• derek

Bor-Oops All Spells - Standard

Ever since Wizards of the Coast started offering the preorder box promos, I've had a little itch that needed to be scratched. The first release of these cards was Firesong and Sunspeaker, a very interesting build of a Boros legend that I think many people were hoping for. Now I know that it is a shame that these preorder promos can't be got from booster packs, especially in the case of cards like Nexus of Fate, that have potential in older formats as well (this is a topic for another day). However, with the release of Guilds of Ravnica, we finally have some cards that I feel can create a very fun semi-competitive deck for all of you Friday Night Magic fans out there. I give you a deck I affectionately call: Bor-Oops All Spells.

Let's take a look at the namesake card.

Firesong and Sunspeaker is a very interesting card. Seeing renowned applause in commander, it hasn't really see any Standard play. And who can blame Type 2 players? Before Guilds of Ravnica, we had few cards that worked well with the legend. We were also in a much faster meta with explosive red aggro decks. It wasn't until we lost four of our Standard sets that we were able to even really contemplate this card again. This is also not to say that we don't currently have the potential for quick aggro right now. Boros has some great mechanics, and there is some success with a mono red Experimental Frenzy deck (of which, I'm sure I'll build a version of). These decks can be quite fast, but lack a lot of hasty threats that the RDW decks of Standard's past had access to.

So, with a slower meta, I think we may actually be able to use a 6 drop effectively. Especially, since cards like Izoni, Thousand-Eyed and Vraska, Relic Seeker are beginning to see more play. While these cards do make more of an immediate impact on the game when they come into play, its a good indicator that other six drops have more impact than they used to have.

For 4-red-white, we get a 4/6 legendary creature with a very fun ability. Red instant and sorcery spells you control have lifelink and whenever a white instant or sorcery spell causes you to gain life, Firesong and Sunspeaker deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Wow! That's some really cool abilities, especially for a Boros card. We haven't seen an ability like this since Soulfire Grandmaster, which unfortunately wasn't a legendary creature (for commander players).

And with all of the hybrid mana and gold cards floating around right now, I think we'll find just enough support to have a fun FNM deck. Let's take a look at the deck in more detail, and break down our strategies.


This deck is purposefully creature light. We are running four copies of each: Firesong and Sunspeaker, Electrostatic Field, and Runaway Steamkin.

Electrostatic Field is a perfect fit for this deck. It systematically whittles down our opponent's life total, comes down very early, and has a big butt to soak up damage from aggro. This really helps fuel the effectiveness of our other spells. We are also running a play set of Runaway Steamkin. This might be the biggest oddity in the deck to some people, but Steamkin fits really well in this list, at least in my opinion. Not only does literally all of our spells grow the steamkin (excluding a few sideboard options), but it helps us to facilitate huge plays by providing an additional 3 mana, sometimes even allowing us to use the ability more than once in a turn. It helps us to get down our Firesong and Sunspeaker a turn or 2 early, and can be a big attacker or blocker in its own right. Lastly, we are running a play set of Firesong and Sunspeaker. The main reason for this is because we 1) know that it will die and 2) we have cards that may force us to discard it. So, having four copies gives us a little extra flexibility throughout the game.

Card Advantage.

Speaking of cards that for us to discard...lets talk about our card advantage!

We are running a playset of both Risk Factor and The Flame of Keld. We want to be aggressive with our burn spells in this deck. By doing so, we empty our hands very quickly. So, the discard effect of The Flame of Keld doesn't quite hurt us as much as would in other decks. That draw 2 after our draw step feels great, and the red sources dealing double an extra +2 damage per, is amazing. That means our Electrostatic Fields will lightning bolt our opponents. Our Steamkins hit for 6...Our Firesong and Sunspeakers will do 5 to a creature or opponent whenever we cast a Red/White burn spell (and in 1 case, can deal up to 15 damage with one 4 mana spell). It just fits really well in this deck.

Risk Factor...I know, I know. I build with this card a lot it seems (and it won't be the last time! Muhahaha), and I understand people's concerns with it. But, in a deck designed to be as aggressive with our spells as we are, our opponents really WON'T want to take the 4 damage, but if they do, we can at least get value off of it with a Sunspeaker in play gaining 4 life or by doing an additional 2 with Flame of Keld. This may not be the final home for Risk Factor, but I think it has some legs to be a decent inclusion. And since we aren't solely relying on it for our card advantage, I'm comfortable with leaving it in the main list, at least for now.

Removal Package.

So, now that we are all setup, lets take a look at our removal package. It is honestly the easiest part of the deck.

We are running a play set of Lightning Strike, Integrity // Intervention, Deafening Clarion, and Response // Resurgence. This suite of spells gives us something to do almost every turn of the game. Personally, I would hold Lightning Strikes for direct damage to the face, same with Intervention (whenever possible), and prioritize Response or Deafening Clarion for your primary removal. What's great about Deafening Clarion is that depending on when it's played, all of our creatures can survive the onslaught. And with an ulting Flame of Keld, you can get a nice 5 damage sweep, just small enough to keep our Firesong and Sunspeaker around...Speaking of which, just imagine gaining all that life, and still nugging your opponent for 3 (you can also gain an additional 3 if you choose both modes).

Now lets talk about that 15 damage for 4 mana I was talking about...

This line needs to have a couple things go right for you (this falls into Christmas Land). Let's say you draw your 2 off of a 2nd lore counter Flame of Keld, then draw Firesong and Sunspeaker (assuming you don't have one already) and Integrity // Intervention. You play the legend first, then on your next turn when Flame of Keld ults, you cast Intervention for 2RW. Intervention deals 3 to any target (in this case your opponent), but since its red, it deals +2 and lifelink. You gain 3 life from the ability on the card, which triggers Firesong and Sunspeaker, doming your opponent for an additional 3+2 since the legend is also red. Then Firesong and Sunspeaker triggers again from the 5 damage gained from the lifelink damage, causing an additional 5 damage to your opponent. So, all in total you dome your opponent for 15 and gain 8 life. Even if that never happens, having the potential for big burn like that seems like a great deal to me.

What was cut; what to upgrade.

I decided against putting Guttersnipe in the deck, at the advice of Jeremy. It dies much easier than Electrostatic Field, and it is always hard to take off a turn to play it just to have your opponent destroy it right away. Electrostatic Field is a better fit as it is less assuming, quicker to come down, and can block quite a bit of damage. We also are not running any spells that just gain us life. These are just bad, they don't impact the board enough and don't really do anything if we there is no Firesong and Sunspeaker.

The final list ended up being pretty tight, but there is room to grow. I'd say if you are in an aggressive meta, I'd run either Shock or Shivan Fire. Shivan Fire is probably what I would lean toward for prioritizing creature removal, but that's just me. If you are up against a lot of graveyard decks in your meta, consider running exile effects like Lava Coil (especially against Rekindling Phoenix decks) or graveyard hate like Sentinel Totem or Silent Gravestone; to piggy back off this, you can also run Ashes of the Abhorrent against tokens or Jump-Start decks. If you are in more of a control meta, I'd consider running a playset of Banefire main deck with a couple Inescapable Blaze in the sideboard for good measure.

Sideboard It Up.

Now, lets touch on our sideboard. For our control match up, we are running 3 copies of Banefire for uncounterable burn, 2 copies of Expansion for red counterspell, and 1 copy of Experimental Frenzy for more permanent card advantage. I would board out 4 Deafening Clarion and 2 Response // Resurgence (unless you know they are running cards like Lyra, in which case, Lightning Strike).

Against tokens lists, I would bring in 3 the Fiery Cannonades and maybe even the Settle the Wreckages. I would consider taking out the 4 Response // Resurgence and 1 Firesong and Sunspeaker. We also are running the pair of Settle the Wreckage for hexproof monsters. Against troublesome artifacts and enchantments, we are running a pair of Invoke the Divine. We also have a pair Sorcerous Spyglass to help deal with Vraska, Teferi, and those pesky flipped lands.

In Conclusion.

I'm pretty proud of this deck, I think it turned out really fun. Will it get you first place at a Grand Prix? Nah, but will you be able to take down some games with your friends at an FNM? Most assuredly. This deck has a lot of fun synergy with a lot of really neat effects. I think that if you bust this out, you'll find just how well it all fits together. It's also not to bad on the wallet either, considering it's about 100 dollars for the whole thing.

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