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Budget Magic: $97 (67 tix) Modern Mono-White Blink


Jeeka, ma chi uula, Budget Magic lovers! It's that time again. This week, we are heading to Modern to play a deck that's looking to string together a bunch of small, seemingly insignificant advantages, with the help of some really tricky cards, and in the end turns these small advantages into game and eventually match wins: Mono-White Blink! While our deck this week isn't overloaded with raw power (although we do occasionally end up with an Akroma, Angel of Fury on Turn 4), it makes up for it by being really hard for our opponent to play against. We have a lot of cards we can play at instant speed that fizzle opponents' removal spells and attacks and disrupt their plans just enough that we can (hopefully) eke out a win!

We'll talk more about Mono-White Blink after the videos, but first a quick reminder: if you enjoy the Budget Magic series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube Channel to keep up on all of the latest and greatest.

Mono-White Blink: Deck Tech

Mono-White Blink vs. Living End

Mono-White Blink vs. Skred Red

Mono-White Blink vs. GW Tron

Mono-White Blink vs. Sun and Moon

Mono-White Blink vs. Affinity

The Deck

Mono-White Blink is a pretty hard deck to describe because we don't have one singular game plan. Instead, our game plan depends on our opponent's game plan. We have the tools to take the aggressive role in many matchups, curving out with efficient creatures and backing them up with some tricks, but we can also be the control deck, generating card advantage with Wall of Omens, Thraben Inspector, and our blink effects before eventually running our opponent out of resources and winning the game. 

The Blink

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Restoration Angel and Cloudshift are two of the most important cards in our deck because they not only give us a way to blink our other creatures for value, but they can be played at instant speed, which allows for all kinds of tricks like blinking something in response to a removal spell or fizzling a big attack after blocks are declared. Restoration Angel is clearly the more powerful of the two, because apart from being a blink effect, it's also a very powerful creature. Having flash means we can play it at the end of our opponent's turn to pressure planeswalkers or our opponent's life total; plus, having four toughness (and costing four mana) means it dodges a reasonable amount of popular removal like Lightning Bolt, Lightning Helix and Abrupt Decay

Cloudshift, on the other hand, might look funny, but it's actually extremely powerful since it's so efficient. Being only one mana allows us to do things like play a face-down Akroma, Angel of Fury on Turn 4 and immediately blink it face up, giving us a huge threat. It's also one of our best ways to blink a Flickerwisp at the end of our turn, which lets us flicker away one of our opponent's lands and put them down a mana for their next turn. 

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It might be tempting to lump Flickerwisp in with Restoration Angel and Cloudshift because it can exile something and return it to the battlefield, but it's actually hugely different in how it plays because instead of immediately returning whatever was "blinked," it returns it at the end of turn (often called "flickering"). While this might not sound like a huge difference, it opens the door for a whole bunch of tricks. For one thing, we can use Cloudshift, Restoration Angel, or a second Flickerwisp to have our Flickerwisp enter the battlefield during our end step and flicker something of our opponent's, which means they will be missing that something for the entire next turn. This is especially important against Tron, because it gives us a way to get rid of a Tron land for a turn, or against planeswalkers, because it puts our opponent down an activation, since they are only activated at sorcery speed. 

Apart from the end-of-turn tricks, Flickerwisp is the only one of our exile / return effects that can target our opponent's things, which means we can use it to get rid of +1/+1 counters or a blocker for a turn, or get in an attack by removing an Ensnaring Bridge. Plus, it offers a really aggressive flying body. While it isn't nearly as resilient as Restoration Angel (actually, it dies to just about everything), a three-drop that hits for three in their air closes out games quickly. 

Blink Targets

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Let's start with our best blink target: Akroma, Angel of Fury. Since we are a mono-white deck, we'll never be able to just cast it, but this doesn't really matter. The entire reason Akroma, Angel of Fury is in our deck is because we can cast it face down with morph and blink it, and it will return face up as a 6/6 flying, trample with protection from two colors. The best part of Akroma, Angel of Fury is that she's amazingly hard to kill. Her size means she dodges Lightning Bolt and even Dismember, protection from white means she dodges Path to Exile, and protection from blue keeps our opponent from bouncing Akroma, Angel of Wrath with Cryptic Command or Vapor Snag. As a result, getting an early Akroma, Angel of Fury is our best way to close out the game quickly. 

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Epocrasite is another one of our best aggressive blink targets, essentially being a 4/4 for only two mana once we blink it with a Restoration Angel, Cloudshift, or Flickerwisp. It also gives us some resilience to removal, since it keeps coming back after it dies. While the process is slow, it's effective against control decks and even slower midrange decks, since at the very worst, it chumps in the early game and we get a 4/4 in the late game. 

Blade Splicer isn't as tricky, but it is powerful as a 1/1 that makes a 3/3 whenever it enters the battlefield, while also giving all of the 3/3s first strike. In some matchups, it's our best blink target and we can win the game by making a bunch of Golem tokens and beating down. Having first strike also makes the Golems good on defense because we can sometimes use them to double or triple block big creatures and kill the creature with first strike before it damages our tokens. 

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Thraben Inspector and Wall of Omens are the cards that allow out deck to shift into the control role in some matchups, since they have the ability to generate a ton of card advantage. Wall of Omens is the better of the two because it actually draws a card when it enters the battlefield; plus, as a 0/4, it does a good job blocking Wild Nacatl, Goblin Guide, and most other early-game creatures. Thraben Inspector gives us something we can play on Turn 1, and even though we have to sink some mana into cracking Clues, it does draw us a card eventually. 

Things get really out of control once we start blinking our Thraben Inspector and especially Wall of Omens. Once we get one of these on the battlefield, all of our Flickerwisps, Restoration Angels, and Cloudshifts say "when X enters the battlefield, draw a card." Drawing these extra cards means we find more blink effects, which means we draw even more cards, and the cycle continues until we overwhelm our opponent with card advantage. 

Removal

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Last but not least, we have our removal, and here we have a bunch of different options. Fiend Hunter dies easily but can do some cool tricks with our blink effects. If we can blink it with the "exile another creature" trigger on the stack, the "return the exiled card" trigger will resolve first, which means that whatever creature we exile will be gone forever. 

As for Dismember, it's a budget substitute for Path to Exile in the paper world (which is weird, because Path to Exile is actually significantly cheaper on Magic Online, so if you are building on Magic Online, you might as well play Path to Exile). While we will always have to pay life, it's instant speed and kills most anything for a low cost, which makes it a necessary evil in a world where Infect is one of the best decks in the format. 

Condemn is another Path to Exile substitute and is actually pretty reasonable because most of the best threats in the format need to attack to be effective, although it's lacking if our opponent plays something like an Eidolon of the Great Revel and just lets it sit on the battlefield. Meanwhile, Oblivion Ring gives us a main deck answer to non-creatures like planeswalkers, artifacts, and enchantments, and works well with Flickerwisp, since we can exile something in the early game and then, if our opponent plays a bigger threat later, reset the target by exiling it and returning it to the battlefield. 

The Mana

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Most of our lands are Plains, but we also have five colorless lands in four Ghost Quarters and one Tectonic Edge. While these cards do nothing in a high percentage of matchups, the opportunity cost of running a few colorless lands is low, and in the matchups where they are good, they are great, giving us some change of winning when we run into a deck like Tron or control decks looking to win with Celestial Colonnade

Ultra-Budget Mono-White Blink

The ultra-budget build of Mono-White Blink is almost exactly the same as the build we played in the videos with two major subtractions. First, we lose Restoration Angel, which really hurts because the flashy flier was one of the most powerful cards in our deck. In its place, we get more copies of Fiend Hunter and some Filigree Familiars. Second, we lose the Ghost Quarters and Tectonic Edge from our mana base. One of the things I realized while recording the matches is we probably aren't going to beat Tron even with our Ghost Quarters, so instead of spending money on non-basic lands, for the ultra-budget build, we just go with all Plains and write off Tron as a matchup we just can't win. 

Non-Budget Mono-White Blink

The non-budget build of Mono-White Blink takes a slightly hatebear-ish direction with additions like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Selfless Spirit. However, the biggest addition to the deck is Aether Vial, which lets us flash in our Flickerwisps at instant speed for even more trickery. Since we have Aether Vial to cheat on mana, we also get to go all the way up to four copies of Ghost Quarter and Tectonic Edge. We also get a copy of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar in the main deck and more in the sideboard to help against control decks. Otherwise, the list should play pretty much like the one in the videos, just with more resilience to removal. Another option for upgrading would be to transition into a UW Emeria build, which would take advantage of Flickerwisp and Wall of Omens, and could maybe run a copy of Restoration Angel or two. 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. All in all, we went 4-2 in our on-video matches, but one of those wins was a lucky one against Tron. While I was recording, I ran into GW Tron four times and only managed to win once. On the other hand, I also ran into Skred Red a second time and won easily. As such, it seems like Blood Moon decks are good matches while Tron is one of our worst. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive, or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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