Mono White Humans for Beginners – Holding the Line with Mark Pinder

2026
Hold the Line – Evolving a MTG Event Deck with Mark Pinder

Mono White Humans for Beginners – Holding the Line

One of the most difficult times of the year for many players is when we have the October set rotation, what was a finely tuned deck can lose many key components or may even be unplayable after rotation due to key elements leaving the deck. This article discusses the journey taken by my partner Cecile and I, to give Cecile a new deck she could be proud of.

The list Cecile had prior to rotation follows, the deck was Mono White Humans.

15 Plains
3 Cathedral of War
2 Cavern of Souls
2 Ghost Quarter

2 Accorder Paladin
4 Champion of the Parish
4 Doomed Traveler
2 Grand Abolisher
2 Hero of Bladehold
4 Fiend Hunter
3 Sublime Archangel
4 Mirran Crusader
4 Knight of Glory

4 Honor of the Pure
4 Oblivion Ring
2 Angelic Destiny

Sideboard

2 Celestial Purge
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Nevermore
3 Dismember
3 Suture Priest
3 Day of Judgment

The first thing we looked at was what would be leaving the deck and it was quite a shock when we looked like we were losing about one third of the deck.

2 Accorder Paladin
2 Grand Abolisher
2 Hero of Bladehold
4 Mirran Crusader
4 Honor of the Pure
2 Angelic Destiny

Now these were big losses as the main win conditions tended to be Mirran Crusader, Hero of Bladehold and Angelic Destiny as a final finisher. Losing Honor of the Pure could also mean a loss in incremental damage.

The first thing we decided to look at was their enough “Good” Humans to keep the deck viable ?

Precinct Captain
Elite Inquisitor
Azorius Arrestor
Mentor of the Meek
Silverblade Paladin
Odric, Master Tactician
Riders of Gavony

These cards were all options and at this point we both knew we could do some good things with Humans and with the previous success with the Exalted Mechanic we would look at maxing out on this front though we stopped short of adding non human Exalted creatures apart from the insane Sublime Archangel.

Dryad Militant
Bonds of Faith
Ajani, Caller of the Pride
Rest in Peace

These were other white cards that we were considering for the deck. At this point we also considered Humans as a tribe as with shock lands in Return to Ravnica we have some very interesting opportunities to move into White Blue or White Green. However, at the time we decided to stay Mono White as we could always move down this route later and it would be a big investment in the mana base alone.

The Blue White options I will be discussing in another article as I look to evolve my Path to Victory built around Odric, Master Tactician. The Green – White option has Mayor of Avabruck as a two drop pump and of course Rancor immediately makes any creature a bigger threat coupled with the Selesyna threats from Selesyna Charm with Centaur Healer and Loxodon Smiter.

The first Human to make the deck was the Silverblade Paladin, this straight swaps for the Mirran Crusader and whilst it has no protection the pairing potential makes for an explosive guy.

Elite Inquisitor is a card that I’ve never been too keen on but when the format rotated we gave another look, we then rightly reviewed the local meta game to add this card main deck to trouble the Zombies, Werewolves and Vampires players. At worst a 2/2 body with first strike and Vigilance is not too shabby.

Precinct CaptainPrecinct Captain has yet to see play, mainly because until recently we hadn’t pulled any from a booster or be able to trade for them, the card does have potential to make the deck but currently Azorius Arrestor is doing a sterling job of detaining potential threats.

Mentor the Meek is an enigma of a card, it always seems to be good when an opponent resolves it and plays creatures, whenever we use it the results are less than impressive.

On the whole the loss of Honor of the Pure we hoped could be soaked up by Exalted creatures, however, this seemed a little weak after some initial testing so we added Ajani, Caller of the Pride to give some more offense to the deck and Bonds of Faith returned to the fold as it’s multi-functional to shut down an opponent’s creature or beef up a human.

 

The New Deck

14 Plains
4 Cathedral of War
2 Cavern of Souls
2 Ghost Quarter

4 Champion of the Parish
4 Doomed Traveler
4 Knight of Glory
4 Fiend Hunter
4 Silverblade Paladin
4 Sublime Archangel
2 Elite Inquisitor
2 Azorius Arrester
3 Riders of Gavony

2 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
4 Oblivion Ring
2 Bonds of Faith

Sideboard

2 Terminus
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3 Nevermore
2 Elite Inquisitor
4 Rest in Peace
2 Warpriest of Thune

 

Does the deck work ? Yes!

Coupled with the fact Cecile has developed as a player Cecile has become a really difficult opponent, I can tell whenever I hear the sighs and groans of her opponents when her pairing is announced. The results the deck has had with Cecile as its pilot have been nothing short of wonderful, Cecile has the highest number of Standard Event wins since rotation in Grimsby and most of us still have the ringing in our ears from the ear splitting scream from when she won the Return to Ravnica Gameday dashing my hopes in the final.

 

Cecile Gameday

The question now really is what does Gatecrash hold? You get Boros (White Red) and Orzhov (White Black) options added into the mix, will the deck maintain its strength in February or will we need to again look at the deck to keep it fresh and lively.

Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing.

Mark

Mono White Humans for Beginners - Holding the Line with Mark Pinder
One of the most difficult times of the year for many players is when we have the October set rotation, what was a finely tuned deck can lose many key components or may even be unplayable after rotation due to key elements leaving the deck.

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