Monocolor Decks at WMCQs

March 4, 2018

Hello folks!

Modern PTQ season has come to an end. Between a Sealed PTQ and another, we all still have a chance of being part of the National Team at the World Magic Cup. So, if you’re still looking for a deck to compete in your WMCQ, if you’re afraid of losing against Burn or Monored because of those 4+ damage you take from your lands, if you like playing a ton of basic (side note: you HAVE TO play identical basic lands, always!), I have a solution for you. Well, actually it’s four solutions: play a monocolor deck. Despite offering a ton of possibility in terms of mana fixing (between shocklands, painlands and Mana Confluence) this format, as we already talked in the past, is full of highly competitive monocolor deck, mainly thanks to the Devotion mechanic. The only monocolor build I wouldn’t recommend is Monowhite. There are a lot of good weenie creatures in this format, but without a splash of some kind (i.e. red for Boros Charm, black for discards) you’re not resilient enough to sweepers or cards like Blood Baron of Vizkopa and you will have a hard times at beating top decks like UWx control or WB midrange. So, here you are four possible builds of monocolor deck. Let’s start, of course, from my favorite one.

Olivier Polak-Rottmann Mono-Blue Devotion
Standard – Grand Prix Utrecht 2014

Maindeck looks perfect to me and I wouldn’t change a card. I would probably find a room for some copies of Jace, Memory Adept in the board as UW control is your worst matchup and being able to stick the milling machine can completely turn the tide. I think this deck is well positioned right now because of the abundance of Red based deck. Between Master of Waves, Tidebinder Mage and Frostburn Weird you’re well protected against a horde of goblins, and most of times you should be able to successfully race a Burn deck. Black based decks are even and it’s all about your experience in the matchup and in the way you can manage your resources. As I said earlier, UW is tough, especially game 1, but if you test a lot for the postboard matchup you can find the right line to fight it and win several games.

Now let’s take a look to the other dominating deck of the season, straight Mono Black. This is a list I’m currently working on.

A lot of Monoblack players switched to BW midrange after the success reached from this archetype at PT Portland. Although I think BW is one of the best decks of the format, I think the straight Monoblack version has still something to say. First of all, this list plays exactly zero “comes into play tapped” lands and zero “this land deals X damage to you” lands, which really helps you against aggro decks. With a good sideboard even the Burn matchup isn’t that unwinnable. 25 lands with no scry lands sometimes cause you to flood, but in attrition matchups I use to side out one on the draw and between Underworld Connections, Read the Bones and Erebos, God of the Dead you should feel pretty comfortable in those matchups anyway. I don’t even feel bad playing against BW: between Thoughtseize, Devour Flash and Lifebane Zombie we have the tools to fight Blood Baron of Vizkopa. We have several ways to fight Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, we have a lot of ways to generate card advantage in the board. Above all, we’re always able to curve out while the BW player can sometimes stumble with mana.
Now let’s move to super aggro. This is the list our teammate Jeremy Dezani piloted to a top 16 finish at PT Portland which secures him the “Player of the Year” award. Congratulations Jeremy!

Jeremy Dezani Mono-Red aggro
Standard – Pro Tour Portland 2014

This is the deck capable of the most insane starts of the format. In my playtest I was running GW, started turn 1 Experiment One, turn 2 Fleecemane Lion, turn 3 Loxodon Smiter and was literally outclassed. Goblin Rabblemaster is the real bomb and you should kill it at blazing speed if you’re playing against it. This leads the deck to have no really unloseable matchup, although Mono U is really though even game 1 and generally every deck tends to improve against you after board. Our last WMCQ in Italy ended with a Rabblemaster mirror match in the Finals, so is really something you should consider at least when building your sideboard.
Finally, last but not least, a Mono Green list built by Todd Anderson.

I’m not highly experienced with this deck and I’m looking forward to build it on Magic Online and start grinding. I faced it several times though, and I can say it’s really interesting and able to do absurd things. In fact, this is the monocolored deck that take abuse of Nyktos, Shrine to Nyx the most, and with the help of Voyaging Satyr the game can be quickly over if unmolested. The main problem of this deck seems to be its UW matchup, because of its low resilience to sweepers. If you’re able to find a good sideboard strategy, or if you simply decide to ignore the matchup (something I wouldn’t recommend, because I think UW is probably the best deck of the format right now), if you like to take note of your mana pool, then this is the deck for you.
Hope you liked it, good luck for your World Magic Cup Qualifiers!

Alessandro “The Pirate” Lippi

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