Is Mono-White Humans a Pioneer Contender?

Hello everyone!  Welcome to Standard Weekly!

This week we will continue to look at decks for Caffeinated Gamers Store Championship event.  The format for the Store Championship is Pioneer.  Last week, I looked at the Rakdos Midrange deck which arguably is one of the best, if not the best deck in the format.  This week we will delve into Mono-White Humans. which was one of the most popular decks at Pro Tour Phyrexia.

The top performer with the deck at Pro Tour Phyrexia was Takumi Matsuura.  Here is his version of the deck.

MONO-WHITE HUMANS, by Takumi Matsuura Top 8 Pro Tour Phyrexia


  • 4 Luminarch Aspirant

  • 1 Kytheon, Hero of Akros

  • 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

  • 4 Thalia’s Lieutenant

  • 4 Recruitment Officer

  • 4 Hopeful Initiate

  • 3 Skrelv, Defector Mite

  • 4 Brutal Cathar

  • 2 Dauntless Bodyguard

  • 4 Adeline, Resplendent Cathar


  • 4 Ossification

LANDS: (22)

  • 14 Plains

  • 2 Castle Ardenvale

  • 4 Mutavault

  • 2 Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire


  • 4 Portable Hole

  • 2 Guardian of Faith

  • 4 Wedding Announcement

  • 3 Reidane, God of the Worthy

  • 2 Sword of Forge and Frontier

Mono-White Human decks take advantage of the tribal support/synergy provided in the past several years.  All of the creatures in the deck, with the exception of Kytheon, Hero of Akros, Thalia’s Lieutenant, and Dauntless Bodyguard come from sets released over the past few years.

The stars of the deck are Thalia’s Lieutenant and Adeline, Resplendent Cathar.  Each proves important value to the deck. 

Thalia's Lieutenant-0

Adeline, Resplendent Cathar-0

Thalia’s Lieutenant gives a +1/+1 counter to each other human in play when it enters the battlefield.  Then it gets a +1/+1 counter each time a human enters play.  Next Adeline is a human token engine.  Each time you attack with Adeline in play, you get a 1/1 human creature token that triggers Thalia’s Lieutenant when it enters play.  This combination has lethal consequences when it is left unchecked by your opponent.

Takumi’s version of the deck takes advantage of two new cards from Phyrexia: All Will Be One: Skrelv, Defector Mite and Ossification. 

Skrelv, Defector Mite-0

Skrelv’s addition to the deck was for creature protection.  Skrelv for one mana or two life can tap and you select a color that gives a target creature hexproof from that color and make that creature unblockable from the chosen color.  This ability is mostly a defensive ability, but the offensive ability to prevent the chosen creature from being blocked can finish games.  While Skrelv provides protection, Ossification for two mana exiles a target creature or planeswalker.  Removal was one of the weaknesses of previous versions of the deck.  Having the ability to take down a troublesome creature or planeswalker with Ossification helped the deck advance its game plan.  Both cards had a very real impact on the deck’s success.

Finally, I would change the sideboard slightly depending on your local metagame.  The deck has a difficult time dealing with artifacts and enchantments because outside of Hopeful Initiate’s ability to destroy an artifact or enchantment the deck has no other way of dealing with them.  I would like to see something like Disenchant added to the sideboard to help deal with these cards.

That’s it for this week!  I’ll see you next time!