Leviathan's picture
By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Oct 13 2010 2:04am
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I.  Introduction

The Boros guild is pretty interesting if you think about it.  The colors basically symbolize law and order, combined with reckless aggression.  Those characteristics don't sound like they go together, but together they could lead to an interesting army.  The Boros guild members are basically soldiers with an aggressive streak.  Their leader is an angel with a flaming sword who likes to beat down, that should tell you something right there.

I can understand why you would fight for her.  I mean, she probably doesn't have the gentlest bedside manner, but I'm sure that she can be very persuasive.  However, her butt is just a little too small for my tastes.  I like a woman with a little something to grab on to, if you catch my drift.  Although she can hit hard, she only has 3 toughness.  And that just won't cut it for the 8 mana necessary to cast her.

Her lieutenant, Agrus Kos, is slightly better.  Actually, I don't think he is unless you manage to pump out a bunch of tokens.  Throw in Nobilis of War and Glory of Warfare and you have yourself a deck.  But I'm avoiding token decks right now.  Also, please keep in mind that I have never read the books and know nothing of the Ravnica story, so I could be completely wrong about what Boros is about.  Or the size of Razia's derriere.  But the cards read.  Anyway, that leaves only one other choice as commander in this color combination. 

II.  The Deck:  That kid has a good arm!

Let's take a look at the final possible commander in the Boros color combo:

brion stoutarm

Imagine being able to pick up people, giants, dragons, even leviathans, and throw them at your enemy.  Sounds pretty awesome right?  The sick thud as whatever large hunk of meat you tossed landed upon someone would be pretty satisfying.  Brion gives you the ability to experience that, and benefit you as well!.

Brion has pretty good stats for his casting cost, as a 4/4 for 4 mana.  Throw in his lifelink ability, and if you wanted, he could be a more than serviceable beatdown commander.  However, it is his activated ability that makes him most intriguing.  He can Fling creatures directly at opponents for damage.  You also gain life each time he does this.  That is pretty sweet.

So most Brion decks have a pretty strong theft suite of cards, but I did not want to go overboard with that.  As he has lifelink, I also went with a fairly strong life gain component.  This color combination has a notoriously difficult time with card draw.  I tried to get around this problem by going for card advantage, meaning recursion on top of draw as well as some deck thinning components that white brings to the table.  Here is the deck that I came up with:

Brion Stoutarm
A Commander Deck
1 Adarkar Valkyrie
1 Akroma, Angel of Fury
1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
1 Anger
1 Archon of Justice
1 Artisan of Kozilek
1 Balefire Liege
1 Battlegrace Angel
1 Bringer of the Red Dawn
1 Brion Stoutarm
1 Desolation Giant
1 Duergar Hedge-Mage
1 Duplicant
1 Exalted Angel
1 Felidar Sovereign
1 Gerrard Capashen
1 Glory
1 Hamletback Goliath
1 Hoarding Dragon
1 Karmic Guide
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Knollspine Dragon
1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
1 Preacher
1 Serra Ascendant
1 Serra Avatar
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Stalking Vengeance
1 Transcendent Master
1 Viashino Heretic
1 Weathered Wayfarer
31 cards

Other Spells
1 Boros Signet
1 Coalition Relic
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Journeyer's Kite
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Loxodon Warhammer
1 Mana Crypt
1 Phyrexian Processor
1 Seer's Sundial
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Well of Lost Dreams
1 Worn Powerstone
1 Ajani Goldmane
1 Angelic Chorus
1 Land Tax
1 Marshal's Anthem
1 Runed Halo
1 Vicious Shadows
1 Comet Storm
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Grab the Reins
1 Return to Dust
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Act of Treason
1 Austere Command
1 Evangelize
1 Rolling Earthquake
1 Traitorous Instinct
1 Wrath of God
31 cards
1 Arid Mesa
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Boros Garrison
1 Diamond Valley
1 Emeria, The Sky Ruin
1 Flagstones of Trokair
1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Mistveil Plains
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Rugged Prairie
1 Sacred Foundry
7 Snow-Covered Mountain
12 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Spinerock Knoll
1 Strip Mine
1 Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
1 Temple of the False God
1 Thawing Glaciers
1 Vivid Crag
1 Vivid Meadow
38 cards

serra avatar


This seems like a fun deck.  I will now break down the card selection a little further:


Bringer of the Red DawnPreacherGrab the ReinsAct of TreasonEvangelizeTraitorous Instinct 
Bringer of the Red Dawn, Preacher, Grab the Reins, Act of Treason, Evangelize, Traitorous Instinct:  It is always nice to take an opponents large creature and fling it at them, or some other pesky person.  What I really was looking for were repeatable methods of theft in these colors, so that is why I went with the Bringer and Preacher.  Remember, you can play the Bringer in Commander even though it has other colored mana symbols in the text box.  In addition, Evangelize is a great, repeatable late game theft card as well.

Grab the Reins is just a useful card in general.  The other two sorceries are nice, with Act of Treason being low casting cost and Traitorous Instinct not requiring as much red mana as Unwilling Recruit while still providing a power boost, which Brion likes as well. 

artisan of kozilek

Adarkar ValkyrieArtisan of KozilekKarmic GuideSword of Light and ShadowMarshal's Anthememeria, the sky ruin 
Adarkar Valkyrie, Artisan of Kozilek, Karmic Guide, Sword of Light and Shadow, Marshal's Anthem, Emeria, the Sky Ruin:  Obviously one method of getting card advantage is to re-use creatures that have already died.  The Valkyrie is nice in that you can return creatures immediately that are flung.  With over 30 creatures in the deck and a heavy emphasis on White, Marshal's Anthem often gets more than one creature from the graveyard when it is played.

I had a difficult time choosing between Sword of Fire and Ice and Sword of Light and Shadow.  I only had room for one in the deck, and both have positives that they bring to the table.  However, in the end I went with SoL&S as it compliments the life gain sub-theme.  Feel free to switch it out if you want though. 

Card Draw  
well of lost dreams

Seer's SundialSkullclampWell of Lost DreamsMikokoro, Center of the SeaKnollspine Dragon 
Seer's Sundial, Skullclamp, Well of Lost Dreams, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, Knollspine Dragon:  Aside from the dragon, these are all colorless ways to draw cards.  Although Mikokoro draws for your opponents as well, you get to control when the draw occurs.  Plus, you don't have to waist a non-land spot on it.  The Clamp is cheap to equip, so you can put it on a guy before you Fling it to draw more cards.  And with the significant life gain in the deck, Well of Lost Dreams can turn into a house.

I will admit that it wasn't until after I put this deck together and started writing this article that I realized that Mind's Eye is not in here.  I would definitely sub out the Sundial for it.  But if you don't have an Eye, Sundial can fit, and it is very cheap as well. 

Life Gain  
Angelic Chorus

Balefire LiegeBattlegrace AngelExalted Angelfelidar sovereignGerrard CapashenSerra AscendantTranscendent MasterLoxodon WarhammerSword of Light and Shadowangelic chorusAjani GoldmaneDiamond Valley 
Balefire Liege, Battlegrace Angel, Exalted Angel, Felidar Sovereign, Gerrard Capashen, Serra Ascendant, Transcendent Master, Loxodon Warhammer, Sword of Light and Shadow, Angelic Chorus, Ajani Goldmane, Diamond Valley:  Aside from Brion himself, there is actually a large amount of life gain in this deck.  I have found that getting above 50 life is both good and bad.  First, it provides a significant cushion for you if you get hit by something large and scary.  However, it does tend to put a target on your head.

Some of these cards are more fun than others.  Angelic Chorus is in here specifically to combo with Phyrexian Processor.  Good times. 

Mana Help  
land tax

Thawing GlaciersWeathered WayfarerBoros SignetCoalition RelicDarksteel IngotJourneyer's KiteMana CryptWorn PowerstoneLand Tax 
Thawing Glaciers, Weathered Wayfarer, Boros Signet, Coalition Relic, Darksteel Ingot, Journeyer's Kite, Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Worn Powerstone, Land Tax:  Some of the stuff in here costs a lot, and you are going to want to use your mana to the fullest most turns.  So there is a good amount of artifact acceleration.  The damage from Mana Crypt is usually off-set by the large amount of life gain in the deck.

In addition, cards like the Kite, Land Tax, and to an extent Glaciers and Wayfarer provide long term incremental advantage as well. 

On top of all that, there is a suite of cards that are flingables, meaning large dudes or dude creators that are meant to be there specifically for Brion to toss into the sky.  This includes Hamletback Goliath, which is just a big dude in general, Serra Avatar, who automatically doubles your life total once flung, and Phyrexian Processor, which can make really big minion tokens and instantly return any investment made.  Kiki-jiki is in here to help provide a constant supply of things to toss, even if you just toss a Sad Robot over and over.  Stalking Vengeance loves it when you fling huge guys too.

There probably isn't as much mass destruction as you would expect in a deck with these colors.  I only had Wrath of God, Austere Command, Desolation Giant and Rolling Earthquake (which works well with your life gain component).  If you wanted to add more, I would stick with stuff that primarily took out creatures.  A lot of your enchantments and artifacts are useful, and you won't want to have to drop Akroma's Vengeance, wiping out your Phyrexian Processor and Angelic Chorus just to get rid of a dragon you can't handle at the moment. 

I know that the inclusion of Felidar Sovereign can rub some people the wrong way.  However, I don't think he is completely busted.  Most of the time playing him just puts a large target on your forehead.  And the only game I won with him was against a Gaddock Teeg player.  Anytime I removed  Teeg from play, he just popped right back.  On top of that, the commander bug was still around where their abilities were in play, even if the commander wasn't, meaning I couldn't play any non-creature spell that cost more than 4 the entire game.  But I was able to win on the back of the Sovereign, and just because of that win, I am willing to keep him in here.

III.  The Game:  Fight!

This is one of the few games where I got hit by Emrakul and lived to tell the tale.  Here are my opponents for this game:

kamahl, fist of krosaAyumi, the last visitorDarigaaz, the igniter

Although I have seen Ayumi played in a deck, I have never seen her used as a general.  She has a high power to mana cost ratio, so that's great.  And I think she could prevent people from dropping legendary lands like Academy Ruins or Phyrexian Tower, which is helpful also.  I have no idea what to expect other than that, though.  Kamahl usually goes with tokens and ramp, to Overrun you.  Darigaaz is a fun Jund beater who can really hurt mono-colored decks.  I win the roll. Here is my opening hand:
For some reason I keep, but this is a bad hand. First, there are only two lands.  I usually want at least three. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that other than Lightning Greaves, there are no early turn plays. Obviously you can drop the Warhammer on turn 3 if you draw a land, but then what?  You have to hope for another land so you can play Brion.  The only other play is Marshal's Anthem, but you don’t want to waste that card unless there is something is in the graveyard, and Bringer costs a bunch.  How will our hero overcome this obstacle?
Round 1
Me: Draw Mountain, play Vivid Meadow.  Of course, all my bitching about keeping a crappy hand is moot if I draw another land after this.
K: Oran-Rief, the Vastwood.
A: Forest.
D: Reliquary Tower, Shadowblood Egg.
Round 2
Me: Draw Plains, play Mountain, Lightning Greaves.
K: Forest.
A: Forest, Gaea's Touch, Forest.
gaea's touch
Interesting accel in mono-green.
D: Golgari Rot Farm, bouncing Reliquary Tower.
Round 3
Me: Draw Vivid Crag and play it.
K: Forest, Yavimaya Elder.
A: Ohran Viper, Boseiju, Who Shelters All.
D: Reliquary Tower, cycles Krosan Tusker for a Swamp.
Round 4
Me: Draw Traitorous Instinct. Play Plains, Brion, and put the Greaves on him.  Attack K, who blocks with the Elder, searching up some Forests. I go to (44).
K: Forest, Masked Admirers, drawing a card.
A: Attacks D with the Viper (39), drawing a card. Sacs the Gaea's Touch and uses Boseiju mana (38) to cast Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang.
D: Mountain. Uses the Death side of Life/Death to bring Krosan Tusker back to play (32).
Round 5
Me: Draw Enlightened Tutor. Play Rugged Prairie, then cast Traitorous Instinct targeting the Tusker. I attack D with his tusker (24) and Fling him at A with Brion (30), going up to (52).
K: Forest, then Beacon of Creation, getting 4 insects. 
beacon of creation
Friend of mono-green decks.
Pumps them to 2/2 with Oran-Reif.  As you can see, enjoys the use of tokens.  Attacks me with the Admirers (49).
A: Forest, Troll Ascetic. Attacks me with the Viper (48) drawing a card. 
D: Forest, Manamorphose, Spellbreaker Behemoth.  Large beasts are always fun.
Round 6
Me: Draw Darksteel Ingot and play it.  I'm not going to play the Warhammer yet, as Brion already has lifelink and I'm not planning on attacking anyone due to the blockers out there right now.
K: Thawing Glaciers, then Skullclamp, equipping an insect token. D loses connection at this point, and after waiting 5 minutes, we boot him. K attacks me with the Clamped insect (45). Then Clamps another insect.
A: Forest, then equips the Viper with Tatsumasa.   
Round 7
Me: Draw Solemn Simulacrum, and cast it, getting a Plains.
K: Forest. Activates Glaciers, getting a Forest. Attacks me with the Clamped insect (42). 
A: Forest. Attacks K with the Viper, who block with an insect. At the end of turn, I use Enlightened Tutor to search up Phyrexian Processor, since I want to start throwing stuff. I then fling the Sad Robot at K (38), going up to (44), and drawing the Processor.
Round 8
Me: Draw Boros Garrison. I then play the Processor, paying 15 life (29). Then play Boros Garrison, bouncing a Mountain.
Aside:  Now, the question is, how much life should you pay to the Processor usually? Well, if you can pump out a token and fling it on the same turn, might as well pay as much as you can, going down to around 5. You will immediately gain all the life back, and put a pretty big hurt on someone. However, I was playing against two mono-green opponents so I had to worry about artifact destruction, and I couldn’t even make a token right away. That is why I only paid 15.
At this point, I attack A with Brion, completely forgetting about Tatsumasa’s ability. A makes the Dragon and blocks Brion, making me go up to (33). I then cast the Loxodon Warhammer.
K: Avenger of Zendikar, creating 7 plants. Then plays Thawing Glaciers, pumping them. 
A: Attacks me with the Viper (32) and K with the dragon (33). Then casts Primal Growth, kicked, sacing the dragon. Tatsumasa returns to play and A puts 3 Forests into play. Then plays Primordial Sage.
Round 9
Me: Draw Akroma, Angel of Fury. There is some good stuff out there, and I don't want things to get out of hand.  Play Mountain, the Wrath of God. Create a 15/15 Minion token, put the Greaves on it, and attack K (18).
I kinda hate this token art though.
K: Forest, then uses Glaciers to get another Forest. Then Beacon of Creation, getting 7 insects, pumping them with Oran-Rief. It is funny how Beacons always end up near the top when you shuffle them back into your library. Then SDT, spinning it.
A: Plays Ayumi and a Forest.
Round 10
Me: Draw a Plains and play it. Create another Minion and equip the Greaves. Also equip the original Minion with Warhammer. I attack K with the Hammered Minion, who blocks with all the insects, but still loses 2 life (16). I attack A with the Greaved Minion, who once again creates the dragon from Tatsumasa and blocks, returning Tatsumasa to play. I then play red Akroma, morphed.
K: Forest, then an entwined Tooth and Nail. Searches up Woodfall Primus and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, putting both into play. That noise you just heard was me crapping my pants.  The Primus takes out my Warhammer. The Clamps the Primus.
A: Forest, then Myojin of Life's Web. Equips Ayumi with Tatsumasa. 
Round 11
Me: Draw Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion and play it. I then play Brion. My plan was to attack K with the Minion, and if he blocked, fling it at him. However, I forget to put the Greaves on Brion before my attack phase. I attack K with the Minion, then realize my mistake. He blocks the Minion with his Primus, drawing 2 cards from the Skullclamp. Primus persists, targeting my Lightning Greaves, so I can’t even sac the Minion token this turn. I just rushed ahead too fast and didn't think things through before acting.  Dumb.  I create another Minion, because I know where Emrakul is going next turn.
K: Attacks me with Emrakul. I sac a bunch of land and the morphed Akroma. Here is what my board looks like now:
I drop to (35). My thought is that I can use Marshal's Anthem to get red Akroma back next turn, or make another Minion. I wanted to make sure I had options open. However, K follows up by casting Krosan Grip, targeting my Processor (I'm glad that I made an extra token last turn), then casting Duplicant, getting rid of Brion. He then plays Glaciers and equips the Primus with Skullclamp again.
A: Plays O-Naginata and equips Ayumi, who is now a 15/8 trampler. 
Anyone watch "The League"?  Only other time I've heard of this weapon.
Attacks K with Ayumi and the Myojin. He blocks Ayumi with the Primus, but dies anyway, having taken 18 damage.
Round 12
Me: Draw Return to Dust. I can’t get rid of Tatsumasa yet, because he has a lot of land untapped and can just turn the sword into a dragon in response to my removal spell. Instead, I attack with both of my 15/15 Minions. A uses Tatsumasa to make a dragon, which blocks one Minion, and drops to (11). The dragon dies, and Tatsumasa comes back. But now he only has 3 mana untapped. So I use Return to Dust, getting rid of Tatsumasa and O-Naginata.
A: Puts Keen Sense on Ayumi, and attacks with her only. I go to (28) and he draws a card.
Round 13
Me: Draw Sword of Light and Shadow. I attack with both Minions again. A removes the counter from the Myojin, dropping Vigor into play. He blocks both with Vigor and the Myojin. Vigor dies, but the Myojin is now 23/23! I then play Marshal's Anthem, kicked once, returning Akroma, Angel of Fury to play.
A: Attacks me with Ayumi again (21). Plays a Forest. I have taken 14 general damage now, so no more taking it. 
Round 14
Me: Draw Skullclamp. Play Sword of Light and Shadow, and equip Akroma. Attack with just Akroma, playing conservatively just in case he has any more surprises. A drops to (2), I go up to (24) and return Solemn Simulacrum to my hand.
A: Attacks me with Ayumi and the Myojin. I block with the Minions. One Minion dies, while Ayumi dies as well. Plays Azusa, and concedes.

IV.  Conclusion

After Emrakul dropped, it was pretty much just a race to get it or the player that controlled it off the board.  So just getting that far was a win.

You can find the deck for download HERE.  It comes out to around $125, which is on the cheaper side of the decks that I have been building. I had a bunch of fun with this deck.  Sure, it has weaknesses to combo and graveyard recursion, but by tossing huge creatures at your opponents, you can usually keep up with them.  People know what to expect from Brion usually, so as a known entity you aren't the biggest threat.  But once your life gets over 60, you will become a target.  Just be prepared.

Something else you may have noticed was the lack of Sunforger in the deck.  Typically this color combo really likes using the Forger as a reusable tutor.  However, I wasn't really using that many instants, so I didn't think it was worth it in this deck.  To make the deck more favorable to using Sunforger you are going to have to do some decent restructuring to the deck.  But you would probably want to include Disenchant, Shattering Pulse, and possibly Master Warcraft.

Next week Lythand and I are going to split up the review of Scars of Mirrodin for Commander.  I am going to take the artifacts and Green cards, while Lythand will take the White, Blue, Red and Black cards.  I will leave it up to you guys to figure out who gets the better cards.  So until next week!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com


Hey Leviathan, I'm definately by Xaoslegend at Wed, 10/13/2010 - 03:31
Xaoslegend's picture

Hey Leviathan,

I'm definitely a big Boros guy myself, enemy colors have been my favorite 2 color combos in magic for a long time. Maybe it was from starting in Invasion block with busted enemy color cards like Pernicious Deed, Vindicate, Spiritmonger, Lightning Angel ect. My favorites are probably White/Black then White/Red then Black/Green then Green/Blue then Blue/Red.

I really like the pace of your articles and your use of different sized graphics, it really moves things along nicely and gives it a somewhat musical tempo.

These games tend to be pretty epic and you describe it well, gj on the win.


great article, you also have by seydaneen at Wed, 10/13/2010 - 17:42
seydaneen's picture

great article, you also have a good understanding of women. razia is indeed too skinny. If i'd fight for an angel that would be the cutie on the art of glorious anthem

by the way why no mark of mutiny?

There's always Deathless by Xaoslegend at Wed, 10/13/2010 - 17:52
Xaoslegend's picture

There's always Deathless Angel heh.

I dunno, I think Razia is pretty reasonable. She's got some good muscle and it's not like her stomach goes in or anything(or are you just looking at her ta-ta's, hrmm?). Cerianly women that are a bit more substantial are still great looking but heck I like all sorts of types of women so long as they have that certian something. (just don't tell my wife that lol)


Are we going to have a wet by MMogg at Wed, 10/13/2010 - 18:16
MMogg's picture

Are we going to have a wet feather competition?

My vote for hottest angels are Matthew Wilson's: Herald of Serra and Serra Advocate.

Leviathan, I'd like to see a small section at the end of your articles (maybe as part of the conclusion) where you mention some cards you saw as MVPs, especially cards you don't see often (that others play, of course).

Hey, I would definitely not by Leviathan at Wed, 10/13/2010 - 19:21
Leviathan's picture

Hey, I would definitely not kick her out of bed. But considering the cost (8 mana) and the headaches (she probably brings the sword to bed with her, and the feathers probably get everywhere), she seems like she would be pretty high maintenance (lots of expensive dinners before you get to second base) and not worth it.

When my wife and I first met, we were at a bar standing in line. The bartender was smoking hot by any standard (dark hair, dark skin, sort of mediterranean), but a completely different type than my wife (tall, blonde, athletic, fair skinned). So in an effort to gauge my interest, she asked me the types of women I like. My response? "I like 'em all!" I'm not the smartest guy in the world, obviously.

The cards that I see people playing that I think are interesting are the individual cards I post in the reports. Sometimes there aren't that many that are "unsung heroes." Everyone knows that Tooth and Nail, Woodfall Primus, and Emrakul are good. I guess the one that I didn't really mention was Tatsumasa. The Ayumi player had enough mana to activate it as a blocker more than once.

As for this deck, the Processor just rocks.

What's the next card in? by bossmats at Sat, 10/16/2010 - 18:07
bossmats's picture

What would be the next card you would put in for EDH since Bringer can't be in there?

There are a couple of paths by Leviathan at Sat, 10/16/2010 - 20:32
Leviathan's picture

There are a couple of paths you can take. You can try and shore up your weaknesses to combo or graveyard recursion by adding something like Aven Mindcensor or Tormod's Crypt.

You can also replace it with a one shot theft effect, like Conquering Manticore (my favorite of these because it leaves a body behind), Unwilling Recruit, or Mark of Mutiny.

Or you can go a slightly different route, by usine Mimic Vat or Echo Chamber. These guys give you things to chuck, but don't get rid of threats. However, they are repeatable, which is what I liked most about the Bringer. So I would personally go with something like this.