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Author Topic: Boros Deck Wins ~Flying-Midrange Ver.~  (Read 1424 times)
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« on: June 02, 2007, 04:54:34 pm »

In case any of you have yet to pick a deck for Regionals and don't feel like wading through all the hate with Bridge-dredge or Dragonstorm, here's a deck I've been working on quite a bit lately and is testing incredibly well, mostly stolen from the top8 of some Japanese event.

Boros Deck Wins ~Flying-Midrange Ver.~

// Lands
    4  Sacred Foundry
    2  Mountain
    7  Plains
    4  Battlefield Forge
    3  Flagstones of Trokair
    2  Boros Garrison

// Creatures
    3  Calciderm
    4  Savannah Lions
    4  Keldon Marauders
    3  Stonecloaker
    2  Giant Solifuge
    2  Gathan Raiders
    4  Leonin Skyhunter (alternatively, 4 Soltari Priest)
    4  Serra Avenger

// Spells
    3  Rift Bolt
    4  Lightning Helix
    3  Seal of Fire (or Scorched Rusalka)
    2  Demonfire

// Sideboard
SB: 4  Cryoclasm (or 2 Cryoclasm 2 Giant Solifuge)
SB: 4  Paladin en-Vec
SB: 3  Cloudchaser Kestrel
SB: 4  Honorable Passage

I realize that it is quite unusual-looking, but I assure you that this deck is quite solid. It doesn't quite have the speed of your average Boros list, but that hasn't been doing very well lately and thus clearly is not the optimal way to go. This deck sacrifices a little speed for some *insane* reach. I'm talking "does not care about the opponent playing three Loxodon Hierarchs with two Essence Wardens on the table" reach. I'll go ahead and explain card-by-card.

3 Calciderm: These are a pretty big part of the deck's reach. In the right metagame, I'd just run all four spiders, but this guy is almost as big a house dropped post-Wrath/Damnation against control decks while being a monster in combat against other aggressive decks and midrange decks with Hierarchs and stuff. Since aggro and random.dec are likely to be found in droves at Regionals, three of these ought to be a valuable asset.

4 Savannah Lions:
Believe it or not, this is among the least valuable cards in the deck. In many matchups, it's rare for these to do more than two or four damage since they're so easy to block or deal with; it's also the only creature in the deck that dies to Sulfur Elemental rather than benefits from it. However, it's essential enough for putting a clock on control decks and trying to race Dragonstorm to warrant running it despite its weaknesses. I've also been in situations in which I win because I topdeck one of these to chump a guy while I smash face with flying creatures.

4 Keldon Marauders:
I've been loving these. If it resolves, the worst you can possibly get is two damage for 1R; not great, but not the worst thing in the world either. Besides the obvious potential five damage, he can also act as a beefy blocker against Gruul to help you race (and you can often actually force a trade), remove Bridge from Below upon his death, be a good Stonecloaker target (especially during combat), and numerous other subtle uses.

3 Stonecloaker:
He's a three-power flier that lets you recycle Keldon Marauders or Calciderm, do some amazing combat tricks, beat the living daylights out of dredge, and so forth. The biggest problem with these is drawing multiples; cutting one for a Jotun Grunt or something is perfectly reasonable.

2 Giant Solifuge: They're good at, well, dealing damage. Only two because of the benefits of Calciderm as described above, but having two around to occasionally draw against control or Dragonstorm game one works very well.

2 Gathan Raiders: Huge guy that doesn't care about your color mixture. Not quite as impressive as either Solifuge or Calciderm most of the time, though, and might become additional copies of each; however, in some matchups, a (mostly) vanilla 5/5 is much preferable to Calciderm's limited duration and Solifuge's fragile body. The surprise value actually matters quite a bit here--many people don't expect him and try to throw a burn spell or attack into it while you're tapped out, only to suddenly be rumbling with a massive guy.

4 Leonin Skyhunter: Two-power evasive guy for WW. If you don't fear running into Sulfur Elemental, Plagued Rusalka, or Darkblast, feel free to run Soltari Priests instead. I prefer the two toughness, but I can definitely see being able to swing past flying red dragons being relevant. Up to you.

4 Serra Avenger: A flying vigilant beater. The drawback does suck a fair amount of the time, but being able to play multiple solid threats post-Wrath/Damnation has proven to outweigh this drawback on many occasions, as has her simply being a three-power flying creature. I *guess* you can just run four each of Skyhunter and Priest instead of running these, but I've been liking these a lot and am most likely not turning back.

0 Knight of the Holy Nimbus:
Yes, you are reading that correctly. His second ability is rarely relevant enough to matter since it doesn't allow him to survive Wrath, Damnation, or Last Gasp anyway. Flanking can be nice against Gruul, but it doesn't let him swing over a Rumbling Slum, Loxodon Hierarch, Wall of Roots, Korlash, etc. No thanks.

3 Rift Bolt: I'd actually kind of like the fourth, but I can't figure out where to put it. I definitely don't want to cut into the creature density, because most of the time, creatures are preferable to burn spells.

4 Lightning Helix: Do I really need to explain this? Amazing against other creature decks, three to the dome at instant speed against anything else.

3 Seal of Fire or Scorched Rusalka: I've been liking the Seals recently just because you can just play them and have them stick around, but Rusalka definitely has the benefit of being much better against cards like Fetters, Helix, and Tendrils; I simply have lately preferred Seal due to its ability to pick off an early dredge enabler and stall the Project X combo.

2 Demonfire: Since the deck runs twenty-two lands including two Boros Garrisons, you will often find yourself with more mana than you know what to do with. This is a good remedy for that. However, these could also easily be the fourth Seal of Fire and Rift Bolt; this is another close call and up to personal preference, I guess.

0 Char: This card is why Hierarch often crushes aggro decks. The Japanese list I based this off ran a single copy, but I'm not really a fan of doing something like that.


Dragonstorm: This is actually one of the rougher matchups for you, but it's not really any less favorable than any other deck in the format. Basically, your plan for the entire match is to race. Game one you just hope for a faster goldfish than theirs; post-board, you get Cryoclasm as a way to both deal damage and slow them down, and Honorable Passage to attempt to deal those last points of damage if you're close to killing them before they go off. Most Dragonstorm players will side out their Gigadrowses against you in favor of Repeals in anticipation of COP: Red and Worship, so this plan has a pretty solid chance of working. Do your best to mull into a "speed" hand instead of a "reach" one here. This is one matchup in which extra Solifuges would be a valuable asset, so if you're really concerned about consistently winning this match specifically, run the Solifuges over the Gathan Raiders main.

Dralnu and other counterspell-based control: These are generally pretty good matchups due to the density of recurring damage sources found in the deck. Just make sure you win or get them into burn range before they drop a Skeletal Vampire and you'll be fine. Most of your creatures don't care about Bottle Gnomes much, but Last Gasp and Tendrils can still be pretty annoying. You bring in Cryoclasms here for the Gathan Raiders, an Avenger, and a Stonecloaker or something.

Tron-based control: I expect most of these people to lose to the Dragonstorm, dredge, and Gruul players, but if you run into one you should still be in fairly good shape. The U/R versions, which are more popular, usually don't run any sweepers other than Hellkite. This allows you to just swarm them with guys through the counters and crush them in the face. Sometimes, Tron decks just win, but when they don't do that the match will generally be in your favor. Not caring too much about Sulfur Elemental is huge here.

Gruul: You have Lightning Helix, fliers, and a few really huge guys, and thus have an upper hand here. It's still not quite a bye though, so be careful and don't keep any exccessively slow hands (though you really shouldn't anyway). Burn spells almost always target creatures here. Don't be afraid to chump with Savannah Lions and stuff in order to punch through and race with fliers. Bring in Paladin en-Vec and Honorable Passage here.

Dredge: If you burn their first enabler, they will be incredibly hard-pressed to race you (even if they get one activation off it). Losing after opening with a Seal of Fire is quite improbable. I've played the match a large number of times against a great variety of builds and piloted by some decent players, and have lost very, very few games. Obviously, Stonecloaker is remarkable here. The scariest thing dredge can do is stall with multiple Stinkweed Imps, so try to save your burn spells for those rather than throwing them to the dome at first opportunity.

Project X: Sometimes, they're just going to have multiple ways to go off quickly and there won't be anything you can do about it. Most of the time, though, you can use burn and Stonecloaker to keep their combo under control and fly past all of their blockers with your flying creatures. I've found this to generally be a pretty favorable match. If they don't combo you off, winning past them gaining lots of life is really not difficult at all; they don't run any board sweepers, so you can just play every guy you draw and deal damage much more quickly than they can gain life. I'm not sure whether or not you bring in Paladin en-Vec here. I've tried it a number of times and sometimes he's an amazing threat they are hard-pressed to remove, but other times I just wish he had some sort of evasion.

Angelfire: Bad. You're an aggro deck, they're Angelfire. Calciderm is a champion here, but don't expect to win this match very often. Bring in the Cryoclasms and pray. Thankfully, I think that Dragonstorm and dredge are going to largely keep this deck away... I hope.

Random/Rogue/Other: You tend to do pretty well here because of the combination of speed and the variety and density of your threats. This is basically the only reason the Cloudchaser Kestrels are in the sideboard, so you don't randomly lose an entire match because you have no outs to a Worship or Glare or something. If you don't want to run the Kestrel contingency plan, I guess you can stock up on the Solifuges if you aren't running the extra ones in the maindeck, or some Boom/Busts or Stone Rains or Blood Moons for some extra weapons against DStorm and control decks.

Hope someone out there found this worth a read and considers playing the deck, as I consider it a serious contender for Regionals. Comments and feedback are quite welcome.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 04:59:39 pm by Roxas » Logged

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