Boros Bully Pauper Deck Guide

Boros Bully feels like it can only exist in Pauper. The is a hybrid of the popular Boros Monarch midrange deck and Battle Screech-fueled token strategies. It was first run by Pauper brewer deluxeicoff, running Mage-Ring Bully, but as the hive mind took hold, the deck started to resemble the builds we see today more closely. I got this list off a recommendation from someone in the MTGPauper Discord who recommended using a build from WhiTe TsaR. This list comes from the September 27th Pauper Challenge.

Pauper Boros Bully

Boros Bully has one real path to victory and that is heading into the Red Zone. Unlike Boros Monarch, it does not have access to Galvanic Blast to help end games. Instead it wants to use its air force, composed of Squadron Hawk and Battle Screech, backed up with Rally the Peasants to win over one or two attacks. It can also pressure life totals with Seeker of the Way.

Where other aggressive strategies can run out of gas in the mid-game, Boros Bully has a few engines to keep things going. First, the deck runs four copies of Faithless Looting. Bully has several cards with flashback, including four copies of Prismatic Strands, four copies of Battle Screech, and two copies of Rally the Peasants. Looting can be used early to help sculpt draws and to also get key cards – namely Screech and Strands – into the graveyard. In certain matchups it can be correct to use Squadron Hawk first to fill your hand and then dump some of the 1/1s. Bully also runs the full complement of Boros Garrison which can pick up a land to then discard it with Looting. In the middle stages of a game, Faithless Looting can be used to rip through the deck, pitching excess land to find fresh cards.

The second engine in the deck is the Monarch. Palace Sentinels can come down and generate a free card every turn. Thanks to Prismatic Strands it can be very difficult to steal the Monarch from Bully unless the opponent resolves their own Palace Sentinels or Thorn of the Black Rose.

The early game is all about setting up your board. Ideally you want access to three mana early, as well as either a Faithless Looting or a Squadron Hawk. Thraben Inspector or Wind-Scarred Crag are your ideal turn one plays, and they can buy you a little bit of time. Most of the first few turns should be dedicated to building up your flyers while walking the tightrope of getting blown out by Electrickery or Suffocating Fumes. Setting up enough flyers is vital since you want to go for the win with Rally the Peasants.

Rally can be binned early since you can often generate enough creatures to win with only one half of the card. Keep in mind that against Spellstutter Sprite decks you want to hold on to Rally the Peasants since you will likely be facing blockers. In these instances, you can set up a sequence when you win in two attacks, often sacrificing a few flyers to get through damage.

Sequencing with Boros Bully is not always the most intuitive. Nominally an aggressive deck, Bully will often bypass attacking if it means adding bird tokens with Battle Screech. Chip damage is important since Bully can easily bring an opponent who was at 15 life to dead in one swing. During the set up, you want to leave Seeker of the Way untapped if possible. This will allow Seeker to attack and generate a life buffer. Alternatively, if you have a Strands in the graveyard you can leave Seeker back to activate Strands while also gaining you a good chunk of life.

Prismatic Strands is possibly the most played card in the deck. It can be used offensively to pick off blockers and to protect your attackers, or defensively by fogging the aggressor’s color. With four copies of Strands it can often be correct to burn one early if it means protecting board position. Bully can win with one or two creatures, but the job is much easier when the air is full of birds.

Bully has some very good matchups and some rather poor ones. So much of it depends on your opponent’s main deck configuration. At this point and time, Bully struggles more than usual thanks to the presence of Suffocating Fumes. While Electrickery can be “countered” by Prismatic Strands, Fumes is a hard answer. Bully can easily overwhelm black decks early but can fall flat if they spit out all their creatures early. Against Swamps, try to hold back a copy of Battle Screech in your hand and not the yard (thanks Bojuka Bog).

Boros Bully has an advantage against most aggressive decks thanks to Prismatic Strands. Seeker of the Way is worth its weight in gold here as it can keep your life total high enough for the birds to get the job done. Against Stompy you want to do your best to protect Seeker from Savage Swipe. Against Burn you need to evaluate if running Seeker into a Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning will save you precious life points. If you put them on Searing Blaze it is better to hold Seeker back until you can protect it with Prismatic Strands.

In a Boros mirror, you want to be the one with more copies of Prismatic Strands. Games against Boros Monarch can drag out. You want to cast Palace Sentinels second and then set up a game state where your Guardian of the Guildpact can go the distance. Be careful if you are using a Guardian to block in the mirror – Flaring Pain will turn off the damage prevention aspect of Protection and can leave you with a broken spirit.

Tron is all about whether or not you can win before they set up their defenses. It is possible to catch Tron with their shields down and win with Rally the Peasants. Considering how long it can take to set up enough creatures, Bully has a rough time turning the corner before Tron can find a Moment’s Peace. Post-board the copies of Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast are key in trying to contain Tron and potentially clear out blockers.

Flicker Tron

In: 4 Pyroblast, 2 Red Elemental Blast, 1 Flaring Pain

Out: 2 Prismatic Strands, 1 Firebolt, 2 Journey to Nowhere, 1 Guardian of the Guildpact, 1 Oblivion Ring

Boros Monarch

In: 2 Relic of Progenitus, 1 Flaring Pain

Out: 2 Journey to Nowhere, 1 Oblivion Ring

Boros Bully Mirror

In: 2 Electrickery, 1 Flaring Pain

Out: 1 Firebolt, 1 Oblivion Ring, 1 Abrade


No Changes

Dimir Faeries

In: 2 Electrickery

Out: 1 Abrade, 1 Firebolt

Izzet Faeries

In: 2 Electrickery

Out: 1 Abrade, 1 Firebolt

Black-Based Midrange

In: 2 Relic of Progenitus

Out: 2 Journey to Nowhere


In: 2 Leave no Trace

Out: 2 Journey to Nowhere


In: 2 Leave no Trace, 2 Electrickery

Out: 1 Abrade, 1 Firebolt, 2 Journey to Nowhere

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