The Boros Legion Is Recruiting!

The bad news is that Chris VanMeter won’t be battling at #SCGDAL. The good news is that he can publicly pass on his new brews to you! Check out the brutally quick aggro lists he’s been experimenting with!

Kansas City has come and gone and the Pro Tour is this weekend. There really hasn’t been anything to shake up Standard except for the chaining success that
G/W Aggro has been having. I’m sure Nick Miller and Andrew Shrout are rolling their eyes telling everyone “I told you so”, but for us common folk it’s
still viewed as quite a feat.

According to the experts, it’s only “bad match-up” is Mono-Blue Devotion, which until recently was basically everywhere. It could be that the G/W decks are
popping up as people are focusing on trying to beat Mono-Black and Mono-Blue Devotion and ignoring cheap efficient creatures?

Who knows?

I’m not even that excited about Scott “Spanky” Lipp winning with the G/W deck. I’m happy for him, since I actually know him from my days in Kansas, but the
real news for me is the Boros Aggro deck in the Top 8.

For those of you who stuck around last week with me, on my stream
you might have seen me playing around with a Boros Aggro deck. I spent a lot of time after Theros came out playing Boros Aggro. Brave the Elements and
Boros Charm are extremely powerful effects when backed up with a lot of cheap and efficient creatures.

My build was a bit different from Dustin’s; in my article about the painlands I mentioned that I had preferred Ajani, Caller of the Pride which made Raise
the Alarm worse, but Dustin jammed his deck full of synergy and cruised into the Top 8.

As we can see here, he has taken a lot of the old aspects of the Boros Aggro deck with twelve or so one-drops, a handful of two-drops, a couple powerful
three-drops, and Brave the Elements with Boros Charm to push through enough damage to kill his opponents.

He even has a bit of a token theme going with Hall of Triumph along with Spear of Heliod and Ajani Steadfast. I played back in the B/W Token days and have
quite an appreciation for just how good Ajani Goldmane is, however, I just felt like four mana was going to be too much, and the flying + double strike
from Ajani, Caller of the Pride always felt like an awesome finisher that most people never played around.

The other big change that we see here is the lack of Banisher Priest. With how much pressure this deck can put on people, especially combined with Imposing
Sovereign, hitting a creature with Banisher Priest and getting in the following attack will put the game out of reach a lot of the time. There are a lot of
big creatures who are extremely mana efficient and getting in an attack the turn they cast them and setting them back on development is amazing.
Polukranos, World Eater, Desecration Demon, Nightveil Specter, and just about anything that costs two-mana or more out of G/W are all great targets for
Banisher Priest. In the event that they don’t have a removal spell right away and we get to untap with Brave the Elements and Boros Charm in our deck, it
makes it pretty tough for them to get their creature back.

I can understand wanting to shy away from having a lot of three-drops in your deck, but with 22 lands and the majority of them being pretty high impact, I
don’t mind playing a handful.

I’m not sure how much I like Judge’s Familiar, but I can understand wanting to have an overload of one-drops with three anthems. Raise the Alarm is pretty
cute and lets us keep mana up for Brave the Elements or Boros Charm and still develop our board on their end step, but I just don’t know if I can agree
with zero copies of Banisher Priest.

I like Keening Apparition out of the sideboard as a way to pressure them and still be able to kill Courser of Kruphix if we need it. That is definitely
something that I just plain forgot while I was working on my sideboard on stream. Phyrexian Revoker also seems pretty sweet and can shut down a Domri Rade
or Polukranos against Monsters.

I like Banishing Light out of the sideboard as an answer to problematic permanents and creatures like Desecration Demon and kin.

Here is what I am currently working on. I don’t have any Standard events this weekend that I’m going to, and I’m not qualified for the Pro Tour, but I
still love working on Boros Aggro!

I played this exact maindeck with a few different sideboard cards on stream the other night and was pretty happy with it. I’ve changed the sideboard up a
little bit, and I still want to try out Return to the Ranks, since I haven’t had a chance to try that yet.

Having Banisher Priest is so important (in my opinion) that I just can’t see myself playing the deck without it. I do like Raise the Alarm along with Ajani
Steadfast though so maybe there is a way that we can hybridize the two strategies. I’m definitely going to be playing around with the list this week and
streaming most of it so that I can hopefully find something that I like.

The most interesting thing about the Boros Aggro deck is trying to come up with a sideboard that is going to attack all of the cards that you want it to
attack, as now we have plenty of options to handle the issues that the deck was running into pre-Born of the Gods.

My biggest issues were always Desecration Demon and Polukranos, World Eater. Initially I thought that I could just jam Reprisal in my deck since it handles
both of those cards, but it is just way too narrow, as it only handles those cards and that’s it. It cannot kill Stormbreath Dragon or Blood Baron
of Vizkopa and does nothing against Mono-Blue Devotion.

Banishing Light handles both Polukranos, World Eater and Desecration Demon but can also hit things like Thasa, God of the Sea, Nightveil Specter, and
Master of Waves out of Mono-Blue Devotion; Courser of Kruphix out of the green midrange decks; and the myriad of planeswalkers that people are trying to
play in the new format.

When combining Banishing Light with Mizzium Mortars, we are able to cover just about all of our bases on cards that we want to take care of in our
post-board matches. I like having the fourth copy of Boros Charm and Banisher Priest in the sideboard, and cards like Fiendslayer Paladin and Ajani
Steadfast are pretty good against the Boss Sligh deck. If people continue to cut their Devour Flesh then Fiendslayer Paladin can even be decent against
Mono-Black Devotion.

The rest of the sideboard are just cards that I think could be good in certain matchups, but with so many options I can’t be sure what is the right
configuration until I play a bunch more games with the deck. As you can see here, there are quite a few options for playable cards out of the sideboard for
this deck:

Gift of Orzhova Electrickery Gideon, Champion of Justice Celestial Flare Brimaz, King of Oreskos Phyrexian Revoker Return to the Ranks Fortify Pacifism

Coming up with the most effective sideboard is going to be the biggest challenge!

I also mentioned in a previous article that we could possibly look at a three-color version of the deck with Godless Shrine and Caves of Koilios giving us
access to black mana.

4 Godless Shrine

4 Caves of Koilos

4 Sacred Foundry

4 Battlefield Forge

4 Mutavault

2 Mana Confluence

With this manabase, we would be doing a lot of damage to ourselves, but it might be worth the payoff. As for the black cards that we would gain access to,
the biggest would be Xathrid Necromancer. Allowing us to take advantage of the large number of Humans in the deck, Xathrid Necromancer would let us
continue to develop our board without fear of sweepers and even allows for some aggressive attacks since our fallen humans will replace themselves.

Orzhov Charm, Thoughtseize, and Profit / Loss are the other black cards that I would be interested in with Cartel Aristocrat also being a possibility.
Tormented Hero is also a Human, but I don’t think we want the black one-drop over a white one like Dryad Militant. While the Militant isn’t a Human, we
will be able to cast it on turn 1 more often.

It could also be possible that we only want Xathrid Necromancer with a couple copies of Profit / Loss in the sideboard and can get by with only eight black
sources which would let us play a couple Plains.

With this build here we are just about split on our red and black cards so we can try out a split manabase. We still have ten red and ten black sources to
support our handful of cards. We will end up doing a lot of damage to ourselves with our mana, so I’m not even sure if it’s worth it, but I’m definitely
going to give it a try and would love to hear from anyone who has been experimenting with something like this.

Like I said, I’m going to be putting in some time working on this deck on MTGO and will be


it, so if you’re interested in checking it out, keep an eye on my page for when I go live. I’ve just about got to a point where I understand V4 enough to
navigate things semi-decently, so hopefully that will continue to get better.

I didn’t have a lot of experience playing with V3 so my opinion of V4 is obviously going to be different than most people who have spent a lot of time
playing on the older versions, but I’m actually liking V4 so far and am pretty excited to continue to play on the client and learn the ins and outs of it.

Lastly, I want to talk about my Kickstarter campaign. As of writing this there
are nine days remaining with 116 backers and we are at $4,854. I cannot express just how floored I am with the amount of support that everyone has shown me
for this campaign. It really warms my heart to see so many people pledging to help make everything a reality.

I am pretty confident at this point that we are going to hit the $5,000 mark and will be going forward with the BBD/CVM playmats. I’ve got some awesome
ideas already and will be working with none other than the one and only Kristen Plescow on the playmat, which I am crazy excited for. She does such an
awesome job with the playmats and tokens and I can’t wait to see what we can come up with for the playmat.

I also want to apologize again for having to change the playmat reward. There is an explanation about why I had to cap one of the bonuses on the
Kickstarter page, and I believe that the way it is set up now was the fairest way to make it so that the playmats could actually be produced, while not
taking away from anyone who had already pledged hoping to get them.

Again, I just want to thank everyone for their support, and I can’t wait until it’s all done and I can see the crowd of people rocking the “Beard Power”
shirt at an Open Series event later this year!