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Brewer's Minute: Building a Modern Sideboard—Graveyard Hate

Hey, everyone! It's time for another Brewer's Minute! This week, we're kicking off a potential new subseries for Brewer's Minute for going in depth on a specific aspect of building sideboards. First up, graveyard hate! Graveyard hate is a staple of Modern sideboards. There are a ton of powerful graveyard-based decks in the format and even more decks with at least some graveyard synergies, which means that pretty much all Modern decks want some form of graveyard hate in the sideboard. However, there are a bunch of different options, ranging from Relic of Progenitus to Rest in Peace to Nihil Spellbomb. Which graveyard hate option is best for specific archetypes? Let's break it down! 

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  • Essentially every Modern deck plays graveyard hate to fight graveyard-centric decks like Hollow One, Dredge, and various Reanimation strategies along with Snapcaster Mage, Tarmogoyf, and Death's Shadow decks.
  • Relic of Progenitus is the default option for most decks, since it is colorless and cantrips. It also offers flexibility, since you can slowly eat away the graveyard in the early game and then eventually wipe all graveyards when needed. This being said, Relic of Progenitus isn't an ideal option if you are reliant on using your own graveyard, since it exiles your graveyard as well.
  • Rest in Peace has the upside of being the hardest graveyard hate in the format but requires white mana, and it is likely off limits if you have any cards that use your graveyard.
  • Grafdigger's Cage is sort of a hybrid sideboard card. It is somewhat soft graveyard hate (not shutting down Delve, Bedlam Reveler, or "return to hand" cards like Liliana, the Last Hope), but it makes up for this softness by also hating on things like Collected Company and Chord of Calling. This combo is enough to make it one of the most played sideboard cards in the Modern format—just make sure you don't accidentally hate on yourself!
  • Nihil Spellbomb and Leyline of the Void are similar: they are the best graveyard hate spells for decks that need access to their own graveyard. So if you are playing Dredge, Reanimation, or Hollow One but want to hate on opposing graveyard decks, these cards are the best option.
  • Surgical Extraction is similar to Grafdigger's Cage. It's not great as graveyard hate (it's very possible to lose to Dredge or Hollow One even through a Surgical Extraction, since it only hits one card), but it makes up for this weakness by also hating on combos (like breaking up Tron forever).
  • Other graveyard hate options include: Faerie Macabre (best option for Living End, since it gives you a creature to be reanimated), Loaming Shaman (sometimes an option if you can tutor it at instant speed with Chord of Calling or Collected Company), and Tormod's Crypt (which is the worst graveyard hate on the list but a fine budget option, since it is very inexpensive). 


Anyway, that's all for today. What other graveyard hate options are there in Modern? Which one is best for your Modern deck of choice? Let me know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at 

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