I've been a big fan of Monastery Mentor ever since he was first spoiled. I was thrilled once he started seeing play in both Vintage and Modern. He basically came across to me as an upgraded Young Pyromancer that I didn't have to play red to use, which was a huge upside to me. Not a huge red fan, I'll be honest, which makes the fact that we're combining Monastery Mentor with red cards today somewhat ironic.
While Jeskai Tokens has been a deck in Standard for some time, exploiting Jeskai Ascendancy in order to make a huge army of continuously growing attackers, what happens when you Remove the blue cards from the equation?
Magic Online user merton519 was interested in finding out.
He played this list a couple weeks back to a 4-0 finish in a Daily Event. I found a second list that he also managed a 4-0 with a week or so later. This tells me that the deck is at least somewhat competitive, which is great. While Soulfire Grand Master might be my other favorite card from Fate Reforged, and I'm disappointed there aren't any in the deck, I do like the fact that we chose to include a mere four creatures, all of which are quite powerful.
I'm excited to try the new and obscure cards in the deck like Secure the Wastes, Great Teacher's Decree, and Triplicate Spirits (yes, in Constructed!), so let's get to it.(Videos arranged in a playlist within the player.)
I played another match against UB Control that I didn't record, and while I felt like it wasn't a great matchup, we happened to win that one too.
While I piloted merton519's earlier version of the deck because that was what I had loaded into Magic Online, the changes from the first list to the second were as follows:
Maindeck-1 Wild Slash-1 Lightning Strike
+1 Great Teacher's Decree+1 Triplicate Spirits
Sideboard-1 Ajani's Presence-1 Searing Blood-1 Triplicate Spirits
+1 Lightning Strike+1 Valorous Stance+1 Wild Slash
So not too many changes. Mostly he just moved a few cards from the maindeck to the sideboard and vice versa. The funny thing is I didn't seem to value Great Teacher's Decree too highly (perhaps due to rarely drawing it and never casting it), but he seemed to add a third to the maindeck.
Another change was the removal of a Wild Slash, which is something I actually suggested in one of the videos. It simply doesn't do enough and I would rather have more cards that interact with or benefit our token strategy.
One card I was very impressed with was Outpost Siege. I feel like this deck can either have great matchups or terrible matchups based on how much token removal the opposing deck is packing. If they have cards like Drown in Sorrow or Bile Blight, it prevents us from flooding the board, giving them a tremendous amount of time to Retaliate or form a defense. Outpost Siege not only makes it so we have a great way to gain back card advantage if we do overcommit, but this is also one of the few decks where it actually seems okay to name "dragons" depending on how many tokens are in play or what our hand looks like.
I have to say, one of the selling points for me was the Triplicate Spirits in the deck. I mean, how bad can they be? They have the same converted mana cost as Spectral Procession! But seriously, while expensive if cast solely for mana, three 1/1 fliers is actually pretty decent in this format.
I tended to like Spear of Heliod a lot more than Hall of Triumph. While Spear was a little harder to cast (although rarely an issue), it pumped our entire team without having to choose a color and it provided us with an excellent way of dealing with an attacking Dragonlord Ojutai or Dragonlord Silumgar for example. I definitely agree with only wanting one in the deck due to its legendary nature, but it was definitely the preferred anthem effect in the deck.
Despite only having 24 lands ("only"), we had a great time utilizing Secure the Wastes. This was a card that looked incredible when it was first spoiled and it has been dying to find an appropriate home ever since. I still feel like the card is extremely underplayed, but I loved seeing four copies of it in this list. One concern I had was how big our Secure the Wastes would be with such an average amount of mana and no forms of acceleration. It turned out that even a Secure the Wastes for three tokens at instant speed is still perfectly fine. Anything over that is just fantastic. Obviously the best token makers in the deck are the ones we can cast at instant speed, but two of the sorcery speed spells happen to make three tokens, so I guess that's one way to make up for it. Hordeling Outburst also has incredible synergy with Stoke the Flames in case you didn't know.
This deck was a welcome change from all the decks with tri-lands and lands that are coming into play tapped that are dominating Standard right now. Two colors with a good deal of power behind it is definitely something I can get behind.
As usual, I'll be back again on Monday with some Modern, and be sure to check back on Tuesday (June 30th) for our exclusive Magic Origins preview card! In the meantime, you can catch my podcast with Ali Aintrazi, Freshly Brewed (which you can find on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or the link below). Thanks for reading and I'll see ya soon!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTVFreshly Brewed Podcast with Ali Aintrazi (also available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio)