Today I want to share a deck that I almost registered at the Pro Tour: Boros Tokens! It’s a take on an old Red-Green Tokens deck that popped up on MTGO late into testing for Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, and from Thursday morning up until Thursday night, I nearly registered it for the main event.
I ended up registering Ramunap Red for the PT, and went 5-5 with the deck. I won’t go into too much into detail about what was wrong with our version of mono-red, or how the deck plays. I would suggest reading PV’s article here. He truly put on a clinic at the Pro Tour, and I think the CFB Ice squad had the best version of the Mono-Red deck and it showed.
Boros Tokens was the deck I wanted to register until Gerry Thompson was convinced to play Ramunap Red with some other members of our team (Sam Black, Jan Kasar), getting him off of Temur Energy. I asked Gerry why, and he responded that he couldn’t find something that convincingly beat it—Hazoret is a powerful Magic card with a low quantity of answers to it running around. With Gerry off of his deck choice, and Sam and company moving off of the tokens deck, I was scared into playing the “Modo Guy” (The phrase our team uses to describe the highest win rate deck on MTGO, with the default list from the MTGO community being called “Modo Guy”).
Here’s the list I nearly submitted:
Boros Tokens has similarities to Mono-Red, but some key differences as well.
- You’re looking to do the same thing every game. Build out a board of creatures, and then pump them with either Shefet Dunes, Reckless Bushwhacker, or Trial of Solidarity.
- You’re stronger than Mono-Red. Your cards take over the board and keep them from attacking. The removal they have trades evenly or down on mana with your cards, allowing you to make a wide board of creatures and set up alpha attacks they don’t have defenses for.
- You’re resilient to spot removal. Opponents trade down on mana when they’re spending 2-3 mana to kill your creatures. As a cost however, you’re more “all-in” on building a large board state, and if you get swept, you’re in big trouble.
- The lack of removal. This could be a weakness, but I found this to be an advantage. Moving your interaction to the sideboard allows the deck to be more linear and create its “combo” finish of large quantities of cheap creatures and pump effects.
The main goal of this deck is to dump 3+ creatures on the battlefield in the first 3 turns, and then pump them up with Trial of Solidarity. The Trial giving plus 2 power usually allows you to push your opponent to single-digit life totals, and you still have an army to continue fighting them. Trial of Solidarity is the best of the pump effects, whereas Bushwhacker is the worst, and will frequently get sideboarded out against enemies who are boarding in more removal spells.
This deck is the one that really showed me the power of Pia Nalaar, and if I had a few more days to play with this and with Mono-Red, I might have pulled the trigger on this deck. The power of creating two creatures with one card for a deck like this is enormous. It gives the deck the ability to come back from mulligans and rebuild after sweeper effects like Savage Alliance, Yahenni’s Expertise, and Sweltering Suns.
After the Pro Tour ended, I spent some time playing this deck on MTGO, and the deck has still been performing well. I think I’d update the deck to include some Vehicles, most likely Aethersphere Harvester, to fight around the board sweeping effects and giving the creatures you draw off the top haste. To add into this, I’d look to play a few more copies of Selfless Spirit. Because Hour of Devastation isn’t seeing much play, it doesn’t reduce the power of the indestructible effects of Selfless Spirit and Archangel Avacyn, making them more enticing options for aggressive and midrange white options, respectively.
I’ll be back to recording and writing my weekly series starting next week (the week of August 14th) and I might be making a video series with this deck! If you have questions/comments regarding this Boros Tokens deck we were working on, please share them in the comments below!