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Pioneer 8-Inspector Boros Convoke - Deck and Sideboard Guide

Lucas Giggs
16/03/2024 · 11 min read
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Quick intro

Lately, Boros Convoke hadn't been appearing much in Pioneer, I believe much because the Amalia Combo had practically driven all the few existing aggro decks  in the format out. But with the recent results at Pro Tour Murders at Karlov Manor, it seems that the deck has been revitalized and went 4-0 in two of the last Magic Online Preliminary events, one of the players being the one writing to you here.

Today I will talk a little about this new list, with mulligan decisions and an updated side guide against some of the tiers of the format.

Updated Decklist

Boros Convoke. Builder: LucasG1ggs.MTGO - Magic Online
1st
(4 - 0)
100%
in MTGO Pioneer Preliminary #12618986 [27 Players] 06-Mar-2024
MTG Decks Maindeck (60)
Creature [34]
4  Venerated Loxodon   $0.59
4  Knight-Errant of Eos   $7.99
4  Voldaren Epicure   $0.39
3  Resolute Reinforcements   $0.59
3  Imodane's Recruiter   $0.35
4  Thraben Inspector   $0.49
1  Giant Killer   $0.49
4  Novice Inspector   $0.59
4  Warden of the Inner Sky   $2.29
3  Thalia, Guardian of Thraben   $0.79
Sorcery [4]
4  Gleeful Demolition   $2.49
Enchantment [1]
1  Case of the Gateway Express   $0.35
Land [21]
4  Sacred Foundry   $21.99
4  Battlefield Forge   $1.29
4  Inspiring Vantage   $2.49
2  Shefet Dunes   $0.35
1  Den of the Bugbear   $5.99
1  Mountain   $0.01
1  Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire   $9.99
1  Plains   $0.01
3  Needleverge Pathway   // $4.99
Sideboard [15]
2  Wedding Announcement   $13.99
3  Get Lost   $8.99
2  Rending Volley   $1.99
1  Jegantha, the Wellspring   $0.79
1  Reidane, God of the Worthy   $0.69
2  Torch the Tower   $0.35
2  Invasion of Gobakhan   $5.99
2  Deafening Silence   $1.49
Buy this deck:

$56.24 Tix @cardhoarder   $1.41 / Week @cardhoarder   $195.01 @tcgplayer   $276.17 @cardkingdom  


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I'm testing this feature, if you find any error please report it ;)

These are the same 75 that grinder komattaman used to make a 4-0 in the previous day's preliminary. In relation to my last article about the deck, the list had some very interesting changes, both in the main deck and in the sideboard.

Card Choices

Novice Inspector

A card that gained prominence in its Standard version now seems to have definitely fallen into the good graces of Pioneer players as well. By abandoning the use of Ornithopter, the deck started to experience fewer bad draws and became more consistent in its plan to cast a Convoker on turns 2-3, since the number of white creatures also increased with this change.The deck only lost a bit of its explosiveness by not creating 3 goblin tokens on turn 1, but this was no longer so relevant, especially when being on the draw, since the opponent could respond by killing the thopter and causing us to lose two cards in the process.

Case of the Gateway Express

The card has been surprising in the Standard version and it's also significant in the Pioneer. I can see even more copies being used, but multiple copies are sometimes not very necessary.  Typically, it takes out what needs to be eliminated and also boosts the power of our creatures, because we can solve the case quite easily with this deck.

Giant Killer // Chop Down

It has been used multiple times in the flex slots of the deck and now it has become a very important card, because we need a more effective response to Vein Ripper.

Additionally, it can be searched for with Knight-Errant of Eos; it is suitable for use with Convoke, and it can shine in stalled boards with its ability to tap key opponents' creatures.

Playing the deck

Now with eight inspectors, the deck has much more consistent openings and does not depend on individually weak cards like Ornithopter. Having some convokers remains ideal, but including Warden of the Inner Sky also helps to search for the best cards.


Example Hand 1

This hand looks bad, but being on the play makes it slightly less risky. Being on the draw, the chance of getting hit by a Thoughtseize on Thraben Inspector would be too hazardous. On the play, we can cast Thraben and have some good draws following up: Gleeful Demolition, Resolute Reinforcements, Warden (in the event the first one is discarded). This deck mulligans well, but I believe that the fewer times you mulligan minimally playable hands, the greater your chances of winning will be.

Example Hand 2

I kept this hand against Rakdos Vampires in G2, and I believe it was the correct keep, although it appeared quite dubious. Thalia is pretty decent against that deck, and I don't like to mulligan a lot, especially against a deck with Thoughtseize/Duress. I think it's riskier to keep a better 6-card hand, and a discard making me virtually mulligan to 5. It's a very personal play philosophy, but I don't judge those who mulligan this type of hand, I just think that against this specific type of deck, which attacks your hand so aggressively, the more cards you have available, the better your chances of winning.

Example Hand 3

This hand is easily keepable, but it's a G2 against Rakdos Vampires on the draw. I said I don't like mulliganing against decks with discard, but a targeted discard here gives me much less chance of winning than a random 6-card hand. Aside from Epicure, this hand does absolutely nothing if it doesn't necessarily draw an artifact generator right after. Mulliganing is also about knowing how to analyze each situation and always asking yourself how you win and lose a game.

Matchups & Sideboard guide

UR Phoenix

A good news in this match is that the decklists have stopped using Thing in the Ice, which can be more problematic than Ledger Shredder, for the simple fact that it can end our plans by bouncing all our creatures.

Another good news is that, at least in the main deck, the deck does not tend to use sweepers, so we can play all the cards on the table without fear. Do not be afraid to make suicide attacks, each point of damage is very important, and we can rebuild the board easily. Post-sideboard Gobakhan helps us to play better around Brotherhood's End/Anger of the Gods. We can bring in a few copies of Rending Volley, but I don't think it's very necessary, because in this type of match we have to be more aggressive. If for some reason he uses both creatures, then we should also bring in Rending Volley, possibly taking out Warden and Loxodon.

Rakdos Vampires

The new Rakdos is much more dangerous than its predecessor simply because Vein Ripper is an incredibly difficult card to remove, and even when we manage to, it can still cause a huge amount of damage.

The good news comes from the fact that it doesn't have sweepers in the main deck, so the swarm strategy is very effective. Post sideboard, this deck has been using Path of Peril, which is a very effective card against our plan and becomes even more devastating if there's a Vein Ripper on the field. Here, once again, Gobakhan shines.

[sideboarding out="warden of the inner sky|warden of the inner sky|thalia, guardian of thraben|venerated loxodon" in="invasion of gobakhan|invasion of gobakhan|wedding announcement|wedding announcement”]

Quintorius Combo

Having Thalia in the main deck helps us a lot because she can delay the combo, giving us a chance in G1, since it's a race to see who can execute their game plan first. Post-sideboard, we have some cards that interact with the combo and give us more time to combo out, so in that case, as we bring in many spells, Thalia ends up hindering us more than helping. Get Lost is a very important card, because it answers all of his game plans, from the combo itself to ramping to resolve a Dragonlord Dromoka.

UW Control

Temporary Lockdown is an even bigger nightmare because most of the decks play with a number of them in the main deck. We have to deal with so many different sweepers, that honestly, I don't know if we can afford to play around anything.

I don't know if we can afford to play around anything

Therefore, we don't have much choice but to apply as much pressure as possible. Post-sideboard we have cards that greatly help to delay sweepers and Get Lost which is important for dealing with Lockdown and eventual creatures it brings out, in addition to Reidane which delays all the sweepers and high-cost spells that the deck has. Warden is one of the best cards in the deck, but generally, it is one that is taken out the most, even more so in matches with a lot of removals and where we need pressure and creatures that make the 2 for 1.

Rakdos Sacrifice

Mayhem Devil is a real predator of creatures, but aside from it, the rest of the deck doesn't bother us much, as we manage to make a lot of board presence and pressure through chump blocks with Cauldron Familiar. Venerated Loxodon helps a lot by strengthening the army and making it harder for Mayhem Devil's damage pings. Wedding Announcement shines post-sideboard, as well as the removals, but the main star is Reidane, whose flipped side as Valkyria, completely shuts down the deck, making our life much better.

Lotus Field

Thalia makes this match much more comfortable. The match is also a race to see who can better execute their plan, and in the first game, they don't have many ways to escape our pressure. Usually, the Arboreal Grazer can hold off for just one turn, which sometimes is enough, but overall, it's still favorable for us. Post-sideboard, we have a very good package with Reidane, Gobakhan, and Deafening Silence which really disrupts the combo, but we have to be careful with the creatures he uses, such as Zacama and Dragonlord Dromoka, so depending on how he's set up, we might also bring in a few copies of Get Lost, or leave Giant Killer, which I generally prefer to do.

UW Spirits

We have to be careful with some cards, especially Katilda, which can really lock down the board, but in general their clock is slow and we can win with a swarm strategy since we don't care much about the tempo plays that the deck has. Post sideboard, some removals instead of Thalia make the match even more comfortable, although some lists have been using Settle the Wreckage, so when possible try to play around by not attacking with everything on turns where he passes with mana open.

Abzan Amalia Combo

Very bad match, no plan is good enough when he recovers with the Amalia-Wildgrowth Walker combo. In G1 there's nothing we can do, at most leave 3 mana open to kill with Giant Killer when her power is greater than 4, but it's not enough and not developing with our creatures is asking to lose, because responding for just one turn is only going to delay our death. Post side, some removals help, but generally he changes the plan to have a very midrange game, which has better responses, but still with the combo to win unexpectedly.

Boros Convoke (Mirror)

Usually, it's the match of who can create more creatures than the opponent. Play/draw matter a lot here, as generally whoever starts has more options to better develop the board and start attacking, pushing their opponent onto the back foot.

Warden shines especially when you don't have the convokers, as it becomes the biggest creature on the board, providing card selection and in a few turns, it can both attack and defend.

Post-sideboard, some specific removal for larger creatures help and make the play/draw factor less relevant, but even so, not starting in this game puts you at a significant disadvantage.

Final words

With the reduction of Amalia in the environment, and having a decent match against some tiers like Phoenix and Rakdos, Boros Convoke seems to have found the right moment to shine again in the format. With one of the most explosive openings in the format, and gaining an important key piece in the form of Novice Inspector, which has provided more consistency in the game plan, it is a very viable option for upcoming tournaments.

Until next time!

If you liked this article maybe you will also find interesting on of the following ones Pauper Mono-blue Faeries Deck & Sideboard Guide, Fine tuning Mono-green in Pioneer: In-depth & Sideboard guide, Getting ready for the Vintage Superqualifier: Vintage Simic Fair Primer, Boros Humans Deck Guide by Mogged

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Lucas Giggs
MTG Streamer
Hi, my name is Lucas de Almeida Hervás. I'm 31 years old, married, and I live in Indaiatuba/SP, Brazil. I've been playing Magic the Gathering since 2009, but I've been making a living off of it since 2019 through leagues and tournaments on Magic Online. For those who don't know me, I'm 2.17 meters tall, hence the nickname "the tallest Magic player in Brazil."

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Published: 2024-03-16 00:00:00
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