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Standard Boros Heroic Deck and Sideboard Guide

Climb the Standard ladder heroically with our Deck Guide for Boros Heroic: Target your creatures with spells that grow them, and blitz down your opponents out of nowhere!

As I mentioned in my Standard Izzet Prowess Deck Guide for the early March of the Machine meta, I do believe that getting aggressive is the way to go early when people are still figuring stuff out. Boros Heroic is another take on a linear, proactive shell that wants to close the game before the opponent is allowed to play their Invoke Despair.

This deck could have already been played before March of the Machine. However, it got a few toys that elevate the strategy, namely Dusk Legion Duelist, Khenra Spellspear, Surge of Salvation and Angelic Intervention. Let’s take a look at what those cards bring to the table.

Boros Heroic
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $68.81
Standard
best of 3
0 mythic
12 rare
21 uncommon
27 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (8)
Sorceries (8)
4
Ancestral Anger
$1.40
Enchantments (4)
Lands (22)
7
Mountain
$2.45
7
Plains
$2.45
1
Sundown Pass
$7.99
2
Thran Portal
$0.98
60 Cards
$48.94
15 Cards
$68.01

Deck Tech

Threats

Monastery Swiftspear is a card you can’t build an aggressive shell without. It puts pressure from the earliest turns, grows which each spell cast, and can always be deployed later in the game thanks to haste.

In this shell, a particularly strong theme that will be visible across all the creatures is that they become bigger and hit harder while you’re protecting them. The opponent might wait for the best moment to Go for the Throat it in combat but then you give it protection from black and deal even more damage.

While other threats have to wait an entire turn cycle to start putting pressure, Swiftspear can be played on a penultimate turn with a flurry of spells as backup to crash in for lethal unexpectedly.

What’s better than growing a creature for a turn? Growing it permanently of course! Electrostatic Infantry gains counters for each instant or sorcery cast and they stay on, contrary to the prowess buff. The cost for such an upgrade is pretty steep as Infantry costs twice as much as Swiftspear but thankfully we don’t have to choose between them – we can play both.

The fact that it has trample makes it great in combat, since it cannot be infinitely chumped by Spirited Companions of the world. Once it grows to a significant size, it will have to be dealt with by removal and it won’t be contested in combat. Consequently, holding up protection is going to be a winning line to ride this Wizard to victory.

Illuminator Virtuoso kills very fast. It’s no surprise that double strike is the best aggressive mechanic and it scales very well. Conniving twice already makes it hit for 6 damage every turn. On top of that, it still has the first strike effect so taking it down in combat is going to be tough.

In addition to increasing in size, connive is also card selection thanks to which you get to sculpt your hand. There will be times when you have too many tricks and too few creatures or the other way around. Virtuoso will help you filter through those cards, all while growing and being more threatening.

Illuminator Virtuoso with Homestead Courage is a deadly combination that will put the opponent on a very fast clock.

Khenra Spellspear is a new card that wields prowess very well. It fits the theme of growing so that checks out. It also has trample so it can be compared to Electrostatic Infantry. The big upside it has is the transformation into a 3/3 threat with double prowess, trample, and built-in protection in the form of ward 2. It’s a good mana sink later in the game where you might be running low on cards or you don’t want to overextend into a potential mass removal spell.

Remember that you can transform only at sorcery speed so it cannot act as a combat trick of sorts.

A new card and only nonland rare in the deck. Dusk Legion Duelist has been excellent thanks to it drawing an extra card every single turn. Decks like these sometimes can run into the issue of not having enough resources to compete after one or two removal spells have been played. Duelist changes the dynamic completely. Homestead Courage is a single card that ensures double trigger. Multiple copies of Courage translate directly into a steady flow of cards, some of which may be subsequent copies of Courage.

One key interaction is turn one Kumano Faces Kakkazan and then turn two Dusk Legion Duelist. It will enter play with a counter thanks to second chapter’s trigger and hence immediately draw a card upon entry. The opponent doesn’t even have a window to cast Cut Down, as it immediately enters as a 3/3.

Last but not least Angelic Intervention is a protection spell that also puts a counter. So what’s better than saving your creature? Saving it and drawing a card. Make-your-own Veil of Summer.

Secretly one of the strongest cards in the deck. The real highlight is its second chapter, making the creature played immediately bigger. It has powerful applications with the aforementioned Duelist but, for instance, getting your Illuminator Virtuoso as a 2/2 right off the bat is not irrelevant.

The fact that it turns into a creature is great at putting even more pressure on the opponent. Combined with the initial ping from the first chapter, you’re getting a lot of damage bang for your single red pip.

It also triggers prowess which is a very tasty cherry on top.

Spells

You can’t have a heroic-style shell without a good assortment of spells. Let’s delve into those now.

A single white mana for an instant speed protection. That’s all the deck really needs so those effects alone would make the cut. On top of that though, we’re getting scry1 which might not seem like a big deal but all those card selection effects do add up. Between this scry, Virtuoso connive and Duelist draw, we get to see a good chunk of cards each game.

Last but not least, it gives indestructible so it can be used just as a way to win in combat rather than a counter to a piece of removal.

Another new card. Surge of Salvationin most cases will act as a straight-up protection spell. However, it has multiple other use cases.

First, it does not target. It provides hexproof to all your creatures. It means that it could fizzle multiple spells at a time. On top of that, it gives you hexproof. It protects you against discard like Duress, burn spells, and most importantly Invoke Despair! When it removes the only legal target, the whole spell fizzles.

Furthermore, it prevents all the damage that would be dealt to your creatures by red and/or black creatures. When playing an aggro mirror or against black-based midrange decks, you can engage in combat, allow all the blocks to happen and then blow the opponent out by making your creatures the only threats that will actually deal damage. It could be a one-sided Wrath of God in creature-heavy and combat-centric matchups.

That’s a lot for just a single mana.

Homestead Courage is the best Dusk Legion Duelist enabler. It’s also two cards in one essentially. For other creatures like Illuminator Virtuoso, it grows them (which works great with double strike) and triggers connive to grow them further.

The targeted threat gets vigilance as well. It’s relevant when you play against a deck that could want to attack you on the backswing, since you’re putting pressure on them but also keeping blockers at the ready. Moreover, it comes in handy against effects that care about a creature being tapped like, most notably, The Wandering Emperor.

Ancestral Anger can flip games on its head. It cantrips, so it can’t ever be bad, since you can always cash it in for another card. It gives a bigger and bigger buff, depending on how many you’ve cast this game already. Crucially though, it gives trample. Turning a 4/4 Illuminator Virtuoso into a trampler will catch the opponent off guard and totally throw off all the combat math they may have tried to pre-plan for.

Angelic Intervention is twice as expensive compared to Loran's Escape or Surge of Salvation but it does have its merits. It puts a counter on a creature which makes it hit harder or straight up draw a card like in Duelist’s case. It also gives actual protection keyword wise.

Protection does a lot and it can be remembered thanks to an acronym – DEBT. The creature with protection cannot be:

  • Dealt damage
  • Equipped or enchanted
  • Blocked
  • Targeted

A lot of applications come into this effect. You can ensure that your creature attacks in unblocked or, after blocks, isn’t dealt damage so it survives but kills the other creature. It also specifies colorless which can come up in the face of cards like Reckoner Bankbuster wanting to block.


Best of One

Boros Heroic Best of One
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $27.61
Standard
best of 3
0 mythic
12 rare
21 uncommon
27 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (8)
Sorceries (8)
4
Ancestral Anger
$1.40
Enchantments (4)
Lands (22)
7
Mountain
$2.45
7
Plains
$2.45
1
Sundown Pass
$7.99
2
Thran Portal
$0.98
60 Cards
$48.94

The Best of One version aligns with the main deck of the Best of Three version.


Budget

Boros Heroic Budget
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $9.82
Standard
best of 3
0 mythic
0 rare
24 uncommon
36 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (10)
Sorceries (8)
4
Ancestral Anger
$1.40
Enchantments (4)
Lands (22)
11
Mountain
$3.85
11
Plains
$3.85
60 Cards
$30.84

The deck is very easy to budget-ify. Lands can be turned into basics and the main deck stays largely the same. This shell is a good way to start playing Standard.


Matchups and Sideboard Guide

Surge of Salvation Art by Dominik Mayer
Surge of Salvation Art by Dominik Mayer

Grixis Midrange

InOut
+2 The Wandering Emperor-2 Angelic Intervention
+1 Jaya, Fiery Negotiatior-2 Khenra Spellspear
+2 Monastery Mentor-1 Ancestral Anger

A value matchup. While they’re trying to kill everything on sight, we will diversify our threat base with Planeswalkers. On top of that, Monastery Mentor can go wide and when complemented by protection it’s going to be very tough to deal with. Don’t run it out turn three though. Always make sure you can cast a bunch of spells to generate tokens.

Mono White Midrange

InOut
+2 Monastery Mentor-2 Angelic Intervention
+1 Jaya, Fiery Negotiatior-2 Khenra Spellspear
+2 End the Festivities-1 Ancestral Anger

Another value-ish matchup. Monastery Mentor is going to shine. The main ways to remove it are sorcery speed so if you give it hexproof, it will be untouchable for the duration of that turn. Try to avoid attacking with it so that you don’t walk into The Wandering Emperor. End the Festivities is a way to clear the way against all the Wedding Announcement tokens or Spirited Companions.

Esper Legends

InOut
+4 Strangle-2 Angelic Intervention
+2 Obliterating Bolt-3 Loran's Escape
-1 Surge of Salvation

Very creature-orientated matchup. They can clog up the ground pretty easily and cards like Thalia, Guardian of Thrabenare a nightmare. If they pivot into more control, keep some more protection in.

Selesnya Toxic

InOut
+4 Strangle-2 Angelic Intervention
+2 Obliterating Bolt-3 Loran's Escape
+2 End the Festivities-3 Surge of Salvation

I don’t expect any removal and so I cut on protection. I’d rather have my plan revolve around establishing threats and growing them whilst killing opposing creatures. Knowing that Illuminator Virtuoso is likely to survive is a big game. If they show signs that they side in a lot of removal against you, adjust by keeping more protection in and trim on removal.

Boros Prowess Mirror

InOut
+4 Strangle-2 Khenra Spellspear
+2 The Wandering Emperor-2 Loran's Escape

The mirror is going to be tricky, as both players will have access to protection, removal, and threats. I’d go with most of the main deck configuration, just adding removal. However, if you feel like the games slow down considerably, you can add in Monastery Mentor.

Tips and Tricks

  • You can grow your creatures out of range of removal like Abrade or Cut Down, fizzling it.
  • Etching of Kumano replacement effect is relevant, as there are multiple graveyard-related synergies in the format like Phoenix Chick of Squee, Dubious Monarch.
  • If your opponent kills your creature in response to Ancestral Anger, you won’t get to draw a card.
  • You can stack protections so that your creature cannot be blocked by, say, white or blue creatures.
  • Once you’ve given your creature protection from a colour, even you can’t use spells of that colour on it. It can come up when you intend to give pro white but also want to cast Homestead Courage. Play Courage first, then give protection.
  • You can put counters on Dusk Legion Duelist on the opponent’s turn to draw a card thanks to Angelic Intervention.

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Skura
Skura

Also known as Skura or IslandsInFront on Twitter and YouTube, Filip started his career upon the release of Gatecrash and has been passing the turn in all formats ever since. He coaches and creates written and video content, mainly centered around the control archetype. He is passionate about Magic game theory and countering spells. Outside of Magic, he is a fan of snooker/pool, chess and Project Management.

Articles: 112

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