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January 26, 2013

30

Gatecrash: Boros Battalion Review (Part 1 of 2)

by Dredd77

Mark Rosewater notably once wrote that 1998’s Urza’s Saga was “the only time in the eight years that I’ve been working at Wizards that R&D as an entirity got pulled into the president’s office and was yelled at.” As we covered in our review of The Plague, the set suffered from some very serious shortcomings in terms of mechanics and power level, and is likely uncontested in claiming the dubious honour of most broken block of all time. To those of a more optimistic mindset, however, crises can be regarded as an opportunity in waiting, as often one has the opportunity to address the problem head-on. For Wizards, this meant acknowledging the core problem and fixing it.

As they came to realise, much of the damage was done because it was allowed to be- they simply didn’t have the resources to give the set a proper going-over that would have exposed the inherent flaws in the cards of the set. Although we take it for granted today, at the time the structured roles of design and development were much more overlapping. Indeed, a look at the names involved for both functions in Urza’s Saga reveals significant overlap, with three of the four members of the design team also serving on development, including the same lead (Mike Elliot). This looks even worse when you take onboard the fact that the fourth designer, Richard Garfield, was included not because of his work on Urza’s Saga (there wasn’t any), but because mechanics that he had designed for Tempest ended up being used in the set.

To properly create a set, Wizards realised, this ‘incestuous’ structure had to end, and a newly-designed set would need to have fresh and dedicated eyes on it for proper development. To do so, they made what at the time was a fairly ambitious step and looked towards the playing community on the Pro Tour for candidates. Worth Wollpert,  Brian Schneider, and Randy Buehler (who would go on to become a Vice-President of Research and Development) were amongst those who came aboard at this time from the arena of organised play, and would have a tremendous impact on the game. Taken together, this was the dawning of the “Third Age” of design, as laid out by Rosewater.

It proved a powerful lesson. In looking for talent outside the usual avenues, Wizards could greatly strengthen the design and development power that it brought to continuing creating the game of Magic. The Third Age of design ushered in the age of block design, where themes and mechanics were supported across the sets within a single block. This is something else the modern game takes for granted, but earlier sets- if they connected at all- were often tied together narratively at best. The Third Age would commence with the release of Invasion in 2000, the first “colour matters” set, and run for the next five years until the conclusion of the Kamigawa block.

This lesson would pave the way for the Fourth and Fifth Ages, when Wizards found an even more unusual route to identify new creative talent. Although Gatecrash was still some ways off, the seeds of its germination were planted many years before as we’ll see in our next deck review. For now, we’ll pause here and look at the first of the new Intro Pack decks, Boros Battalion.

Fight Among the Rank and File

Boros Battalion Scorecard

Boros Battalion takes as its namesake the guild’s updated mechanic. The original one, radiance, had been one of the original Ravnica’s larger disappointments, doing very little to establish or reinforce the guild’s identity. Worse, radiance could be particularly bad when playing against a fellow Red and/or White deck, since it would splash itself across the board in ways that might be highly undesirable (see: Cleansing Beam). That could result in cards being dead in your hand, which is particularly toxic to a deck that relies upon speed and aggression. Battalion seems to hit the right note, by giving you an ability attached to cards you’ll already be wanting to play that makes them even stronger.

The deck opens with a trio of one-drops and a taste of battalion right off the bat in the form of the Boros Elite. The Elite is a simple, straightforward example that illustrates the mechanic well. Like many cards we call “feast or famine,” the Elite is somewhat undesirable in its natural state- a simple 1/1. These sorts of cards, however, promise you an extra reward if you’re able to complete whatever task or condition is set out for you, in this case attacking with the Elite and at least two other creatures. Then, rather than the feeble 1/1 Solider, you’re charging into the red zone with a much more robust 3/3.

You also find a pair of Warclamp Mastiffs here, 1/1’s with first strike from Magic 2013. This is a more puzzling inclusion, since unlike most of the rest of the deck the Mastiff never gets the ability to better itself, and brings nothing extra to the table. The most notable thing about it is that it is a reskin of Tundra Wolves from Legends, but here- in the absence of enhancers like exalted or equipment- it’s something of a misfit.

A much more robust first strike option is available as we move on to the two-drops with the Wojek Halberdiers. Sure you have to activate battalion to get it, but even on their own the 3/2 Halberdiers are far stronger than the Mastiff, and are much more relevant later in the game. One of the risks battalion forces you to take is to commit a high number of troops to the attack to get the ability to trigger, and if your opponent is playing a sturdier set of creatures you might find yourself sending troops in on a suicide mission just to be able to get the most out of them. Thanks to battalion, the Halberdiers have a much higher degree of survivability, needing to be blocked by at least a 2/4 to come out the loser of any skirmish. The deck gives you a trio of them.

Next up is the Daring Skyjek, or which there are two. The strong-front-end/brittle-back-end fliers seem to be increasingly common in the game these days. First seen in Visions (Wake of Vultures, Rainbow Efreet), a full third of the two dozen or so to have seen print have been from Shards of Alara block and forward, including such luminaries as the Aven Mimeomancer, Horizon Drake, Impaler Shrike, Skywinder Drake, and, most recently, Return to Ravnica’s Lyev Skyknight. Gatecrash brings us two, the Drakewing Krasis and this fine fellow, whose flying is contingent upon your ability to send him into combat in support of other troops. The role of evasion here is plain, giving the deck a second offensive dimension that can be difficult for other decks to deal with. The 1 toughness will always keep the Skyjek fragile, but left unchecked the card will do some solid work.

Rounding out the two-drops we find a trio of one-offs, starting with the Bomber Corps. The Corps is a 1/2 body, which in Red isn’t the worst deal you’ll find (it compares evenly with the classic Goblin Piker). Although as a body it’s a bit underwhelming, the ability to toss off the odd bit of damage can be very useful. The obvious utility here is to kill off an opposing x/1 creature or, barring that, to throw it at an opponent’s face, but the ability to skew your opponent’s combat math by simply damaging an opposing potential blocker so that it won’t survive combat if committed is not to be overlooked. Alternately, if you’d rather take a firmer hand in tweaking your opponent’s defensive options, you might find better luck with the Firefist Striker, who falters your opponent’s best blocker when battalion kicks in. The Striker is actually a strictly better Goblin Piker, and compares quite favourably.

The last card is the Sunhome Guildmage, the Red/White member of the cycle. As we’ve seen, Guildmages have tended to support the guild’s distinctive mechanic where it’s made sense to do so, and the Sunhome is no exception. The second ability lets you create a 1/1 Soldier with haste, which can make the difference between attacking with two creatures (no battalion) and three (battalion). Sure it costs four mana, but it’s a very useful insurance policy to let the deck get the most out of its mechanic. The other ability buffs your side +1/+0 and can be used more than once a turn. This, too, favours an aggressively attacking deck, and both abilities taken together make the Guildmage a highly useful member of the team.

Next up are the three-drops, and again we have a number of option to play here. First up is what will undoubtedly be one of the deck’s all-stars, the Skyknight Legionnaire. This reprint from the original Ravnica was good then, and even better now. Thanks to haste, the Legionnaire can activate battalion for you as early as turn 3, for as much as eight points of damage. Sure that’s a best-case-scenario, but swap out the turn-2 Daring Skyjek for a Firefist Striker or Bomber Corps and you’re still punching well above your weight. The ability to get off an ambush battalion is not to be taken lightly, and you can punish an opponent who overcommits to the attack or otherwise underestimates how quickly this deck can ‘go big.’ Having evasion means that the Legionnaire will be difficult to deal with for many opponents, letting it survive to lead the charge turn after turn. Although lacking battalion itself, it’s a superb enabler, and the deck gives you a pair of them.

Boros Elite

Boros Elite

Next up is the Warmind Infantry, and this one does have battalion. Like the earlier Elite, the Infantry gets a straightforward stats boost whenever the ability is activated, becoming a sterner 4/3. The remaining option here don’t directly interact with the mechanic, but have roles of their own to play. The Court Street Denizen is a welcome addition, since she’ll let you tap down your opponent’s best blocker whenever you play a White creature (this includes multicoloured ones). There’s a subtle trade-off at work here, though, in that you typically want to play your creatures after combat in your second main phase, giving your opponent as little information as possible when deciding upon a defense. To maximise the Denizen’s ability to neuter defenses, though, you need to play your creatures prior to your attack phase, which more or less commits your hand before your opponent decides upon how to defend. Most of the time, though, you’ll still come out ahead in the exchange, and tappers are very solid supporting mechanisms in combat-heavy weenie decks. The danger of any small-creature strategy is that you start to run up against bigger and bigger creatures until your deck stalls out, but by denying your opponent the use of their best blockers you essentially add a little more fuel in the tank.

The Armored Transport is cut from the same cloth as cards like Duskworker, which protect themselves when committed to the offensive. Although a fragile 2/1, the Transport can’t die in offensive combat. This means you can shove it into the red zone turn after turn without fear of losing it, making this a very useful battalion support card. It’s all the moreso when you assess its ability as a blocker, where the card is significantly worse. This is one of those cards Wizards designs that is a subtle nudge towards a certain direction, in this case encouraging attack. The final three-drop on offer is the Ember Beast, which occupies an interesting place in card development. For quite a long time, the only card that had the “can’t attack or block alone” restriction was the Mogg Flunkies from Stronghold, which saw quite a bit of Constructed play in their day.

Then, in 2009, Wizards returned to that largely pristine bit of design space and asked, what would a one-drop Flunkies look like? The result was the Jackal Familiar, and thanks to the Ember Beast we now have the third card in the sequence. The Beast is slightly less efficient than its predecessors, giving you only an extra point of toughness in return for the extra mana invested, but Red is not typically a colour that gets to enjoy conversations about “creature efficiency.” In this deck, the Beast will have plenty of company, so its drawback isn’t particularly odious, and as a 3/4 it’s the second-largest natural body in the deck.

A couple more Magic 2013 cards make their appearance as we transition to the four-drops with the Canyon Minotaur. While nearly every release sees the same complains about “Core Set filler” being crammed into the decks, Boros Battalion does a laudable job of keeping that aspect to a minimum here. Aside from the one-drop Mastiffs, there are no other Core Set cards to be found in the deck, and while the Canyon Minotaur sets no-one’s world on fire, it’s a sturdy 3/3 body with no drawbacks, and for that alone it has a role in the deck. Of course, there are much flashier options on offer here that make the Minotaur seem downright pedestrian.

The first of these is another Minotaur, the Ordruun Veteran. The Veteran is another 3/1, and while his battalion ability does nothing to address his back-end fragility, it can sure pack a wallop on the front-end thanks to double strike. This gives the Veteran the same resilience to being traded out that the Halberdiers have, but with considerably more offensive upside. Indeed, anything less stout than an x/7 will likely fall in trade with it. From there, we come across our first rare card, the Firemane Avenger. The Boros entry in the week of holiday previews on the mothership (one per guild ,she was spoiled the day after Christmas by clicking an image of a wrapped present on the site), the Avenger throws a free Lightning Helix for you whenever her battalion is triggered. Similar to the Bomber Corps, this can be very strong in hindering the ability of your opponent to defend against your attack, as 3 damage should be enough to kill something outright most times, depleting their pool of available blockers. The incidental lifegain is also nice, since with the amount of attacking the deck asks you to do you might find yourself open to counterattacks. All this on a four-mana 3/3 flier makes the  Avenger very attractive here, and a card your opponent simply must find an answer for- and soon.

Finally, at the top of the mana curve we find the deck’s final three creatures. The Fortress Cyclops doesn’t directly support battalion, but instead is a creature useful on both attack and defense thanks to its conditional buffs. Whether attacking as a 6/3 or defending as a 3/6, the Fortress Cyclops can make an impact in either direction, though it’s not entirely certain that it can make an impact worth its fairly hefty pricetag. The same can’t be said about the deck’s foil premium rare, the Foundry Champion. At six mana the Champion is no bargain either, but unlike the Cyclops it makes an immediate impact on the board by serving up a dose of direct damage that can hit either a creature or an opponent. In a constructed environment, players who overcommit with creatures can be punished for doing so with a sweeper, but in the preconstructed environment you have much less to fear. This is a deck that already wants you to flood the board, and the Champion richly rewards you for having done precisely that. Its 4/4 body is also the strongest in the deck, and you can pump either power or toughness to suit. That said, it’s not evasive, and so in some ways isn’t quite as swingy as the Firemane Angel. It does, however, give you some immediate reach, and can finish off a wounded opponent- something the Angel can’t do without the passing of another turn thanks to summoning sickness.

Without Fear

The noncreature support suite for Boros Battalion follows the standard pattern for White/Red combat decks, offering a smattering of removal and combat trickery. First up is a Righteous Charge, an intriguing reprint from Portal Second Age. As the Portal environment did not contain any instants (though it had a few cards that simulated them, like Mystic Denial), Righteous Charge is a sorcery, a fact which limits its “trickiness.” That said, an across-the-board  +2/+2 bonus for three mana is fairly cheap, and instant versions of this spell tend to be either conditional (Guardians’ Pledge) or expensive (Stir the Pride, Swell of Courage). Since this is a deck that imposes its will through the red zone, a well-timed Charge can prove very strong. One thing Boros Battalion has to be vigilant of is the balance between attrition and enabling. There will be times that you’ll have to attack with creatures doomed to die just to trigger battalion, but you also must have a care that your losses don’t become so great that you can no longer reliably threaten your opponent. Cards like Righteous Charge tilt that scale somewhat more in your favour.

Next we have Aerial Maneuver, which is a sort of ersatz removal thanks to the combination of buffs. That said, you have to commit a creature to act as defender to make use of it, making it fairly conditional. A Shielded Passage also checks in here as a way to make a creature trade become a one-sided rout, though at the cost of a card. Again, ersatz removal.

For more straightforward removal, we have a few other options. Arrows of Justice hits a creature for 4 damage, a fair output for three mana. That said, it’s fairly conditional on what it can hit, and can’t address an opponent’s utility creature that doesn’t set foot into the red zone. For that, you’ll have to depend upon a single copy of Mugging, which delivers 2 damage at sorcery speed. That’s not great, but the falter effect tacked onto it makes the card much more useful by helping your attackers past your opponents defense. Mark for Death cuts its measure from similar cloth here, acting both as a falter effect as well as ersatz removal. The same goes for Act of Treason, which offsets the temporary nature of its effect for giving you an extra attacker to swing in with. This suite is fairly inconsistent, with each card having conditions placed upon its utility. This is in keeping with what we’ve seen in recent sets from Wizards, where removal seems to be trending downward somewhat in terms of power and/or flexibility.

The last two cards here are a pair of Boros Keyrunes. These are of dubious value here for two reasons. First, this is a deck with a fairly aggressive mana curve, so it won’t benefit as much from ramping as decks that field a more expensive core of cards. Second- and this is a new development- is that Wizards has for one reason or another once again ticked up the number of lands the deck runs. A 40% land content (24 land) has been fairly standard for the bulk of Magic’s 60-card Intro Packs, though that’s not to say that there haven’t been exceptions- both Phyrexian Poison as well as Deadspread ran 26 land cards. On on occasional basis, this would appear to be a decision made in support of the deck- Deadspread in particular really wanted to curve out consistently, as its proliferate engine took some time to set up. However, that’s hardly the case with Boros Battalion. Here’s a look at the modern Intro Pack environment as well as average number of lands.

Average land content

As you can see, the format hasn’t been quite as tightly bound to the 24-card standard as the general impression might indicate, but the adoption of 26 lands as the across-the-board standard for Gatecrash represents a significant increase over sets as recent as Magic 2013. Taken on board with the tick upwards for Return to Ravnica, and this presents something of a concerning trend. Has land filler become the new Core Set filler? It’s a topic we’ll certainly be returning to.

But for now, we’ve got some playtesting to do! Boros Battalion is going into the pit to be put through its paces, and we’ll be back in two days with the result. See you then!

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30 Comments Post a comment
  1. Icehawk
    Jan 26 2013

    Looking forward to the match and see how it plays out! Looking with a lot of interest at these Boros cards for EDH.

    Reply
  2. Jan 26 2013

    Just a quick note: Ember Beast is originally from Odyssey. Jackal Familiar was actually the third one in the sequence.

    Reply
    • Jan 26 2013

      Nice catch, that’s a great point! We stand corrected.

      Reply
  3. tenthtechpriest
    Jan 26 2013

    Seems like a solid deck, albeit all-in. Rather vulnerable to the skies archetype but I doubt it’ll lose many straight-up races. Perhaps one of the reasons the land count is high is to help slow the deck down vs the other intros in this round?

    Also the inclusion of the mark for death+mugging combo is a cute gem for new players, though hard to find at first due to the singleton nature of the combat tricks.

    Reply
    • Icehawk
      Jan 27 2013

      Wonder if non-basic lands plays a factor into it too. Curious to go looking to see if basics are increasing or not too.

      Reply
  4. Blaven_blave
    Jan 27 2013

    Oh boy! Boros was so good at the pre release! I bet this intro pack is going to get a really good record against the other intro packs in Gatecrash.

    Reply
  5. mjb81288
    Jan 27 2013

    This deck is rather solid, Boros cleaned up at the prerelease. I am only bummed about the fact that the foils are the same cards as the promos. I hope that they don’t do something like this for Dragon’s Maze. I feel that promo cards should be special, but I did not feel that from RTR or Gatecrash.

    Reply
  6. Chris X
    Jan 27 2013

    Armored transports a beeast

    Reply
  7. Morten Dall
    Jan 28 2013

    I think you could make some awesome additions to this deck with the red cards from Avacyn Restored. Thatcher Revolt, Fervent Cathar and Lightning Mauler could make this really frightening…

    Reply
    • Jan 28 2013

      Heck, War Falcon could be a thing with all of the Soldiers and Knights in this guild.

      BTW, Jay – there’s a typo in the title. Somehow an extra T made its way into “Battaltion”.

      Reply
      • Jan 29 2013

        Whoops! Thanks for the head’s up, I’ll fix it now.

        Reply
  8. Shortcake
    Jan 28 2013

    I’m planning to buy this Intro deck!! However, I have some concerns on the printing quality of the cards in the deck. The printing quality of the cards that came in RTR intro pack were pretty poor. The foil card had a lot of scratches and most of the cards were printed way off border. The cards themselves were really flimsy and felt thinner than normal MTG cards. The difference was very obvious when I compared with the cards from the boosters came with the pack.

    Can you please confirm whether GTC intro packs also have the same bad printing quality or not? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Jan 28 2013

      That’s most curious! I haven’t had any experience like that, so it might have been a spot of very bad luck. I don’t notice any differences in card quality, either, though that said when cards are reprinted in a special batch (like for a Duel Deck), there has been some noticeable differences like what you’re seeing (though not the off-center printing).

      Of course, that said I did find three cards missing from my Gruul deck. By and large, though, I’ve bought every Intro Pack released to date, and printing/collation problems are exceedingly rare.

      Reply
    • torsoboi
      Feb 10 2013

      I’ve also noted some weird quality in GTC printings, albeit not within intro packs. A box I bought contained a large number of cards – mostly uncommons – with strange coloring and fuzzy, hard-to-read text. They were also notable flimsier than most cards, but they still pass the bend test, so it’s not a terrible issue. This is is the only problem I’ve had with printing quality in recent memory.

      Reply
  9. Lee
    Jan 28 2013

    Very nice. Will be good to see how batatalion mechanic works. I suspect it would be pretty vulnerable against decks with enough removal but as you say this is less relevant is ravinca

    Reply
  10. Zack
    Jan 28 2013

    I really like the flavour of Battalion as the keyword for Boros: it captures the aggression of Red with the cooperation of White’s soldiers, and like most R/W decks I’ve seen, it’s most effective in the early stages of the game.

    Reply
  11. I got myself beaten and battered running Boros at Prerelease, but looking back at it, I made some errors in deck construction. One was the inclusion of the Keyrune, which I added just because I was short bodies (running 16 creatures–everything I got on color, plus the Armored Transport) and didn’t feel like it was worth splashing black for a few more in a deck this aggressive.

    The other mistake was not adding in at least two of the Madcap Skills I opened, which would have worked well with any of my cards, likely an even 2:2 trade if not punching through for massive damage. Like the intro pack, I only got conditional removal and I think Mark for Death ended up being overpriced for me.

    Other Boros players at my Prerelease didn’t run it, but I found Armored Transport to actually be a perfectly complement to my battalion guys, since I never had to fear a combat trade with it and if I had stuck a Madcap Skills on it, my opponent would pretty much be forced to chump one, two or take five. Not bad for a lowly common, I think. Maybe that’s why the aura isn’t in the deck?

    The overabundance of land in the deck will probably be a problem for the precon, since I ended up stripping land down to 15 in my deck just because I needed to draw more creatures to make up for all the trades or removal that hits my creatures and once you have six mana, you have enough to cast a creature each turn as well as a combat trick or removal. Only once was I left wanting for mana, with a Molten Primordial waiting to swing the game for me, but in most of my losses, it was because I couldn’t keep at least three creatures alive on the battlefield.

    Reply
  12. Jan 28 2013

    Pity I didn’t see much boros action at the prerelease I went to (basically no boros packs left) but once battalion is up and running they seem ridiculously powerful. I think the two rares in this intro pack are especially great, and will make a huge impact on the board once they come into play. The keyrunes are likely there just because it would be weird if they gave other guilds keyrunes in their intro packs and not the boros and i suppose also to help trigger battalion by turning it into a transformer for a turn.

    Reply
  13. Jan 28 2013

    Battalion at the prerelease seemed to be a control rather than mega aggro thing, at least at my store.

    Early on, there’d be next to nothing happening, then they’d hit 3-4 creatures (usually Bomber Corps, Ember Beast, and maybe Halbrediers or Crotchknight) and all hell would break loose.

    Saving removal for right before their attack step when they could get battalion was crucial.

    That said, they have incredible creatures, and the best (by far) charm in the set. And access to some of the best combat tricks as well (Shanktail, the 2/1 goblin with Bloodrush, and all the stuff in Gruul).

    Had a lot of fun with them.

    Reply
  14. Jon
    Jan 29 2013

    I’m kind of surprised they put the the Lightning Helix Angel in the intro pack. Maybe I’m just overvaluing that though.

    Will be interested to see how Battalion works for you guys. At my prerelease, no one actually managed to get me with it.

    Reply
  15. Varo
    Jan 30 2013

    The comments above are interesting, since the all-star guild at my prerelease was precisely Boros. I scored 3-3 (playing Simic), and the three matches i lost were against Boros and their damned battalion. Also, 5 of the top 8 eight players were running it, so it really was a powerhouse at my local store.

    It may not be as powerful against Gruul as it is against the other guilds, but a turn 3 or 4 battalion aided by removal can be fatal for the other deck. Overall pretty impressed by the mechanic.

    Reply
  16. Jan 30 2013

    3 gorram Wojek Halbierdiers AND 2 Daring Skyjeks is frackin’ headsploding. Those 5 cards bring so much power on the board it’s not even funny. Then follow it up with 2 Skyknight Legionnaires? My face!!!

    Reply
  17. joel miller
    Jan 30 2013

    Thanks for the review!

    Reply
  18. Feb 1 2013

    Lightning Helix Angel, a mechanic that, while win-more in almost any other environment, seems well suited to the removal light format of preconstructed, and a foil rare that pulls some serious weight. Boros isn’t a guild I usually like, for one reason or another, but I end up thinking this is a pretty good intro pack, looking back at it, unlike the Simic one, which I recently commented on.

    I wouldn’t say I’m impressed, but this one does a passable job.

    Reply
  19. alza6991
    Feb 2 2013

    I feel like this deck has lots of synnergy, with nearly all the creatures giving you ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of CMC. The removal might be poor, but it usually doesn’t affect how this deck plays out, as the goal is to attack, attack, attack before they get out anything big that needs removal.

    Reply
  20. outhouseinferno
    Feb 6 2013

    Daring Skyjek isn’t really like those fragile high-power flyers, which have costs at least equal to their power. It has 3 power to its cost of 2, it’s one of the 3-power white two drops like Blade of the Sixth Pride or Accorder Paladin.

    Reply
  21. mcc1701
    Feb 6 2013

    I too find it odd about the extra lands. To be fair, they have been making mana matter more. Whereas if you draw more mana, then it is just more for your guildmage, or more extorting, scavenge, etc.

    Reply
  22. outhouseinferno
    Feb 10 2013

    I still remember Ember Beast because of the rhyme in its Odyssey flavor text.

    “Spot one ember beast, attack. Spot a second, best fall back.”

    It also confused me for the longest time into thinking that it needed additional Ember Beasts to do anything and thus now I expected this deck to have more than one Ember Beast.

    This deck’s also missing Skyknight Legionnaires, those were in the old Boros deck and would probably be even better in the new one, but oh well.

    Reply
    • outhouseinferno
      Feb 10 2013

      Guess I completely missed the legionnaires haha

      Reply
  23. Limbonic_art
    Feb 14 2013

    Boros, my favorite guild before I had a chance to fully discover the original ravnica block. However, I must thank boros for being an interesting and awesome guild to draw me in to the original ravnica block, full of its unique multicolor structure. Although I re-discovered ravnica block fairly late in 2011, it was still enough to get me to buy all the theme decks, some assembled from singles, as well as many of the set’s commons and uncommons. I even had a project to build my own ravnica sort of cube, composed mainly of guilded cards from Ravnica. With RTR this project could get even more feasible and interesting, maybe one day I will fully complete it.
    In the meantime I can say RTR block is one of the best, I am really happy and priveledged to be playing during the second iteration of Ravnica, I will surely remember when they re-return to ravnica (wizards already confirmed they will eventually revisit it sometime).
    Boros is a very strong guild in limited formats and for intro packs it is no diffrent. It has a large amount of quality commons and uncommons, extremely efficient and power heavy creatures as well. the 3 wojek Hallbardiers will be very important in the matchups and can be extremely devastating. 2 Skynight Legionnaire are also an honorable mention, being one of the best boros common cards overall. And Frankly, I think Firemane Angel should have been the foil card here, the Foundry Champion really needs creatures to be any good, something that won’t always happen and cannot rely on. Battallion supports a strategy that boros should already be doing, but can be hard to trigger without enough creatures or hands that are agressive enough.

    Reply

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