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When I got on the plane for #SCGINVI, I was all set to play Zombies. Once I arrived at Todd Anderson's place, he mentioned he was playing W/U Monument. I took a look at the decklist, and immediately knew I would play it.
Adding blue to the deck gave it extra game against the midrange and control decks that could go over the top of your two-power army. It also made it so the deck had other options instead of low-impact cards like Aviary Mechanic.
I didn't bring any Hanweir Militia Captains or anything else for the deck with me and neither did Josh Cho. I happily purchased two copies of the deck because I knew how great it was going to be.
And I was right.
Todd went 7-0-1 in Standard to secure his spot in the Top 8 and I went 7-1, with the loss likely being an incredibly complicated punt. Unfortunately, my Modern record kept me out of the Top 8. Despite that, I walked away from the tournament feeling great.
This is what I played:
- 4 Bygone Bishop
- 4 Cloudblazer
- 4 Hanweir Militia Captain
- 4 Selfless Spirit
- 4 Spell Queller
- 4 Thraben Inspector
Why Is This Deck Good?
Do you remember G/W Tokens? W/U Monument reminded me of that deck a lot.
It's a midrange creature deck with a great late-game plan. In the early-game, you control the battlefield with small creatures, either by attacking your opponent or blocking as necessary. Going long, you have cards like Oketra's Monument, Bygone Bishop, Cloudblazer, and Dusk // Dawn to gain card advantage.
The real advantage comes from the fact that Zombies exists in the metagame and W/U Monument is also a deck with small creatures. Opponents will frequently sideboard in cards like Magma Spray and Sweltering Suns. Meanwhile, I would be sideboarding out some of my smaller creatures for bigger cards, making their removal largely useless.
It seemed like my opponents were always trying to fight the wrong battles and I was able to easily capitalize on that. W/U Monument had some counterspells, some good removal, and great card advantage, which made me feel like I could handle any situation.
There's a lovely trio of cards in the deck that provide your card advantage.
Without these, the deck would not exist. W/U Monument needs a consistent source of card flow to function, as it needs to find specific answers to certain problems in Standard.
To make Bygone Bishop as good as possible, you need as many cheap creatures as possible. It's not uncommon for W/U Monument to pass up playing a creature on turn 2 so that it can set up Oketra's Monument into Bygone Bishop plus something else. Assuming you aren't under too much pressure, winning from there is usually trivial.
Cloudblazer is miles better than the Archangel Avacyn that the Mono-White Monument decks play. At least in Game 1, you're trying to build a wide battlefield. While Archangel Avacyn might not be killable with what they have, it's far too likely they can remove one of your smaller creatures, trigger your Avacyn, and be able to alpha strike you.
The counterspells give you game against things like Glorybringer and planeswalkers, and sometimes they answer a sweeper. Mono-White Monument was generally helpless, whereas playing against W/U Monument is incredibly difficult. Not only are the in-game decisions tough, but you never know what sort of plan they're on. Couple that with trying to play around their interaction, and you're going to walk away feeling like you had no right decisions.
Metallic Rebuke is the counterspell of choice because it only costs a single blue mana. If you have Thraben Inspector or Oketra's Monument, you get a little discount. If you have Bygone Bishop and a stack of Clues, Metallic Rebuke becomes incredible.