn’t be left on board for too long or your opponent will take over the card advantage game.

Dredge (very unfavored)

On the play: +2 Ashiok, Dream Render, +2 Thoughtseize; -4 Archmage’s Charm

On the draw: +2 Ashiok, Dream Render; -2 Archmage’s Charm

Dredge may be your worst matchup. They cast few spells and their creatures are individually low-impact. Disrupting their engine is critical. Prioritizing Thoughtseize on the play can do it, but the best thing you can do is repeatedly exile their graveyard with Ashiok. Cryptics can stall or give you a window to push through. If you’re facing a lot of Dredge, consider fitting Grafdigger’s Cage into your sideboard.

Crabvine (slightly unfavored)

+2 Ashiok, Dream Render, +2 Fatal Push, +2 Drown in the Loch; -4 Archmage’s Charm, -2 Gilded Goose

Crabvine is another difficult matchup game one, but it improves significantly post-board. You can disrupt their engine better than you can with Dredge. Using early Pushes and Drowns against their one-drops and Glimpses can slow their engine until you can stick Ashiok. You’re aiming cut them off with a with a weak board or Cryptic tap to stall long enough that you can take over. Don’t be afraid to elk a Carrion Feeder to stop its growth, even if it already has a few counters on it. Everything else is blockable with a large enough Construct token.

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