Good Bye Oko -New Standard with Mono White Aggro-

Joe Soh

Joe Soh

Introduction to the New Standard

Hello new Standard!

Before Oko’s banning, I personally disliked the state of Standard. 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 is so oppressive that it leaves little to no room for deck innovation, as you are going to just lose to Oko. Sure, there’s a variety of decks non-Oko deck that are playable, but I personally don’t think any are better than just playing a basic Oko deck as both finalist revert back to original Simic list. I think Wizards of the Coast (WotC) made a very good decision in banning Oko and allow players to be creative and explore the format once more.

My Favorite Deck

I’ve always been a fan of aggressive decks, and had much success with 《Venerated Loxodon》. So Lee Shi Tian’s Mono-White deck for Twitch Rivals immediately caught my attention.

I like the idea and core of the deck, play as much 1 drops and maximize our chance at turn 3 《Venerated Loxodon》 with 5 creatures.

At the start, I build the deck to grind daily quest as I’ve just switch to MTG Arena from MTG Online in November, but the deck just kept winning! Here’s the decklist:

About The Deck

Faerie GuidemotherLoyal PegasusHanged Executioner

The deck is very straight forward, play a bunch of undercosted white creatures, pump your team and attack! While Mono-White aggro usually suffer in formats where there are a lot of ground blockers, but this iteration of Mono-White aggro has a lot of flying creatures. The flying creatures gives the deck a lot of reach so we can often attack for the win with flying creatures through Cat / Oven combo or various green decks.

Hunted WitnessTithe TakerCastle Ardenvale

The deck is surprisingly resilient and able to fight attrition battles with its token maker and 《Castle Ardenvale》.

Venerated LoxodonHeraldic Banner

On the play, the deck can feel unbeatable if you curve into turn 3 《Venerated Loxodon》 or 《Heraldic Banner》. The deck can produce turn 4 kills occasionally, and it’s quite common to win on turn 5 with a decent hand. The hand below are common scenario against decks without sweepers:

Mono-White-Aggro_Joe Soh

Card Selection

One Drop

Faerie Guidemother

4

Giant Killer

4

Hunted Witness

4


Loyal Pegasus

4

Venerable Knight

4

I like having 20-one drop to maximize our god draw. 《Giant Killer》 and 《Faerie Guidemother》 has flexibility, 《Venerable Knight》 has 2 power, 《Hunted Witness》 is resilient to removal, and 《Loyal Pegasus》 is ridiculous in this deck. With so many creature, it almost always will be able to attack, making it a 2/1 flying for just 1 mana!

Two Drop

Tithe Taker

4

Raise the Alarm

4

《Tithe Taker》 is very good against Cat / Oven decks, as they will have pay mana if they want to use it on our turn. While 《Tithe Taker》 is never bad, 《Raise the Alarm》 is secretly the best card in the deck as it will always enable a turn 3 《Venerated Loxodon》 with less cards.

Three Drop

Hanged Executioner

2

《Hanged Executioner》 is in the deck to serve as 《Raise the Alarm》 5 – 6 (token maker) as well as 《Giant Killer》 5 – 6 (conditional removal). However, the rate is not great if you don’t draw the payoff cards, so I’m only playing 2 in the current build.

Payoffs

Venerated Loxodon

4

Heraldic Banner

4

《Venerated Loxodon》 is the best payoff card, but I think the deck wouldn’t work without 《Heraldic Banner》. 《Heraldic Banner》 enable to deck to have extremely powerful start such as:

With such opening, you are able to attack past removal or throw creatures away to push damage as you will be able to make a 2/1 every turn. 《Heraldic Banner》 is also important as it makes 《Castle Ardenvale》 playable good in this deck as other form of aggressive deck usually struggles to reach 5 mana.

Unbreakable Formation

2

《Unbreakable Formation》 is very situational, as certain games we will outright win with it, while other games it could be a dead card. I started with 1, then went up to 3, but I think 2 is the right number.

No Removals Maindeck

Conclave Tribunal

0

Glass Casket

0

I started the deck with 2 《Conclave Tribunal》 and 2 《Glass Casket》 maindeck as Lee Shi Tian’s list, but eventually decide to cut them. The deck is very good at racing with decks that 《Glass Casket》 is good against such as Mono-Red, Golgari Adventures or Rakdos Knights, which makes me feel it is more important to put creatures on the board. Tribunal is too expensive, and every game I cast it I feel like I’m not winning the game.

Match Up Summary

《Doom Foretold》

Kaya's WrathUnbreakable Formation

This is our best match up. While they spend time casting un-interactive artifacts in the first few turns, we put up a ton of pressure. They only have 2 《Kaya’s Wrath》 to our 2 《Unbreakable Formation》, and we still have token makers as well as 《Raise the Alarm》.

Rakdos Knights

Venerated LoxodonEmbercleave

This is a good match up. We are faster than them and they have little to no removal to interact with our turn 3 loxodon or flying creatures. But Knights variant are very good at stealing wins via 《Embercleave》, so we should always preserve life total whenever possible.

Mono-Red

Hunted WitnessTithe TakerVenerated Loxodon

This is another good match up. We generally match their cards in mana cost. We have 《Hunted Witness》 and 《Tithe Taker》 which are great blockers. On the play, a turn 3 《Venerated Loxodon》 is game over, and still impressive on the draw.

Gruul Adventures

Giant KillerEmbercleave

This matchup is slightly in our favour because of 《Giant Killer》. We will always get to kill their big blocker to put them on defence, which we then cast 《Giant Killer》 to tap it. Again, decks with 《Embercleave》 can steal wins.

Golgari Adventures / Food

Massacre Girl

This matchup is slightly in our favour. We can put pressure extremely fast and have reach via our fliers, but they have 《Massacre Girl》 which will completely destroy us. Put priority casting fliers and we should be able to finish them before they hit 5 mana.

Simic Flash

Tithe TakerWildborn Preserver

This matchup is 50-50. Turn 3 is our big turn, so if we have 《Tithe Taker》 on the play, we should win. If we are on the draw, we could get counter and unable to put pressure. They also have a lot of creatures with flying or reach to block our fliers. The matchup is very draw and die roll dependent, thus making it 50-50.

Rakdos / Jund Sacrifice

Mayhem DevilVenerated Loxodon

This matchup is unfavoured to us, as 《Mayhem Devil》 is very good at killing 1 toughness creatures. However, their deck can be clunky and we could power through 《Mayhem Devil》 occasionally with 《Venerated Loxodon》.

Temur Reclamation

Giant KillerFlame SweepVenerated Loxodon

This matchup is unfavoured to us due to 《Flame Sweep》, but we have the tools to beat it. On the play, put priority on pumping 《Giant Killer》 with 《Venerated Loxodon》 so they become 2/3 to survive 《Flame Sweep》 and we should be able to win them before their 《Wilderness Reclamation》 engine takes over.

Jeskai Fires

Deafening Clarion

This matchup extremely tough. 《Deafening Clarion》 is just too hard to beat.

Tips & Tricks Playing The Deck

Moving Forward

Venerable KnightHealer's Hawk

《Venerable Knight》 hasn’t impressed me in most of the games. Trying to attack with 《Savannah Lions》 in this format doesn’t feel great as there is too many ground blockers. I may try to swap them out for 《Healer’s Hawk》, as the deck seems to win whenever I’m able to put multiple fliers on board.

While I had a lot of fun playing the deck and climbing the ranks on MTG Arena, the deck may not be top tier as it struggles a little against the best deck in the format. However, the deck is a great choice if you are looking to climb the ranks on MTG Arena as your games are fast and simple. The deck should also be great you have a very good understanding of your local metagame for events such as FNM and WPNQ *hint lots of 《Doom Foretold》, Mono-Red or Knights*. Or just give yourself a reason to play this deck if you just love casting turn 3 《Venerated Loxodon》 as much as I do!

Joe Soh (Twitter)

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Joe Soh

Joe Soh Joe Soh is a veteran player from Malaysia. He achieved many things like four Grand Prix top 8, winning Nationals twice, and went 11th place at Pro Tour San Diego 2007 (Two-Headed Giant) with his brother; Terry Soh. Recently, his constructed skill is rewarded and he won the whole thing at Grand Prix Kobe 2017 with an interesting Orzhov Eldrazi, and went 9th place at Mythic Championship Cleveland 2019 with Mardu Vampire. Read more articles by Joe Soh