Just when you think that the Standard format is completely figured out and that a few certain decks will be dominating a tournament, something completely different turns up. This was certainly the case with the Mono White Devotion deck that saw the light last week, and was brought and improved to Prague this weekend. One person who was quick to jump the Mono White train was Danish World Magic Cup champion Thomas Enevoldsen. Who made himself famous for favoring Mono White when he won Grand Prix Strasbourg in 2013.
Enevoldsen was glad to share how he came to bring Mono White to the table in Prague.
"I received the the decklist from my friend Craig Wescoe who played it at a World Magic Cup Qualifier last weekend. He wrote to me and told me to play it at the Grand Prix because it's really good. I gave him my list of Mono White in Legacy for a Grand Prix a while back, so I guess he wanted to repay the favor." he said.
It turns out Wescoe didn't just send Enevoldsen his updated list, but also a detailed sideboard plan. A golden ticket for anyone, like Enevoldsen, who is busy with a full time job and perhaps doesn't have as much time for Magic as he'd like.
When I caught up with Enevoldsen he was 3-1 on the day after two well-earned byes. And he said he really liked the deck.
"It seems really, really powerful. Although it has had problems with the five copies of Stormbreath Dragon that I've faced. Other than that it seems like a good deck and I think it has a game against the whole format."
Thomas Enevoldsen, Mono White aficionado posing with his favorite Plainswalker.
The goal of the deck is to put a lot of White mana symbols on the battlefield and use Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to fuel up Mastery of the Unseen. It also plays the full four copies of Wingmate Roc, which according to Enevoldsen is a really good card in the format right now.
The deck also has smaller creatures in four Soldier of the Pantheon and two Kytheon, Hero of Akros, so it can also get quite aggressive starts. The fact that the roles between being on the offense and on the defense changes during games was one of the things Envoldsen liked about the deck, and he exemplifies it with a key card in the deck.
"I think the most important card is Knight of the White Orchid. He's the guy that makes everything come together. Because your curve is sort of weird. It's very low, but also very high. Knight of the White Orchids helps to get you from point A to B and fills the role of a low curve card, but also gets you to your high end."
When asked about the deck's weakness. Enevoldsen went back to the aforementioned Stormbreath Dragon. A big problem, but not unsolvable.
"Much like against True-Name Nemesis in Legacy there are strange cards that you can bring in to fight it even though you can't target it. Stormbreath Dragon truly is this decks True-Name Nemesis. But I have have Celestial Flare in the sideboard and you can also play Elspeth, Sun's Champion, which matches up well with Wingmate Roc and Archangel of Tithes."
The World Magic Cup winner would definitely recommend the deck for anyone looking to win their World Magic Cup Qualifier in a few weeks and said he might once again sleeve up those Plains to try to make the Danish team. He also had some sweet plays he was very happy to share from his first matches of the day.
"The problem with the Archangel of Tithes is usually that the turn you cast it isn't when it affects your opponents blocks. But if you get to manifest it on end step and unmorph it before combat it really catches your opponent off guard. I had a nice situation where my Abzan opponent tapped low and I could Alpha swing for the win because I had a manifested Angel that I could unmorph on my turn. There are a lot of nice tricks in this deck. And I like that!"
His fellow Dane Michael Bonde was playing the deck too. And when I reminded Envoldsen that he and Bonde played in the Top 8 of Grand Prix Strasbourg in the Mono White mirror, he elaborated about their plans.
"Michael Bonde is 4-0 with the deck I believe. So the plan is drawn up to once again play each other in the Top 8 again. Now we just have to execute it."
While Thomas Envoldsen didn't want to give away the exact details on his version of the deck, he admitted that it was quite similar to the one that Sam Black played this weekend at the World Championships in Seattle. So here's that list for reference.