Shadows over Innistrad is nearly here and my excitement level is growing with every day. Proxy season is in full swing. In fact, I wore out at least two Sharpies last week.
Today I’d like to share one of the stranger decks to come out of my brewing sessions: RW Equipment.
Undefined Meta: BE AGGRESSIVE
I know that the deck looks like a complete pile on paper. Overall, it is one of the best performing decks in my gauntlet.
Do I think it is likely that RW Equipment is going to be the best deck in Standard? No. Unlikely.
The fact of the matter is that in an undefined format (such as a rotating Standard), aggressive, linear strategies are advantaged.
After the last Standard rotation, I won the first Open of the season with a combo Atarka Red deck that preyed on people being too cute or too clunky on week 1. Red decks typically do well out of the gate.
In a brand new format, what better place to begin than with a combo-aggro style deck that pushes every opponent to the test right from the start?
Let’s look at what the Boros deck does.
My deck is not that kind of deck, at all.
“BONE SAW IS READY!!!”
The true value of this deck is taking advantage of these 2 powerful creatures:
Both creatures provide cheap anthem effects that pump your team in the red zone.
Also, it is worth noting that Weapons Trainer doesn’t need to be equipped to pump your team. Trainer only cares that you control an equipment, period.
Tokens and anthems. And, Bone Saws… sounds like a combo?
Bone Saw is actually the most important card in the deck because it fuels both Bushwhacker and Weapons Trainer! Funny how 0-cost cards are good, right?
The other equipment-matters creatures are also synergistic in this deck. As a 1-drop, Acolyte is great because any 2-drop allows you to try and draw an equipment right away on turn 2. He is also an enabler for Bushwhacker.
Stone Haven Outfitter is the card that got me to design the deck in the first place. I had an outrageously good draft deck at PT Atlanta that featured 2 copies. I was impressed and wanted to try to build a Standard deck around it.
Outfitter provides utility and staying power. He pumps equipped creatures and also lets you draw cards when your creatures die. Stone Haven makes your creatures effective in creature-based combat situations.
Unfortunately, you can’t play 10 Bone Saws…
Masterwork does the least amount of work of the equipment. I’m seriously considering trying out Spidersilk Net… I do think that 10 equipment is the minimum to consistently have one. The deck doesn’t “work” if you don’t have equipment.
Rhymes with “Shall I?”
The deck also has a potent Ally theme. The reason I’m playing Masterwork is that nearly every card produces Allies, which is really something for a 1-cost equipment.
The Ally synergy also enables the Stoneforge Acolyte to always find a partner to cohort with!
Another really cool interaction in this deck is between:
The other cool interaction with Oath is that it makes Gideon come into play with an extra loyalty—meaning that you can go for an emblem and have him survive!
The one card from Shadows over Innistrad to make the main deck—a cheap equipment-matters combat trick. It is also a great enabler for Bushwhacker since the token it produces will get pumped and get haste!
Don’t Boros with Sideboard Stuff…
I don’t have a great feel for how the format is going to look but there are a few cards I know that I like in the sideboard.
In an aggro tokens deck, a 1-mana removal spell that kills basically everything is insane. It’s very good in aggressive creature-based matchups.
It makes it so that your opponents cannot attack or block! It lives through Radiant Flames and Flaying Tendrils! It deals with everything that people try to throw at you post-board. Archangel is completely absurd in any deck that can manage the WWW to cast it.
Yeah, Collected Company is still a thing…
It is kind of funny that a deck like this has actually been performing so well for me in the gauntlet so far. There is something to be said for playing focused, fast strategies against clunky and unfocused decks!
Speaking of clunky and unfocused things in the theme of “suiting up,” I saw Batman V Superman. Spoiler alert: it was Dark Knight Returns except they changed all the things that were interesting about that comic into things that were insultingly nonsensical. Also, I believe that Batman would enjoy playing an equipment-based deck, for whatever that’s worth.
The deck is an absolute blast to play. Everything it does feels powerful and synergistic. Even if it turns out that the deck is more of a week-1 deck than a long-term powerhouse, I’m thinking that I’ll leave it together for FNMs. The other upside is that aside from the Gideon, Ally of Zendikars, the rest of the deck is mostly $0.50 and $1 cards. It can be a very solid “starter” deck for new players.
If equipment is good enough for Batman, then it is good enough for me. And remember: “A true Boros commando only calls for reinforcements so they can clean up the mess.”