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This Deck Breezes Through the Standard MTG Metagame

Arne thinks this deck can bring you up the Arena rankings.

The Brother’s War has impacted Standard in many different ways. Nothing format-warping has yet been discovered, but incremental improvements can go a long way. And today I present to you one of the Decks that received a very strong upgrade and will move up a Tier consequently.

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I mean, Lay Down Arms is the card I am talking about and Mono-White Control is the perfect Deck to play the new efficient removal. By far and away the best out of the Uncommon Cycle, Lay Down Arms cleanly exiles opposing creatures on curve. The three life your opponent will gain is negligible when you care about Trading cards efficiently and not about your opponent’s lifegain. We won’t ever get Swords to Plowshares in Standard, I’d say that’s totally fine, because Lay Down Arms will do! Absolutely incredible payoff for playing Plains. I made a Video on our Youtube Channel featuring a UW Control Deck with Lay Down Arms, the possibilities are endless! 

 

As it seems to be the case, with the introduction of Brother’s War we still live in a Black Midrange World, you can pick up Grixis, Rakdos, Esper, Jund or MonoBlack and grind your teeth out in the pseudo-mirrors. Edging out a bit of an advantage with a certain Tech while your opponents are also advancing their Deck to be more prepared to fight other Black Midrange Piles OR you follow my lead and breeze through your opposition with Mono-White Control!

Yes, you heard me correctly Mono-White Control breezes through Black Decks like a knife through butter. Lay Down Arms shored up the last weakness MonoWhite had in the previous format – Early Game. Threats like Raffine, Scheming Seer and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker could snowball out of Control, but with the new white removal, you have an easy time removing creatures and staying alive.

Mono-White Control

 

Mono-White Control has a better Lategame than almost any Deck in the format. Surviving the early and mid game is key to reaching that fruitious late game. We have plenty of tools to not fall behind like Lay Down Arms, The Wandering Emperor and Depopulate. Your threats are difficult to 1-for-1 from a Black Midrange perspective. And this will mean that as long as you stabilize against any sort of aggression, you should be able to outgrind anybody. Now let’s talk about the card choices and what makes Mono-White Control so strong. 

The short answer to White’s success story is Sanctuary Warden. The Mythic Angel is any Black player’s biggest Nightmare. Drawing cards, shield counters protecting against spot removal and producing Tokens to go around the Sacrifice from Liliana of the Veil and Invoke Despair. Sanctuary Warden does it all.

Second major piece to solving the puzzle of how to win against Black Midrange is none other than Reckoner Bankbuster. Black as a color is capable of getting rid of many things, Artifacts are not on that list. Reckoner Bankbuster is truly incredible right now. It’s a slow card to get going, but the reward of finishing the bank robbery is worth it. It’s your insurance to never run out of gas, it secures your late game. 

A card that has shined brightly for me is Depopulate. All of the Midrange Decks play to the board. The four mana wrath is especially good against Graveyard Trespasser and/or to answer an On-Curve Sheoldred, the Apocalypse. Depopulate cleans up the board to bridge the game to Turn 6 when your Sanctuary Warden hits the battlefield. 

Let’s talk about Spirited Companion. Mono-Black Midrange and Grixis Midrange are still everywhere right now and with them four copies of Invoke Despair. Spirited Companion is the perfect little antidote for the black Plague. Against Invoke the dog can be sacrificed as a creature or as an enchantment in case you want to protect one or the other. The little pet helps with hitting land drops and can be returned with Restoration of Eiganjo’s second chapter. Overall a super solid rolefiller.

Cathar Commando is a flexible utility card. It can surprise block an opposing creature, get rid of the plenty of problematic enchantments or artifacts running around in the format and you can even use it repeatedly with Restoration of Eiganjo.

While we are on the topic of role fillers, let’s have a chat about Restoration of Eiganjo, the white poor man’s Fable of the Mirrorbreaker. The saga is rather slow, but does enough in this Deck to justify its inclusion. Again, just like Spirited Companion it gives us an enchantment to sacrifice into Invoke Despair while providing us with an extra card in the form of a Plains. Later on it can return Reckoner Bankbuster or Spirited Companion. The Architect of Restoration is a formidable body that outsizes a great portion of the Black creatures dazzling around on the battlefield. Restoration of Eiganjo is the perfect filler in a Black Midrange World. With Lay Down Arms being in our Deck, the extra Plains might be crucial to exile a higher Mana Value creature.

Wedding Announcement and The Wandering Emperor are some of the best white cards in Standard. Both are very good right now and again both greatly diminish the impact that an Invoke Despair can have. I have a hard time imagining not playing four of each.

Ao, the Dawn Sky is rock-solid, but more vulnerable to various cards like Edict and Exile effects compared to Sanctuary Warden. With Sanctuary Warden you will atleast get to draw a card and receive a 1/1 Citizen on ETB. Obliterating Bolt and Lay Down Arms both make Ao worse than it was before. 

Interestingly enough, even though we are MonoWhite and White is known to be the color of Lifegain, we are low on ways to gain life back. I found Elspeth Resplendent to be the best lifegain option that is reasonable to put into your Deck in this environment. The -3 able to find us Wedding Announcement, Restoration of Eiganjo, Reckoner Bankbuster and Spirit Companion. If you can put a Lifelink Counter on a Sanctuary Warden with Shield Counters on it, you are set. 

Mishra’s Foundry is a fantastic upgrade to Roadside Reliquary. Receiving a Manland to pressure opposing Planeswalker with is exactly what the Deck was missing. 

Being white only Invoke Justice comes to mind as a card to consider. Restoration of Eiganjo is our only way of directly discarding permanents into our graveyard. That is just not enough to consistently be able to return a permanent with Invoke Justice on Turn 5. The potential is there, but I rather have a consistent play that always does something like an Ao, of the Dawn Sky for example. And we are not even talking about various forms of graveyard that see play and would disrupt Invoke Justice as well.

I played Borrowed Time in previous builds. I soon realized that I wouldn’t want a removal that my opponent can blow up to get their exiled card back. All the other enchantments that I am playing have the trait of me not caring if they are removed from the battlefield. Just like with all the cards in this Deck, you don’t care if they are being destroyed. Your deck is very redundant and not relying on a certain piece or card. Borrowed Time adds a permanent that I would not be happy to see destroyed, so I rather not play it all. 

To accompany Lay Down Arms, I am playing a copy of Fateful Absence and two copies of Destroy Evil. I wanted a removal that destroys Planeswalkers and isn’t a permanent, so Fateful Absence it is. Destroy Evil is a super solid rolefiller blowing up Raffine, Scheming Seer, Sheoldred, the Apocalypse or Fable of the Mirror-Breaker. 

I believe Farewell to be one of the strongest white cards in the format and I do believe you don’t want it in the main deck of this deck. You are playing to the board yourself with all types of permanents. Depopulate makes more sense to me here because it doesn’t mess with your artifact and enchantments and it even synergizes with Shield Counters and the multicolored Citizen Tokens. For all those reasons Farewell has a place in the sideboard and not the main deck.

MonoWhite Control could easily dip into a second color. You could go for Black to gain access to Rite of Oblivion and Duress would be an upgrade to Anointed Peacekeeper. You could go for Blue to gain cheap counterspells. You could also go into Red for Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, at which point you open up Invoke Justice to be a possible inclusion. All three of those paths are reasonable, but I found MonoWhite Control to have all the things I need already and most importantly the more colors you add, the weaker Lay Down Arms will be. So, why would I want to splash a color? I would improve fringe matchups like Invoke Justice or Control Piles by doing so, but worsen my mana base, therefore my consistency and hence my overall win percentage. If the metagame shifts away from Black Midrange to go bigger Decks like the aforementioned, I could see myself considering splashing a color.

 

Ao, the Dawn Sky is rock-solid, but more vulnerable to various cards like Edict and Exile effects compared to All-Star Sanctuary Warden. With Sanctuary Warden you will atleast get to draw a card and receive a 1/1 Citizen on ETB. Obliterating Bolt and Lay Down Arms both make Ao worse than it was before. 

Serra Paragon would be in the Deck if I didn’t have plenty of card advantage already.

Games tend to go long, MonoWhite Control isn’t very fast at Closing, therefore a removal that serves more like a Bounce Spell like Soul Partition is not welcomed here.

I love the flavor and powerlevel of Urza’s Sylex, similar to Farewell, the Sylex isn’t very good here. Too much of our card advantage is relying on our enchantments and artifacts to stick around.

Cityscape Leveler is a serviceable Late-Game Finisher for MonoWhite Control. The fact of the matter is that, I haven’t found my Games to go in a way where I would need that kind of effect. Four copies of Sanctuary Warden is plenty.

 

Let’s talk about the sideboard. The main deck is basically pre-boarded against Black Decks, so we don’t need much help there.

Four copies of Anointed Peacekeeper find themselves in the board to fight Control, Combo and Ramp Decks that you might come across.

Temporary Lockdown helps us defeat the various low-to-the-ground aggressive Decks like UW Soldiers or MonoRed while being excellent against the Artifact Sacrifice Shells rising in numbers with Brother’s War entering Standard.

Unlicensed Hearse is excellent against various graveyard Decks like Jund Reanimator or Invoke Justice while being decent to bring in versus Grixis Midrange to stop Corpse Appraiser.

The white Reclamation Sage, Loran of the Third Path is a solid addition to any white Sideboard. The secondary ability might come up if you are in desperate need for something.

Pithing Needle will help you against Planeswalkers like Liliana of the Veil, Teferi Temporal Pilgrim or Saheeli, Filigree Master. 

 

<span style="font-weight: 400;">UW Soldiers</span>

+3 Temporary Lockdown+1 Depopulate +2 Farewell

-1 Destroy Evil -1 Elspeth Resplendent -4 Wedding Announcement

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<span style="font-weight: 400;">MonoBlack/Rakdos Midrange</span>

+1 Farewell +1 Depopulate +1 Pithing Needle

-1 Elspeth Resplendent -2 Cathar Commando

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<span style="font-weight: 400;">Grixis Midrange</span>

+2 Unlicensed Hearse +1 Elspeth Resplendent +1 Loran of the Third Path

-3 Depopulate -1 Fateful Absence

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<span style="font-weight: 400;">Jund Reanimator</span>

+2 Unlicensed Hearse +2 Farewell +1 Loran of the Third Path

-1 Fateful Absence -1 Elspeth Resplendent -2 Spirited Companion -1 Depopulate

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<span style="font-weight: 400;">MonoRed Aggro</span>

+3 Temporary Lockdown +1 Depopulate +4 Anointed Peacekeeper +1 Elspeth Resplendent

-3 Reckoner Bankbuster -4 Wedding Announcement -2 Destroy Evil

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<span style="font-weight: 400;">Control</span>

+2 Unlicensed Hearse +4 Anointed Peacekeeper +1 Elspeth Resplendent

-3 Depopulate -4 Lay Down Arms 

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<span style="font-weight: 400;">Invoke Justice</span>

+4 Anointed Peacekeeper +2 Unlicensed Hearse +2 Farewell +1 Loran of the Third path

-1 Elspeth Resplendent -3 Depopulate -1 Reckoner Bankbuster -1 Fateful Absence -2 Wedding Announcement

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<span style="font-weight: 400;">RBx Artifact Sacrifice</span>

+3 Temporary Lockdown +2 Farewell +1 Elspeth Resplendent +1 Loran of the Third Path

-1 Depopulate -1 Fateful Absence -2 Destroy Evil -2 Spirited Companion  -1 Lay Down Arms

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<span style="font-weight: 400;">MonoBlue Tempo</span>

+2 Unlicensed Hearse +4 Anointed Peacekeeper 

-1 Elspeth Resplendent -2 Spirited Companion -2 The Restoration of Eiganjo -1 Depopulate

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3 thoughts on “This Deck Breezes Through the Standard MTG Metagame”

  1. Hi Arne, I guess you forgot to replace Cityscape Leveler with Elspeth Resplendent in the Main Deck. Otherwise the Sideboard plan doesn’t fit. Grüße 🙂

  2. firstName lastName

    Having fun with this deck, but I agree — must be an error to have Cityscape Leveler in there. I swapped it for an Elspeth in main and it all plays much better now.

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