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Much Abrew: Mono-White Prison (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're heading to Modern to play my all-time favorite archetype—Prison—but with a twist: rather than being red for Blood Moon, we're playing Mono-White Prison! The goal is to hopefully stick a Chalice of the Void to lock one-drops out of the game; back it with the best removal that white has to offer, ranging from Skyclave Apparition to Solitude to The Wandering Emperor; and keep our opponent from doing much of anything until we eventually win with The Restoration of Eiganjo, Timeless Dragon, or Stoneforge Mystic finding Kaldra Compleat or Batterskull. Will the plan work? Can Mono-White Prison be a thing in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

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Much Abrew: Mono-White Prison

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  • Record-wise, we finished our league 3-2 with Mono-White Prison, which is a fine record in general although somewhat disappointing, considering we started off 3-0 before dropping our last two matches. While there may have been a couple of punts along the way, the deck felt solid and pretty competitive in general. If you look at our losses, one came to Eldrazi Tron, which we had already beat once, and the other game was to Hammer Time, where our opponent had really strong hands (and we may have locked our own Ratchet Bomb out of the game with Stony Silence). 
  • By far the biggest upside of Mono-White Prison is that the deck has absurd removal, all of which exiles. Between Skyclave Apparition, The Wandering Emperor, Solitude, and March of Otherworldly Light, the deck is incredibly good at cleaning out whatever threats the opponent has to offer.
  • Having good removal is important because we don't usually have a very fast clock. While we do occasionally have games where Stoneforge Mystic finds Kaldra Compleat and we run away with the game, this doesn't happen all that often. Instead, we're usually left piecing together damage from The Wandering Emperor, Solitude, Skyclave Apparition, and friends, which means it takes a while to actually kill our opponent. Thankfully, we usually have a while since our deck is so good at killing threats and locking spells from the game.
  • The big prison piece in the deck is Chalice of the Void, which is either great or horrible. We saw it be key against Izzet Murktide, and it would have been against Hammer Time as well if we had lived a little longer. But we also played Eldrazi Tron twice—a deck that plays its own copies of Chalice of the Void—and it was the first card we sideboarded out. More importantly, we managed to make it through our entire league only casting one spell into our own Chalice, which is nice. Since the deck doesn't have any one-drops, it's easy to trick yourself into thinking that a Chalice of the Void with one counter does nothing against our deck. But as we saw, it is possible that we would want to cast March of Otherworldly Light for one mana to kill something that costs zero mana (most often Urza's Saga), which is how we got ourselves. Thankfully, our Hammer Time opponent's draws were so strong that it likely wouldn't have mattered either way.
  • By far the most interesting card in the deck is The Restoration of Eiganjo. Even after playing an entire league with the deck, I'm still not really sure just how good the card actually is in the deck. You'll see there are only 23 lands in our deck, which is a fairly low number for a deck with some four- and five-drops. We can get away with this, in part, because The Restoration of Eiganjo (and also Timeless Dragon) can find us Plains. The Saga can also do some sweet reanimation tricks, like getting back a Stoneforge Mystic or a Field of Ruin with its second lore counter. Once it flips, the body it offers is fine—having four toughness means it dodges Lightning Bolt—although not absurd. The biggest drawback of the card is that it's slow, which can make it difficult to use defensively, especially against aggro. My biggest takeaway was that, whether or not The Restoration of Eiganjo is or is not good enough for Mono-White Prison, it seems absurd in UW Emeria, ramping us toward the seven Plains we need to turn on Emeria, the Sky Ruin and also being cheap enough that we can reanimate it with Sun Titan if it dies!
  • Oh yeah, be careful about bringing in Stony Silence from the sideboard. While both of our equipment have living weapon so we can usually use them even with a Stony Silence on the battlefield, there are times when we'd like to equip them. More importantly, we have four copies of Ratchet Bomb, and Stony Silence completely shuts them down. We learned this the hard way against Hammer Time when we cast a Stony Silence only to draw a Ratchet Bomb the next turn.
  • So, should you play Mono-White Prison in Modern? If you like slow, grindy, controlling games, I think the answer is yes. The deck felt great against creature decks, and our lock pieces and sideboard cards give us a shot in other matches where our endless removal is less effective. If you want to lock people out of the game but are tired of Blood Moon (if that's even possible) or like controlling the game but don't like leaving up counterspells, Mono-White Prison might just be the perfect Modern deck for you!


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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