Nic Fit Sideboarding Guide
It’s very challenging to write a single side guide for a deck where the exact deck differs as much as Nic Fit archetypes do. Rather than give an exact sideboarding strategy, this guide will deal with various cards you might want in your sideboard and you can decide what is appropriate for your exact deck with your local meta.
Against most aggro decks, Plague Engineer and Pernicious Deed fill a very similar role of wiping the board so the Nic Fit deck can stabilize and typically 1-3 of these appear in most Nic Fit main decks, but an additional 2 or so copies may appear in the sideboard.
In Junk Fit, there are frequently additional copies of Swords to Plowshares. Even though Nic Fit generally gives the opponent basics, Swords is still typically preferred over Path to Exile because ramping the opponent on turns 1-3 can still be very important. The exception to this is in decks also running Assassin’s Trophy in the main deck. In that case, the opponent is probably going to run out of basics very quickly.
Combo is one of the weakest matchups for Nic Fit so it isn’t surprising that a lot of the sideboard is dedicated against it. Before the printing of Collector Ouphe, matchups like Storm were completely unwinnable game 1 without Gaddock Teeg. Ouphe is one of the best anti-combo cards and gives Nic Fit a game in a lot of matchups like Urza/Emry, Karn matchups, and even Storm by shutting off Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lotus Petal, and Wishclaw Talisman. Ouphe has earned a spot in most main decks as a singleton but functionally it has 5 copies due to Green Sun’s Zenith.
Because Nic Fit uses mana acceleration, Lost Legacy effects such as Slaughter Games and Unmoored Ego can work well out of the sideboard against combo. Before the printing of Veil of Summer, Slaughter Games was the undisputed best of these but now even that can be “countered”. Unmoored Ego has the added advantage of being able to name Dark Depths or Thespian’s Stage.
Junk Fit adds some great additional anti-combo cards in Gaddock Teeg, Deafening Silence, and Ethersworn Canonist. Deafening Silence is very hard for decks like Storm to deal with and can result in them being locked out turn 1. It also works well against Infect by preventing them from using multiple pump spells and making sure your removal is good after they use one.
Nic Fit decks are typically a bit soft to graveyard decks and especially Reanimator and they usually dedicate 3-6 sideboard cards to graveyard decks.
Almost all Nic Fit archetypes run Scavenging Ooze in the main deck and if it isn’t in the main, it is definitely in the sideboard. With Green Sun’s Zenith, Nic Fit is effectively running 5 copies. Scooze can singlehandedly lock a deck like Reanimator or Dredge out of the game if they stumble at all and it’s still a great card even if the opponent isn’t on a graveyard deck.
After Scooze, most Nic Fit decks run some number of Leyline of the Void and/or Surgical Extraction in the sideboard as well. Surgical is a bit better against decks with a few very important cards like Lands while Leyline is better against decks with more varried threats like Hogaak and Dredge.
Faerie Macabre is worth a brief mention even though it is typically considered worse than Leyline or Surgical because it has synergy with Volrath’s Stronghold and Meren of Clan Nel Toth both of which frequently appear in Nic Fit lists.
Blue decks and especially Miracles are the bane of Nic Fit and Nic Fit typically dedicates between 3-4 cards to hating blue decks. Between Carpet of Flowers and Choke, most Nic Fit variants favor Carpet as mana denial isn’t really in the Nic Fit plan. Against basic-heavy blue decks like Miracles, Snow Control, and Stoneblade, Nic Fit pilots typically side out some of the Veteran Explorers for Carpets to get one-sided ramp. Against Delver decks, Carpet is an additional source of ramp on top of Veteran Explorer to make sure their mana denial plan doesn’t work.
There’s a few cards that are good in a number of matchups that aren’t strictly “hate” cards. Assassin’s Trophy can work against aggro decks, decks relying on planeswalkers, or they can clear out opposing Leylines or things that hinder your plan.