Running the Gauntlet – Boros, Day 2 (Valakut)

Yesterday, I tackled Vampires, but that wasn’t the real test of Boros. Coming in, my biggest problem with Boros was what I assumed the Valakut matchup would look like. It seemed like it would be difficult for Boros to outrace Valakut and play around Pyroclasm effects, and there weren’t any really easy sideboard cards. Mark of Mutiny was good, but if it didn’t kill them immediately, you almost always just died afterwards. Still, if Boros did emerge with a passable Valakut matchup, it would make me pretty confident in the deck, so it was time to battle.

Once again, here is the Boros list:


Day 2: Valakut, piloted by wrapter (Josh Utter-Leyton).

Wrapter showed up with the Valakut deck he liked best, which happened to be the Inferno Titan/Summoning Trap version (though I didn’t know that beforehand). That seemed like a good version to test against, especially since it would be even tougher than normal Valakut, so if I did well, that was a good sign.

On the the videos!

Channel LSV: Standard Gauntlet – Boros vs. Valakut

To see the rest of this deck’s matchups, as well as the current Running the Gauntlet series, click here!

Preboard Games

I went 1-2 in preboard games, and I don’t even think his draws were that good. It didn’t feel like I was that close to outracing a normal draw, especially if he drew 1-2 Lightning Bolts/Overgrown Battlements. Perhaps I was right, perhaps this was the reason Boros wasn’t a good deck right now. Well, one way to find out…






As I said in the videos, Goblin Guide seemed too weak against walls and Pyroclasms, and Arc Trail was obviously horrible. The Divine Offering probably won’t always come in, but once I knew wrapter was bringing in Wall of Tanglecord it became mandatory. Worst comes to worst, you leave in one Guide or something.

Postboard Games

Now we’re talking! Going 3-1 postboard was heartening, and it was due to an unexpected card. I brought in Firewalkers thinking they would be solid, but they ended up being insane. Kor Firewalker plus Sword of Body and Mind or Bonehoard was the reason I won every game just about, and they seemed like a huge problem for Valakut. Admittedly, I never drew Mark of Mutiny (though it would have been pretty good), and he wasn’t initially boarding in Nature’s Claim or Acidic Slime. The Firewalker + equipment plan was sweet, and made the matchup feel not horrible.

I do feel like more testing is needed before I deliver a final verdict, since Mark didn’t really come into play much, and he never had a fast Primeval Titan, just Inferno Titan.

Cards I wanted

Kor Firewalker. If they were this good, I wouldn’t say no to a fourth.
Sword of Body and Mind. I doubt I’ll have room for the second, but bringing in two against Valakut could be pretty sweet, both as Nature’s Claim protection and to just mill them out rapidly.
Mark of Mutiny. Never drew it, but if it is as good as it seems, a third might be awesome.

Potential cuts

There was nothing specifically that wasn’t doing its job. If more stuff is needed, something has to go, but it won’t be any Valakut-specific card.

Thoughts on the Matchup

I don’t want to quibble, but I just need to play this more. I certainly learned things about the matchup, such as how awesome Sword and Firewalker are, but Mark of Mutiny still needs more testing. I’m fairly sure that this favors Valakut, though by less of a margin than I thought previously. If this ends up being not terrible for Boros, I would recommend Boros pretty strongly for anyone looking for a Standard deck right now (depending on how the Caw-blade matchup goes, of course).

Tomorrow I get the rug pulled out from under me (I leave it up to the reader to determine which deck I mean)…


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