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By: kelvinmai, Kelvin Mai
Nov 06 2013 6:47am
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And now we're back on a budget and finding new and fun decks to play in standard. And what's more fun than tribal? The problem now is we've planeswalked to Theros now! It's not like the tribal-centric arena that Innistrad was, instead it has a vast variety of creature types. But there is one tribe that has been teased to be THE tribal deck: Minotaurs! We're only one set into the block, but do you think we can make a full fledged minotaur deck with what we have? I don't know but I'm sure going to try.

Mini Minotaur


Minotaurs are aggressive by nature and in turn their cards are created in the same light. But there are definitely better aggro decks out there, just take a look at mono red devotion which features it's own minotaur, so why even try to play a dedicated tribal deck centered around them? Well the answer is simple, it's the reason anyone ever plays a tribal deck, because they can and it'll be fun. And I'm sure this is no exception. But before we can even put the deck together we need to figure out what minotaurs are even in the format.


Let's first take a look at the new guys in town. Theros brought a whole lot of bulls so we have to pick and choose and only use the cream of the crop. The two lords, Rageblood Shaman and Kragma Warcaller, are definitely in because whats a tribal deck without it's leaders? Minotaur Skullcleaver is the best soldier to put in the army. Fanatic of Mogis gets an honorable mention as being the hardest working minotaur in standard right now, but he might not be the best option in a deck like this. And the rest that are available are limited fodder and don't really fit in the deck. But then again it's expected because we are only one set in, maybe in a few months we can do minotaurs right but right now we have to settle with a mini minotaur.

 Minotaur Aggressor Boros Reckoner Ordruun Veteran

Ravnica brought some minotaurs but most of them don't play well with each other. If they want to team up with the Theran minotaurs they have got to be aggressive. So that means Minotaur Aggressor, Blaze Commando, and Boros Battleshaper are all out because they cost more than 5. Boros Reckoner also takes the can but because he's expensive in the wallet, however he fits very well in this deck so if you have the dough to cough up go for it. So that leaves the lone ravnican Ordruun Veteran to tag along in the party. He costs 4, which isn't that bad, he brings double strike with 3 power which is amazing but the problem we come across is that he requires white in his mana cost. Are we bold enough to go three colors in this aggressive tribal deck? You bet we are!

Here's the deck with hard hitting bovines! It is largely based on buckinbronco's deck which could be found on shinbatsu's MTGSalvation thread. But of course with all inspiration there have been some tweaks on it. The first of which is the inclusion of Rakdos Cackler. I felt the deck needed a one drop with all of it's aggression. Any one drop can fit here, I just felt the cackler is the best choice because of both power and budget, alternatively a better one drop would be Legion Loyalist. Onto the other creatures, without surprise they are all minotaurs and we have all the ones I've mentioned above but we also brought in Deathbellow Raider to round out the curve. I know I mentioned that the Fanatic isn't the best in this deck but he still does enough to earn his spot on the list. As a typical red deck it also runs the full set of Magma Jet and Lightning Strikes with a touch of Dynacharge, all of which can close out a game when the going gets tough. But unlike the mono red decks out there we are also running Boros Charm which not only does what the other spells aim to do but it also saves our bulls from destruction like Supreme Verdict by making them indestructible. And of course I updated the lands, cause I don't count those towards the budget. So not counting lands the entire deck comes out to be less than 3 tickets. 

Potential Sideboard

 Door of Destinies

So what cards can possibly be part of the sideboard? Well the first thing that came to my mind was Chained to the Rocks because we're running white and whole lot of mountains to enchant. But this can only take care of creatures, how do we deal with other decks that plan on using this enchantment against us? UWR is coming back so this can be a real possibility. The best answer to this would be the Glare of Heresy, and it also hits Detention Spheres and Elspeths so it's not just an arbitrary sideboard card. But remember we're also running black so we can also use Dreadbore against the super-friends type of decks. And the Duress is a good answer against the control decks as it's a cheap alternative to Thoughtseize. That's an awful lot of control so siding all of these in will definitely slow you down but it's sometimes necessary if you want to win. But if you want to go more aggressive and much more cute there's also Door of Destinies which can basically be a Coat of Arms for your team. 

Non-Budget Improvements

Boros Reckoner

Of course the one card that's been missing this entire time from our discussion is Boros Reckoner. And for good reason, he's still a powerhouse at the bank. But since we have this little section on how to improve the deck we can finally talk about him. So how do we make the deck if there's no budget to consider? Well first and foremost I feel like you can change the deck into a more midrange version instead of it's budget aggro counterpart. Remember all those cards I mentioned in the sideboard section? Well put them in the mainboard and tada! It's midrange minotaurs. But what do we get rid of? Well obviously the limited fodder has to go. But don't worry that gives us space to put in additional removal like Doom Blade and Dreadbore in the maindeck. And now that we can afford to play at a slower rate it doesn't hurt us to play the full set of Temples to help us scry as well as Read the Bones to help us smooth out game plan. Warleader's Helix is mana intensive but it is a very strong removal and finisher so it finds it's place within the 75, just in the sideboard. 


I hope you enjoy these two takes on the cows of magic. The first being as budget as possible and the second being as competitive as possible. In both versions though I feel they can win a good amount of games on their own and of course I always encourage you to tweak it as you go. I hope these decks are played on MTGO and that these bovines get some love before the next batch of steak comes in during February.