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More Human than Human


It's been a long time since white decks were viable in Standard. One would have to go back to Caw-Blade to find a deck in which mostly white creatures played a significant role. Even in the days of devotion decks and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, white devotion seemed the sole color left out of the fun. That's all changed now with the release of Shadows over Innistrad and a powerful Humans strategy. It's not the Vampires or the Werewolves that have come to dominate early Standard tournament action; it's the rabble fighting against the monsters.

All of the variations have the same thing in common: land a Thalia's Lieutenant and/or an Always Watching, and run over the opponent with very cheap, very large Humans. Declaration in Stone can pick off problem creatures with only a small drawback of giving the opponent a Clue token.

So what have the winning Humans decks looked like over the past two tournament weekends?

Mono-White Humans

This version comes in a couple different flavors. There's the ultra-fast Boss Humans variant piloted by Tom Ross to a fifth-place finish in the Star City Games Standard Open in Ohio during the Invitational. This one runs eighteen Plains, though there are two Westvale Abbey and two Gideon, Ally of Zendikar in the sideboard to go a little bigger if necessary.

Anointer of Champions

There's the slightly higher curve variant that Max McVety won the Invitational with. I say slightly because it runs twenty Plains instead of eighteen and tops out at 4 mana with Archangel of Tithes.

Archangel of Tithes

The Big White decks that go even bigger than that top out at eight Humans (plus two more in the sideboard) and are probably outside the scope of this discussion.

W/U Humans

Gerry Thompson took this version to an eighth-place finish at the Invitational. It splashes blue for the busted Reflector Mage, in addition to counterspells and Dragons in the sideboard. This is much more of a midrange strategy, as it runs twenty-two lands and curves as high as 5 mana. This is a good choice if you feel better about the long game rather than finishing your opponents quickly.

Reflector Mage

G/W Humans

Somewhat of a fringe strategy compared to its more successful archetype-mates, G/W Humans, piloted by Michael Majors, finished as high as twenty-second in the Invitational. This one runs a few cards that are all over the Collected Company decks, but it leaves CoCo in the sideboard. These cards include Duskwatch Recruiter, Tireless Tracker, and Dromoka's Command.

Tireless Tracker

This version, from the Open in Baltimore the previous weekend, ran it up to eighth place.

Other Versions?

A black splash or red splash may not quite work with the card pool we have, but a few more interesting Humans or Human support cards in black or red in Eldritch Moon might push this variation over the top. Any excuse to throw in cards like Abbot of Keral Keep, Dragon Whisperer, or Silumgar Assassin is more than welcome!

The Human League

Whichever version of Humans you choose, it's looking to be a good choice for quite some time going forward, especially as the Collected Company decks continue to tune themselves into the ideal version. While those decks are getting set up, why not run them over with many white creatures?

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