Rise of the Eldrazi Set Review – White

 

As usual, I get to take a look at what the new set has to offer, and this time White gets more than its fair share. The grading scale is the same as last time, although I did try and update the examples of each rating with more current cards.

Constructed

5.0: Multi-format All-Star. Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf.

4.0: Format staple. Bloodbraid Elf. Baneslayer Angel.

3.5: Good in multiple archetypes, but not a format staple. Raging Ravine. Oblivion Ring.

3.0: Archetype staple. Sprouting Thrinax. Goblin Guide.

2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. Rampant Growth. Divination.

2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. Celestial Purge. (Bear in mind that many cards fall into this “maybe” category, although explanation of why is obviously important)

1.0 It has seen play once. One with Nothing. (I believe it was “tech” vs Owling Mine, although fairly suspicious tech at that.)

Limited

5.0: I will always play this card. Period.

4.5: I will almost always play this card, regardless of what else I get.

4.0: I will strongly consider playing this as the only card of its color.

3.5: I feel a strong pull into this card’s color.

3.0: This card makes me want to play this color. (Given that I’m playing that color, I will play this card 100% of the time.)

2.5: Several cards of this power level start to pull me into this color. If playing that color, I essentially always play these. (Given that I’m playing that color, I will play this card 90% of the time.)

2.0: If I’m playing this color, I usually play these. (70%)

1.5: This card will make the cut into the main deck about half the times I play this color. (50%)

1.0: I feel bad when this card is in my main deck. (30%)

0.5: There are situations where I might sideboard this into my deck, but I’ll never start it. (10%)

0.0: I will never put this card into my deck (main deck or after sideboarding). (0%)

Affa Guard Hound

Constructed: 1.0

Bad dog!

Limited: 1.0

I would give Affa Hound a higher rating in most sets (*cough* Zendikar), but Rise doesn’t really have quite as many 2/2’s bashing into each other, which is where the Hound really earns his pay. Between the level up evasion guys and huge Eldrazi monsters, a little 2/2 with a mediocre combat trick attached just doesn’t have a bone to gnaw on. There are certainly matchups where the Hound will be good, but I would leave him in the doghouse until then. If they have a lot of Red removal, or if the games look like there will be a lot of combat with small guys, feel free to give this dog a whistle. Wow, that was a lot of puns, even for me.

 

Caravan Escort 

Constructed: 1.0

He can team up with Caravan Hurda and make sure that some lucky caravan is REALLY protected.

Limited: 2.5

I’m really impressed by the level-up guys. The only one that seems terrible is Ikiral Outrider; even the kind of slow-looking Black ones are quite good. Caravan Hurda is no exception, and even though it is basically Pearl Unicorn for a while, once it levels up it is a huge threat. As always, cards that are good early and good late are just good.

 

Dawnglare Invoker 

Constructed: 1.0

Cryptic Command on wheels he is not, and I don’t expect to see this guy tapping down armies in any Constructed formats.

Limited: 3.0

The standard two-power flier for three has always been good, and adding a very powerful bonus doesn’t hurt. The Invoker beats down pretty quickly, and late game is almost unbeatable. Even if your board is much worse than theirs, if they can’t get rid of the Invoker than it doesn’t really matter that you aren’t adding more guys; you just tap them down and keep swinging.

 

Deathless Angel 

Constructed: 2.5

Path to Exile, Oblivion Ring and Journey to Nowhere notwithstanding, it isn’t very easy to get rid of a protected Deathless Angel. It beats all the other popular finishers in a fight, and can protect your other guys as well. The downside is of course its cost; eight mana is quite hefty, and you won’t often have the time to wait around for that. Some Blue-White tapout decks play Sphinx of Jwar Isle in addition to Baneslayer, and as a one or two-of I can see Deathless Angel taking that slot. It even doesn’t die to Wrath effects! I don’t think that giving this a 2.5 is a stretch, and it might even edge its way up to a 3.0 eventually.

Limited: 4.5

Ah, it feels good to give bomb rares a high rating again! In the last block, something like Deathless Angel would be fine but not insane; Steppe Lynx, Surrakar Marauder, and Plated Geopede saw to that. Rise has no such limitations, and the Angel is a legitimate windmill slam. Almost unkillable even if you don’t have double-White up, and board dominating when you do, I can’t imagine passing this for anything if you open one pack 1. It doesn’t stop Annihilator (obviously), but you can probably sack a few lands and triple block the Eldrazi, with the Angel stopping you from losing anything. That, or just kill them with your five-power flier before they play an 11-drop.

 

Demystify 

Constructed: 1.0

We have a plethora of good options for enchantment/artifact removal nowadays, and I would by mystified if something as narrow as this was the best option. Even Dredge, a deck that has to kill an enchantment at the cost of one mana, has access to Nature’s Claim now. In Standard you could just get value from Kor Sanctifiers or Oblivion Ring, which leaves Demystify on the sidelines.

Limited: 0.5

Enchantments are not nearly prevalent enough to be able to maindeck this, although it obviously has use as a sideboard card. I would try and pick one up every draft, which really shouldn’t be difficult to do.

 

Eland Umbra 

Constructed: 1.0

While some of the Umbras will see the limelight, giving a creature +0/+4 isn’t nearly good enough. It is cute that if you land this on a Kor Firewalker it shuts down Ball Lightning, Hellspark Elemental, and the rest of the Red deck, while also stopping the first Deathmark or Doom Blade, but then again, Hyena Umbra also does that without being terrible.

Limited: 0.5

Making a guy much harder to kill isn’t that awesome. With +0/+4, it’s doubtful your guy is going Hellspark Elementalto die most of the time anyway, so adding the Umbra protection isn’t really all that relevant. If you have a few guys that are must-kill, then maybe, but in an average deck I would leave this on the sidelines.

 

Emerge Unscathed 

Constructed: 2.0

Brave the Elements does a pretty efficient job of destroying the chances that Emerge Unscathed sees play, but it does have the upside of being able to protect non-White creatures. Whether that little issue matters is what is going to make or break Emerge Unscathed, since Brave stops mass removal like Earthquake, makes all your guys unblockable, and the Rebound on Emerge is not really that exciting.

Limited: 1.5

Rebound on this is much less awesome than on most cards, but it does let you get in for damage. Emerge will mostly counter a removal spell or win a combat, then next turn let you hit with a guy when you normally couldn’t, which is fine, and sometimes it will let you bash with something two turns in a row. Having a large theme of the set be colorless certainly hurts this, and makes it much less reliable, particularly on the aggressive front. It isn’t exactly sick to spend a card in order to make them chump with an Eldrazi spawn, and that is what will happen a good portion of the time. Emerge is a pretty solid sideboard card, since against the removal-heavy decks it will always trade for something, and give you mana advantage to boot. The Rebound will give you some sick value against cards like Narcolepsy, which is enough on its own to make me want this in my sideboard, if not my maindeck.

 

Gideon Jura 

Constructed: 3.5

It looks like 4.5 mana is the Maginot Line of Planeswalkers. Above it, and they are mostly unplayable. Below it, they are Constructed powerhouses. There are a couple notable exceptions (Sarkhan Vol, Tezzeret the Seeker), but for the most part it really holds true. I think Gideon may be yet another exception, since he has some of the traits that the better Planeswalkers tend to share. He protects himself with his –2 ability, he provides card advantage most turns (assuming they have guys you can Lure and/or Assassinate), and he does something on an empty board. He bashes for a fair bit of damage, and can punch other Planeswalkers with impunity. Jace can’t interact with Gideon in any meaningful way, which is definitely important. He does compete with another pretty good card at the same mana cost, but in a Planeswalker-centric deck, he meshes very well with Elspeth and Jace, siphoning attacks off of them and benefiting from the chumps that Elspeth provides. He is pretty hyped, but he will live up to most of that hype, which is impressive.

Limited: 4.5

As good as he is in Constructed, I don’t see how anyone is beating him in any remotely close game in Limited. Going up to 8 Loyalty right off the bat makes him almost unkillable, and presumably you have at least a few guys to defend him. He crushes board stalls, he crushes them if they only have one or two guys out, and he is only “bad” when you are vastly outnumbered. Even then, he eats a guy and absorbs four points of attacks!

 

Glory Seeker 

Constructed: 1.0

If you are seeking glory, be assured that this guy should be nowhere near your Constructed deck.

Limited: 1.0

A legitimate first-pick in Onslaught draft, a solid playable in Zendikar, and borderline unplayable in Rise. This set is awesome! Before I get too carried away, I do have to mention that draft isn’t quite as glacially slow as sealed, and Glory Seeker is definitely solid in some aggressive decks. Those decks would rather be casting level-up guys, but if you are beating down, a 2-drop is a 2-drop. I know that my decks will not be playing him, but I wouldn’t fault you if you do. Be careful not to run him in a deck that doesn’t want him; much like in M10 Limited, running Glory Seeker in a non-beatdown deck is a sure way to lose yourself some games.

 

Guard Duty 

Constructed: 1.0

“Killing” a guy for one mana is worth looking at, but the competition is way too fierce for Guard Duty to find a home. Aggressive decks don’t want it, and will run Path, control decks will run Oust, and both of them are happy with their Journey to Nowheres and O-Rings.

Limited: 2.0

Guard Duty will be an awesome removal spell in some decks (like UW evasion, Eldrazi ramp that just needs to survive), a necessary evil in others (removal-light White decks that don’t have enough evasion), and unplayable in others (W/x beatdown that has other removal AND no evasion). It gets owned pretty hard by [card warmongers chariot]Warmonger’s Chariot], which I had happen to my team at the Pre-release, and shares the normal Aura vulnerability to enchantment removal and bounce. Attacking into a guy with Guard Duty on it is miserable, and decks that eventually have to do that probably don’t want to play it, although sometimes you just have to stop their 10-drop monster. If your lategame is awesome (possibly involving hardcast Emrakul or something), Guard Duty fits the plan, but I would recommend staying away from most non-beatdown decks that lack removal and evasion, since if that is your deck, what exactly are you doing?

 

Harmless Assault 

Constructed: 1.0

Putting this in your deck will be an assault on your chances, and not a harmless one at that.

Limited: 1.0

This is expensive for a combat trick, but it does both Fog and let you set up good blocks, making it good in a cluttered board or a race. Its inefficiency in the early to mid game makes me hesitant to play it, but late game it becomes a decent trick. Preventing a few damage to yourself while killing one or more of their guys is certainly worth a card, but the cost of leaving four mana up isn’t something you can bear for too many turns in most games.

 

Hedron-Field Purists 

Constructed: 1.0

Expensive levelers that mostly help cluttered boards aren’t exactly Constructed material.

Limited: 3.0

I don’t know how many people still remember playing Limited with [card]Lashknife Barrier[/card] (although IPA drafts on MTGO may have exposed a new generation to it), but it is pretty difficult to come out ahead in combat against one. Add in [card urzas armor]Urza’s Armor[/card] (look at all the old hits!) and it becomes even worse, making Hedron-Field Purists a very attractive card. Granted, it is easier to kill the Purists than Barrier or Armor, which could lead to some pretty awkward combat blowouts, but at least if it dies in combat it still prevents the damage that happens simultaneously. It also buys you the time to level it fully, at which point getting through for damage is going to be pretty miserable barring an Eldrazi incursion.

 

Hyena Umbra 

Constructed: 2.5

I foresee being annoyed by Umbra’ed up Kor Firewalkers or the like, particularly if I’m sitting across from Cedric. Making a guy survive any of Jund’s removal, Wraths, and combat, is pretty potent, and the mana cost is spot on. I am excited myself about casting it on Knight of the Reliquary, since if you slowroll the Knight and they tap out, it puts Jund into a really awkward position.

Limited: 2.0

Sadly for Hyena Umbra, the lean mana cost is not nearly as huge an advantage in Limited. While the effect is fine, paying a little more for a bigger effect is preferable, and Hyena Umbra loses to something like Drake Umbra in that regard. I wouldn’t want to run too many Umbras maindeck, but they are very potent sideboard cards, since some decks have no option but to suck it up and trade a premium removal spell or creature for the Umbra. When you run into trouble is when you play against a deck filled with Narcolepsies, bounce, or other ways around the destroy clause on the Umbra.

 

Ikiral Outrider 

Constructed: 1.0

Surely, Ikiral Outrider will form a crucial part of the Caravan Guard/Hurda conglomerate.

Limited: 0.5

Ikiral Outrider holds the dubious distinction of being one of the few levelers that is just flat out bad. There might be some others that need specific decks to work (Echo Mage), but the Outrider just isn’t a good card at all. Six mana for a 2/6 is not a steal, and adding another twelve mana to make him an awe-inspiring 3/10 Vigilance is not much better. I guess you might sideboard it in against the 5-power deck, but even then probably not. Still, it is very hard for a creature to be absolutely unplayable, though this guy is close.

 

Kabira Vindicator 

Constructed: 1.0

Unless you are building a Kabira deck, where the Evangel meets the Vindicator at the Crossroads, please just cast Honor of the Pure if you are looking for a Crusade.

Limited: 3.0

It would take quite the deck for me to not play this guy, since a 2/4 for 3W isn’t that bad by itself (I’ve played more than my fair share of Pillarfield Oxen in my day). Glorious Anthem is quite the ability, and potentially doubling up is a huge threat. Even if you don’t level him up much, the fact that you can will change how your opponent must play, especially if you have a bunch of Eldrazi spawn lying around.

 

Knight of Cliffhaven 

Constructed: 1.0

If levelers want to see Constructed play, they should consider going back to school and becoming [card student of warfare]students[/card].

Limited: 3.0

Even without the ability to upgrade to a Serra Angel, Knight of Cliffhaven would make the cut by being a 2/3 flier on turn 3. Add that upside in and you have a fine card, one that should be taken early and always played.

 

Kor Line-Slinger 

Constructed: 1.0

I was going to make another pun here, but after that Affa Guard Hound paragraph I thought I would just be crossing the line. If removal wasn’t so good in Standard, this guy could be some sort of tech for White mirrors, but now that White has Journey, Path, and O-Ring, I just don’t see it happening.

Limited: 3.5

Not being able to tap down huge guys is definitely more of a disadvantage in this set than it would be normally, but a tapper that doesn’t cost mana to activate is pretty filthy. Even if you can’t sling down Eldrazi, this guy dominates most boards and costs nothing to do so.

 

Kor Spiritdancer 

Constructed: 1.0

We have come a long way from Rabid Wombat and Verduran Enchantress, but Argothian Enchantress and Enchantress’ Presence are still the gold standard when it comes to Enchantresses. Relying only on Auras is a good way to fill your deck with situational and underpowered cards, and Kor Spiritdancer doesn’t do enough to mitigate that.

Limited: 1.0-2.5

If you have no Auras, Kor Spiritdancer is obviously just unplayable, but once you have five or more she gets a little interesting. Threatening to be a 2/4 or bigger base and drawing you a few cards isn’t bad, although you probably don’t want to plan on playing multiple Umbras on her; that’s just asking to get Ousted or whatever.

 

Lightmine Field 

Constructed: 1.0

In my very first Grand Prix, my opponent played a [card]Powerstone Minefield[/card] against me (one that he Enlightened Tutor’ed for no less), and my Rock deck was thoroughly unimpressed. Lightmine Field is going to be mostly worse than Powerstone Minefield, and that is already pretty bad.

Limited: 0.5

It would be quite a brew that wants to play this, although I look forward to constructing it. Even as a sideboard card it is pretty sketchy, although if they are all Valakut Fireboars or the like it could be pretty annoying for them.

 

Linvala, Keeper of Silence 

Constructed: 2.0

A ¾ flier for 4 is reasonable, although obviously not enough to be good in Constructed, and Linvala’s ability might make her useful in some specific matchups. Cursed Totem is a card that has seen play in the past, and now that levelers and mana creatures abound, it might see play again. The plethora of removal available makes it pretty unlikely that she is good, but I could see her as a one or two-of in some matchups.

Limited: 4.0

If her text box was blank, she would rate a 3.5 on base stats alone, and her ability is about as far from blank as it gets. Shutting off both levelers and Eldrazi spawn is a significant advantage, which combines to make Linvala one of the better cards in the set. Sadly, four toughness isn’t what it used to be, what with Flame Slash and all, but she is still no pushover.

 

Lone Missionary 

Constructed: 1.0

The second coming of Kitchen Finks is no such thing, and I would be very surprised if he edges out Kor Firewalker and Wall of Omens as anti-aggro technology. Not providing card advantage or impressive stats isn’t mitigated by the impressive amount of life he gains, so despite being much better than Venerable Monk, Lone Missionary still isn’t good enough.

Limited: 1.5

The comments I made about Glory Seeker apply here, although the 4 life does make this a little better than the Seeker. I still wouldn’t play it in most decks, and unless you are trying to race a ground-based deck, you would have to be pretty aggressive to want the Missionary.

 

Luminous Wake 

Constructed: 1.0

Sadly, the only member of the Wake family to make it to the big time is still Mirari’s Wake.

Limited: 1.0

Luminous Wake is essentially Guard Duty for creatures with four or less power, though there are some important differences. It does grant you a bonus four life when they block with it, but the downfall makes it much worse than Guard Duty. It doesn’t actually stop them from attacking, and does nothing against big guys, both of which are why Guard Duty is good in the first place. I guess you could put it on your guy and start bashing for four life, but that is also pretty weak. I could see playing this card, but I wouldn’t be happy about it (unless I was specifically siding it in).

 

Makindi Griffin 

Constructed: 1.0

Zero points for Gryffindor.

Limited: 3.5

The ever-popular Fighting Drake hasn’t gotten any weaker since Tempest Block, although it has gotten easier to cast.

 

Mammoth Umbra 

Constructed: 1.0

A mammoth casting cost keeps this from any hope of seeing Constructed play.

Limited: 2.0

When I said I would rather pay more for a splashier effect (see Hyena Umbra), Mammoth Umbra isn’t exactly what I had in mind. Don’t get me wrong, it is decent, but five mana is quite a bit to spend. Vigilance does let you dominate most boards, but if I’m paying five mana for an Aura I would certainly hope so. Normal Umbra weaknesses apply, and the mana cost makes it less likely that you can cast this while they are tapped out.

 

Near-Death Experience 

Constructed: 1.0

This card is pretty neat, but I don’t see a feasible way to really harness it. Getting rid of mana burn certainly did open up some design space, since with mana burn this would be quite the win condition.

Limited: 0.0

Trying to play this in Limited is more likely to lead to an Actual-Death Experience than anything else.

 

Nomads Assembly 

Constructed: 1.0

If the Assembly ever gets unruly, [card martial coup]martial law[/card] just gets declared and they all go away, which also stops any rebound shenanigans.

Limited: 1.5-3.0

If only there were a way to make a bunch of tokens and power this card up”¦if you have that deck than this is the perfect card for it, but otherwise it borders on mediocre. Casting this with three guys in play and next turn getting four to six isn’t bad, so I probably play this in most decks, but there are definitely decks where the Assembly isn’t good.

 

Oust 

Constructed: 3.0

Oust looks really awesome. It clearly isn’t that exciting in beatdown decks, since giving them three life is way worse than just giving them a land with Path, but it is a perfect fit for control. In fact, Ousting a turn one Noble Hierarch is probably better than killing it, since by the time they draw it again it is worse than them drawing a random card. Ousting Putrid Leech is also nice, although the Leech is still a relevant play on turn four. I am certainly going to be trying Oust in a variety of White-based control decks during the coming weeks.

Limited: 3.0

Ousting an Umbra’d guy is a blowout, and even just hitting their four-drop and playing a three-drop in the same turn is pretty nice. The lifegain makes that a little less broken, but Oust fits perfectly well in both beatdown and control decks, as well as everything in between. Not killing the guy permanently is a bit rough sometimes, but the mana advantage you will get off Oust (especially when you hit a leveler) makes this a solid pick.

 

Puncturing Light 

Constructed: 1.0

Blah blah blah White has a ton of good removal nowadays blah blah blah.

Limited: 3.0

This might not kill everything, but it kills more than enough, and the price is certainly right, This could be near-dead against some decks, so don’t draft a ton of these, but I doubt I would ever cut the first two from my maindeck.

 

Repel the Darkness 

Constructed: 1.0

It would be a dark day when this is good enough for Standard (or even Block).

Limited: 1.0

This is no Blinding Beam, but the fact that it cycles makes it a reasonable addition to an aggressive deck that is short on cards. Finding room for a card like this is tough, since early to midgame you don’t want to hamper your development by casting this just to get four damage in, and in the late game, tapping two guys isn’t enough to warrant a spot as a finisher. The card draw is nice, but not enough to get it out of the awkward spot it resides in.

 

Smite 

Constructed: 1.0

In smite of my best efforts, I just can’t resist making yet another pun.

Limited: 3.0

While this is spectacularly bad against evasion guys, it handles large idiots rather easily. Despite needing to block before using it, the only way you get 2 for 1ed is if they have a counterspell (though be aware that if you Smite a guy with an Umbra, the Umbra falls off and the creatures still battle each other).

 

Soulbound Guardians 

Constructed: 1.0

Every new White creature is bound to draw the inevitable Baneslayer comparison, and it certainly doesn’t make the Guardians look interesting at all.

Limited: 3.0

The Guardians are aptly named, since it is pretty difficult for the opponent to get through with them in play. Eldrazi monsters can bust through, but past that there aren’t many creatures big enough to do so. If you are fortunate enough to get a Warmonger’s Chariot, the Guardians even get to make short work of the opponent!

 

Souls Attendant 

Constructed: 2.0

Soul Warden sees some niche play, although this is certainly worse. Changing the trigger to a “may” is just asking for trouble (although I would prefer all triggers be “may”), and while they are both legal I don’t see a reason to play the one that you can forget.

Limited: 1.0

Soul Warden has always been a fine card, but I don’t think it really does what you want it to do in this case. The decks it is theoretically best against (that contain a bunch of Eldrazi spawn) don’t care how much life you gain, since they will just finish you with a 10/10 monster. Now, if you happen to be that deck, Soul’s Attendant does an admirable job of helping you survive, and is worth a spot on the roster. I don’t know how often White will team up with Eldrazi spawn, but if it does, Soul’s Attendant is ready.

 

Stalwart Shield-Bearers 

Constructed: 1.0

The pieces are falling into place for the sick defender deck. Just a few more”¦

Limited: 0.5

I’m not sure what kind of deck I would have to draft where I really wanted this, but if I ended up with no 2-drops and was facing the Glory Seeker deck, maybe I would bring this in. Maybe. Probably not

 

Student of Warfare 

Constructed: 3.0

Now this is a leveler. The second coming of Wren’s Run Vanquisher is not going to disappoint, and I anticipate losing my fair share of games to it. Granted, Wall of Omens is going to hamper its effectiveness somewhat, but the stats on this guy are good enough to make it a centerpiece of aggressive and midrange White decks for the next two years. It even plays nice with Ranger of Eos, which is not insignificant.

Limited: 3.5

It doesn’t take much to bash them with a 3/3 first striker, and the 4/4 double striker isn’t far behind. It is very White-intensive, but I think that is a disadvantage worth putting up with, considering what you are getting out of the deal.

 

Survival Cache 

Constructed: 2.0

I so want this card to be good, but I really don’t think it will quite get there. It is close to the reverse Blightning I’ve been hoping for (1UW, draw 2, gain 3), but the fact that it does nothing once you are at low life makes it too risky for a control deck. It might be decent in an aggro deck, but aggro decks can probably just use Ranger of Eos to refill, and not mess around with this. I’m giving it a 2 just out of hope, but I would be surprised if this actually got there. Oh, and it also should be an instant!

Limited: 1.0

Again, the risk of this not drawing cards is too great for me to want to put this card in my deck. If you are super aggressive and fairly sure you will be ahead on life most of the time, maybe, but that’s a hard thing to guarantee in Limited.

 

Time of Heroes 

Constructed: 1.0

Now is not the time for this. Honestly, not sure if its time will ever come, since the whole thing about leveler guys is that they should be big threats in and of themselves.

Limited: 0.0 to 2.5

I saw this card deliver some sick beatings at the prerelease, although granted this was in Team Sealed. If you have enough levelers, it is quite the threat, and I don’t think that will be an entirely uncommon occurrence. Even though all the levelers are pretty awesome, if you aggressively pick all of them, you will probably end up with the 7+ needed to make Time of Heroes playable.

 

Totem-Guide Hartebeest 

Constructed: 1.0

He has plenty of heart, I’ll give him that.

Limited: 1.5-2.5

If you have a few good targets, the Totem-Guide is pretty reasonable; after all, I love me a two for one. Picking up Guard Duty or some sweet Umbra isn’t bad, even if you are paying a bit more than retail for a 2/5.

 

Transcendent Master 

Constructed: 2.0

It turns out that Student of Warfare isn’t the only leveler in town, even if he is on the top of the list. A Trained Armodon isn’t the worst, and a 6/6 life-linker is quite the upside. I foresee the Master kind of lurking around until the opponent taps out, at which point he bashes for quite the life swing. If you have extra mana, sink it in, and just don’t go all in until you think the coast is clear. Yes, if you blindly spend all your mana you could get wrecked by a timely Bolt, so just be smart about it and I think the Master will be decent.

Limited: 4.0

The Master is pretty unstoppable, and if you can level him to 9/9 he is actually unstoppable. The point about not playing into removal stands, although in Limited there is just way less to worry about to begin with. Being able to pay for a ridiculous lifelinker in chunks is absurd, and this guy can end the game singlehandedly.

 

Umbra Mystic 

Constructed: 1.0

Making all your (crappy) Auras into (less-crappy) Auras is not nearly enough to make the grade in Constructed.

Limited: 0.5

This clearly isn’t designed for Limited, since there are very few Auras in this set that aren’t already Totem Armor, which obviously makes this do nothing.

 

Wall of Omens 

Constructed: 4.0

Obviously, the last card on the list is the card everyone is waiting for. Wall of Omens is absurd, and will greatly impact Standard, Block, and probably Extended. Don’t get me wrong; Jund will still be awesome, but Wall of Omens will play a part on helping curb the RGB menace. UW control is already a solid choice in Standard, and I can’t help but imagine that the Wall will make it even better. Wall also has applications in other decks, since it helps bring back Vengevine and is just a sweet card in general.

Limited: 3.0

While this is a solid 3, and I would never cut it, Wall of Omens isn’t nearly as good in Limited as it is in Constructed. It is a good value card, but it doesn’t exactly dominate games or anything, since after all, it is just a zero-power Wall.

Top 5 Constructed Cards for White

5. Transcendent Master
4. Oust
3. Student of Warfare
2. Gideon Jura
1. Wall of Omens

White made out pretty well here. It got some awesome tools for both beatdown and control, as well as the ever versatile Wall of Omens. The only card on the list that I’m not certain will see a significant amount of play is Transcendent Master; the rest are solid bets. Oust, Wall, and Gideon are certainly a bit better in controlling decks, but Wall and Gideon can easily fit into a more midrange to aggro version of White as well. White seems like it is tending towards a midrange beatdown shell (kind of like Boss Naya’s gameplan), and all these cards really support that. Join me tomorrow when I take a look at Blue, which sadly didn’t get as many awesome cards as White this time around!

LSV

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