Into the Fray
After waiting so long for the piece on Mizzix’s star pupil Nivix, here’s Kalemne’s disciple of war, Boros Swiftblade! This guy is probably the most straightforward commander I’ve written about yet, so let’s skip right to the combat step.
With double-strike in the command zone, we’re sending a clear message on our game plan: combat damage. Since our commander is only a two drop, we can get him out early and aggro out the decks that need more time to find their wincons and combo pieces. Here’s my favorite buffs for our fearless leader.
Menace, Flying, and Protection from are all excellent ways to sneak damage through a wall of blockers. And obviously if we’re unblocked, the fire-breathing ability from Scourge of the Nobilis can close out a game early. Along those lines, I love Bravado, a relatively obscure enchantment that synergizes well with Icatian Crier and Cenn’s Enlistment.
Since my plan is to go tall with the commander, solely focusing on him is going to leave us open for crack-backs. We’re obviously going to need some defense to keep us alive while we put the pressure on our opponents. First up is my favorite combo, Ghostly Glare. This just lets us block every creature, every combat.
Of course removal is going to be coming our way with a suited-up commander and defensive line like that. So we’re gonna need protection for these creatures, and it’s more auras.
Last little piece of tech I enjoy having access to is the ability to block the unblockable. Great for those Jhessian Balmgivers and Steel of the Godhead out there.
What, you thought that without blue we couldn’t play cards on someone else’s turn? Not only that, but we can also interact with them on the stack! Red used to hate blue, turning the tables on it with its own counters. Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast both shut down counterspells coming our way. Mana Tithe is a pet card of mine that has blown out more than one winning combo, alongside Lapse of Certainty.
But while pretending to be blue is fun, we’re better than that. We can interact with cards that stick, no matter the type. I prefer cards that let us hit more than one permanent type, as the flexibility is often preferable over efficiency.
Apart from our commander, what other creatures do we want to run? In the past, I’ve focused on tribal strategies, and today is no different. Soldiers have a fair amount of lords at common, and we’re running them all.
I mentioned Cenn’s Enlistment earlier since it synergizes with Bravado. But it also synergizes with our lords above, letting it make up to two-threes. I think we can push this one card even further beyond that! How about we run the core of the classic Modern deck, Soul Sisters?
To round off our roster, I’m looking at the old ability Battlecry. With our tokens, battlecry turns one-ones into quick clocks and our commander doubles-up the buff on himself.
Not everyone can be a star player, but they can still support the stars. To fill out our ranks, I’m looking for creatures that care about equipment. This means creatures with evasion or get bonuses for being equipped, such as Metalcraft. Our Metalcrafters don’t even need the equipment on them to be buffed, which makes them quite efficient.
The last round of recruits have plenty of keywords, some known, some obscure, some hated. I’m looking at shadow, a keyword that makes the creature unblockable, but also can’t block, unless we run into another shadow. Infect is an easy way to become enemy #1 at the table, but I think it’s worth it. We’re already on the radar, so might as well go all in!
I chose Boros Swiftblade as the commander because I enjoy the double-strike ability, and I felt it was the closest fit for a Kalemne downshift. But Boros has many options, many of which can easily swap in here. Weapons Trainer is a fun choice if you focus more on the equipment and tokens side than I did. Sky Terror has built in double evasion, meaning we can focus more on damage. Dominaria brought in a fresh offering in Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker, someone who protects our buffs, preventing complete blowouts.
That wraps it up rather cleanly, I think. With a straightforward, uncomplicated commander like this, there’s quite a bit of room for personal expression and unique choices. We’ve only got one more C15 commander to get through, the corrupted elf from Phyrexia, Ezuri, Claw of Progress, and his newest convert, Skyrider Patrol.
Find the deck tech here: https://deckstats.net/decks/63605/1031777-boros-swiftblade-pdh/en