GRN Draft #3 – Boros (7-2)
Boros has been very erratic for me this season. I tried drafting a couple 14-15 land low-curve Boros decks and kept flooding out (!?). Even though this one includes several cards I would have rather not played out of necessity (which I will discuss further), it was my most successful Boros deck. Not to say the others did awful, but I do think they underperformed whereas this one may have overperformed.
While Tajic is the MVP (and only rare) of the deck, I think Healer’s Hawk is extremely strong in this format. Getting multiple birds really helps put on early pressure, and I drafted 2x Parhelion Patrol to mentor them and keep the evasive pressure up. The goblins are both interesting. Cratermaker tends to be a grizzly bear early and then removal in the mid game, and I really like that flexibility. There aren’t many playable artifacts though so don’t expect to use the second ability. Banneret is extremely good with cards like righteous blow and take heart. I love using him to mentor something turn 3 and then use a 1 mana trick to keep him alive and do it again the next turn. It is also worth sacrificing him to pump something like Parhelion patrol and keep the mentor train going. I have to say I think Truefire Captain is overrated. I would never cut her, but the mana cost is prohibitive sometimes, particularly in an archetype that wants to run 16 untapped lands or less. Still, landing the Captain can often have a huge impact so it was worth it in this deck. If I was intentionally drafting a low-curve Boros (14-15 lands) I would take a Skyknight Legionnaire over her though, which is an important card notably absent from this deck (didn’t see any).
The Supporting Cast
While Fresh-Faced Recruit and Wojek Bodyguard are your traditionally good 2 & 3 drops at common, Fire Urchin and Piston-Fist Cyclops were quite unusual. I decided to include them after picking up 2x Direct Current which ended up working out pretty well. There was a turn or two where I had Cyclops in play and couldn’t attack, but mostly things went according to plan. I figured both would get in there when I played Cosmotronic Wave at least. Intrusive Packbeast is something I tend to include one of in a 16 mana Boros deck as an additional way to clear out blockers.
As I mentioned before, having 2x Direct Current opened up some possibilities and is just a great card overall. Even if it isn’t shocking creatures it can go to the dome, and I won at least two games that way. Luminous bonds is another way to clear out blockers, and is superior to Demotion in race scenarios (although I love playing Demotion in low curve Boros decks). Maniacal Rage really exemplifies the weirdness of this set in limited. In almost any other limited format the card would be terrible, but it is actually quite good in Boros. Especially equipping one of my 3 Healer Hawks on turn two with it felt great, and I would have ran another one if I saw it. Sworn Companions is generally cut from Boros, but I felt it had enough synergy with enabling Piston-Fist Cyclops to attack and getting mentored by 2x Parhelion Patrol or Wojek Bodyguard to be worth playing. Tenth District Guard and Goblin Locksmith are cards I always want to cut but unfortunately needed to fill out the curve.
I think Boros is a great option in Guilds of Ravnica Limited. It really doesn’t require any rares to function, and when it curves out it is extremely difficult to stop. When you are drafting remember that your opponents are going to have a lot of ways to stop you on the ground, so prioritize flyers. Combat tricks are good to keep your creatures attacking, but don’t go crazy drafting them. You want to have at least 16-17 creatures in this deck to maximize your chances of curving out and taking advantage of the mentor mechanic.