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Monday, December 3, 2012

Borborygmos Enraged!!!

Hi all,
We’re lucky enough to have some Gatecrash spoilers slip through before the official spoiler discussions! As most of us on Dork Night focus on the EDH/Commander side of things, I decided to take a quick peek at the new guild leaders available (unfortunately there are only two at the moment). The first one to catch my eye was Aurelia, the Warleader (a name I can’t wait for Murph to pronounce) but I quickly dismissed it. I’ve played Kalia of the Vast and I think this has a natural home there, but a deck that does nothing but attack over and over again gets boring. I play EDH for the fun factor. My group has a gentleman’s agreement to stay away from broken “I win” combos and as an added bonus the amount of counterspells played has dropped. This leads to more opportunities for hilarious and big swingy plays. Currently my only deck is Mimeoplasm, and it is probably the only Mimeoplasm deck that doesn't run the broken Triskelion and Lord of Extinction combo. I play it because each game is different and it’s fun to break out the monotony.

This is something I struggle with a bit with deck building. It’s hard to find the delicate balance between theme, power, and replay-ability that I strive for. As such, I think any Aurelia deck that I built would be focused on multiple attacks and dudes that have cool attack triggers. After a few plays I think I would lose interest. Borborygmos Enraged however...

Borborygmos (another gem I can’t wait for Murph to try) seems to have survived the events of the first Ravnica story and is back and better than ever. His first iteration was intriguing, but I always found myself wanting to play Stonebrow in R/G since it was cheaper, more powerful, and I could run on autopilot by turning dudes sideways after a few games. Another R/G general that has always struck my fancy is Rosheen Meanderer. R/G leads itself to ramp very easily and Rosheen plays nicely with all the Red X spells. I wanted this deck to have a different strategy than just ramp into X spells though.  Stonebrow might still be better than new Borb, but Borb has my creative juices flowing. I mean, just look at that guy!

First off, he clearly wants format staples Life from the Loam and Crucible of Worlds in this deck, but he also encourages a deck designer to dig deeper and pull out hidden gems such as as Groundskeeper. If only Planar Birth was on color! Next, my thoughts drifted to ramp spells and mana acceleration cards. At 8 mana, Borb has a clear disadvantage but he’s in the right colors to power him out quickly. Also, both of his abilities make me want to play more lands than I usually would. I’m thinking 41.  With 41 lands, we are certainly playing Oracle of Mul Daya and Mul Daya Channelers.

Spells like Wildfire and Destructive Force are all incredibly synergystic and act as a nice finisher with Borb in play. I usually stay away from these sorts of cards because they tend to just slow the game down, but iIf Borb survives the Wildfire he should be able to finish off any other creature by pitching lands and you can cruise to victory. Life from the Loam, Crucible of Worlds, and artifact mana really shine here too. I do not advocate using Wildfire as a safety net, as that just pisses everyone off and Commander should be a fun format. I’d only cast it or Destructive Force to seal the deal.

So now that we have our basic idea scratched out, it’s time to flesh it out. Green and Red are not the best colors when it comes to card drawing, but there is a surprising amount of card advantage that Green can offer. Cards like Greater Good, Sylvan Library, and Masked Admirers are great at drawing cards and cards like Genesis provide excellent card advantage. I currently flip flop on Genesis in my Mimeoplasm build. Every time I include him I seem to warp my game play around him and Mimeoplasm loses some of the randomenss that I really enjoy, but I think it has an important role to play in this deck. The last bit of card advantage that piqued my interest was a Squee and Fauna Shaman/Survival of the Fittest small combo. This is borderline the most powerful combo I like to play, and since we are playing Green we get access to tons of utility creatures like Acidic Slime that are good tutor targets. It’s also a great way to get Anger or Brawn into the graveyard with great value. This encourages your group to play with graveyard hate, something every deck should be doing anyway and adds to fun and challenge of playing weekly.

I touched on ramp spells earlier, and while cards like Explosive Vegetation and Skyshroud Claim are great at ramping, Borborygmos also needs lands in hand. Borderland Ranger and Civic Wayfinder fill excellent roles at this and also provide a speedbump to any early attacks coming your way. These will go nicely alongside more traditional ramp spells.

One thing that leapt out at me after some thinking was that Borb first ability triggers on combat damage, meaning you’ll get double the fun if Borb finds himself with doublestrike. Fun times! His ability also pairs nicely with Scroll Rack.

We are a slow deck if we don’t get on the early ramp plan and need a good amount of board control to make it to the end game. In addition to Wildfire and Destructive Force, most Red decks I build play Earthquake, Starstorm, Fault Line, and Comet Storm. And most decks should be playing with Oblivion Stone as a nice catch all. Repercussion also seems to fit beautifully into this deck with all the sweepers and Borborygmos himself when he gets up and running. I think these X spells fill a nice support role rather than being the main focus they would have been in a Rosheen build. And how could we talk about a R/G build without mentioning Decimate, the perfect Commander card!

Finally, we need some fatties. We are a Green deck after all! This deck is going to be creature light because of the synergy with sweepers and Repercussion, but I can’t resist playing Hydra Omnivore wherever I can! I also play Garruk Wildspeaker in all Green decks, and Sarkhan Vol helps out with haste. I’m also intrigued by the new R/G planewalker Domri Rade.

Special shout out to Riftsweeper. He belongs in every deck that can support him. And what deck would be complete without Mimic Vat? Astute readers will notice that Insurrection is not included in this deck. I just dislike that card in Commander. I've also included Bloodshot Cyclops strictly on theme. I don't think he really belongs with the low creature count, but he sure is fun.

Well, I’m sure everyone is tired of reading my rambling deck construction process and would just like to see the final product.


  1. Borborygmos Enraged
  2. Fireshrieker
  3. Assault Strobe
  4. Savage Beating
  5. Rage Reflection
  6. Anger
  7. Brawn
  8. Genesis
  9. Akroma’s Memorial
  10. Survival of the Fittest
  11. Fauna Shaman
  12. Squee, Goblin Nabob
  13. Eternal Witness
  14. Sylvan Library
  15. Greater Good
  16. Magus of the Library
  17. Masked Admirers
  18. Destructive Force
  19. Wildfire
  20. Earthquake
  21. Comet Storm
  22. Starstorm
  23. Faultline
  24. Repercussion
  25. Oblivion Stone
  26. Life from the Loam
  27. Crucible of Worlds
  28. Groundskeeper
  29. Explosive Vegetation
  30. Skyshroud Claim
  31. Borderland Ranger
  32. Civic Wayfinder
  33. Scroll Rack
  34. Sensei’s Divining Top
  35. Acidic Slime
  36. Mold Shambler
  37. Woodfall Primus
  38. Indrik Stomphowler
  39. Krosan Grip
  40. Bloodshot Cyclops
  41. Decimate
  42. Terastadon
  43. Relic Crush
  44. Oracle of Mul Daya
  45. Mul Daya Channelers
  46. Deus of Calamity (I don't particularly like him, but he is cheap and big. Hopefully something cool will be spoiled)
  47. Hydra Omnivore
  48. Yeva, Nature's Herald (she screams to be a general. One day I might get around to it)
  49. Riftsweeper
  50. Relic of Progenitus
  51. Vedalken Orrery
  52. Garruk Wildspeaker
  53. Domri Rade
  54. Sarkan Vol
  55. Vengeful Rebirth
  56. Mimic Vat
  57. Sol Ring
  58. Worn Powerstone
  59. Thran Dynamo
  60. Kessig Wolf Run
  61. Winding Canyons
  62. Gruul Turf
  63. Jungle Basin
  64. Dormant Volcano
  65. Treetop Village
  66. Ghitu Encampment
  67. Stomping Grounds
  68. Gruul Gate
  69. Raging Ravine
  70. Shivan Oasis
  71. Forgotten Cave
  72. Tranquil Thicket
  73. Smoldering Crater
  74. Slippery Karst
13 Forest
13 Mountain

Is there something super that is missing? Are there enough creatures? Too much ramp? How would you build Borborygmos Enraged at this point. Chime in with a comment! 

I’m sure I’ll revisit this as more Gruul goodies get spoiled. This build shouldn't break the bank too badly, but you can always go with more basic lands and fewer Planeswalkers for a more budget friendly approach.

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