Mono-White Control in Extended

Osyp suggested a similar idea (but no deck list) on our mailing list. You know that I am like a feather and anyone suggesting I play this… I probaly will float in that direction if it is mentioned.

The deck list:

3 Chalice of the Void

4 Akroma’s Vengeance
2 Crovax, Ascendent Hero
4 Decree of Justice
4 Eternal Dragon
4 Mana Tithe
4 Martyr of Sands
4 Proclamation of Rebirth
4 Wrath of God

22 Snow-covered Plains
4 Temple of the False God

1 Chalice of the Void
4 Unmake
4 Condemn
1 Crovax, Ascendent Hero
3 Kataki, War’s Wage
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All

I played about five matches with this deck last night but my computer crashed so I lost the notes. So I am going completely on memory for the first night.

For the first night I played on Boseiju, Who Shelters All in the main. It was kind of awful. In fact I played it as my first land against Zoo and Red decks and I think it cost me the Zoo Game One. So I moved it to nowhere (I always had the second Boseiju in the sideboard). Anyway, I crushed Swans with two awful draws and I don’t see how you can reasonably lose to Faeries or Wizards on MTGO; I don’t see how those decks can beat you in a tournament unless you don’t draw anything the whole match.

I get the worst mana flood ever. Crush him.

I get a medium horrible mana screw. Crush him.

The Swans matchup was pretty simple. I drew sixteen straight lands in Game One, and somehow won. Basically I took a couple of hits from his Swans and then played Chalice of the Void for two, to counter his Chain of Plasma. I blew up his guy.

Wait, wait wait… He goes for it, Repeals my Chalice and plays the combo with all his mana… I have the Mana Tithe. Of course I re-play the Chalice and finally draw Eternal Dragon. Blood Moon of course did nothing.

Game Two was the opposite… I wasn’t completely screwed but I was discarding for a while. Just so happened to have a key Mana Tithe, etc.

I actually got run over by the super fast draw in Game One. Game Two I got Akroma’s Vengeance, and Game Three I got Kataki. Affinity is a non-issue for this deck.

As above, I was quite punished by the main deck Boseiju. I replaced it with a Plains… The deck actually needs 26 lands, and skimpint to 25 hurt.

Game Two I kept a hand with three Eternal Dragons and Condemnm but only one Plains. It took six turns to find the second one. Some nice stalling with the Martyr helped a lot. This was actually pretty close… He didn’t play Teeg (at least against me).

Going down 0-2 to Zoo is annoying if he doesn’t present Teeg… Just a case of my hiccuping against Zoo and the fact that you don’t want to do that. The sideboard is chock full of cards that are actually cheap enough to point at Teeg.

Gifts Rock
Nope, this deck can’t beat Gifts Rock. Death Cloud and Life From the Loam destroyed me. I had a Chalice on two in play in I think Game Two but he just killed me with Kitchen Finks.


All-in Red
A surprisingly easy matchhp. Especially in sideboarded games, I had every Unmake a girl could ever want.

Lightning Bolt Deck
This one was also super easy.

My hot play was to Martyr for four, not five, not revealing my tricky card. The opponent tapped out to point Flames of the Blood Hand… My last card was Mana Tithe ๐Ÿ™‚

Weird Elf Deck
I conceded match after he showed me a fourth Thoughts of Ruin. I actually screwed up on the first Thoughts of Ruin.

He timed out. I was the beatdown eerly, then got him eventually to three life. I suggested he concede but he kept playing.

There seems to be very little Fae / Wizards can do against this deck, at least in Game One. White has more card advantage, which is inexorable as it is inexhaustable.

The main advantages of this deck are that it is solid against Red and Fae. It cannot however beat The Rock, ever.

Just some thoghts. Happy New Year!


PS Is it worthwhile to splash Red? Lightning Helix is already White for the Martyr… Firespout might be good against Zoo and playable against Elves. Thoughts?

facebook comments:


#1 _Eco on 12.31.08 at 11:46 pm

Hi there…I saw some games today.

I was thinking about splash red for those cards, but and the Rock? Donยดt you think Rock becomes a deck to beat again or have to wait for next Ext event?
For years I liked to play Mono-W Control (Parfait for long years). But since we dont have more Humility cards, if continues with mono white, some Magus of Tarbenacle, Retaliate, Ghostly Prison can deal with Zoo??

See u and have good holidays!

#2 Gifts Ungiven on 01.01.09 at 12:02 am

I happened to see all your games today (and yeah, you screwed up the first Thoughts of Ruin…keeping the Temple seemed poor). I was wondering, after that Fae matchup, if you think time might be an issue with this deck in the PTQ season. Online, it was fun to watch him futilely time out, but in a 50-minute PTQ match, I could see having the issue of “not losing” rather than “winning” in one or more matches.

The Mana Tithe plays are hilarious.

#3 chilperico on 01.01.09 at 6:45 am

well, hi… this is my first time posting :$ well, i have a idea too for mono white control, im testing one in the tourneys of my city and i have awsome results

This is the list





Well that is my list, i wish to know what you think about it.

Btw happy new year.

#4 zahori on 01.01.09 at 8:02 am

I’ve been messing around with a similar deck for the last few weeks. A card that has greatly improved my Rock Matchup post board is Mindslaver. Even though you can’t reuse it, you can really cripple their hand and board position to set up a lethal soldier strike. Another card that I have found great against zoo is Runed Halo. Naming Tidehollow Sculler means they can’t steal the critical WoG from your hand. I also prefer Austere Command over Akroma’s Vengeance. It just allows me to keep something critical, like a Chalice or Runed Halo in play while wiping the board of whatever is troubling me. Well, Happy New Year!

#5 KZipple on 01.01.09 at 9:22 am

Pretty exciting. I like the idea of splashing red for Helix and maybe Firespout.
Re: Timing Out. I’m guessing these were in the casual/TP room? I think in a PTQ most players would scoop.
Gotta go find my Eternal Dragons…

#6 pandabaer on 01.01.09 at 10:41 am

that are only 59 cards as far as i count …
im playing mighty quin (legacy mono white) which is a deck what many people don’t take serious but this looks even worse … i might give it a try

#7 GRat on 01.01.09 at 1:19 pm

This list at first glance almost looks like it should run Slide, lol. I can see the obvious debate over Akroma’s Vengeance; I find that it is more valuable to be able to cycle it than Command as it might become a dead card when the effects aren’t needed. I think the previous suggestion of Mindslaver is not a bad idea, either. It is so easy to wreck your opponents position on a single activation, it’s silly.

I’m mostly set on running a Tron list for now, but this is probably worth trying, too.

#8 admin on 01.01.09 at 1:21 pm

I think The Rock is probably the best deck in the format at this point (that is, post two PT-level events, pre-PTQ season). However (kind of like this deck actually) I think it has a Teeg problem. Therefore it is kind of suicidal to play MWC outside of the first week of PTQs as MWC can’t beat The Rock, at least not the way I have set it up.

Anyone who has followed my Extended decks the past couple of years knows I usually play this kind of deck at least once… Last year it was the Biorhythm deck; I played the B/W Nassif-style deck at PT LA, etc., so I am also a long lover.

@Gifts Ungiven
The mistake I meant was Mana Tithe on his first Thoughts of Ruin. I actually knew he could untap the Birds with the Symbiote to pay but I was gambling he couldn’t see it. If I had been playing against Kenji I would have Plainscycled instead but I was playing for maximum positive return instead of minimizing how bad it could be (I definitely play differently versus different players and I underestimated him obviously)… I only lost because he drew all four Thoughts of Ruin and he kept drawing them with 0-1 cards in hand right before I was going to draw or cycle into Wrath mana. I didn’t feel like this was a matchup that was going to teach me anything about my deck and I was admittedly annoyed by getting strung by four Thoughts of Ruin drawn off the top of his deck every few turns, so that is why I conceded match.

As for the Fae matchup I don’t actually agree with you. In a PTQ I think it is notoriously difficult for them to win Game One so you can just slow play them. In the event that he didn’t concede (I asked him to, actually), you just sandbag multiple Akroma’s Vengeances to cover the permanents and then set up a huge Decree of Justice alpha strike or just the fellows. As you could probably see he was on 3 life when he ran out of time. I could have easily won with damage in a PTQ, using Decree and just creatures. He can’t actually stop me from playing all my Martyrs and attacking him with them, let alone Crovax (which kept his Fae off the table the entire game).

I spoke with him post-match and the reason he didn’t concede was that he thought he could eventually sandbag another Venser (remember I caught the first one with Mana Tithe) with the Riptide Laboratories in play (he had two) and Cryptic Command to win the first game. The problem was that he was forced to pick up Mutavault every turn based on how I set up the attacks, or was putting Engineered Explosives on top to avoid large packets of damage, so he couldn’t spread his mana. I eventually drew an Eternal Dragon, so I was eventually drawing two cards per turn whereas he was stuck Time Walking himself; therefore he could never draw into sufficient mana to execute on his plan.

I am extremely comfortable playing this style of deck in a PTQ versus Fae because any serious tournament player is likely to concede when I ask him to (I have been in similar situations with MWC-ish decks in PTQs before and this is basically what happens after you nicely explain that you are going to time them out with un-counterable cards). Failing that you actually time them out and with with Decree in extra turns.

I will look into the Goat Land… I was thinking of playing something like Urza’s Factory actually. I think you really need Decrees (I think I am going back to four) and four Eternal Dragons, plus some number of Akroma’s Vengeance over Austere Command. Ranger of Eos is too slow for Extended I think… I don’t know about playing Ajani Vengeant, though I guess it is one of the best cards in Standard. I will think about this.

Hey! How have you been?

I just don’t buy Mindslaver. When I lose they just lock me with Raven’s Crime. Plus you have no out to their Death Cloud and they have Loam out-classing you.

I am not really scared of Tidehollow Sculler in the abstract. Much more afraid of Teeg. I hate playing more and more cards that will die when I play Akroma’s Vengeance. I just don’t agree about Austere Command… I cycle the first Vengeance at least half the time.

Tournament Practice room. I test “new ideas” there most nights.

Thanks! I was falling asleep when I posted this. The deck list is wildly inaccurate actually, missing Oblivion Ring, with the wrong Decree of Justice count (I love Decree of Justice but you need some Teeg defense).

Here is the correct deck list, again reflecting no main deck Boseiju:

3 Chalice of the Void

4 Akroma’s Vengeance
2 Crovax, Ascendent Hero
2 Decree of Justice
4 Eternal Dragon
4 Mana Tithe
4 Martyr of Sands
3 Oblivion Ring
4 Proclamation of Rebirth

22 Snow-Covered Plains
4 Temple of the False God

1 Chalice of the Void
4 Unmake
1 Crovax, Ascendent Hero
1 Ethersworn Canonist
3 Kataki, War’s Wage
4 Condemn
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All

#9 pandabaer on 01.01.09 at 1:43 pm

i would cut the orings and add 4 helixes maybe add 2 decrees and cut 2 vengeance

and it would be so good if you would post your rocklist ๐Ÿ˜‰ ptqs in germany are startign soon ๐Ÿ™‚

#10 pandabaer on 01.01.09 at 1:47 pm

oh and 3 proclamation should be ok since normally you just need them when you have much mana ๐Ÿ™‚

#11 Gifts Ungiven on 01.01.09 at 3:56 pm

So that actually went toward answering my real question — you do feel you have a way to force a win against someone who doesn’t see that they’re just going to time out (and I don’t think his plan made much sense once you were at 45 life, let alone the 80+ you ended up on!).

I agree that the sane PTQ player will concede and try for a win in the following game. I’ve only ever drawn twice in a PTQ, it was always on game three in the match, and they both came with the same deck in one of the Shards sealed PTQs of the most recent season.

I will be playing something Rock-ish this season, as that’s just how I like to roll. ๐Ÿ™‚

I agree that the topdecking of Thoughts of Ruin over and over again was just a bad beat; I had MTGO running in the background while I was doing other work, and kept checking in and thinking nothing much had happened, until I realized /another/ Thoughts had been played. Ugh. That said — wasn’t it also probably a mistake to keep a Temple instead of a Plains? Is the long-term advantage of having your fifth land drop take you to six mana worth the short-term problem of having been knocked down to just one mana? (I may be misrecalling exact amounts of land left, but I was really surprised you kept the Temple over a land that would work right away — the long-term gain didn’t seem to matter as much as being able to do stuff right away).

#12 ProdigalT on 01.01.09 at 4:32 pm

If it can’t beat Rock, I can’t see how I could play this deck. And yes, it has a Teeg problem. Like, this would be unlikely, but if I have Worship and Gaddock Teeg in play, you just can’t win (game 1, at least).

#13 rubbaducky42 on 01.01.09 at 4:55 pm

Which of the various rock lists do you like the most?
5c Gifts? Death Cloud?
Flores Rock?

#14 admin on 01.01.09 at 5:01 pm

You can just play ‘Tron in Mono-White if you want. Maybe it’s better than 22 basic Plains? A few years ago there was a powerful Mono-White ‘Tron list that was very effective in Standard. If you had ‘Tron then maybe the Mindslaver plan would seem more appealing to me…

Soon! Still working on it…

I love Helix (I played it in the Biorhythm deck) and fast Red sweepers might be great in this meta (especially against Teeg). I’ll work on it.

Rock is bad, but your percentage against Red Decks is superb and how exactly do you lose to Blue?

#15 GRat on 01.01.09 at 6:10 pm

Makin’ a list…checkin’ it twice…er, lots of times… XD

#16 Five With Flores » Bill Stark on Mike Flores on 01.14.09 at 6:51 am

[…] Magic) PTQ Seattle 1-10-09 ( Embracing Certaintyย (ye olde Five With Flores) Mono-White Control in Extended (also right here, baby!) Show, Don’t Tell (doesn’t actually have to do with anything, […]

#17 Ludo on 01.20.09 at 1:11 am

Hey Mike,
What are your thoughts on phyrexian arena in this type of deck?

#18 admin on 01.20.09 at 8:28 am

I will write more on this subject in a week or two after I finish doing Conflux one-ofs.

But my short answer is that I don’t particularly like it.

#19 ConcernedCitizen on 01.25.09 at 5:27 pm

So I’ve been following this deck ever since you first posted it as it struck me as something very fresh in a fairly stale metagame. I put together your original list and have been tinkering with it, following your updates and the various PTQ versions of it that have popped up. This deck is right up my alley in that it presents a very strong overall strategy that most decks are not properly equipped to deal with, and it has the tools to be effective against a very wide variety of opposition. It has tons of spot removal, life gain and sweepers to mop up and stabilize against the aggressive decks, surprisingly effective game versus the combo decks with an early martyr usually being enough to hold you over until you can take control of the game for good and against control decks you have an edge with all the recurring and uncounterable elements that afford you the all-important inevitability factor.

Here is my most recent list, I’ll explain some of my thoughts on the key cards of the archetype and I would love to hear yours to see if we’re on the same page.

1 Flagstones of Trokair
2 Mistveil Plains
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Temple of the False God
14 Plains
3 Eternal Dragon
2 Crovax, Ascendant Hero
4 Martyr of Sands
1 Ranger of Eos
3 Decree of Justice
2 Proclamation of Rebirth
4 Wrath of God
4 Lightning Helix
4 Unmake
4 Mana Tithe
2 Akroma’s Vengeance
2 Endless Horizons

SB: 1 Detritivore
SB: 3 Circle of Protection: Red
SB: 3 Boil
SB: 4 Disenchant
SB: 4 Figure of Destiny

Starting with the mana base, It began as Mono White of course, and gradually morphed to Wbr (not for Hide/Seek or a Ranger of Eos engine, but for the powerful sideboard options) and finally we have the Wr brew of current. I am unsure about the number of Flagstones, I think going up to 2, and possibly even 3, could be correct but I am paranoid about taking too many Plains out of the deck. Scrying Sheets is also intriguing, but I feel that in the early game you are too tied up with your mana trying to establish control of the game and by the time you’re into stages 2-3 you should already be recurring Eternal Dragons or Martyrs so the effectiveness of tapping 3 lands to possibly put another Plains into your hand is somewhat negligible. One thing I don’t understand is seeing people putting Boseiju is this deck, what on earth are you trying to resolve with that? Unmake and Helix cannot use colorless mana, everything else is uncounterable or a wrath effect. I suppose you’re trying to force through Boil? But, I mean, it seems like quite a stretch for a card that will rarely have an effect on the game other than randomly screwing you over because you’re land light and rip this.

Oblivion Ring is useful as a catch-all, but Unmake fills that role decently and being instant speed is invaluable. Akroma’s Vengeance is more effective when you can use it with impunity and it’s presence is more or less enough to take care of all the non-creature permanents that need taking care of. Surely when Conflux comes in this spot will be taken by the far more efficient Path to Exile as its drawback is pretty insignificant and can even be used on our own soldiers should it be a dead card otherwise.

Chalice of the Void was a card that I was in love with when I first started playing this deck, but after testing it seems like it looks far better on paper than it actually performs. It is pretty much the formats answer to some powerful strategies, and as such all of these strategies have incorporated ways to deal with it. Not only do we have no acceleration to power out a Chalice for 2, leaving it a bit slow in the zoo matchup as by the time you stabilize and can afford the 4 mana investment that does not alter the board position but they even have answers now that previously did not see too much main deck play in Duergar Hedge-Mage and Oblivion Ring. I think Elves is the only deck that it really shines against, but not too many people are packing the little green guys nowadays and the ones that do are sporting main deck Shaman to deal. Losing Chalice from the deck leaves us with nothing we really care about Engineered Explosives blowing up and nothing for the sideboarded, and in some cases, main deck artifact removal to target. Runed Halo is more appealing to me as a similar type of card, but I’m not really sure that we even need something like this.

Endless Horizons is a card that just hit me in a eureka moment last night, I haven’t gotten a chance to test it but it seems like it might actually be able to help out the Rock matchup which is by far the most difficult challenge this deck faces. It provides us with discard fodder for Raven’s Crime and makes recovering from a Death Cloud much more palatable. It’s not useless outside of that one matchup either, thinning our deck and allowing our mana to be freed up for more useful things such as casting all the gassy spells we’ll be drawing now that there are very few lands left in the deck.

The lone Ranger of Eos is simply there to act as the 5th Martyr, with the added bonus of being much better to rip during the mid to late game. I find it quite useful as sometimes you really just need to gain some life after stabilizing but can’t seem to find that last martyr or Proclamation, it just ups our percentages a little bit and I am never sad to see this guy in my hand.

The rest of the main is pretty much standard, I’ve followed your lead with the Helixes and everything else is pretty standard. I’ve gone down to 3 Eternals due to the inclusion of Horizons, we’ll see how good those work out. I was also tinkering with the idea of going down to 3 Wraths as with the added spot removal, they are sometimes redundant and good players are never going to overextend to the point where you will absolutely wreck them so they’re often just 1 for 1, maybe 2 for 1, unless they’re playing elves in which case they really don’t have a choice as that’s all their deck can really do. I don’t know what 1 card would take its place. Maybe a 3/3 Wrath/Vengeance split, maybe an extra land? I guess if another card pops up that needs to find space then the extra wrath could give way. I don’t know, just something to think about.

The sideboard is where I am perplexed, I feel that having the black cards (Extirpate, Cranial Extraction, maaaaaybe Hide/Seek instead of Disenchant although I remain unsold on that card as of yet) makes things a bit easier but I don’t know if including more CIPT lands would be too much with the 4 Sacred Foundries necessary for the MD Helixes. Boil, COP: Red and Disenchant are standard, Detritvore is pretty awesome in certain matchups, serving as your Ghost Quarter lock. Figure of Destiny is another card I’ve been fooling around with but haven’t gotten to test very much with yet. It seems awesome vs Fae after they SB out their Explosives, and I think it gives us an out versus Rock as they can be unprepared to deal with first turn beats from this deck and we could possibly catch them with their pants down and steal a game. It also allows us to win in a timely manner against TEPS, or any deck for that matter, which could possibly become an issue after some rather long Game 1s.

Well that’s my take on this deck, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing the further evolution of this archetype.

#20 DSMeaker on 03.22.09 at 9:41 pm

I have been playing Mono-White control for quite some time and I have found a very solid answer to both the Rock match-up and all of those Thoughts of Ruin (or any land destruction) problems. My solution: Crucible of Worlds.

I have 3x Crucible in my deck with a bunch of lands that are just plain awesome. Like Fetchlands. I play four fetchies and never miss a land drop. I also play Snow-Lands with Mouth of Ronom. It’s repeatable, colorless creature kill that deals enough damage to take down just about any threat.

“The Goat Land” aka. Springjack pasture has won me numerous games via chump blockers, lifegain, or just making lots of mana for Decree. My favorite though is when Crovax hits the table with 10-15 Goats in play. I tend to win that turn. (“Ahh, I won’t worry about them. They’re just harmless Goats.”)

I now play Path to Exile in the deck; Which tends to deal with any Teeg or Kitchen Finks nonsense.

I have never liked Mana Tithe in the deck, but I guess I will have to give it another shot.

Thanks for your time.

#21 DSMeaker on 03.22.09 at 9:46 pm

One more thing for people to consider in the deck is Planeswalkers. They don’t die to Akroma’s Vengeance, or much else with enough tokens.

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