Sunforger is perhaps the best tool Boros decks have to get a piece of the value pie. A hefty power boost coupled with a repeatable reactionary tutor? Sign me up. What are the best Boros spells for Sunforger? Well, say hello to my little friend…
Sunforger lets you pay RW and unattach it to cast any instant in your deck with a mana value of four or less, on the condition that the spell is red or white. So, yes — you can go grab Anguished Unmaking or Counterflux — but today, we’ll be focusing on the best Boros spells, as those are the decks where this thing shows up the most. Stay tuned for my toolbox follow-up, where I’ll cover splashing other colors.
The biggest challenge to getting Sunforger to work is that hefty equip 3. You’ll need five mana total each rotation of the table to use it, so you either have to have a lot of lands in play, or you need some free equips. Otherwise, how are you progressing your board?
Unsurprisingly, Sunforger is best as a controlling finisher. Play it once you’re set up, and you’ll have no problems closing out a game.
What Cards Work with Sunforger
As mentioned, a card cast with Sunforger must be red or white, and it has to cost four mana or less. There are a few keys to understanding what exactly these restrictions mean.
To figure out if the spell can be cast, we care about the mana value of the card, in the top right corner of the card. Alternate modes of casting that cost less aren’t available to us, as casting the spell for free with Sunforger is already an alternate cost; you can’t alternate an alternate cost (see 118.9).
Because adventure cards are creatures in any zone except your hand, you can’t cast adventures with Sunforger.
If a spell that has X in its casting cost, X is unfortunately always equal to 0 when you cast the card from your library. Sunforger can technically cast Heliod’s Intervention, but you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
Conversely, a spell that has an optional additional cost, like kicker or buyback, can be cast with Sunforger, and you can pay the additional cost, if you’d like. That’s because the mana value of the spell doesn’t change; you’re just paying an additional cost.
So, now you’re up to speed with what spells we can cast. Let’s dive into the best Boros Sunforger spells.
Kicking things off with removal seems best, as you’re going to be playing it regardless. Being able to dig for a removal spell is second only to digging for protection when it comes to Sunforger.
Beyond them, I’d eschew the likes of Condemn and instead look at Dispatch, which is nearly always turned on in Equipment decks; with the new artifact land Rustvale Bridge, it’s never been easier. Fateful Absence is our hot new tech, and is one of the most exciting white spells we’ve had for some time. If you’ve opened one? Play it.
The best part about Sunforger is being able to react with your toolbox. When those same tools are multipurpose, the toolbox is stronger and more resilient. Abrade and Valorous Stance are great examples of this, providing us with two strong effects on one card.
While Crib Swap might have been a great choice in the three mana slot previously, it’s now edged out by Generous Gift, which joins Chaos Warp as our multipurpose answers. There are few problems that can’t be solved by one of these spells.
Rounding out the best removal options is Honor the Fallen, the only real instant-speed graveyard interaction available to us in Boros. It’ll gain you a little life, too, which is sometimes relevant.
Protection is the most useful and powerful thing that Sunforger can provide, and it’s the way it most contributes to winning games. The strongest includes here are no doubt Deflecting Swat, which can be cast for free when it’s in your hand, and Teferi’s Protection, which can stop you losing for a turn cycle.
While Teferi’s Protection is the clear best in slot option, there are some less universal spells worth considering. Ghostway and Eerie Interlude will help you avoid board wipes, bounces, and exile wipes, while giving you value on your ETB triggers, too. There’s also Semester’s End, which you’ll like if you run planeswalkers or +1/+1 counter synergies.
Sometimes indestructible is enough, though, and Flawless Maneuver and Boros Charm can give you what you need. I enjoy free spells in my Syr Gwyn deck, given how mana hungry it is, and Boros Charm is the best way to make board wipes one-sided. My favorite combo here is with Hour of Revelation.
There are plenty of these effects, like the ultra-budget Make a Stand, and other strong contenders like Akroma’s Will and Unbreakable Formation. What’s great about these is that you can use them both offensively and defensively.
While it’s a lot harder to make cards like Harsh Justice, Impact Resonance or Backdraft work, Comeuppance is a fabulous way to fog. It can fog both combat damage — which in many cases converts into a wrath — and damage from burn spells, too, which can sometimes even end the caster of the spell! Both Comeuppance and Settle the Wreckage are great ways to protect yourself when you only have a couple of blockers.
While the likes of Repel the Abominable are best suited to Human tribal, there are some other interesting options here, too. Deflecting Palm is a silver bullet for Voltron decks, particularly the ones that manage to give shroud or hexproof to their beater. It also doesn’t target, so you’re good.
Chance for Glory, meanwhile, is a sneaky way to not only protect your board, but also push through enough damage to end the game. Taking an extra turn can sometimes be just what a combat deck needs to win.
Faith’s Shield and Rebuff the Wicked are also good options for protecting permanents, but both have been eclipsed by the universal power of Blacksmith’s Skill. Blacksmith’s Skill is truly the king when it comes to protecting your stuff, and I’d advocate including it in every white deck. It’s just that good.
While most of the better options for recursion are available at sorcery speed, there are some options worth considering that work pretty well with Sunforger.
The issue with recursion and Sunforger is that you can’t really preload it. You can’t cast Second Sunrise and Faith’s Reward in response to removal, only afterwards, and most of the time, the thing being removed is either Sunforger or the creature holding it (if not the entire board). Enter Debt of Loyalty. It’s a way you can preload recursion, and in tight spots, you can even steal an opponent’s creature with it, which is very un-white.
While Argivian Find is certainly playable, the only other option I’d strongly consider running is Brought Back. This thing is a great way to bring fetchlands back and ramp, if nothing else, and you’ll happily run it in most white strategies.
Disharmony might be a little expensive, but honestly? It’s far from the top of the list when it comes to sweet interaction, and you only have so many slots.
Oftentimes, you’ll be better with Burnout, though; it at least draws a card against non-blue decks, given it’s free to target any instant whether it’s blue or not. Tibalt’s Trickery is the new kid on the block, offering an unconditional counter with a little chaos thrown in. It’s worth looking at if you’re playing against fast, powerful builds.
White can get in on the action, too. Rebuff the Wicked is a spell I’ve not taken as much as Blacksmith’s Skill recently, but one that has added utility when spells target more than one permanent. Lapse of Certainty is similar to Tibalt’s Trickery, but a lot less expensive to purchase.
Chef’s Kiss always feels a little narrow to me, so if you’re looking for a redirect, I’d try Wild Ricochet instead. As well as choosing new targets, you also get to copy the spell and choose new targets for the copy, which is well worth the four mana. Fury Storm is another option to consider if you have a super cheap commander like Akiri, Line-Slinger or Wyleth, Soul of Steel.
Of the many weird and wonderful older cards, I’d only really advocate for Brand and False Orders here. The rest are far too conditional, and often underwhelming. False Orders is only really worth it if your theme dictates it, too.
What I’m much more excited to take are ways to stop damage from being prevented. Skullcrack pulls a double shift by also stopping lifegain, while Flaring Pain can be cast again from the bin. Both are solid options if you find yourself punching the wall when the fifth Spore Frog of the night comes back from the graveyard.
I’m not sure I’d be playing Sunforger at tables where it feels necessary to play a Silence or Silence-adjacent spell, but these are the ones that are worth a look if you’re desperate for even more interaction and don’t want to play blue. Mandate of Peace is probably the most casual of the bunch, given it’s also a fog.
There aren’t loads of value plays with Sunforger, but there are some. If you don’t have to hold up mana for protection, it’s worth firing off your Enlightened Tutor before you untap. This can go grab any number of cool things, and it’s a nice play to keep things moving if you have a window.
One of the weirdest and coolest options is Surprise Deployment. If your deck has plenty of mono-red creatures — or artifact creatures — you can pay four mana to temporarily Sneak Attack one into play. If you have teamwide haste, it’ll be able to attack, but at the least, you can block and get an ETB trigger.
If you do want to draw cards, though, there are some ways to do so. Heartwarming Redemption is certainly an option, but one I’m again not too high on. Instead, Valakut Awakening is basically free to include, as it’ll be in your mana base (provided you run enough lands, of course), and Cathartic Pyre is just shockingly good for a common. While we’re on the topic of MDFCs, Kabira Takedown and Kazuul’s Fury are also pretty solid.
The final section of this article is titled “Combo,” as it contains, well, combos. But also cards that combine well with synergies, in a loose kinda combo way.
While Fork might be out of range, you do have plenty of ways to copy spells, like Reverberate or Increasing Vengeance. I’ve said above I tend to prefer Wild Ricochet, but you might want one of these instead/as well.
Shields of Velis Vel is a sweet little enabler for tribal decks, particularly Sylvia and Khorvath. That deck loves Mirror Entity and Changelings. Last-Ditch Effort is a great way to really slap a player for playing a board wipe, and, rather than protecting yourself, you can just throw creatures at their face instead.
Next, the first of two combos that Sunforger can enable. If you use Final Fortune to take an extra turn and then cast Angel’s Grace, you can avoid losing the game. You just need a way to keep casting them. With Isochron Scepter and Mistveil Plains, you can. It requires a decent amount of mana and board presence to convert into a win, but it’s certainly achievable.
The other is the Arcbond combo. Getting both pieces in hand can be taxing, so if you have Brash Taunter or another indestructible creature on board, using Sunforger to find the other piece can be a massive help. This creates a damage loop, and because you take no damage, all opponents will die, thus ceasing the loop because you won.
Wow, that’s a lot of cards! It might seem like a lot, but considering there are nearly a thousand options in red and white alone, I think I’ve managed to narrow it down pretty well. Hopefully this list helps you in deciding what to run with Sunforger. Stay tuned for next time, where I’ll be giving more insight into how to build a Sunforger toolbox, with examples for both budget and high power lists.
Kristen is Card Kingdom’s Head Writer, and member of the Commander Advisory Group. Formerly a competitive Pokémon TCG grinder, she has been playing Magic since Shadows Over Innistrad, which in her opinion, was a great set to start with. When she’s not taking names with Equipment and Aggro strategies in Commander, she loves to play any form of Limited.