10 Aug 2012

Blog standard: R/W Humans

After constructing my very reactive Token the Biscuit deck, I decided to switch to a more aggressive strategy. I'd tried a Naya build but it didn't seem to work.
With Return to Ravnica approaching I thought I'd return to Boros, a deck I played in Standard before Stoneforge Mystic was banned.

Red White Humans is a pretty strong deck. It has a lot of synergy and can lead to quick wins. Here is my first list:

Clifftop Retreat x 4
Evolving Wilds x 3
Cavern of Souls x 2
Plains x 9
Mountain x 6

Champion of the Parish x 4
Doomed Traveller x 4 
Lightning Mauler x 3
Suture Priest x 3
Silverblade Paladin x 3
Kessig Malcontents x 3 
Hero of Bladehold x 2
Odric, Master Tactician x 2
Hell Rider x 2

Pillar of Flame x 4 
Gather the Townsfolk x 4
Brimstone Volley x 2 

Human League -  R/W Strengths

The deck performs strongest with Champion of the Parish followed by Gather the Townsfolk then Silverblade Paladin to provide a 4/4 Champion with double strike on turn three. Alternatively, a turn two Lightning Mauler paired with a next turn Paladin enables a swing of 11.  

Strike more than once with this guy
Lightning Mauler is under-rated. It can set up aggressive turns and lead to a shorter game. It enables an instant assault from Hero of Bladehold, swinging for 10 on turn four with these two cards alone, courtesy of Battle cry. 

Lighting Mauler also helps a master tactician get into battle. 

A relation of  Connery and Kenobi
Odric, another under-rated card, helped me break a stalemate in a recent game with my bearded opponent Olly, allowing me to swing unblocked for 17 damage. Well he would have done if Olly hadn't lost nine life from my Suture Priests. During another game I had the choice of playing Kessig Malcontents to deal nine damage but Odric's presence allowed my team to swing for much more.  

I can get this Pitchfork cheaper over there
 Human Leaks - R/W Weaknesses

The obvious drawbacks for R/W Humans are Sword of War and Peace and any kind of mass removal. In one game, Olly drew a Bonfire of the Damned on turn three and completely blew me out.

While Cavern of Souls helps get your creatures past counter magic, Delver decks still possess Vapour Snag and Unsummon which can send a 4/4 double striking Champion of the Parish running back your hand.  

While the deck can deal large amounts of damage quickly, I feel it could be faster. Champion of the Parish is usually killed pretty quickly and playing one late game doesn't have the desired effect.
I'm planning to modify the deck, keeping the R/W theme but changing the approach. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Another issue is the mana base. As with B/W tokens the lands aren't there to produce a steady stream of spell inducing power. This should change with a new set of lands in Return to Ravnica. In fairness, the deck plateaus at four mana but it's always useful to keep options open.   

Spoiled Gifts

Two spoiled cards from Return to Ravnica

Candy-floss! Get your candy floss here!


Great, more tokens. Surrounded by indestructible trees
I hope this article wasn't too Bor(os)ing.

Happy Gaming,

John, Golgari Lich Lord and part-time Candy-floss seller

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