I want to start off by stating that playing in the Invitational this past weekend was one of the most enjoyable Tournaments I have had the pleasure of participating in.

A special thank you to the staff, the judge and everyone else who was involved in making this tournament happen.

Now with that being said, my deck choices for the weekend – Mono-White Knights and Eldrazi Tron.

Why I chose Eldrazi Tron? I believe Eldrazi Tron (Etron) to be in a very good position in the meta and will continue to be playing this deck in future GPs and SCG Opens. I wrote a previous article on Etron, so I will not being into too much depth on the deck.

I would like to speak on the changes I made since the article.

Eldrazi Tron

Creatures: (16)
World Breaker
Endless One
Matter Reshaper
Reality Smasher
Thought-Knot Seer
Walking Ballista

Planeswalkers: (4)
Karn, the Great Creator

Artifacts: (9)
Chalice of the Void
Expedition Map
Mind Stone

Instant and Sorceries: (7)
All Is Dust
Warping Wail
Once Upon a Time

Lands: (24)
Blast Zone
Cavern of Souls
Eldrazi Temple
Ghost Quarter
Prismatic Vista
Urza’s Mine
Urza’s Power Plant
Urza’s Tower
Sideboard: (15)
Walking Ballista
Wurmcoil Engine
Mystic Forge
Warping Wail
Ensnaring Bridge
Grafdigger’s Cage
Liquimetal Coating
Mycosynth Lattice
Pithing Needle
Relic of Progenitus
Sorcerous Spyglass
Tormod’s Crypt
Torpor Orb
Witchbane Orb

Once Upon a Time deserves a slot in Etron. It gives you the card selection you need to increase consistency for a deck that often struggles on that front. Prismatic Vista was added to simulate a “second Forest” or find you a Wastes in the face of a Blood Moon. I replaced World Breaker for Endbringer as Titan Field decks seem to be getting more prevalent in the meta and can be useful taking out pesky Fields and the occasional man-land. Overall, very happy with this list, maybe should consider a second All is Dust out of the board vs go-wide strategies.

Why I chose Mono-White Knights? This deck was a strictly a meta call. I intended to play Mono-Black for this event, but as I couldn’t seem to piece together the deck in time, I audibled to Knights. Unfortunately, I had never played the deck before the event and honestly played it quite poorly. Despite that fact, I still went 2-1 in swiss, which honestly shows the power level of the deck.

Mono-White Knights

Creatures: (22)
Dauntless Bodyguard
Venerable Knight
Worthy Knight
Thalia’s Lieutenant
Knight of the White Orchid
Acclaimed Contender

Enchantments: (4)
History of Benalia

Planeswalkers: (3)
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Instant and Sorceries: (4)
Brave the Elements

Artifacts: (3)
Spear of Heliod
The Circle of Loyalty
Stoneforge Masterwork

Lands: (24)
Castle Ardenvale
19 Plains

SIdeboard: (15)
Rest in Peace
Cavalier of Dawn
Unbreakable Formation
Selfless Spirit
Damping Sphere
Devout Decree
Blessed Alliance
Declaration in Stone
Settle the Wreckage

This deck gets a lot of power on board very quickly. History of Benalia still remains to be a force to be reckoned with. No matter what type of deck I played against, History was a threat that was very hard for my opponents to overcome. The deck leans heavily on starting with some sort of a Savannah Lions– a one mana 2/1. Ideally, you would like to start with your Venerable Knight on turn 1, into Worthy Knight on turn 2, into History on turn 3. I accomplished this curve several times and it felt like losing just wasn’t an option from that point in the game.

The Unsung Hero: Acclaimed Contender. This card hasn’t seen much play in Knight Decks on Magic Online, which thoroughly surprises me given how powerful and efficient the card is. Not only does the card get other Knights, but it also gives you the option of getting one of your anthem, Spear of Heliod or The Circle of Loyalty, effects. It helps you rebuild after board wipes or can help further extend your board pressure in a clogged board state. This card is an instant four-of and will continue to perform very well in Pioneer for the foreseeable future.

Thalia’s Lieutenant and Worthy Knight and they beautifully awkward synergy: I am not going to lie when I say, Thalia’s Lieutenant gave me an unnecessary amount of trouble during this tournament. Giving +1/+1 counters to only humans, and not knights, was for some reason something I struggled with throughout the tournaments, which inevitably lead me getting in a game loss. With that being said, Thalia’s Lieutenant is insane in this deck when Worthy Knight is in play. Worthy Knight creates humans off of you casting your Knights, which in turn, get pumped by your Thalia’s Lieutenant. Any further Knights you cast, creature more humans which pump your Thalia’s Lieutenant, what comes around goes around.

Final Notes: Brave the Elements is just an exceptional card that power through other mono colored strategies and spot removal. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar may be the most underrated Planeswalker in Pioneer and should be an auto-include in every white deck main or sideboard. Mutavault continues to be the card you didn’t realize you wanted, but exactly what you needed.

Overall, placing 8th in final standings is something I am proud of. Obviously coming up short was disappointing, but still was able to enjoy myself and accomplished the goal I set out for myself before starting the tournament.

Congratulations to my friend Camron Neighbors for winning the tournament. He worked hard and really earned it, I am proud of you bud.