Today I would like to discuss the breakout deck from PT GRN, Boros Weenies. I found myself playing LSV’s second place list from the pro tour:
A few observations and starting points before we go any further:
- Despite the number of Boros in the Top 8, the structure of a Pro Tour (i.e. the limited component, the high level play occurring at every table, and fully formed metagame that appears at these events), it is important to not misinterpret these results as a referendum on the top deck of the format. I believe players piloting these decks made the conscious decision to sacrifice points in their Golgari match-ups for points in the Drakes and Jeskai match-ups and were rewarded with above average records for it. The standard-only results paint a much different picture, where the metagame seems to be the following decks: Golgari, Jeskai, Drakes, Mono-Red Aggro, Mono-Blue Tempo, and Boros Midrange and it’s slightly weaker and faster younger brother, Boros/White Weenie. I believe we won’t be eliminating any of these decks from being relevant players at FNM and Standard Showdowns until the next 5 Guilds are introduced in Ravnica Allegiance.
- This deck is best thought of in the context of the Boros Angels/ Phoenix lists we have been seeing since the debut of GRN standard. Where Resplendant Angel and Rekindling Phoenix feel too slow at times, Boros Weenies slides it’s cards down the curve and stacks them at the one slot. You are trading the power of the 3 and 4 mana creatures for the speed and consistency of the one drops.
While most of your “best hands” involve an Ajani’s Pridemate on 2, there are so many strong “3 one drops by turn 2” hands (especially where Legion’s Landing is involved, land drops provided until turn 3, you can start activating as soon as turn 3, or even ramp into two 2 drops on 3. Think of it like this:
The life linking creatures on turn one are critical against any deck you suspect of having Deafening Clarion. By playing a turn 1 life linker into an Ajani’s Pridemate, you can outpace Clarion so by their turn 3 they can only kill the one drop, and whatever you dropped on 3 ( if this is a History of Benalia token you are in a fantastic place in the game.) Even IF they have the Lava Coil/Justice Strike for Pridemate, forcing a 2 mana removal spell on turn 3 and getting those swings in is exactly how you’re going to win against control decks, especially when you can’t rely on powerful cards like Phoenix and Lyra to close your games.
This equation and line of play is even easier against Drakes, where Fiery Cannonade is much weaker to Pridemate (the Lava Coils and Shocks change the terrain a quite a bit, so be aware when you are thinking about that second History of Benalia or not.) Be very aware that unlike the Jeskai decks with Crackling Drake and Niv-Mizzet, the presence of Enigma Drake is to be respected, they WILL kill you on the crack back.
The Weenies deck suffers against Golgari, where you could previously rely on the power of Rekindling Phoenix and Lyra to try to overcome whatever terrible things Wildgrowth Walker got away with so far in the game, you now have an army of 1/1’s and 2/2’s just getting bricked by the wall. I would not play the White Weenie/One-drop Boros lists if you are looking for an edge in this matchup, it’s elsewhere.
The mono blue matchup is interesting because you are both trying to do similar things. I believe you are favored because your creatures are just better than theirs (bigger stats) outside of Tempest Djinn, and unblockable Merfolk and Siren Stormtamers were not meant to block (I wrote about that here) and the amount of lifelink you have is not to be discounted. So far in these match-ups, I’ve found myself to be able to take 2-3 full Djinn hits comfortably thanks to the life link and life gain triggers. The Mono-Blue deck also does not have a real solid board wipe being played now, other than Selective Snare, and outside of soldiers it’s not very reliable to hit all your stuff at once, and even then these are mostly one drops, so the tempo they are trying to gain is minimal. Their ability to counter Benalia is meaningful. On the other hand, they have no way to answer a flipped Legion’s Landing. Be aware of Spell Pierce/Wizard’s Retort’s for History of Benalia’s and Conclave Tribunal game one, and you’ll be in much better shape when the Baffling Ends have been sideboarded.
With the solid matchups against all the decks playing blue cards right now, this will be an important deck to keep in mind as you brew and continue to work through the season.