Magic: the Gathering

Deck Guide

Phyrexian Vindicator Spoiler in Pioneer: Mono-White Devotion Legendary Deck

, updated , Comment regular icon0 comments

Let's test out the new Phyrexia card in a deck that never saw much play in Pioneer, but it just might be time it comes out of the shadows: Mono-White Devotion Legendary!

Writer image

translated by Joey Sticks

Writer image

revised by Tabata Marques

Edit Article

About the Deck

Mono-White Devotion Legendary has always been a deck that was hidden in the shadows for Pioneer, and even, sorry to say it, for Modern too! There was a time I saw it performing well, and the deck is simply amazingly fun.

The whole deck has as its base Thalia's Lancers searching for any Legendaries in your deck, including the land Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, which will be able to create a lot of mana, so you can cast the other Legendaries. The deck started to take shape particularly after they changed the rules, making even planeswalkers Legendaries too!


Now that we're in the Phyrexia spoiler season, one card stood out to try and make this deck come back into life, at least in store tournaments:

Loading icon

Phyrexian Vindicator can only be defeated in case your opponent has any spell that destroys creatures or prevents damage, such as Bonecrusher Giant. Let's be honest, that is not completely impossible, but this trait enhances some things in a white devotion deck. It forces your opponent to always keep a removal in hand, what makes them slower, which is everything this deck wants as it will need a few turns before they can play their big spells. And the most obvious reason: it gives you 4 white devotion.

“Behold your inevitable defeat.”

- Elesh Norn

All we want in a devotion deck is this time, so we can start setting up our engine. So, I didn't lose any time and I built the deck I believe can see some results with this card:

Loading icon

The deck's Synergies

Loading icon

What is good in this list? Though it is a deck with Yorion, Sky Nomad, it is extremely consistent as it has 6 ways of tutoring cards: 4 Thalia's Lancers and 2 Karn, the Great Creator.

Besides that, it already comes prepared to deal with any opponent, as it can look for the right card that might potentially win you the match by itself for you. Charming Prince and Yorion, Sky Nomad itself allow blinking Thalia's Lancers, triggering the ability again.

Loading icon

Creatures such as Thraben Inspector, Ambitious Farmhand and Knight of the White Orchid are there just to delay the opponent's strategies, serving as blockers while they create value for us by drawing cards, ramping, or giving us lifepoints.

Loading icon

Both Brutal Cathar and Skyclave Apparition are amazing on their own and can win matches just for their value alone. All the other ones such as Portable Hole and March of Otherworldly Light are here as removals, important for us to retain control of the match.

Loading icon

The cards above are possible targets of what to tutor with Thalia's Lancers. And that is completely dependent on the type of match you're playing. Let's see them one by one now:

When to Tutor Lyra Dawnbringer

Lyra Dawnbringer is perfect against Aggro decks such as Burn or Mono-Red Prowess. Her Lifelink allows her to be the perfect blocker. She will already have done her job if she blocks and kills a creature, getting you 5 lifepoints and then getting a burn type removal right afterward, virtually becoming a 3 to 1 trade.


When to Tutor Reidane, God of the Worthy

Reidane, God of the Worthy might be a Stax piece against control, making all spells extremely expensive, and keep in mind many staple spells have Delve in Pioneer. The other side of the card, Valkmira, Protector's Shield, is great against Aggros that want to win with many 1/1 creatures, as it basically counters all of them.

When to Tutor Elspeth, Sun's Champion

Elspeth, Sun's Champion is simply amazing in matches against Midranges. It creates a lot of value and usually destroys all threats, as most tend to be creatures with power equal or higher to 4. It can also create blockers in case you're playing against Aggros.

When to Tutor The Wandering Emperor

It's a bit hard to see someone tutoring The Wandering Emperor, unless they already have another card in hand. The Wandering Emperor is interesting as it is a removal and creates tokens, but Elspeth, Sun's Champion does that better. It might be a good target in case you want to have banked mana in your turns, as it is a cheaper spell, only costing 4, when compared to Elspeth, Sun's Champion, which costs 6.

When to Tutor Skysovereign, Consul Flagship

Skysovereign, Consul Flagship attacks in angles other cards mentioned before don't. For instance, it can destroy planeswalkers or small creatures without being tapped, something that Elspeth, Sun's Champion and The Wandering Emperor can't. It has great interaction with Karn, the Great Creator, transforming it into a creature to attack on its own.

When to Tutor Shadowspear

Shadowspear is a card that is there to play against decks that have Hexproof, such as Spirits, for instance. It is also useful to give you lifepoints or grant Trample. Trample in this case is more important, as there are many creatures available, but only a few of them have some sort of evasion.

When to Tutor The Book of Exalted Deeds

Loading icon

The Book of Exalted Deeds combos with Mutavault. Place the counter that prevents you from losing the game in Mutavault while it is a creature and wait until it turns back into a land. They won't be able to remove the land in a usual way, and in case they have ways of destroying lands, you can tutor Tomik, Distinguished Advokist to protect yourself.

This combo prevents you from losing the game. Besides that, it matches the deck's proposed game plan very well: at the moment you play Thalia's Lancers to look for this combo, you'll have 5 mana, so, in the following turn you will probably have the 6 mana required to combo.

When to Tutor Karn, the Great Creator

Are none of the options above appealing to you? Look for Karn, the Great Creator, with it, you'll have access to:

Cataclysmic Gearhulk to end go wide decks.

Tormod's Crypt, Unlicensed Hearse, Weathered Runestone to clean the enemy graveyard.

Pithing Needle to disable the enemy planeswalker.

The Stone Brain, Damping Sphere, God-Pharaoh's Statue to end your opponent's combo.


Glass Casket and Skysovereign, Consul Flagship to have more removals.

The Book of Exalted Deeds to combo.

The Deck's Sideboard

You'll notice a big portion of the Sideboard is destined to Karn, the Great Creator. Some legendary cards such as The Stone Brain and God-Pharaoh's Statue appear as 2 copies in the Sideboard precisely to put them as 1 in certain matches, so they can be searched for both by Karn, the Great Creator and Thalia's Lancers. Other cards such as Elspeth Conquers Death are there for the great value they can create.

Alternative Cards

Loading icon

A great decision I'm facing right now is about trading Karn, the Great Creator for Search for Glory. Besides that, other payoffs can be better, such as Ugin, the Spirit Dragon or Archangel Avacyn. Loran of the Third Path can also be a good alternative to be tutored.

Loading icon

You can also go for Boros! There are great cards in those colors and globals dealing damage to all creatures matches Boros Reckoner and Phyrexian Vindicator a lot, causing you to destroy all creatures and also deal significant damage to your opponent. If you're going for these colors, go ahead and add Chained to the Rocks, one of the best removals there is, and the best Red cards, such as Bonecrusher Giant and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker.

60 card deck version

Actually 80 cards is not a bad thing when you have so many tutors. Besides that, a lot of 1 offs that you don't want to draw in some matches (like Lyra Dawnbringer) has less probability in a 80-card-deck. Yorion, Sky Nomad do a lot of things here, its blink effect goes with the theme of the deck. But I do understand that 80-card-deck can get too expensive, so here is a list with 60 cards!

Loading icon

Final Thoughts

Did you like the deck? Maybe Phyrexian Vindicator is the required devotion that was missing for this deck to start winning some big tournaments! At least, I hope so! It seems to me a good addition, and the deck looks beautiful on paper. Let's see it in practice now?