This week I am going to talk about a sweet monowhite deck that I got from Jared Sherman. I recorded four rounds of videos playing the deck with additional commentary from Frank Lepore. The deck has a lot of cool interactions going for it and it has enough power to match up toe-to-toe with some of the top decks in the format.

Note: In case you missed our videos from yesterday, Frank and I also played Ken Yukuhiro's GW Hardened Scales deck.

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The deck ideally wants to start out with a first turn Kytheon, Hero of Akros. There aren't any other one-drops in Standard worth playing in a monowhite aggro deck, but Kytheon is especially good because it works well with all the tokens the deck can produce. Once it's flipped, the planeswalker side is really powerful in the deck, allowing us to untap Archangel of Tithes post-combat and make her indestructible, or forcing a Courser of Kruphix to attack into Brimaz, King of Oreskos.

The follow-up play to Kytheon is Consul's Lieutenant or Raise the Alarm. Lieutenant acts as an anthem once renowned and Raise the Alarm immediately provides sufficient bodies to flip Kytheon. Hangarback Walker is also a strong second turn play and whenever it dies we have lots of ways to make a swarm of thopters into a deadly assault. In addition to Consul's Lieutenant we also have Spear of Heliod, Ajani Steadfast, and Dictate of Heliod to pump the tokens.

Brimaz, King of Oreskos is a powerful body that works well with the theme of the deck, producing tokens that grow larger with our anthems.

Archangel of Tithes makes it difficult for the opponent to block all of our attackers and it also makes it difficult for them to mount any sort of aggression without having to mortgage their entire turn to do so. She works especially well with the vigilance ability of Ajani Steadfast and the untap ability of Gideon. She also survives an Elspeth -3 unless we already have a Spear of Heliod on the battlefield.

Wingmate Roc also dodges Elspeth while flying over any ground blockers. It's not as good as it used to be due to Languish existing, but it's still plenty good. We have lots of ways to retain an attacker, even through a wrath effect. We can Raise the Alarm or Secure the Wastes on the opponent's end step, we can sacrifice Foundry of the Consuls, we can get thopters when our Hangarback Walker dies, or just grant one of our creatures indestructible with Valorous Stance. We can even just have Kytheon or Gideon on the battlefield. Any of these scenarios enables raid the following turn for Wingmate Roc.

Our removal package is fairly versatile. Valorous Stance kills a big creature or protects one of our own, Banishing Light exiles anything at sorcery speed, and Devouring can be cast at instant speed for zero mana by convoking our creatures.

Here's a general guide for how to sideboard with the deck:


Sideboard Guide

GR Devotion
-3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
-2 Consul's Lieutenant (on draw)

+2 Hushwing Gryff (on draw)
+3 Tragic Arrogance

Monored
-2 Dictate of Heliod
-2 Valorous Stance

+4 Surge of Righteousness

Abzan Rally
-1 Dictate of Heliod
-1 Secure the Wastes
-2 Valorous Stance
-1 Wingmate Roc

+3 Hallowed Moonlight
+2 Hushwing Gryff

UB/x Control
-2 Ajani Steadfast
-2 Devouring Light

+2 Hushwing Gryff
+2 Vryn Wingmare

Collected Company
-1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
-1 Dictate of Heliod
-1 Raise the Alarm

+3 Hallowed Moonlight

Abzan Control
-1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
-4 Consul's Lieutenant (on draw)
-4 Raise the Alarm (on play)

+1 Glare of Heresy
+2 Hushwing Gryff
+2 Vryn Wingmare

Now let's see how the deck plays out with some videos. [Warning: I got pretty tired toward the end, but it should give you a fairly accurate picture of the deck nonetheless.]


Video Series

Round 1: RW Aggro

According to Jared this matchup is one of our better ones. On paper it certainly appears that is true. The way the games played out, however, it didn't quite look that way. Granted we flooded out one of the games and we were stuck on three lands in the other, so this match wasn't very indicative of how things normally go. Goblin Rabblemaster is pretty annoying though.

Round 2: Abzan

Wingmate Roc, Gideon, and Archangel of Tithes all did some heavy lifting this match. They each appear to be very good in the matchup. Valorous Stance and Banishing Light can each also be important at answering opposing permanents. Archangel does an especially good job of handcuffing Elspeth, Sun's Champion. It's small enough to dodge her -3 ability and makes it such that if the opponent taps out to play Elspeth and make three soldiers, Archangel's attacking ability makes it such that none of your creatures can be blocked by any of the soldiers (or by any other creature). Archangel is a straight up boss!

Round 3: UB Control

Dictate of Heliod, Secure the Wastes, and Raise the Alarm are great ways to generate an advantage on the opponent's end step, forcing them to tap low on their own turn or allow you to have your threat on the ensuing turn. Hangarback Walker is also especially good because it grows on the opponent's end step and leaves behind an army of thopters whenever the opponent uses a removal spell on it. Valorous Stance doesn't have any opposing targets but it protects our own just fine from opposing removal.

Round 4: Abzan, Match 2

Archangel of Tithes was a monster in this match. I was pretty tired and completely botched the turn where I flipped Kytheon and then pressed F6 without activating Gideon. I probably should have just cast Banishing Light on Deathmist Raptor and pulled far ahead. In the end we still won, so despite throwing away a game...scoreboard!


Conclusion

After playing the deck in the videos, I think it's more powerful than I initially thought. Hangarback Walker is really powerful, as is Archangel of Tithes. The deck can really tax opposing point removal spells. For instance, Hangarback Walker really needs to be Abzan Charmed, but then how is Brimaz, Archangel, or Wingmate Roc dealt with? The deck can also do a great job of going wide while also dodging mass removal spells. Hangarback Walker again is front and center in both these regards, but Wingmate Roc is a great complement. While soldiers are not especially evasive, Archangel of Tithes, Wingmate Roc, and Thopter Tokens are. So clogging up the ground only solves half the problem against this deck. The deck's ability to play at instant can make it really difficult for an opponent to effectively utilize a mass removal spell against us. Lastly, the removal and sideboard options of the deck are on par or better than many other sideboards in the format, despite only being one color.

TL;DR = This white weenie deck gets the Craig Wescoe stamp of approval!

Craig Wescoe
@Nacatls4Life on twitter