Two very important magic-related projects are on the way… and they’re going to dazzle and amaze you. Those projects have been capturing so much of my attention that I’ve barely been able to rip myself away from them to look at Journey into Nyx. That ends now! I’m reviewing the white cards.
If you don’t care about the review at all, please just skip to the bottom. My favorite card in the set is down there. Let’s begin!
The High Priest is actually pretty sweet. I think this would be a welcome addition in any white heroic deck, as well as any midrange/control deck that is running smaller deathtouch creatures. The key is that it says “return to the battlefield.” There are a lot of bestow creatures that have a casting cost of 2 or less that I would rather have in my hand with this effect. It’s card advantage, sometimes.
Let’s get this out there right now. A 3/5 flying creature for 5 is fine. Having the flexibility to play with the counter just makes it even better. Popping an Ordeal a turn early, drawing a card off of Chronicler of Heroes,or just turning an irrelevant ground-pounder into a relevant threat again are all very good reasons to play this card.
This card is a bear with an upside. Relevant creature types, and a potential infinite chump blocker (if you need it), make Stonewise a great curve filler for you. I bet Traveling Philosopher is feeling pretty silly right about now.
From a limited standpoint, this seems pretty weak. Removing a blocker, sure. Knocking all the enchantments off of a Voltron creature, fine. But it’s a lot of mana, and requires another enchantment to work, and with pretty minimal upside. One of those “play it in EDH” rares. Which means it is bad.
Play this card with a grain of salt. A lot of the time, it will be better to find a cheaper flying creature, then suit it up for 5 mana. This card can be a huge blowout, don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely playable, largely because even unenchanted, it can mow through most of the competition in the sky.
3/2 for 2 mana is sweet. The downside is totally fine in an aggressive deck, where you’ll want to be alpha-striking almost every turn until your opponent is dead. This is a really interesting one to slap on an opponent’s bomb, forcing them to attack in weird ways to force damage through. It’s nice to see a bestow creature that requires a lot of finesse to play properly.
This is premium removal in the set. The main things you need to worry about are big green fatties and creatures bestowed upon a million times. The restriction isn’t even a restriction so much as a guide telling you exactly what the best creature to target is. Take this card. Take all of them. Usually this effect is like 6 mana and unplayable.
7 mana for a 5/6 creature + a removal spell. That sounds absolutely fantastic to me. Sign me up for the value train, because it’s going all the way to victory town. This is a more than capable as a bomb if you didn’t open a cool rare. The beard is almost worth the trouble of getting to 7 mana.
Let’s take a quick poll. Who would pay 3 mana to give a creature double strike and probably win a trade in combat? I would. Who would love to have the option to spend 5-7 mana on randomly inflicting a shit pile of damage to someone’s face while at the same time trading your bad creature for their good one AND winning a trade? This is a great card. You should strive to pick it up early.
3/1 for 2 mana is very efficient for an aggressive strategy. It’s cards like this that make Scouring Sands look better and better every day. This one, unfortunately, will not stop players from drawing extra cards.
This is an efficient removal spell in white. This temporary effect will at the very worst stall out several points of damage. I would venture to say that this might be playable in standard if a super aggressive deck pops up.
I don’t think anyone needs to explain just how awesome this Sheep is. He’s giving you sexy eye.
This is a removal spell that makes you jump through hoops, but also just straight up buffs your creature. I haven’t had the pleasure of taking this card for a test drive, but I imagine there are a lot of cases where it makes the creature it is equipped onto a must block.
So just about every spell that white got in this entire set is a removal spell in addition to it’s other types. Cool. I’m going to be staying far out of white in drafts — it’s absolutely insane and will probably be over-drafted forever.
This is a cute one. I’m not sure I like it that much to be honest. There are plenty of way you could make this an insane card in constructed, but in limited it’s going to get you like 3 1/1 creatures. Which is a pretty underwhelming wave if you ask me.
This seems like a perfectly fine inclusion in most limited decks. This card turn 1 into a turn 2 Ordeal is probably game over for your opponent. Unless they are also playing white, in which case they will have 23 removal spells in their deck.
Constellation is very hit and miss mechanic. This is a big miss.
This card is a huge ridiculous bomb in limited. That said, it’s also strangely bad in limited, and in other near-singleton formats, like commander. The First two abilities are absolutely busted and will forever make you win combat until the game ends with you victorious. It’s the third ability that gets me. In limited it doesn’t really do that much, and in commander it does literally nothing. I don’t see it being played in Standard, or Modern, because the power level just isn’t there. So the formats where the third ability is good, it’s a bad card. And in limited, where the third ability is only randomly good, it’s amazing. Cool trick Wizards.
Hey. Shh. Don’t.
There’s a combo here with Possibility Storm that I really don’t want you to try. Please don’t try and make it work. I really don’t think you should. If you do, at least land a planeswalker or an Assemble the Legion first. Also, wear a bullet proof vest.
This is a 23rd playable if I ever saw one.
5 mana. Target player wins target combat with the bluntest of combat tricks ever invented. Thud, you have become the winner. I’d play this in limited every time, as a combat trick that sticks.
The power level is high as a removal spell. The flavor level is maximum. I don’t think I’d first pick this in a draft over a powerful uncommon creature, but it is certainly worth a spot in your deck as a removal spell for enchantment creatures. Plus if you do end up facing a guy with one of the gods, you can do a power jump and stab the card into his chest from across the table.
If I’m not mistaken, it was this card alone that caused the White pre-release packs to be gone before the afternoon event in most stores. This was easily the best pre-release promo, and easily a first pickable rare in a limited environment.
This is an Oblivion Ring that cannot be used to stall out the game with two of its friends. It also cannot be used to hide your Worldspine Wurm until after you resolve Worldfire. So it sucks. Just kidding. It’s 92% as good as O-Ring.
I absolutely love this card. The versatility is exactly what you want in a limited environment. Being able to shut off a massive non-enchantment creature, or enable your own, is amazing. There will be times when this does the opposite of what you want, so make sure you learn as much as you can about how your opponent’s deck functions because you may want to side it out.
It continues the long line of the white tradition of being a thing + removal sometimes. I’d play it, but I wouldn’t be happy about it. Its bark is bigger than its bite.
Look, another reason why white wins every combat ever.
Finally we are here, to my absolute favorite card in the set. Why you ask? Because I play Living End in modern that’s why. Join me for a moment in a magical Christmas land that I intent to make happen in a Grand Prix at some point.
I’m playing against storm. He’s comboing off on turn three and there’s no way to stop it. I managed to get my third land out, but here it comes, Grapeshot for 21 points of damage. All of the copies hop onto the stack aimed right at my innocent little face.
Suddenly out of nowhere, here comes Violent Outburst. I start cascading. My opponent smirks, he know’s he has me. I’m looking for the 1 card in my library that costs less than 3 mana. I finally find it.
It’s not in my colors.
It doesn’t cycle.
It makes my opponent have his very own violent outburst.
I have become an illegal target for all 21 copies of Grapshot. My opponent, with an empty hand, slowly stands up from the flipped table. He’s crying now. He’s walking away. He trips a little over the camera’s power chord, as the announcers talk about my glorious Top8 victory. I smile.
I tell him “come on man, it’s all right there in the flavour text.”
He turns. Tears streaming down his face to read the small passage in the text box…
He is concerned only with safe passage for the Dead.