Guilds of Ravnica Standard Deck Tech – Boros Aggro
This week I’ll be doing a Standard Deck Tech for each of the five guilds from Guilds of Ravnica. Today I’ll be focusing on an aggressive Boros deck. There are plenty of powerful Boros cards from Guilds of Ravnica that should be great additions to this deck. There are a few directions to go with this deck. You could play with a balanced mix of red and white cards or you get play more of a mono red deck that uses white to mostly cast multicolor Boros cards. I’m choosing to go with the mostly mono-red version of the deck that I’m hoping to achieve.
I first want to start off with a list of cards from Guilds of Ravnica that I believe could possible be a good fit in the deck. These could include main deck cards and cards that could eventually end up in the sideboard.
Potential Guilds of Ravnica Cards for the deck
Now that I’ve pulled out the best cards from Guilds of Ravnica, I want to turn my attention to the card pool from the rest of Standard. There are plenty of cards to choose from, so let’s see what list I’ve come up with of potential cards to put in the deck.
Potential Existing Cards from Standard
Now that I have a list of cards to choose from to make the deck, it’s now time to decide what goes and what stays. What I like to do first when building a deck is break the card pool down by their casting cost with creatures and noncreature spells separated. Let’s see how that breakdown looks below.
1-Casting Cost Spells
I want to have some one mana removal in the form of Shock in the deck, as well as some ability to deal more direct damage to a player as well. When it comes to creatures, I want to have between 6 to 8 one-drop creatures in the deck. Since I am looking to only have 8-10 spells in the deck, I don’t believe that Ghitu Lavarunner is the best choice. I think that Goblin Banneret is a good choice for the deck as it can pump itself to get in extra damage while also pumping up other creatures thanks to its Mentor ability. The other choice for the one-drop slot I want to go with is Fanatical Firebrand. It is able to get in some damage early, is a great target for other Mentor creatures and if its no longer able to attack, can still be sacrificed to deal one damage to any target.
2-Casting Cost Spells
I’ll start with the noncreature spells. I believe that Lava Coil is a better choice for the sideboard than the main deck. You can bring it in to deal with cards like Rekindling Phoenix. The Flame of Keld is a card that is great to gain back some card advantage and is a great addition out of the sideboard in certain matchups. I think Path of Mettle could work well in this deck as there are plenty of creatures with either, haste, first strike, double strike or vigilance. It shouldn’t be that hard for you to transform it. Lightning Strike is a must have in the deck. Run Amok could be great with Mentor creatures, but I’d rather have the versatility of Integrity // Intervention.
When it comes to creatures in the two-mana slot, there are not a lot of quality ones to choose from. I do like Swiftblade Vindicator as there is a lot of possible upside if you are able to pump it up with Mentor creatures or with spells and abilities like that of Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice. Dire Fleet Daredevil and Goblin Instigator don’t seem like great fits and there are better options available in the two-drop slot. It comes down to a choice between Relentless Raptor and Goblin Cratermaker. I think I’ll be going with the more versatile choice of Goblin Cratermaker. It gives the deck options to deal with a pesky creature or artifact on the battlefield.
3-Casting Cost Spells
Since there are so many great creatures you want to put in the 3-mana slot, I think I’m going to pass on all of the 3-mana noncreature spells on the list. Each has its chance to be great, but when it comes to consistency, I believe having a creature on turn three is better. When it comes to the creatures, the obvious first choice is Goblin Chainwhirler. It is one of the best creatures in the deck by far. The next two that I want to put in are the two Mentor creatures. Legion Warboss provides a constant stream of Goblins to attack with and has the possibility of pumping up those Goblins plus most of our one and two-drop creatures. Tajic, Legion’s Edge is the perfect 3-drop creatures for this deck. It can get in for three damage on the turn you cast it and pump up all of our 1 and 2-drop creatures.
4-Casting Cost Spells
When it comes to the noncreature spells, I believe Conclave Tribunal is a great card to come out of the sideboard, but I don’t think I want to pay it in the main deck. Heroic Reinforcements could be a good card, but not one that I believe fits in to the type of deck I’m looking to build. The four-drop slot is loaded with some great creatures to choose from. Although Goblin Trashmaster could pump a lot of the creatures in the deck, I believe there are more impactful creatures to put in the four-drop slot. Shalai, Voice of Plenty is great to have in the sideboard against decks that use a lot of removal. Verix Bladewing is great, but I’d rather play the better Rekindling Phoenix for the same mana. Arclight Phoenix just doesn’t pack enough punch and we just don’t have enough instants or sorceries to bring it back from the graveyard enough times. I would like to make Truefire Captain work for the deck, but the two white in it’s casting cost could be tough to cast on turn four. The best 4-drop creature for this deck is the new Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice. It does everything you want it to do, including attacking for damage through the air, and pumping up other creatures through its Mentor and main ability.
5-Casting Cost Spells
Integrity // Intervention is the type of versatile spell I want in the deck. Both halves of the card are important and powerful. Lyra Dawnbringer is a card that can take over games, but I believe would be better utilized out of the sideboard. I also want not limit the number of five drops that I play in the deck as well so that I can drop the number of lands in the deck down to 24. I think I only want one or two 5-drop creatures and the one I want in the deck that works well with the other creatures in the deck is Siege-Gang Commander. It provides creatures that can be pumped up with Mentor as well as some finishing power by sacrificing all of your Goblins. Demanding Dragon is better suited against certain matchups, so I’m going to be putting that in the sideboard.
There aren’t a large number of lands to choose from, but here are the ones you could use for this deck.
We always want to make sure that we are able to put as many lands into play untapped as we often want to be casting spells on turns 1-4. We do still want to be able to have white mana on turn two to cast cards like Swiftblade Vindicator. I think that playing 24 lands with this deck will be enough and I want to add in 2 Boros Guildgates on top of the 8 dual lands to make sure we are hitting the white mana we need while still making sure all lands we play tap for red mana.
Now that we’ve figured out what cards to use, its now time to build the deck! Here is what I came up with for quantities for the final deck list.
3 Fanatical Firebrand
3 Goblin Banneret
3 Swiftblade Vindicator
2 Goblin Cratermaker
3 Tajic, Legion’s Edge
2 Legion Warboss
4 Goblin Chainwhirler
3 Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
3 Rekindling Phoenix
1 Siege-Gang Commander
2 Lyra Dawnbringer
1 Shalai, Voice of Plenty
2 Goblin Cratermaker
2 The Flame of Keld
2 Conclave Tribunal
4 Lava Coil
2 Demanding Dragon
There you have it folks, a new Boros deck for the new Standard. I look forward to tweaking this deck in the coming weeks with some testing to see how it will do. Thanks again for reading this Standard Deck Tech on Guilds of Ravnica deck tech week. Join me again tomorrow for a new guild and a new Standard deck.