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October 27, 2016

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Next Level Tiny Monocles

Hello and welcome to this week’s version of Next Level Analysis. Each week we take a deeper look into the latest decks and the cards performing best in them. Our goal is to pick up a new strategy or idea that can help you take your game to the next level either at your local card shop or at a large tournament. Last week I asked the readers to vote for what kind of article they wanted me to write about this week and the results are in! This week we will be looking into the fun and exciting new format of Tiny Monocles. Now I am sure many of you have not yet heard about what this format is yet and will be in just as much of an awe as I was when I first saw just how fast paced this format can be.

Tiny Monocles

Let’s first get into what this format is all about. I am sure many of you have either heard about or even play both Tiny Leaders and Vintage. Well Tiny Monocles is what happens when these two formats have a head-on collision at full speed in a crewed vehicle. You can check out more about the rules in detail here. A quick summary of what is allowed in this format is well almost anything. The format uses the Tiny Leaders structure of having a 49-card deck with one legendary creature with a mana cost of three or less. The mana cost cannot exceed three for any card in the deck. Also, all cards must share a colour with the leader of the deck. Cards with X in the mana cost are okay as long as the rest of the casting cost is less than three when printed on the card. As far as the ban list, we follow the same ban list that is used in the Vintage format. Yes, this means we get the fast-paced action of turn one Black Lotus into Yawgmoth’s Will.

I first saw this format being played by a couple of other vendors at the Star City Invitational in Pennsylvania earlier this year and have been playing it ever since. While a game of commander can take hours with each player having 100 cards and 40 life to deal with, Tiny Monocles is played with 25 life and only 50 cards so the games go much faster. Players also get to play with cards that they normally never would get to also.

Now with all of these great cards at our disposal the format can become very expensive quick. However, many players will use collector’s edition versions of the most expensive cards such as the Dual Lands and the Power Nine. With so many cards at our disposal how can we limit ourselves to just 49 cards in our Leader’s colour identity. When most of the decks are devoted to the same combos we see in vintage and legacy what cards can we add to the decks to take them to the next level? Let’s take a look into the deck that I currently am playing.

Andrew’s Tiny Monocles

Tiny Leader: (1)
Leovold, Emissary of Trest

Main Deck: (49)
Abrupt Decay
Ancestral Recall
Baleful Strix
Basalt Monolith
Black Lotus
Brain Freeze
Breeding Pool
Chrome Mox
Creeping Tar Pit
Dark Confidant
Day’s Undoing
Deathrite Shaman
Demonic Tutor
Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Inquisition of Kozilek
Jace Beleren
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
Liliana of the Veil
Mana Crypt
Mana Drain
Misty Rainforest
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Sapphire
Overgrown Tomb
Polluted Delta
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sol Ring
Time Vault
Time Walk
Tolarian Academy
Torpor Orb
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Verdant Catacombs
Voltaic Key
Watery Grave
Yawgmoth’s Will

Yes, you may have guessed that the deck is very expensive. However, the people that play this format are very open to proxies. We just like to play and have fun! Obviously nothing sanctioned here. Having fun: “combo-ing off” repeatedly while watching opponents do the same.

So, what makes Leovold, Emissary of Trest such a great leader. By having access to blue we get to play some of the best combos in the format. Also, black and green give us plenty of access to other control cards that help us back up our combo and prevent our opponent from assembling his Time Vault and Voltaic Key. If you have never watched this interaction I recommend watching some of the Pro Players in the Vintage games on YouTube. This combo is fast and ends the game pretty quick.

Some of the other interactions that we have are the cards that let us draw even when our opponent can’t due to our Leovold, Emissary of Trest. It is a win-win situation. For example, say we have our Leader out and we cast Day’s Undoing or Timetwister. Our opponent only gets to draw one card due to Leovold, Emissary of Trest’s ability; it is going to become a miserable game for our opponent. At the same time, we use cards such as; Abrupt Decay and Mana Drain to keep the game going in our favour.

Still like I mentioned earlier the most important part of this format is to have fun. I would highly recommend that you and a couple friends each proxy up a deck and have fun casting the most powerful cards in Magic the Gathering.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my article and I look forward to watching this format grow as more and more people hear about it by word of mouth. This week I also want to bring back a couple features of my previous articles for those of you who follow me every week on MTG Canada.

The first thing I am bringing back is the breakout card of the week. This week I would give the credit where it is due. Leovold, Emissary of Trest is an amazing card whether you are playing Tiny Monocles, Commander, or possibly even in other constructed formats. I would keep a close eye on this card as his price continues to rise each week. I would highly recommend picking up this card now.

Lastly another feature I want to bring back is voting. I love hearing feedback from each of you and you can vote for which deck I write about the following week. Next week we will be voting on a card that I will build a constructed deck around. This week, you have two options to choose from. If you want to read more about Leovold, Emissary of Trest and how he might fit into Legacy format simply leave a comment bellow my article or email me saying @Trest. If you want to read about someone new in the Modern format why not drop a vote for the most undervalued plansewalker in Modern. To vote for Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded with a simple comment or email saying @Tibalt. These votes can be emailed to

Thank you for taking the time to read my article and all of the other great ones that can be found on MTG Canada. Until next time, best of luck in taking your game to the next level. I also would love to hear from you on the deck lists that you and your friends come up with for the exciting new format of Tiny Monocles!