In Magic, if you swap in cards from your sideboard during a match, you need to reset to your original deck for the beginning of the next match. I find I have trouble remembering what I sideboarded and reseting it correctly, especially in limited, where I've just built the deck and don't know my decklist by heart.

Are there common strategies to keep track of which cards you've sideboarded and to make it easy to reset?

  • What do you mean by paper Magic? Also, at least where I've played, the sideboard rules for limited are different: your decklist doesn't have to be constant, and you can modify it from your sideboard at any time.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 16:38
  • Are you not allowed to just write it down or something?
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 16:47
  • 3
    @murgatroid99 As opposed to MTGO (where you don't have to remember).
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 17:25
  • @murgatroid99 Ah, it sounds like at regular REL, you're allowed to start each match with a different decklist. I assumed you weren't supposed to because MTGO doesn't let you do that. blogs.magicjudges.org/rulestips/2013/01/…
    – Peeja
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 18:51
  • @GendoIkari You're allowed to write it down, but I'm wondering if there's a better trick that I'm not aware of. That might be the best answer.
    – Peeja
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 18:52

2 Answers 2


Write down your sideboard in a list and keep that with your deck. You might want to keep note of it on something durable in your deck box, for instance.

When you want to reset your deck and sideboard to their default:

  1. Take a look at your currently sideboarded cards, and the sideboard list you wrote. Set aside the ones that belong in your default sideboard - put these together.
  2. Find the remainders in your deck, and put those together with the cards you set aside in step 1, until you have your entire sideboard set aside in a pile.
  3. Everything remaining that is not in that pile must necessarily be a part of your deck, so shuffle it back in.

You'll now have your default sideboard and, by exclusion, your default deck.

  • Sounds trickier for limited than for constructed, but doable. Thanks!
    – Peeja
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 13:29
  • 4
    @Peeja, Unless the limited event requires decklists, you do not have to restore your deck to its original configuration between matches. If the event does require decklists, you've already got a list.
    – Brian S
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 14:47

A nice way of doing this is to buy 2 packs of "limited" sleeves and use those for your drafts. Put a mark on half of the front of the sleeves (maybe just the letters sb or a symbol. Make sure you put the mark on the front of your sleeve so you cannot see the card is marked) and no mark on the other half of the cards. When you are building your deck after drafting, put your main deck into the unmarked sleeves and the rest of your cards into the marked ones. Now when it comes to de-sideboarding, you can easily look through your deck and pick out the sideboard cards with a quick glance. This does have the drawback of showing your opponent which cards you brought in from your sideboard and which were main deck, but it saves a lot of time and effort de-sideboarding.

  • 2
    I strongly recommend against marking your sleeves, even the front of them. Most likely it won't cause any problems, but there is a chance that problems will happen. F.E.: Mark on front of inside double-sleeve rubs off inside. Mark is transferred to non-SB card later. (And this is an example that merely causes confusion, not gets you DQ'd. If such a transfer happened outside the sleeves, you might be considered to have a marked deck.)
    – Brian S
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 14:45

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