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By: Plainswalker83, Marcus Brunstetter
Oct 10 2017 12:00pm
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It has been quite a while since I have written an article or even able to play magic online. Sadly, my laptop died. It was not worth the cost to fix it, so my only option was to get a new one. My funds are pretty tight so in order for me to afford a new laptop I needed to sell my Magic Online collection. Thankfully the crew at are amazing and the process was quick and easy.

I write this on my new laptop and honestly, I am surprising myself because I was going to step away from the game completely. During this break I did not watch any magic coverage nor did I read any articles. That was a strange feeling for me but I did continue to play at my local game store (where I happen to work). Playing there has made me realize a few things and it because of that recent “epiphany” that I am writing this article.

I used to think of myself as a competitive player. I wanted to “do” something with magic. I wanted to accomplish something. Like make it to the Magic Online Championship Series or qualify for the Pro Tour. I always put so much pressure on myself but I always ended up falling so short. That attitude started to burn me out and even discourage me from wanting to play more. I knew I could never afford the “best deck” or have a huge collection. I also could not put the time needed into grinding and testing etc.

I have learned from playing at my store that I really did just enjoy the game. I was convinced to play a bit more commander. I bought the Vampire precon deck and slowly started adding to it. I was enjoying just playing casual magic. Knowing that nothing was really going to be gained except a few hours of spending time playing a game that was meant for fun.

I made the decision that I want to keep playing. I have been playing Standard in paper but mainly because I am running a Standard League. If I am going to play online I want to work on non-rotating formats. My eventual goal will to be to get into Legacy and 1v1 commander but until then I am going back to my old stand by and that is Modern.

Kumagoro42 just put out a great article covering the current state of Modern. Since I have been out of the loop that was a great place for me to start. Since I don’t need to be super competitive I don’t need to watch hours of coverage and have the best deck. In fact my budget will be very small so I will be doing what I enjoy brewing and building upon fringe decks that I really enjoy playing. Looking around I found this list by Shaun McLaren and if you know anything about me, you know I would want to try it out.

I have always enjoyed playing mono white. It is nostalgic for me and it is where I have the most fun. It feels strange for me to not play a deck that has white in it. This deck definitely has plenty going for it. I will not pretend for a second that is top tier but what it can do is beat some of those top decks.

I always wanted to build with Oketra's Monument in Modern but I felt it would be too clunky. However, what I like is that Shaun’s list is a version of Soul Sisters. I like that he has the Martyr of Sands and Serra Ascendant combination. It is very easy to have a 6/6 flyer on turn 2. Sadly, what I have seen is a huge surge of Fatal Push. It feels bad to have your 6/6 so easily dealt with. What this deck does is make plenty of other threats to keep your opponent on their toes.


Squadron Hawk 


These cards do a great job making sure you have plenty of creatures to cast to take advantage of the Monument. I may increase Conquistador to a 4 of but I will have to test the deck first.


Ranger of Eos


This card is another way to keep casting threats and with the cost reduction it is an even better card. Most times you will be grabbing a Martyr and Ascendant but if you are already high on life you can just go and search up two 6/6 flyers to end the game.


Windbrisk Heights


The goal is to be attacking with 3 or more creatures and these are your rewards. Flipping over an Honor of the Pure or even a Spectral Procession is pretty sweet but mainly anything will be good unless that is you flip a Landing.

Legion's Landing is something I like as soon as I saw it. I grabbed one for commander right away but it makes sense that it is seeing a lot of play in other places. A one mana enchantment that makes a 1/1 lifelinker is fine. When it flips and starts cranking out tokens it is even better.

One of my favorite lands was Kjeldoran Outpost and Landing does a nice impression of it. I also love the way that spell ramps you giving you an extra land when it flips.

Of course, this deck also runs Path to Exile one of the best removal spells in the format. One of the reasons Modern decks play white to begin with.

Overall this deck looks like a lot of fun and before I try to build my own version I figure I should at least try what Shaun used. However, there are a lot of creatures in Modern that would go very well in a deck like this. So, let us look at some of the alternatives.

Soul Warden Soul's Attendant

I may sub out the Martyr and Ascendant combo for the consistent sisters. This deck has a ton of creatures and the lifegain can keep you from losing to giant Death’s Shadows or random bolts of lightning. It may just be better to run the Ascendant but as a mentioned losing it to a push does not feel great.

Two other creatures that are at the top of my list are these two:

                                                    Selfless_Spirit  Archangel Avacyn | Avacyn, the Purifier


With them rotating out of the Standard the prices dropped significantly. They both do a great job at keeping your team alive and they happen to work very well together. When Avacyn flips she can take care of your opponent’s small creatures and leave you with a very nice threat.

The sideboard will need to fixed slightly until my budget increases. Kataki seems great and other creatures like Fiend Hunter or Banisher Priest.

Another great option is having some Planeswalkers in the sideboard as well. The first one that I wanted to use was Gideon, Ally of Zendikar his price also is more affordable due to him being out of Standard. He does exactly what you want. Makes more creatures and also gives you an anthem effect. Another option would be Elspeth, Knight-Errant. Both would be good to bring in against decks that have a plan for monument. There are plenty more possibilities and I will be doing my best to find the optimal build for this deck.

As I work on having some fun in Modern I want to start another journey and that is where I will need your help. I have never ever built a commander deck from the ground up before. All I have done was buy some precons and build upon them. My first thought is to build a mono white list with Oketra as the commander or maybe playing some sort of Vampire tribal once those cards are legal on Magic Online. I would love some input first as to what kind of “staples” I need for commander and how to go about building from the ground up. You can do so in comments or find me online. I am excited to start this new journey and I look forward to enjoying the game a lot more.

Until Next Time!



Pauper by Plainswalker83 at Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:22
Plainswalker83's picture

Thanks David! Yes I will now be looking into pauper per your suggestion. I can't believe I never placed that you are writing as well! That is great to here. I will now be going back to read your stuff for some information. I hope you are doing well!

I recommend removing all the by MichelleWong at Sun, 10/15/2017 - 04:35
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I recommend removing all the Conquistadors (and adding for example more Spectral Processions). I am not a fan of the Conquistadors, even with anthem effects.

Thanks by Plainswalker83 at Thu, 10/19/2017 - 08:55
Plainswalker83's picture

Yes 3 mana for 3 tokens is better however with the Conquistador and Monument I am getting a token as well. And filling my hand with more creatures. This deck is still under construction so I will be testing a ton of different cards.

Ajani's Pridemate is sad. by stsung at Mon, 10/16/2017 - 06:40
stsung's picture

Ajani's Pridemate is sad.

Well, Pridemate is not Ideal by Plainswalker83 at Thu, 10/19/2017 - 08:59
Plainswalker83's picture

Well, Pridemate is not Ideal but he is Budget. I am currently using him now and he gets pretty huge. My plan is to build something closer to the decklist I posted. I will be testing as much as I can. Thank for reading :)

Glad you are back! The card by stsung at Fri, 10/20/2017 - 07:15
stsung's picture

Glad you are back! The card is not ideal but can get the job done. So before you get to an optimal list it is a nice card to include. Especially now that you have the new Outpost in addition to all the soul sisters.

Thanks for the welcome! yes by Plainswalker83 at Fri, 10/20/2017 - 10:48
Plainswalker83's picture

Thanks for the welcome! yes he is in my list currently :)