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Much Abrew: UW Monument (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Recently, Oketra's Monument has made waves in Standard, and while WU Monument has faded a bit since the Pro Tour, it was the most played deck in the format not long ago. Occasionally, when a card is very strong in Standard, it manages to make the jump to the much larger and more powerful Modern format. The question for today is whether Oketra's Monument has what it takes to be one of these cards. The Modern build of WU Monument actually looks quite similar to the Standard build—it even shares some of the same cards. This being said, it does get a handful of powerful upgrades like Squadron Hawk and Whitemane Lion, which let the deck go even wider with tokens. Is it really possible that Oketra's Monument could work in Modern? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll talk a bit about the deck.

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Modern WU Monument (Instant Deck Tech)

WU Monument vs. WB Smallpox (Match 1)

WU Monument vs. Naya Burn (Match 2)

WU Monument vs. WU Control (Match 3)

WU Monument vs. 8-Whack Goblins (Match 4)

WU Monument vs. Tron (Match 5)

Modern WU Monument (Wrap-Up)

Discussion

  • All in all, we finished our matches with a 2-3 record, which is a bit disappointing. 
  • The good news is that we can actually learn quite a bit from our record about the good and bad of UW Monument in Modern. Both of our wins were against relatively fair midrange / control decks, while our losses came against two aggro decks and, of course, Tron. 
  • The good record against fair decks makes sense. Our deck has a ton of power to go long. While none of our creatures are especially powerful on their own, we can chump block for a long time, and eventually we stick an Oketra's Monument or Dusk // Dawn back all of our creatures and go wide enough to win the game.
  • The bad record against aggro also makes some amount of sense. While this was partly because our hands didn't match up well against aggro, our clock is pretty slow in the early game, since all of our creatures are small, so it's really hard for us to win if our opponent can get in some early beats and then close out the game with direct damage. The good news here is that it would be pretty easy to make our deck better against aggro, since white has tons of good options, including Lone Missionary and Kitchen Finks (both of which are good enough for the main deck) as well as cards like Timely Reinforcements and Kor Firewalker for the sideboard.
  • As for Tron, I'm pretty sure the current build of WU Monument will struggle against unfair decks in general. While we have a bit of light disruption in Spell Queller and Judge's Familiar, the problem is we don't really back up this disruption with a fast clock, so even if we manage to counter a key spell, our opponent has tons of time to draw into something else that kills us. This problem is a bit harder to fix, but a good start is playing four copies of Ghost Quarter in the main deck and some number of Negates in the sideboard. 
  • Beyond the matchup issues, the main deck felt pretty solid in general. There are some really cool tricks with Whitemane Lion, and if we manage to survive until Turn 4 or 5 (and resolve an Oketra's Monument), the deck can be pretty difficult to beat fairly, since it generates a ton of value. This being said, the mana base was rough. Not only are we missing utility lands like Ghost Quarter, but we also couldn't find blue mana in some matches. Eight basic Plains seems like too many—I'd probably go down to three and play some Ghost Quarters and more fetch lands. 
  • Dusk // Dawn is a weird card. I don't think we ever managed to kill an opposing creature with the front half, but if the game goes long, the back half can win us the game by refilling our hand. It was pretty annoying that we'd usually have to cast the front half for no value just to get to the back half, making it cost a total of nine mana to return our creatures from our graveyard to our hand. 
  • The other area that could be improved is the sideboard. Cards like Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Dusk // Dawn are mostly good against midrange and control, which already feel like our best matchups. As such, instead of making our good matchups even better, it might be advisable to use those slots to shore up bad matchups against aggro (with some lifegain) and combo (with counterspells). 
  • Overall, this felt like a rough early draft of WU Monument. The deck had a lot of power, but it still needs some work to be ready to compete in Modern. The good news is that Oketra's Monument was very powerful in games where it resolved, so with some tuning and testing, it's possible the archetype could have legs in the format. 
  • Another interesting possibility is using Oketra's Monument in more Modern-ready archetypes. The build we played today was basically the Standard version of WU Monument with a handful of Modern upgrades, but it's possible that Oketra's Monument could slot into decks like Death and Taxes or even Wu Emeria (which has the additional upside of being able to get back Oketra's Monument with Sun Titan if it dies).
  • So, should you play WU Monument in Modern? I think you can have success with this build (or a similar build), but not without shoring up some of the bad matchups that we've been talking about. The idea is fun, and you'll have a leg up on learning the deck if you're familiar with the Standard version because the Modern build plays basically the same way. This being said, as I mentioned a moment ago, I'm mostly excited to try sticking Oketra's Monument into some other decks in Modern because the artifact itself is very powerful. 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! 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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