There was a weird throwaway comment from the rules committee about them just not liking Boros. I don’t know why a group that supposedly strives for impartiality and to be a group that fairly enacts rules to promote a format would just arbitrarily have a problem with a given color combination and playstyle. It’s a strange thing to admit out loud, stranger still, because the appearance of impropriety is often worse than the presence of it. Some might say that this paradigm is wrong, that you should be honest or whatever, but one of the things about propriety, about making sure you appear impartial and fair is that you are at least paying attention to the concept of fairness. When you just blurt out “we don’t like Boros aggro” it’s hard take serious any claims you make about treating groups you obviously don’t like fairly.
All that aside, Boros has received a bewildering array of interesting new commanders, partner pairs, and utility creatures to push its core, and subsidiary archetypes. Probably most common would be Boros aggro based on going wide with small creatures and then buffing them with whites various big buffs. Red allows for a lot of payoffs from aggression and the profusion of white utility and triggered card draw.
Can all give you some ways to keep pace with other players as they play out their decks. For old-school analog, two-player magic, the struggle of aggro is often running out of threats before your opponent runs out of life. In 4-player Elder Dragon Highlander this is even worse, since you can pretty easily run out of threats before you can deal 80 damage.
There’s other new interesting Boros archetypes emerging, artifact loops, artifact damage buffs or artifact damage bonuses, and the Voltron equipment standby that has existed for a while. There’s also some kind of weird triggered spirit subtheme worth exploring.
Firesong and Sunspeaker lie in that weird realm of not-partner commanders that are obviously two characters. I’m not sure why WotC does this, and sometimes they are a single card and sometimes they are partners. But here we are.
Firesong and Sunspeaker have two abilities that intertwine in interesting ways:
Red instant and sorcery spells you control have lifelink.
Whenever a white instant or sorcery spell causes you to gain life, Firesong and Sunspeaker deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
So, you’ll gain life from any red spell that deals damage. It’s worth pointing out that lifelink, sadly, doesn’t stack. If a white instant or sorcery spells causes you to gain life, Firesong and Sunspeaker deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
This means, in effect, that all Red and White spells will gain lifelink and then trigger a damage instance.
Radiant Scrollwielder has a similar ability, and creates its own trigger. Unfortunately, lifelink is not a trigger anymore, and became a static part of the damage resolving, or this scenario would be a lot easier to abuse.
Nonetheless, there’s a decent suite of Boros instants and sorceries which will generate both triggers for you, some of which already do so on their own, and Painter’s Servant will turn all your red burn spells Boros by adding white.
To get enough triggers out of this deck to finish people off there are some copy spells:
The real engine of the deck, however, is Sunforger.
Fetching Sunforger lets you keep fetching more burn spells to get your triggers; so run the full suite of Sunforger tutors:
To enable continual recasting of Sunforger there’s cost reducers:
- Danitha Capashen, Paragon
- Zirda, the Dawnwaker
- Birgi, God of Storytelling (okay not technically cost reduction)
- Fighter Class
- Puresteel Paladin
Once you’ve run out of cards there’s ample Wheels to draw through, and cards like Deafening Clarion, Earthquake, and Rolling Earthquake to board clear and gain a ton of life. You can leverage this for finishes with Aetherflux Reservoir.
I think this is a fun, interesting medium, speed, somewhat controlling deck to play at your local game store or in a less competitive pod. I definitely wouldn’t bring it at a high power or cEDH table, but that being said it’s probably going to run right over a true battlecruiser deck because of how focused it is, and how much ramp and card draw it runs.
Have any questions, feedback, or a Boros deck idea that’s off the beaten path? We’d love to hear about it, so drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.