Hello folks! I hope that you are having a lovely day today. Is the sun shining? Great! Let's pause and take a looksee at some of the best cards ever printed.
Today is the second is a suite of ten articles where I look at the best 10 cards in each color combination for casual aficionados. Players of the kitchen table. This started with a Christmas themed best Red and Green slate of cards due to the colors, and then spread to today.
To qualify for today's list, a card needs to be both White and Blue, but have no additional colors. That includes gold like Windreaver, hybrid like Judge's Familiar, split like Protect // Serve, or aftermath like Farm // Market. But something like Dismantling Blow isn't Blue and White. It may be Blue and White with color identity, given its Blue mana kicker, but it's not a multicolor card.
As a reminder, I am looking at this with an eye towards the best cards from my casual eye, not tournament gaming. Is there some overlap? Sure! But a card like Meddling Mage that rules the competitive landscape does very little for a Commander game and even less for a general multiplayer game.
There are around 171 cards that are just Blue and White, from Absorb to Zealous Guardian. And I've played almost everyone of them at some point in time! In fact, I've played all but 5 cards in the Blue and White genre! 1
Given that experience, what are the best cards out there?
Honorable Mention #1 - Azorius Aethermage
This isn't really #11 it's more like #17 but I wanted to give a shout out to one of my favorite cards from the color combination! There are a bunch of cards in these colors that reward creatures arriving on the battlefield. There are many tools out there for creatures that die. But there are not a lot for permanents that get sent back to your hand. This allows the Aethermage to play into a great space that supports a ton of classic Azorius strategies without getting ahead of itself.
For example, here are a few self-bounce cards that you can use to draw cards off this Wizard.
Cards like these can really strengthen your deck. Bouncing an enchantment to replay it? Bounce a card after the Aethermage's Touch resolves? Bouncing something with a Kitty to protect it? Bouncing a land with the Chancery? All of these will trigger the Aethermage, and you can tap a mana to draw a card when they do. The massive space of tempo, card-advantage value, and more from Azorius is enhanced by this Wizard. Use her and abuse her!
By the by, she's also one of the engines that makes my Equinaut deck run, so I have played a veritable ton of cards with her over the years in the same deck. (My Equinaut Deck is a deck based around Equilibrium and Fleetfoot Panther that plays and replays creatures with self-bounce triggers to abuse various triggers like Aura Shards, the bounce trigger, or tap them before they had back with Opposition, and so forth).
Now what's next . . .
Honorable Mention #2 -Ordered Migration / Migratory Route
Now this is #11 and so close to making the cut in my deck. These are your game-winners. Want to know a secret from my Five Color days? I killed more players with the bird Tokens off Ordered Migration than any other sorcery. Not Insurrection. Not burn. Not Overrun. Nothing won more games than this. And it would also save my butt, if I was facing a major threat I needed a few turns to find an answer foe, as I could chump block for a few turns until I had time to dig up something. Migratory Route is essentially better with the basic landcycling outside of a five color domain deck. It's a house and a mana-fixer in one package, whichever you need! These are a pair of Bird-making forces that you can't sleep on.
Time for top ten smashing.
10. Ephara, God of the Polis
Or as I like to call her, Ephara of the Card Drawing Machine. Note that she triggers when you have a creature arrive to the battlefield, not cast. So, she works with token making effects that put a creature out, including other turns. She also rewards creatures with flash that get cast across multiple turns. Or even a simple Momentary Blink that can send something out and back again on other turns. But even if she didn't have all of those fancy knobs and whistles, you are basically drawing an extra card at the beginning of the upkeep after your turn because you'll almost always be playing something good on your turn, especially with her fuel. And she only needs the smallest bait to break things. Might I suggest something like Sprout Swarm? And she can swing too, so she brings game.
Allow us to pause a moment in devotion to our God of the Polis and then reflect on the other cards on our list.
9. Dovin Baan
Before I examine the great part about Dovin Baan, let's look at the off one. The +1 ability on him isn't great shakes. The only times I use it are when I need to up his loyalty or on a Commander to sort of turn them off for a full round. But other than that, Dovin Baan is about drawing cards. He lives on the -1 ability. He draws you cards, and gives you 2 life while he does so. That's the strength of this card. Now you can immediately use him over three turns to draw three cards, gain six life, and then move on, which makes him better than other card-drawing spells like Concentrate. I've also used him to draw a card and some life, and then folks waste some attacks to kill him because they have heightened "every planeswalker is a threat" spider sense (which doesn't work for Dovin Baan as much) and they waste some turns. But if you are behind a wall of creatures and not threatened, which is common in the later game, then you can rotate his +1 and -1 and over a few turns draws cards, gain life, and influence future combats in your favor. I also like Dovin here on his ultimate, but he's more about the -1 than anything else, so get a little frisky with the card drawing.
8. Ojutai's Command
When our good Elder Dragon Leader commands, you follow. Ojutai's Command is very strong, as a powerful option for a lot of fun effects at the table. I think the Command is best for things like countering, card drawing, and creature reanimation. It's very rare that I care about the life gain, but it's there if I need it. The other three are all card advantages options, so you always get a card up out of it, which is very important in a card-advantage sensitive environment like multiplayer. But the sheer value of rocking a bunch of cards with a number of option is something you shouldn't skip past when you are assembling your deck. After all, Ojutai Commands it.
Speaking of which . . .
7. Dragonlord Ojutai
I like swinging in the air. There is something classic about Angels and Dragons to the game that speak when you are bringing an aerial game to the casual table. Ojutai gives you a number of powerful abilities for a cheap price. First, don't snooze on the five mana cost and 5/4 flyer size. That's a lot of evasive power and toughness for five mana. Ojutai has an immediate impact on the board. It can kill someone in four hits, assuming they haven't gained or lost life, or kill in five hits in Commander if it's your leader. Meanwhile it brings a powerful presence. Your foes can't touch it. Want to target it to take it out? Not today. Note that the hexproof only works when it's untapped, but that gives a window to play into. I have run spells that will untap my stuff, and then cast them when my foe tried to target Ojutai. One of my favorites is To Arms! since it replaces itself. And don't sleep on the ability to smack someone and then basically Impulse for three instead of four. Looking at three and drawing one is a lot better than the many other raw draw one card effects, and the Ojutai thus brings evasiveness, trickery, mass card drawing, and a board presence on one cheap card. Enjoy the era of Ojutai.
Cloudblazer is like the opposite of Ojutai above. Five mana for a 2/2 flyer? No board presence save for a modest ability to block and swing. And yet there is virtually perfect about Cloudblazer. There are a handful of creatures in Commander that are so good that every deck with their colors is enhanced by running them. Pretty much every decklist begins with them. Every Green deck runs Eternal Witness. Every Blue deck Mulldrifter. Cloudblazer is in that space. No, it's not the biggest body. But it brings two cards on arrival and then sits around doing things like attacking, blocking, and giving you options after it already did it's thing. Cloudblazer is a virtually perfect design.
But it's not top five material. Four more creatures and five more cards hit higher!
5. Geist of Saint Traft
It's an awesome card. Attacking and making an Angel for a combat to smash for six instead of two is a powerful ability on the third turn. If you can give it haste somewhere, then you can hit a full turn faster and it will cut someone down quickly. It's great with a variety of equipment like Lightning Greaves and Whispersilk Cloak. But the built-in hexproof already keeps removal from looking its way. My secret favorite adjunct to a Geist is actually an aura:
Cast the Geist, and then on the next turn drop Steel and swing. You have a 4/4, unblockable, untargetable, lifelink body that will be hitting for four damage and you will get four life as well, for an eight life swing. Nothing stops it, from Maze of Ith to Swords to Plowshares. And then you make a 4/4 flyer that's swinging for the turn as well, and if it this, that's eight damage to them plus the four, for a grand total of twelve life differential on the fourth turn after casting it on turn three.
The Geist of Saint Traft is no joke. It's one of the single best cards at having a powerful early game presence. It's an amazing option for a tempo strategy where it kills quickly if you have some bounce or tap effects in your deck, and it works with auras, equipment, and pretty much everything in the game of Magic. Swing with yours today!
4. Iridescent Angel
What do you want from a creature? Outside of an ability such as Mournwhelk or Flametongue Kavu, you are looking for a creature that blocks and attacks. Say hello to our #4 card which is perfect in that role. Want to block something nasty? No problem! As long as it's got a color, it's getting blocked and not hurting your dork. That makes the Angel one of the best blockers going, and that flying will get you the ability to block pretty much any non-shadow attacker that comes your way. And are you looking to attack? Well again, look no further than our #4 card. No creature that has a color can block it, making it a guaranteed hit of four damage every turn. It's also extremely hard for your opponent to interact with in any way. They can't damage or target it. There is a small window of cards like mass removal and colorless options like Maze of Ith that can play havoc with it. Other than that, the Angel is going places and answers a lot. It's a beater with self-layered protection and a blocker with self-layered protection as you need. That makes her singlehandedly one of the best creatures for any board state.
3. Brago, King Eternal
Ah yes, Brago the Blink Machine. Brago is great because he will blink pretty much every card you have if you need it. Blink creatures to get more triggers from their enters-the-battlefield abilities. Blink artifacts or enchantments to do the same. Blink a planeswalker about to die to get more loyalty counters. Blink something like Triskelion that has used its counters. See below at #2 for another example. It answers negative auras, like Faith's Fetters on your stuff. And you can swing with your team, blink them out after damage is dealt, and then merely untap the so they can block, so you have a sort of pseudo vigilance. That result is the strongest cheap creature package available for your colors.
Now let's go full-on bizarre . . .
2. Rasputin Dreamweaver
Such a bizarre card! Such an awesome card! Rasputin perfectly suits the colors he finds himself pressed into. The ability to store seven counters and then pull them off for mana any time you need is pretty sexy. I've used him to fuel Stroke of Genius or similar effects. He works great at bringing a large swath of mana and he'll stick around for longer. And the best part is you can easily self-bounce or blink him in Azorius and then get more and more mana from him. He is one of the best Workhorses in the game, and you'll find him an amazing addition to any deck, from Commander to casual. Enjoy the awesome that is Rasputin Dreamweaver.
1. Venser, the Sojourner
I am sad that the only Venser Planeswalker card we have in print doesn't demonstrate his highly attuned artificer skills, just his teleport magic. Hopefully we'll get a version later in a Commander deck or something that is the power of Venser the Artificer. But in terms of raw power, Teleporting Venser is the most powerful Planewalker, by a large margin. He's also the strongest card as well. All three of his abilities play perfectly into the colors and what you want to do.
All three abilities are just elite. He rules casual town with a glow-y orb.
And that's all there is to write about Blue and White! So what did you think of my list? Where did I err? What did you like? Thanks for reading!
Top Ten Articles:
Like looking at the top cards of each color combination? Great! Here are my other color combos.
- Azorius -- That's this article!