Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Niv to Light by CanadianNinja

'Niv to Light' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: CanadianNinja

Event: MTGO Modern Showcase Challenge

Rank: 1st

Modern

Market Price: $1352.22

Cards

Pillar of the Paruns

Market Price: $11.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/13911_200w.jpg

{T}: Add one mana of any color. Spend this mana only to cast a multicolored spell.

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Abrupt Decay

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $5.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128562_200w.jpg

This spell can't be countered.
Destroy target nonland permanent with converted mana cost 3 or less.

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Teferi, Time Raveler

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $12.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187194_200w.jpg

Each opponent can cast spells only any time they could cast a sorcery.
+1: Until your next turn, you may cast sorcery spells as though they had flash.
−3: Return up to one target artifact, creature, or enchantment to its owner's hand. Draw a card.

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Lightning Helix

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $0.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145597_200w.jpg

Lightning Helix deals 3 damage to any target and you gain 3 life.

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Godless Shrine

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $10.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182836_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W} or {B}.)
As Godless Shrine enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Abundant Growth

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118691_200w.jpg

Enchant land
When Abundant Growth enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Enchanted land has "{T}: Add one mana of any color."

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Niv-Mizzet Reborn

Color Identity:B,G,R,U,W

Market Price: $4.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188514_200w.jpg

Flying
When Niv-Mizzet Reborn enters the battlefield, reveal the top ten cards of your library. For each color pair, choose a card that's exactly those colors from among them. Put the chosen cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Supreme Verdict

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $6.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145308_200w.jpg

This spell can't be countered.
Destroy all creatures.

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Snow-Covered Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230147_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Wooded Foothills

Market Price: $37.62

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92831_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Wooded Foothills: Search your library for a Mountain or Forest card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.

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Assassin's Trophy

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $20.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175575_200w.jpg

Destroy target permanent an opponent controls. Its controller may search their library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle their library.

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Unmoored Ego

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176780_200w.jpg

Choose a card name. Search target opponent's graveyard, hand, and library for up to four cards with that name and exile them. That player shuffles their library, then draws a card for each card exiled from their hand this way.

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Oath of Kaya

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188651_200w.jpg

When Oath of Kaya enters the battlefield, it deals 3 damage to any target and you gain 3 life.
Whenever an opponent attacks a planeswalker you control with one or more creatures, Oath of Kaya deals 2 damage to that player and you gain 2 life.

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Bring to Light

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $0.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/104734_200w.jpg

Converge — Search your library for a creature, instant, or sorcery card with converted mana cost less than or equal to the number of colors of mana spent to cast this spell, exile that card, then shuffle your library. You may cast that card without paying its mana cost.

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Snow-Covered Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230149_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Windswept Heath

Market Price: $23.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92832_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Windswept Heath: Search your library for a Forest or Plains card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.

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Temple Garden

Color Identity:G,W

Market Price: $12.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175203_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G} or {W}.)
As Temple Garden enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Deicide

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/82275_200w.jpg

Exile target enchantment. If the exiled card is a God card, search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that card and exile them, then that player shuffles their library.

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Birds of Paradise

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $10.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/121762_200w.jpg

Flying
{T}: Add one mana of any color.

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Valki, God of Lies

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $16.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230113_200w.jpg

When Valki enters the battlefield, each opponent reveals their hand. For each opponent, exile a creature card they revealed this way until Valki leaves the battlefield.
{X}: Choose a creature card exiled with Valki with converted mana cost X. Valki becomes a copy of that card.

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Omnath, Locus of Creation

Color Identity:G,R,U,W

Market Price: $5.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221779_200w.jpg

When Omnath, Locus of Creation enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 4 life if this is the first time this ability has resolved this turn. If it's the second time, add {R}{G}{W}{U}. If it's the third time, Omnath deals 4 damage to each opponent and each planeswalker you don't control.

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Thoughtseize

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $16.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218934_200w.jpg

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life.

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Yorion, Sky Nomad

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $4.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212715_200w.jpg

Companion — Your starting deck contains at least twenty cards more than the minimum deck size. (If this card is your chosen companion, you may put it into your hand from outside the game for {3} any time you could cast a sorcery.)
Flying
When Yorion enters the battlefield, exile any number of other nonland permanents you own and control. Return those cards to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step.

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Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235548_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

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Snow-Covered Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230146_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

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Wrenn and Six

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $63.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190994_200w.jpg

+1: Return up to one target land card from your graveyard to your hand.
−1: Wrenn and Six deals 1 damage to any target.
−7: You get an emblem with "Instant and sorcery cards in your graveyard have retrace." (You may cast instant and sorcery cards from your graveyard by discarding a land card in addition to paying their other costs.)

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Verdant Catacombs

Market Price: $68.70

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128280_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Verdant Catacombs: Search your library for a Swamp or Forest card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.

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Steam Vents

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $11.98

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175202_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U} or {R}.)
As Steam Vents enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Utopia Sprawl

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $10.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161900_200w.jpg

Enchant Forest
As Utopia Sprawl enters the battlefield, choose a color.
Whenever enchanted Forest is tapped for mana, its controller adds an additional one mana of the chosen color.

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Kolaghan's Command

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $10.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/96518_200w.jpg

Choose two —
• Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
• Target player discards a card.
• Destroy target artifact.
• Kolaghan's Command deals 2 damage to any target.

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Deafening Clarion

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176417_200w.jpg

Choose one or both —
• Deafening Clarion deals 3 damage to each creature.
• Creatures you control gain lifelink until end of turn.

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Crumble to Dust

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105263_200w.jpg

Devoid (This card has no color.)
Exile target nonbasic land. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that land and exile them. Then that player shuffles their library.

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Stomping Ground

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $9.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182841_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R} or {G}.)
As Stomping Ground enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Nahiri, the Harbinger

Color Identity:R,W

Market Price: $1.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212166_200w.jpg

+2: You may discard a card. If you do, draw a card.
−2: Exile target enchantment, tapped artifact, or tapped creature.
−8: Search your library for an artifact or creature card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. It gains haste. Return it to your hand at the beginning of the next end step.

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Ketria Triome

Color Identity:G,R,U

Market Price: $11.56

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212697_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}, {U}, or {R}.)
Ketria Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Snow-Covered Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230150_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Overgrown Tomb

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $13.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175196_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {G}.)
As Overgrown Tomb enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Veil of Summer

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $10.53

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192543_200w.jpg

Draw a card if an opponent has cast a blue or black spell this turn. Spells you control can't be countered this turn. You and permanents you control gain hexproof from blue and from black until end of turn. (You and they can't be the targets of blue or black spells or abilities your opponents control.)

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Misty Rainforest

Market Price: $71.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128281_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Misty Rainforest: Search your library for a Forest or Island card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.

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Fatal Push

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.96

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218830_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature if it has converted mana cost 2 or less.
Revolt — Destroy that creature if it has converted mana cost 4 or less instead if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn.

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Prismatic Vista

Market Price: $30.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190748_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Prismatic Vista: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.

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Indatha Triome

Color Identity:B,G,W

Market Price: $6.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212689_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}, {B}, or {G}.)
Indatha Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Breeding Pool

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $23.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182842_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G} or {U}.)
As Breeding Pool enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Snow-Covered Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230148_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Dreadbore

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $5.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132263_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature or planeswalker.

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Kaya's Guile

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $5.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191070_200w.jpg

Choose two —
• Each opponent sacrifices a creature.
• Exile all cards from each opponent's graveyard.
• Create a 1/1 white and black Spirit creature token with flying.
• You gain 4 life.
Entwine {3} (Choose all if you pay the entwine cost.)

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This 80-card Five-Color Niv to Light deck won Magic Online's Modern Showcase Challenge—the largest and most competitive Modern event since the rules change and bannings a month ago. It was one of the biggest shake ups to the metagame in the format's history, and this deck taking first shows it's a big winner from the changes. It's brought Niv to Light from a second-tier archetype to a top contender. Today I'll explain all the reasons why.

It's Still Breaking Valki, God of Lies

Some of its success comes from its natural ability to still break Valki, God of Lies. It first appeared as the best way to abuse Valki, God of Lies in Pioneer when cascade was taking over Modern. Bring to Light can find Valki, God of Lies as a two-mana card, but cast the seven-mana backside. That makes Bring to Light a tutor that also provides a discount on the game-warping Planeswalker, like a sort of cascade-lite, and now the best remaining way to abuse Valki, God of Lies in Modern.

There are few cards for the cost that can so effectively break open games as Valki, God of Lies, and it provides a major asset to the deck's toolbox. As a card draw and removal engine, it meshes perfectly with the plan of the deck which has the means to protect it as it does its work. While it's not as broken as slamming it into play for three mana with a cascade spell, Bring to Light doesn't require any special deckbuilding considerations beyond adding a one-of to the deck—in this case to an 80-card one that will rarely draw it, and won't mind it as a spell when it does.

Niv-Mizzet Reborn is Unrivaled

Bring to Light main target is Niv-Mizzet Reborn, the card this five-color deck is built around. A massive source of card advantage, combined with an impressive body, it's pound-for-pound one of the most powerful cards around, and this deck takes great advantage of it with a spread of two-color gold cards.

These are essentially all disruption of some sort, from the utility of Planeswalkers Wrenn and Six, Teferi, Time Raveler, and Nahiri, the Harbinger, and the versatile Kaya's Guile, to the raw removal of Lightning Helix and Abrupt Decay. A mix of one-ofs like Kolaghan's Command, Supreme Verdict, Assassin's Trophy, Dreadbore, and Unmoored Ego add their own strengths as tutor targets while diversifying the mix of spells for Niv-Mizzet Reborn.

All of this removal is essential for buying time to get Niv-Mizzet Reborn online and realize its card advantage, which will bury the opponent while the 6/6 body menaces the battlefield. Alternatively, using removal on the early turns will sculpt a manageable battlefield for Valki, God of Lies to clean up.

It Gets to Play a Companion

Niv-Mizzet Reborn can even be blinked and re-triggered by Yorion, Sky Nomad. In a deck with tutors and one-ofs—especially one like Valki, God of Lies you would rather have in the deck to combo with Bring to Light—playing more than 60 cards does have benefits, mitigating some of the downside of decreased consistency. Yorion, Sky Nomad is a major asset to the deck, beyond being a valuable eighth card in hand. It can generate card advantage with Abundant Growth and Omnath, Locus of Creation, which is another card the deck is built to abuse. Its mana ability is especially impressive for casting Niv-Mizzet Reborn or Bring to Light—a devastating sequence.

It Plays all the Best and Broken Cards, Period.

Beyond using a Companion, it also includes Valki, God of Lies and a way to break it. Both of these things were so good they changed the rules of the game, and playing with them is a real advantage over the competition that isn't. The deck also includes an assortment of cards that have been banned, with Omnath, Locus of Creation axed from Standard, Wrenn and Six from Legacy, and now Teferi, Time Raveler from Pioneer. All of these cards, along with Niv-Mizzet Reborn, were printed in the last two years—a period that, in the eyes of many, has thrown away everything sacred in Magic and replaced it with unbridled power creep. This period has produced many of the best cards ever printed, which have come to define Eternal formats like Legacy and Modern. Lots of gold cards, and lots of rares and mythics, means some pretty powerful stuff is going on here.

This power extends to the lands as well, including the powerful Triomes that made fetchlands better than ever. Prismatic Vista adds a five-color fetchland. The deck does take advantage of an old underutilized gem—Pillar of the Paruns—enabled by the deck made mostly of gold cards.

It Perfectly Exploits the Post-Ban Metagame

Everything adds up to what amounts to a midrange tap-out style control deck. With Wrenn and Six, Teferi, Time Raveler, and Omnath, Locus of Creation, it uses the same package that made Four-Color Control the dominating force in the metagame before the bans. In place of a blue base of counterspells, which is worse now with Mystic Sanctuary gone, it's loaded with removal spells.

card-showcase id="Wrenn and Six|| Teferi, Time Raveler|| Omnath, Locus of Creation''

This paradigm of removal instead of counterspells has major implications for how it matches up against the field, giving up strength versus control and combo decks for a robust matchup against creature decks. That's a perfect move given what happened with bans, which nuked the control deck leading the metagame. It also gutted combo, not only by just killing the Tibalt's Trickery deck that had become the most prominent, but by banning Simian Spirit Guide and in turn many other combo decks, including the Oops No Lands decks, Ad Nauseam, Neoform, and Grishoalbrand.

What that left is creature decks, and in the place of banned decks a wide variety of them have surged to lead the metagame. Red Burn and Blitz decks, Heliod Company, Death's Shadow decks, Death and Taxes, Hammer Time, and even Infect and Slivers, both of which Top 8ed the normal weekly Challenge, are all susceptible to the removal Niv to Light packs. Without the means to keep up with the card advantage of Niv-Mizzet Reborn, they'll inevitably fold the late game.

Perfectly exploiting the shift in the Modern metagame, it's no wonder this deck cut its way to the top of the tournament. Indeed it did beat Izzet Blitz in the quarterfinals and Heliod Company in the semis. A finals win over Amulet Titan is a promising sign it has game against a broader variety of strategies.

It Has a Great Sideboard (and it's easy to use)

I suspect the sideboard played a role in the win, and access to a set of Thoughtseize to replace removal goes a long way toward beating combo-style decks like Amulet Titan, as well as control. Veil of Summer adds another powerful tool against control to stop counterspells, and other midrange decks like Jund to stop their discard. Fatal Push allows it to go even deeper against creature decks in a way only one-mana removal can provide. These are all some of the most efficient and widely-used staples in the game, and add another asset to the deck's long list of them.

Of course no sideboard of a toolbox deck would be complete without a few good one-ofs. Some highlights here include Deicide to attack Heliod, Sun-Crowned, and Crumble to Dust to hobble Tron and Valakut decks.

This simple sideboard is also easy to use, and helps make this deck a straightforward one to pick up.

Sideboarding and Matchup Guide

Vs. Burn and Izzet Blitz

The plan against Burn and Izzet Blitz is to minimize damage from creatures by killing them ASAP, and using the deck's wealth of lifegain to stabilize against burn spells. 
Lightning Helix and Kaya's Guile are huge here, while Omnath, Locus of Creation can lock up the game with repeated lifegain.

From the sideboard, Fatal Push adds cheap removal. Oath of Kaya acts like another Lightning Helix, while Deafening Clarion is a sweeper that can do great work by granting Deafening Clarion or Niv-Mizzet Reborn lifegain.

Vs. Heliod Company

Already top-tier before the bans, the Heliod, Sun-Crowned/Walking Ballista combo deck has become one of the most popular and successful in Modern. Its reliance on creatures makes it vulnerable to all of the removal in Niv to Light. Lacking the means to stop Niv-Mizzet Reborn from overwhelming it with cards, it's a matchup Niv to Light looks forward to.

The Company deck's infinite life combo with Spike Feeder isn't a huge issue for Niv to Light, which thanks to its 80 cards can realistically just win by decking after firmly taking over the game with things like Valki, God of Lies and Wrenn and Six ultimate.

The biggest threat in the matchup is the indestructible Heliod, Sun-Crowned and its potential for a combo kill with Walking Ballista, which can be beaten by instant-speed removal disrupting it. Sideboarding helps with Fatal Push as an additional removal spell, while the tech of Deicide deals with Heliod, Sun-Crowned and any future copies.

Vs. Blue Control (Four Color and Azorius)

Some stubborn players are still using Four-Color Omnath Control decks after the bans, while others have returned to their roots with Azorius. In these matchups, Niv to Light will find itself with a lot of weak creature removal and fighting an uphill battle at resolving its key cards against their counterspells. On the plus side, it is filled with must-answer cards that can steal games, starting with Wrenn and Six, to Teferi, Time Raveler, and up to Bring to Light and Niv-Mizzet Reborn.

Sideboarding out this removal for Thoughtseize and Veil of Summer changes things dramatically. At that point resolving and protecting a key threat becomes easier, and the matchup very winnable, if not favorable overall.

Vs. Rakdos and Jund Death's Shadow/Classic Jund

Rakdos-based decks like those with Death's Shadow and Classic Jund are fun and interesting matchups, and more dynamic than against pure aggro or control decks. Their threats are robust and powerful, and backed by disruption. This makes them dangerous opponents, but over the long game will lose to the card advantage of Niv-Mizzet Reborn just like other decks.

Vs. Amulet Titan

Primeval Titan decks losing the inevitably of Field of the Dead has made them a much more manageable opponent over a long game. Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle relies on Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, which Niv to Light is well-equipped to destroy. Primeval Titan is still a major threat that can chain card advantage with Tolaria West, but it's possible to just kill them all. Ideally Bring to Light finds Unmoored Ego to exile them all, while sideboarded Thoughtseize does great work.