While many matchups vary considerably based on the specific archetype being played, there are some commonalities shared by most Nic Fit variants. At its heart, Nic Fit is a midrange deck that attempts to use Veteran Explorer to ramp to bigger threats than the oppponent. Historically, the deck has favorable matchups against most aggro and other midrange decks while having very tough matchups against most combo decks as well as some hard control decks like Lands and Miracles.

Nic Fit pilots are always rewarded for knowing the matchup and metagame really well especially with respect to what to name with Cabal Therapy.

Aggro matchups


Traditionally Delver is a favorable matchup for most Nic Fit variants. Veteran Explorer is usually completely one-sided and you can make cards like Wasteland and Daze useless for them. While not as popular anymore, Stifle is a key card to watch out for as it can be used to boost their mana denial plan by either negating a fetchland or even countering Veteran Explorer’s trigger.

You can still lose this matchup if your deck bricks or if they get a great fast Delver hand. Sideboard in every anti-aggro card you have as well as Carpet of Flowers if you have it which can really negate their mana denial plan.

With Cabal Therapy, you typically want to name a card that really beats your game plan. On the play with a slower or a removal-light hand, naming Delver of Secrets is fine. With a threat-light hand, you might want to name Force of Will to make sure your haymakers stick.


Maverick is another matchup that is usually favorable. The key card for them in this matchup is Knight of the Reliquary although they can really slow you down with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Knight is the only card they have that can stand toe to toe with Nic Fit sized threats. Save removal for Knight and it’s a good name for Cabal Therapy.

You win this matchup by playing big threats they can’t deal with while you can lose either to a very fast Thalia start or by not fetching basics and getting blown out by multiple Wastelands.

Death & Taxes

This is another favorable matchup although not as much as you might think depending on the Nic Fit variant. Plague Engineer and Pernicious Deed are absolutely crushing. You want to play around Wasteland by aggressively fetching basics. Collector Ouphe can turn off their equipment and Knight of Autumn/Reclamation Sage can destroy it.

Naming Aether Vial on the play with Cabal Therapy is usually correct and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben or Swords to Plowshares are great on the draw.

They can still win this matchup with a fast Thalia start coupled with Rishadan Port or Wasteland or they can sometimes get you with equipment and fliers like Flickerwisp.

Eldrazi Aggro

Eldrazi feels closer to even although still slightly Nic Fit favored depending on the variant. Veteran Explorer is typically one-sided or close to it and the Vet does a great Moat impression by making the opponent think twice about attacking. Sticking any threat bigger than a Reality Smasher typically closes the door on them.

Eldrazi can still beat you with a very fast start and you have to be cautious about keeping hands that rely on too many 1-drops on the draw due to Chalice of the Void. Thought-Knot Seer is almost always the right name with Cabal Therapy although a case can be made for Reality Smasher depending on your hand.


The Burn matchup (it’s a “turn 3 combo deck” after all) can vary a lot depending on the variant. You need to stick something that blocks Goblin Guide and Monastery Swiftspear as fast as possible and they typically have to just attack into Veteran Explorer which feels bad. Hitting Lightning Bolt or any other bolt effect with Cabal Therapy is great.

You want to prioritize any lifegain you have in your deck like Scavenging Ooze, Oko, Thief of Crowns, or Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells. This is one of the very few matchups that was better when Junk Fit ran Siege Rhino.

Dragon Stompy

Despite the number of basics in Nic Fit, this has proven to be a slightly tough matchup since they put a lot of pressure on early. What to name with Cabal Therapy depends heavily on what you have in your hand. If you have multiple Therapies and/or Veteran Explorer, you might name Chalice of the Void on the play. With a hand full of fetchlands or other non-basics, you might name Blood Moon or Magus of the Moon. If not, or if you’re on the draw, name Goblin Rabblemaster, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, or probably the best is Karn, the Great Creator.

In this matchup, you want to mulligan a little more aggressively than normal to have answers to their threats. Being down a card is not a problem as their deck is typically all-in on two or at most three threats.

Control matchups

Grixis Control/Midrange

This matchup feels marginally favorable and is a matchup where you have to play for value. Between Baleful Strix, Kolaghan’s Command, and Snapcaster Mage, they will be trying to 2 for 1 you as much as possible and you need to do the same while trying to play around theirs.

Destroying their graveyard is one of the keys to this matchup as it typically is where their 2 for 1s come from so cards like Scavenging Ooze in the mid-game are pretty important. Field of the Dead should win you the game in this matchup.


Stoneblade is normally a pretty favorable matchup as Nic Fit creatures typically outclass anything Stoneblade has to offer. Plague Engineer has helped immensely as another main deck way to deal with True-Name Nemesis. Collector Ouphe is pretty good here and usually eats an immediate Swords to Plowshares.

The hardest card to deal with in their deck is True-Name so naming that with Cabal Therapy is typically correct although Force of Will isn’t bad either. Sometimes it is also correct to save a Therapy to get whatever equipment they fetch off of Stoneforge Mystic.


Traditionally, Lands is a pretty difficult matchup as Nic Fit doesn’t have many cards that interact with lands. Junk Fit gets Swords to Plowshares which helps a lot and BUG Fit has access to blockers like Ice-Fang Coatl and can follow up by elking Marit Lage.

Sideboard cards like Unmoored Ego which unlike Slaughter Games or Lost Legacy can hit Dark Depths or Thespian’s Stage is really good and can win the game. Outside of the combo, their only real threat to you is Field of the Dead. Without Stage, even Field isn’t as much of a risk.


Compared with Lands, Loam is a bit easier. Punishing Fire doesn’t do as much against Nic Fit and the Wasteland plan just isn’t that good against a deck running 6+ basics.

You can still lose this matchup on the draw to a turn 1 Chalice of the Void and Knight of the Reliquary is no joke and should be removed immediately. Liliana of the Veil is also very good although our top decks are typically better than theirs. This matchup is a bit tougher if they have a backup Dark Depths plan.

Snow Control/Miracles

Before 2019, this matchup was almost unwinnable except for Nic Fit combo variants where Miracles was actually a pretty favorable pairing. The printing of Field of the Dead has helped the matchup immensely and has helped cement Primeval Titan as the best finisher in Nic Fit. The key to the matchup is to not overcommit to the board and try to make sure their sweepers are one for one. Any planeswalkers you have also really shine here. Sideboard out most of the Veteran Explorers as they help the opponent as much if not more than you.

The matchup is still pretty tough and very grindy (unless it’s combo Nic Fit). Matches frequently end up at time so winning game 1 can be very important in paper and be very careful about your time when playing online. Card quantity is the key in the matchup and matters more than quality.

With Cabal Therapy, you really want to hit Force of Will so you can stick a planeswalker, Sylvan Library, or some big threat like Primeval Titan.

Combo matchups

Show & Tell

Shred their hand if possible but this is one of the toughest matchups for Nic Fit. We don’t have a lot that interacts with their game plan.

In sideboarding, you should probably side out some number of Veteran Explorer as it ramps them directly to their win condition. Discard and cards like Slaughter Games are really good here. UG Omnitell typically will side in Veil of Summer which makes Slaughter Games risky but if you take Show and Tell, the game is typically over. Sneak & Show has a little redundancy against Slaughter Games because of Sneak Attack but they don’t get Veil making discard even better.

Cabal Therapy should basically always name Show and Tell. If possible, save a Green Sun’s Zenith for Knight of Autumn/Reclamation Sage in case they tap out for Sneak Attack.


Storm used to be an unwinnable matchup but it is now merely a tough one. One of the biggest reasons for the matchup feeling better is the printing of the Null Rod on a stick Collector Ouphe. In this matchup, the Ouphe is as good if not better than Gaddock Teeg and some Storm ANT variants can’t beat an Ouphe game 1. Plague Engineer also gives some additional outs to Empty the Warrens.

You typically want to name Dark Ritual with Cabal Therapy especially if you’re trying to get an early Ouphe.


Depths is another hard matchup as Nic Fit doesn’t have much that interacts with lands. Plague Engineer naming vampire is not bad since it completely stops Vampire Hexmage. If you’re on Junk Fit, Swords to Plowshares and Karakas turn this matchup from dreadful to about even. BUG should prioritize flying blockers and Oko, Thief of Crowns as a solution to Marit Lage.

From the sideboard, you want any Assassin’s Trophies you have and if you’re on BUG, Unmoored Ego is OK although a bit slow. Back to Basics can also help depending on the exact variant of Depths.

Crop Rotation is one of the best cards to name with Cabal Therapy although Vampire Hexmage isn’t bad either.


This is an extremely tough matchup game 1 although it typically gets much better post-board. Sometimes you can disrupt them enough with your discard spells and you want to prioritize getting Scavenging Ooze online as fast as possible. Typically Ooze with mana open will shut the door completely on their game plan. Cabal Therapy should hit one of their Reanimate spells.

Post-board, you want all your graveyard hate and you should still prioritize Ooze. Discard and cards like Slaughter Games are also pretty good. They almost never run enough lands to actually hard cast anything so Ooze with mana up should win the game.


This is a tough but very winnable matchup in game 1. As with Reanimator prioritize getting Scavenging Ooze to try to hold off their game plan. Sacrifice creatures to get rid of Bridge from Below. For Manaless, Gaddock Teeg shuts off almost all their spells although it doesn’t turn off dredging.

There aren’t a lot of good cards to name with Cabal Therapy, but Breakthrough is good on the play and Narcomoeba is not totally worthless on the draw. You typically still don’t want to side out Therapy as it gives you a sac outlet to deal with Bridge from Below.


This matchup borders on unwinnable for most Nic Fit decks and is probably the absolute worst matchup. Most Nic Fit decks have nothing that interacts quickly with Cloudpost and it’s also one of the few decks where their threats are bigger. BUG lists do frequently run Back to Basics and this is a matchup where Assassin’s Trophy, while not great, can disrupt their game plan. You can also win against Cloudpost decks by discarding their threats and pressuring the board.


This is one of the few combo matchups that isn’t completely awful although you need fast interaction or you’re dead. Plague Engineer has helped this matchup a lot and Pernicious Deed is also a haymaker here although a turn slower. If you’re on BUG, sticking a Leovold, Emissary of Trest can also negate a lot of their ability to come back.

Name Natural Order with Cabal Therapy as that is in their most explosive hands although Glimpse of Nature is also not bad.


Infect is another combo matchup that doesn’t feel that bad as you have a number of cards that interact with their game plan. Make sure to use removal on your own turn to not get blown out by Vines of Vastwood. Plague Engineer and Pernicious Deed can lock down the game and are also two of the best ways to interact with Inkmoth Nexus (along with Assassin’s Trophy). They only run 12 total infecters so removal is very strong and you can profitably trade creature for creature with them.

With Cabal Therapy, name Invigorate if you’re worried about an explosive start from them although hitting Blighted Agent isn’t bad either.