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Commander Magic Deck Of The Week: Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes

2022 has been a whirlwind for Commander MTG players. Bennie Smith looks back at Minsc and Boo, Timeless Heroes for his Commander Deck of the Week.

Minsc and Boo, Timeless Heroes, illustrated by Andreas Zafiratos

Welcome back to Deck of the Week, where I go over one of my paper Commander decks in detail. I am constantly tweaking the play experience of my vast stable of Commander decks with cards from new sets, so my hope is you’ll find for your own decks Magic goodies both old and new, or maybe inspiration to build your own version.  Note that I don’t typically build for optimization, and most decks – including this one – is built for a casual, interactive play experience that lasts at least an hour where everyone gets to a chance to have their deck “do the thing” before the game ends.

This week I’m sharing my deck built around Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes!

It’s hard to believe it, but Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate just came out a few months ago, and I only just recently got the deck fully sleeved up and ready for combat. I’ve played it a few times and found it to be a lot of fun!  I have to say, Studio X at Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has been hitting some serious home runs when it comes to Gruul commanders, to the point that I now have slightly more Gruul than Golgari Commander decks in my collection, despite being a huge Golgari fan for decades. Minsc & Boo have pushed Gruul into the lead! 

Let’s dig into the card.

What Goes Up…

When Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes enters the battlefield and at the beginning of your upkeep, you may create Boo, a legendary 1/1 red Hamster creature token with trample and haste.

We last saw Boo in the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms version of Minsc, Beloved Ranger, and I’m glad the little Hamster is back and, in my opinion, even better alongside this new version of Minsc thanks to the loyalty abilities.  Let’s look at the first one:

+1: Put three +1/+1 counters on up to one target creature with trample or haste.

A permanent three-point boost in power and toughness that also increases loyalty is pretty incredible, and the restriction is largely negligible, especially since Boo has both trample and haste.  I leaned pretty hard into making sure most creatures in the deck had trample or haste just to maximize the flexibility of this ability. But the second ability certainly makes you want to lean into pumping the power of Hamsters!

…Must Come Down

−2: Sacrifice a creature. When you do, Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes deals X damage to any target, where X is that creature’s power. If the sacrificed creature was a Hamster, draw X cards.

There are plenty of ways in the Gruul combination to ensure that a creature gets big enough so that Minsc’s “Fling” ability could take a player out of the game, which is certainly something to keep in mind when building around this card.  And if you’re mean, you could include ways to temporarily steal a large creature from an opponent and sacrifice it to this ability, though I don’t have that in my decklist. But honestly, the thing I most want to do with this is to sacrifice a Hamster so that I can draw X cards, because we all want to draw cards in Magic, right?  Which makes Boo a very enticing Fling candidate, especially since your planeswalker will make another Boo during your upkeep. 

Keep in mind, if there is no legal target for the reflexive trigger in Minsc & Boo’s second loyalty ability, or if the target is illegal as the ability tries to resolve, you will not draw any cards even if the sacrificed creature was a Hamster.  So be careful when you’re Flinging Hamsters around.

Okay, let’s dig into my decklist!

Trample and Haste

Devilish Valet Ulvenwald Oddity Froghemoth Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider

First, any Gruul creature that has trample and haste seems like a slam-dunk inclusion. Big ups for Devilish Valet, which has the potential of growing its power quite large for flinging. Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider is nutty alongside planeswalkers, and even though Minsc doesn’t have an “ultimate” ability per se, it does make the +1 loyalty ability extra spicy.

Haste

Gingerbrute Taunting Kobold Squee, Dubious Monarch Rhythm of the Wild Urabrask the Hidden

I also wanted to include a fair number of hasty creatures, which are fantastic plays to follow a battlefield sweeper. Urabrask the Hidden does double duty by giving all your creatures haste and making it difficult for your opponents to deploy blockers.

Anything that says “can’t be countered” makes me smile in Magic, but the riot ability is quite sweet since you can give haste to a non-hasty creature, or you can give a hasty creature a +1/+1 counter. The only downside is the nontoken clause excludes Boo from the riot party, but Boo brings his own celebration.

Trample

Treetop Village Wilson, Refined Grizzly Ram Through Wilderness Elemental Dragonborn Champion Elturel Survivors Defiler of Vigor Geode Golem Hellkite Tyrant Bloodthirster Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar

Gruul has a ton of creatures with trample, and I’ve included a bunch of them. The baddest of the bunch is Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar, since later in the game it can grow quite huge and be a prime fling subject to end someone’s life totals. I was excited to recently add Defiler of Vigor since Minsc is a green permanent spell, so shaving off a green mana for two life is going to be impressive. And just this week I added the incredible Bloodthirster from the Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks for extra attack steps to ensure each of my opponents gets the beatdown each turn.

Ram Through is a fantastic card in a deck with big trampling creatures, and certainly extends the reach of the deck beyond combat steps with the possibility of post-combat Ram Through plus Minsc Fling.

Planeswalker Shenanigans

Sanctum of Eternity Luxior, Giada's Gift Heart of Kiran Myth Unbound The Chain Veil Reality Scramble

Planeswalkers often have a tough time surviving in games of Commander, but when they do, you want to make sure you take advantage of it.  The Chain Veil does a lot of heavy lifting here, since you really want to be able to add three +1/+1 counters to Boo and sacrifice him the same turn to draw four cards.

I can do something similar with Reality Scramble since I don’t have any other planeswalker in the deck; activate Minsc, then target it with Reality Scramble to put it on the bottom of my library and then back onto the battlefield as a new object, which I can activate again. Of course, you’ll need to reveal your deck contents to your opponents, but who cares?  Sanctum of Eternity can bounce Minsc to your hand and let you replay it in the same turn.

I’m also excited to see what silliness I can do with Luxior, Giada’s Gift.  If I have something like Urabrask on the battlefield, I could equip Minsc with Luxior, +1 loyalty to add three +1/+1 counters to Minsc since it will have haste, and potentially win with commander damage.  Assuming four loyalty, if my math is correct, Minsc would be a 10/10 creature. How sweet is that?

Assuming Minsc gets the beatdown from my opponents as expected, I’m playing Myth Unbound to give me a consolation card and to shave the commander tax in half.

The Hamstering

Runed Stalactite Taurean Mauler Maskwood Nexus Chameleon Colossus

Boo shouldn’t have to do all the Hamster heavy lifting, so I wanted to bring in more adorable rodents. Maskwood Nexus makes all our creatures into Hamsters, so you can sacrifice something huge like Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar which will be a Hamster and draw a ton of cards.  Runed Stalactite can do it one creature at a time.  Taurean Mauler and Chameleon Colossus are Shapeshifters with the changeling ability that makes them Hamsters, and both of them can dramatically increase in size.

Power Boost

Kessig Wolf Run Berserk Rancor Blackblade Reforged Invigorate Bonehoard Xenagos, God of Revels Colossification

Gruul provides a bunch of great ways to increase the power of our creatures, which does good work with trample to push through blockers but also makes that sacrifice ability even more impressive. Invigorate plus Berserk can push an attacking creature into lethal range pretty quickly, and then post-combat sacrifice it to Minsc for the coup de grâce.

Blackblade Reforged is a card I put in most of my Commander decks, but it does a ton of heavy lifting in this deck as a way to quickly push Boo to a very large size that you can sacrifice to Minsc and draw a bunch of cards.

Removal

Nature's Claim Vandalblast Seal of Primordium Hull Breach Wild Magic Surge Broken Wings Call in a Professional Titan of Industry Blasphemous Act

I like to play a good amount of removal in my decks to deal with problem permanents that hit the battlefield quickly.  Broken Wings has gained my attention lately with the surge of good Dragons and Angels this year, so having that extra “destroy target creature with flying” can be clutch. I also really like Call in a Professional in any deck that is looking to move a game towards conclusion with creature combat damage.

Card Draw

War Room Skullclamp Harmonize Guardian Project

I have card draw built into the commander, but I still wanted to make room for a few more ways to keep the cards flowing in case my opponents do a good job keeping Minsc off the battlefield early in the game. You hate to do it, but Boo is naturally a 1/1 and a good candidate for equipping a Skullclamp for two cards.

Interaction

Tamiyo's Safekeeping Shadowspear Chef's Kiss Manglehorn Obscuring Haze

You always want a few clutch ways to interact with your opponents beyond just removal, and having access to red means I get to use Chef’s Kiss, a really exciting card that can do some really fun things.  I’ve also been enjoying having Manglehorn in decks these days to blunt the power of Treasures, given how many cards that have been printed recently pump them out.

Mana Ramp

Blighted Woodland Sol Ring Wild Growth Sakura-Tribe Elder Rampant Growth Nature's Lore Devoted Druid Wall of Roots Goblin Anarchomancer

Last up, every deck wants to have ramp spells, and Gruul gives us a whole host of fantastic green ones. I leaned heavily on ones that will enable me to have enough mana to cast Minsc & Boo a turn early, which will hopefully let me get a couple of activations before the battlefield gets cluttered with creatures that will harass Minsc.

So, here is the decklist as it stands today:


Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

What would you put in your Minsc & Boo, Timeless Hero deck that I may have missed here?  What other planeswalkers do you like running as your commander?

Talk to Me

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter!  I run polls and start conversations about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!  You can also find my LinkTree on my profile page there with links to all my content.

I’d also love it if you followed my Twitch channel TheCompleteCommander, where I do Commander, Brawl and sometimes other Magic-related streams when I can.  If you can’t join me live, the videos are available on demand for a few weeks on Twitch, but I also upload them to my YouTube channel.  You can also find the lists for my paper decks over on Archidekt if you want to dig into how I put together my own decks and brews. 

And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy.

 

Visit my Decklist Database to see my decklists and the articles where they appeared!

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