I remember the first mosh pit I was ever in. It was a Marilyn Manson concert, and I was 14. Those were the halcyon days of my youth, and a bright-eyed young man was ready to become a man. I thought pits were strictly throwing some weight around, which at the time, was about 120 lbs for me. I didn't realize there was pit etiquette: if they fall, help the person up. No fists. Observe the wall of people around you, and more. I was thrown around like a ragdoll and it was some of the most fun I've ever had.

A mosh pit translates to Commander better than you might think.

-The pit is the pod
-The etiquette is the house rules
-You make deals: when someone is falling, you help them up
-Someone is sweaty
-You throw your weight around
-You slam off each other until there is only one left standing

Damn. Magic is heavy metal.

I wanted a commander that encapsulated all those qualities. Green is weird folk music. White is a night at the symphony. Black is Scandinavian gloom music. Blue is deep house space techno.

That leaves red.

 

Rocking Out to Red

 

At its core, red is the most heavy metal Magic color out there. Machines are pumping. All reason is thrown out the window. Chaos reigns supreme. Check this out:

 

Living deep in the fire nation
Pain is our only translation
Because this world is the Grinding Station
*Sweet Guitar Solo*

 

I just made that up.

So anyhow, we know that red is where we want to be. But who should the commander be? Who is the heaviest of metals. Metals. Mirrodin. Connect the dots, Mark. Giant. Robot.

 

 

We did it! It's Bosh, Iron Golem!

Bosh does what we want him to do. He picks up huge pieces of metal and hurls them at people. What's more hardcore than that? When I figured out who should lead the band, the rest of the pieces fell right into place.

 

 

 

In the words of Olmec from Legends of the Hidden Temple:

 

 

 

The Set List

 

Bosh is a simple, straightforward deck with a lot of lines that aren't intuitive off the bat.

 

 

Your first phases of the game want to be spent sculpting your mana: ramping is very, very important. Keeping hands should entail making sure you have at least one piece of mana acceleration. As you can see, a lot of spells in the deck come with hefty costs, which explains exactly why we need to be able to hurry into those pieces. Artifact-based decks are inherently powerful when they're running on all cylinders, so we need that engine to be churning out of the gate.

 

 

 

The second phase of the game is developing your hand. Cards like Thrill of Possibility, Endless Atlas and Faithless Looting have multiple purposes.

Thrill of Possibility and Faithless Looting not only dig you deeper into your deck, but they also fill up your graveyard to fuel some of your most important tools like Trash for Treasure and Scrap Mastery. We want to find those big-payoff spells quickly, and drawing through our library quickly can set us up for the bigger turns.

When the ball finally gets rolling, you'll start dropping extremely expensive artifact spells and creatures. They're important because they offer you the following:

-Protection from the table because you're scary and no one wants to tick off the person with giant robots
-Potent fuel for Bosh, Iron Golem to hurl at people's heads
-Win conditions that are very difficult to contest

Where Bosh, Iron Golem is different than other artifact commanders comes from how synergistic he becomes without the need to combo. Arcum Dagsson has given artifact commanders a bad rap. It's not all about putting the pieces together and then locking your opponents out of the game. In Bosh's case, it's about creating a massive board presence that insulates you and gives you plenty of time to get your commander online.

The final stage, as I like to call it, is The Bosh Pit.

At a certain spot in the game you'll hit a saturation of artifacts that your opponents won't be able to deal with. Your Daretti, Scrap Savant and Scrap Mastery are going to insulate you from cards such as Vandalblast or Austere Command, and when that happens you begin Bosh Pitting.

 

 

For the investment of four mana, Bosh lets you sacrifice an artifact and deal damage to any target equal to its mana cost. You'll begin picking up Spine of Ish Sah and beating your opponents over the head with it, returning it to your hand and letting you play it again. Those mediocre artifact creatures like Ancient Stone Idol represent over a fourth of an opponent's life total! Now you can begin whipping things around like your name is Willow Smith.

When Bosh, Iron Golem gets rolling it becomes extremely hard to stop. Bosh also has the added benefit of "protecting" himself by chucking his own metal body at a target to finish them off and avoid losing value to cards like Banishing Light or Song of the Dryads. He might seem expensive, but you'll have so much mana it'll be a breeze to recast Bosh.

 

Upgrades

 

If Bosh, Iron Golem becomes one of your favorite decks there is an immensely high ceiling for investment into cards to upgrade it as well as add some big-hitting staples to your collection.

As far as lands go, Ancient Tomb is one of the best cards you can add to this deck. An early Tomb will let you put down your expensive cards in a much more rapid manner. When it comes to creatures you can't go wrong with any of the big Eldrazi creatures like Kozilek, the Great Distortion or Emrakul, the Promised End. I'm a huge fan of Wurmcoil Engine myself.

 

 

The additional artifact ramp is where the rabbit hole of spending begins. You'll want to add format all-stars like Mana Vault and Vedalken Orrery. Possibly the best card you can add would be Darksteel Forge. The combination of giving all your artifacts indestructible and being an expensive artifact for Bosh to throw makes it very alluring. To really kick this deck into overdrive, artifacts like Mox Opal, Metalworker, Mana Crypt and Wheel of Fortune can up the consistency.

Bosh, Iron Golem as underplayed as he is, doesn't absolutely need those expensive cards to be competitive at a table. Powerful ramp strategies are always good, and in some cases you'll jump to a lot of mana advantage very early and start picking off your opponents with huge chunks of damage. Don't be afraid to turn Bosh sideways as well! He's a 6/8 with trample! The amount of games I accidentally won by just attacking with Bosh is wild. When you're not throwing things, people tend to forget the Plan B is simply swinging with a massive mech.

We've established today why Bosh, Iron Golem is the heaviest of the heavy metal commanders. Get yourself ready, put on your angsty teenager band shirt, and get ready to go Boshing in the Bosh Pit.