Andrew Jackson Highlander - Anax and Cymede
Aura of Heroes
Welcome to Andrew Jackson Highlander, a weekly series where I share an EDH deck tech that costs $20 or less. For the third AJH post, we’re taking the typical Boros approach and going aggro. However, we will be taking an enchantment approach with some heroic help from [[Anax and Cymede]].
This week, just like Ricky Bobby, we want to go fast.
This deck does what you expect out of a Boros deck, put the pedal on the floor and then put it through the floor. We are looking to grow up a huge board with token producers like Akroan Crusader and Ajani's Chosen, building up the team with cards like Phalanx Leader, and alpha striking with cards like Signal Pest and Honored Crop-Captain. It really helps that our commander(s) can help push damage by pumping the team and giving them evasion.
Aura of Heroes
Fast and wide. Fast and wide. This deck wants to get out of the gate and start building up a board in the early game. Most of the creatures in the deck are very low cmc and the token producers, while there aren't a ton of them, can very efficiently build up a great midgame board with the right hand.
Once we get to the midgame, we want to be turning everything sideways and using heroic shenanigans to start knocking our opponents out. We also have a few ways to protect our board to make sure we can keep pushing damage.
While we really want to get off to that lightning fast start, we want to make sure we don't completely play out our hand. Because like most aggro decks, we have a hard time building back up to a relevant board state after getting hit by a board wipe. The deck does give us some tools to bounce back from one wipe, with some decent draw engines thanks to cards that reduce the cost of our auras and auras that we can play and return to our hands to play again.
The plan to actually finish out games is to get one of these draw engines online and keep casting/recasting auras to generate a bunch of tokens to continue knocking people out of the game.
Sram, Senior Edificer / Mentor of the Meek / Mesa Enchantress- Boros struggles with card advantage and these three cards generate the most card advantage for us. They are repeatable sources of card draw that reward us for doing what we already want to do. Mentor is probably the weakest because we've usually played out a few creatures before it hits the board and it also costs 1 mana to draw.
Conviction / Crown of Flame / Ghitu Firebreathing-These auras are what give us the gas to finish out games. The fact that we can return to our hand at will and recast them again really lets us make some big Heroic plays. They really shine when we have a card draw + aura cost reduction engine online.
Danitha Capashen / Hero of Iroas- Speaking of aura cost reducers, here they are. And both wear auras pretty well.
Ajani's Chosen / Akroan Crusader / Vanguard of Brimaz / Sigil of the Empty Throne / Valduk, Keeper of Flame- Having one of these cards online is how we get insanely wide board states. Akroan Crusader is probably actually the best. Sigil of the Empty Throne is pretty slow for this deck but can give us the push to get through the midgame. Valduk can set us up for some major blowouts but he can generate a huge board state for us, most of the single target protection in the deck is to keep him or our general(s) safe.
Lands- Lands are always the best upgrade for any budget list, but this deck really, really wants any good duals you can get in here. We want both of our colors early, despite being skewed towards white and for being such a low to the ground deck we have a lot of pips in our costs.
Monastery Mentor- This deck doesn't just WANT this card, I think it NEEDS it. Rewards us for doing everything we want to do in this deck.
Dusk // Dawn / Return to the Ranks / Rally the Ancestors- Ways to get us back online after a wipe and Dusk gives us some midgame removal.
Skullclamp- Another awesome draw engine for this deck
Sunforger- Not necessarily out of budget but this deck may not run enough instants to justify it. However, I could see this card being bonkers in the right build of this deck.
Sun Titan- Value powerhouse. May actually be too slow for this deck but this card always deserves a shot in any permanent based white deck. [[Bishop of Rebirth]] may be a viable budget option as well.
Firebrand Archer- This card was in the deck but was cut for one more land because I just really felt like we needed it. Good way to push damage.
Removal- As with most aggro decks, we are weak to board wipes. We can survive one but in a wrath heavy meta, this deck will struggle. Additionally, we are actually fairly weak to spot removal as most our engine cards are fragile creatures and hitting one of our heroic payoffs can really slow us down.
Pillowfort- Ghostly Prison effects really slow us down and even something like Caltrops can hurt us a lot.
The Aggro Problem- This deck can knock one person out of the game fast. Maybe even two. But, as with most Boros aggro decks, we have very few ways to sustain through the midgame and into the late game. The plan then is to knock someone out early and manage to get the rest of the table to peck at each other while you reload.
This deck is really fun and can do well in a creature heavy meta. It will certainly suffer in a heavy control meta but I blame the color pair for that (easier to pass the buck, you see). This deck is for you if you like generating a board state out of nothing and turning a group of small creatures into an alpha striking menace. It is also for you if you don't want to worry too much about interacting, you just want to slam cards and punch faces. Remember, your motto when playing this deck is "I want to go fast."