Sideboarding Versus Hollowvine/Hogaak


As have many, I have been struggling with the rise of the various flavors of Hollowvine. Many of the traditional dredge hate cards are proven ineffective against the new menace. I wanted to get a thread started to discuss various strategies which have proven effective.

I'm mostly playing Jeskai Xerox, so my focus will be there, but I welcome discussion of other archtypes as well.

As many have realized Surgical Extraction backed up by Dreadhorde Arcanist is line of defense number 1. The old trump, Tabernacle is still effective, but not the game ender it used to be given the adoption of Gaea's Cradle in the U versions, and the mana'd version using Hogaak.

My current sideboard is as follows:

1 Pyroblast
1 Mindbreak Trap
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Fragmentize
1 Mountain
2 Shattering Spree
1 Containment Priest
4 Surgical Extraction
3 Tabernacle at Pendral Veil

I'm thinking I need something in place of 1-2 of the Tabernacles as the opponents are aware of it and largely prepared.

Lets discuss!


Why the sb mountain? I'd probably try to move that main if you can. Opening up the SB slot seems more important to me.

I actually find wasteland/strip mine to be very helpful. They are going to counter every piece of hate you cast and force of vigor any leylines or crypts you play. They have 4 vigors they dig into and 12 free counterspells, so you are not resolving hate.

They also run waste/strip themselves so that they can answer tabernacle and pin you down on mana while they beat face. I've found killing their bazaar buys you the most time, as then they only have 3 cards left in their deck that they need to be able to do anything. They will likely get a hollow, vengevine, and a rootwalla off that first activation, so you'll need to be able to handle that initial rush while not needing your mana for 1 turn. If they get the double hollow, double vine hand, you need a tabernacle to survive 2 turns...and you will likely face the vengevines again on the next turn since they still have bazaar. If they DON'T "cast" 4 damage on turn 1, a strip/waste can just win you the game on the spot, as they are drawing in desperation at that point.

TLDR; use wasteland/strip mine in combination with tabernacles. It's the only hate you have a prayer of sticking/being effective.

The mountain is there for shops and other wasteland decks. My version runs a very tight mana base, I play a strip mine main as opposed to the 7th sac land (4th volcanic in lieu of the 8th) so I want to have the extra mana source in the board.

Combination of Wastelands/Leyline/DRS and Daze/Fluster/Force of Will usually gets you there. The threat becomes Hollow One, but you should have Dack / Grudge / Tarm for that. I run 4 Leyline and 2 Ravenous Trap. Trap is actually very good with Wasteland too.

last edited by Guli

I've found that of those hate pieces, wasteland is almost always the MVP. If they don't open with it, they'll bazaar to go 10 cards deep and likely get one FoV. Then your leylines are garbage. Even if you can rav trap, and they dont use their 4x FoW, they still have hollow one. If you can cut off bazaar and land tabernacle, you should be good - kill their engine and clear their initial onslaught.

Another option I like is extirpate (if you have black) or surgical. They can FoW it, but if you cast on their turn (when they are most likely to activate to get hollow one + 2nd creature for vengevine triggers), you can hit their vengevine and remove their main grave threats. If you combo it with wasteland, you hit all 4 bazaars and they are basically a sitting duck at that point. I'd say 4-5 strip/waste is top slots, then 2-3 tabernacle OR 3-4 surgical if you have other ways to handle that initial 9+ power that drops on turn 1.

Have you tried Swords to Plowshares?

I wouldn’t mess with Tabernacles, just load up on Swords and Paths and play control. You should otherwise be able to handle Memnite and Rootwalla

It’s good to have relevant cards. When I play Xerox I play 4 Wastelands, 4 Plows and maindeck graveyard hate. You make one-for-one trades and win with superior card advantage. You might just not be playing enough relevant cards. Silver bullets won’t work as well as just playing enough relevant cards that cost one mana or less.

last edited by Guest

One card I found to be decent tech is force of despair. Of course, you have to be in black to do it, but when they go turn 1 bazaar, hollow, memnite, reanimate 2 vengevines and you cast FoD, they get a big frown. Of course, it is a terrible topdeck after the initial onslaught, and they can just keep recurring the vengevines (which they somehow always seem to be able to do with relative ease vs me), but it survives the turn one 16 damage on the board, which I tend to find myself staring down 80% of games vs hollowvine. I hate that matchup, no matter what deck I'm running.

Karakas is quite solid as a speed bump for Hogaak - they aren't Dredge so they can't always put cards in the yard quickly. Surgical is worse, but still fine. You have to be good with your timing as they can put in a Dryad Arbor in as the second creature and you can't respond.

Tabernacle is still alright to keep the threat base down and allow Swords to manage their remaining threats, but you need something like Needle to protect it or Wastelands of your own.

Good luck, Lupo. Let me know if you find something that works. I've been literally playing Vintage Maverick as a way to bring all those different pieces together.

Has anybody been able to solve this matchup? My best success has been through a combination of Leyline, Tabernacle, and Wasteland --- in that order. I find that if I don't have Leyline in my opener, then the odds of winning decrease exponentially, since resolving disruption becomes extremely difficult.

If Leyline sticks, then they're forced to dig for FoV, and that can be very costly --- those are the games I've found myself winning. I treat this matchup like a control mirror, and as with any control mirror, disrupting the draw engine is the key, so Leyline openings seem to be huge.

  • 11
  • 2259