Last week I posted a (mostly) Mono-White Humans list with a black splash. It has performed well for me in testing and multiple people have told me they likewise have experienced success with it. That includes Sam Black who included it in his article this week as one of his favorite decks in the format. While that deck is very high on my list of candidates to play this weekend at Grand Prix Denver, I've been exploring a slightly different strategy this week that has shown a comparable amount of promise – Green-White Humans!
If it's possible to get any more Craig Wescoe than mono-white aggro, it's definitely green-white aggro. And that is what I'll be covering today. Dan Duong sent me his list and said he's been having a lot of success with it online, including against top decks Black-Green Delirium and White-Blue Flash.
He said decks with board sweepers were problematic, as was Aetherworks Marvel, so my expectations were realistic. But it turns out the deck performed better than expected and I decided to record a few videos and share my thoughts on the deck.
The idea of the deck is to curve out with threats backed by a small amount of disruption in the form of Declaration in Stone and Stasis Snare. It takes advantage of a few human synergies, including Thalia's Lieutenant, Heron's Grace Champion and Sigarda, Heron's Grace.
The deck has a good curve that can apply a lot of pressure, but it also has resiliency and ways to refuel. It can generate clues via Tireless Tracker and Thraben Inspector. It can loot away excess lands to find more spells via Smuggler's Copter. It can make Human Tokens with Sigarda, Heron's Grace. It can make tokens with Westvale Abbey. The most impactful one, however, is activating Duskwatch Recruiter. Much like it did in the old Bant Company decks, Duskwatch Recruiter can take over the game in the later stages.
Heron's Grace Champion is essentially our trump against any deck trying to race us. The one-turn shot of lifelink and +1/+1 to all our humans with make combat a headache for opponents, regardless of whether they are trying to race or block. The fact that he retains lifelink for himself permanently means it will be that much more difficult to race. Without Collected Company in the format any longer, now is the perfect time for him to shine!
The sideboard offers a few tools for various matchups.
Gideon comes in against control decks and Aetherworks Marvel decks, especially when on the play. I'll often board out removal spells and one or two copies of Heron's Grace Champion to make room for them.
Fragmentize is for Atherworks Marvel and the various white weenie decks that run Smuggler's Copter in addition to either Stasis Snare or Always Watching. Copter is not enough of a reason by itself to bring in Fragmentize, but if they also have another worthwhile target, I'll bring in a few copies.
Blossoming Defense comes in against removal-heavy decks, especially those with a low creature count. We can't afford to take out too many creatures, especially humans, because that makes Duskwatch Recruiter and all our human-synergies less effective. So against decks where removal is not especially important, I'll bring these in.
Thalia, Heretic Cathar comes in against Flash and Delirium, mostly as a weapon to slow down their respective five-drops (Archangel Avacyn and Ishkanah, Grafwidow). It's also just a reasonable all-around card against them with the body being relevant and the ability to make their lands and creatures enter tapped also being relevant. I'll usually take out Hanweir Militia Captain for these.
The last copies of Declaration in Stone and Stasis Snare round out the sideboard. Those obviously come in against the creature-heavy strategies. I'll sometimes board out the third copy of one for the fourth copy of the other in matchups where six removal spells feels right but where one of the two feels distinctly better than the other. For instance, against Smuggler's Copter and Spell Queller I'd much rather have the fourth Stasis Snare than the third Declaration in Stone, but against a deck with Ishkanah, Grafwidow and no Smuggler's Copter, I'd much rather have the fourth Declaration in Stone over the third Stasis Snare. In the main I'm happy with a three-three split.
- Lone Rider
- Lantern Scout
Heron's Grace Champion is probably enough life gain, but Lantern Scout would be next in line for that. And if we go that route, Lone Rider becomes more appealing. Maybe if red decks become more popular this would be a direction to consider.
- Town Gossipmonger
- Hamlet Captain
- Lambholt Pacifist
Town Gossipmonger might be better than Expedition Envoy, but I'm not sure. It's close. Lambholt Pacifist ain't what she used to be without Dromoka's Command, but is still worth considering. Hamlet Captain might also be worth considering in the Hanweir Militia Captain slot, though the Captain is especially good in board stall situations. The fourth Duskwatch Recruiter would also be a consideration.
- Thalia's Lancers
- Verdurous Gearhulk
- Archangel Avacyn
Sigarda, Heron's Grace has performed well for me so far, but these would be some alternate cards to consider. If we go the Thalia's Lancers route, we could play one Sigarda and one Archangel Avacyn. Or the Gearhulk might just be better than both and it's correct to play two Gearhulks in the five-slot. I'm not sure yet, but for now I'm sticking with Sigarda.
- Selfless Spirit
- Repel the Abominable
As a way to protect against damage-based sweepers, Repel the Abominable would be a card to consider. My inclination is that Selfless Spirit will be the overall better option though if that's the type of effect we're looking for since it also stops Fumigate and is generally the better can to draw since it can function as a threat in addition to an answer to the Kozilek's Return or Radiant Flames.
I'm not yet sure which of these three decks I'll be playing in Denver this weekend, but I like all three enough to avoid playing one of the top two decks to beat (Delirium and Flash). Tune in to the official coverage to find out which deck I play. Or follow me on Twitter as that will be the first place I post my list at the conclusion of the tournament Sunday night.
May you always have Thraben Inspector into Smuggler's Copter!