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Earlier this week , I finally had a reason to write a Mono-Black Zombies primer. In it were some sideboard plans that contained the essence of something I've been thinking about a lot lately. It's come up several times recently, and it's finally time to write about in depth.
Who's the beatdown? How much interaction do you need? What cards in your 75 will best position you to take that role in the post-sideboard games? How does velocity relate to this?
Coincidentally, most of these things have to deal with playing midrange-leaning decks. That probably shouldn't be surprising, since I've been playing a lot of midrange lately.
Reaction and Interaction
Magic is an interactive game, but the ways we choose to interact have costs. For each reactive card you have in hand, that's one less land drop you're making or one less threat you're deploying. You have to ask yourself how often you want to be reactionary and when.
If you've played midrange against control, I'm sure you've had all your threats countered or destroyed while you're left staring at a hand full of useless removal. The cost of putting those reactive cards in your deck is that your opponent might build a game state where they're not useful. That's one of the many reasons you hear "be proactive" as a general strategy.
Decks that are more on the midrange spectrum are trying to play a very specific game plan, although that game plan is going to shift depending on where the game is going. They generally want to neutralize threats, or at the very least, stop their opponent from accomplishing their goal. Meanwhile, they have to apply pressure to end the game, which is often the best way to stop their opponent from carrying out their game plan. The more proactive you can be without devoting actual cards strictly to interact, the more likely it is that you won't stumble.
One of the skills I'm good at is getting a feel for matchups quickly and figuring out what kind of interaction I want and in what quantities.
Things to consider: