Almost There: White-Blue Auras

Posted in How to Build on February 9, 2018

By Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa

Paulo has been playing Magic since he was eight years old. At fifteen, he ventured outside of Brazil for his first international tournament, and he's been globetrotting as a professional player ever since.

If you play a lot of Modern, you've probably heard of a deck called "Bogles." Bogles is a green-white deck based on playing hexproof creatures (such as its namesake, Slippery Bogle) and Auras to make them more powerful. It's a nightmare to play against, and can be quite good in the right metagame.

In Standard, it's rare that we can have a deck like Bogles, because it requires there being a combination of enough cheap Auras that are worth playing and enough cheap creatures that get benefits when they're enchanted. I believe that the last time we had a deck like this was when White-Blue Heroic was a thing, back in Theros, and the time before that was with Geist of Saint Traft. Now, with the addition of Rivals of Ixalan, it seems like Standard Bogles is back in style. This is the decklist TheKG piloted to a 5-0 finish in a Magic Online League:

TheKG's White-Blue Auras

Download Arena Decklist

This deck's game plan is very straightforward: it wants to play a couple of cheap creatures, enchant them with Auras, and attack with them over and over. It's both more powerful and more resilient than you'd think at first glance, and if this fits your play style, you should give it a try.

Curious Obsession is probably the best card in the deck, and is powerful enough to just be played without much context. Cartouche of Knowledge and Cartouche of Solidarity, however, need some help to become good, which the deck accomplishes by playing a series of creatures that are particularly synergistic with Auras. First, there's Sram, Senior Edificer, which draws you a card whenever you play an Aura; it's not the best creature to enchant, but it makes sure you don't run out of gas as you're enchanting the other ones. Adanto Vanguard becomes indestructible at will, which makes it the closest thing to a "Bogle" in Standard. Sacred Cat and Legion's Landing tokens both have lifelink and can provide big life swings if you gear them up. Finally, Adorned Pouncer has double strike, which magnifies the effect of every Aura. Putting Curious Obsession on Adorned Pouncer is particularly great, because you get to draw two cards every time it connects.

Most of the slots in this deck seem to be standardized at this point—everyone plays the twelve Auras, and everyone plays Sram, Adorned Pouncer, Legion's Landing, Adanto Vanguard, Sacred Cat, and Skymarcher Aspirant, which are responsible for another 22 slots. The Skymarcher Aspirants don't have special synergy with Auras, but they are cheap threats to enchant, and the evasive ability can come in handy, especially with Curious Obsession. Playing 20 lands is also standard, so that leaves six slots for extra creatures, extra protective spells, and interaction. In the case of TheKG's list, that's 2 Baffling End, 1 Spell Pierce, 1 Dive Down, 1 Trial of Solidarity, and 1 Snubhorn Sentry. This is where I believe the deck is most customizable.

My first instinct would be to use all those slots to protect your creatures from removal spells, because decks with Auras are normally vulnerable to those, particularly mass removal. In the case of White-Blue Auras, however, you actually have quite a bit of resiliency. Adanto Vanguard can survive most removal if you pay 4 life, and Sacred Cat and Adorned Pouncer both come back from the dead. Sram, Cartouche of Knowledge, and Curious Obsession all draw cards to make sure you'll have something to play even after a mass removal spell, and Legion's Landing can provide you with infinite bodies if it ever flips. Because of those, you can actually afford to play some interaction, like Baffling End or the powerful but inconsistent effect of Trial of Solidarity. The one card that is really tough for you to beat is Settle the Wreckage, since it gets around both indestructibility and embalm effects, but there isn't much you can do about that one other than just playing counterspells or not attacking with all your creatures in the same turn.

For protection spells, I think it's a choice between Spell Pierce, Dive Down, and Sheltering Light. Among those, I think Sheltering Light gets the nod over the others because it costs white mana, which makes it considerably easier to cast. Not only does the deck have a lot more sources of white (sixteen, compared to only eleven for blue), but you're also more likely to want to cast a protection spell in the same turn you're casting an Aura, which would often require double blue. The deck's play pattern is usually to tap out for a creature on turn two, then suit it up on turn three, and that's when you want to have a protection spell available. With only eleven blue sources, it's very unlikely you can cast Cartouche of Knowledge and Spell Pierce or Dive Down on turn three. Sheltering Light doesn't protect you from exile effects, which is unfortunate, but it does scry to make up for that.

I would play the deck like this:

PV's White-Blue Auras

Download Arena Decklist

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