Standard Mono-White Aggro

Chantelle Campbell Standard

White Aggro decks invaded the scene at Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, putting six decks into the top eight and taking down the entire event in the hands of Andrew Elenbogen. Taking advantage of an incredibly low curve, including upwards of sixteen one-drop creatures, the White Aggro deck utilizes powerful small and evasive threats like Skymarcher Aspirant and Healer’s Hawk to fill the board. Thanks to Adanto Vanguard’s indestructible ability and the protective power of Dauntless Bodyguard, the deck is also resilient to sweepers that would otherwise crumple it, such as Deafening Clarion and Fiery Cannonade.

Before the Pro Tour, many lists had been utilizing Heroic Reinforcements and a higher land count to close out games. More recently, we’ve started to see a much more streamlined version take the mainstage, cutting down to 20 lands and replacing Heroic Reinforcements with Pride of Conquerors.

Andrew Elenbogen – Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, 1st Place

4 Adanto Vanguard
4 Benalish Marshal
4 Dauntless Bodyguard
2 Healer’s Hawk
4 Skymarcher Aspirant
4 Snubhorn Sentry
4 Venerated Loxodon
4 Conclave Tribunal
4 History of Benalia
2 Pride of Conquerors
4 Legion’s Landing
2 Clifftop Retreat
4 Sacred Foundry
14 Plains

Sideboard:
3 Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants
1 Banefire
2 Clifftop Retreat
3 Experimental Frenzy
2 Response//Resurgence
4 Tocatli Honor Guard

A common sideboard plan for Mono-White is to go bigger in post-board games – many decks splash red for Banefire and Experimental Frenzy – and sideboards often feature one or two lands to help board up. In addition, Elenbogen’s list features a very interesting one-drop: Snubhorn Sentry.

Snubhorn Sentry helps block against Mono-Red and opposing Mono-White decks, particularly in the early game, and provides a beefier late-game body that the deck really craves.

Team ChannelFireball took a different approach, opting for a lifegain package featuring Leonin Vanguard, Ajani’s Pridemate, and a full playset of Healer’s Hawks.

Luis Scott-Vargas – Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, 2nd Place

4 Adanto Vanguard
4 Ajani’s Pridemate
4 Benalish Marshal
2 Conclave Tribunal
4 Dauntless Bodyguard
4 Healer’s Hawk
4 History of Benalia
4 Legion’s Landing
4 Leonin Vanguard
3 Pride of Conquerors
3 Skymarcher Aspirant
4 Clifftop Retreat
12 Plains
4 Sacred Foundry

Sideboard:
2 Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
3 Baffling End
2 Banefire
2 Conclave Tribunal
4 Experimental Frenzy
1 Mountain
1 Settle the Wreckage

It’s important to note that the Settle the Wreckage isn’t stock, or recommended – Scott-Vargas included the card in his sideboard so that other players would see him casting it and assume his teammates had it. However, Settle the Wreckage did win him quite the game against Jérémy Dezani.

Speaking of Jérémy Dezani, he and the rest of the members of the Hareruya teams had quite a different take on the Boros beatdown, favoring a fully red and white deck with four Mountains. His list features cards like Boros Challenger, Goblin Instigator and Aurelia in the main deck, and a suite of Lava Coil and Legion Warboss in the sideboard. This deck also does well in board stalls, especially against decks like Selesnya Tokens, where Aurelia can prey on opponents’ creatures.

Jérémy Dezani – Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica, 4th Place

 

4 Adanto Vanguard
2 Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
2 Boros Challenger
4 Conclave Tribunal
4 Goblin Instigator
4 Heroic Reinforcements
4 History of Benalia
4 Hunted Witness
3 Legion’s Landing
2 Pride of Conquerors
4 Skymarcher Aspirant
4 Clifftop Retreat
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Mountain
11 Plains

Sideboard:
1 Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants
1 Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
2 Experimental Frenzy
3 Lava Coil
4 Legion Warboss
4 Tocatli Honor Guard

As Mono-White began to dominate, players worried that the deck would become an easy target as the metagame coalesced. While decks that preyed on white performed well at Grand Prix Milwaukee, with two Jeskai decks and four Golgari lists making Top 8, White Aggro still had its champions, with Jake Tilk making his first Grand Prix Top 8 with a Mono-White list.

Jake Tilk – Grand Prix Milwaukee 2018, 7th Place

 

4 Adanto Vanguard
4 Benalish Marshal
3 Conclave Tribunal
4 Dauntless Bodyguard
4 History of Benalia
4 Hunted Witness
4 Legion’s Landing
1 Lyra Dawnbringer
2 Pride of Conquerors
4 Skymarcher Aspirant
4 Venerated Loxodon
22 Plains

Sideboard:
3 Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants
2 Baffling End
1 Conclave Tribunal
1 Ixalan’s Binding
1 Lyra Dawnbringer
1 Plains
2 Shalai, Voice of Plenty
4 Tocatli Honor Guard

Built to prey on Control and Drakes, this explosive list can build a board very quickly, but falls short against grindy decks like Golgari.

A couple of quick notes on sideboarding: Venerated Loxodon is bad in the mirror and should be boarded out, as you’ll never want to tap all your creatures against opposing threats. Against decks like Golgari and Selesnya, you’ll want to board slightly bigger, whether that’s with Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants or Experimental Frenzy. You’ll also want Experimental Frenzy against both Mono-Red and Jeskai; Banefire helps close out games against Control as well. Tocatli Honor Guard can help shore up your Golgari match-up, and it’s also worth considering against Mono-Red.

If you’re expecting a lot of White Aggro or are looking for ways to beat it, both Golgari and Mono-Red can be tough match-ups. Both decks can present difficult-to-answer counters to your strategy, such as Wildgrowth Walker, Find//Finality and Goblin Chainwhirler, and you can expect games to get grindier post-board with Experimental Frenzy.

While I haven’t settled on a full 75 for Grand Prix Shizuoka, you can rest assured that it will involve some number of Plains. And maybe an Adanto Vanguard (or four).