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Mono-White Golos in Legacy


First things first, let's be honest here: I'm not a Legacy player. I've always considered Modern one of my favorite formats because of the diversity and the fact that it wasn't as "broken" as a more powerful format like Legacy, but more and more I'm beginning to realize that Modern may be the more broken format, and Legacy may be more of a gentleman's format.

I'm still not 100% decided on that issue one way or the other, but Rob and I did discover a pretty sweet Mono-White Prison-style deck on stream this past Monday, and I would be remiss if I didn't share it with you. As I mentioned, one of the main things I love about Modern is the fact that you can basically play whatever you want in the format and have some chance of doing well with it, and if the same can be true for Legacy, it definitely propels the format forward for me a little bit.

Today's deck was inspired by subscriber and Twitch viewer GoalieRYHA5. Goalie sent me a message for a deck critique, describing the following to me:

I basically wanted to build a Mono-White Solemnity Deck. I get that Solemnity is slow for Legacy so I want to build it to have similar items to the mono red prison deck. Here is are the items I know I want in the deck:




So, as you can see, I have about over half the deck built out but quite a few spots will be taken up by Plains. I've gone back and forth on whether I want Glacial Chasm in the deck without a real way to tutor for it. I also am leaning pretty heavily into adding 3-4 Karn, Scion of Urza as it adds another win condition and is just good by itself. I've thought about Karn, the Great Creator too, but have gone back and forth on it.

Ideally, what this deck is doing is hiding behind Trinisphere and/or Chalice early, similar to Mono-Red Prison. Instead of Red win spells though, it is going to be a bit more of a pillow fort. This is where I'm trying to pick your brain a bit and get your thoughts.

Well, Rob is much more familiar with the Legacy format than I am, so we got together and started brainstorming. The following was our initial list. I'll go over some of the choices, along with what we wanted to change after our initial League with the deck, after the list.

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
We included the Solemnity / Phyrexian Unlife package. We also have Dark Depths / Solemnity, which, in case you didn't know, immediately makes a 20/20 Marit Lage if you play a Dark Depths while having Solemnity in play. We also have access to Thespian's Stage / Dark Depths. So, all in all, a few really strong combos in the deck.

Trinisphere ended up being the lifeblood of the deck and you definitely want one coming down on turn two. There aren't a ton of our own cards that are really affected by it, and if they were, we were already almost guaranteed to have the 3 mana to cast them. Making every spell in Legacy cost three is a death sentence for so many decks if they can't deal with the 'sphere.

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim was a card that came up when we did a search for cards that could find any land, and not just basics. Considering how vital Dark Depths and Thespian's Stage are to our combos, we wanted a card that could find either of them, and Golos surprisingly fit the bill. If you had a Solemnity in play, Golos basically put a 20/20 into play immediately when he entered the battlefield. We didn't really care about his five-color ability, but we put a Chromatic Lantern in the sideboard anyway to be cute (that we would later cut), that we could search out with Karn, the Great Creator. Overall, Golos was one of the most powerful cards in the deck, we were consistently impressed by him, and we wanted to add a third to the deck. Being a 3/5 colorless creature in Legacy is also no joke. We could even bounce our own Golos with Karakas to get more triggers in a board stall or if we didn't have anything else to do!

For more win conditions, we added one Elspeth, Sun's Champion and one Ugin, the Ineffable. Both of these proved useful everytime we drew them, and Legacy is a format where they can really take over games. Ugin is also able to take care of any troublesome permanents that may crop up.

Instead of Cast Out or Oblivion Ring, we went with one of the best removal spells in Legacy: Council's Judgment. This card is so bonkers good, being able to take out anything, including the very relevant True-Name Nemesis. Also, without actually targeting, getting rid of our friend Leovold, Emissary of Trest is a snap (meaning they won't draw a card)! The downside here is that, unlike something like Oblivion Ring, you can't use Enlightened Tutor to search this guy, which might be a great argument for a single Ring.

Enlightened Tutor
Initially the deck had four Chalice of the Void, as Goalie suggested, but we realized that two of the best White cards for our deck - Swords to Plowshares and Enlightened Tutor - hated having a Chalice on one, despite how good it is. Enlightened Tutor just gave us too much value, finding Golos, Solemnity, and Phyrexian Unlife, among other things! After playing the deck for five rounds, we eventually we realized that we probably didn't need four copies of Swords, along with all of the other forms of removal we had access to, so we went down to two instead.

Speaking of Enlightened Tutor, we came to the conclusion that there should be a couple more one-ofs in the deck. Notably Chalice of the Void and Crucible of Worlds. While we don't want to devote the full four slots to Chalice, having one in the deck to find against appropriate matchups is more than fine. The Crucible I wasn't too sold on, but once you have a Solemnity out, and you play a Dark Depths, it goes to the graveyard and you make a Marit Lage. If your opponent is able to deal with Marit Lage, you can play your Dark Depths from the graveyard as often as you like! Every turn! That's a pretty insane combo, and not very easy to deal with.

Considering our sideboard is almost entirely tutor targets for Karn, the Great Creator, we figured it would be best if we went up to four of those, and cut back on one Karn, Scion of Urza. This maximizes the odds of us actually being able to tutor for some of our silver bullets, including the fourth Golos!

The single Moat, eh . . .  we were kind of iffy on it, but it does shut down certain decks. We liked the idea of finding room for something like Wrath of God, but you can search out a Moat with Enlightened Tutor, and you can also attack with a Marit Lage through one, so it seemed to make more sense.

This was the final list we landed on. While we didn't get to test our changes, we did end up going 3-2 in the League we played, which felt awesome considering we basically brewed this deck from scratch, and both of our losses felt really close. Having a winning record with a deck you just threw together and had never played a game with was awesome. You can actually see the matches and our brainstorming session here:

This deck was an utter blast, and it was amazing comboing off with things like Solemnity, Dark Depths, and Golos of all cards!

Well, that's all we have for this week. As always, thank you so much for reading, and when you inevitably pick up your copies of Golos, be sure and use promo code FRANK5 for 5% off! Be sure to leave a comment down below with your thoughts, and I'll be back next week. Love ya!

Frank Lepore



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