Gatecrash tips: Playing to your Weaknesses – White

I’m going to have to stay on top of things if I am going to complete all of these articles by Saturday. I can’t believe that the pre-release is only 2 days away now. This week, no, this MONTH has been so busy that time has just flown by. I haven’t had a chance to play standard since last Friday, and even then it was a 6 person Friday Night Magic. Pathetic, I know. I should probably go to a different store for it from now on. I don’t think it’s even worth focusing on standard any more until February 1st. As soon as the pre-release is over, I’m going into brew mode and making a list of cards to buy the first day while the prices are cheap. At the moment, I’m thinking of some Orzhov and Simic flash decks I want to make and I’m getting kind of excited. I’m glad I bought so many cheap cards over the past few weeks! Look for some new deck ideas next week!

The second article today will be covering white cards from Gatecrash. My list is kind of small, but that’s because some of the other cards were situational cards and probably better suited to the sideboard. Starting us off today is

Smite

Smite

Not the best removal card since you need to have a blocker in order for it to work, but it’s MUCH better than Divine Verdict from M13. Sure I’ll block your 7/6 trampler with my 1/1 and……. destroy it. One mana is great and this should fit into just about any white deck you build. I don’t think it would be a top pick in a draft, but it might be my 4th or 5th pick. If your pool is weak on removal it’s better than nothing. I have tons of these from Stronghold, so I can’t wait to bust those out again :D.

Murder Investigation

Murder Investigation

Awesome flavor. Makes total sense that Boros soldiers would come out in force to investigate a murder. Limited events such as sealed or booster drafts are all about having the most creatures, but this can totally even the playing field if your pool is low on creatures. In a Naya deck with some big Gruul creatures, or in an Orzhov deck where you need more bodies on the ground to block, this card will perform very well for you. This would definitely be a high pick for me, especially if I decided to go Naya or Simic with splash of white.

Knight of Obligation

Knight of Obligation

Knight of Obligation fills a much needed position in a control themed deck. He’s a body with good toughness that can block your opponent’s attacking creatures. The vigilance is a decent added ability, but what is really nice about him is the Extort trigger. He can fit easily into a Boros themed deck for life gain, and also would do well in Esper surrounded by other extort cards. Not a first pick, and not a last pick, I’d take the Knight somehwhere in the middle to compliment the creatures I already have. He’ll hold the fort down while you get your strategy set up.

Holy Mantle

Holy Mantle

Holy Mantle was a tough choice. The four mana is a little high, but the protection from creatures makes it unblockable. Even if it’s on a 1/1 creature, 3 unblockable damage is pretty good. Anything higher is great. You’ll still have to worry about removal spells, but the +2/+2 should put you creature out of burn range. Aerial Maneuver (+1/+1 and flying until end of turn) is also decent, but since it’s a one time spell I think Holy Mantle is a better. Once you have some decent creatures in your deck, adding this in would be a good idea I think. Just be sure to take into account various removal cards when deciding who to use it on. It can also be used to defend and absorb all damage, so hold him back if you need to.

Guardian of the Gateless

Guardian of the Gateless

Guardian of the Gateless takes ALL comers. You have 20 non-trample damage coming from 3 Gruul beasts and she’s your only creature? Block them all, get +3/+3, and just maybe you’ll take one of those beasts down with you. The guardian isn’t an aggressive card, and the 5 mana is a little high, but if you decide to play a defensive game she can do a good job of stalling. She’d fit well in a Orzhov or Esper deck alongside the Knight, and at worse she’s a 5 mana 3/3 flyer (which is still decent). I don’t think she’d fit well in a Gruul or Naya deck though, so be careful how you draft it.

Daring Skyjek

Daring Skyjek

I’m having a sort of deja vu. Is this Accorder Paladin from Mirrodin Besieged? Well, the cost is the same, and so is the power/toughness, but the effect is different. The Paladin had Battle Cry, and the Skyjek has Battalion. Both need creatures in order to reach their full potential, but the Skyjek gets flying which give him evasion when he attacks. Is it always going to activate? No. But on the other hand he’s a 3/1 for two mana. Throw in some bonus effects, or play him in Naya with some Bloodrush, and you have a pretty efficient attacker in your deck. With other Boros cards he’ll do really well, but at 2 mana I think he’d work well in just about any deck. A good complimentary card, but not an early pick for draft.

Assault Griffin

Assault Griffin

Hey little Griffin! We missed you for about 5 months between the time when M12 rotated out and when you were printed again in Gatecrash! Yeah right . . . nobody cares that you were gone, but you aren’t bad in limited. He’s a later pick in draft, maybe towards the end as a 16th or 17th pick, but a vanilla 3/2 flyer for 4 mana can get things done. Not much to say except that he has evasion and a slightly bigger body than recent common flyers.

Angelic Edict

Angelic Edict

Trostani’s Judgment from RTR saw some limited play, so why not Angelic Edict? It lacks the populate mechanic and instant speed, but it costs 2 less. Turn 5 is about the turn when things go from okay to bad, or bad to worse. Removal is always good to have, so if you’re playing white it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have 2-3 removal spells for things you absolutely have no way of getting rid of. I’d probably take this as one of my top 10 choices in a draft if I was running boros or control. It’s decent.

Other cards that might see play:

  • Debtor’s Pulpit – works well in control, also takes away blockers for Boros when the size of the creatures starts to get too big to attack into, even with double strike.
  • Knight Watch – a MUCH better Captain’s Call from M13. Instead of 3 1/1 Soliders for 4, you get 2 2/2 Knights for 5. More power on the board, plus vigilance.
  • Syndic of Tithes – a 2/2 for 2 mana would see some play, and if you add in extort it’s not bad. He’ll fit into your curve, give you some power . . . your basic utility card in draft.

Wrap Up

And that wraps up white for Gatecrash. Gatecrash has a lot less playable white cards in my opinion, and I think that’s because the colors are balancing out overall now. RTR had a lot of white control because of Azorius, but Gatecrash is shaping up to be more in favor of Boros and Orzhov. There are a few removal spells, but a 50/50 split of creatures to use in either a control or aggro decks. I hope my suggestions coincide with yours, but if they don’t please let me know what other cards you’d choose for your draft or sealed deck. Be sure to check back sometime on Thursday for the next installment of “Playing to your Weaknesses” – Red!

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