The development of durable host resistance strategies to control crop diseases is a primary need for sustainable agricultural production in the future. This article highlights the potential of recent progress in the understanding of host resistance for future cereal breeding. Much of the novel work is based on advancements in large-scale sequencing and genomics, rapid gene isolation techniques and high-throughput molecular marker technologies. Moreover, emerging applications on the pathogen side like effector identification or field pathogenomics are discussed. The combination of knowledge from both sides of cereal pathosystems will result in new approaches for resistance breeding. We describe future applications and innovative strategies to implement effective and durable strategies to combat diseases of major cereal crops while reducing pesticide dependency.