Boros Kitty: A Primer in Two Parts

Part One: Analyzing Deck Lists

This week we are going to talk about the best of the best. The winner of the first Pauper Gauntlet. The one, the only, Boros Kitty.

This is the first part of two, as there is a massive amount of information to cover in any primer, and time must be invested to get it right. We are going to look over different builds, finding commonality and differences that they have.

The big reason that Boros Kitty is so powerful and keeps winning is the deckss innate ability to be many different decks at once. Boros Kitty can be the aggro deck against control. Boros Kitty can be the control deck against aggro. Boros Kitty has a ton of built-in card advantage with the card drawing, the bounce, and the bonus life gain. With the token generation, direct damage spells, and removal, the deck really is the total package. I have won with the deck both by taking the lead and keeping it, and by coming from behind and grinding out a victory over long games. Boros Kitty never ceases to amaze me.

We will be looking over various different deck lists, checking out the common core of cards that each list shares, and examining as well the differences in each list.

Boros Kitty Deck Lists

First the original deck list that the infamous Turbokitty3000 built.

Turbokitty3000 Boros Kitty

Creatures (10)
Glint Hawk
Kor Skyfisher
Sanctum Gargoyle

Instants (8)
Galvanic Blast
Lightning Bolt

Sorcery (7)
Kuldotha Rebirth
Faithless Looting
Remember the Fallen

Artifacts (9)
Ichor Wellspring
Prophetic Prism
Elsewhere Flask

Enchantments (5)
Journey to Nowhere
Oblivion Ring
Lands (21)
Ancient Den
Great Furnace
Kabira Crossroads
Mountains
Plains

Sideboard (15)
Stone Rain
Lone Missionary
Kor Sanctifiers
Pyroblast
Gorilla Shaman

This deck has all the usual suspects in it. Glint Hawk and Kor Skyfisher generate card advantage and life advantage by bouncing cards like Ichor Wellspring, Prophetic Prism, and Kabira Crossroads. Kuldotha Rebirth can target an Ancient Den or even better Ichor Wellspring, so for one mana you get three 1/1 goblins into play, and if you sac the Wellspring you get to draw into your second card from the Wellspring.

The Sanctum Gargoyle and Remember the Fallen generate a small amount of graveyard recursion, leading to more late game grindy card advantage.
The removal suite is small but elegant, a good amount of burn and enchantment based removal. [C]Lightning Bolt[/c] and Galvanic Blast are the best burn spells of all time. Use them to dome your opponent or remove a little blocker out of the way. Journey to Nowhere is super strong in any creature heavy format, and Pauper by its nature is super creature heavy. Even a creature-light deck like Delver is running 12-16 creatures on average. The only deck Journey can feel dead against is Hexproof, and Hexproof is a very small part of the meta at any given time.

The odd cards out in this build are Oblivion Ring, Elsewhere Flask, and the 2 Faithless Looting. The Lootings do bring in some extra card draw, but in a deck with so much inherent card drawing I am not sure just how necessary the looting effect is. Ring is a great card, and fills a necessary slot in the deck, it just feels odd as a one-of. I am not at all a fan of the Flask. It’s truly only good as a 5th wellspring-type effect. Chromatic Star is a similar effect with the upside of extra mana filtering.

That’s the build that Dan ran to take down the whole show during the Gauntlet season 1. It’s the original build and while the main deck is great, and still super-strong, the sideboard is showing some age at this point.

Stone Rain is sideboard hate that was probably included to have an answer to Post, and while Tron is still a part of the meta, it is also a deck that is set up to generate a massive amount of lands into play (unlike Post which generated a massive amount of mana from a few lands into play.) One-for-one land destruction ends up not being the best against Tron.

[C]Lone Missionary[/c] gives the deck more grindy power against aggro and burn.

Kor Sanctifiers is another choice going back to the Meta at that time. 4 mana to destroy an artifact or enchantment seems very slow now with Affinity able to have the game well in hand before the Sanctifier could even get online.

[C]Pyroblast[/c] and Gorilla Shaman are by far the strongest cards in the Sideboard, the ability to blow up Artifact lands at 0 cost, and to interfere with the blue mage’s plans is just excellent. I wish the Mox Monkey had gotten a reprint in Vintage Masters as a playset is currently out of my budget to purchase.

DromarX Boros Kitty

Creatures (10)
Glint Hawk
Kor Skyfisher
Kor Sanctifiers

Instants (8)
Galvanic Blast
Lightning Bolt

Sorcery (6)
Kuldotha Rebirth
Faithless Looting

Artifacts (11)
Ichor Wellspring
Prophetic Prism
Origin Spellbomb

Enchantments (5)
Journey to Nowhere
Oblivion Ring
Lands (20)
Ancient Den
Great Furnace
Kabira Crossroads
Mountains
Plains

Sideboard (15)
Celestial Flare
Circle of Protection: Red
Electrickery
Obsidian Acolyte
Pyroblast
Gorilla Shaman

This is the build that DromarX has been running, and Dan ran in the Pauper Playthrough recently. It’s a much tighter build for the current meta then Turbokitty’s build. The main deck has removed most of the odds and ends. Gone is the slightly out of place Graveyard package. The Flask as well. The big change to this build is the inclusion of Origin Spell Bomb. For 3 Mana and a Rebirth you get your Goblins and a card in hand, even without the Rebirth the 1/1 Token you get with a card draw attached is pretty good against control decks as it often can get in a few points of damage that can lead to winning the game.
The sideboard is even tighter now. Celestial Flare and Electrickery[c/] are in as anti-Hexproof and Infect cards. [c]Circle of Protection: Red shuts down burn and goblin decks, as well as Kiln Fiend and Cyclops.

Obsidian Acolyte is in as an answer to Mono Black Control, but it just doesn’t feel like it does anything against the life swing that is Gray Merchant of Asphodel or sacrifice effects like Geth’s Verdict.

The Shaman and Pyroblasts fill the last few slots in the sideboard, and are still the best cards against the decks they are in against, Affinity and Mono Blue builds.

JustSin's Boros Kitty

Creatures (12)
Glint Hawk
Kor Skyfisher
Kor Sanctifiers
Sanctum Gargoyle

Instants (7)
Galvanic Blast
Lightning Bolt

Sorcery (8)
Kuldotha Rebirth
Faithless Looting
Remember the Fallen

Artifacts (9)
Ichor Wellspring
Prophetic Prism
Elsewhere Flask

Enchantments (2)
Journey to Nowhere
Lands (22)
Ancient Den
Great Furnace
Kabira Crossroads
Mountains
Plains
Evolving Wilds
Forgotten Cave
Secluded Steppe

Sideboard (15)
Electrickery
Standard Bearer
Pyroblast
Gorilla Shaman
Stone Rain

This deck is JustSin’s build of Boros Kitty, and it seems to be a bit all over the place. It includes both the graveyard package, and the Sanctifiers main deck. He’s made some odd choices in the land base as well, Including a one off fetch land with the Wilds, and a few cycle lands for a little extra draw. In this deck I don’t quite grasp running the 4 Blast 3 Bolt package, as the deck is light on Artifacts, and 3 for 1 is better then 2 for 1. The Flask is back as a one off, the Oblivion Ring is gone.

The sideboard feels a bit dated again, including Stone Rain against Post, and Standard Bearer against Infect. Post is dead, and Infect is almost no part of the meta at all, having lost the turn two kill chances with the banning of Invigorate.

This is by no means the strongest build of the Kitty but JustSin seems to have tested and adjusted the counts of the cards in the deck to make room for even extra card advantage spells.

Tgalbs Boros Kitty

Creatures (12)
Glint Hawk
Kor Skyfisher
Squadron Hawk

Instants (8)
Galvanic Blast
Lightning Bolt

Sorcery (9)
Kuldotha Rebirth
Faithless Looting
Firebolt
Flame Slash

Artifacts (10)
Ichor Wellspring
Prophetic Prism
Bonesplitter

Enchantments (1)
Oblivion Ring
Lands (20)
Ancient Den
Great Furnace
Kabira Crossroads
Boros Garrison
Boros Guildgate
Mountain

Sideboard (15)
Circle of Protection: Black
Circle of Protection: Green
Circle of Protection: Red
Electrickery
Pyroblast
Gorilla Shaman

This deck is included not on the strength of the build, as it seems to have the weakest land build of all the decks listed, not running any plains at all, but relying on Boros Guildgate and Boros Garrison as the only white sources. Seems super dodgey to me.

But the list includes some of the most value-based creatures in the format. Squadron Hawk is an amazing card. The fact that for two mana you get to have 4 creatures in hand and those creatures have flying; it’s like having a built in air force to go with your army of goblins. TGalbs also runs Bonesplitter to make any of the Hawks and the Goblin tokens a must-block instead of just a let-through.

The deck also ditches the Journey, running Flame Slash in its place. All things being equal I place both cards about the same, but in a deck running less white mana I understand the shift to more red cards.

This sideboard seems more crammed together in this build as well. I enjoy a nice circle of protection as much as the next guy, but taking 7 slots for them in the board seems weak. And, again, COP: Black still doesn’t stop the loss of life from Gray Merchant.

So the cards that all the decks run are:

All Decks

(10)
Glint Hawk
Kor Skyfisher
Galvanic Blast
Lightning Bolt
Kuldotha Rebirth
Ichor Wellspring
Prophetic Prism
Ancient Den
Great Furnace
Kabira Grossroads

Some Decks

(13)
Sanctum Gargoyle
Remember the Fallen
Elswhere Flask
Oblivion Ring
Journey to Nowhere
Kor Sanctifiers
Origin Spellbomb
Squadron Hawk
Firebolt
Flame Slash
Bonesplitter
Boros Garrison
Boros Guildgate

What we really learn from that list is that the core of the deck is super strong. The Skyfishers, the Glint Hawks, the Bolts, the Blasts, the Wellsprings, the Prism; all strong cards that generate card advantage in some way (or just have great value).

We also learn that the support cards such as Journey to Nowhere, Flame Slash, Firebolt, Bonesplitter, Squadron Hawk, Sanctum Gargoyle, Kor Sanctifiers, Origin Spellbomb, and Remember the Fallen just fill in the gaps that the core cards cannot handle. These cards are strong as well, but are really the icing on top of an already great cake.

Both sets of cards weave together in such a way to make a deck with so much game, so much inherent reach, and so much grindy advantage, that is has great match-ups against an incredible variety of decks.

End Step

So ends part one of my Boros Kitty Primer. I have found cards I enjoy in the all the builds. I have found cards that I think work great in each build. There are also cards that I think are unnecessary and weak. I found cards that that I can add, can remove, and can build on to make a new Boros Kitty build, not only for the current meta, but also for the future of Pauper.

In part two we will be looking over the build that Dan will be running for the Season 2 of the Pauper Gauntlet and we will be doing an in depth analysis of the main deck and the sideboard, as well as writing out a 16-deck sideboard plan.

Until next time may you always have Metalcraft, and may your Goblins be swinging in for lethal.

Sam aka Vaultboyhunter

Share This