A Renewed Devotion to White

Posted in Feature on December 10, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

Even though Grand Prix Albuquerque featured a full seven devotion decks in the Top 8, devotion to white was nowhere to be found. That angers Heliod, and he demands tribute, or at the very least a little recognition here and there. Luckily, Dennis Bogdanov has a list that's sufficiently devoted to the God of the Sun, and Heliod rewarded Dennis with a Grand Prix Trial win as payment.

Heliod, God of the Sun

The first question to ask when looking at a devotion list is what does devotion do for you? Devotion to black mainly means that Gray Merchant of Asphodel is going to drive a hard bargain, and devotion to blue implies that Thassa will be riding in on a giant wave, but what does devotion to white mean? Heliod is solid, but certainly not the only answer. In this case, devotion to white powers up Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, which then lets this deck cast Angel of Serenity, activate Heliod, and drop a steady stream of smaller threats.

Devotion enablers are also very important, and white is lucky enough to be home to some of the best. Precinct Captain and Boros Reckoner are very good early drops even without the bonus of ramping up devotion, and they are joined by a number of noncreature permanents as well. Spear of Heliod sticks around against removal, pumps your entire team, and makes it trivial to have Heliod himself active. Ajani, Elspeth, and Gideon are all double-colored, powerful, and resistant to removal (Gideon especially). All the Planeswalkers help shore up the deck's weakness to spot removal, something all the devotion decks struggle with to some extent.

This deck even has shades of a WW beatdown deck, with four Brave the Elements making Soldier of the Pantheon, Imposing Sovereign, and the aforementioned Captain and Reckoner all unblockable and unkillable. Combine these threats with Spear and Ajani and you might accidentally kill your opponent before you get to cast Angel of Serenity.

Lastly, the four main-deck Blood Barons are a nod to the popularity of mono-black, and certainly can't hurt to have in this format.

Dennis Bogdanov's Devotion to White

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