Removed From Game – The Twelve Decks of Christmas #8: Boros Bushwhacker

The StarCityGames.com Open Series returns to Dallas/Fort Worth!
Tuesday, January 5th – For the second week of his daily Twelve Decks of Christmas article series, Rich Hagon brings us Runeflare, Boros Bushwhacker, Vampires, and much more!

Aggro time, and students of Ravnica will be unsurprised that this is a Red/White deck. Unlike the guild that gives the deck its name, however, this deck isn’t about gold spells at all, but rather the best collection of aggressive monsters the two colors can each offer. Here’s our list:

With more than a third of the deck costing the princely sum of one mana, you might be forgiven for wondering why the deck plays so many land at 24. Reflecting the nature of Zendikar, this is a deck where land is every bit as potent as spells, and in the case of rare lands Arid Mesa and Marsh Flats, doubly effective. A turn 1 Steppe Lynx followed up by a Plated Geopede represents nine damage on turn 3 via a fetchland. Teetering Peaks also acts as a double boost to these monsters.

It’s an indication of the decks potency that Elite Vanguard, a functional reprint of Savannah Lions (the absolute one-drop of choice in White Weenie decks of days gone by) is the least exciting card in the deck. The drawback on Goblin Guide is something your opponent won’t live long enough to benefit from, and you have ten removal spells to keep the path clear for your men.

Traditionally, weenie rush decks have a problem of how to deal with Phase Two of a game, once your first wave has been dealt with. In the case of the mono-Red deck we looked at last week, it uses Unearth as that second wave. Here, that comes courtesy of Ranger of Eos, which generally allows you to get hold of a Steppe Lynx and a Goblin Bushwhacker, a card so synonymous with the deck that many people actually call it Boros Bushwhacker by mistake. With Kicker, everything gets +1 power and haste, and that’s often enough to push an opponent over the abyss.

Undoubtedly the funkiest parts of the deck are the numerous interactions with Kor Skyfisher. Bounce a Goblin Guide? Doesn’t matter, because you plunk it back down and it has Haste again. Pick up a land? Great, landfall triggers guaranteed. Teetering Peaks? The same, but better. Pick up a Ranger of Eos? More one-drop goodness on the way. Pick up Goblin Bushwhacker? Lots more Hasty entertainment coming right up. For six mana, you can cast a Bushwhacker, Skyfisher, and the same Bushwhacker again, giving +2/+0 to everything except the Skyfisher, which turns out to be a miserly 3/3 flyer with haste!

If smashing face is your thing, with a little bit of subtlety thrown in that the Red decks generally lack, you’ll have an absolute blast with this. Enjoy, see you in the Tournament Practice room, and then again tomorrow, when we’ll go all Stephanie Meyer…

As ever…