The spoiler season for Core Set 2021 is finished, and it is time once again for the new set to go live on Magic: The Gathering Arena on June 25th. Core Sets typically contain themes and mechanics that are easier to grasp for newer players, so if you are new to Limited, or have friends you want to bring into the game, now is the perfect time to do it!
This article is the first of five, and in it I will be evaluating every White card and scoring it on a scale of 1-5. These ratings are purely based on Limited formats and have no bearing on Constructed play. I would also like to note these ratings are based on how I believe the card will perform in an AVERAGE Sealed or Draft deck. Often this means a lower score for cards with great potential in a highly synergistic deck.
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.
Let's get to it!
|Alpine Watchdog - 2 - Base stats and mana cost make this card playable to help fill out the curve of your deck. The value of this card goes up if you have any dog synergies.|
|Angelic Ascension - 3 - Being instant speed gives a lot of flexibility and I am looking forward to seeing how this card performs. Most often you will want to use this to brick an opponent's removal spell or upgrade your own creature.|
|Anointed Chorister - 2/3 - Filler in most decks, but if you have any gain life synergies this card will do a lot of work.|
|Aven Gagglemaster - 3 - A 4 power flier can easily end games, but 5 mana can be a lot if you end up with too many cards at that cost. Just be careful not to get too many.|
|Baneslayer Angel - 5 - This card is extremely powerful and can end the game quickly if not dealt with. Keep an eye out for cards like Feat of Resistance after drafting this card - you will want to protect it!|
|Basri Ket - 4.5 - Planeswalkers are always insane to have in Limited decks. The only reason this isn't a 5 is because it requires you to have a board to have any impact on the game state. If you are behind or without creatures this will do little to affect the game.|
|Basri's Acolyte - 3 - The power of the card is totally dependent on the boardstate upon resolution. This card is rated with this large range of power in mind. Heavy creature based decks are more likely to get full value from this card.|
|Basri's Lieutenant - 4 - Not powerful enough to end the game on its own, but it is extremely strong for the mana cost. This will allow for early board development that will snowball and overpower an opponent.|
|Basri's Solidarity - 1/3 - Decks with high creature counts want this card, but the average deck will not. Look for synergies with cards like Tempered Veteran when considering this card.|
|Celestial Enforcer - 2/3 - Base stats make this creature playable to fill out the curve of a deck. Its value increases greatly as the number of fliers in your deck increases.|
|Concordia Pegasus - 2.5 - This reprint is better in this set than it typically is. With cards like Celestial Enforcer and Lofty Denial the value of cheap fliers goes up. Also keep in mind the format has more 1/1s and 2/1s than normal, so having a 1/3 on turn two can come in quite handy.|
|Containment Priest - 2 - Seems like a better card for Constructed formats, but bears with flash are always welcome. Rise Again being a common means you can sometimes get some extra value you can pick this card up late.|
|Daybreak Charger - 2 - Not a fan of 3/1s normally and with the amount of 1/1s I think it will be worse than normal. An aggressive deck or one that needs cards to fill out a curve will be happy to run this.|
|Defiant Strike - 2 - At its base this card can be cycled away, but when cutting down to 40 cards this is often the 1st to go because it does not synergize with much in the set. A reasonable card if you are light on playables.|
|Dub - 1.5 - Admittedly I have always been a bit lower on Dub than most people. Aggressive decks will be happy to run this card. It is too easy to be 2-for-1ed in the mid to late game for the majority of decks to want it.|
|Faith's Fetters - 4 - Expensive for a Pacifism like effect, but it is important to note this card does stop abilities and says "permanent" making it able to stop far more threats - including planeswalkers. I am happy to have this card in any of my decks.|
|Falconer Adept - 3 - After playing this card on turn four it might be difficult to find a window needed for a profitable attack. Look for combat tricks or enchantments when playing this card to help it attack safely.|
|Feat of Resistance - 3 - I personally love this combat trick. It can negate a spell and leaves lasting value on the board. It's also important to note it can remove Faith's Fetters or Capture Sphere after they have resolved as well.|
|Gale Swooper - 2.5 - Limited decks are typically happy to have 4-mana 3/2 fliers. This one has added value because of its ability and all of the other flying payoff cards that can be found throughout the set.|
|Glorious Anthem - 2/4 - At 10-12 creatures this card is borderline playable, and it scales as you acquire more creatures. Ideally 16+ creatures are needed to make this card shine.|
|Griffin Aerie - 1/3 - This card is playable in exactly one deck, and that deck will want as many of these as you can find. I would suggest AT LEAST 5+ cards that can trigger this on their own before considering this card.|
|Idol of Endurance - 1 - Most Limited decks will not have enough 1-3 mana cost creatures to make this card worth playing. A low to the ground Boros Aggro deck might look to pick this card up.|
|Legion's Judgment - 3 - Situational removal but overall less valuable than we have seen in the past. More threats are under 4 power in this set compared to Ikoria.|
|Light of Promise - 1/3 - This enchantment can make creatures extremely large! Look for Tavern Swindler or Revitalize for a fun draft!|
|Makeshift Battalion - 2 - Curve filling card that gains some value in a deck that develops a board quickly.|
|Mangara, the Diplomat - 4.5 - Drawing cards in Limited is never a bad thing! This card is great and the only reason it's not a 5 is because it does not win the game on its own.|
|Nine Lives - 1 - Not a Limited card at all. I do not expect to see this played in any deck.|
|Pack Leader - 2.5 - At its worst it is a bear that can attack fearlessly. This can be great for bluffing combat tricks. Any other dog synergy is just a huge bonus.|
|Rambunctious Mutt - 3 - With Shrines and Capture Sphere effects in the format there is no reason to not want this card in the main deck. It has high 2-for-1 capabilities and it is a fine creature topdeck late game.|
|Revitalize - 1/3 - The average deck will not want to play this. Large bombs (cycle to them) or having multiple cards like Griffin Aerie, Silversmote Ghoul, Indulging Patrician, and Sanguine Indulgence might make this card a consideration to run.|
|Runed Halo - 2 - While this card does stop a big threat from killing you, it does not stop it from blocking like Pacifism or Oblivion Ring would. So, make sure you have another way to win the game should you need to get around a large target. This is ideal for sideboards considering it also can preemptively name instants and sorceries.|
|Sanctum of Tranquil Light - 2 - I am always a fan of cards that can repeatedly tap an opponent's creatures, however, this cycle seems counterintuitive. They benefit in multiples, but they are legendary so you cannot run too many of any one color, and this lowers your chances of getting two out at the same time. I am overall skeptical of the Shrine cycle.|
|Seasoned Hallowblade - 3 - Aggressive decks will love this card. It allows you to toss extra lands while keeping pressure on the board. Playable, but not great in most decks.|
|Secure the Scene - 3 - Typical 5-mana White exile card we see in most sets. This has a small downside when using it on a creature as normal, but it also has the added bonus of being able to target other permanents - even planeswalkers.|
|Selfless Savior - 2.5 - Decks with higher value creatures will benefit from having this card in the deck. Without doggo synergies or high profile targets you might not want to play this card, but the average deck should be happy to play one.|
|Siege Striker - 2 - The average deck won't want to run this card, but be on the lookout for anything that adds +1/+1 counters to increase the overall value of this card (Tempered Veteran, Basri's Solidarity).|
|Speaker of the Heavens - 1/4 - The average deck will not have enough lifegain to activate the ability. Drawing this mid to late game could make it a totally dead draw.|
|Staunch Shieldmate - 1 - Picking this card up late for the sideboard could be a good idea for all of the 1/1s and 2/1s in the format, but it is not impactful enough to want to run in the initial 40 cards.|
|Swift Response - 4 - This type of effect is normally sorcery speed! I am excited to see this massive upgrade for White.|
|Tempered Veteran - 3 - An extremely impactful card for a 2-drop. Without other ways to add counters to creatures, Tempered Veteran is nothing to get overly excited about, but with cards like Basri's Solidarity or Basri's Acolyte it can really snowball a boardstate early.|
|Valorous Steed - 2.5 - Average stats for the mana cost. Added value with any cards that want a wide board - Makeshift Battalion, Glorious Anthem, Basri's Solidarity.|
|Vryn Wingmare - 3 - Always happy to use 2 power fliers to fill out my deck and close out games. Keep in mind the ability affects both players, so this will be best in a heavily creature-based deck.|
|Warded Battlements - 1.5 - Playable in a flier based deck where you want to stabilize the ground while racing them in the air. The average deck will not want to play this card.|
Top 3 White Commons
And just like that we are one article closer to being ready for Prerelease! In tomorrow's article we will be taking a look at Blue.
These articles are used for draft ratings on Untapped.gg, and because of this we will be updating them periodically with new information and insight. Comments and discussions help me improve the articles and provide the best information for both other readers and Untapped.gg. So please feel free to comment below and give me your thoughts.
Thank you for reading!