Mono White Aggro Standard Deck Guide
So, are we just going to ignore how many good White cards have been printed? I mean, prior to Zendikar Rising, White was a total joke. Now it is a pure powerhouse. We have seen it show its strength being splashed into various decks. Specifically, Skyclave Apparition being splashed all over the meta, and Maul of the Skyclaves seeing play in Pioneer and Modern. But I think Mono-White can stand alone. In fact, I will say that Mono White is the best, that’s right, the BEST mono-colored aggro deck in our current meta. I still “believe in the cleave.” But I have begun to “fall for the Maul.”
The Mono-White Aggro deck most players are familiar with is the life gain aggro. I think that deck is incredibly gimmicky and could never really be a contender. Bringing in the new powerhouse creatures that support a more linear bash em’ style deck is where I think we want to be. Gone are the days of Ajani’s Pridemate and long live the Lavabrink Venturer!
This is my Mono-White Aggro build that I recommend in the current meta:
Key Card Choices
Lavabrink Venturer jump to the front of the pack in my opinion as an underrated card. Calling odd or even, giving it protection from whatever removal you fear according to your reads, with more protection coming in from cards like Selfless Savior and Fight as One. It also becomes an almost unbeatable blocker and unblockable threat on certain boards. It is like a swiss army knife, it is whatever you need.
Seasoned Hallowblade has seen play on and off. But I think it has found a welcoming home in this deck. The ability to give itself indestructible at the cost of the worst card in your hand it fantastic. At 3 power it is a 4-turn clock on its own with a Maul of the Skyclaves on it. But the crazy thing is, it is also on curve. Turn 2 Seasoned Hallowblade, turn 3 Maul and attack on curve is fantastic. That’s speed that most decks just can’t beat without an Embercleave, which is hard to resolve when we have cards like Skyclave Apparitio, Glass Casket and Giant Killer controlling what creatures stay on the board or get to attack.
Luminarch Aspirant has seen some fringe play. This card really ties the deck together and covers up a lot of the weaknesses, turning any creature into a real threat. It also helps Lavabrink Venturer become the threat it needs to be if you called odd with its ability and it can’t carry a Maul.
This is our response to removal heavy decks. After a sweeper Idol allows us to cast them all back, even though it is one at a time, we still can rebuild our board. This is what allows us to grind with the decks that look to drag us out into deeper water.
Spyglass is an eyebrow raiser, but it is our only out to Ugin. If a deck drags us into later turns and slams the dragon, we are in trouble. Spyglass can have other applications shitting down activated abilities, but I have rarely used it for anything other than stopping Ugin.
Playing the Deck
This is your meat and potatoes, bare bones, no nonsense aggro deck. You play your creatures and turn em’ sideways. But that doesn’t mean this deck is mindless. Far from it! Realizing what cards are the threats to remove with Apparition and Glass Casket and knowing when you need to hold up the Giant Killer as a removal spell, rather than a creature or run it out as a tap effect is key.
Knowing what to call with your Lavabrink Venturer is also very important. Knowing what removal you need to avoid is pivotal.
It is also important to play around sweepers and removal. Realizing when you need to attack and use the Fight as One as a combat trick or holding it to save your Maul equipped attacker can be the difference between winning and losing. Our deck does well against removal with 3 Fight as One, 4 Selfless Savior and a single Sejiri Shelter. But knowing how and when to use them cannot be overstated.
- Don’t forget that even though Bonecrusher Giant is odd CMC, its Stomp part is even. So, watch what you attack into or block with Venturer when Bonecrusher is in their deck.
- Remember that Skyclave Apparition can’t remove tokens, but Glass Casket can.
- If you call odd with Venturer, you cannot put Maul on it or save it with Selfless Savior.
- 0 counts as even CMC so tokens would be considered even.
- Seasoned Hallowblade’s ability causes it to tap but does not remove it from attacking.
Cards we are not playing and why
Glorious Anthem: This card is nice, but it only preforms well when we are already ahead. The games we lose, is generally because our board get swept. This doesn’t save us from this in most cases and is a dead draw when we are behind after a sweeper. It is also a 3 drop that is not a creature. We are already pushing it on the amount of 3 CMC cards and I think they are all better than this card.
Alseid of Life’s Bounty: This card is okay. Not great. Sure, a lifelinker would be cool. But it is weak on its own, requires open mana to be effective and doesn’t save us from sweepers. Just targeted removal, and we have better cards for that.
Emeria’s Call: This card is great if we get to late game scenarios. But we often don’t, and it just ends up being a land that costs 3 life. Forget it, just turn dudes sideways.
Matchups and Sideboard Guide
Gruul Adventures / Mono Red
If you control the board and apply pressure, you win. If you can’t and they get a busted Embercleave draw, then you lose. Pretty simple. We cut Maul because they have stuff like Bonecrusher Giant’s Stomp, Scorching Dragonfire, and Artifact hate. Blocking with a Maul equipped creature usually isn’t the best play no matter what. So instead we bring in Baneslayer Angel that can gain us life and trades well. Disenchant takes care of Anax, Great Henge, Embercleave, etc. So, two seems fine. I will also note that Gruul has a lot of 3 drops as well so Venturer on odd can be good.
If you see Ugin also add and remove:
Our deck is about as good as it can be game 1, and our sideboard cards like Idol of Endurance, Baneslayer Angel, and Disenchant doesn’t do a lot. Temur Ramp’s cards are odd CMC so Lavabrink Venturer calling odd is great. But remember, STOMP FROM BONECRUSHER IS EVEN CMC. So, if your venture takes damage from say a token, they can cast stomp to remove it. You can’t put Maul on it when you call odd. But you can buff it other ways. Our protective cards and removal spells are both fine against them.
Basri Ket is at his best when we are on the play. While they will likely have a creature on the battlefield on the third turn, it’s unlikely to attack with Basri if we have any plays early. Our removal spells like Glass Casket and Skyclave Apparition are ridiculously good against them because most of their threats cost three mana except for Beanstock Giant and Terror of the Peaks.
I only bring in Spyglass if I see Ugin. If I don’t then it is just a dead card. Don’t bother.
This matchup is all about pressure. If they are light on removal it is basically impossible for them to win but they can easily grind us out. All I bring in is Disenchant over Giant Killer since it has no targets. Bringing in Idol is a mistake because they have so many ways to remove it, same with Basri Ket. Just bash em’ and hold up protection.
This matchup basically boils down to if they can remove our early threats. If we get on the board, it will take a lot of removal to catch up. Going under Dimir Rogues is the best way of attacking them, especially if they have a creature heavy hand. It is hard to know what to call with Venturer because they run Heartless Act and Bloodchief’s Thirst. So, make the call according to the situation.
Giant Killer rarely has a good target for its adventure and tapping a creature is mediocre at best. Maul of the Skyclaves is also weak, because whatever we put it on will just eat some removal and it is 4 to re-equip turning additional removal into a Time Walk against us. Basri Ket is solid because it doesn’t get attacked much, and even if he does, it’s usually not for enough to get it off the field. Idol of Endurance is very important as it exiles all our creatures milled into our graveyard lowering our graveyard card count and allows us to recast whatever was milled or destroyed.
Mono Green Food
Our protection spells are useless here. They only protect us from Wicked Wolf, and that’s not enough to keep them in. Disenchant helps lock down their engines, as The Great Henge is likely their best card at going long in deep water. It can also stifle their early Trail of Crumbs or pop a Food token in a pinch. It’s not best-looking card, but it does its job.
Basri Ket isn’t fantastic in this matchup, but I think he is better if the games go long, which happens a lot in this matchup. Basri can at least give us some semblance of a snowball game if our opponent stumbles. Continuously putting counters on our creatures while threatening his ultimate is great, and something this deck trouble beating since they don’t really have removal.
I hope you enjoy this deck. True mono white aggro has been underplayed for far too long in this meta and I think it is time it showed its power. I really like its straightforward game plan. I think it is also powerful as a best-of-one deck, if that is what you are into.
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