Four-Color Omnath Sideboarding Guide

I won a Regional Championship Qualifier with this.

4 Risen Reef

4 Omnath, Locus of Creation

4 Solitude

3 Ice-Fang Coatl

1 Endurance

2 Fury

1 Emrakul, the Promised End

4 Mishra’s Bauble

4 Abundant Growth

3 Traverse the Ulvenwald

2 Oath of Nissa

3 Ephemerate

4 Unholy Heat

4 Prismatic Ending

4 Wrenn and Six

4 Teferi, Time Raveler

1 Raugrin Triome

2 Snow-Covered Forest

1 Snow-Covered Island

1 Snow-Covered Plains

3 Cavern of Souls

1 Steam Vents

1 Breeding Pool

1 Hallowed Fountain

1 Sacred Foundry

1 Stomping Ground

1 Temple Garden

2 Boseiju, Who Endures

4 Windswept Heath

4 Misty Rainforest

3 Flooded Strand

2 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard

1 Yorion, Sky Nomad

3 Chalice of the Void

3 Veil of Summer

2 Supreme Verdict

2 Flusterstorm

2 Endurance

1 Magus of the Moon

1 Boseiju, Who Endures

Moxfield

Counterspell is awkward. It’s hard to cast, difficult to keep open in a deck with three and four mana sorceries. It does help insulate you against some of your bad matchups, but Risen Reef can provide similar benefits, albeit in different matchups. 

Many of my gripes with Counterspell could be repeated for Expressive Iteration. It’s obviously one of the stronger cards in Modern, but only with a low mana curve. The Risen Reef / Ephemerate engine mostly removes the necessity for the quick two-for-one and draw smoothing aspects of Iteration, but I wouldn’t fault anyone for still playing a single copy if they wanted more of that effect. 

If you draw a good mix of lands and action, Risen Reef will contribute to burying any mirror or grindy matchup. Cavern of Souls makes their Counterspells useless, which also makes Izzet Murktide and Azorius Control much easier. 

The fourth Traverse the Ulvenwald or Ice-Fang Coatl are worthy of inclusion. Traverse can be difficult to enable early, but is incredibly powerful once it’s online. I like Coatl for velocity and having something to pressure planeswalkers in the mirror, even if it’s not much. The chip shots can add up with Fury and whatnot. Having extra ways to deal with Death’s Shadow, Ragavan, Murktide Regent, and Ledger Shredder are always nice, especially when it’s not costing you a card. You don’t necessarily need the help in those matchups though. 

I don’t think you explicitly need Emrakul, the Promised End, but it’s low opportunity cost with massive upside. 

Oath of Nissa has popped up in a few lists. Having extra stuff for Yorion to blink is nice, especially because you’re not a lock to draw Abundant Growth early or often. I’d play more copies of Abundant Growth if I could, which is why Oath of Nissa makes the cut. 

I played Utopia Sprawl for a while to try and live the dream with a Turn 2 Teferi, Time Raveler / Risen Reef or Turn 3 Omnath. However, you want to fetch a Triome on Turn 1 a large portion of the time, so it can be awkward. The acceleration is nice but the pitch elementals help avoid getting outpaced and it’s a poor topdeck in a deck that regularly gets to Turn 10 or later. 

You don’t need a second Triome. Raugrin into basic Forest casts all your cards. Basic Mountain wasn’t necessary. The third Cavern of Souls also isn’t necessary, although it is very, very powerful. Issues can arise when you’ve drawn some cards and enter a turn where you want to cast Oath of Nissa, Ephemerate, and Prismatic Ending on the same turn and have this silly colorless land in play. I’ve mostly avoided those scenarios by planning my turns a little better and occasionally by using Abundant Growth on Cavern. 

Overall, 29 land felt good with all the cantrips plus Wrenn and Six, but it does mean your Risen Reefs hit lands less often. There are sequences where you have two Reefs, an Omnath, and are churning through your deck with pitch Elementals, occasionally resetting Omnath with an Ephemerate to generate more triggers for life, mana, or damage, depending on what you need. I’d say you’re generally winning in those spots, but not always, and having a 30th land would help solidify those positions. 

In very late-game situations, I’ll often fail to find with Oath of Nissa in order to keep another land in my deck for the Reef / Omnath turns if I feel like it could come up. 

When I tried sideboarding up to 30 lands in mirrors, I often felt flooded, so it again points toward 29 being correct. 

If you have insights on your local metagame, tune the sideboard accordingly. I didn’t know anything about the field I was walking into, so I wanted to be broadly prepared while a few of the more difficult matchups, namely Living End, Burn, and big mana. Although you rarely have unwinnable matchups against the top tier, there can be a massive difference between having an extra Chalice of the Void or Boseiju, Who Endures in those matchups or not. 

My plan was to be holistically favored against 4c Omnath and Izzet Murktide while specifically addressing the other issues. Risen Reef plus a pile of hate accomplishes that. 

Sideboarding Guide

VS 4c Omnath (with 4 Counterspell)

OUT

1 Solitude

2 Ephemerate

IN

1 Veil of Summer

2 Endurance

I used to side in two Veils but people started boarding out Counterspell against me. Endurance pressures planeswalkers and keeps Traverse / Emrakul in check. 

You don’t have time to hold open Ephemerate in many instances, plus it can take some time to remove an opposing Teferi. You can usually find something to do with one copy, so I like it, but you could easily go down to zero. 

If they have Risen Reefs, you might want Supreme Verdicts. 

VS Izzet Murktide

OUT

1 Emrakul, the Promised End

3 Ephemerate

2 Oath of Nissa

1 Risen Reef

IN

3 Veil of Summer

2 Supreme Verdict

2 Endurance

Keep the pressure off and you’ll eventually bury them in card advantage. Emrakul can be okay here but it’s not necessary. 

VS Living End

OUT

1 Emrakul, the Promised End

4 Prismatic Ending

4 Unholy Heat

3 Ephemerate

1 Cavern of Souls

IN

1 Boseiju, Who Endures

3 Chalice of the Void

3 Veil of Summer

2 Flusterstorm

2 Endurance

2 Supreme Verdict

VS Hammer

OUT

1 Cavern of Souls

1 Emrakul, the Promised End

1 Endurance

IN

2 Supreme Verdict

1 Boseiju, Who Endures

VS Azorius Control

OUT

4 Solitude

2 Prismatic Ending

IN

3 Veil of Summer

2 Flusterstorm 

1 Endurance

VS Amulet 

OUT

1 Endurance

3 Ice-Fang Coatl

1 Ephemerate

IN

1 Magus of the Moon

1 Boseiju, Who Endures

1 Chalice of the Void

2 Supreme Verdict

VS Burn

OUT

1 Cavern of Souls

1 Emrakul, the Promised End

1 Mishra’s Bauble

1 Abundant Growth

IN

1 Boseiju, Who Endures

1 Endurance

2 Flusterstorm

VS Crashcade

OUT

1 Emrakul, the Promised End

1 Endurance

4 Prismatic Ending

2 Ephemerate

2 Oath of Nissa

IN

3 Chalice of the Void

2 Supreme Verdict

3 Veil of Summer

2 Flusterstorm

VS Yawgmoth

OUT

1 Emrakul, the Promised End

3 Teferi, Time Raveler

IN

2 Supreme Verdict

2 Endurance

Leave a Reply