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May 8, 2017

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Partners Without a Partner – Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder

This week we continue Partners Without a Partner with the most boorish of herders, Bruse Tarl!

When it came down to deciding which Red-White Partner to brew around for this series, it was an easy choice. Since we’re going to be brewing a half-deck to be randomly paired up with another Partner from the series, Akiri, Line-Slinger demands artifact support, which we can’t guarantee will get enough use depending on who we pair up with.

Bruse Tarl doesn’t just get the pick by process of elimination. He’s got a very strong enter the battlefield ability, which also triggers on attacking. So we’re going to brew a 23-card team that’ll punch really hard when paired with double strike. The lifelink bonus will keep us alive during possible counter attacks. Hopefully, we’ll be set up to win that race. Let’s get down to specifics!

We want our main combatants to be creatures who can carry Bruse’s ability amazingly. Inferno Titan swings really hard, while also dealing with smaller threats that may stand in its way. Plus, we can pump up the titan’s power for one Red mana per point, which we’ll then double. We’re also running Molten Primordial. When the Red Primordial hits the battlefield, then takes each opponent’s best creature for a turn, it’s very unlikely they’ll have much leftover to block it if it’s double striking. Although it’s a one-shot deal, Lightning Serpent can also trample over any blocker to potentially finish off one player if it’s beefed up by Bruse!

We’ve got to make sure Bruse gets through a board, since we’ll want to be able to attack with him each turn. Temporal Isolation is a great way to ensure his survival. The chances of an opponent having a shadow creature are extremely low, but I have used one or two cards in other decks in the series that could block. Even then, Bruse will likely win the matchup. We also have the added bonus of throwing it on a troublesome monster creature from another team. One more way we’ll help good ol’ Bruse out is with Iroas, God of Victory. Not many better ways to keep a creature alive while attacking than to give it indestructible. That is, if they’re even able to put up two blockers now that we’re menacing! But, even if we have no on-board tricks to help us, we can always Ride Down an opposing blocker that thinks they can tussle with Tarl.

Once we’ve got our team set up for max attacks, let’s keep it rolling with more combat steps. This way, we get to activate Bruse’s ability a second time. Waves of Aggression is my favourite card that will get us an extra combat step because it has retrace, meaning we can turn excess lands into combat steps. Plus, if we’ve reached ten mana, we can pitch a land to get a total of three combat phases in one turn. Let’s throw in one more combat phase by including Aurelia, the Warleader in that attack as well. We don’t have any more cards that’ll give us extra combat phases, (what, are four combats not enough for you?) but Angelic Skirmisher‘s already powerful ability gets an enormous boost from an extra beginning of combat, even if she’s mostly redundant for Bruse’s top combat picks.

In what’s proving to be my favourite part of the series, I’ll highlight a few utility cards that support the half-deck well. Red-White as a colour pair has a tough time drawing extra cards, so we’re happy to be running Sin Prodder. Even if our opponents don’t want us to have the card, they’re likely taking extra damage. Big plus. We also have access to Basandra, Battle Seraph. She really is the angel of combat. Most of our plan involves our Commander’s triggered ability, so we happily slide under her lockdown. Since we’re going to be double striking all over the place, Soltari Guerrillas love “inflicting” combat damage twice in one turn, even though I expect that damage to be put on another of our opponents’ creatures.

That’s the deck! One more to go, and we’ll have ten partial decks. As usual, have a look at the list and let me know what you’d have changed.

Partnerless Partner: Bruse Tarl

Creatures (16)
Angelic Skirmisher
Archetype of Aggression
Archetype of Courage
Aurelia, the Warleader
Basandra, Battle Seraph
Boros Reckoner
Duergar Hedge-Mage
Hellkite Tyrant
Inferno Titan
Iroas, God of Victory
Lightning Serpent
Luminate Primordial
Molten Primordial
Sin Prodder
Soltari Guerrillas
Soulbright Flamekin

Spells (6)
Chained to the Rocks
Citadel Siege
Return to Dust
Ride Down
Temporal Isolation
Waves of Aggression

Artifacts (1)
Sword of the Animist