Samite Belcher

What to do about Blue.

It has been said from time to time that the best way to beat Blue is to play Blue! But for those of who are fed up with being beaten by Blue and don't want to play it then what do you do? Well, it depends on how much of it you think you will see. If Blue is everywhere around you then you can go with something main deck, otherwise it's left to the Sideboard to deal with it.

The first thing to decide is what colour to play and there are two schools of thought on this. Firstly go with an Ally colour, as that way Blue can't Sideboard any obvious hosers against you. The second is to play colours that have the ingredient that gives Blue problems, namely speed.

Well, whatever you think, I would go with something that makes Blue have to Sideboard a lot, so they have to weaken other parts of there deck, and this usually means taking out counters. So what you do is give them even more Key cards to counter.

Take a look at the following Nether-Go sideboard (an example) -

3 Chill
3 Perish
2 Dread of Night
2 Tsabo's Decree
3 Teferi's Response
2 Misdirection

The best way I can see to attack this is to make Blue side in as many of these cards as possible and the best way to this is to play Red/Green.

Red has a direct damage spell called Urza's Rage, which can't be countered so that'll make Blue side in Misdirection's.
Also, Nether-Go decks are currently using Keldon Necropolis's which work well with Nether Spirit's but only run about two. So run Dust Bowl's main deck and lot's of them and Port's too. This will get Blue siding in Teferi's Response's and you don't need to worry about Tsabo's Web as you only need to take out the Necropolis's so you wait until Blue plays them before tapping the Bowl's.
The next bit is obvious, if you play Green/Red then Blue will want to side in Perish and Chill. Chill is the main problem you have but it's not game to Blue.

One other card I would run main deck is Scorching Lava for it's anti-Spirit qualities.

Ok now you have given Blue some nightmare sideboard options, what else can you do? Well, you side in as many "must Counter" cards as possible. Let's look at a few…

Raging Kavu main deck
Meteor Storm in the Board.

Obliterate can be some good, but doesn't deal with Chill.
Lava and Rage main deck
Citadel of Pain will hurt Blue
Tectonic Instability will cause problems
Possibly a few flying critters
Hammer as it keeps coming back

Trample critters like Kavu Titan and Skizzik main deck.
Creeping Mold for its versatility

Anhk of Mishra will hurt
Tangle Wire can be awesome early but total pants late on.

There are probably many more that I have left out but it's up to you to decide what you like and what you don't and also how much of your Sideboard you dedicate to Blue/Black.

It seems to me that currently Red/Green is strong against most decks, just look at the recent U.S. State's results. So if you really go for it against Nether-Go in the Board you've got many, many choices.
I hope this has given you some idea's on how to battle Nether-go and good luck trying it out; but really…. Green man, it really sucks!!

(Now, now handbags at 12 paces)

Now Blue on the other hand…well, now you're talking!

Stuart "no longer Lone Wolf" Haffenden