FNM and States with Barely Boros

I realized a few weeks ago that I would be able to put together a more than capable Boros deck once Scars of Mirrodin rotated the Alara block out of standard. I still don’t have that much of an impressive card pool. Not enough Jaces to run Blue, not enough [mtg_card]Lotus Cobra[/mtg_card]s to run Green, etc. I’m working on it though, but right now I’m trying to use my restrictive card pool to try and work on my abilities as a deck builder. Maybe I’m wasting time, but hopefully I’ll be able to improve as a player and deck builder while building my collection. My original idea was an equipment deck relying pretty heavily on new cards from Scars. Here’s a sense of what it looked like:

4x [mtg_card]Goblin Guide[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Steppe Lynx[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Plated Geopede[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Goblin Gaveleer[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Stoneforge Mystic[/mtg_card]

2x [mtg_card]Spikeshot Elder[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Adventuring Gear[/mtg_card]

1x [mtg_card]Basilisk Collar[/mtg_card]

1x [mtg_card]Trusty Machete[/mtg_card]

1x [mtg_card]Sword of Vengeance[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Lightning Bolt[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Burst Lightning[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Searing Blaze[/mtg_card]

Lots of lands, most of which fetch other lands

I didn’t actually play this deck, which might have been a mistake. In discussions with my roommate and some other people, I ended up cutting the Mystics, which lead to a cascade of cutting the non-[mtg_card]Adventuring Gear[/mtg_card] equipments and the [mtg_card]Goblin Gaveleer[/mtg_card]s. The deck evolved into what basically amounted to mono-Red with an eight card white splash in the 75 (four [mtg_card]Steppe Lynx[/mtg_card] main, four Journey to Nowhere on the board). I also made the decision to main deck [mtg_card]Tunnel Ignus[/mtg_card] to try and get a leg up on Valakut and Eldrazi Green game one and possibly catch some folks using fetches for thinning or Jace purposes. I took the following to FNM Friday night:

Creatures:

4x [mtg_card]Steppe Lynx[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Goblin Guide[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Plated Geopede[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Tunnel Ignus[/mtg_card]

2x [mtg_card]Spikeshot Elder[/mtg_card]

Spells:

4x [mtg_card]Lightning Bolt[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Adventuring Gear[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Searing Blaze[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Burst Lightning[/mtg_card]

2x [mtg_card]Koth of the Hammer[/mtg_card]

2x [mtg_card]Arc Trail[/mtg_card]

Lands:

4x [mtg_card]Arid Mesa[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Scalding Tarn[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Marsh Flats[/mtg_card]

2x [mtg_card]Teetering Peaks[/mtg_card]

1x [mtg_card]Evolving Wilds[/mtg_card]

6x [mtg_card]Mountain[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Plains[/mtg_card]

Board:

3x [mtg_card]Manic Vandal[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Journey to Nowhere[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Act of Treason[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Zektar Shrine Expedition[/mtg_card]

2x [mtg_card]Arc Trail[/mtg_card]

1x [mtg_card]Tunnel Ignus[/mtg_card]

Here’s how it went:

Round 1: Naya Shaman

I feel pretty comfortable playing against [mtg_card]Fauna Shaman[/mtg_card]  decks, simply because the ludicrous amounts of burn in my deck do a very good job of shutting down the enablers (mana dorks/[mtg_card]Fauna Shaman[/mtg_card]s/Cobras/etc.). I won game one on the back of [mtg_card]Steppe Lynx[/mtg_card] and Geopede. I boarded in [mtg_card]Act of Treason[/mtg_card] and a couple of [mtg_card]Arc Trail[/mtg_card]s for the Ignuses and [mtg_card]Spikeshot Elder[/mtg_card]s, aiming to use spells to two for one to tempo out his enablers, and [mtg_card]Act of Treason[/mtg_card] an [mtg_card]Inferno Titan[/mtg_card] or something. Game two he ended up sticking a [mtg_card]Baneslayer Angel[/mtg_card] that I didn’t find an answer to, and he ended up racing me without a problem. Game three he was just heavily heavily land flooded, and I was able to hold back on a bunch of burn, making it not at all difficult to kill anything that he played, and I ended up killing him to death with [mtg_card]Goblin Guide[/mtg_card]s that gave him even more lands he couldn’t use. Definitely had some luck on my side that third game. 1-0

Round 2: Mono-Red

Here’s what’s interesting about the mono-red match up from what I can see. [mtg_card]Steppe Lynx[/mtg_card] offers pretty intense damage potential, and also has the added bonus of being an aggressive as all hell one drop without potentially giving my opponent lands. My opponent was main decking [mtg_card]Act of Treason[/mtg_card] (because he didn’t have his [mtg_card]Molten-Tail Masticore[/mtg_card]s on him), and ended up using one or two game one. We traded burn back and forth, but I was able to keep some creatures on the field and stick a Koth game one to pull it out. The 25 lands were allowing the deck to work pretty well, constantly giving my landfallers the necessary gas to push damage through. I brought in my other two [mtg_card]Arc Trail[/mtg_card]s and a miser’s Journey for the Ignuses (noticing a trend here?). Game two was a lot closer; we were throwing haymakers back and forth and trading creatures for burn. I ended up using a Koth to get him to four, and was able to survive one more turn to [mtg_card]Arc Trail[/mtg_card] + Bolt to burn him out. 2-0

Round 2: Green White Battlement Ramp

I saw the [mtg_card]Overgrown Battlement[/mtg_card] and assumed that my opponent was some version of the Eldrazi Green ramp deck, but he wasn’t running land ramp so much as mana ramp. [mtg_card]Overgrown Battlement[/mtg_card]s plus [mtg_card]Wall of Omens[/mtg_card] were giving him plenty of mana, and also blocking my dorks capably. I very much missed [mtg_card]Flame Slash[/mtg_card] in this one, and he took me down game one with Baneslayer. I assumed that he would still potentially be playing land ramp (didn’t see a Primeval Titan, but he didn’t need one), so I left the Ignuses in and added Journeys and Acts to try and deal with the Baneslayer. I won game two by rushing him out with Steppe Lynx + Guide + Geopede, which is usually enough if my opponent can’t disrupt me. Fetches allow me to swing through the 0/4’s, which is what happened there. Game three was yet another example of my not being able to answer a Baneslayer, and he had Battlement plus double [mtg_card]Wall of Omens[/mtg_card] to my inability to rush him. He took it down easily. 2-1

Round 4: Black/Green Infect

My opponent for this round must be a newer player, and I felt bad absolutely crushing him. I kept a pretty loose hand on the play not knowing what he was playing ([mtg_card]Steppe Lynx[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Plains[/mtg_card], Fetch, Fetch, Fetch, [mtg_card]Adventuring Gear[/mtg_card], Fetch). He played an [mtg_card]Ichorclaw Myr[/mtg_card], which I took out with a topdecked [mtg_card]Burst Lightning[/mtg_card]. I ended up drawing a second [mtg_card]Adventuring Gear[/mtg_card], and attacked for 12 with my Lynx on turn 3. A second Lynx and third Gear allowed me to attack for like 26 or something the next turn. Brought in the [mtg_card]Arc Trail[/mtg_card]s for two [mtg_card]Tunnel Ignus[/mtg_card]. Game two it became a little more apparent that he wasn’t too familiar with the rules, as he was attacking in with an [mtg_card]Ichorclaw Myr[/mtg_card], and I cracked a fetch in response. As I was grabbing a land, he asked if I was going to block and started to tap a [mtg_card]Forest[/mtg_card], telegraphing the [mtg_card]Giant Growth[/mtg_card]. I resolved the fetch, told him I wasn’t blocking, and [mtg_card]Searing Blaze[/mtg_card]d in response to the Growth. I then had to explain the stack to him (using visual aids), which was a little awkward, and killed him the next turn. He meant well, but he was a pretty loud guy and tilted pretty bad on the giant [mtg_card]Steppe Lynx[/mtg_card] game one, tilting even more after the [mtg_card]Searing Blaze[/mtg_card] play. Didn’t really matter that I still had all these [mtg_card]Lightning Bolt[/mtg_card]s in my hand both games. 3-1

So I finished 3-1, top four, and got an indeterminate amount of store credit. So obviously, since I did pretty well all things considered, I went home and made massive changes to the deck. I traded for another Koth while I was there to go up to three, and cut the Zektars from the sideboard (they were a placeholder more than anything for that kind of deck) for [mtg_card]Kargan Dragonlord[/mtg_card]s. I put the Kargans main deck, kept the Ignuses main deck, moving four Arc Trails to the board and cutting some stuff. Here’s what I ended up going with for States:

Creatures:

4x [mtg_card]Steppe Lynx[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Goblin Guide[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Plated Geopede[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Tunnel Ignus[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Kargan Dragonlord[/mtg_card]

Spells:

4x [mtg_card]Lightning Bolt[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Adventuring Gear[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Koth of the Hammer[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Searing Blaze[/mtg_card]

3x [mtg_card]Burst Lightning[/mtg_card]

Lands:

4x [mtg_card]Arid Mesa[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Scalding Tarn[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Marsh Flats[/mtg_card]

2x [mtg_card]Teetering Peaks[/mtg_card]

1x [mtg_card]Evolving Wilds[/mtg_card]

6x [mtg_card]Mountain[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Plains[/mtg_card]

Sideboard:

4x [mtg_card]Journey to Nowhere[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Act of Treason[/mtg_card]

4x [mtg_card]Arc Trail[/mtg_card]

2x [mtg_card]Spikeshot Elder[/mtg_card]

1x [mtg_card]Kargan Dragonlord[/mtg_card]

A quick run down of States:

Round 1: Eldrazi Green

Game one I rushed him out. Game two I had [mtg_card]Act of Treason[/mtg_card] when he [mtg_card]Summoning Trap[/mtg_card]ped during my attack, ready to blow him out the next turn with tons of land fall off a stolen [mtg_card]Primeval Titan[/mtg_card] grabbing some [mtg_card]Teetering Peaks[/mtg_card] out of my deck. Sadly it was a [mtg_card]Wurmcoil Engine[/mtg_card]. Didn’t draw the Journeys, and the second Wurmcoil made things too tough for me to fight through the lifelink. Game three he played the Titan and I had one turn to draw the [mtg_card]Act of Treason [/mtg_card]and didn’t. Sad face. 0-1

Round 2: BUG Shaman

I still didn’t get a really good sense of his deck. He was running [mtg_card]Fauna Shaman[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Vengevine[/mtg_card]s, [mtg_card]Skinrender[/mtg_card], Jace, and some other stuff. I didn’t see [mtg_card]Necrotic Ooze[/mtg_card] or any Ooze combo pieces ([mtg_card]Gigantomancer[/mtg_card], for example). It was just kind of a [mtg_card]Fauna Shaman[/mtg_card]  deck with [mtg_card]Skinrender[/mtg_card]s and [mtg_card]Doom Blade[/mtg_card]s. I rushed him out game one. He ended up using Jace and fateseal to keep me at bay game two as some [mtg_card]Vengevine[/mtg_card]s took me out. Game three he got pretty badly land screwed, and there was one point where he had the four lands and had a [mtg_card]Skinrender[/mtg_card], but couldn’t play it into an empty board lest it automatically killed itself. I eventually took him out with Geopedes. 1-1

Round 3: Blue White

So my opponent was kind of a jackass game one, exuberantly announcing spells ([mtg_card]Sun Titan[/mtg_card]! Getting…[mtg_card]Wall of Omens[/mtg_card]!), and generally being kind of a boisterous jerk. I mentioned this to him, and he did pull it back a little bit game two. I couldn’t fight through the counters, and ended up being stalled a few extra turns by a turn zero [mtg_card]Leyline of Sanctity[/mtg_card]. I beat him down to 3 with Geopede and couldn’t Bolt him to finish. He ended up going off with Luminarch, which is quite embarrassing for a red deck. He decided to go with the ‘Still had all these Mana Leaks’ rub in at the end, so I politely signed the slip without saying anything, dropped and left. 1-2 Drop

So thoughts about the deck. It’s arguably faster than Mono Red thanks to the Lynxes. I actually want to build the equipment version of this and go to town at Wednesday night Standard or FNM with the Mystics and possibly Kor Duelist, making it a much more balanced Boros deck. I should probably acquire [mtg_card]Baneslayer Angel[/mtg_card]s for that version, but I can at least rep with [mtg_card]Sun Titan[/mtg_card] while I don’t have them. Not running Sparkmage Collar was a mistake, and I realize that now. It’s a deck that didn’t have enough oomph to finish folks ([mtg_card]Molten Tail Masticore[/mtg_card] would fit that role pretty well, I think), and would create situations where I can decently handle mid range decks and can usually outrace the other aggro decks, but can’t finish things against control. Back to the drawing board.

This post was written to the tune of Amanda Palmer’s Crazy Ass Live Webcast Concert Thingie on USTREAM

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