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Ikoria Limited Set Review: White

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Spoiler season has come and gone again and a new set is set to hit MTG Arena later this week. Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths is taking us on an adventure to a plane filled with HUGE beasts and fantastical nightmares.

Even though it can be hard to find opportunities to play paper Magic with most of us practicing "social distancing" and staying indoors, it is still exciting to have a new Limited format coming to MTG Arena. Ikoria will be released on Arena April 16th (Standard, Bo3 Drafts and Sealed).

In this article I will be looking at each White card and evaluating it with a score of 1-5 based on how I expect it to perform in Sealed and Draft. Please keep in mind that I will be ignoring ALL aspects of Constructed play. Limited is the best format after all.

Rating - Explanation

1- Ideally not making the cut in any of my Limited decks.

2- Not good, but a necessity for curve filling and smoothing out draws.

3- Value cards I am happy to fill my deck with.

4- Cards to get excited about and Premium Removal.

5- Reserved for cards that will win the game if left unanswered.

So, let's get things underway with the White cards.

Check out the other parts here:

Blue and Black | Red and Colorless | Green and Lands | Multicolor

White

Blade Banish
3 - Removal spells similar to this can be found in most sets. Normally I would rate this card at a 2 - though it is playable, it seems to be the 1st card I would cut if needed. I increased the rating slightly here because the set seems to have more large creatures.
Checkpoint Officer
3 - Finding 2-drops that can have a lasting impact on the board is hard. This card is great if drawn on curve and will still be able to make an impact if drawn late in the game.

Coordinated Charge
2 - Despite the many token generators in the set the reward for playing this isn't as big as you'd hope.
Cubwarden
4.5 - Base stats and abilities are great. The added mutate ability will allow for a "go wide" strategy that can be hard to deal with.

Daysquad Marshal
2.5 - 4 power for 4 mana is a reasonable set of base stats. This card does reward you for any cards that want you to "go wide" - cards like Coordinated Charge or Sanctuary Lockdown.

Divine Arrow
3 - This card has been printed in many forms and is always a staple in my White decks.
Drannith Healer
2 / 3 - A "bear" (Vanilla 2-mana 2/2) with multiple upsides. This card can also be a great addition to the cycling deck.

Drannith Magistrate
1.5 - I would rather not play 1/3s unless they have a very relevant ability that makes them a reasonable late game draw. This is not aggressive enough for early game or impactful enough for late game. Reasonable sideboard card.
Fight as One
3 - The rating on this card is dependent on how likely you are to be able to "choose both". It seems reasonable that it will not be hard to get value out of the card.
Flourishing Fox
1 / 4 - The average deck does not want this card, however it is one of the BIG payoff cards in the cycling deck.
Garrison Cat
2 - Some low to the ground aggressive decks will want this card, but it will not make the cut in most decks.

Helica Glider
2.5 - Did you know I have a pet Sugar Glider? Her name is Teshka and I can tell you, nightmare squirrel is very...appropriate. Moving on. I am happy to fill my curve with this 3-drop.

Huntmaster Liger
2 - This card's base stats alone are not going to make the cut in most decks, but if you have a reasonable amount of mutate synergies, the value goes way up.

Imposing Vantasaur
1 / 3 - Drafting this 1 mana cycler is extremely important for the cycling deck. I would also play this with cards like Keensight Mentor or Flourishing Fox.

Keensight Mentor
3 - Even without having any other vigilance creatures in the deck I am happy to have this card. Be on the lookout for any card that flickers or returns this to increase its impact.

Lavabrink Venturer
4 - Very reasonable stats on a creature that can make combat extremely tricky for an opponent - Low-end bomb.

Light of Hope
1 - Reasonable sideboard card for the enchantment destruction, but I cannot see this making the original 40.

Luminous Broodmoth
9001 - Seriously?!?! If you have a mutated creature that doesn't have flying, each card that was part of that creature will come back separately with a flying counter! This card is nuts. Moving on....

Majestic Auricorn
3 - Stacking mutate abilities is going to be powerful. Excited to see how this card performs.

Maned Serval
2.5 - Great early card for a mutate target. Can be a great late draft pick with Keensight Mentor in your deck.

Mythos of Snapdax
2.5 - I see this card as a low-end board clear. Can be valuable when stopping an aggressive deck, but very situational.
Pacifism
3.5 - Always White's best removal card. I am not sure you can have too many Pacifisms in a deck.

Patagia Tiger
2.5 - Reasonable stats. The EtB effect has minimal impact on the rating.

Perimeter Sergeant
2 - I never like 3/2s for three, but they always seem to end up in my decks to fill the curve. Value of this card will go up a fair amount with decks that can produce a lot of tokens.

Sanctuary Lockdown
1 / 4 - Very good in the right deck and absolute trash in most.
Savai Sabertooth
2 - The trusty 3/1 curve filler. Trades well with all the 3/3s in the format but is also an easy cut to make.
Snare Tactician
2 / 3.5 - The cycling deck wants as many of this card as i can get.
Solid Footing
1 - I tend to rank flash enchantments much higher, but this one doesn't seem to have enough impact on the board for me to want it in my deck.

Splendor Mare
3 - Love the stats and the upside on this card seems endless. This is as close to a bomb as an uncommon can come.

Spontaneous Flight
1.5 - Three-mana combat tricks are not something I want in my deck. Best case this is a finishing move for a deck with a lot of big dumb idiots.

Stormwild Capridor
2 - Not sure how I can break the text box on this card, but I really want to! Worst case, this is a curve filler.

Swallow Whole
3 - "Hello nurse!" I know this card is not as good as I want it to be, but I am still excited about it. This removal spell has value if you can meet the not one but two conditions.

Valiant Rescuer
3 - A great addition to any deck that has "go wide" payoffs or is based around the cycling mechanic. Consider cards like Sanctuary Lockdown and Coordinated Charge when playing this card.

Vulpikeet
3 - I would very much like my creatures to learn to fly and get larger. I can't imagine cutting this from any White deck.
Will of the All-Hunter
2.5 - Extremely versatile for a combat trick. I am excited to see the blocking clause added to this card and I cannot wait to see more cards like this in the future.

Top 5 Common White Cards

  1. Pacifism
  2. Vulpikeet
  3. Checkpoint Officer
  4. Divine Arrow
  5. Coordinated Charge

Thank you for checking out my 1st Ikoria set review. Tomorrow I will be continuing the rankings with Blue and Black.

Make sure to comment and let me know what card you are looking forward to most!

Twitter: @MTGNerdGirl

Twitch: twitch.tv/mtgnerdgirl

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