Windborn Musings – White Collar Cards for the Discerning Mage

Black gets far too much love here at the Muse Vessel.  As the representative white mage on the site, I’ve been negligent in waving the white flag…

As a way to show a little love for white cards, I thought I would choose ten white cards that have been forgotten[1] now that the bright lights are shining on all the new goodies.  Here are a few old school cards that are deserving of your multiplayer love.  Please note that I have left all life gain off this list. I love me some life gain (in the right way) but it is done to death in white.  Let’s look at some other interesting cards.

Orim’s Thunder

I thought I’d start off with a toolbox card that just doesn’t get enough love.  Admittedly this is a white card that should only be played in W/R decks, but it still isn’t played enough.  While a Disenchant by itself is a useful card, it isn’t particularly interesting.  Add in the ability to throw some burn at a creature and things get much more interesting.

Multiplayer adds a whole new dimension to this card as well.  The creature you choose to damage (and hopefully kill) doesn’t have to be the owner of the artifact/enchantment that was destroyed.  This allows you to play some politics with the card.  You can target Tyler’s Wurmcoil Engine and use the six available damage to take out Bryan’s dragon.  Add in profuse apologies to Tyler and explain it was the only way to get rid of Bryan’s dragon, and somehow you’ve lessened the sting to Tyler.  Even Bryan won’t have to face the Wurmcoil Engine, so he can be happy too.  There are times when hitting with the double whammy on one player is the right move too. 

The card has added dimensions in multiplayer.  Most of the time, you will likely be looking to take out a particular artifact or enchantment, and the burn will just be a pleasant bonus, but it can work in reverse as well.  There are times when you will take out the Planar Portal simply because it costs six mana and you need to deal six to a creature.  This card has that option.

Shieldmage Advocate

While I’m espousing the benefits of white in particular, all of the Advocates are solid in multiplayer.  While in a dual, putting a card back in an opponent’s hand is a bad thing, in multiplayer, this is awesome.  There are so many cards that you do not want in graveyards because other players want them in their graveyards!  Put that annoying Incarnation back into their hand.  Put a dredge creature back in their hand to prevent them from going off.  Many different creatures will get smaller with fewer creatures in graveyards and this card makes that happen. 

More often though, you are looking take out an opponent and you need help.  If someone is in control of the game, the fact that you can bounce someone else’s Hinder back to their hand every round is a huge benefit.  Perhaps you have a sizeable angel that needs to be unblockable to attack The Threat, and someone else has that spell. Deals can be arranged, and this is just the card to do that.

The multiplayer aspect continues with the actual ability!  You can prevent damage to any creature or player, not just you or your creatures.  If someone is reluctant to block The Threat’s big nasty dude because they don’t want to lose their own wonderful creature, you can make that block much more palatable.  If you need someone to survive long enough to really lay the beats down on someone else, you can offer them a reason to tap all their creatures. 

And while it doesn’t mean much, the Advocate is a 1/3, so the wide swath of 2 damage cards are going to need some help getting rid of him. 

Fight or Flight

This is a fun card, but you must be very careful to time this card appropriately.  You are about to dramatically limit how your opponents attack.  When there is no Big Threat on the board, your choices can slow the game way down.  This sort of limitation can turn you into the target.  If Fight or Flight can’t be destroyed, then next best option is to just destroy you.  This is not the kind of attention you are looking for.

If the other players are generally relying on one big creature to do their attacking, then this card won’t be of any help.  This card works best when the players have several creatures and are looking to attack en masse to get damage in. 

If you time it right, this can be spectacular.  The two piles you provide can be all the creatures in one pile, and none in the other.  This leaves that player with all the options they had before.  This way, your allies can attack with impunity.  Your enemies are stuck with only half of their creatures available to attack each turn, which forces them to over-commit on the battlefield and leaves them vulnerable to any board-clearing card that you as the white mage will undoubtedly be running. 

Finally, while I am not a proponent of control decks in multiplayer, this card can help there as well.  It limits how much of the board can attack you very effectively.  Once again though, keep in mind this card will likely make you the target.  As the control player, you’ll be trying to tie down all of the other players on the board.  Either be ready for this or try to set up some alliances beforehand in the hopes of not becoming the target.

Quickening Licid

I include Quickening Licid mostly because it still drives all the rules guys crazy.  With the change to combat rules and the stack, Quickening Licid becomes way more tame,[2] but it is still a lot of fun. 

Once the defending player has chosen blockers, you can mess up all the careful math by putting the Licid on a creature.  I prefer to use it on other people’s turns.  The best is when it is an aura on someone else’s tapped creature, and your next opponent is making his attacks.  Players often forget about the Licid at that point.  For only 1WW, you can give first strike to another creature!  Ahh, good times.

Order of the Sacred Torch

So there are three things that can happen when this is played:

1.  No one is playing black.  You just paid 1WW for a 2/2. No one cares and you curse me for suggesting you play such a lame card.

2.  Someone is playing black.  They read the card. They reread the card.  They realize the ugliness this card will be for them.  They destroy the creature with any one of the plethora of black removal cards. 

3.  Someone is playing black.  They read the card.  They reread the card.  They realize the ugliness this card will be for them.  They weep at the lack of removal, knowing that once the creature recovers from summoning sickness, this card will demand that they have a spell that needs to be countered, a black removal card, and the mana to cast both in one turn, just to get rid of a lowly 2/2.  Life is good.

What are the odds that there will be no one at your table playing black?  At my table the odds are somewhere close to zero.  This means that the worst case scenario for me is that the black mage is going to have to use up a removal card for this creature, making it more likely that my next creature will survive.  If I happen to have some equipment that can shroud my dude, the level of nastiness on this creature goes through the roof. 

Finally, this Paladin is actually a Human Knight.  Perhaps you will want to keep this in mind in your next Knight deck.  Or your next Human deck, assuming anyone builds Human decks.

Crimson Acolyte

Some cards just don’t need much explanation:  the dude has protection from red.  He can give it to any creature, not just yours.  Think about that.  Yeah, I can see your evil smile slowly getting bigger and bigger.

Mageta the Lion

I understand that Mageta needs a specific deck.  If you are planning to use him you need to be able to deal with repeated mass creature removal.  You need to be able to protect him.  You need to be able to draw extra cards.  I understand that there are a lot of requirements there.  However,

REPEATABLE WRATH EFFECT AT INSTANT SPEED!

Are you understanding this!?  You can wipe the board any time you want!  As often as every single round if you have the mana and the cards in hand to do it.  Indestructible creatures, alternate win conditions such as milling or life gain, or whatever other devious thought you have as a way to take advantage of a board state that involves almost no creatures or creature combat.  This guy rocks.  Get him!  Build decks!  Enjoy!

Kjeldoran Home Guard

Every time you attack or block with this guy, you get a dude.  It isn’t just any creature token though, it is a Deserter token.  Only the Sengir Autocrat has cooler tokens than the Kjeldoran Home Guard.[3]  The problem I have is that the Deserter sticks around for you.  It leaves the Home Guard but still works for you.  Sounds like a pretty stupid Deserter to me. 

This guy is not here to amass many token creatures.  He is only going to give you one creature per block, so even if you are attacked every turn, you are only going to get a few token creatures.  The key to this guy, as if the 1/6 power and toughness hasn’t given it away, is the amazing defense.  He is giving you an extra blocker to chump with.  This will let you block big dumb green creatures for quite some time.

Note that bounce or blinking (or Hex Parasite!) is your friend.  Resetting the Home Guard before it dies means you can keep this up for a very long time.  This guy also rocks with banding, but honestly, if you are using banding, no amount of Kjeldoran Home Guard antics will save you.

Coalition Honor Guard

I could have used either flagbearer or the aura; it is the flagbearer ability that I want you to be using.  There are so many things that target creatures, it can mess up many deck strategies if you force all of them to target a flagbearer.  These guys truly shine when you have a way to protect them.  Shroud, Protection from a color of your choice, or Indestructibility raises these guys from annoying to pain in the ass level in short order. 

This is probably not the guy you want if you are looking to make friends.  Since everyone has to target him, everyone is looking at you.  Hiding in the weeds is a great strategy but the Honor Guard shouts your presence from the rooftops.

Note that it is only your opponents who have to abide by this limitation.  Your Path to Exile, Oblivion Ring and other targeted spells and abilities still work just fine.  His Go for the Throat must target the flagbearer.  Once he kills it, then he can come after Iona or whatever other nasty creature you have on the battlefield.   

Glory

I know the safe play with any Incarnation is to put it directly into the graveyard so it isn’t exiled.  In spite of that, I still attack with it.  I enjoy watching people with bigger creatures refuse to block Glory, for fear of what it will do when it is in the graveyard.

Even better is never attacking with it.  Just the threat of it in the graveyard is often a better defense than actually having to activate its ability from the graveyard.  So many players simply refuse to attack you while Glory plays defense. 

Thankfully, when someone finally does kill it off, the ability is as good as it looks.  It can be the unstoppable damage needed to take out an opponent or the unbeatable defense, with creatures that just don’t take damage. 

Just a warning about Glory:  three mana may not seem like a lot, but if you have to pay it because all of your opponents are attacking you, you end up paying again and again.  This can really limit you from doing anything else.  Glory gives you some significant protection, but it is hardly impenetrable.  There are also many more ways to empty graveyards than there were when Glory was brand new.  A quick Bojuka Bog and suddenly you aren’t quite as unbeatable as you appeared to be moments before.  

Innistrad

In the coming weeks, Innistrad previews will begin… and we’re getting one!  I can’t tell you anything about the card, or even what day we’ll be revealing the card since we haven’t received it yet, but know we’ll be getting another preview to go along with Dread Cacodemon.  We’ll be sure to let you know more as we find out!

Bruce Richard
@manaburned
bnrichard<AT>hotmail<DOT>com

P.S.  Thanks to Abe Sargent.  It wasn’t until I was halfway through the article that I realized that I was using his forgotten card series as a template for these cards.  It is nice to know that his articles are so ingrained in my psyche that I subconsciously use his article ideas for my own!


[1] I understand every group is different.  Perhaps these cards are not forgotten at all in your group, but just humor me here.  I think these cards are cool and do things that are different from the usual cards we see in white.

[2] It used to be that if the creature you enchanted died, you simply paid W and turned the Licid into a creature again.  While this still works for direct damage or other damage that goes on the stack, it doesn’t work for combat damage any more.  If the first strike creature you enchanted takes lethal damage in combat, there is no opportunity for you to spend the mana and remove the enchantment.  This makes the Licid far less annoying, but it still works well. 

[3] Serf tokens.  I refer to them as Serfer Dudes.

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About Windborn Muse

If you seek limited or constructed tournament knowledge, wrapped up with excellent comedic writing, you are in the wrong place. Planted firmly at the kitchen table, Bruce (the Windborn Muse) is all things casual, focusing primarily on strategies for multiplayer games wrapped up with horrific, train wreck attempts at humour. Bruce is married to an extremely tolerant woman and has three children who will not go near him in public. In real life Bruce works as an attorney and lives just outside Boston.
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8 Responses to Windborn Musings – White Collar Cards for the Discerning Mage

  1. kyzneg says:

    Great article, some really fun cards there.

    One quick point on the flagbearers, I’m pretty sure that you don’t want to give them shroud/protection, the ability is worded to take effect when targets are originally chosen, so if the flagbearer isn’t a legal target due to protection or shroud (or hexproof now), the opponent is free to target as they wanted to originally. I could be wrong, and I[‘m not finding any

    Finally, congratulations on getting another well deserved preview card, hope it’s something awesome.

    • kyzneg says:

      Ugh, edit fail. Last bit of the flagbearer comment was supposed to say that I wasn’t seeing any relevant rulings on whether the flagbearers worked with shroud or not. They used to for a while, since they were errata’d into a triggered ability, but they’ve since been errata’d into what appears to be a static ability that affects the original targeting, and doesn’t change it, so shroud would turn your flagbearer off.

      • What I try to do is give it, for example, protection from black, until the end of the turn. It does shut them off for a turn, but they are back again to annoy on the next turn!

  2. Matthew Banister says:

    Personally I love Glory and I use in my Radiant, Archangel EDH deck, and you are totally correct. People are terrified to kill it. Which is nice.

  3. Jesse says:

    This list just shows why I hate white cards so, so much. Though I absolutely LOVE Fight or Flight as a card (and any of the pile cards from Invasion).

    And I really wish the Advocates got more play in our group, they’re so much fun.

  4. I can personally vouch for Order of the Sacred Torch. It tore my discard deck to pieces way back when. The only chance I had at victory were Racks and casting spells so my stupid friend would counter them to lower his life more.

    Then he Spirit Linked his White Knight. /sadface
    But yeah, he was THAT kind of guy.

    I liked your Kjeldoran Home Guard bit.

  5. Stephen says:

    So maybe people will start building human decks now that humans are getting a lord – at least when he isn’t a werewolf.

  6. Pingback: Graveborn Musings—Uzai Yo!! | Muse Vessel

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