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The plane of Zendikar is a fantastical place filled with treasure and adventure, and now that spoiler season is over we get to explore it with the new set - Zendikar Rising!
This article is the first of four, and in it I will be evaluating every White card and scoring them 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.
|Allied Assault - 1.5 - The power of this card is totally dependent on the deck's ability to consistently find party members. 3 mana is rather expensive for a combat trick that is already inconsistent.|
|Angel of Destiny - 4 - Interesting card that will change a deck's win condition. The overall power of this card makes it worth playing. Keep in mind that the life gain will trigger after damage, so it is still possible to kill an opponent with damage before those triggers resolve.|
|Angelheart Protector - 2.5 - The mana cost for a 3/2 is playable. This card will be good in an aggressive deck or with a lot of large creatures. Fills in a deck's curve nicely and has a decent ability.|
|Archon of Emeria - 3 - Cheap flier with reasonable stats. White wants to be reasonably aggressive so playing only one spell per turn could potentially hurt you, and the second ability is not extremely relevant in Limited.|
|Archpriest of Iona - 3 - Party is not too hard to assemble, so this will have really good stats for the mana cost. This card's value goes up to a 3.5 or 4 if the deck has a good chance to attain a full party.|
|Attended Healer - 3 - The mana cost is a bit high for the stats, but you will get a lot of value for this card if you have a few lifegain / lifelink cards. They are not hard to find, so keep an eye out during the draft.|
|Canyon Jerboa - 2.5 - Any aggressive deck will benefit from having this. Look out for cards like Attended Healer or other cards that help you go wide to get maximum value out of this card.|
|Cliffhaven Sell-Sword - 2 - This card is going to help get a higher party count faster, and fits the aggressive White theme. Normally not a huge fan of the vanilla 3/1s, but this one is going to be better than normal.|
|Dauntless Unity - 2 - This pump spell is fine in any White deck if the deck has room. Ideally this card wants to be paired with token generators and decks that empty hands by turn four or 5.|
|Disenchant - 1 - Always a great card to have in the sideboard. Best of one will not need this card. If you are short of playable cards you can play it to hit equipment, but it will still be a dead card most of the time.|
|Emeria Captain - 3 - This card's power is very dependent on a deck's ability to fill party members. On average this will be a 3/3 or 4/4 flier and that is still really good value.|
|Emeria's Call - 5 - Even though the mana cost is high this card is worth playing. At the top end of a deck this is a great finisher that also allows you the flexibility to play it as a land if you draw it too early. Looks out for cards like Tazeem Raptor to make sure you get value out of this card.|
|Expedition Healer - 2.5 - A solid "bear" with upside (vanilla 2/2). There are a few reasons to want life gain triggers in the format and this is an easy one to find, and it has a decent board presence early.|
|Farsight Adept - 2.5 - Far better stats for the mana cost than we typically see in White. Both players drawing cards isn't an issue given that White is one of the more aggressive colors and likely to run out of cards to play first.|
|Fearless Fledgling - 3.5 - If left on the field this creature will easily snowball into a quick win. It is cheap enough to get on the board early and take advantage of all your early land drops. Look for any cards that allow you to pick lands up late game for cards with permanent landfall effects.|
|Felidar Retreat - 4.5 - The only reason this is not a 5 is because it takes time to build up its power. Overall, this is extremely strong and will win a lot of games. It is even worth splashing if you are able to find any fixing.|
|Journey to Oblivion - 4 - It is important to note that this card removes nonland permanents and not just creatures. Finding party members to make this cost a reasonable or even great price will not be hard. Great removal for White.|
|Kabira Outrider - 2 - Works well with small fliers and is playable in an aggressive deck, but the average deck does not want to play this. Look for something better to fill your 4-drop slot.|
|Kabira Takedown - 3.5 - Ideally removal spells would not be dependent on board state to remove creatures, but because this doubles as a land drop it means it is totally free to add to your deck. This is a great addition to any White deck.|
|Kitesail Cleric - 3 - Fliers are never bad. This card helps create the base for an early party and is also a cool creature for the Cleric sub theme seen throughout the set (Expedition Healer, Orah, Skyclave Hierophant).|
|Kor Blademaster - 3 - The number of playable equipment cards in this set is actually much higher than normal. Kor Blademaster also pairs well with combat tricks.|
|Kor Celebrant - 2 - Any sort of late game deck would like to play this. Also, this is great to draft with Attended Healer to get as many tokens as possible.|
|Legion Angel - 3.5 - Even though the textbox is largely irrelevant in Limited this card can still add a lot of pressure to the board. 4 power on an evasive creature can close out games quickly.|
|Luminarch Aspirant - 4 - Even though this card does not add a lot of value to the board quickly, it will easily win games if left unchecked. Make sure to spread out the counters and not put them all into one basket when possible.|
|Makindi Ox - 2.5 - This is the perfect top end for an aggressive deck. The Landfall ability allows you to push through damage even after an opponent starts to stabilize.|
|Makindi Stampede - 2.5 - The mana cost is a bit high for the ability, and the sorcery speed is a bit of a let down. Getting to play it instead of a Plains makes it free though - and who doesn't like free stuff?|
|Maul of the Skyclaves - 5 - This equipment is incredibly hard to beat if played early. It also gives you the ability to break board stalls and trade creatures up.|
|Mesa Lynx - 2 - In an aggressive deck this is a great early attacker. Reasonable curve filler in most decks.|
|Nahiri's Binding - 3.5 - A bit harder to cast than the cards that typically fill this slot, but that is not enough to stop me from wanting to play as many of these as I can get. Always glad to see this effect.|
|Ondu Inversion - 3.5 - Board clears are always nice backup cards to have - an emergency eject button if you will. I am not excited to see that this card costs 8-mana, but being able to play it as a land is a good backup plan.|
|Paired Tactician - 2.5 - Base stats and mana cost are fine for a filler card, but if you can find a few Warriors the value of this card goes up quite a bit. This fits into the aggressive White theme really well.|
|Practiced Tactics - 2 - In the average deck this card will do 2 or 4 damage for 1-mana, and that's not horrible. Ideally this card will not make the cut unless the deck can reliably have AT LEAST two party members.|
|Pressure Point - 1 - If you are short on playable cards you can add this to cycle into your better cards with a small perk, but I would avoid playing it when you can.|
|Prowling Felidar - 3 - If left unchecked this creature will become very strong. Always happy to play this card. Keep an eye out for cards like Tazeem Raptor to get extra landfall triggers.|
|Resolute Strike - 2 - Cheap combat trick that you can pick up late. Fine to play but an easy early cut out of most decks.|
|Sea Gate Banneret - 2 - Filler card that makes up for its lack of board presence by being a late game mana sink. Look for this card when drafting token generators or go wide strategies in general.|
|Sejiri Shelter - 3.5 - Being able to play this as a land or a protection spell is really strong. Running a few of these is great if you can replace a few Plains with them.|
|Shepherd of Heroes - 3 - A fine flier that will block or outrace most other fliers in the format. It also works really well with party and the Cleric sub theme in the set.|
|Skyclave Apparition - 3.5 - Creature removal is always good in any deck. With White being as aggressive as it is this might even just prevent an opponent from stabilizing by removing a blocker and allowing you to finish the game.|
|Skyclave Cleric - 2.5 - Normally this card would not be worth playing based on stats and mana cost, but it doubles as a land, fills a party, and plays well with other Clerics. It's absolutely free to play.|
|Squad Commander - 4 - The enter the battlefield ability alone makes this card worth running. Filling out 4 party members is not difficult to do in draft, so the second ability will be very relevant in Limited.|
|Smite the Monstrous - 2 - This card will make it into most sealed decks but not many drafts. Even though it is instant speed it is still going to miss many of the targets we want to kill. Look for better removal if possible.|
|Tazeem Raptor - 3 - Small fliers are always great. The thing I like most about this card is the ability to return lands to your hand. This will allow you to trigger landfall additional times as well as the ability to play double-faced cards as lands more freely and still get value for them later.|
|Tazri, Beacon of Unity - 4 - The large body for a low mana cost makes this card worth playing. The ability to sink mana into its ability late game is a huge bonus that can break through a stalled board.|
Top 3 White Commons
Overall White looks like a lot of fun - It is low to the ground and aggressive. It has a fair amount of party synergy and a really cool Cleric sub theme I am excited to play. Now that we have finished evaluating White, I plan to tackle Blue and Black tomorrow!
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!