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A Modern Take On White Weenie

By J Ormechea on 9/17/2012 Category: Forum>Magic: the Gathering>Articles>Competitive Constructed
A Modern Take on White Weenie

By John-Marc Ormechea

Modern is an interesting beast and I am still trying to wrap my brain around it. After bouncing some things off of George (my Modern coach), I have decided that a white weenie deck with some hate bears is the way to go for now, until I can splurge for Boros. I have decided that as good as Spectral Procession is, I don’t think it belongs in a deck with AEther Vial. I’m also thinking about going Honor-free as that allows more creatures.

Let’s talk cards:

Path to Exile: This is some of the best removal in the game, not quite Swords to Plowshares, but it gets the job done.

Brave the Elements: Here is my super awesome tech. I don’t really know why more people are not playing this card in mono white aggressive decks to begin with. It really is that good. It allows you to alpha strike, it allows you to avoid damage or counter damge-based board wipe, it allows you to stop removal, and makes all of your creatures evasive. I played it against three color decks in the past so I am not really worried about that. I really just love this card.

AEther Vial: This allows you to drop in creature after creature without fear of ever having them countered. As a bonus, even if that isn't the goal, you can tap out your land and still play a creature, making this a sort of extender to your available resources.

The rest is lands and creatures.

Elite Vanguard and Savannah Lions: 2/1s for one mana are not exactly a dime a dozen, so I will load up on as many as I can get my hands on. Since the beginning of White Weenie's competitive life, this type of card is the reason that pushed a deck like this over the edge.

Grand Abolisher: This guy puts the control decks in check. They have to have hard removal on their own turn. Otherwise, your creatures are going to be able to do whatever they want unchecked. It also stops all kinds of instant shenanigans that they want to play on your turn to benefit them as well. Appreciate your hate bears.

Leonin Arbiter: This guy shuts down just about every deck early on. If you can get more than one out, everyone has to play two mana for each copy that is on the field. This makes a deck that uses a ton of fetch lands to fix their mana a little tougher to use. It also shuts down a lot of tutors as they will have to pay two more for the tutor.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben: This leading lady really goes the extra mile in creature-based aggro decks. One mana may not seem like a huge difference, but it really is when all of their combo pieces cost even more. When their Mana Leak costs as much as Cancel it becomes a much worse card. She is really worth the three slots in the starting lineup, and I even contemplated running the full playset.

Mikaeus, The Lunarch: This is another legendary creature who really proves his worth and is a great substitute for Honor of the Pure. The fact that he places counters instead of just a generic bonus is even more impressive. Trust me, with all of the other hate bears in the deck he is not the prime target for removal.

Aven Mindcensor: Our very own Mr. Safety introduced this card to me the other day, and I have to say that I was blown away. This card is a steal at only three mana. Neutering their tutoring to only the top four cards, plus it has flash, plus it has evasion. Even more amazing is the fact that it was printed as an uncommon. The whole card is just nuts.

Mirran Crusader: I needed a decent beater that is going to get around some removal, and I thought what would be better that a 2/2 double striker with protection from black. As a bonus it has protection from green as well.

The lands are pretty simple to understand:

Plains and Ghost Quarter

The Sideboard is a little iffy right now, so tell me what you think.

Stony Silence: This just shuts down so many cards that have to be activated. It shuts down the world for pod, and it shuts down all of the Swords that anyone would like to play. I recently used it against Tron’s Chromatic nonsense that they play. It pulls its weight.

Kataki, War's Wage: This is all of the artifact hate you will ever need. For whatever reason Affinity is still popular as an aggro deck in Modern. This card says, “Stop all your nonsense!”

Surgical Extraction: This makes sure that you take whatever resource your opponent holds most important from their deck, graveyard and hand.

Grafdigger's Cage: This makes it so people are not playing things from their graveyard or deck. It takes care of a lot of issues that could be rather nasty for an aggro deck like our own. I do not want to see Elesh Norn across the table ever!

Pithing Needle: This card just shuts down whatever you need it to shut down. This is one of my favorite cards ever printed. The power level of its design is a little insane.

If you take a look at the deck you will realize very quickly that you are playing a mono colored aggro control deck. You are influencing the game in more ways than one.

John-Marc Ormechea's Modern White

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Ideally you would have one of each hate bear and our hate bird on the board. This makes all of your opponent’s spells harder to play, or even unplayable, depending on the circumstance. You would love to set up a huge team and just play Brave the Elements and win. This deck is certainly fast enough to do so, but in reality you don’t care if it takes a little longer.

You shut down a lot of decks with your main deck hate. Tron can’t really do a whole lot if you they are only tutoring four deep, or if they have to pay an extra mana for every early spell they are casting. Life gets really rough for them. Not to mention your Ghost Quarters are just ruing their day. Game two you are adding in even more control elements. It is almost unfair with how much hate you have in one deck.

White has always been the most well rounded color, which means we have a lot to work with.

Our creatures are not the biggest but they certainly do a lot more than average. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions of this deck. This is the first competitive deck that I have brewed from home, start to finish. Yes, I need to play test it more, but I feel like it gets a lot of things done, and in a fashion that I like doing them.

Until next time I wish the best of brewing to all of you.

9/17/2012

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Love this list, its incredibly solid. I eagerly await any results you have playing this against other modern decks. I was tempted to build a similar deck recently until I saw you tinkering with it. If anybody knows WW, its you man. Keep me posted!
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9/17/2012

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looks pretty solid but why not include serra avenger?
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9/17/2012

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Nice deck -- is Crucible of Worlds Modern legal?

Recurring Ghost Quarter would be sick.

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9/17/2012

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Serra Avenger is an interesting critter isn't she? She looks really amazing at first, but then you realize you don't ever want to see multiples of her in your starting hand. You realize that as good as a 3/3 flyer for two is that you cant even play her until turn four which is the turn you should be close to winning by anyway. I am not say she is a bad card, and a lot of lists use her, I am just not a fan and I have been playing white weenie for quite awhile to say the least.

I have been looking at a few different builds for this deck, and believe it or not I am actually in love with Student of Warfare! Her and I go way back as it is, but she really does a great job at coming down early and wrecking late if need be. All of the extra land that you can sink into her is insane, she really does level up pretty quickly.

Also as an update I am looking at running play sets of both Ghost Quarter and Tec Edge.

This gives the deck even more reach. Later on I will show some of my improvements to this build. It has been a blast so far though, even as it keeps changing.

Mangara and Journey to Nowhere will be showing up as a spoiler. Tron wont know what to do.



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9/17/2012

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True Believer is awesome too
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9/18/2012

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moc065 profile imageOriginally posted by moc065:
Nice deck -- is Crucible of Worlds Modern legal?

Recurring Ghost Quarter would be sick.


I was being sarcastic about Crucible of Worlds John-Marc as it is totally legal and I really think that you should consider it.

Also, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is great; but she is a Legend, so I would also run a couple other mana intensifiers such as Glowrider and/or Thorn of Amethyst

-- Aven Mindcensor & Leonin Arbiter -- are both paramount to how the deck functions so great to see them in there.

Finally, -- Savannah Lions -- is your weekest link in the deck as it has no function other than to beat face. I would possibly look at another utility creature such as Phyrexian Revoker as that card can break the backbone of some decks.

Thanks again for sharing though, and I love the deck. PS -- Holy good budget too.

Cheers
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9/18/2012

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Glowrider isn't modern legal, Ken. Eighth Edition forward, bro.

@JMO - someone *cough* might have mentioned *cough* Student of Warfare before? emoticon I think you are fine with playing 4x 1-mana, 2/1 threats but I think getting the Students into those other 4 slots would be better. Maybe 4x Elite Vanguard and then 4x Student of Warfare.
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9/18/2012

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Indeed you did mention the student George, and when I first started building the list I was more focused on the early plays than leveling and killing in the slightly slower version I am working on now, she is a better fit.

I am thinking maybe split 3/3 Dryad militant and student of warfare, we shall see how well the Dryad does.

I will post my list here for all to see very soon, needs a little more tweaking yet.

It is very different from before.
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9/18/2012

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// Deck: John-Marc Ormechea's Modern Death and Taxes (60)

// Lands
4 Ghost Quarter
15 Plains
4 Tectonic Edge

// Creatures
3 Aven Mindcensor
2 Elite Vanguard
2 Ethersworn Canonist
4 Grand Abolisher
3 Hero of Bladehold
4 Leonin Arbiter
2 Mangara of Corondor
2 Mikaeus, the Lunarch
4 Student of Warfare
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

// Spells
4 Path to Exile
4 Æther Vial

This is what I am currently testing.

Some people are running flickerwisp and blade splicer but I plan on running DOJ in the board for aggro mirrors and Hero of Bladehold says GG after that.

Why play DOJ?

I have been overwhelmed by decks like elves more than once. If you have never seen an army of little green men across from you, consider yourself fortunate.

DOJ is also good against ww, Boros, goblins, affinity (their man lands still help them a lot though) tokens, basically any creature heavy aggro deck.


This is still being tested but it has a lot of reach none the less.
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9/18/2012

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I'd use Wrath of God for the occasional time when Thrun shows up.

I wouldn't use Mangara...legacy has Karakas to abuse him, modern not so much. I think you're right in thinking that Dryad Militant is a good option, it has a lot of potential. I would drop ALL of the other one-drops and just use Dryad Militant/Student of Warfare. You want a high density of 2-mana creatures to make Vial really work. Other options include:

Knight of Meadowgrain
Knight of the White Orchid

I'd probably sideboard Martyr of Sands as well...that kind of lifegain is absurdly good against fast aggro and burn decks.
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9/18/2012

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Was wondering you could still get serra avenger out turn 2 with an aether vial, correct?

That would make it still viable for the early beats.

Just thought I should throw that out there.

9/18/2012

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why use 1 mana 2/1s when you have isamaru, hound of konda

9/19/2012

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I like the list idea; but as George mentioned, go for a thick section of 2 Symbol drop creatures to get the most bang out of your AEther Vial. And WoG is always better than DoJ, no doubt about it.

PS, I keep forgeting that this is for Modern guys, sorry -- my brain is stuck in Legacy for some reason, so I appolagize about the Glowrider suggestion.

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Quote:
Sin profile imageOriginally posted by Sin:
Was wondering you could still get serra avenger out turn 2 with an aether vial, correct?

That would make it still viable for the early beats.

Just thought I should throw that out there.


With a turn 1 Vial the earliest for getting a 2-mana creature cheated with Vial is turn 3. Wait one more turn and you can hard-cast it anyways. I still think Serra Avenger is a great creature but I think J's approach of making sure his creatures provide hatebear properties FIRST is the right approach. If he settles into a decent groove with the deck then he can start looking at upgrading his threats if one of the hatebears seems unneccessary.

@tdgfanatic: Isamaru is indeed a minor upgrade as a 2/2 for W Symbol...but its legendary, so it doesn't play nice in multiples. I think the new Dryad Militant will be the go-to 1-drop alongside Student of Warfare though in modern...she is a 2/1 for W/ G Symbol that also has a relevant ability.
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9/19/2012

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George is right on both accounts, a turn 3 Serra avenger is just a non turn 4 avenger, and to be honest, I should be in good enough position by turn four to be bringing home the win. Turn 3 if I were banking on an all out aggro assault and used steppe lynx but i digress...

I have been playing white weenie for about 4 years now, and it is a deck that I can constantly say I know the ins and outs of.

As good as cards like honor of the pure are at making a ton of little guys big guys, Hate Bears are just more important.

Locking down your opponents game plan is just too important. Control players and trust me their are a ton of them out there, love counter spells and instant removal. Unfortunately for them, Grand Abolisher just says too bad so sad. Which just puts a big damper on their early game plan and allows you to roll over them rather quickly.

Leonin Arbiter just says every multicolored deck no matter the game plan is going to have some huge issues. It allows me to take out the early plan and just in case they can afford the two or four or six or even eight extra mana we always have aven mindscensor. That just says hahahahha no.

Thalia, also puts a damper on all non creature based decks and I have so many copies to know that if one is to die, I still have another coming in as well.

This is way more important than an avenger. Look at all of the decks this shuts down, and on turn four I would rather be playing Hero of freaking Bladehold.

This card was so good in white aggro decks, tempered steel decks, delver decks, tokens, any other control build or aggro build. This white "Grave Titan" is my favorite creature ever printed!

I have enough land to cast her and know that she will pull her weight.

I hope some of this has helped as I have really come to feel that white weenie if nothing else is my forte.

Let me know if you have any other questions.



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8 Plains
4 Marsh Flats
4 Arid Mesa
3 Soul Warden
4 Elite Vanguard
4 Steppe Lynx
4 Kazandu Blademaster
4 Knight of the White Orchid
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Kor Hookmaster
4 White Knight
4 Path to Exile
4 Brave the Elements
4 Honor of the Pure
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

This is a really hyper aggressive list from standard circa 2009. I am thinking about modernizing this the heck out as well. It has the most aggressive land base you will come across and simply can wreck the board.

Look at Skyfisher picking up Knight of the White Orchid, and the Hookmaster back then was a finisher and one which I used myself as I was tapping down just about every threat that they could imagine. My build used 18 lands and no elspeth, but this is something to think about when you just want to win on turn 3 or 4.

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9/20/2012

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Decks like that are why I started playing maindeck Firespout in modern, lol.

Hero of Bladehold is the perfect end-game for this type of deck, J. I think I might even go 2x Hero, 1-2x Elspth, 4x Vial, 4x Path, and then the rest use your hatebears. That should give you around 20-24 dudes for Vial (depending on how many lands you want to use) which is in a good range.

Oh yeah, I wouldn't use Tectonic Edge, at least not more than 1-2. Ghost Quarter hits basic lands and with Leonin Arbiter actually gives you Strip Mine. Tec-Edge is a little too slow and you need W Symbol to hard cast your dudes...don't want to get stuck with no colored mana, and it can happen. Tec-Edge is good against Tron...but so is Ghost Quarter, and you already play 4.
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3/10/2013

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Ummm... Serra Avenger and Swords?

3/11/2013

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Quote:
C,j. profile imageOriginally posted by C,j.:
Ummm... Serra Avenger and Swords?


While aggressive, this combination doesn't provide the edge you need. We don't have access to Stoneforge Mystic like in Legacy, so the equipment plan takes a lot more slot-space, space you can't really afford to use. Steelshaper's Gift can be used, but Aether Vial makes it awkward. You want a premium amount of dudes for Vial, and the non-creature spells that you sqeeze in typically need to be removals. It's better to simply play hatebears (Thalia, Arbiter, Abolisher) and then use that to leverage your wins.

I think you could try and use Serra Avenger and Swords (I'm assuming you mean Sword of Fire and Ice etc, because Swords to Plowshares isn't legal in modern) but in that case I'd rather splash black for Dark Confidant. You need a way to get ahead of your opponent, and extra draws can go a long ways towards that.
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11/27/2013

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Hello dudes!
I am building my very first competitive modern deck, I always play aggro and ww decks in standard format, so this archetype was my first choice.
Looking at your lists I saw that you didn't mention champion of the parish or soldier of pantheon( 2 of the best white 1 mana drop ever.)

Metagaming on tier's 1 decks, I build my list thinking to put the top decks under pressure and gain tempo, and mainly to drop creatures with great presence on the field like true believer and grand abolisher. Please comment!

4 Champion of The Parish
4 Student of Warfare
4 Soldier of the Pantheon
4 Grand Abolisher
3 Knight of the White Orchid
3 True Believer
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3 Ranger of Eos


11 Plains
4 Ghost Quarter
2 Cavern of Souls
3 Nykthos, Shrine to Nix

4 Path to Exile
4 Brave The Elements
4 Aether Vial

Sideboard:
3 Leonin Relic-Warder
3 Phyrexian Revoker
3 Rest in Peace
3 Mirran Crusader
3 Auriok Champion

Maybe Board:
Silverblade Paladin
Judge's Familiar
Hero of Bladehold
Leonin Arbiter
Honor The Pure
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11/27/2013

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Soldier of the pantheon wasn't around when I was writing this, and I went the death and taxes route instead of just ww. I like your list though. Kudos for back tracking and finding this. I don't remember is champion was around yet either, I think it was.

One love!
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