View Full Version : Mono Color Deck - Still life?

09-13-2013, 11:16 PM
Whether it is actual use of a mono color deck? Or the best to mix colors?

09-14-2013, 12:42 AM
It seems like mono-color decks are going to be viable for competitive play.

09-14-2013, 12:51 AM
Mono-blood, mono-ruby, and mono-saph all look fairly viable even at this point in time.

09-14-2013, 12:24 PM
Number of colors is mainly a factor for how reliable you want your deck to be. You could go for all five colors, but you'd rarely have the thresholds to play the spells in your hand. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you could go a single color, and always have the right thresholds. The benefit of more colors in your deck is that you get access to more spells, letting you pick better fits for your deck.

The question is: how many colors can you run before you lose consistency. Right now, with the single non-basic shard, I would say that you run very little risk running two colors. Three colors will be inconsistent. Four and five colors are impractical.
I don't believe there's any consistency reason to run a single color, so most decks will be two colors. There are a few cards that reward you for your number of threshold (Terrible Transfer, Ruby Lance) which may encourage monocolor decks, but I don't find them enough to warrant limiting yourself to a single color *yet*.

Personally, I think it's best to use two colors right now.

09-14-2013, 01:50 PM
I was quite surprised when I had a look at some of the user generated decklists so far, and very few (5%?) seemed to be mono-decks. I've only played the Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers titles so far so I was just hoping to ease myself into deckbuilding with a single colour and seeing what others had come up with. It appears I still have a lot to learn :)

09-14-2013, 04:18 PM
Simo, there's very little benefit to playing a single-color deck, since, in 2-color decks, you can pretty easily and reliably find both your colors, and it gives you access to a wider range of spells.

For deckbuilding and learning purposes, though, I'd say start with where you're comfortable. As you're playing, try to figure out where your mono-color deck has trouble, and look in other colors for solutions to those problems. I was playing the Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 the other day, and found that the green deck they'd give me had a lot of trouble beating Ajani's enchantment-based deck because I could never kill their creature after they'd enchant it. So I switched to the red deck, and used the burn spells to do what the green deck couldn't. If I could build decks in DotP, I'd definitely have just added red damage spells to the green deck.

In any case, if you have any questions, just let us know :D

09-14-2013, 08:31 PM
Mono-Ruby and Mono-Diamond were two of the strongest decks at Gen-Con.

There is a certain power of focus and synergy that comes with single-color decks, in addition to increased reliability. I don't think they should be sold short.

09-14-2013, 10:49 PM
Cheers for the feedback guys. So mono-decks aren't seen as frequently at the top level of Magic competitions for example? I read a lot of stuff about mono-red but granted it's probably horribly outdated now, both in terms of sets and thinking. As it is I struggle to make a really sleek, focused deck because you can only really include a dozen cards. Bringing another colour into the equation just makes it harder!

09-14-2013, 11:04 PM
Well, there's some old advice from a Japanese pro player who said, "When the rest of your competition is playing 3 colors, play 2 colors. If they're playing 2 colors, play 1 color." I don't know how well it holds up, but the fewer colors you can run, the more consistent your deck is.

Most MtG standard decks recently have been two or three colors, I believe. They have access to some very flexible dual lands, though, making mana bases more flexible. You are correct, though, that every once in a while someone plays a mono-color deck. I can think of a few examples off the top of my head:
- There was a mono-green Eldrazi Monument deck a few years back that performed pretty well at tournaments. It was mono-green because it simply didn't need other colors to do what it did. It was also heavily elf-based, and the elves it wanted were all green.
- There are 'white weenie' decks that are most commonly mono-white. These decks play just white because it's critical to hit their colors on turns 1-3 and they can't afford to get the wrong resource on their turn, or play lands that might come in tapped and not give them a resource immediately. A lot of the best 2-mana white creatures have two white threshold, so it was difficult to play two colors consistently in this deck.
- Mono-red is occasionally a deck. Burn decks tend to be very focused on direct damage and early aggressive creatures. Red has the best (and frequently only) burn spells, and almost a monopoly on haste (speed) creatures as well, meaning most of the cards a burn/aggro deck wants are going to come from red. It is also critical that the red deck utilize the first few turns, like a white weenie deck, so it can't afford to slip up on the lands it runs.

So, if your deck is focused enough, a single color could be the best option. Tribal components are probably going to be the biggest draw for playing just a single color, such as an Orc deck or Dwarf deck, but Cryptozoic seems to have intentionally given most races two colors. Orcs are Ruby and Blood, Dwarves are Ruby and Sapphire, Shinhare are Wild and Blood, and Humans are Ruby and Diamond. I'd also argue that mono-colored decks in Magic are easier to build because Magic has anywhere from 5-7 sets in standard at any given time, meaning you have a much larger card pool to build from. Red will have more spells and more redundancy, white will have more spells, etc. With Hex's original Set 1, you might not find enough cards that have the same or similar function in one color, and would probably benefit from supplementing your deck with another color.

It's a deckbuilding choice, but I typically default to two colors, and then consider splashing a third color if a single card is *really* worth it. If you can make an effective deck with one color, that's even better, but I would be ready to add another color the moment you see an opportunity to strengthen your deck.

That being said, if you're having trouble figuring out how to include another color, stick with what you're comfortable with. You'll probably have a lot easier of a time making a decision after you've played with the deck. If you'd like me to have a look at your deck list and give my personal opinion on possible second colors, I'd be happy to check it out.

09-15-2013, 02:20 AM
True true, that all makes a lot of sense. I've only started mucking around with decks in the last day or two so they're pretty rough and obviously I'm still a little clueless. One deck I've really wanted to try from the get-go is Mono Sapphire, so I'll post a list for that:

Wyatt, the Sapper (6 charges, draw a card)

4x The Ancestor's Chosen (self explanatory, plus this deck needs one-drops)
4x Flock of Seagulls (stall)
4x Buccaneer (removal/stall)
2x Void Leech Phantasm (bit of flying damage, more control with interrupt)
2x Archmage Wrenlock (stupid good)
4x Thunderbird (flying beats, constant threat)
2x Menacing Grawk (freeze all their troops and is a solid flier itself, also commence beats)
3x Cerulean Grand Strategist (need one drops and fits exhaust theme)

Basic Actions
2x Storm Call (commence the beat down)
3x Oracle Song (card advantage)

3x Sabotage (seems like it can wrack up damage quickly, also helps put me in control of the lategame if drawing hurts them)

Quick Actions
4x Countermagic

2x Shrine of Prosperity (seems a little random but the effects are good if I can keep it in play)

21x Sapphire

Mana Curve goes:
1: 7
2: 10
3: 14
4: 4
5: 2
X: 2

Basic idea is try to stay alive and chip away with flying damage, then later in the game exhaust all their troops and go gang-busters. I did have some charge bots in there so I have some more 1 drops and to get some more card draw but they seemed a little random.

09-15-2013, 07:57 AM
One of the pros of playing a mono color deck is that 2 cost 2 threshold creatures are a lot easier to play, in a dual color deck you wont reliably be able to play them on turn 2.

09-16-2013, 02:31 AM
I think usually you want to play with only one colour.
So early board position and control is only limited to the cards cost, and not the colour and amount of resources of each colour.

Strong combos seem to always require to pick several colours.