Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica begins today and as is always the case when it comes time for the Pro Tour, I have identified the best builds of every viable version of white creature decks. Today I am going to compare and discuss the merits of each version.
Zman2340 and Tacitamorte have each had success online with this archetype. This and Boros have the best mana of any of the color combinations due to Temple Garden and Sacred Foundry. This deck is basically just splashing green off nine green sources for March of the Multitudes, Flower // Flourish, Emmara, Soul of the Accord, and Thorn Lieutenant, though Flower makes it feel like 13.
Nine green sources is not very many, but Benalish Marshal requires us to run more white sources than we otherwise would. And Flower allows us to find the one Forest, which essentially gives us 13 green sources. It can sometimes be awkward if we want to cast a one-drop into Thorn Lieutenant or Emmara but need to resolve Flower to find our green source. It is worth the cost though since Flourish can be a real game changer late in the game by pumping our entire team, including all the tokens made throughout the game.
Instead of going with the two-power one drop "Savannah Lions" like most of the other variants, this version goes with Snubhorn Sentry. There are three primary reasons for this. The first is that this version has more late game than the others and so it isn't as reliant on early pressure. The second is that it makes more token creatures and is thereby able to achieve the city's blessing more reliably than other versions. Third, and perhaps most importantly, is that it has a bunch of convoke cards. So the Dinosaur is used to convoke out spells early and then is a giant threat later on, especially after having used it to convoke out Venerated Loxodon.
The name of the game is to make tokens in game one, but in post board games after the opponents take out some of their Vraska's Contempt type cards that are not very good against us, the deck can transition into a midrange deck that tops out at Lyra Dawnbringer and Vivien Reid. The deck also has a Dawn of Hope plan, which might seem out of place until you consider the deck's ability to produce 1/1 lifelink tokens. In fact, the deck has 15 such cards, not including the Dawn of Hope itself.
Bayesta_93 won the MOCS with this Boros Aggro deck. This version of "white weenie" is much more aggressive than the Selesnya version. Instead of relying on cards like March of the Multitudes to win the game, it relies on tempo and individually sized creatures. So instead of playing Venerated Loxodon to permanently pump the team at the expense of missing a combat step, it plays Heroic Reinforcements to temporarily pump the team and get in immediate extra damage.
Adanto Vanguard is really powerful right now given how strong it is against all the Izzet decks. And the incidental life gain from Healer's Hawk and the Legion's Landing token help offset some of the life that would be paid to make the Vampire indestructible a few times. And with eight ways to pump the vanguard, the opponent will likely have to block it at various points.
Perhaps my favorite combo in the deck is that between History of Benalia and Heroic Reinforcements. The latter grants haste to the newly generated second token along with the two Soldier Tokens produced by Heroic Reinforcements itself. This allows for a 10-point attack on the fourth turn with those two cards alone, let alone whatever threats were played on the first two turns.
In addition to the Knight Tokens produced off History of Benalia, we also have Benalish Marshal, Dauntless Bodyguard and Knight of Grace. This makes the chapter three from History that much more potent.
In post-board games, you can add some Baffling Ends against other creature decks or you can add Experimental Frenzy and Make a Stand against control decks. Make a Stand is very powerful against Cleansing Nova and can also finish a game by just pumping the team in one shot. Experimental Frenzy is like Arguel's Blood Fast in that it allows the deck to essentially draw multiple cards per turn and pretty much never run out of gas.
Kvza went 5-0 with this innovative Orzhov Knights deck. The only black sources are four copies of Isolated Chapel and four copies of Unclaimed Territory. These help cast Knight of Malice and Legion Lieutenant. In game one, you can name Knight with Unclaimed Territory and be able to cast either of our black spells off it while also being able to cast Benalish Marshal off it, so the cost of running Unclaimed Territory is pretty low. After sideboard, you can bring in Kitesail Freebooter to replace Legion Lieutenant and name Human with Unclaimed Territory. This will allow you to cast Knight of Malice, Benalish Marshal, or the pirate.
The inclusion of Legion Lieutenant produces a few clever synergies in the deck. The first is that it turns on Knight of Malice and Knight of Grace since it is both white and black. The second is that it pumps all the Vampires, including Adanto Vanguard, Skymarch Aspirant and the token(s) from Legion's Landing. The third is that it gets pumped by History of Benalia and Valiant Knight since it is itself a Knight. This is the first time I can ever recall playing a tribal lord in a deck that is not a dedicated linear deck of that tribe.
While Selesnya goes wider with tokens and Boros goes faster with haste, Orzhov is more resilient because of Adamant Will and Make a Stand. These cards line up well against most removal spells and they generate tempo in multiple ways. The first is by pumping the power of the creature(s) during combat. The second is by essentially countering a removal spell. Between these five spells and the four Dauntless Bodyguards and Shalai, Voice of Plenty, this deck has lots of ways to protect its creatures.
Schiapponetor made Top 8 of the MOCS with this mono-white weenie deck. It convokes out Venerated Loxodon and Conclave Tribunal, each of which are exceptionally good in conjunction with History of Benalia. It plays the aggressive Savannah Lions creatures like the Boros deck, but instead of splashing for Heroic Reinforcements it plays Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants.
It has similar sideboard plans to the other builds, boarding in Tocatli Honor Guard against creatures with ETB abilities, Baffling End against other creature decks, and more Ajanis against control and midrange decks.
The deck doesn't have quite the ability to attain the city's blessing that the Selesnya version does, but it can do so reliably enough to turn on Snubhorn Sentry and Skymarch Aspirant by about turn four or five usually. Legion's Landing counting as two permanents and History of Benalia counting as three go a long way toward unlocking that achievement.
I think any of these four versions are strong choices this weekend. Selesnya has a bit more Staying Power than the others, Orzhov is a bit more resilient, Boros is a bit faster, and the mono white is a bit more consistent.
I think the mono-white version is a slightly better choice than the others for this weekend given its consistency, but I will not be playing it at the Pro Tour this weekend. In fact, for the first time in over a decade, I will not be playing anything at all.
If white weenie wins this Pro Tour, it will have to be in someone else's hands.