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By: allstar997, A.J. Schwab
Oct 28 2011 11:16am
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White Weenie is a deck I've been playing off and on for a while now.  It was the first competitive deck I built in MODO and I just keep coming back to it no matter how many tickets I burn building Affinity, Goblins, UR Post, etc.  What I like most about the deck is something I've seen other writers like Nighthavk (article here) mention: WW doesn't have any amazing matchups but it's got a solid chance against everything.  It will never attract the same mixture of awe and rage as Infect or TPPS (The Pauper Perfect Storm) but that's because it's difficult to get mad at a deck that typically wins off of 2-4 points of damage per turn.  It's the little engine that could.


Before I go into the changes, I want to start with a baseline WW build:



There is nothing glaringly wrong with this build and it will definitely take down some matches.  However, what frustrated me the most was Leonin Skyhunter.  it didn't make any sense.  an efficient bear with evasion should be this deck's lifeblood.  What I slowly realized was that I was sick of it being outclassed.  I lost far too many of them to Bonesplitter'd Squadron Hawks, Mulldrifters, Liliana's Specters, Pestermites, the list goes on.  Once I slap a Bonesplitter on my evasive bear it should be saying, "You now have 5 turns to find removal."  All the creatures I mentioned above are very common in the Pauper world and they all answer Skyhunter while still doing something else productive.

I needed a different type of evasive bear.  Enter Soltari Trooper.

Soltari Trooper

White Weenie is very good at stalling out the board.  Squadron Hawk, Kor Skyfisher, and Razor Golem are all solid offensively but they're arguably even better at blocking by surviving combat and/or winning through attrition.  Once I had the board stalled out what I really wanted was something unblockable rather than just a flyer.  Soltari Trooper is the best answer to this problem.  While it's more vulnerable to removal than Skyhunter (especially sweepers like Seismic Shudder) I feel the higher quality evasion is enough of an advantage to be worth it.

There was also a change that seemed to be catching on in the Dailies.  In the past, Lone Missionary and sometimes Aven Riftwatcher have filled the lifegain role in WW as they are incredibly efficient and work well in conjunction with Kor Skyfisher.  As best as I could tell from the tournament results, it seems that AndreyS has popularized the use of Suture Priest in that role recently.

Suture Priest

Suture Priest has been used to varying degrees in WW ever since the release of New Phyrexia but more commonly as a sideboard card.  It is definitely weaker than Lone Missionary against aggressive red decks but it helps give you a better chance against any Empty the Warrens decks.  It's nearly impossible for WW to race Storm Combo to 20 but with Suture Priest in the mix the little engine only has to get in 6-8 points of damage to put the combo player in a precarious situation.  It does this while still having a shot at gaining enough life to make the difference against Burn and Goblins.  It's not the absolute best hate card in either matchup but it does what a maindeck card is supposed to and performs admirably all around.

The last changes don't require a ton of explanation.  I like having 1-2 Prismatic Strands in the maindeck as they do a solid job of hosing the combo decks while rarely if ever being a dead card.  Worst case scenario they can be used as a combat trick to gain an incremental advantage.  Also, I feel that 3/3 is the right split for Benevolent Bodyguard and Icatian Javelineers as they are somewhat situational and can be outclassed quickly.  I'm not a huge fan of Unmake since it is only better than Journey to Nowhere in certain specific situations and 3 mana is a lot to pay for spot removal in Pauper.  Finally, I prefer to run 3 Guardian of the Guildpact due to its high power level, and I like 2 Secluded Steppe to help break through those midgame land pockets.  This brings us to the following maindeck:



I'll just work my way down the Default WW sideboard as a way to highlight my current preferences.

  • Dust to Dust can be a gamebreaking card against Affinity.  However, it can also feel like the proverbial knife in a gunfight when you're staring down 2 Carapace Forgers, 2 Artifact Lands, and a Springleaf Drum on turn 3.  Sure you can wreck their mana and take them off of metalcraft but how long is it going to take a deck with 40 artifacts to find 2 more to plunk down.  I prefer a mix of Kor Sanctifiers and Divine OfferingKor Sanctifiers because it can pick off a Myr Enforcer and then pick up a Bonesplitter and be ready to take down a Carapace ForgerDivine Offering because of its ability to take down Myr Enforcer while generating a significant life point swing.  These two cards are also far more valuable in matchups like the Mirror where Dust to Dust is less likely to be the powerhouse it can be against Affinity.
  • Crimson Acolyte is fine right where it is.  It's one of the reasons you're playing white.  Just to have access to it games 2 and 3 against any red deck.  Plus, it can hold back Atog against Affinity and protect your team from removal against UR Post.
  •  Holy Light is another common sideboard card that I've never been as impressed with as everyone else seems to be.  In the case of Storm I'm usually just as happy with a Prismatic Strands and in the case of Goblins, the other matchup where it should be useful, it often only wipes out a third to half their creatures at best thanks to Goblin Sledder and Mogg Raider.  On this same principle, a lot of the UR and Mono Red Empty the Warrens decks side in one of those two creatures just to invalidate cards like Holy Light.
  • Standard Bearer is another one that I think is pretty universally acknowledged.  It most obviously gives Infect headaches but it also has plenty of utility against Burn, Goblins, Stompy, and any midrange or control deck packing a fair amount of targeted removal.
  • Benevolent Unicorn is the only card that I recommend that is intended almost solely for one particular matchup: TPPS.  This card is basically just there to help make a particularly awful matchup a little more bearable.  It's of some use against Burn as well but it's main purpose is to help even out the percentages a little bit against the TPPS grinders.  This slot is still very much up for debate but for right now it's the best option against them and gets around Duress nicely.

Just as some additional advice on sideboarding I've been having pretty good luck siding out 2-4 Razor Golems in some matchups.  Specifically, it seems to work well against any deck that you think may be siding in artifact destruction.  In the mirror, it can either turn Dust to Dust into a dead card if they went that route hoping for a blowout or it can ruin a lot of the effectiveness of Divine Offering if they're on the same plan as we are.  I was hesitant to side the Razor Golems out at first since they are one of the best creatures this deck has game 1 but with Soltari Trooper to punch damage through I haven’t found myself missing them too much yet.  Time and testing will tell if this is correct.

So, now we come to my current list:



This is the list that took me to a first place finish at a recent TPDC event.  That by no means validates this as any kind of definitive list but it has served me well lately so I thought I ought to share my thoughts on it with the community.

I've enjoyed this site for several months now as a reader and would like to contribute to that pool of content from time to time as best as I can.  So if you have any comments or suggestions regarding this article or for future articles let me know.  Thanks for reading.

allstar997 on MTGO


Thank you. FINALLY a well by deluxeicoff at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 12:47
deluxeicoff's picture

Thank you. FINALLY a well written article on this site. WW is as you say, always a solid choice, never a slamdunk - but if you like to grind out your skills...there's no better! Archer introduced the Trooper tech about 9 months back, he ran 2 maindeck. Not sold on priest, as it seems light on meat with so many 1/1's...but it's all player preference. Keep in mind WW players...Flaring Pain WILL AND DOES Kill Acolytes/Guardian of Guildpacts, and trumps Prismatic Strands. So many times I've seen people do a digital head-scratch when they go to the graveyard after a Flaring Pain is cast.

Again, thanks...and if anyone is bored or wants yet even more info on WW (although about 2 years back) this article is also relevant:

keep it up!


Personally - I can't think of by deluxeicoff at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 12:52
deluxeicoff's picture

Personally - I can't think of a time where I don't want bodyguard...I'd argue 4 is always the correct number to have..., perhaps cutting priest to 3 - Additionally, the sideboard in the first deck is VASTLY superior for tournament play...I was about to write (imo) but it really isn't - it is simply better, my 'opinion' has nothing to do with it :)

Hmmm by grapplingfarang at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 13:31
grapplingfarang's picture

Good article and white weenie is a solid deck. I don't know about saying it has a solid match against everything though. As a storm player, I consider white weenie my easiest matchup of any of the popular decks, and it's not really close.

Thanks for the feedback. I by allstar997 at Sat, 10/29/2011 - 13:27
allstar997's picture

Thanks for the feedback. I wasn't sure whether to expect any on my first article or not but I greatly appreciate it.

@deluxeicoff: You may have a point about swapping a Priest for a Bodyguard. Between Trooper and Priest, I was definitely more happy with the Trooper. I believe I was fortunate, at least in that particular TPDC, because a heavy portion of the metagame was mono black or UB medium control. In those matchups the Priest forces them to either lose life just trying to win the attrition war or waste removal on a 1/1 rather than one of my actual clocks. By the way, I checked out the article of yours that you linked to and that was very interesting. It kinda made me want to try Shades again. I believe I originally took them out because I got frustrated with having my suspended creature bounced as soon as it came into play but it would be nice to have a late game mana sink again.

@grapplingfarang: Agreed. I still believe that WW has a fighting chance against everything, but storm is arguably it's worst matchup. WW just doesn't have enough ways to interact with the storm player even post-board.

Yeah, I don't like shade much by deluxeicoff at Sun, 10/30/2011 - 19:11
deluxeicoff's picture

Yeah, I don't like shade much either actually...but I feel you need that or ORDER main to justify lategame flood issues. Shade is a 'win more' card imo. Kami of False Hope is a fantastic 1cc vs. storm if you find yourself facing it over/over.