Last week was part one of a two part look at mono-colored decks that are doing well in Standard on Magic Online (MTGO). This week I bring to you four more examples to take a look at. Let's get started.
Since a Mono-Red deck recently won the Standard side of GP Seattle (congratulations go out to Gan Yan!), we'll start by looking at another Mono-Red deck. Last week I brought to you Mono-Red Aggro, which was very similar to Gan Yan's deck. This week, let's look at Mono-Red Midrange.
Mono-Red Midrange ? Rivals Standard | nayaoka, (5-0) MTGO
- Creatures (22)
- 1 Dire Fleet Daredevil
- 1 Hazoret the Fervent
- 2 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
- 3 Pia Nalaar
- 3 Walking Ballista
- 4 Earthshaker Khenra
- 4 Glorybringer
- 4 Rekindling Phoenix
- Planeswalkers (2)
- 2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
This deck foregoes a bit of the speed associated with being Mono-Red in exchange for extra mid-game power. Glorybringer is a big part of this equation, and the ability to be both an evasive threat as well as acting as pseudo-creature removal makes it a terrific top end for your mana curve.
The inclusion of a single copy of Treasure Map allows this deck the ability to scry past unwanted cards in order to maintain a steady stream of threats, or to always allow it to hit the necessary land drops. Then, once it transforms, the Treasure tokens it provides allow you to play multiple threats in one turn.
The sideboard includes a couple of cards that can be played if your opponent is either playing faster, more numerous threats than you or if they're going wide with a token strategy. Hour of Devastation and Sweltering Suns can both help even the playing field for you. And, if you happen to have a Rekindling Phoenix out when you play one of these sweepers, you'll end up ahead in the exchange.
The next deck I have for you happens to be one of those token decks I was just talking about. Let's take a look at Mono-White Tokens.
Mono-White Tokens ? Rivals Standard | Mazuku94, (5-0) MTGO
This is a deck with one thing on its mind and that's making and buffing tokens. The main deck has zero ways to interact with your opponent's creatures, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Now you don't have to choose between creating a threat for your opponent to have to deal with or dealing with something they've previously played. There's no option but to continue down the path of aggression.
But don't think that there's not a lot of thinking that needs to be done when playing this deck. In fact, it's probably just the opposite as you will constantly need to be evaluating the board state to figure out your optimal blocks or deciding when to just take the hit, knowing that you have creatures with lifelink that can help keep your life total above zero.
Pride of Conquerors is a key component in your arsenal. Ultimately, your hope is that you can have the necessary 10 permanents in play when you cast this spell (or hopefully even more in case your opponent destroys something in response to you playing it) so that you can Ascend and achieve the City's Blessing. But even if you don't, the +1/+1 it provides can be enough to seriously mess up the combat math for your opponent.
The next deck I have for you combines dinosaurs with +1/+1 counters and throws in a pinch of vehicles. Let's take a look at Mono-Green Midrange.
Mono-Green Midrange ? Rivals Standard | oosunq, (5-0) MTGO
- Creatures (26)
- 1 Rhonas the Indomitable
- 1 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
- 1 Verdurous Gearhulk
- 3 Ghalta, Primal Hunger
- 4 Greenbelt Rampager
- 4 Jadelight Ranger
- 4 Merfolk Branchwalker
- 4 Resilient Khenra
- 4 Walking Ballista
- Instants (4)
- 4 Blossoming Defense
Rhonas's Monument is a key card for this deck to be able to power out Ghalta, Primal Hunger early on. then, once you have Ghalta in play, every creature you play on future turns will allow Rhonas's Monument to give an additional +2/+2 bonus to Ghalta, which can be very useful when combined with Ghalta's natural Trample ability. Resilient Khenra can also be used to give an even bigger bonus, which can range from +4/+4 to +6/+6 if combined with Rhonas's Monument. That'll get out of hand really quickly.
But in order to be able to play Rhonas's Monument on curve, you'll want to rely on your Merfolk with Explore, Merfolk Branchwalker and Jadelight Ranger, to make sure you're able to hit your land drops each turn. But if they happen to gain a +1/+1 counter instead of finding a land, you can use them to pilot your Heart of Kiran later on.
This deck also runs four copies of Walking Ballista. This is the perfect target for the +1/+1 counters Rishkar, Peema Renegade or Verdurous Gearhulk provide when they enter the battlefield. And, if you happen to have lands untapped at the end of your turn, you might be able to add an additional counter to the Walking Ballista even on your opponent's turn. I've done this in response to it being targeted by a destruction spell as a way to be able to deal an additional point of damage to my opponent or one of their creatures before the Ballista died.
Legends tell of a creature so terrifying that just hearing its name sends a chill down your spine. That creature is Tetzimoc, Primal Death and it plays a big part in the next deck I have for you. Let's look at Mono-Black Control.
Mono-Black Control ? Rivals Standard | thinenagooyen, (5-0) MTGO
- Planeswalkers (3)
- 3 Liliana, Death's Majesty
- Sorceries (8)
- 1 Bontu's Last Reckoning
- 1 Harsh Scrutiny
- 1 Never // Return
- 2 Mastermind's Acquisition
- 3 Doomfall
- Enchantments (1)
- 1 Arguel's Blood Fast
- Artifacts (3)
- 3 Treasure Map
So even though there's only one copy in the main deck, Tetzimoc, Primal Death will have no trouble finding its way to your hand. That's thanks in no small part to Mastermind's Acquisition. This powerful tutor can help you find whatever you might need at the time, so in a way it's like you've actually got three copies of Tetzimoc in your deck.
The deck also runs a huge amount of removal spells, so unless your opponent has a way to generate multiple creatures over consecutive turns, it might be difficult for them to gain enough traction to defeat you.
Your main route to victory will usually be via Tetzimoc or possibly a herd of zombies created by Liliana, Death's Majesty. Of course, you could also use a Mastermind's Acquisition to get the copy of Torment of Hailfire from your sideboard and use it to win in style. The choice is yours.
And that wraps up our mono-colored journey through Standard. Once again, I was not able to find a single Mono-Blue decklist to share, which further shows just how much of a support color it is right now. Let me know which Mono-colored deck was your favorite by leaving a comment below or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!
— Mike Likes