Adding Hopeful Initiate to Standard Mono-White Aggro


Standard Mono-White Aggro by Andrea Mengucci




I have never been a fan of Mono-White Aggro in Standard, despite being among the top decks and having a positive matchup against Izzet Epiphany. However, I was never too impressed by it, especially because of its lack of a relevant one-drop. Stonebinder’s Familiar, Chaplain of Alms and Codespell Cleric all seem way too bad to play in Constructed. Now with Innistrad: Crimson Vow we finally have a good one-drop for white decks – Hopeful Initiate!


This Human Warlock can grow as big as a 4/5 thanks to Usher of the Fallen, Sungold Sentinel and Faceless Haven all making it grow turn after turn. Training reminds me a lot of evolve, making your cheap one-drop grow more and more as the game goes on and as you curve out with your creatures.

Hopeful Initiate’s ability is no joke either, getting rid of Unnatural Growth or Esika’s Chariot for “free.”


In my Mono-White Aggro list, I included two other new reprints – Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Valorous Stance. Martin Juza went more in-depth on these two cards as well in his highlight:

Thalia will be key against Expressive Iteration decks, slowing them down as she does in every other format from Historic to Legacy. She won’t be great against green decks, but she’s still a solid creature that’s okay to curve out with.

Valorous Stance is great at dealing with the many Dragons in red, from Ashmouth Dragon to Goldspan Dragon, and also hitting the new and potentially playable Manaform Hellkite. It’s also great against green’s Old-Growth Troll and Esika’s Chariot.

However, Valorous Stance isn’t just a removal spell, like Fateful Absence; you’re able to protect your Adeline, Resplendent Cathar, making the opponent play removal spell in their turn at sorcery speed from now on.

Mono-White looks to have gained quite a few new tools with Innistrad: Crimson Vow, and will certainly be one of the top decks in the new Standard.



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