What’s so bad about Boros?
Have you heard people do nothing but complain about Boros? Have you resisted brewing around the red and white guild because you’ve bought into those negative nellies? In this article, I’ll walk through a fun Boros brew that doesn’t lay down to the stereotypes!
Boros wants to be attacking. I’ve heard people say that they don’t like the guild because that’s all it’s good for. Oh, you mean you don’t run any other decks that attack with creatures? Just because Boros is arguably the best at it we’re going to write them off as “boring”?
No way! Boros can be a ton of fun. So let’s get down to business and tackle some of the main issues.
The naysayers say “Boros sucks at card advantage”. Sure, maybe it doesn’t have as many draw spells as most other colour pairs, but it’s not like we’re without any tools!
Boros can’t ramp, they say. Sure, we will likely be behind on lands most of the time, but an Oath of Lieges catches us up to the inevitable leader. We have to lean a bit harder on our tools that we do have, so the Sword of the Animist is especially useful to us. It’s not like we won’t have plenty of opportunities to attack, after all.
It’s definitely pricier than ramp of another colour, but Sun Titan can get us back lands that made it into the graveyard, and let’s finally add a Knight of the White Orchid that has already done its job once it hits the field.
Most decks ramp using artifacts, and this colour pair is no different, we just want to be a little pickier with our choices. Let’s run the package of Mind Stone, Hedron Archive, and Dreamstone Hedron. They’re effective ramp at different stages, and we can cash each of them in for some card draw. Same goes for Commander’s Sphere and the Boros Cluestone.
Speaking of artifacts, The Immortal Sun is an easy add to a Boros deck. Making spells cost one less isn’t technically ramp, but it’s not wrong to look at it that way. Not to mention all of its other perks.
People often complain about a deck in these colours and its ability to draw cards. All of the artifact cards mentioned above can draw us cards. Either automatically, or when they’re no longer needed as ramp. Plus, if we’re willing to expand our perspective, we can consider that pulling a land out of our deck is the same as drawing a land, which also makes one less land we’ll draw in future draw steps.
So what do we do with lands, then? Personally, I’m inclined to run a little more than average. “But I hate flooding out”, I can hear you say. My general philosophy on the issue is that I’d rather flood out than not be able to play anything because of drawing too few lands.
Part of the strategy behind this is to run as many cycling lands as possible. These all come in red and white, but I’ll just name some red ones here. Forgotten Cave, Desert of the Fervent, and Smoldering Crater each cycle into another card if you draw them later on once you need fewer lands. Then there’s Ash Barrens and Blasted Landscape, which also turn into other cards. In addition to all of those artifacts that turn into cards (mentioned yet again), we won’t mind having a little extra mana kicking around.
Now let’s talk cantrips! Let’s run as many as we reasonably can! If we max out on cantrip spells, we’ll be losing a slight bit of tempo, but we’ll see much more of our deck in the long run. In a way, it’s as if our deck seems like it’s less than 99 cards.
So, let’s get to the good stuff that’ll win us the game that much quicker. We are attacking after all, and I can see a Dragon Mantle doing some real work here, including getting us our card back. Psychotic Fury also plays into our strategy while cantripping, and just in case we don’t have our Swiftfoot Boots out, let’s Expedite a freshly-cast creature.
Sure, maybe Boros doesn’t have some of its strengths in the same areas as other colour pairs, but when we’re extracting basic lands from our deck all over the place, cantripping non-stop, and cycling away some excess lands into other useful cards, we’ll end up getting to our core cards that will win us the game that much quicker. You know, the fun cards.
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is the most-likely choice for our commander, but her lieutenants Aurelia, the Warleader and Tajic, Blade of the Legion could also do the job. We don’t need as many heavy hitters if we get to the ones we havethat much quicker.
And lastly, I want to point out some fun and interesting cards that stretch the definition of what it means to be Boros.
We were just given Etali, Primal Storm to do new and fun things we couldn’t before. Dire Fleet Daredevil also gives us a chance to steal our opponents spells, and from not too long ago we still have good ol’ Neheb, the Eternal to stretch what this guild can do.
Things are really beginning to open up for us in Boros town. So let’s brew up a deck soon, because things will only get more interesting!