Building Bant Oketra's Monument in Modern
Oketra’s Monument made a nice home for itself in Standard at one point, fitting nicely into some blue-white decks. It even got some time in the Modern spotlight in both mono-white and blue-white forms. Today, I’ve made a variation of this deck, and there’s good news: it fits in the best color combination in the game! Thanks to some nice additions, we get to reach into green and play Bant! This list has some interesting includes, and can generate more card advantage than you know what to do with. So, without any more delay, let’s take a look at what we’re working with this week.
The first thing you’ll probably notice is something I’ve been struggling with myself: Where’s the removal? In order to maximize the effects of Monument, I tried to keep the deck exclusively creatures. Admittedly, maybe not the most competitive decision, but it does give the deck a slightly more aggressive leaning to it, which makes it that much more fun to play. We do have some soft, tempo-oriented removal still, in the form of Reflector Mage, Flickerwisp, and Spell Queller for countering. We even get ways to recycle these effects thanks to Restoration Angel and Whitemane Lion. We also have Noble Hierarch and Birds of Paradise to speed our gameplan along, and help us power out attackers as quick as we can, and Thraben Inspector can give us another turn one play. Squadron Hawk, Whitemane Lion, and Blade Splicer are all very good at giving us lots of bodies to use, and Voice of Resurgence can capitalize on these bodies by giving us a huge creature when it dies. Bygone Bishop turns all of our creatures into extra cards, while Flickerwisp and Restoration Angel get us extra use out of some of our ETB effects.
Now onto the important part: the monument. Oketra’s Monument does so much for this deck, it almost seems unfair. As early as turn two, we get cost reduction and extra bodies? Sign me up! Being legendary makes drawing multiples painful if your opponent doesn’t remove one, but thankfully we have enough card draw that drawing a blank every once in a while isn’t too much of a problem. Once you play with Reflector Mage and Spell Queller for only two mana each, you’ll wonder how you ever enjoyed casting them at full-price.
The mana base is fairly standard, and mostly leans towards being able to cast your white spells. But the sideboard is where we really get to have some fun. The first thing that probably sticks out there is the Aven Mimeomancer. I know, this guy is weird. But just stay with me for a second. With a monument out, you get a 3/1 flier and a token for just two mana. Which is...fine, I suppose. But that’s the baseline. You can use its triggered ability to turn your tokens into an army of 3/1 fliers, one turn at a time. Oh, and reread that second ability, because it’s entirely possible you missed something important about it. It doesn’t remove the creature’s abilities. This means you can convert your Noble Hierarchs, Blade Splicers, Voice of Resurgences, and more into 3/1 fliers, and you still get the benefits that come with these guys to begin with! And the cherry on top is that the ability can read “Destroy target creature named Death’s Shadow.” How’s that for upside? The other spicy addition to the sideboard is World Queller. Thanks to monument, we’ll almost always have more creatures than our opponent, meaning that a turn three World Queller can end the game almost on the spot. And against land-light decks, we can even play a bit of a Ponza gameplan.
Other than these two oddities, the sideboard isn’t too out of the ordinary. Field of Ruin acts as a Ghost Quarter replacement that doesn’t set us back a land. Fiend Hunter gives us some better removal in matchups where we need it, and Geist of Saint Traft can speed up our clock even more. Qasali Pridemage and Kataki help in matchups like Affinity and Lantern Control, and Kitchen Finks, Selfless Spirit, and Thalia all have their own roles to fill too. The deck is incredibly fun, and has lots of nice tricks, and even extra spice you can try!
With a Monument on board, Whitemane Lion can give you a token at instant-speed for each white mana you can spend, just by using his own ability to bounce himself. Whitemane Lion gives you the ability to reuse your Reflector Mages and Blade Splicers, and can save creatures from removal spells.
Squadron Hawk gives you eight bodies for just four mana, and triggers Bishop four times in total. While the card by itself doesn’t do anything inherently broken, it feels very powerful in this deck.Bygone Bishop can give you options for your opponent’s turn. You can hold up Spell Queller mana, and just use it to crack a clue if they don’t cast anything worth countering.
Move Aven Mimeomancer to the mainboard. I don’t even know where exactly, but the card is just so much fun, and is pretty much guaranteed to throw your opponent off. There are plenty of Mimeomancer tricks, including just weakening your opponent’s creatures to help you win combat.
Ephara, God of the Polis works well with the number of flash creatures we have, gives us extra card advantage, and is a massive beater later on.
Knotvine Paladin can be a huge beater with enough tokens, especially since they all have vigilance. Combine with Mimeomancer for the biggest flying beater you could ever want.
Sigil Captain takes all of your tokens, Squadron Hawks, and Blade Splicers, and gives them a bit of an upgrade.
Wayfaring Temple gives you a Voice of Resurgence token that makes more tokens whenever it connects. The best part is that you can even copy Blade Splicer or Voice tokens with its ability for maximum effect.
As you can see, this week’s deck has a lot to offer for all sorts of players. Beat down with Geist of Saint Trafts, pull of flicker tricks with Flickerwisp, confuse your opponent with Mimeomancer, and even play a bit of stax with World Queller! Bant Monument is a ton of fun, and gains quite a bit of speed (and a couple sideboard cards) compared to the straight blue-white version. I can’t recommend this deck enough, as it’s a ton of fun, and is sure to catch your opponent off-guard. This deck is a Monument to how wide-open the Modern format is right now, and is sure to offer something to all sorts of players.
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