Borborygmos Enraged For Commander

Bennie has a couple of sweet ideas for Commander decks led by brand-new legend Borborygmos Enraged. Check them out!

It’s Gatecrash Week here at Starcitygames.com, and we Commander guys have been rolling out some sweet 100-card decks featuring the newest legends to hit the block. I couldn’t keep a lady waiting, so I did Aurelia, the Warleader early. Today—better late than never—big, bad, and brawlin’ Borborygmos Enraged gets his time in the sun!

Before we get started, lean in close to the screen so we can talk a moment without… Well, him, hearing us. I have something to admit. I wasn’t really a fan of the earlier, slightly calmer Borborygmos. He just didn’t inspire; he has a weird name, is kinda expensive for his power/toughness (at least by modern standards), and his effect of making the rest of your team a wee bit bigger just really didn’t reach out and grab me.

But hey—time goes by, and this Cyclops has gotten pissed! And rather than getting ugly when angry, this legend is enticing. Just check him out. Swapping his power and toughness lets him kill with commander damage in three attacks rather than four, which is a pretty sweet start. He keeps the trampling to continue the sweetness.

And just check out that text box! Gone is that ho-hum, yawn evoking, I can’t even remember what it was ability. Now…now we’re messing with lands! We’re ripping lands from the top of our deck, and we’re throwing lands like Lightning Bolts at creatures or players.

That’s what I’m talking about—those are abilities worth building around!

I was half-tempted to put together a deck that looks like this:

1 Borborygmos Enraged
99 assorted lands

I mean, you’re guaranteed to hit your land drops every turn, and when you cast BB&G, you’ll have seven lands in your hand ready to unleash 21 points of damage at something or somebody. But then I realized you’d be sitting around for eight turns doing nothing but dropping lands. Not exactly a load of fun, but if you’re drunk it would give you time to sober up.

However, we could fill out the deck with some synergistic "land matters" stuff while keeping the land count extremely high. What about something like this?

70% land is still a ton of lands, enough so that BB&G damage triggers should net you two lands, but now we’ve got some additional ways to take advantage of all those lands. Exploration, Manabond, Burgeoning, Gaea’s Touch, Budoka Gardener, Explore, Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Oracle of Mul Daya and Terrain Generator give us a ton of acceleration, which will let us cast BB&G much earlier—something that’s quite handy for an eight-drop!

Storm Cauldron technically "accelerates," but it does something quite different in this deck. It provides considerable disruption for your opponents while giving you the flexibility of keeping your hand chock full of lands to throw around with BB&G or playing them all back out again with all those cards listed above. It’s certainly going to be a bit of a finesse card for this deck to know when it’s right to play Storm Cauldron.

Here are some other "land matters" cards I added to the deck:

Card Draw: Fa’adiyah Seer, Mulch, Horn of Greed, Nantuko Cultivator, Abundance

These should provide serious card drawing power in a deck with a ton of lands. Nantuko Cultivator in particular is a card I’m looking forward to playing—I can easily see having five or so lands in hand when you play it, pitching those five, putting five +1/+1 counters on the Cultivator, and drawing five cards. Sure, you’ll be drawing mostly lands again, but that’s one way to dig deeper to find some nonland action. Speaking of which, Abundance seems to be the perfect card here to let you always draw a nonland card from such a land-heavy deck when you’re digging for a spell or creature.

Back from the Graveyard: Groundskeeper, Life from the Loam, Crucible of Worlds, Tilling Treefolk

BB&G likes discarding lands for Lightning Bolts, so it makes sense to have ways to recover those lands in the graveyard. I also included a fair number of saclands to make these cards helpful even before BB&G hits the table. These cards also make Constant Mists a very potent defensive card, especially in conjunction with the land acceleration cards.

Search for Lands: Yavimaya Elder, Sprouting Vines

While these can only dig up basics, they can help keep your hand flush with lands. Sprouting Vines in particular can do some spectacular work if two opponents go after each other with a flurry of spells one turn!

Landfall: Seer’s Sundial, Eternity Vessel, Rampaging Baloths, Avenger of Zendikar

Zendikar’s landfall cards seem perfect for this sort of deck, and these four are the best of the bunch for Commander.

Retrace: Savage Conception

Cards with the retrace keyword from Eventide seem to be a perfect fit for Borborygmos Enraged, but as I looked at the twelve cards, they either didn’t have the right color identity or were rather weak multiplayer cards. Waves of Aggression would have been a perfect card for the deck, but I suppose I’ll have to pair that up with BB&G in a Naya deck down the road. Savage Conception certainly isn’t the strongest card around, but it seems likely that sometimes having a 3/3 creature will be more useful than a Lightning Bolt.

Now, as sweet as this deck is, I still don’t think it’s fully utilizing BB&G’s potential. For one thing, his combat damage triggered ability is rather middling in the grand scheme of things—once you’ve unloaded a bunch of lands for Lightning Bolts, getting two extra Lightning Bolts (on average) per attack is decent but not what I’d call scary. What you need is to squeeze in more triggers each turn! I’ve been on a big "multiple attack steps" kick lately (see Aurelia, the Warleader), and that approach would certainly fit here… But rather than beat on that same drum, I thought for this deck I’d focus more on giving BB&G double strike instead. That doubles the damage he deals, potentially killing someone in two turns with Commander damage, and doubles the combat damage triggers.

I’m thinking something along these lines:

Double StrikeAssault Strobe, Psychotic Fury, Fireshrieker, Runes of the Deus, Savage Beating, Wrecking Ogre, Rage Reflection

Now we’re talking some serious punch! Thankfully, red gives us a fair number of decent options for double-strike. I’m tempted to squeeze Berserk in here too for a serious combo kill finish even though it would kill poor BB&G at the end of combat.

I’ve added some other goodies to the list as well—some ways to give BB&G haste, hexproof, extra attacks, and a couple creatures who love lots of lands in play. Of course, now that I’ve fleshed the deck out to a little less than half lands, BB&G’s triggered ability will be less effective given a random distribution of cards in my library. I’ve already got Sylvan Library to help stack the deck, but I figured I’d add Sensei’s Divining Top and Scroll Rack to the mix.

The ideal build for Borborygmos Enraged probably lies somewhere between these two lists. My plan is to start with the 45-land version, see what’s working and what’s not, and start cutting cards for lands until I get the right mixture of lands.

Ultimately, what I think is the most fun about Borborygmos Enraged is how he encourages you to build your deck quite different from the typical 39-40 land Commander decks you make most of the time.

So what do you think? What sort of cards do you want to pair up with Borborygmos Enraged? Let me know in the comments!

Take care,


I am Golgari Swarm!

I was born into Magic a green mage. Summoning gigantic monsters to fight for me was the ultimate rush! And yet time after time my opponents would slay these magnificent creatures and leave them useless, rotting in the grave. That’s when a friend suggested I add black magic to the green so that death was only a temporary inconvenience, and I realized – life and death aren’t points along a journey but a cycle of power that never stops!

My Darkness. My Horde. My Guild. Golgari! Join me, won’t you?

starcitygeezer AT gmail DOT com

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