Video Series with Ryland: Mono-Blue Living End

This deck is quite the strange one. Originally popping up on MTGO a little more than a week ago from user 1310HaZzZaRd, Mono-Blue Living End has been making waves in the community. I’ll be frank—when I first looked at the deck, I was not impressed. I thought I’d give it one day on my stream since a number of people had asked about it, and it looked like it could be fun. I assumed the day would be fraught with game losses and an all-around good time. While there were certainly some elements of the original decklist that I did not like, the archetype surprised me quite a bit. After some minor tuning (which may not have even been correct), results started showing up.

Some of the leagues with the deck have been impressive; but plenty have been stinkers as well. After a few days on stream last week, I found myself with final league records of (in descending order): 5-0, 4-1, 4-1, 2-3, 2-3. Since then I have had more results, and they have been much of the same. Either relatively successful (4-1 or better), or relatively disappointing (2-3 or worse). To me this speaks of some consistency issues, but also speaks to a powerful core of the deck. There is something worth doing going on here, but fine-tuning is required.

The list we are playing today has a major addition that was not in the original lists: Chalice of the Void. While this has been somewhat of a polarizing decision on my stream (people either love it or hate it), I think it has been worth it overall, and it deserves further testing. This, however, is not the only way you could improve the archetype. There are other colors you could splash, particularly red, and there are advantages to pursuing a true Mono-Blue list similar to the original as well. These are things I want to continue to explore in the future, which I discuss more in the wrap-up video.

I have enjoyed Mono-Blue Living End quite a bit so far—certainly more than I expected. Tuning it has been a unique challenge and I am interested to see if the deck breaks through it’s “honeymoon” period to become a real archetype. People are always excited to see something new and interesting come up in the Modern format. That said, I’m curious to see if this deck finds a way to stick around, or if it floats back down to the pit containing hundreds of somewhat viable Tier 3 or lower Modern strategies.

I hope you enjoy the matches and as usual, I’m interested to hear what kind of content you’d like to see moving forward so I can continue to evolve and improve my videos. Please let me know your thoughts, and any improvements you would like to see concerning formatting, presentation, or whatever else strikes your fancy. If you’d like to see similar content, check out my Twitch channel for some live Modern games!

Mono-Blue Living End, by Ryland Taliaferro

Creatures (16)
Archfiend of Ifnir
Architects of Will
Curator of Mysteries
Street Wraith
Striped Riverwinder

Artifacts (5)
Chalice of the Void
Engineered Explosives

Enchantments (4)
As Foretold

Instants (7)
Cryptic Command
Remand

Sorceries (8)
Ancestral Vision
Living End

Lands (20)
Bojuka Bog
Darkslick Shores
Field of Ruin
Gemstone Caverns
Island
River of Tears
Tolaria West
Sideboard (15)
Baral’s Expertise
Commandeer
Disallow
Disdainful Stroke
Echoing Truth
Engineered Explosives
Faerie Macabre
Nimble Obstructionist
Negate
Buy deck on Cardhoarder (MTGO)Buy deck on TCGPlayer (Paper)

Ryland began playing Magic when Innistrad was released while he was a Sophmore at Virginia Tech. After quickly becoming enthralled with the game it became an integral part of both his work life and personal life. Upon graduating college he became LGS Manager for a couple years and now streams full time at twitch.tv/holyshamgar.

4 thoughts on “Video Series with Ryland: Mono-Blue Living End

    1. The problem with pact in this deck is that while it is tutorable, we don’t kill our opponent on the “combo” turn. Obviously we’re in the right color to be able to pay for the pact, but that doesn’t mean that we can always really afford to. There are a lot of games where having five mana would be prohibitive. Perhaps it the board so we can bring it in the correct matchups? (The slower grinder ones). Either way, something worth thinking about.

      Thanks for watching!

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