How to play the Aura of Courage Precon in EDH

aura of courage precon list edh commander

This is the comprehensive guide to playing the Aura of Courage precon, led by Galea, Kindler of Hope! This guide contains all the secrets to piloting Aura of Courage to victory straight out of the box!

aura of courage precon list edh commander

The main strategy of the Aura of Courage deck is to use Auras and Equipment to suit up one creature into an unstoppable threat that can eliminate opponents one by one. 

Galea supports this game plan perfectly, not only by having solid baseline stats, but by granting access to any Auras and Equipment on top of the library. With equipment, she will also cheat the equip cost, saving on mana and providing extra pressure sooner than other decks could. When used in tandem with shuffle effects and card draw, this can be a potent tool for finding key game-enders. 

The reason this deck can build up just a single creature into a lethal threat comes from the extraordinarily high damage output granted by certain Auras and Equipment. When combined with the lesser power-boosting cards, they can turn an ordinary creature into a one-person wrecking crew.

  • Not only does Holy Avenger grant double strike, but when the equipped creature deals first strike damage, it brings along an Aura for extra damage potential. There is also a second damage trigger when regular damage connects, but that won’t increase the damage output right away. But doubling the creature’s damage while cheating mana and deploying more beatdown material is quite impressive.
  • For raw stat boosts, Colossus Hammer is an extremely efficient card to cast from the top of the library with Galea in play. As long as the expensive equip cost can be subverted, it will bolster this deck’s creatures better than almost anything else in the format. In a similar vein, Argentum Armor will grant +6/+6 and a nice removal trigger on attacks, and while not one of the stronger equipment, will still do plenty of work for this precon. Rancor, as always, will secretly put in work from the time it is cast until the game is over, providing key evasion and a solid power boost while never truly going away.
  • Mantle of the Ancients can often end an opponent’s game on the spot in the late game. When all of this precon’s problematic Auras and Equipment are dealt with, it brings them all back for one final killing blow; and when they aren’t answered, Galea will run away with the game. This card is a classic win-win.

This deck is very good at creating an extremely high damage output, but also surprisingly, for a precon, has very respectable means of protecting its threats once they are suited up.

  • Aura of Courage includes a nice selection of permanent “hexproof” effects, including the always-efficient Swiftfoot Boots and its less powerful but still annoying cousin Winged Boots. There’s also Shielding Plax, which at least replaces itself, and the underwhelming but still useful Eel Umbra.
  • As far as creatures with spot removal protection, the deck offers Prognostic Sphinx, which is clunky, but won’t ever die to a 1-for-1 kill spell, and Fleecemane Lion, which is a mediocre 2-drop that becomes virtually unstoppable once seven total mana is played. It will most likely work better when its Monstrous ability is activated right away and opponents are tapped out.
  • Robe of Stars is, without a doubt, the biggest overperformer in this precon. It’s the card the deck hopes to draw every game. Once a threat is created and has multiple augmentations on it, Robe of Stars turns off all interactions, even board wipes, and protects not only the equipped creature, but all Equipment and Auras attached to it, including itself.

While the deck may be good at suiting up its creatures, it doesn’t actually have that many creatures worth enhancing. It desperately wants more creatures that have natural evasion or hexproof, and might have to spend a few awkward turns digging for a threat.

The second weakness of this deck comes from the natural side effects of playing a voltron deck in the first place, which involves placing all of one’s eggs into a single basket. When a deck puts all its energy and mana into sending in a single creature for one combat, a lot of things can potentially go wrong. This deck tries to do everything it can to avoid those scenarios, but they will still come up every once in a while.

Lastly, Aura of Courage contains several cards that greatly overperform and others that consistently underperform, especially when playing at the precon level. The following handful of cards will play out impressively well each time they are drawn:

  • Netherese Puzzle-Ward grants a ton of card selection, which works perfectly with Galea’s ability, and 25% of the time it offers “Scry 4 draw a card.” Over time, this grants more value than almost any other card in the deck, despite its lackluster appearance.
  • Puresteel Paladin cuts down heavily on mana spent to equip creatures, and keeps cards like Colossus Hammer from sitting on the battlefield and doing nothing.
  • Verdant Embrace has an important card type for the deck, but also importantly creates more bodies that can be equipped or enchanted, so the deck doesn’t run out of threats quickly. One token every upkeep adds up quickly.

Finally, two cards that typically underperform in the deck:

  • Ride the Avalanche only functions as the precursor to a much larger play, and in that case, the play itself is usually more effective. This is a card that tends to rot in its controller’s hand.
  • Viridian Longbow has a prohibitive equip cost, considering its mediocre effect. This equipment is only passable on a Saproling token that won’t enter combat.

Overall, Aura of Courage can take a firm hold of a commander game and hold its position long enough to eliminate players one at a time. There are a few cards that work against the overall strategy, but this deck is a well-oiled damage machine, and playing to its strengths while keeping its weaknesses in mind will lead to even more commander victories.


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