I was torn between what deck to write about today, as Modern has been having quite a few unique offerings pop up recently, but ultimately I went with a fairly straightforward (and cheap) monowhite deck. Considering this deck, and the monowhite enchantment deck I wrote about last week, I'm nearly taking Craig Wescoe's position on the site.
Regardless, I saw this deck and immediately thought you guys would like it. It took a Top 16th position in a Magic Online Premier Event which is no small feat. It also plays a very specific lord that has seen very little play despite having some of the more relevant abilities a lord can have as compared to the other lords printed. Take a look.
Yes, the lord I was referring to was Knight Exemplar. While she's only a 2/2 for three she has first strike and grants our other knights +1/+1 and Indestructibility. This is pretty important as every single other creature in our deck is a knight aside from the Squadron Hawks. Let's take a look at how all these white weenies perform and then we'll discuss further.
White Knights vs. Melira Pod
White Knights vs. Scapeshift
White Knights vs. BW Tokens
White Knights vs. Goblins
As you might have noticed, Knight Exemplar had a huge target on her head in every single game. This is par for the course really, as it's the best creature in the deck...technically. I mean, it does require other creatures to truly shine, but barring that, it's exceptional. The one trick I kept wanting to get going was the old Lord of the Unreal / Phantasmal Image combo. That was where you would play a Lord of the Unreal, then copy it with a Phantasmal Image. Since the Phantasmal Image retained being an illusion, it would give itself hexproof and you would have an untouchable lord. Having two Knight Exemplars in play would accomplish this similarly as they would both give one another Indestructibility, but unfortunately they would still Perish if someone had a Dismember. So while the plan is incredibly powerful, Indestructibility isn't as foolproof as hexproof.
Knight of the White Orchid was one of my favorite creatures when it was legal in Standard. In fact he even managed to get me to the Top 4 of a PTQ along with Sovereigns of Lost Alara. That deck was sweet, but what it does in this deck is completely different. Here he allows us to play a mere 19 lands and still be able to play two two-drops on turn three. Well, sometimes anyway.
This deck has virtually included every good knight available to it. I did a search for all the knights that were even legal in the format and this is most of the good ones. The only other cards that I had even considered including were Hero of Bladehold, Spectral Rider, Accorder Paladin, Knight of Glory, or Silverblade Paladin. Hero of Bladehold might just be too expensive for a deck that only runs 19 lands, but we do have two Wurmcoil Engine in the sideboard, so who knows. Spectral Rider was just an alternate Leonin Skyhunter with intimidate instead of flying, and being able to block fliers was better than being able to only be blocked by white and artifact creatures. The Accorder Paladin is great because it gives Battle Cry to all of your other guys, but being one of your only ground creatures without first strike, I assume he would kick the bucket pretty quickly. Knight of Glory is great for his exalted ability and his protection, but rarely will one creature be attacking by himself in the deck. I could see Silverblade Paladin finding a spot in here, but he's quite fragile, more so than the other non-lord three-drop in Mirran Crusader.
One of the most efficient creatures in the sideboard had to be the Kor Firewalker. I loved this guy back in Standard when I would play against Jund or the red decks. The only way to ever remove him was a Maelstrom Pulse. One of the weirdest cards in the sideboard was easily the Wurmcoil Engines. We had no idea why this specific six mana artifact creature was there. While it wasn't impossible to get to six mana, what with Knight of the White Orchid and whatnot, it also wasn't super easy either. Nevertheless, if you did manage to get to six mana (which we did once or twice) and you were able to cast a Wurmcoil Engine, you were usually in pretty good shape.
Either way, the deck was super fun, and it's cheap too! The TCGplayer low price puts this beauty at about $100! That's an awesome price for a deck that put up a winning record for me and took a Top 16 slot in a Premier Event. If you're looking for a fun Modern deck that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, I would definitely recommend you give this one a shot.
That's about all I have for this week. Thanks for reading and check back again on Thursday for some Standard action. You should also be sure you're following us on Facebook as the Journey into Nyx spoilers have started and we'll be posting those as soon as they're officially revealed!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV