Building The New Boros Beats!

Bennie Smith, man of the people, sent out another poll to get his next commander! You voted, and now he’s delivering! What other ways are there to build this one?

Last week I sent out a tweet asking the following question:

I got a ton of response to this question, a whopping 168 recommendations of
commanders that needed more content love! To make the first cut and turn
this into a more manageable list, I decided to throw out any choice that
didn’t have at least two people making a request. This cut the list to 20
commanders. From there, I checked to see how many decks were listed in
EDHREC and listed in ascending order with the logic that, the more decks
were in EDHREC, the more love those commanders were already receiving from
deckbuilders at the least. Here’s how the top 20 sorted out:

The top two on the list I’ve recently covered right here on
StarCityCames.com, so if you’re looking for content love, people, check out
the links at the bottom of this article! Two people gave a shoutout to old
school Legends legend Ramses Overdark. I was a little surprised
that the card is available for $35, but that still seems like a rather
expensive card to focus new content on-I mean, if I broke some sick Ramses
tech and everyone wanted to get in on the Ramses action, speculators might
swoop in and drive up the cost of this Reserved List gem. I also covered
Tishana, Voice of Thunder, too.

Twitter polls let you have four choices so I took the remaining top four
cards and put it to a vote.

I got a whopping 1,687 votes, with a kindly retweet from the

Tolarian Community College

‘s Professor, and when the dust settled Tiana, Ship’s Captain won the vote.
Interestingly, there has been some debate of late about how good or bad
Boros is as a Commander color, both in terms of its power and variety of
gameplay available in the Boros legends. I had an Aurelia, the Warleader
deck for several years that I really enjoyed playing, and it drew a lot of
its power from Equipment synergies. I very recently took it apart to build
a deck around Tajic, Legion’s Edge, which plays quite differently, and aims
to break the symmetry on red’s damage-based sweeper spells. So, I was eager
to pick another Boros commander to build a different style of deck.

Now, it would certainly be easy to do a very Equipment-centric deck with
Tiana that would probably be similar to my Aurelia deck, but lucky for us
Tiana has synergy with Auras in addition to Equipment.

White has a ton of Aura-based removal spells that tends to be anywhere from
pretty good to great. The downside of course is that eventually the
enchantments get destroyed and the enchanted creature is freed. Darksteel
Mutation is a great example of this, a potent way to shut down some very
problematic creatures in the game that no other removal spell can. I love
that Tiana’s triggered ability can bring enchantments like that right back.
Let’s take a look at some of them we’re probably going to want in the deck.

Removal Auras or Equipment

Chained to the Rocks, remember that one? We’re playing Mountains in our
Boros deck, so we can make use of this very cheap removal spell. Dipping
into red we can make use of some enchantments that sacrifice for effect
like Flamespeaker’s Will and Fire Whip and Tiana’s trigger will bring them
back. We can do the same thing with Blazing Torch. Frenzied Fugue and
Conquer can borrow some cool cards along the way, and if the enchantments
get destroyed Tiana can bring them back and you can borrow something

Protection Auras

We’ll want to include some Auras that protect Tiana or some of our other
nice creatures. Floating Shield is another Aura we can sacrifice for effect
and get back with Tiana. Squee’s Embrace is an old school Aura that can
bring back the enchanted creature when it dies and then Tiana can bring
back Squee’s Embrace.

Other Auras/Equipment

Getting into the protection racket we can play Hammer of Nazahn to make
Tiana indestructible, and if someone destroys the hammer, Tiana will get it

Ordeal of Heliod gives permanent +1/+1 counters and eventually sacrifices
to gain life, and Tiana let’s you get it back and do it all over again.

Eldrazi Conscription is expensive, but as the official biggest Aura ever I
figured it would be wrong not to include it even though I’m not a fan of

Enchantments/Auras Matter

Aha, here’s the meat of our deck! A bunch of cards that synergize nicely
with our Aura themes and get even better with Tiana in the mix. Sigarda’s
Aid is particularly awesome because Tiana’s trigger doesn’t resolve until
your end step, normally you wouldn’t be able to recast those Auras or
Equipment cards until your next main phase, but Sigarda’s Aid changes that
restriction! Auratog and Faith Healer can cash in Auras that you want to
recast later with help from Tiana’s trigger. The creatures with heroic like
Tethmos High Priest are the perfect recipients for all your Auras.

Hey, how about Valduk, Keeper of the Flame in this deck? Instead of just
going Voltron to make one creature threatening, Valduk let’s you go wide by
generating a whole bunch of token creature attackers. Heavenly Blademaster
can do a similar thing by just bolstering your whole team.

Card Draw

We’ve got a lot of great card drawing engines we can tap into in Boros,
between the Equipment/Aura triggers of Sram, Senior Edificer and Mesa
Enchantress, to the insane combination of Magus of the Wheel and Alms

Mana Ramp

I’m running a bit lighter on the mana ramp here because not too much of it
synergizes with the stuff we’ve got going on here. Curse of the Opulence
seems like a particular good card here since it plays with all the Aura and
enchantment synergies and Tiana can keep the Curse going even after it gets
destroyed. I’ve got a good number of low mana spells so I’m figuring it’ll
be okay to just play out the cards on curve.

Boros Goodstuff

I’ll round out the deck with a bunch of good Boros cards, including some
spell-based removal spells and lots of good creatures, many of which will
be great targets for the many Auras and Equipment. Since Tiana is an Angel
I figured we could touch very lightly on a few Angel tribal cards like Lyra
Dawnbringer and Bruna, the Fading Light.

Sweet deck! But wait, there are too many cards. I’ll start by looking at
our mana curve:

1 mana: 13

2 mana: 17

3 mana: 15

4 mana: 13

5 mana: 8+commander

6 mana: 4

7+ mana/X-spells: 3

74 total cards plus 38 lands equal 12 cards too many, which isn’t too bad!
Let’s see what we can trim.

At the top of the curve I couldn’t find anything I’m willing to cut until I
get down to the five-mana mark. These two cards are great and all, but we
need to start somewhere. When I put Baneslayer Angel against Celestial
Ancient, I think I prefer making a bigger battlecruiser than slightly
buffing my entire team with Celestial Ancient.

Wrath of God is a tough card to cut, but I’ve got Winds of Rath and
Blasphemous Act already so I think that’s okay. Brion Stoutarm has a great
rate, but the deck has a good amount of lifegain already, and I think I
prefer Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder.

These cuts are hard, but there are just so many great Commander cards at
three mana nearly anything you cut is going to be painful. I feel like the
two Auras are a little bit redundant in the deck so they seem like
relatively safe cuts.

The last cuts feel like the lesser powered or redundant pieces and we can
make due without them.

Here’s how the deck ended up:

Tiana, Ship's Caretaker
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 11-22-2018

So, what do you think? What sort of cuts do you disagree with? Are there
any cards that I overlooked?

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! Right now, I’ll be posting Top 5 cards from each of my StarCityGames.com
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Deck Database

Below I’ve got links to decks I’ve written about going back to January
2017. If you want to read the associated article, just put “Bennie Smith”
and the commander name into the Google and it should pop right up. I’ve
written a lot about Commander – and Magic in general – so if you want to
explore further the

StarCityGames.com® article archives

have my articles all the way back to January 2000!

Guilds of Ravnica

Niv Mizzet, Parun

Emmara, Soul of the Accord


Lazav, the Multifarious (decklist in the comments)


Tajic, Legion’s Edge


Etrata, the Silencer


Izoni, Thousand-Eyed

Commander 2018

Aminatou, the Fateshifter


Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

, Lord Windgrace

Core Set 2019

Sai, Master Thopterist


Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma


Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire


Chromium, the Mutable


Grothama, All-Devouring


Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle

, Grand Warlord Radha
, Arvad the Cursed,

Muldrotha, the Grave Tide


Slimefoot, the Stowaway


Yargle, Glutton of Urborg

, Squee, the Immortal

Firesong and Sunspeaker


Jodah, Archmage Eternal

Masters 25

Hannah, Ship’s Navigator

Rivals of Ixalan

Azor, the Lawbringer

, Etali, Primal Storm

Nezahal, Primal Tide


Zacama, Primal Calamity


Tetzimoc, Primal Death


Zetalpa, Primal Dawn


Ghalta, Primal Hunger


Grusilda, Monster Masher


Dr. Julius Jumblemorph


Vona, Butcher of Magan


Tishana, Voice of Thunder


Admiral Beckett Brass


Gishath, Sun’s Avatar

Commander 2017

Nazahn, Revered Bladesmith


Inalla, Archmage Ritualist


Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist


O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami


Mairsil, the Pretender


Taigam, Ojutai Master

Hour of Devastation

Razaketh, the Foulblooded

, Zur, the Enchanter
(Mummy’s Curse),

Djeru, With Eyes Open

, The Locust God, Karona, False God
(All the Deserts),Nicol Bolas, Neheb, the Eternal


Oketra the True

Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun

, Atogatog
(Cartouches & Trials),

Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons


Samut, Voice of Dissent


Rhonas the Indomitable

, Hazoret the Fervent

Kaladesh Block

Yahenni, Undying Partisan

, Nicol Bolas, Child of Alara (5
Color Energy),

Rishkar, Peema Renegade


Kari Zev, Skyship Raider


Sram, Senior Edificer

Commander 2016

Breya, Etherium Shaper


Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice


Tymna the Weaver // Ravos, Soultender

Other Commander Decks

Anafenza, the Foremost

(shutting down shenanigans),

Momir Vig, Simic Visionary

(no green creatures),

Kytheon, Hero of Akros

(Tribal Gideon)

Commander Strategy

Let’s Talk About Lands

Who Should I Attack?

Targeted Removal in Commander