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Much Abrew: Mono-White Monarch Prison (Legacy)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're playing some Legacy! Let me explain. Monarch is a mechanic clearly designed for multiplayer formats. In fact, it might be the best multiplayer mechanic that Wizards has ever made. Well, we're bringing the crown to Legacy today with a prison-y mono-white deck that's looking to stick a Court of Grace as quickly as possible; become the monarch; use cards like Skyclave Apparition, Palace Jailer, and Solitude to keep our opponent's creatures in line; and keep the crown firmly on our head so we can draw an extra card and make a 4/4 Angel token each turn until we eventually win by beating our opponent down. Can monarch make the jump from Commander to Legacy? How good is Court of Grace in the format? Let's find out on this week's Much Abrew About Nothing

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Much Abrew: Mono-White Monarch Prison

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  • Record-wise we finished 2-3, which is okay but not exciting. It felt like Mono-White Monarch Prison has some really good matchups but also some really poor ones.
  • Over the course of our matches, we got to see the good and the bad of the deck. We had some games (see: the match against Affinity) where we were able to get Court of Grace onto the battlefield on turn two thanks to our fast mana and pretty much run away with the game. On the other hand, we had some games where we literally couldn't cast Court of Grace, even though it was in our hand, because our opponent would be able to immediately steal the crown and we didn't have a creature to try to take it back.
  • Looking at the decklist, it's pretty clear that the goal is to be able to keep the crown for as long as possible. We've got a ton of creature removal for a Legacy deck, including Skyclave Apparition, Palace Jailer, Solitude, and Ghostly Prison, with the idea being that we can use these cards to keep our opponent's battlefield clean, which will keep us as the monarch, giving us extra cards and tokens every turn with Court of Grace
  • The bad news is that the plan of overloading on creature removal comes with a cost. Some decks in Legacy don't play any creatures (see: our match against High Tide), and those matchups feel close to unwinnable. Before sideboarding, almost half of the non-land cards in our main deck are dead, and while things get somewhat better after sideboarding, with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Sanctum Prelate being really good against spell-based combo decks, we had 20 cards that we wanted to sideboard out against High Tide and only five we really wanted to sideboard in, which means we still had a ton of dead draws after sideboarding. Maybe we just played weird matchups, but it felt like the deck was maybe a bit heavy on cards for creature decks and a bit light on ones for unfair combo decks.
  • The other weird revelation about the deck is that it isn't even great against all creature decks. While we're super strong against decks relying on a few big creatures, we pretty much got crushed by Goblins, whose ability to go wide made all of our one-for-one removal look pretty silly. Adding a wrath or two to the sideboard could be a good idea, if we can find the room.
  • Maybe the card I was most disappointed with was Suppression Field. The enchantment is insane against decks playing a ton of fetch lands, potentially locking our opponent out of the game altogether if it comes down on Turn 1. But we played against several decks that were pretty light on fetch lands (High Tide, Affinity, and Goblins), so it didn't actually do much for us in our league. In this case, I'm pretty sure it's just the wonkiness of Legacy. With decks like Delver and Miracle at the top of the meta, it seems like Suppression Field should be solid in general, even if it wasn't for us. 
  • If you decide to play the deck, expect to mulligan a lot. The deck leans pretty hard on fast mana like Ancient Tomb, City of Traitors, and Chrome Mox. Hands without any fast mana are often too slow and should be shipped back. The good news is that the deck mulligans pretty well because of the monarch theme. We can afford to mulligan to six or five because the extra card we'll draw each turn once we become the monarch should catch us back up, in terms of card advantage. 
  • Emeria's Call might look strange in the deck, but it's actually pretty sweet, mostly because it's a land that we can exile to Chrome Mox, although we do actually hard-cast it on occasion thanks to all of the fast mana we have in the deck.
  • So, should you play Monarch Prison in Legacy? Probably not in its current form. While I really liked the idea of Mono-White Monarch Prison, I think the deck could probably use a few tweaks to improve its matchups against unfair decks. It certainly has potential, and we had some really sweet games with the deck, but it felt like we weren't really competitive at all in a few matchups. Thankfully, I think this can be fixed by adding more spell hate (like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben) to the main deck and trimming back a bit on the creature removal. Adding some wraths to the sideboard could also help shore up the matchup against go-wide decks. Overall, the crown has a lot of potential in Modern, but it might not be ready to rule quite yet.


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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