Last updated on April 30, 2024

Akiri, Fearless Voyager - Illustration by Ekaterina Burmak

Akiri, Fearless Voyager | Illustration by Ekaterina Burmak

Each color combination in Magic is different. Some work through your graveyard, some love big mana, and some even prefer tokens. But none of them do aggressive creature strategies like Boros (). The Boros Legion is one of the most aggressive and powerful creature-based color combos in Magic, matched only by its similarly colored cousin, Mardu () which have their own ranks of commanders.

If you’ve been debating making an extra-combat, equipment, or even burn Commander deck but don’t know where to start, then you’re in luck. Today I’m going over Boros, including why you should play it, the best commanders to choose from, and I’ll also supply a sample decklist with Feather, the Redeemed to inspire your deckbuilding.

Let’s get started!

Why Go with a Boros Commander?

Wyleth, Soul of Steel - Illustration by Tyler Jacobson

Wyleth, Soul of Steel | Illustration by Tyler Jacobson

The Boros Legion is a color combination of strength, fury, and determination. Red’s excellent aggressive creatures and card draw pair wonderfully with white’s protection and great equipment to make for aggressive decks that no other color combo can match in creature combat.

Boros can make juggernaut fighters capable of killing entire boards by themselves just as easily as it can conjure an army of flying lifelink angels to save you at the last minute. If you enjoy equipment, auras, legendary angels, creatures with upwards of five keywords, and of all the phases, you enjoy combat the most, then you’ve found the right colors to play.

#33. Velomachus Lorehold

Velomachus Lorehold

Velomachus Lorehold has found itself at the bottom of today’s rankings despite being a strong commander and the namesake of the Lorehold college. This commander lets you cast an instant or sorcery off the top of your deck whenever it attacks.

Free spells off the top are always good and it becomes great when you build your deck with that mechanic in mind. Spells like World at War, Savage Beating, and even Mizzix's Mastery can turn a simple combat phase into the end of the game if there isn’t a blue player nearby to counter it.

#32. Kellan, the Fae-Blooded

Kellan, the Fae-Blooded
There's an inherent power to having a commander that is a white tutor for the exact modification you need. Kellan, the Fae-Blooded is really magnetic for those cheap auras and equipment thanks to double strike. The scalable power boost puts this little guy over the top as one of the best leaders for red and white Commander decks.

#31. Koll, the Forgemaster

Koll, the Forgemaster

Up next is Koll, the Forgemaster. This commander gives your equipped creatures +1/+1 on top of returning dead nontoken creatures to your hand if they were equipped. Koll makes for a great commander in a run-of-the-mill Boros equipment deck.

Everything about the Forgemaster incentivizes you to go wide on the board with a lot of smaller equipped creatures instead of one bigger one. It not only further reduces risk by having your threats spread across multiple targets, it also adds more damage through its second ability. Going wide typically means a lower mana curve so be preferential to cheaper cards like Skullclamp, Memnite, and Ornithopter instead of something larger like Batterskull.

#30. The War Doctor

The War Doctor
The important words read whenever cards go into exile make this card one of those ways the R&D department gets you to care about something you had not cared about before. Your opponent delves, you have graveyard hate, or heaven forbid someone plays Path to Exile, cards get exiled a lot. That said, The War Doctor becomes a force of destruction with very little help from cards such as Ryan Sinclair, Act of Authority, and Valakut Exploration.

#29. Ajani, Nacatl Pariah / Ajani, Nacatl Avenger

Pretend the Cat token is a white warrior.

The two bodies and power and toughness ratio from the Ajani, Nacatl Pariah side is good for limited (How do you compare it with Watchwolf, and do you love that you get to draft Modern Horizons III?), and then after one +2 loyalty ability, Ajani, Nacatl Avenger is ready to ultimate. When you compare the planeswalker side to the 2-drop you invested in, the power on this Ajani is absurd. Feel free to comment with your favorite cheap red permanent, and let's introduce it to Ajani, Nacatl Pariah.

#28. Astor, Bearer of Blades

Astor, Bearer of Blades

Astor, Bearer of Blades is a way to cheat on crew costs and equipment costs. Suddenly, you can make use of Colossus Hammer by paying only to equip, while Consulate Dreadnought needs only 1 power to crew. Astor decks continue to get better and better as more “hard to equip or crew” cards are released, which further solidifies in the vehicle/equipment matters camp.

#27. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is the first angel to appear on today’s rankings. Gisela is an angel tribal commander that doubles the damage against opponents and their permanents while preventing half of the damage dealt to you and your permanents.

Angels are already big creatures that can cause serious problems for your opponents. Dealing double damage while also being twice as tanky makes them far stronger than ever before. Pair Blade of Goldnight with some tribal cards like Vanquisher's Banner and Door of Destinies and even a few angels can be game-winning at times.

#26. Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp

Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp

Next up is Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp, a 0/0 wasp with modular 1 that gives an extra +1/+1 to any modular triggers when it’s on the battlefield. Zabaz makes for a nice modular/artifact-themed creature deck that uses +1/+1 counters and its synergy with white to make unstoppable killing machines.

I’d like to clarify right off the bat that Organic Extinction should not only be an auto-include in any Zabaz deck, but it’ll probably result in you winning the game whenever you cast it. Extinction helps pave the way for your modular monstrosities like Arcbound Overseer and Bronze Guardian to start chopping your opponents to pieces. What’s not to love?

#25. Three Dog, Galaxy News DJ

Three Dog, Galaxy News DJ
Three Dog, Galaxy News DJ keeps it real and wants you to keep the enchantments coming. Enchantress decks usually don't sniff , but this card is a rising star by being able to trade your best aura for several copies of it. Wait for the beat drop with hits like Etali's Favor, Faith Unbroken, and Sage's Reverie.

#24. Brion Stoutarm

Brion Stoutarm

The infamous Brion Stoutarm loves to fling creatures at your opponents’ faces whenever possible. This strategy isn’t usually enough to take your three opponents on its own but it becomes really scary really quick when paired with a steal-your-stuff subtheme.

Boros has plenty of ways to steal creatures and you want them all on this list. That includes Mark of Mutiny, Act of Treason, Act of Aggression, Hijack, and any similar card that end up being printed in every other Standard set. Oh, and while you’re at it, include a Serra Avatar so you can Fling and one-shot somebody.

#23. Duke Ulder Ravenguard

Duke Ulder Ravengard

If there’s one thing that hurts Duke Ulder Ravenguard the most, it’s that it costs six mana in a color that doesn’t have access to green mana. Fortunately, this is where the downsides end because the Duke can give another creature haste and myriad the turn it comes into play.

With some treasure production and mana rocks, it’s possible to cast this commander reliably and make sure you have nice and strong beaters ready and waiting for the buff. Myriad works great with expensive cards that have strong ETB effects like Combustible Gearhulk, little dorks that ETB and draw cards, and even cards that make tokens as sacrifice fodder.

#22. Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon

Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon

Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon is a soldier commander that sadly makes gnomes rather than soldiers, so, what does a Boros deck do to capitalize on lots of free attackers and free artifact token generation? Cards like Dogpile, Steel-Plume Marshal, Summoning Station, and Reckless Fireweaver are just a few payoffs for having Anim Pakal in the lead.

#21. Alibou, Ancient Witness

Alibou, Ancient Witness

Alibou, Ancient Witness is another artifact commander in Boros. Alibou gives your other artifact creatures haste and deals X damage to any target on top of letting you scry X, where X is the number of tapped artifacts whenever one of your artifact creatures attacks.

This makes for a great general Boros artifacts deck, not necessarily specifically equipment. Utility artifacts that you can tap go a long way to winning considering they factor into your commander’s ability, even if equipment makes up a significant portion of your non-artifact creatures. I’d recommend running at least Mystic Forge and Strionic Resonator.

#20. Hofri Ghostforge

Hofri Ghostforge

Next up is Hofri Ghostforge, a 4/5 dwarf cleric that gives your spirits +1/+1, trample, and haste. This may strike you as odd considering Boros isn’t exactly the spirit faction, but Hofri’s second ability actually creates a spirit token copy of creatures that die which is super flavorful.

Spirit tribal isn’t even the way to go. Stealing your opponent's creatures and then killing them is far more profitable because now you get a copy of whatever you stole and killed. You want to run a sacrifice outlet like Goblin Bombardment plus a bunch of creature theft spells like Act of Treason to get going. Not only are you clearing threats but you’re making equal ones of your own!

#19. Zirda, the Dawnwaker

Zirda, the Dawnwaker

Here you have the companion commander Zirda, the Dawnwaker. Zirda gives your mana-dependent activated abilities a discount of , which opens up a lot of infinite combos (Grim Monolith) and highly efficient threats.

Since Zirda, the Dawnwaker is your commander and you don’t have to build around everything having an activated ability you can use the discount to make equipping super cheap. Equipment that have equip costs of or more take the most advantage of Zirda, but don’t neglect the more powerful ones that have equip costs of like Sword of Hearth and Home or Sword of Feast and Famine.

#18. Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier

Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier

Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier is very similar to another popular commander, Zada, Hedron Grinder. While Zada cares about instants and sorceries, Agrus Kos cares about abilities, and there’s a lot of cool stuff that you can do with that.

You can blink your entire board with cards like Glimmerpoint Stag, or give +2/+0 to everybody using Battle-Rattle Shaman. You can also tinker with the backup ability. If you have your commander on the battlefield, just casting good backup cards like Boon-Bringer Valkyrie or Death-Greeter's Champion with some small creatures is devastating.

#17. General Ferrous Rokiric

General Ferrous Rokiric

General Ferrous Rokiric is a 3/1 human soldier that creatures 4/4 golems whenever you cast a multicolor spell. 4/4s are great creatures and they’re the perfect body to wage war in a Boros Commander deck.

Since you’re so dedicated to triggering General Ferrous’s ability during your games, you want to partly build your deck around Sunforger. This artifact lets you tutor out Boros instant spells for , which means you’ll have plenty of gas to keep your 4/4 generating engine alive.

There are some really great instants to grab like Boros Charm, Lightning Helix, and Warleader's Helix. These all become incredibly strong when you get a free 4/4 for casting them.

#16. Djeru and Hazoret

Djeru and Hazoret

Djeru and Hazoret is a commander with a plan, and that’s to cast it as soon as you can. Having effects that grant your commander haste is also very good. Once you attack with your commander, you’ll spin the wheel and have a good chance of cheating a powerful legend onto the battlefield.

Not unlike the Aetherworks Marvel rotation of Standard, you’re aiming to hit something like Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger or Zetalpa, Primal Dawn. Like attack-centric commanders, this deck benefits from extra attack steps, so you can also play legends like Moraug, Fury of Akoum or Aurelia, the Warleader.

#15. Théoden, King of Rohan

Théoden, King of Rohan

Théoden, King of Rohan gives double strike to a creature whenever it or another human enters the battlefield. Double strike is one of the most powerful abilities a creature can have, and it goes well with flying to dish out more damage to a player or lifelink to be able to gain more life.

Théoden is especially effective with a big hasty human creature. Riders of Rohan and Éomer of the Riddermark work really well in this strategy since they can create surprise human attackers. Another excellent point for Théoden is that it's easy to build human tribal in commander . Expect to see this guy alongside the likes of Champion of the Parish and Thalia's Lieutenant.

#14. Aurelia, the Warleader

Aurelia, the Warleader

Aurelia, the Warleader is a benchmark for the really strong side of today's rankings. Aurelia is an extra-combat commander that lets you have a second combat phase with all your creatures untapped whenever it attacks for the first time each turn.

Extra combats are as potent as extra turns in aggressive creature decks which means any creature-based strategy is good. Angel tribal is one of my favorites and an underrated theme in my mind. Tribal decks are very well supported in Commander through utility artifacts like Herald's Horn and Vanquisher's Banner. One extra combat can spell disaster for an unlucky opponent with the right supporting cards and a few big angels.

#13. Akiri, Fearless Voyager

Akiri, Fearless Voyager

Next is Akiri, Fearless Voyager, an equipment commander that draws you a card for attacking with an equipped creature. Akiri also lets you pay to detach an equipment to give a creature indestructible which is a great way to keep your best creatures from folding to something as simple as Doom Blade.

Since you’re going wide with this commander you want a lot of great creatures to add equipment to. These range from anything with a lot of keywords like Danitha Capashen, Paragon, but also something small and useful like Esper Sentinel.

#12. Firesong and Sunspeaker

Firesong and Sunspeaker

Up next is Firesong and Sunspeaker, a minotaur duo that gives your instants and sorceries lifelink on top of dealing three damage whenever you gain life from an instant or sorcery. Firesong is a burn commander through and through that loves to play table-wide burn spells like Star of Extinction and Price of Progress.

Single-target burn spells are not the way to go here since you have three opponents you need to take down. Wasting a single spell on a single opponent just puts the other two players ahead, which isn’t what you want. Since you’re given the task of dealing about 120 damage in a game, damage doublers like Fire Servant are staple cards. Just don’t forget your Aetherflux Reservoir to help close out matches.

#11. Cadric, Soul Kindler

Cadric, Soul Kindler

I like commanders that give other possibilities to a color pair like Boros , which is almost always centered around attacking with tokens or equipped creatures. Cadric, Soul Kindler is one of these, and it offers you the possibility of copying legendary permanents until the end of turn.

You can get Etali, Primal Storm’s attack trigger with haste by paying an extra mana, or you can clone cards like Loran of the Third Path to benefit from their ETB trigger. Things get “stupid” when you copy a Flowering of the White Tree and give +4/+2 to your legends or a legendary creature that has a strong death trigger like Atsushi, the Blazing Sky.

#10. Depala, Pilot Exemplar

Depala, Pilot Exemplar

Depala, Pilot Exemplar is a 3/3 dwarf pilot that gives +1/+1 to every dwarf and vehicle creature you control. Depala also lets you pay X whenever it becomes tapped to grab all dwarf and vehicle cards from the top X cards of your library for some welcome card advantage. As long as you have a vehicle you can crew or a mount to saddle, you’ll be able to activate Depala’s ability every turn.

Vehicle strategies got much stronger with the release of Neon Dynasty which makes Pilot Exemplar an increasingly popular choice. Vehicles are incredible cards. They often bring amazing stats and abilities for low costs. You’ll be good to go as long as you have a Pilot or three. Pilots and vehicles from Neon Dynasty fit perfectly into the list, specifically Surgehacker Mech and Hotshot Mechanic.

#9. Neyali, Suns’ Vanguard

Neyali, Suns' Vanguard

Neyali, Suns' Vanguard combines a lot of the best aspects of Boros commanders: go wide, get temporary card advantage, and dish out the most damage. Neyali is a commander that cares about tokens, so you should aim to go wide with cards like Triplicate Spirits or planeswalkers that make tokens.

Doubling tokens with Anointed Procession is always powerful in this kind of strategy, and there are plenty of red cards that can make token copies of your creatures until the end of turn. Neyali keeps the cards coming if you keep attacking, and this is essential for making sure your aggressive strategy always has enough fuel.

#8. Nahiri, Forged in Fury

Nahiri, Forged in Fury

In Nahiri, Forged in Fury, we have a big commander that can be cast for cheap thanks to having affinity for equipment. Nahiri cares about equipped creatures attacking, and creatures with the mechanics living weapon or For Mirrodin! are at home in this deck since they count as equipment and extra creatures for your deck. You’ll get extra cards when your equipped creatures attack, and even if they die attacking, you can transfer equipment to Nahiri to make a really menacing commander and win via commander damage.

#7. Wyleth, Soul of Steel

Wyleth, Soul of Steel

Wyleth, Soul of Steel is another aura and equipment commander that draws cards for each one attached to it when it attacks. This is a great ability to have in this kind of aggro deck. The way these strategies flop or fail is from lack of card draw, becoming hellbent, and then losing your only threat to removal.

With Wyleth you can justify running “worse” equipment thanks to the fact that they’ll pay for themselves many times over. Rabbit Battery and Explorer's Scope are both good examples. They’re cheap equipment that bring some small advantages while also working as card draw engines in the long game.

#6.  Aurelia, the Law Above

Aurelia, the Law Above

At , Serra Angel was a bonkers card for quite some time in Magic, and a build-around five-cost enchantment that had a good chance of drawing you cards, with the upside of being Lightning Helix to the face, would be great in the right deck. In comes Aurelia, the Law Above, rewarding you for your attacks, and your opponent's retaliations. This angel commander makes combat profitable for you in multiple ways, so make sure you've got a few attackers and you're golden.

#5. Osgir, the Reconstructor

Osgir, the Reconstructor

Osgir, the Reconstructor is a 4/4 giant artificer that lets you sacrifice artifacts for power increases while also making two copies of whatever you sacrificed. If “the Reconstructor” and “Giant Artificer” weren't big enough hints the abilities on Osgir might clue you in that this is an artifact commander all the way.

Artifacts with ETB abilities are the strongest in this deck since you’ll get one trigger when you play them and then two later on when they’re copied by the Reconstructor. Anointed Procession also factors in here since it puts you up to four copies of artifacts in your graveyard.

When you’re getting four of something even cards like Ichor Wellspring and Meteor Golem become S-Tier threats. And don’t even get me started on Myr Battlesphere!

#4. Otharri, Suns’ Glory

Otharri, Suns' Glory

Otharri, Suns' Glory is a 3/3 flier with lifelink and haste for 5 mana, and that’s already very nice for a commander, especially in a deck built around attacking. You’ll make some 2/2 Rebels while attacking with Otharri and accumulating experience counters.

That’s good early in the game, but it’s an awesome late game strategy! If your board gets wrathed and you have 4 experience counters, you’ll have five attacking creatures on board just by casting your commander and attacking.

In case that’s not good enough, you can get around commander tax by casting it from a graveyard for the price of and tapping a rebel. Since you’re already making rebels, there’s nothing wrong in some token synergies using the classics Anointed Procession or Intangible Virtue.

#3. Winota, Joiner of Forces

Winota, Joiner of Forces

Next up in the #3 spot is Winota, Joiner of Forces, a human tribal commander that gives you card advantage whenever a… non-human creature you control attacks.

Since you need non-human creatures to trigger Winota’s ability you want to get a good balance of non-human to human creatures in the deck. If you don’t get enough non-humans then you’re just playing Boros humans with basically no commander.

The non-human creatures you want need either to be very good in an aggressive creature deck, or cheap fliers that can consistently get triggers off Winota. Ornithopter is a great example of one of these creatures and so is Goblin Rabblemaster. I’d recommend going with a 5:1 ratio of human to non-human creatures. That’ll let you consistently get one non-human to trigger Winota while not diluting your deck.

#2. Feather, the Redeemed

Feather, the Redeemed

Feather, the Redeemed is a 3/4 flying angel that returns instants and sorceries that target your creatures to your hand at the beginning of your end step.

Since you’re limited to instants or sorceries that target your creatures, you’ll be running a lot more cantrips. The cantrips in red and white don’t let you scry or pick from multiple cards, instead they give you some kind of minor creature buff on top of drawing you a card.

Expedite gives something haste while Defiant Strike gives +1/+0. The list goes on with cards like Angelfire Ignition, Fists of Flame, and Psychotic Fury. And you get to cast these cards every turn thanks to Feather, the Redeemed.

#1. Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist + Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh

Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh

In the #1 spot is the partner combo of Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist and Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh. Arden and Rograkh make for an excellent equipment aggro deck thanks to Arden’s ability to attach auras and equipment to anything for free and Rograkh’s ability to be a creature with first strike, menace, and trample for .

The general idea is that Rograkh becomes an excellent cheap early body for equipment that you can run your opponents over with. This is your classic equipment deck. Of course you want to include great equipment like Colossus Hammer, Blackblade Reforged, and the infamous swords, but don’t forget some creatures that synergize with artifact and equipment strategies too. You don’t want to run out of cards only to be left with some easy-to-kill creature. Throw in things like Sram, Senior Edificer, Puresteel Paladin, and Armored Skyhunter to keep things rolling.

Decklist: Feather, the Redeemed in EDH

Feather, the Redeemed - Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Feather, the Redeemed | Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

I’ve chosen to feature Feather, the Redeemed for today’s decklist because I felt that it presented a unique and fun playstyle in contrast to the typical equipment decks that just about every Boros commander fits into. Where those decks go big, this deck goes wide with over 30 instants waiting to be cast with Feather to generate card advantage and overrun everyone as the game goes on.

Since each instant and sorcery you cast comes back to your hand you want to make sure you can adequately dump your hand each turn to make use of all the spells you accumulate. This means you want to stick to a fairly low curve which means you get more for your mana overall.

Spells like Unleash Fury and Fists of Flame are the real haymakers here. Most of your spells are one or two mana, do some minor effect, and draw you a card. You want to stack both of these effects so you can end it with a single Unleash Fury to make a gigantic commander that can swing for lethal commander damage in just one turn.

Commanding Conclusion

Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist - Illustration by Jason Rainville

Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist | Illustration by Jason Rainville

That concludes everything I’ve got for you today! I loved putting these rankings and deck together, almost as much as I enjoy playing Boros. I think the Feather, the Redeemed deck is one of the more interactive ones in Boros and is a great step away from the typical equipment beatdown lists you see everywhere.

What did you think of my rankings? Were there any you were kind of upset with, or any you thought were spot on? Please let me know in the comments or over in the official Draftsim Discord.

Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!

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