One Drop of Servitude

one drop deck

by Steve DDT Giannopoulos

While the banner doesn’t really reflect it, this is basically a classic White Weenie deck. There is no real replacement for Honor of the Pure, which was a staple in these kinds of decks previously. The deck needs to rely more on its creature synergies rather than a massive boost. It wins rather quickly, rivalling even the ‘Naya Blitz’ deck that’s been gaining a lot of popularity as of late. It was even talked about briefly at Grand Prix Quebec when they asked Top 8 participant Tzu Ching Kuo what was the strangest deck he faced.

His answer:

Monowhite weenie. I got killed on turn four.

The deck mentioned here is the one I will reveal shortly. It was played by a team of local players captained by Charles Trottier. Charles mentioned the deck to me a week or so prior to the event, but I was not able to attend. We did however discuss possible improvement to it, this lead to two major changes.

1) Rally the Peasants > Righteous Charge

Obviously, right? We hardly ever care about the toughness boost. The instant speed is obviously better than the sorcery speed. The flashback, while improbable, was easy to splash for.

2) Mentor of the Meek maindeck

While it lessens the 1-drop threat density slightly it does allow you to recovery extremely well mid to late game. Its value is increased with Doomed Traveller and the only creature that does not trigger its ability is Lyev Skyknight.

Here’s the list:

One Drop of Servitude

Lands (19)

2 Cavern of Souls
4 Glacial Fortress
Plains
4 Hallowed Fountain
3 Sacred Foundry

Creatures

4 Wingcrafter
4 Boros Elite
4 Champion of the Parish
4 War Falcon
4 Doomed Traveler
2 Selfless Cathar
2 Mikaeus, the Lunarch
4 Dryad Militant
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Lyev Skyknight
2 Mentor of the Meek

Spells (4)

2 Rally the Peasants
2 Immortal Servitude

Sideboard

4 Boros Reckoner
2 Riders of Gavony
1 Rally the Peasants
2 Immortal Servitude
3 Knight of Glory
2 Angel of Jubilation

1 Slayers’s Stronghold

 

The first thing to note is the 19 lands. It seems too low for a regular Standard deck but we are playing a really low curve and only have 6 3-drops and 2 ‘4 drops’. We never need to ‘curve out’ and can easily just play multiple 1-drops as soon as possible and just keep swinging.

Some of the cards you may not even recognize unless you have drafted a lot, but they are the real deal. Selfless Cathar and Wingcrafter might seem like a joke. They are anything but.

 

wingcrafter

Laugh until you realize he is responsible for your downfall

This guy is just awesome! He does so much more than people think. For starters, he is a human which is good times with Champion of the Parish. He acts as a Kitesail since he gives flying and also attacks himself (thuse equaling the +1 Attack bonus granted by Kitesail. He basically allows you to race the other aggressive decks in the air (something they don’t do at all).

You can get starts such as:

Turn 1  Champion of the Parish

Turn 2 Wingcrafter (pair) , trigger Champion of the Parish

                  Boros Elite , trigger Champion of the Parish

                  Attack for 3

Turn 3 Attack for a lot 7 if you played nothing else

                  Attack for much more if you got more humans in play

Turn 4 Probably Win?

It’s not an uncommons scenario, but it goes to show that even when your other small guys are not necessarily pushing through damage your Wingcrafter is allowing you to constantly swing with a Champion of the Parish.

This however is not the only flying threat. You have War Falcon and Lyev Skyknight as well to take to the air with. Pretty much every human in the deck except for Selfless Cathar, Wingcrafter and Mikaeus, the Lunarch. Two of those are not even 4-ofs so the odds are in your favor. A lot of opponents will sometimes waste their removal on one of your non-soldier non-knight cards even if you only have one soldier/knight. They just assume your War Falcon can always attack for some reason. Granted, when you see 4+ creatures on the battlefield you are not exactly focused on any one of them in particular.

war falcon

Now you too can command falcons to do your bidding

Lyev Skyknight also does his fair share of the ‘flying beatdown’. He can even ‘save’ one of your guys if he detains a Liliana of the Veil. Or he can assist the aggro by detaining Jace, Architect of Thought and preventing his +1 ability from happening next turn (something that is rather effective versus our weenie horde.

Another small detail is that it allows us to mitigate some of the opposing life-gain from cards such as Thragtusk by detaining them for a turn. We get to blank their blocker and basically make their cards read: ” 5 mana : Gain 5 life”

lyev skyknight

Your friendly neighborhood one-shot Pacifism

The other non-human in the deck is Dryad Militant. While it is a direct upgrade over Elite Vanguard, save its creature types, we would have almost preferred the Elite Vanguard. However, since it was not reprinted in M13 we do not get to make that choice. Her ability will maybe mess with the possbility of flashing back a Rally the Peasants, but that is very unlikely. She’s probably the 1-drop you want to play on turn 1 unless you have Champion of the Parish or War Falcon in hand. Also, if you have no actual white mana except for Cavern of Souls, it can get awkward. This too is rather unlikely.

 

‘Boosters’

Not the booster pack variety, but the cards that allow you to pump more damage.

Mikaeus, the Lunarch

mikaeus the lunarch

Rise my humans, Riiiiiiiise!

This guy can be a great play on any turn pas the first one. Sometimes you have to play in ways that are not ‘correct’. One of them being that you would cast creatures without haste pre-combat (a big no-no under normal circumstances). In this case though, we want the Mikaeus effect to affect the greatest number of creatures.

He usually doesn’t stick around very long, which is why it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have two of these in our opening hand. It’s very rare that we activate the ability to pump himself but it’s sometimes the correct play if their are too many creatures on the battlefield and you would be losing some guys by just going on the attack. This way you can alternate between both his abilities to keep boosting your team. It’s not rocket science but you just need to evaluate if activating the first ability is sometimes worth it.

Another smallish detail about him is that you do get to reanimate him when you cast an Immortal Servitude for X =1 . While this means that he dies as soon as he enters the battlefield, he will indeed trigger Champion of the Parish‘s ability once. This is rather important to remember in a deck that aims to deal as much damage as possible.

selfless cathar

This little guy is what I would qualify as the most ‘filler’ card in the deck. It does have a couple of uses. It costs one mana for starters, so Immortal Servitude can pop it back into play. Its main role is that it basically does a Glorious Charge but is also a creature. It’s a turn faster than Mikaeus for when you need that boost right away.

rally the peasants

Appropriate for something that is almost a ‘peasant deck’

This late addition to the deck proved to be potentially the most explosive. When you can deal an extra 6-12 damage, you definitely don’t ignore it. On the following turn it can mean casting it back for another damage boost. At that point, the game should probably be over.

Relevant still, is the ability to cast it on defense. You don’t want to be in that position, but it’s nice knowing you have that option. You get to kill their bigger guys with your smaller ones and then keep some of your to strike back.

Before we get to the other creatures in the deck,, let’s get to the card that lends its name to it.

immortal banner

No doubt your favorite white weenies in skeleton form

This is one of the cards behind the whole deck concept. It is the reason we max out on 1 drop creatures. It allows us to recover from disastrous situations, usually after a Supreme Verdict. If your opponent is trying to mill you out, this can also be rather awesome against them (of course with only 2 copies maindeck, it’s rather unlikely).

I played against a few decks casually trying this out in a Standard rats deck, only there are not enough to make it worthwhile. It’s pretty obvious you want to use it for X =1 to maximize its efficiency. I guess it will only get better as Standard evolves with DragonMaze.

We get a small amount of come into play abilities when we reanimate for one. Nothing major just Champion of the Parish triggers and Wingcrafter pairings to resolve.

I like the art on this and the quote from Teysa is pretty nice. It actually looks like a movie poster now that I think about it.

I wanted to do the same banner but with a small credits roll at the bottom half of it.

“One Drop of Servitude”

Produced by ………….. Immortal Servitude

Directed by ……………. Wingcrafter 

Executive Producer . Rally the Peasants

CAST ……………………..

                                                   Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

                                                   Mikaeus, the Lunarch

                                                   Doomed Traveler

                                                   Boros Elite

and so on  …….

Let’s get back to the card choices.

boros elite

This guy is usually found in Boros builds, but he’s pretty spicy in this deck as well. We get to sometimes give him flying and get to be attacking with him by turn with a couple of his friends for 3. He’s obviously great in multiples and we don’t mind having one of our other guys trade in combat if it means Boros Elite can get to hit for 3. Being a one-drop also qualifies him for the deck.

doomed traveler

Another one drop! Human and Soldier. So far so good… He dies and keeps the attack going. He’s one of the cards we don’t mind attacking with alongside Boros Elite as he will just turn into another creature anyways. This will allow us to repeat our attack next turn.

He can also get our Mentor of the Meek to trigger 2 times, giving us insane amounts of value.

thalia

This card is just good. I’m not going to use any arguments to try and convince you, just that it slows down the control decks for an extra turn. Supreme verdict costs 5 instead, they need to wait to cast their Ultimate Price and even their Farseeks may become uncastable if they kept a 2 land hand. We only play 3 and sometimes I wish it was less. Getting 2 of these in hand is about one of the worst draws you can have, otherwise it’s all around great.

mentor of the meek

Con: not a 1-drop. Pro: Just awesome!

He gets to be our drawing engine for when we’re running low on gas. He triggers Champion of the Parish‘s ability and allows our War Falcon to attack as well. There is also the improbable situation where you cast Immortal Servitude and use the extra mana to draw a couple of cards. In my experience with this deck you will max out at 5 mana and 6 is just unfortunate (unless you cast and recast Rally the Peasants).

I often said that I wish my nickname was Mentor of the Meek, but it’s hard to top DDT. I kid I kid!

Sideboard

boros reckoner

The funny thing about this guy is that the playset is almost as expensive as the deck itself. I’m exaggerating of course, but it’s just funny to think that you have 100-120$ in your sideboard that you sometimes get to play. For those on a smaller budget I would just recommend cutting it for something like Fiend Hunter.

He’s sided in versus the other aggressive decks and hopefully gets to 2 for 1 your opponent’s creatures. Also he can be fully cast off of all white mana even though everyone is used to seeing him in mostly red decks.

knight of glory

Here comes the hate!

A definite sideboard card that hates on Jund and Zombie decks. If he follows a turn 1 War Falcon, he can allow us to attack in the air for 3 while holding down the fort against black creatures. Same scenario with Wingcrafter only less damage.

angel of jubilation

Here is an ‘odd’ inclusion if there ever was one. One part Honor of the Pure and one part random hate. I guess it prevents a flipped Garruk Relentless, Cartel Aristocrat and Undercity Informer (from the Humanimator deck) from activating their effects.

It can also let us survive things like a very random Curse of Death’s Hold (don’t laugh, it happened to me).

riders of gavony

Where you expecting something else? These guys always appear in some capacity in human-themed Standard decks. They allow you to keep attacking versus other creature decks (usually naming ‘Beast’ for Thragtusk and sometimes ‘Wizard’ for Boros Reckoner. It’s also rather handy if you find yourself getting manhandled by Olivia Voldaren.

That about wraps it up for this article! Be sure to chec back regularly for more.

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