What to Expect: The Impact of M13 on the metagame – White

We’ve finally reached the last color! Thanks for sticking with me through the good (and the bad) card choices. I think most players already know which cards they’ll see the most of, so I’m doing this to think out loud to help with my thinking process and also because maybe I saw a combo that nobody else has thought of yet.

Before I jump into white I want to give my overall impressions of it real quick. For exalted decks, white will offer some great cards that will curve into each other and will probably work best with black in a WB Exalted deck. However, I think the second best choice for Exalted would be green since it would allow you to use Rancor and make chump blocking totally irrelevant. Keep that in mind when you’re brewing new decks. There are also a lot of cards that I think we will see post rotation in October (Planar Cleansing for Day of Judgment? Captain’s Call for Timely Reinforcements?), but I also think there will be a good number of cards that will see play before that. Here is my list of white cards and how they’ll affect the standard metagame in the coming months.

Attended Knight: Probability – moderate

I think this is a good card, and that it might have a place in some Human decks like RW Humans, Mono white Human/Angel, and it wouldn’t be bad in Token decks either. The ability to suddenly Cloudshift it and create another 1/1 Soldier Token will also be useful too, so it might even show up in UW Venser decks.

Intrepid Hero: Probability – moderate

I think the Hero will see more sideboard action than anything else. He does fill the much needed removal gap for white that will be left when cards like Celestial Purge leave play in October, so I think some people will find uses for him when they go up against Mono-green decks that just have massive creatures. You could even beef up your opponents creatures with cards like Elder of Laurels and then blast them with the Intrepid Hero once their power hits +4. I think this card will be best in weenie decks with a lot of small creatures, and also in Token creature decks where each creature’s defense isn’t that great. The Hero’s greatest drawback is his defense though. He’ll die to everything.

Sublime Angel: Probability – High

In my opinion it’s one of the top 5 cards in M13. A 4/3 Flyer for 4 mana is great, AND it gives Exalted to everybody. Of course this will be in Exalted and Token decks, but like I said before, I think a Green/White exalted deck would benefit the most from her. Trample just makes Exalted so much better. A W/G Exalted Angel deck would be great. I would love to see Sublime Angel teamed up with Sigarda, Host of Herons. Turn 1 mana creature + land 1, T2 mana creature + land 2, T3 Sublime Angel + land 3, Turn 4 Sigarda (attack with a 8/7). One of my readers mentioned this, but it you could put a Ring of Thune or a Ring of Kalonia on Sigarda after that, she’d single handedly win the game for you (unless she get’s DoJ’d).

Serra Avenger: Probability – moderate to high

2 mana for a 3/3 flyer with Vigilance . . . NICE. Who cares if you can’t cast it until the 4th turn? You could use those turns to set up various anthems like Honor of the Pure, put some Lingering Souls out to play, and after your opponent has used some removal or counters in those first 3 turns, bring her out and start pounding away at them. I think you’ll see her in Mono white human/angel decks and Exalted decks. She’ll find her way into a few decks.

Rhox Faithmender: probability low to moderate

I would LOVE to see Life Gain decks become a standard deck type. This guy makes gaining life so much more fun! With Timely Reinforcements you could gain 12 life instead of 6, with Healer of the Pride you’d get 4 life for each creature that enters the battlefield (20 life for Increasing Devotion!), 6 life for each Cathedral Sanctifier you play, and of course you’d double all life gained through life link! Why would you want to gain so much life? Well of course you’d want to stay alive longer, but without finishers you could be in trouble. Serra’s Avatar seems like the obvious choice, but no, I would use Chalice of Life/Chalice of Death! In no time at all you could flip your Chalice and start making your opponent lose 5 life, and if you had 4 of those in play, your opponent would be dead in no time. Build up a good defence to keep that life total high (Tree of Redemption + Sheltering Word combo would gain you 26 life!), then make that life work for you! Outside of a life gain deck, I don’t think he’ll see much play though.

Knight of Glory: probability – low to moderate

I think this card will see some play in WB Exalted decks alongside Knight of Infamy (or WG Exalted), and maybe in some Venser/Stonehorn Dignitary decks too. Exalted would work well with a 1/4 Rhino.

Captain of the Watch: Probability – moderate

For 6 mana you get 4 creatures with Vigilance, which isn’t bad. This would combo very well with Timely Reinforcements and Knight of Bladehold in a mono white Soldier Token deck. The Captain also lends herself very well to cards like Restoration Angel and Cloudshift, instantly giving you another 3 creatures whenever she is blinked. I definitely think you’ll see her in some Token creature decks, and maybe in some Venser decks as well.

Odric, Master Tactician: Probability – moderate

Like I mentioned with green’s Predatory Rampage, the most benefit you’ll get out of cards like Odric are going to be combo-ing him with cards that force your opponent to block. A green/white Token weenie deck with Predatory Rampage and Garruk Relentless/Garruk, The Veil-Cursed would be a great combo with Odric. Force your opponents to block, then have the strongest ones block your Deathtouch wolf and deal one damage to each of them while the rest of your creatures land a blow against your opponent. Odric would also be right at home in a mono white human Token deck or a RW Human deck.

EDIT: Maybe I read it wrong, but does his ability basically mean that if you attack with 3 other creatures and him, you can choose if your opponent blocks or not? If so, you wouldn’t need to do anything else. You could attack with 4 and deal damage, or kill off one of his creatures and choose to deal the rest of the damage to the player. Hmmm, Odric suddenly became more interesting.

Ajani, Caller of the Pride: Probability – high

I’m scared. What will I do against a 5 loyalty counter Ajani on turn 3? You can’t burn it, you probably can’t attack him either. By turn 4 what kind of answers would you have for Ajani? He gives so much overwhelming power to beatdown and token decks that you won’t stand a chance. Once Ajani hits the table you better pray to god that you have something that will kill all of the creatures on the board. Counter him with Negate, cover him with an Oblivion Ring, burn him with Magmaquake, do whatever you have to do to kill him as fast as possible! Tokens, Naya Beatdown, Planeswalker Control (Gideon -0 ability, make him a 12 damage dealing, flying, indestructible creature),  Humans . . . Ajani will be everywhere. Be careful  when playing against him.

And with Ajani, that will be the end of my M13 primer leading up to it’s official release. I wish you best of luck in brewing your new decks and battling these new threats. You’ll no doubt see a lot of new decks in the first few weeks as people test them out against the metagame. How will they compare to UW Delver, GR Beatdown, and Pod decks? I personally hope that M13 can break the hold of those 3 deck types and lead to a more varied metagame.

After this weekend I’ll be going back to Metagame updates in Japan so be sure to join me next week for that and more. Thanks for reading.