Budget “All-In” Boros Dinos

By the time this goes up, the Pro Tour will already be well underway. I’m excited to play in the event and have been testing up a storm here in Phoenix.

I’m not going to lie—it’s kind of an awkward time to pick an article topic because by the time this goes live there will be so much new information coming out of PT Ixalan that the landscape of the format will be more clearly defined. I didn’t “break it” and will likely just be playing some flavor of Energy in Albuquerque.

With that in mind, I decided it’d be a good time to drop in an article about a really sweet deck I designed that I will not be playing at the PT: Boros Dinos.

Boros Dinos

Brian DeMars

When I started out building and tuning this deck, I thought it was possible that I had broken the format and let me explain why:

Friends of Dinos

These cards make each Dinosaur spell you cast cost 1 less mana, but these abilities stack up, which is really sweet. Two of these Dinosaur mana dorks in play can let you cheat a lot of mana all in the same turn.

Assuming you have a draw that can produce two cost-reducing creatures the nut draw involves having five creatures in play on turn 3!

The deck does have inconsistent draws. On the other hand, the deck is cheap (and a lot of fun to play), which could make it a nice budget option for some players.

It could be worth a look when the next set comes out as well. Assuming that there are a few more good Dinosaurs in that set, a shell like this could shine.

Your goal is simply to dump as many bodies onto the battlefield as quickly as possible and finish them with a Dinosaur Stampede.

The Stampede is effective here because it lets you get value out of your Kinjalli’s Caller and Otepec Huntmasters. It is also a sweet little combo with Imperial Lancer.

Aside from the mana reducers, the core of the deck is simply cheap Dinosaurs that cost 2 and 3 mana. Assuming you start with a Caller, it is pretty easy to spew your hand onto the battlefield with ease.

These may seem like underwhelming cards in the abstract, but they gain a lot of power when they cost only 1 mana.

The 3-drops are all pretty powerful as far as creatures go and they are really great at playing downhill (which is what the deck hopes to accomplish).

A turn 2 Hammerskull or Sunwing is a great way to keep opposing creatures from ever getting into the battle by blocking.

It is also worth noting that turn-1 Imperial Lancer into a Nest Robber is 4 damage on turn 2 (which is kind of a Red-Deck-Wins-style approach).

Speaking of Red Deck Wins, Kinjalli’s Caller is a nice blocker against aggressive decks. 3 toughness is solid on the block because the common 2-drops have 2 power.

Last but not least:

I started with Charging Monstrosaur, but it turns out that Hazoret is just a messed up Magic card…

If you are looking to build on a budget, Monstrosaur is a suitable substitute.

But it’s the sideboard plan I’m most excited about.

Dusk // Dawn is amazing against Temur. Most of your creatures have low starting power, which means that you can use this as a one-sided wrath effect that will rebuy your creatures later in the game after they trade off.

In the same vein:

Honor Guard is awesome against Temur because it stops the opponent from getting energy when their creatures enter the battlefield. The format is full of ETB triggers (of which we have none). It’s possible that this could simply be a main-deck card in the Boros deck.

Another anti-energy and anti-Winding Constrictor card. Again, you don’t use these effects so it turns out to be completely one-sided in your R/W deck.

A solid card to bring in against Mardu Vehicles, as well as Mono-Red or God-Pharaoh’s Gift. I wanted to have answers to creatures in the board and this works well overall.

Another removal spell that combos nicely with your Dusk // Dawn sideboard plan.

I felt the deck was fine as an “all-in” list for game 1s, and that most people wouldn’t predict the transformational sideboard plan. It’s also possible that the sideboard plan for this deck could just be the main deck (which is kind of insane!).

Although I’m ultimately not going to play the deck at the Pro Tour, I have a soft spot in my heart for it. The deck can hold its own with many of the top strategies in Standard thanks to its speed. If they don’t have a smooth, interactive draw, things can get awkward for them fast.

Ultimately, consistency is an issue. The reason Temur is so good is that it executes its powerful game plan so consistently. It also goes up the curve and plays big spells like Glorybringer and Scarab God that can win the game by themselves without the help of other cards.

With that being said, this deck was a fun thought-experiment that fell a little short of something I’d want to play in a premier event. I will almost certainly jam it and wreck some foes at FNM though.

Sometimes you just want to get your full-on Dino on, and this deck is perfect for such an occasion!

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