Selesnya Bogles in Pioneer
There was a time a couple years ago when Modern was being terrorized by one of the worst decks known to humankind. A terrifying list, capable of killing extremely quickly, and being remarkably difficult to deal with in traditional ways. This deck, of course, was the infamous Bogles. And now, the slippery hexproof creatures are spreading their sickness to Pioneer.
The core of this deck revolves around two things: Bogles, which are cheap hexproof creatures; and aura enchantments to make them bigger. For our Bogles, we have Gladecover Scout, coming in at an extremely efficient one mana, as well as Bassara Tower Archer, who costs one more but comes with an extra power in exchange. There’s also Sram, Senior Edificer, here to help the deck deal with some of the inherent card disadvantage issues that come with auras. Rounding out our creatures, we have two copies of Hopeful Eidolon, who helps with some of those card disadvantage issues while also being able to carry auras itself if needed.
The second part of the deck revolves around the various auras used to pump up our Bogles. But first let’s get the equipment in the room out of the way: Helm of the Gods. Helm doesn’t do anything on its own, but it draws a card with Sram, sticks around after the creature it is attached to is killed, and ends up representing a ton of damage. Cartouche of Solidarity offers first strike as a way to deal with opposing deathtouch creatures, and also gives us a token that can come in handy. Ethereal Armor also gives first strike, while acting as a generally better Helm of the Gods to make our Bogle big enough to take down our opponent in a single swing. In the same vein, All That Glitters is another huge pump that also counts our Helm of the Gods.
Another good one mana aura is Gryff's Boon, which gives flying for some extremely valuable evasion, while also being recursive and can help us rebuild after one Bogle has been dealt with. Sixth Sense doesn’t represent any damage on its own, but the potential to draw even more cards is huge, and the more ways we have to recover after losing a Bogle, the better. Gift of Orzhova is another way to give evasion, and has the added benefit of giving us more time to enact our gameplan against opposing aggro decks thanks to Lifelink, and Unflinching Courage is similar in that it gives yet another form of evasion and lifelink, and with a bigger buff.
Our lands are a combination of basics and dual lands, with no utility lands in sight. In the sideboard, we have Leyline of Sanctity to deal with hand disruption, burn spells, and the new Walking Ballista combo. Rest in Peace helps against graveyard decks like “dredge” and Underworld Breach combo, Damping Sphere slows down decks that like to cast a bunch of spells in a single turn, and Sheltering Light gives our Bogles extra protection if the opponent has Supreme Verdict. Finally, Oppressive Rays gives us a solid removal option that triggers Sram, holds off attacks, lets us get past potential blockers, and also happens to stop the Ballista combo thanks to the tax on activated abilities.
- One of the biggest problem cards for this deck is Blessed Alliance, which is a very cheap way to get rid of a Bogle. Cartouche of Solidarity is a good way around this, since we can swing with the token and our Bogle when we have the kill, and sacrifice the token to Alliance. Leyline of Sanctity also helps here, since it stops them from targeting us with Alliance’s sacrifice effect.
- Don’t play more creatures than you have to. If you have a single big Bogle and play two more, a board wipe will take all of them out. At the same time, keep in mind that you can play a second creature if you’re worried about Alliance.
- If you suspect your opponent is preparing to remove your Bogle, you can Bestow a Hopeful Eidolon fairly safely. The board wipe will leave you with Eidolon, potentially ready to be suited up to finish the job.
- Sage's Reverie is pretty expensive at four mana, but it gives a big boost to our Bogle, and also has the potential to draw a lot of cards so we can keep applying pressure.
- Holy Mantle is also expensive, but gives a decent buff with +2/+2, and also makes the creature it’s attached to unblockable.
- Open the Armory is a better fit for a more midrange deck, but could still have its uses as a one or two-of here, allowing us to toolbox if needed.
This deck loses a bit of consistency compared to the modern version since the format’s lacking in the Slippery Bogle department, but still can pull off very quick kills, and is still quite difficult to interact with thanks to hexproof. Able to kill as early as turn 3, at the very least your opponents will always have to be on their toes when playing against this deck.
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