Guilds of Ravnica Constructed Set Review: Boros

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Before I introduce the grading scale, I offer the usual caveat—the grades don’t tell the whole story, and what I write about each card provides context.

Ratings Scale

5.0: Multi-format all-star. (Jace, the Mind SculptorTarmogoyfSnapcaster Mage.)
4.0: Format staple. (Jace, Vryn’s ProdigyCollected CompanyRemand.)
3.5: Good in multiple archetypes and formats, but not a staple. (Jace BelerenRadiant FlamesShambling Vent.)
3.0: Archetype staple. (Jace, Architect of ThoughtZulaport CutthroatExplosive Vegetation.)
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Jace, Memory AdeptAnticipateTransgress the Mind.)
2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. (Jace, the Living GuildpactNaturalizeDuress.) Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although an explanation is obviously important.
1.0: It has seen play once. (One with Nothing). (I believe it was tech vs. Owling Mine, although fairly suspicious tech at that.)

Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice

Constructed: 3.5

Aurelia is priced to move, and move quickly she does. For all the same reasons she’s awesome in Limited, she’s great in Constructed, to the point where even mono-red decks want to splash white. Aurelia deals 2 extra damage immediately, thanks to her trigger, and then acts as a 4/5 flying, vigilance, trample that even distributes a +1/+1 counter. That’s a lot of action for 4 mana, and her resistance to removal makes her a very safe bet. Red decks have a lot of 4-drop options, and Aurelia is among the best of them.

Boros Challenger

Constructed: 3.0

Boros Challenger isn’t bad either. The 4 mana pump ability is expensive, but the threat of activation means that the opponent has to respect it when blocking. The real payoff here is mentor, as this is the perfect 2-drop to follow up a 1-drop with, and it stacks well with cards like Aurelia and Ajani that can make the Challenger bigger.

Chance for Glory

Constructed: 2.0

Glory: 5.0

If you’re looking for glory, this is the right place. You feel like a real hero when you win the game with this, even if I don’t think it’s reliable enough to see much play. It is funny that the indestructible is forever, so if you stop yourself from losing with something like a Gideon emblem, that persists.

Deafening Clarion

Constructed: 3.5

This is a really sweet card. It’s way more of a controlling card than an aggressive one, but mentor and generally large creatures means that you can definitely play this in a creature-heavy deck. That gets you the most out of both modes, and can lead to huge swings in aggro matchups. Deafening Clarion is an easy card to cast given the manafixing you have available, and a ton of different decks are going to want to play it.

Justice Strike

Constructed: 3.5

Boros gets the best sweeper and gets a Doom Blade? What is this world coming to? Is there any justice for Dimir? This card is an awesome removal spell, and takes out almost any creature you really care about (notably, Aurelia dodges). This is going to be a key part of control decks and aggro decks alike, though some may choose to sideboard it rather than start it in the main deck.

Swiftblade Vindicator

Constructed: 2.0

I like the idea here, but it’s a tad too weak on its own. Swiftblade Vindicator gets out of control quickly with pump spells, so definitely keep an eye on it, but there are enough options that are solid without help that most decks won’t be looking to play this.

Tajic, Legion’s Edge

Constructed: 3.0

Boros really got paid off here, and Tajic gives it a real edge when it comes to constructing beatdown decks. Tajic swings for effectively 4 damage right away, protects the rest of your team from Deafening Clarion, and even has first strike to punch through blockers (once you have a couple of mana up). I’m seeing tons of reasons to be Boros over Mono-Red, and Tajic is one of them.

Integrity // Intervention

Constructed: 2.5

I really like when sweet split cards see play, and Integrity // Intervention definitely checks that box for me. It’s a pump spell for cheap and a removal spell for not-so-cheap, with the combination being something that plenty of aggressive decks will be interested in.

Response // Resurgence

Constructed: 2.5

This is less a split card and more Response with a kicker, as you will cast this as a deal 5 more than 80% of the time. Still, that’s enough to have it see play, and every now and then you will cast Resurgence and hit them for a ton.

Top 3 Boros Cards

3. Justice Strike
2. Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
1. Deafening Clarion

Wow, Boros is absurd. I expected it to get some aggressive tools, and it did. What I did not expect was for it to get multiple great removal spells and a sweeper, which really pushes Boros midrange and Jeskai control. It’s a good day to be living in the Sacred Foundry, or working in it, or whatever Boros folks do in that place.


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