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Valuable Lessons – Auramancy with Born of the Gods

Welcome back to Valuable Lessons. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been introduced to Born of the Gods. Cards like [ccProd]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/ccProd], [ccProd]Xenagos, God of Revels[/ccProd], [ccProd]Kiora, the Crashing Wave[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Bile Blight[/ccProd] draw attention with their obviously high power levels. Today, we’ll be exploring the possibilities available for an Aura deck.

Aura decks have been called a lot of inappropriate names over the last year or so. The deck can be non-interactive, but there’s certainly play against a lot of decks, especially in post-boarded games.

Why would we want to play a non-interactive deck? Simply put, the best deck choice for a particular event is the deck that gives us the greatest chance of victory. There are a lot of decks we’ll be happy to see if we arm ourselves with a hexproof strategy. Let’s take a look at the deck’s composition.

[draft]Elvish Mystic[/draft] [ccProd]Elvish Mystic[/ccProd] is an inexpensive creature that lets us commit a lot to the board in a short time frame. Enabling turn-two [ccProd]Witchstalker[/ccProd] is exceptionally important in a deck like this. As the game progresses, Elvish Mystic serves as protection from [ccProd]Devour Flesh[/ccProd] and increases the potential of our [ccProd]Eidolon of Countless Battles[/ccProd].

[draft]Fleecemane Lion[/draft] [ccProd]Fleecemane Lion[/ccProd] gives this deck an interesting kind of longevity. The card is obviously powerful as a 3/3 for two mana, but making our Lion monstrous and slapping [ccProd]Unflinching Courage[/ccProd] onto it is pretty close to unbeatable. 6/6 lifelinking, trampling, hexproof, indestructible kitties seldom lose games. The potential for victory gets huge if we ever find ourselves with a monstrous Fleecemane Lion. As a result, we may be thrown into staring contests with opponents, where we have five mana available, and they’re leaving open removal. We can drag this on as long as possible if we’re winning the race, but we should be quick to go for monstrous during our opponent’s upkeep or endstep if we’re falling behind.

[ccProd]Hero of Iroas[/ccProd] seems like it has a great deal of potential if this archetype has what it takes to succeed. We get a 2/2 for two mana that decreases the cost of [ccProd]Unflinching Courage[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Boon Satyr[/ccProd]/[ccProd]Eidolon of Countless Battles[/ccProd] bestow. Additionally, Hero of Iroas’s heroic trigger means that, in some situations, we can get a lot of value by dumping our spells onto it. Unflinching Courage makes our hero into a 5/5 trample lifelinker, we can bestow Boon Satyr for four mana and find ourselves with a 7/5 that’s already attacking.

[draft]Voice of Resurgence[/draft] [ccProd]Voice of Resurgence[/ccProd] is exactly what we’re looking for. Voice punishes our opponent for interacting with us on our turn. Voice protects us from [ccProd]Devour Flesh[/ccProd]. Voice of Resurgence also works nicely with Eidolon of Countless Battles. It’s nice to bestow things onto Voice of Resurgence because we get another two goodies when our opponent finally deals with our voltron candidate.

[draft]Witchstalker[/draft] [ccProd]Witchstalker[/ccProd] is a lot better than it looks on the surface. We don’t have something like [ccProd]Geist of Saint Traft[/ccProd] to be completely unfair, but 3 toughness can be relevant, especially when our opponent is trying to drown us. Also, the remaining text on Witchstalker may seem like it’s rarely worthwhile, but I’ve seen the card get quite large and it acts like a Voice of Resurgence in some ways in that it encourages us to make plays before or during combat.

[ccProd]Eidolon of Countless Battles[/ccProd] is untested. The card doesn’t look incredible, but it could have some potential. I wanted to build a deck that maximized the Eidolon’s value. We’re two copies of [ccProd]Gods Willing[/ccProd] short of a deck where every individual card boosts the strength of our Eidolon. In post-boarded games, this seems like a great thing to slap onto a [ccProd]Fiendslayer Paladin[/ccProd].

[draft]Boon Satyr[/draft] [ccProd]Boon Satyr[/ccProd] gives us an instant-speed creature that helps us play around [ccProd]Supreme Verdict[/ccProd] and is efficient in the creature matchups. It’s cheaper to bestow when we have Hero of Iroas, it makes for a nice one-two punch with Unflinching Courage when an opponent taps out too. Against red/black decks we get to bring in Fiendslayer Paladin and slap this thing onto it, giving us a 6-power first-striking lifelinker.

[draft]Unflinching Courage[/draft] [ccProd]Unflinching Courage[/ccProd] is exceptionally powerful in the matchups where it’s good, but quite bad against decks packing tons of removal. It’s not unusual for decks to get really aggressive immediately following the release of a new set, and cloaking up is definitely the best way to deal with aggression.

[draft]Ethereal Armor[/draft] [ccProd]Ethereal Armor[/ccProd] gets pretty big in a deck like this. A lot of our cards count toward Ethereal Armor in this deck. This card usually allows us to attack into any board. It’s nice to combine this with Unflinching Courage and watch the game end against a red or red/green opponent.

[draft]Gods Willing[/draft] [ccProd]Gods Willing[/ccProd] seems like it could be pretty good in a deck like this. We’re going to be putting all of our eggs into a single basket a big portion of the time and having Gods willing at the ready means that our opponent is going to need another trick and another turn if they want to take apart our combo creature.

[draft]Spear of Heliod[/draft]

One copy of [ccProd]Spear of Heliod[/ccProd] seems very strong here. We’re playing a lot of guys and a lot of cards that count enchantments, in the mid-game our opponent will have trouble trading blows with us if we’re able to stick an active Spear of Heliod.

Let’s take a look at our deck list:

[deck]Main Deck
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Fleecemane Lion
4 Hero of Iroas
4 Voice of Resurgence
4 Witchstalker
4 Eidolon of Countless Battles
4 Boon Satyr
3 Unflinching Courage
1 Spear of Heliod
4 Ethereal Armor
2 Gods Willing
4 Temple of Plenty
4 Temple Garden
6 Forest
6 Plains
2 Mutavault
Sideboard:
3 Fiendslayer Paladin
2 Auramancer
2 Mistcutter Hydra
4 Skylasher
1 Banisher Priest
2 Mutavault
1 Unflinching Courage[/deck]

The deck is very well-suited to battle against other creature-based strategies, but the control decks can pose some serious problems. The list looks strong, but how should we approach specific matchups with a deck like this?

Control

We want to sideboard out our [ccProd]Unflinching Courage[/ccProd], [ccProd]Ethereal Armor[/ccProd], and S[/deck]pear of Heliod in an effort to maximize the value of each card we play.

Out

[draft]1 Spear of Heliod
3 Unflinching Courage
4 Ethereal Armor
2 Plains[/draft]

In

[draft]2 Mutavault
4 Skylasher
3 Auramancer
1 Mistcutter Hydra[/draft]

Black Devotion

Black Devotion could pose a big problem for our Aura deck. This deck is untested and Black Devotion tends to beat the snot out of things that aren’t trying to trample it. Our deck can beat [ccProd]Pack Rat[/ccProd] in a straight-up fight, but there will likely be fewer Rats in a world where most people have [ccProd]Bile Blight[/ccProd], [ccProd]Supreme Verdict[/ccProd], or [ccProd]Detention Sphere[/ccProd].

Out

[draft]1 Spear of Heliod
3 Unflinching Courage
4 Ethereal Armor[/draft]

In

[draft]3 Fiendslayer Paladin
3 Auramancer
2 Mutavault [/draft]

Red and/or Green-based Decks

Out

4 [ccProd]Eidolon of Countless Battles[/ccProd]

In

[draft]1 Unflinching Courage
3 Fiendslayer Paladin[/draft]

Blue Devotion

We lack a way to deal with [ccProd]Master of Waves[/ccProd] and we have a lot of [ccProd]Tidebinder Mage[/ccProd] targets. Nevertheless, we’re dropping [ccProd]Unflinching Courage[/ccProd] onto protection-from-blue creatures in postboarded games. I’m interested to see how this one plays out.

Out

[draft]1 Spear of Heliod
2 Gods Willing
4 Boon Satyr
1 Elvish Mystic[/draft]

In

[draft]4 Skylasher
2 Mistcutter Hydra
1 Banisher Priest
1 Unflinching Courage[/draft]

It’s worth exploring the possibilities available for suiting up hexproof creatures with [ccProd]Unflinching Courage[/ccProd]. Time will tell if this deck can stand up to Black Devotion, but we can be sure that this deck will be well equipped to fight creature-based decks while maintaining a strong and reasonable sideboarding plan against control.

Discussion

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