Modern Horizons Limited Set Review: White

Ratings Scale

Retired and inducted into the Limited Hall of Fame: Pack Rat. Umezawa’s Jitte. The Scarab God.
5.0: The best of the best. (Niv-Mizzet, Parun. Skarrgan Hellkite. Ethereal Absolution.)
4.5: Incredible bomb, but not unbeatable. (Thief of Sanity. Judith, the Scourge Diva. Experimental Frenzy.)
4.0: Good rare or top-tier uncommon. (Gate Colossus. Mortify. Biomancer’s Familiar.)
3.5: Top-tier common or solid uncommon. (Blade Juggler. Skewer the Critics. Skyknight Legionnaire.)
3.0: Good playable that basically always makes the cut. (Sauroform Hybrid. Watcher in the Mist. Wojek Bodyguard.)
2.5: Solid playable that rarely gets cut. (Ornery Goblin. Syndicate Messenger. Plague Wight.)
2.0: Good filler, but sometimes gets cut. (Radical Idea. Noxious Groodion. Ghor-Clan Wrecker.)
1.5: Filler. Gets cut about half the time. (Wall of Mist. Axebane Beast.)
1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Feral Maaka. Knight of Sorrows. Prying Eyes.)
0.5: Very low-end playables and sideboard material. (Expose to Daylight. Persistent Petitioners.)
0.0: Completely unplayable. (Font of Agonies. One with Nothing.)

Answered Prayers

Answered Prayers

Limited: 3.0

Answered Prayers is one of the best rewards for being a creature-heavy deck. In a race, it hits for a lot of damage and gains 1-2 life a turn, more if tokens are involved, and even defensively it works well with flash creatures. There are certainly times when this offers thoughts and prayers instead of real action, as it does little to nothing when you are flooding, but that’s a risk worth taking for the upside that this offers.

Astral Drift

Astral Drift

Limited: 1.5 // 3.0

I really like that this cycles itself, as that makes the floor quite a bit higher than it would be otherwise. If you can slide into a cycling deck, this is a great payoff–it makes combat impossible, knocks off opposing auras, and re-triggers any sweet ETB effects on your side. I’d feel good about taking this early, just be ready to move off it if the deck isn’t coming together.

Battle Screech

Battle Screech

Limited: 4.0

The bird’s the word, and Battle Screech has been archetype-defining every time it has shown up. All you need is one other white creature and this makes four birds for four mana, which is an absurd deal. Even in a high-powered set like this, Screech is a bomb, and you should treat it as such.

Dismantling Blow

Dismantling Blow

Limited: 1.0

Dismantling Blow has some nice upside besides just being a Disenchant, though it’s still a sideboard card and not a main deck one. Note that you can, uh, Dismantle your own stuff if you really want the two cards (this is a tricky card to shorthand).

Enduring Sliver

Enduring Sliver

Limited: 1.5 // 3.0

In a non-Sliver deck this is a passable 2-drop, but not a lot more than that. Some white aggro decks just need to fill a curve, and this’ll do the trick. Where it gets interesting is when you’re full-on Slivers, at which point this is quite good. The ability is still too slow, but a 2-mana 2/2 Sliver is all those decks want anyways.

Ephemerate

Ephemerate

Limited: 1.0

I’m not a big fan of Ephemerate, even in the Momentary Blink-style decks. It’s just a weak card and needs a lot of help before it becomes worth a slot. That said, if you have 5+ good ETB cards this is worth playing, and nobody else at the table is likely to want it. Oh, and don’t do what my last stream opponent did and cast this in response to a big Crypt Rats activation…

Face of Divinity

Face of Divinity

Limited: 1.0

Face it, Auras just aren’t good. They are especially not good when they require other Auras to reach their full potential, and I’m completely off trying to get this to work.

First Sliver’s Chosen

First Sliver's Chosen

Limited: 1.0 // 3.5

Giving all your Slivers exalted leads to some very big swings. Hitting at +3/+3 or more isn’t hard to do, and this has an effect starting from the turn you play it. This is the five-drop Slivers decks want and is a real reward for going down that route.

Force of Virtue

Force of Virtue

Limited: 3.5

Force of Virtue would be great even without the alternate cost, as giving your whole squad +1/+1 is a powerful tool for white aggro decks. Getting to play this at instant speed is big, and it’s a very real advantage to be able to play it for free, as you might immediately get a free card by doing so. If your opponent attacks a 3/3 into your 3/3 on turn four, and you get to alternate cast this, I have a hard time imagining losing that game.

Generous Gift

Generous Gift

Limited: 1.0

This gift is a little too generous for my tastes. I like this well enough as a sideboard card against bombs, but the average white deck will have enough issues getting past a 3/3 that this doesn’t do it for me.

Gilded Light

Gilded Light

Limited: 1.5

You can always play Gilded Light if you need an extra slot, though Astral Drift is the main reason to do so. This also fits nicely in the “if you’ve drawn extra cards” deck, and every now and then you’ll cast this and it’ll be a huge blowout.

Giver of Runes

Giver of Runes

Limited: 4.5

Giver of Runes dominates the game for only one mana, though at least she herself is killable (unlike her predecessor). This makes combat a nightmare, allows you to chump block for free, and stops all the removal that can’t kill her directly (while eating the first removal spell that can kill her). That’s a lot for one mana and makes this well worth a first pick.

Impostor of the Sixth Pride

Impostor of the Sixth Pride

Limited: 2.5

The Changeling ability is worth a solid 0.5 bump on any rating, and this would be a playable without it. Impostor is most commonly seen pretending to be a Sliver, but there is a Cat lord in the set too.

Irregular Cohort

Irregular Cohort

Limited: 3.0

You know, laxatives can help with that. In any case, Irregular Cohort is a great deal, as four mana for a pair of 2/2’s with a very relevant ability is exactly what I’m looking for. This also is a great addition to the UW Blink deck, and it can generate an army very quickly with Soulherder.

King of the Pride

King of the Pride

Limited: 2.5

As someone who watches a lot of Lion King these days, I think Simba here is pretty sweet. It’s mostly a Changeling lord, but that’s fine, and +2/+1 is quite the bump.

Knight of Old Benalia

Knight of Old Benalia

Limited: 1.5

In extremely aggressive white decks, Knight of Old Benalia is a good way to kick things off. It requires a high creature count to be worth it and delivers if you get there.

Lancer Sliver

Lancer Sliver

Limited: 1.0 // 3.5

Lancer Sliver is about as straightforward as it gets. It arms your Slivers nicely and is below-rate when you aren’t going deep on the theme.

Martyr’s Soul

Martyr's Soul

Limited: 2.0

In a heavy convoke deck, Marty’s Soul has both soul and is a Soldier. A 5/4 for 3 convoke mana is exactly how you want to curve out, and this is great if you can land it on turn 3 or 4. White decks don’t have quite as much token support as I’d want for this, but it still has a home if you are heavy enough on creatures.

On Thin Ice

On Thin Ice

Limited: 4.0

I’m impressed with the various snow decks in Modern Horizons, and especially like how splashable this is. I’ve played with it in UG snow and UB snow, and it’s a perfect fit in white-based snow decks too. One mana to kill a creature is a fantastic deal, and I’d play this if I had 4+ snow lands (and it gets really good once you’re at 7+).

Ranger-Captain of Eos

Ranger-Captain of Eos

Limited: 3.0

Ranger-Captain gets a bump if you actually have a 1-drop and is a solid card even if you don’t. A 3/3 for 3 is decent, and the sac effect can come up, especially against suspend cards.

Recruit the Worthy

Recruit the Worthy

Limited: 2.0

I’ve found this to mostly be worthy, as it triggers Answered Prayers and can spit out a bunch of chump blockers. It’s not the most efficient card, but one copy is fine in most decks.

Reprobation

Reprobation

Limited: 2.5

As far as removal goes, this does the trick. They do get a chump block, and it is vulnerable to bounce/blink effects, but it’s still a cheap way to take something big down to size. There is a lot of blink in the set, so this loses points as a result.

Rhox Veteran

Rhox Veteran

Limited: 3.5

This card definitely rhox. It’s a huge offensive threat, especially when you’re going wide, and really punishes anyone trying to defend themselves by blocking. It gets even better in a token deck but is a perfect fit for any white deck that’s looking to attack.

Segovian Angel

Segovian Angel

Limited: 1.0

You need to be hyper-aggressive before this makes the cut, though it is an exceedingly cute card.

Serra the Benevolent

Serra the Benevolent

Limited: 5.0

Serra is unbelievable. She spits out a 4/4 Angel right away and can make another just two turns later. Her loyalty ticks up really fast, and she’s often worth multiple Angels, if the opponent even survives that long. Plus, some decks can’t beat her +2 into her ult, which gives her another angle of attack.

Settle Beyond Reality

Settle Beyond Reality

Limited: 3.5

Settle is a good piece of removal that often gets you a good bit of extra value. I’m in for that, and more than happy to run multiple of these.

Shelter

Shelter

Limited: 3.0

I really like the first Shelter, but it does have diminishing returns, as it requires a good creature count and isn’t removal or a creature. This is another card that punishes auras like Reprobation, and a great way to pick up a cheap 2-for-1.

Sisay, Weatherlight Captain

Sisay, Weatherlight Captain

Limited: 1.0

Go nuts trying to make Sisay work, but don’t complain to me when it doesn’t pan out.

Soul-Strike Technique

Soul-Strike Technique

Limited: 1.0

I’ll pass on an Aura that provides a minimal stat boost and leaves a 2/2 behind.

Splicer’s Skill

Splicer's Skill

Limited: 3.0

By itself, Splicer’s Skill is a 3-mana 3/3, which is a great place to start. In a long game, this can make multiple Golems, and that’s enough to make it a good early play and a solid long-term plan.

Stirring Address

Stirring Address

Limited: 2.0

Stirring Address is mediocre at both 2 and 6 mana, but that flexibility combines to make the card…a step above mediocre. This is a decent way to finish games in the go-wide white decks, though I’m never taking it too early.

Trustworthy Scout

Trustworthy Scout

Limited: 1.5

If you really need 2-drops, this clears the bar, but I’ve been unimpressed. I’ve had multiple games where the opponent could have literally infinite of these and they would still be too slow, so don’t think this is a great plan.

Valiant Changeling

Valiant Changeling

Limited: 3.0

The more Changelings you have, the better this gets, as it costs WW with even one changeling in play. If you can reliably pay 4 mana for it, I like it, and at two mana it’s a steal. Once you’re going deep on Changelings/Slivers, I can see this being a solid 3.5.

Vesperlark

Vesperlark

Limited: 2.5

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to find good creatures to return with Vesperlark, but at a 3-mana 2/1 flier it’s also a decent deal by itself. With two good cards to return, this earns a spot, and if you somehow have 3+ it becomes a very good card.

Wall of One Thousand Cuts

Wall of One Thousand Cuts

Limited: 1.5

I haven’t liked controlling white decks much, so the Wall loses a bit of its edge. If you are in that archetype, this is a good finisher/defender, but most of the time it’ll sit on the sidelines.

Winds of Abandon

Winds of Abandon

Limited: 5.0

A cheap removal spell that doubles as Plague Wind is nuts, and I don’t care that the opponent gets a bunch of lands out of the deal. It does mean you shouldn’t fire this off on turn three or four, but most of the time you want to overload it anyways.

Wing Shards

Wing Shards

Limited: 2.0

Again, this is a strong card if you’re playing defense, which most white decks aren’t. It does work especially well with cheap instants like Recruit the Worthy and can lead to some big blowouts.

Zhalfirin Decoy

Zhalfirin Decoy

Limited: 3.0

Decoy really puts pressure on the opponent and is amazing if you can keep the creatures flowing. It does take a turn off here and there, but that’s a risk worth taking.

Top 3 White Commons

3. Irregular Cohort

2. Rhox Veteran

1. Settle Beyond Reality

White has some solid commons and supports a couple different archetypes (though they all tend to be creature-centric). It’s a decent color, though I’d look for something like Battle Screech to pull me in, as it’s not the deepest color.

LSV

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