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By: gwyned, gwyned
Jan 14 2015 1:00pm
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I. Introduction

Welcome to this special edition of Standard Pauper Deck Tech. Over the next three weeks, I will be taking an in-depth look at the top three decks in the Standard Pauper metagame. The purpose of this mini-series will be to offer an analysis of the components, a quick run-down of the deck's strategy and Sideboard, comment on a few different build options for the deck, and finish off with a video-cast of a sample match showcasing the deck. Today, we'll start off with what has emerged as the top contender in the format, capturing the trophy for MPDC 27.09 as well as MTGOStrat's Community League #3, both of which used the Standard Pauper format. Without further ado I present Boros Heroic!

Anyone familiar with this format knows that the Heroic mechanic made a major impact in Standard Pauper. The ability to boost a creature's Power and Toughness by the act of simply targeting that creature has proven to be quite powerful, with cards like Akroan Skyguard, Satyr Hoplite, and Wingsteed Rider all proving to be quite strong, particular when paired with the excellent Bestow creatures. While Boros was already a presence in the metagame with the release of the Return to Ravnica block, it was the combination of these two mechanics that has propelled this Red and White archetype into the top spot in the format. Let's take a look at the decklist.

II. Decklist

Boros Heroic
1st place by gwyned in MPDC 27.09 (with thanks to DrChrisBakerDC for the list)
4 Akroan Skyguard
4 Lagonna-Band Trailblazer
4 Satyr Hoplite
3 Akroan Crusader
2 Ainok Bond-Kin
2 Jeskai Student
19 cards

Other Spells
4 Chosen by Heliod
4 Defiant Strike
4 Dragon Mantle
4 Feat of Resistance
4 Gods Willing
2 Inferno Fist
22 cards
6 Plains
5 Mountain
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Wind-Scarred Crag
19 cards

Dragon Mantle

III. Deck Strategy

The overall strategy for this deck is quite simple: play out your Heroic creatures, use your creature Auras to pump their stats while also drawing additional cards, shield them from removal with protection effects, and take your opponent out of the game before he or she can mount an effective defense. Chosen by Heliod, Defiant Strike, and Dragon Mantle all cycle when they come into play, with Dragon Mantle also allowing you to pump the enchanted creature for additional damage. Inferno Fist serves a similar role, in that while it does not cycle, it can be turned into Shock at any time. Of the Heroic creatures, Lagonna-Band Trailblazer is probably the most unusual choice, but it does an amazing job on both offense and defense, since your opponent will struggle to find any way to remove it without a considerable mana investment. Of the non-Heroic creatures, Ainok Bond-Kin has amazing synergy, since it will give First Strike on nearly all of your creatures, while Jeskai Student also benefits from all of the spells the deck plays. But the true all-stars of the deck are actually Feat of Resistance and Gods Willing. They function as premier combat tricks (boosting both Power and Toughness most of the time), sidestep all removal, and can even serve to make a creature unblockable, allowing you to swing in for the win with a well-timed alpha strike.

The Sideboard gives you some additional options against other aggressive decks, since your matchup against Control archetypes is already pretty favorable. Pillar of Light is excellent against other Heroic decks, and one of the best ways to take out rival Lagonna-Band Trailblazers. Hopeful Eidolon also gives you some needed Lifegain, which is absolutely critical to survive against other aggro decks like RDW or WW. Speaking of which, Scouring Sands is also very powerful against most versions of those two decks as well as against the token decks that are starting to come into favor. Finally, both Lightning Strike and Fall of the Hammer give the deck some needed spot-removal to take out those pesky blockers.

IV. Build Options

Unlike the other two dominant archetypes in Standard Pauper right now, there are at least three other archetypes that are quite similar to this one. The first one dispenses with Red to create a more traditional White Weenie. Nearly all the White creatures and spells from this list make it into the White Weenie build, but are supplemented by additional creatures such as Mardu Hordechief, Nyxborn Shieldmate, Sungrace Pegasus, and Wingsteed Rider. This list by BigBee is a great example of how this might take shape. Some versions instead choose to focus on tokens, utilizing Raise the Alarm, Triplicate Spirits, and Selfless Cathar, typically powered by an anthem-effect like Inspired Charge. This build by MyGalaxy exemplifies that design decision.

The second one goes the exact opposite direction, keeping the Red and tossing the White to form a Red Deck Wins style archetype. What you lose in the way of Heroic creatures, you make up for with aggressive creatures like Minotaur Skullcleaver and Borderland Marauder and with a full suite of burn spells such as Bolt of Keranos, Lightning Strike, and Magma Spray. The resulting deck, like this list by elagin, is less consistent, but faster and thus even more difficult for your opponent to interact with.

Recently, players have been instead opting to stay in Boros colors, but trade the Heroic creatures and Auras for tokens and other aggressive creatures. In some ways this archetype tries to keep the best from all the different options but goes wide rather than big, relying on both burn spells and anthem-effects like Trumpet Blast or Inspired Charge to punch through for the win. You can see what this might look like in this build by TiagoxSR.

V. The Match

For the Top 4 of MPDC 27.09, I was paired against the excellent MyGalaxy, who was piloting a strong White Weenie tokens build that he has played to great effect this season. Take a look:



VI. Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this Standard Pauper Deck Tech on the Boros Heroic archetype. In closing, let me remind you that you can check out all of my previous articles here on PureMTGO by clicking here. I also publish over on my blog on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and encourage you to keep up with all my projects there. You can get a sneak peek at any of my videos before they go live here at over on Simply search for "gwyned42," select one of my videocasts, and click the Subscribe button. You can keep up with everything I'm doing on Twitter at the username gwyned42; check out my profile here and click on Follow. Finally, I am the host of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, which is a weekly PRE featuring a Swiss tournament in the Standard Pauper format, with prizes awarded for the Top 8 finishers thanks to the sponsorship of MTGOTraders. New players are always welcome, so if you haven't done so before,  I encourage you to browse over to check out all the information and then come join us at 2:00pm EST / 7:00pm GMT in the #MPDC channel. Thanks for reading.

Finally, in case you missed it, the official announcement for the Standard Pauper Sealed League has gone live. Registration will be open until Friday, January 30th. Check out this post here for all the details, and don't miss this great event!


That list looks awfully by ahniwa at Wed, 01/14/2015 - 19:52
ahniwa's picture

That list looks awfully familiar. :)

Good article, and thanks for the league reminder. Going to sign up now!