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Sunrise Cavalier by John Di Giovanni

Standard 2023 Boros Aggro Deck Guide – Rotation Proof Decks

Need something new to play, but don't want to spend Wildcards on a deck that won't be legal in a few months? DoggertQBones is back with another rotation proof deck as he goes over Boros Aggro and why Bo1's best deck will still be an excellent choice!

Hello everyone! Once again I’m coming back with a deck that you can use now, or after the Standard rotation in September! If you’re unfamiliar with this series, you can check out the link below for the other decks I’ve done so far!

With a full Standard rotation coming soon on September 1, 2022 (MTG Arena release date) with Dominaria United, understanding what’s going to be viable at the start of the format is going to be invaluable in navigating a brand new format. To that end, I’m going to be scouring the available decks in Standard, see what decks are likely to be strong even without the new set, and better yet, you can build and play them right now for a strong deck that won’t lose any new cards!

To accomplish this, the best way is to find strategies that are relatively contained within a set, have powerful synergies, and are strong enough to likely hold up to the test of time. To that end, if we’re going to talk decks, we may as well hit the best of the best going into the new format. As the current king of Bo1 Standard, it only makes sense that we have to cover what Boros Aggro might look like come September!

Let’s take a look at the deck.

2023 Boros Aggro
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $193.79
best of 3
9 mythic
21 rare
12 uncommon
18 common
Planeswalkers (1)
Instants (4)
Play with Fire
Sorceries (2)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (23)
Sundown Pass
60 Cards

Similar to a lot of my other choices, this deck doesn’t lose too much from the Standard rotation! However, unlike other decks, we do lose two pretty powerful pieces in Luminarch Aspirant and Needleverge Pathway, but that won’t be even close to enough to keep this deck down!

What makes this deck so potent is the efficiency of the gameplan. Your curve is better than pretty much every other deck in Standard and you get access to dirt cheap removal spells to force your threats through. Speaking of threats, lets break them down.

Like I always say, (almost) all good aggressive decks start at one mana. Hopeful Initiate is the one drop of choice, and while it may be really the only decent option we have, we’re quite happy to have it! As a scaling one drop, there are a surprising amount of games that it just snowballs out of control and becomes huge!

For our second one drop, we have the incredible Kumano Faces Kakkazan. Slice it any way you want, 3/3 in stats for one mana is just an obscenely powerful rate. Even if you don’t get value off of the second chapter, a one mana 2/2 that guaranteed one damage and likely will force the opponent to commit additional resources is more than worth it.

Moving up the curve we have the heart of the deck, the two drops. While we lost Luminarch Aspirant as our premier 2 drop, we have plenty of strong options to use. This list uses not just one, but both Adversaries to mostly fill out the curve! Bloodthirsty Adversary was already in the deck as a hasty 2/2 that could rebuy some removal in the late game, so no surprise to see it here.

Intrepid Adversary is our next choice which I’m reasonably happy with. A 2 mana 3/1 lifelink is a pretty nice stat line when you can force it through is quite nice, and being able to turn it into a lord for a little more mana can switch damage races into your favor.

While the typical Boros list only played 8 two mana creatures, to help replace Roil Eruption for curve purposes, I wanted two drops that had a bit more utility. The first one I chose was Ogre-Head Helm which seems like the perfect one of in the deck. This isn’t a particularly scary card on its own due to the small body and high Reconfigure cost, but top decking this in the late game may give you the velocity you need to end games.

For the other two drop, I included Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei for relatively similar reasons. Granting Haste in the late game can wildly affect damage races, and since we have Kumano Faces Kakkazan, Sunrise Cavalier, and Thundering Raiju, there’s a nonzero chance we can use the activated ability as well!

Moving up to our threes, we have the same ones we currently use! Sunrise Cavalier was the breakout star of this deck as simply being a slightly better Hulking Bugbear is actually quite good! I have long spoke the good word of the Bugbear so it’s not a big surprise to see one with more text get attention.

Then we have Brutal Cathar which is now the best Fiend Hunter variant going into September. Nabbing a creature and then potentially exiling another one is too juicy to pass up!

For the top of our curve, you know we’re playing Thundering Raiju. This card hits like a truck as it does a relatively decent Hellrider impersonation with Haste and a damage trigger before combat.

However, to fill out the final 1 ofs in the list, I have a singular The Wandering Emperor. This card doesn’t have any particular synergies, it’s just such a strong card it seems more than worth it to include.

While the vast majority of the deck is threats, we finally have some of our removal! Play with Fire is the best Shock variant to date as being able to get a Scry 1 when you’re looking for something is extremely welcome.

Then as our final piece of interaction, I opted for 2 Strangle. While this can’t replace Roil Eruption in the curve (or our hearts), having 3 damage for one mana is still quite the powerful rate.

Overall, this decks brutal efficiency is what makes it so potent now and it’s what’s going to keep it going moving into the new format.

Tips and Tricks

Thundering Raiju Art by Xavier Ribeiro
Thundering Raiju Art by Xavier Ribeiro
  • Keep in mind that Hopeful Initiate can use the activated ability to remove two counters from ANY of your creatures, not just Initiate itself.
  • While it’s sad to whiff on the second chapter of Kumano Faces Kakkazan, I would rarely sand bag it to try and get the counter. A one mana 2/2 is still good value.
  • You can use the “kicker” ability of Bloodthirsty Adversary without having a spell in the graveyard to grow your Adversary.
  • Remember that to activate the second ability on Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei, you need to attack with a modified creature, not just control one.
  • It isn’t unreasonable to let Day switch to Night rather than casting a spell with Sunrise Cavalier if the counter can help you out scale a threat, removal, or you’re sandbagging threats.
  • Be careful with the Day/Night cycle when casting Brutal Cathar as you’d hate to think you’re going to get an exile just to get a 3/3.
  • 99% of the time you want to spread out counters with Thundering Raiju, but be cognizant of the opponent’s potential removal as it may be better to grow the Raiju initially. Would hate to get it hit with Strangle!
  • This may be obvious, but don’t forget that you can put a stop on your upkeep to hit the opponent with Play with Fire to help smooth out your draws.
  • If you don’t want your opponent blocking your creature for whatever reason, you can run out The Wandering Emperor earlier in a turn and then use an ability at instant speed at any point that turn.

Thank you for reading, and for the current Standard iteration of the deck, check it out here:

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Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

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