So I went to a PTQ this past weekend. It was probably my first PTQ in about two years and I only went so that when Melissa went to Pro Tour Journey Into Nyx in a couple months, maybe I could find myself playing beside her. Despite a 3-0 start I managed to find myself two losses in the next three rounds and ended up dropping. I went to a table in the back to talk to buddy of mine and Florida Judge Matt Newnam and he ended up telling me that he had a spicy Boros brew that I should take a look at. So look at it I did...

DECKID=1189118

I have something of a soft spot for aura decks with hexproof creatures, and this one looked pretty sweet, especially since the release of Born of the Gods. While we don't have any hexproof creatures, we do have a ton of bestow creatures, along with a butt ton (that's from the metric system) of new enchantments...some of which are also creatures! Apparently the deck was a collaboration between Matt and his friends, Sean Harkin, and Benjamin Stevens. I told Matt before leaving the PTQ that I would love to try the deck out on Thursday, giving full credit to everyone who had a hand in making it.

So here we are.

Boros Auras vs. Monoblack Devotion

Boros Auras vs. Monoblack Devotion, Match 2

Boros Auras vs. RW Devotion

Boros Auras vs. Monoblack Devotion, Match 3

I'm just going to call those three matches Monoblack Devotion. While I did see both Temple of Malice and Temple of Silence in all three matches, I didn't see a single other red or white card, so they could just be Monoblack decks that are using the red scry land. Who knows? Either way, they played identically to Monoblack Devotion, so there's no reason to call them anything else and I apologize for having to show us play against three Monoblack decks. On the brightside, we did win all of those matches! Yay!

I swear, every time I play an archetype with Madcap Skills in it, it blows my mind. There's a certain way we need to look at Madcap Skills, and it's like this: if the creature we enchant get to attack even once with Madcap Skills on, we can consider the Skills a Lightning Bolt. That way, yeah, we're getting two-for-one'd, but we got an extra three damage in, which is like Bolting their face. Not the best trade, but it does fall in line with our goal, which is to deal a lot of damage quickly and if one card ends up "dealing three damage" then we've gotten a use out of it.

One thing that the deck should be careful of is all the one-drops. Much like Bogles, the deck definitely needs a specific set of cards to be drawn in the opening hand to truly function, and a hand full of too many Nyxborn Shieldmates and Nyxborn Rollickers. Too many auras and you're going down. Too many one-drop creatures and you're going down. You want a nice mix of flagship creatures (Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Hero of Iroas), auras, and bestow guys. A protection spell or two would also be nice. In fact I could definitely see cutting an Ajani, Caller of the Pride for a third Gods Willing. The fact that our creatures don't have hexproof means that we definitely want all the ways to protect them that we can get.

One change I found myself wanting was an extra Plains instead of a Mountain. We have a handful of double white spells (and even more out of the sideboard) and yet none of our spells cost double red. There were several games where I wanted to play out multiple white cards, or even cast a Brimaz, King of Oreskos, and I was stuck with two Mountains and one Plains. Not ideal, and when out white mana to red mana ratio is so high (high? Is that how ratios work?), it just seems logical that we add more white and less red.

Ironically, I did manage to win all of the matches against Monoblack Devotion as I mentioned. This is the matchup I figured I would be weakest against, but there you have it. I think have six protection spells in the main deck, and them not having many creatures to throw in front of Madcap Skills really helped, but who knows, maybe we just got lucky.

While I actually loved this deck, and I think it is a complete breath of fresh air, I could be lying if I said there weren't cards I would love to include. Cards like Phalanx Leader or Fabled Hero appeal to me in some strange way, but I know in my heart that isn't really a heroic deck...or is it? Hmm. I can see playing out a bunch of our one mana enchantment creatures, then casting a Phalanx Leader and hitting him with a Madcap Skills and a Nyxborn Rollicker to give all of our guys +2/+2. While this might fall under "living the dream," it still seems pretty sweet and not terribly unreasonable.

If you're looking for an exciting alternative for Standard, I would suggest you give this list a try. Other than Brimaz, King of Oreskos, it's reasonably affordable and it's quite fun. It also has a lot of room for decision making and a lot of ways to steal wins. Basically it has a lot to offer in terms of what qualities it has as a deck! That's all I have for this week. And I know I promised it last week, but Melissa has arrived, and we should be showing off a RW Prison list in Modern on Monday. (I found one on Reddit.) Thanks for reading and I'll catch you next week!

Frank Lepore
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