Matchup Mulligan: Death’s Shadow

Burn Final Hand Answer

Hand 10: (on the draw)

DarkRitual DarkRitual Ponder Rite Of Flame BurningWish Chrome Mox


I read a lot of back and forth on this hand. While I’m not sure of a definite answer, I’d probably keep it knowing I had a scry and a draw step to help fix things. The downside is the earliest you can combo off is turn two with a hand like this, which means likely being hit by Eidolon of the Great Revel. That said, I don’t expect the average five card hand to combo on turn one either.

Death’s Shadow


Hand 1: (on the draw)

DarkRitual Lotus Petal Chrome Mox Volcanic Island Badlands BurningWish Empty The Warrens


The best way to view Death’s Shadow is as a Delver of Secrets deck. What’s good against Delver decks? Empty the Warrens. Making Goblins is even better against Death’s Shadow as they play zero main deck outs and zero Young Pyromancer or any other effect that allows them to create a lot of blockers. For these reasons Empty the Warrens is your best card in the match-up, you should value hands with it highly.


Hand 2: (on the play)

Ponder Ponder Brainstorm Brainstorm Polluted Delta Bloodstained Mire Badlands


This hand is a bit weird, while technically a playable hand, I don’t love it. Against your average Delver of Secrets decks I think this hand is worse, but when your opponent plays four copies of Thoughtseize and has a slower clock (when they don’t open on Delver of Secrets they often deploy their first threat on turns 3-4), I tend to think these hands are slightly better.


Hand 3: (on the draw)

Duress Thoughtseize Infernal Tutor BurningWish Chrome Mox Ponder Badlands


This hand is very close to being a keep in my eyes. The issue is even on the draw, you really don’t do anything meaningful for the first 3-4 turns of the game. You can hope to draw a blue source and cast discard spells, but you’re still very far away from actually “combo-ing” at all.


Hand 4: (on the play)

Lotus Petal Empty The Warrens DarkRitual Infernal Tutor Brainstorm Ponder BurningWish


While Empty the Warrens is incredibly valuable, you can’t keep hands that just lose to everything and don’t actually play the game.


Hand 5: (on the draw)

Polluted Delta Bloodstained Mire Swamp BurningWish BurningWish Chrome Mox Ponder


This is weirdly enough a great hand. You have access to two copies of Empty the Warrens and lots of lands. With Ponder I would be looking for disruption and/or acceleration.



Website recommendation for sideboarding


Hand 6: (on the play)

Ad Nauseam Rite Of Flame BurningWish Empty The Warrens Chrome Mox Chrome Mox Infernal Tutor


Saying, “Go.” on the first turn is super sketchy, especially after keeping 7. Your opponent will know what is up and either look for disruption or be very aggressive with casting Thoughtseize. One of the things I dislike about this hand is even if you draw the mana source, you now need to win through Daze AND Force of Will, which they are over 60% to have one or the other. The odds of this hand being a winner are very low. Not to mention, if all of this goes according to plan, they would’ve kept there hand for one reason or another. Which likely means a Ratchet Bomb.


Hand 7: (on the draw)

Underground Sea Ponder Brainstorm Empty The Warrens Chrome Mox Lotus Petal


A pretty good hand for a six-card hand, one good thing to be aware of is that Death’s Shadow typically only plays two copies of Wasteland. Which means the odds are you won’t have your land destroyed on the second turn of the game.


Hand 8: (on the play)

Lions Eye Diamond Rite Of Flame Lotus Petal Bloodstained Mire BurningWish Ponder Polluted Delta


I keep this hand all day. You have to play the odds that your opponent won’t have the 40% Force of Will plus blue card. If you’re in a casino, you’d play a game that had a 60% win-rate over anything else.


Hand 9: (on the draw)

Lions Eye Diamond Lions Eye Diamond Lions Eye Diamond Lotus Petal Ponder Duress Thoughtseize


I chose this hand because it happened to me last night. On the play, part of me would want to keep this. On the draw, I think you need to send it back. Losing to a Thoughtseize and your opponent having more looks for a Force of Will makes your odds considerably worse.


Hand 10: (on the play)

Rite Of Flame Rite Of Flame Ponder Brainstorm Lotus Petal Chrome Mox BurningWish

Stay tuned for the next article!

I’ll provide my answer in the next article, but for now, make sure to post your thoughts!