Sultai Krasis is quite a popular deck at this point in the metagame, so I don’t have to go out of my way to explain the ins and outs of my deck decisions. The only one I feel is important to discuss is Doom Whisperer.
This card is criminally underplayed because of how good it is outside of the mirror match. It’s the best blocker against white, red, and Izzet Drakes. It kills fast when you need to invert the clock.
It’s also good against control decks as it’s a threat that needs to be killed, and provides some card advantage by looking for precious sideboard cards or key tools in the matchup.
A lot of people ask me why I play Doom Whisperer over Carnage Tyrant. The answer isn’t that one is better than the other—they serve two different roles: Carnage Tyrant used to be the mirror breaker, but that’s not the case anymore, as Hydroid Krasis took over that role.
Doom Whisperer’s role is to be a brickwall for aggressive strategies, as well as a threat in some other matchups.
Another card that has been a little forgotten is Midnight Reaper. This used to be how Golgari kept up with Deafening Clarion from Jeskai, and now Esper tries to achieve the same outcome with Kaya’s Wrath.
This isn’t going to be the same mirror-breaker that it used to be with Guilds of Ravnica, but you will still love it here.
Let’s dive into the sideboard decisions, which is always the hardest part of a best-of-3 match.
A mistake that I often see people make is to leave in Wildgrowth Walker. I don’t know what attracts people to it so much. I’ve said this for the past 3 months and I’ll keep repeating it: board out your Wildgrowth Walker in the mirror match.
You want all of your creatures to be 2-for-1s and Wildgrowth Walker’s advantage is just life points—both in gaining you life and attacking for a bunch, which you don’t care about, since the matchup is not about life points but about card advantage.
This is a terrible matchup for Sultai in game 1. You should concede quickly as soon as your opponent takes over—just like Jeskai last season—but post-sideboard you are firmly ahead.
Esper doesn’t even have access to Star of Extinction, so once you take over control you’ll win the game.
Play wisely around their cards and carry your Hydroid Krasis to victory. Remember, they can’t counter its cast trigger, so try to max out Krasis as much as you can.
With this sideboarding plan you try to counter their Shocks by giving them no good targets for it.
This matchup is close and once again you want to blank their removal spells so that they won’t be able to 1-for-1 you on creatures. If you can wait to cast Wildgrowth Walker and Merfolk Branchwalker in the same turn to gain 3 life, do so.
Duress is good, but too many copies of it might be redundant.
Cry of the Carnarium is sometimes good, sometimes clunky. They are likely to switch plans into Treasure Map + Star of Extinction, so play accordingly by boarding in Carnage Tyrant and boarding out mana Elves.
The real nightmare matchup for the deck. If they have a good hand there’s very little you can do about it.
I like to board out all my expensive spells and stay as cheap as I can be in order to cast two spells in one turn and make their countermagic worse.
While the cards we are boarding out look great, it’s important to realize that you don’t win the game by casting an expensive and strong card, but by racing them with small green creatures and killing their card advantage and value plan.
This is another nightmare matchup game 1 that gets significantly better post-sideboard. I’m keeping in mana Elves since they have fewer sweepers than Esper or Jeskai, and it’s also quite important to develop your plan and to have mana up to counter their Teferi or Wilderness Reclamation.
I believe that Sultai Krasis is the best deck for best-of-3, but I’m positive that it is an awful choice for best-of-1 thanks to its matchup against the Teferi decks. There’s not much you can do to make those matchups better, and I would play something else if you want to focus on best-of-1.