BORBORYGMOS ANGRY! BORBORYGMOS SMASH! Borborygmos Enraged has a little bit of everything a Gruul player wants – combos, high synergy, control elements, midrange cards, a lands package, as well as the ability to do deal out a lot of damage from angles that are traditionally difficult for other decks to protect from. This build is budget and runs around 44 Tix and has tons of options that you tailor to your liking.
The Main Strategy
I would consider this deck to be a mixture of a control and combo deck – Borborygmos provides our main win condition. In most games you draw a bunch of cards, or cycle lands (such as Tranquil Thicket or Forgotten cave) until you develop some type of recurable value engine filling and using your graveyard. An example is using Life from the Loam to get back your cycle lands. You can draw a bunch of cards looping your draw effects to fill out your graveyard.
Once your graveyard is developed Borborygmos can come down. You can enchant Borborygmos with either Keen Sense or Snake Umbra. This lets you activate Borborygmos’ ability to discard a land, triggering the enchantment, and draw a card. Because we run 40 lands and there is tons of value to be gained by graveyard recursion (such as Life from the Loam, Creeping Renaissance, Praetor’s Counsel, and Eternal Witness) it is totally possible to deal the 120 damage demanded to kill the other three players at the table in one turn.
When this deck isn’t performing its damage combo it can feel slow. Most turns consist of ramping, tutoring for lands, or casting cards that bring basic lands to your hand. Because we are in green and red we have tons of options to bring in other cards to increase our odds versus creature combo decks and other artifact or enchantment combo decks. My build runs shatterstorm but green has the best artifact and enchantment hate options in the game. Bane of Progress dramatically punishes both value and artifact/enchantment combo decks. Back to Nature or Creeping Corrosion are also playable. Against creatures Earthquake and Rolling Earthquake effects can be effective at clearing the board and dealing damage to our opponents is something our Borb deck wants to do.
When we reach 8 mana we can cast Borborygmos even if we don’t expect to combo right away – he’s great at sniping creatures and breaking up synergies in creature decks. Don’t forget that he has a triggered ability that lets you Mulch for 3 cards when he hits players in combat. This ability allows you to play fair when you need to. When people use graveyard hate against you and exile your Life from the Loam you are pretty much forced to play fair and use other more aggressive cards like Kessig Wolf Run or Xenagos, God of Revels to punch in lethal commander damage on opponents.
Life From the Loam
Life From the Loam is hands down the most flexible card in the deck. If you ever draw Gamble you should probably tutor for Life from the Loam (you don’t care if you ‘accidentally’ discard it). It synergizes with the cycle lands, it lets us get back Strip Mine or any number of utility lands.
This deck is sort of like a lands deck – we have access to all the colorless utility lands and green is the best color for tutoring lands. Why not take advantage in a deck that wants to throw around lands?
Vesuva – Copies utility lands in a pinch.
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle – This card doesn’t normally do much but if this deck is faced with late game scenarios looping your lands in and our of your deck via Borb’s ability and mass graveyard to hand cards ( Creeping Renaissance ) you can Splendid Reclamation all of your lands into play. Because Valakut is entering play simultaneously with all the mountains you get a trigger for each mountain assuming you have more than 5 mountains entering play. If Vesuva enters play this way as well Vesuva can’t copy Valakut. You would have to play Vesuva prior to this combo copying Valakut before initiating.
Kessig Wolf Run – Great for commander damage.
Other Lands You Could Run
I think it is difficult to run a lot of fetch lands in this deck – so many effects want you to tutor basic lands and sources like Valakut care about land types. While Fetchlands can improve your color efficiency in the early game I think you should not run them.
Rogue’s Passage : Makes Borborygmos unblockable in a pinch.
Cavern of Souls : Uncounterable effect to force through powerful creature effects or Borborygmos himself.
Homeward Path : Hard counter to decks that are trying to steal your permanents.