Over the last couple years a number of different decks have appeared in the greater Pauper scene. Some fresh off the presses in the case of decks like Mono White Heroic but others evolved from multiple various iterations into their current distilled form. One such deck is Boros Monarch, aka Boros Kitty, essentially Pauper’s midrange deck of choice.

While I have familiarity with early iterations of many decks, I’m not 100% sure of Boros’ exact origins. The first time I encountered the deck it was being played as Jeskai Kuldotha and was three colors, utilizing the now trademark package of Glint Hawk and Kor Skyfisher bouncing back Prophetic Prisms and Ichor Wellsprings to draw cards, finally sacrificing Wellsprings towards Kuldotha Rebirth for numerous tokens. While this line of play would be more streamlined as the deck switched more toward Boros, the Jeskai build also relied on casting Mulldrifters and other blue cards. From there, the deck leaned in more on the tokens, using Battle Screech and a more recent addition in Rally the Peasants to get in for heavy damage.

With the release of Conspiracy: Take the Crown’s Monarch cards came a new version that abandoned the Kuldotha Rebirth and often times Rally the Peasants plans in favor of Palace Sentinels bringing in some extreme card advantage. Since there wasn’t really a way to take advantage of sacrificing Ichor Wellspring, the deck in turn switched it for Alchemist’s Vial, which for all intents and purposes does the same thing but gives you other potential utility options in the form of preventing a key attack or block from an opposing creature.

Boros Monarch (24th Place 6/24 Pauper Challenge by pokerswizard)

Creatures (15)
Glint Hawk
Thraben Inspector
Kor Skyfisher
Palace Sentinels

Spells (24)
Faithless Looting
Galvanic Blast
Lightning Bolt
Prismatic Strands
Battle Screech
Alchemist's Vial
Prophetic Prism
Journey to Nowhere
Lands (21)
Ancient Den
Boros Garrison
Great Furnace
Radiant Fountain
Secluded Steppe
Wind-Scarred Crag

Sideboard (15)
Relic of Progenitus
Circle of Protection: Blue
Circle of Protection: Green
Lone Missionary
Standard Bearer
Reaping the Graves

With this list we see a lot of the defining characteristics I’ve brought up, including playing value creatures to bounce cards which net you tremendous card advantage. However, as you may notice between things such as the mana base for the deck and the cards at play, the deck can seem to move at a glacial pace. When it gets going it’s a blast and in a way is almost amazing in and of itself. But between all the aforementioned card draw and cards like Thraben Inspector it’s no wonder it can just keep going and going.

Many of the creatures trade and/or block with most creatures in the format short of Affinity, which with a good draw can likely steamroll Boros. But Boros can fight back, not just against Affinity but against many other decks in the format, thanks to its tremendous removal package. Usually 10-12 spells between the suite of Lightning Bolt, Galvanic Blast, and Journey to Nowhere put in tons of work, which enables the deck to take its time and build up to its ultimate endgame.

If you need more time, though, look no further than Prismatic Strands. At first glance the card doesn’t seem too strong. After all, it’s just a Fog effect, right? Well here the card has quite a fair bit of depth. For one, it acts as it appears to: a Fog. When you’re looking to buy time to build yourself to a game-winning board state, giving yourself an extra turn or two can be crucial. But it doesn’t just fog in the traditional sense, which usually involves combat damage only. It shuts down all damage from a color of your choice, meaning a burn player can be stopped from firing off into you to a certain degree. It can even stop sweepers in this regard too, so pay no mind to cards like Electrickery for your tokens or Evincar’s Justice for your greater team.

More importantly it can push your opponent into some bad attacks. For example, you might see an Elves player such as yours truly swing in and block a number of key creatures. You then cast Prismatic Strands naming green as the color of choice. In this instance your opponent’s creatures will deal no damage at all, but yours sure will, allowing you to take out some of your opponent’s best cards, potentially leading to locking up your game.

Don’t think this deck is the only version though. The deck has a number of flex spots. For example, the Faithless Looting that’s been popping up is relatively new tech. Many lists even run Electrickery or other off-brands of removal to get opponents when they least expect it. Known grinder Mathonical even built a whole new version featuring Seeker of the Way and Searing Blaze shortly after the release of Iconic Masters. The list only shows up every so often but between this and the numerous iterations of the past, it shows there’s still a lot of room for innovation with this top tier deck of the format.

Next week I’ll be back to talk about some of the many card options that have shown up in different flex spots. There’s numerous options make up just a fraction of how this awesome deck can be made, and is generally a clear indication that this deck compared to just about anything save maybe Tron is far from solved. Until then, though, I hope to catch you around slinging some Metalhawks!

Kendra has been playing Magic since Urza block and never looked back. Playing a variety of formats and being known for championing Pauper in particular, the Elf Queen can be found hanging out on Twitter as well as streaming on Twitch, always seeking to better the community at large.

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