Hello everyone and welcome back to the sixth part of the Standard decks review with budget and semi-budget perspectives. Here I will continue to share some of my budget and semi budget deck brews for Standard format. Up to now, I have a chance to go through the deck variants for the first five Ravnica Guilds and Alara shards. This was just the first chapter of our journey and now it is time to start to the next one...
Finally, "Gatecrash", the second set of the Return to Ravnica has been fully released. First of all I want to say that, Wizards really did a good job to keep the confidentiality of this set. As nearly half of the set was previewed until the official release on 21st January. " Return to Ravnica" was the most exciting sets for me in these recent years. And I had very great expectations for the "Gatecrash" after such strong predecessor. But I have to admit that, I was little disappointed with the power level of the general set. final five Ravnica Guilds. Vice versa, I like the flavor & mechanics of the final five Ravnica Guilds.
I love to play with any type of Aggro (pure, control, etc...) decks. So I want to debut my Gatecrash deck brews with some aggressive approaches.
Let's start with Boros, which is one of the best archetype of any Aggro decks.
" Welcome to our Legion of War & Peace. Here you will only find the Order within the Chaos. "
I admit that Boros is my favorite Guild since the first Ravnica block. Yes, Boros wasn't that good back then and Guild mechanic was one of the worst. But still I love Boros, I don't need any other reasons. But now, they are coming strong as pure Legion with very flavorful Guild mechanic. And it will be so fun to play casually with them.
"Battalion" is well fit Guild mechanic for a combat based strategy rather than the previous Boros mechanic. As most of the Radiance cards were overpriced and mirror matches were nightmares.
We have seen the first design steps of "Battalion" mechanic in this year's core set with the Odric, Master Tactician. Indeed, Odric is interesting card and can be a game changer if you got enough creatures to support his Tactician ability.
For my Boros deck brews, I go through the separate edges of WR combinations. My first deck is based on the Order side of the Boros. And here it is, the Legion of Order:
This deck is following the path of White color with Boros philosophy. And our creature base will have well balanced aggressive approach.
White has been always strongest with the tax side to prevent or delay any unwanted effects. And luckily we have Thalia, Guardian of Thraben in the current Standard environment to play with the glimpse of tax.
Frontline Medic is our new recruit from Boros. He has decent Mana cost and balanced body. And his Battalion ability will really change things for you. Imagine that you can even throw Wrath of God after the combat phase to clean the board for one side. Medic's sacrifice ability will mostly benefit against the X costed Cycle cards in Standard. He is a great card for Standard, but I don't think that Frontline Medic will have a competitive chance in the Eternal formats.
On the other hand, Precinct Captain is good and very aggressive Soldier. He is one of those cards, that you need to handle as soon as possible. He is not a Standard superstar, but that doesn't mean that he is not good. Precinct Captain has very aggressive ability for his CMC and he is very budget these days. And already become one of the Staple cards of the Soldiers Tribal deck.
Stromkirk Noble was one of the Sleeper cards from Innistrad. I remember that he was advertised as a substitute to Goblin Guide during Innistrad reviews. In the end he has never become another Goblin Guide last year but now he finally found his home in the Standard Mono RDW deck. His merits for Boros decks are still the same as in the Mono RDW decks. He is cheap, can't be blocked by Humans and can grow with each attack.
Double Strike is one of those mechanics that can change things very quickly. And Silverblade Paladin is at top point for the Double Strike matter. As with his Soulbond, he is getting a DS, but more importantly he is granting extra Double Strike ability to any one of your creatures. In my opinion, currently the best creature for this ability.
Dryad Militant is our latest Elite Vanguard variant from RtR set with extra graveyard hate for Instants & Sorceries. She will provide very aggressive approach and also fit into our Order concept.
Ash Zealot is our vigilante Red Human from the first set of RtR block. She is pure Boros, even she doesn't have the Guild watermark. Let's look into her merits: She has Haste and can attack the turn she comes in, which is so good. She can protect herself with First Strike or can be good Blocked against Aggro match ups. And her third passive ability provides extra benefit against decks with Snapcaster Mage , Gravecrawler or any deck that exploits Graveyard zone.
Legion Loyalist is our second recruit from Boros Legion. It's amazing to see how Raging Goblin can rise with the education of the Boros. Basically his Battalion ability Rocks in any RDW or Boros decks. He may not achieve his true destiny in the Standard, but definitely in the Eternal formats. Imagine that he is leading the Goblin hordes. He may be a bit Tribal oriented, but still the best new Goblin I have ever seen since the Goblin Guide.
Boros has various creatures with different and amazing Battalion abilities. And Firemane Avenger has my favorite Battalion mechanic in this set. This isn't about the power level but only for the Lightning Helix. Firemane Avenger will be a good budget finisher with a cool ability for me.
Boros Charm is one of my favorite new charms from Gatecrash. This Charm is much oriented for combat and damage matters. Still Boros Charm will provide all needs of any Boros decks. The first option will grant us one sided Flame Rift with no drawback. You can either deal 4 damage to your opponent or transfer this damage to enemy Plainswalkers. The second option will protect all of our permanents from destroying effects without any card type restriction. The third option can be used much more situational as an offensive or defensive bonus.
My goal for the creature base was to gather all the aggressive and chaotic members to prepare a Boros Incursion team. We still have familiar faces like; Ash Zealot, Stromkirk Noble and Legion Loyalist.
Boros Reckoner is the most aggressive costed Minotaur for his abilities (just for Tribal flavor). On the other hand this is well balanced creature. Hybrid Mana will make it more easier to cast. His improved Mirror Strike ability will be painful for your opponents during Attack or Block phase. Activated First Strike ability is also costed very reasonable.
Lightning Mauler is one of the angry Humans from Innistrad. And he is ready to Soulbond with Legion for the greater cause. His Haste bonus will accelerate all the course of the game.
Vexing Devil is more spell card than a creature. Just think him as a 4 damage dealing Lava Spike. If opponent doesn't take the 4 damage then it just means that your opponent has an answer to this overgrown Devil. Up to now, Vexing Devil has been already proved to us that he is a hardcore member of RDW type decks.
I admit that Rakdos Cackler is a pure Rakdos creature, but still it's Red. And there will be always Lured ones. As a deck tech, Rakdos Cackler will be a good early casting option and will provide an aggressive approach with its Unleash mechanic.
My third and final Boros deck will have the combined elements of the previous two decks. And it's pre-Gatecrash Boros deck for Standard.
Also I have include two extra Humans to maintain the Tribal required quantity. Champion of the Parish is our little guy with Ally based synergy for Humans. He can easily grow too much in the right decks. He is cheap CMC and good member of the Human tribe.