Limited Run: Dominaria Set Review – White David Rood April 26, 2018 Limited Run The release of Dominaria is almost upon us. Here’s another primer to start you off on the right foot when playing in Limited. This week we’re breaking down white. My Rating System 10 – Complete hall of fame broken card (Tetzimoc) 9 – Broken bombs that end the game if they are not dealt with (Tendershoot Dryad) 8 – Great cards that I will slam as a first pick and be happy with but aren’t really bombs per say (Jadelight Ranger, Golden Demise) 7 – Card that I value at first pick and are usually in the top of the best commons or some very good uncommons (Moment of Craving, Bombard) 6 – These are cards ill pick in the 2-5 range in a pack usually and will always make the cut in my deck (Kitesail Corsair, Deadeye Rig-Hauler) 5 – I’ll probably run all of these unless my draft went absolutely amazing and these are the quality 14th to 19th cards of my deck (Dusk Legion Zealot, Storm Fleet Swashbuckler) 4 – Commons and uncommons that make the cut sometimes depending on the quality of your deck but they fall more in the 20th to 25th range I’ll probably run some but not all of them (Spire Winder, Hardy Veteran) 3 – This to me is the point where if I’m running these the draft went poorly and I’m in trouble. (Sun Sentinel) 2 – Can have some value as a sideboard card or something that can become good if you draft around it so I’ll grab them late in a pack when there’s no playables for my maindeck (Cleansing Ray, Aquatic Incursion) 1 – Just completely unplayable (Silent Gravestone) Pearly Whites Adamant Will 6 Adamant Will should always make your deck and I’m pretty happy to run two or even three in some decks. It feels like one of the best tricks we have seen in a while, acting as a way to win almost any combat steps and dealing with annoying things like the first strike knights. It also acts as a protection spell against various removal and when you factor in that there are a decent number of playable auras in white, it jumps up a bit in value. Aven Sentry 6 A very basic 3/2 vanilla flyer that is at a fair cost, nothing special to see here. I would run as many as I have and be happy with having decent evasion. Baird, Steward of Argive 7 A very strong legendary which is relevant in the format. He puts your opponent in a very tough spot where he has to decide between developing his board or continuing to attack. At four mana he’s very reasonable and I would be happy to first pick this if there isn’t a bomb in the pack. Benalish Honor Guard 5 This is a decent bear with a small upside that I’ll run sometimes depending on my deck. When I say depending on my deck I mean more how much I’m hurting for a two-drop than how many legends I have, as it’s not too often you’ll drop him on turn two followed by a legend on turn three to attack for three right away. Benalish Marshal 6 We get to the white version of the triple-costed rare set and it’s a good one, but just like the others the commitment is something you have to build around to make sure you can run enough plains to cast him consistently. The payoff for Benalish Marshal is quite good, especially if you can get a couple token makers like Call the Cavalry and Sergeant-at-Arms. Blessed Light 7 My pick for best white common. An instant-speed removal spell that exiles is always something I’m gonna be happy to take early and often. It occasionally can also hit a saga that you can’t deal with, which adds maybe 5% of value. Board the Weatherlight 2 Very close to completely unplayable but I gave it a 2 just in case you get some really heavy historic decks that can take advantage of it. I think I would need 8 historic spells, one of which would be a bomb to even consider playing this. Call the Cavalry 6 This card is a good example of where white is in this set, a lot of strong solid playable cards but not really anything spectacular. Two 2/2’s for four mana is a solid card that will turn into a two-for-one a fair amount of the time. Charge 3 There might be decks with heavy token makers like some white/green builds that want to run Charge, but I think in general I wouldn’t want to play it. The cost is very low but unfortunately the reward isn’t great either. D’Avenant Trapper 5 You could bump this up to a 6 in some heavy historic decks but in general I think I would run him more often than not. Even if you don’t have many historic spells he is a 3/2 that will sometimes help you punch trough. Danitha Capashen, Paragon 7 That’s a lot of abilities to get for three mana, and if you can throw some sort of aura on Danitha the game will end very quickly unless dealt with. The cost-reducing ability of auras is not often relevant but vigilance and lifelink are two abilities that work really well together. Daring Archaeologist 6 This guy at first glance seems like just a Hill Giant but his abilities are surprisingly relevant. The return artifact part takes some work but if you can run some Bloodtallow Candles or if you have a Sanctum Spirit that you can discard artifacts to he becomes a bit more powerful. The +1+1 part is where he shines; a couple of equipments or other legendaries and he becomes very cost effective. Dauntless Bodyguard 5 A Savannah Lion if he’s in your opening hand, and a guy with a somewhat relevant ability later in the game makes him playable. The issue with Dauntless Bodyguard is that there’re a lot of 1/3’s in the format and saprolings that make him not great in some matchups. I would definitely think about sideboarding him out on the draw and putting him back in on the play while keeping in mind whether he’s good in this particular matchup. Dub 5 Here we get our first white aura and while +2+2 first strike is quite good, it’s one of those cards that I don’t want too many of in my decks. The first one of these is a 5 and I think they go down in value after that unless you have things like Kwende, Pride of Femeref or Valduk, Keeper of the Flame. It’s also a card that you want to keep in mind is worse with more bounce or black direct removal. Adamant Will is another card you want to prioritize when you have some auras like Dub. Evra, Halycon Witness 5 This is one of those cards that seems amazing at first glance but is really tough to do broken things with. A 4/4 lifelink for six mana isn’t horrible and I would play it in most decks, but I feel people will take this a lot higher than they should and fail to see that it’s really slow and doesn’t fly. It might go up in value in decks that have a lot of removal or Arcane Flight to get it through. Excavation Elephant 3 I think at five mana he’s not exactly horrible but he’s also not great. You really want to have a couple of targets like Bloodtallow Candle to make him playable and event then it’s pretty borderline. He would probably fit into those Daring Archaeologist decks or as a sideboard in some matchups that have a hard time dealing with a 3/5 vanilla while you beat them with flyers. Fall of the Thran 1 I can’t imagine ever running this. Maybe there’s some sideboard situation where your opponent is playing green ramp and is super mana hungry, but seems way too narrow. Gideon’s Reproach 5 A decent enough removal spell that deals with threats at a low cost is something white is always happy to have. The small issue is that as the format gets played more and more people will keep it in mind, and not get destroyed by it as much. That being said, at 2 mana it’s hard to just sit there and play around it sometimes. It also gets more valuable in UW with flyers that is just trying to kill things attacking them while you beat in the air. Not as good in red/white decks where you end up using it when your opponent blocks. Healing Grace 2 I would never play this maindeck, but sometimes against decks with a high number of red burn spells like Shivan Fire and the like you can sideboard in a Healing Grace. History of Benalia 8 The white version of the mythic saga is a very strong one and something I would be happy to first pick anytime, but it’s not quite the backbreaking rare to warrant a higher grade. Don’t get me wrong, if you are on the play and can play a removal spell you’re going to win the game a high percentage of the time, and you’re really never unhappy to draw it. Invoke the Divine 2 A pretty good version of the old classic Disenchant and a solid sideboard card. I try to grab one of these for my sideboard while drafting and there’s nothing else for me. The four life is something I’m fine paying an extra mana for in Limited, and I find myself sideboarding it in often but not so much that I would want to maindeck it. Knight of Grace 7 The two knights are really strong, and even if it read 2/2 first strike for W1 it would be solid. Add on hexproof from black and the ability to become 3/2 and this becomes a card I’m happy to first pick. One note is that it also counts your permanents which makes Knight of Grace slightly better if you are white/black. Knight of New Benalia 4 This can be playable depending on how aggressive your deck is and how many two-drops you have. Keep in mind though, if your opponent is playing saprolings he gets a lot worse. The same goes for things like Fungal Infection, so I would consider sideboarding him out in some matchups and especially if I’m on the draw. Kwende, Pride of Femeref 6 A little expensive for a 2/2 double strike, but when his ability is relevant or if you can give him flying with On Serra’s Wings or Arcane Flight he can end the game really quickly. I would try to play a Dub or two and prioritize things like Knight of Grace when building my deck to make him more valuable. Lyra Dawnbringer 9 A complete bomb that takes over by itself at any point of the game is exactly what you want to open. I would make sure I have some Adamant Wills if I opened Lyra and try to play protect the queen. Mesa Unicorn 5 Mesa Unicorn is a great two-drop that can swing matchups in which you’re racing into your favour in just a few hits. Couple it with either Dub or Pegasus Courser to get in without a problem and it’s going to be really hard for your opponent to race. Once again it’s another card that is improved with a couple of Adamant Wills in your deck. On Serra’s Wings 8 This is probably one of the best uncommons in the set and about as good as auras get these days. Incredibly hard to race or block, it’s one of those cards that will need to be removed as soon as possible or the game will be over. The obvious downside here is that you can get two for one’d from bounce or removal, but again trying to protect the creature with Adamant Will can help. Pegasus Courser 6 Not quite my pick for the best white common but it’s a close second in my opinion. At first glance a 1/3 flyer for three mana isn’t great, but the fact that it can block for a while until you decide to give evasion to something else and finish the game makes it quite flexible. There’re just decks that can’t deal with Pegasus Courser and all you need is a few chump blockers or some sort of lifelink creature to make it smooth sailing. The only thing I’ll add is that it’s one of those cards that gets worse the more you have in the deck, so I do think there’re diminishing returns. Sanctum Spirit 7 This requires a bit of build-around to get to a 7 but I do think it comes together often enough that in a weaker pack I would be ok taking this first overall. A solid four-drop that has both lifelink and the ability to protect itself without using mana is quite good. Sanctum Spirit puts your opponent in a difficult spot where he has to decide if he wants to block your creature and hope you don’t have a historic spell to discard, or just take damage and let you gain life. Seal Away 7 At two mana there’s really nothing bad to say about Seal Away. It’s hands down the best removal white got and something I would run as many of as I can get. The only thing to keep in mind is that the creature has to be tapped, so sometimes you won’t be able to hit something with vigilance or you’ll get blown out by Gift of Growth, but those things happen. Sergeant-at-Arms 5 A 2/3 for three mana at its base isn’t great, but when you add the flexibility of kicker making two tokens, it gets there for me as a card I would be alright with having one of in my deck. It goes up a bit in value if you are on white/green tokens with things like Elfhame Druid and Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy. Here’s once again showing that white got a lot of playable commons, which makes it the deepest color in my opinion. Serra Angel 7 Good old Serra Angel has been there since the beginning of Magic and while the game might have changed over the past 25 years, a 4/4 flying vigilance for five mana is still very powerful in Limited. Serra Disciple 2 I don’t even feel like this has much of an ability aside from being a 1/1 flying first strike. If one more damage once in a while is something you feel the need to build around things probably went poorly in the draft. I could see sideboarding it in if your opponent has a few one toughness creatures such as Aesthir Glider but it seems pretty rare. Shalai, Voice of Plenty 9 Even if it was a 3/4 flying for four mana that said you and creatures you control gain hexproof, I think this would be an 8 or 8.5. When you add on the late game-breaking ability if you have access to green mana, it pushes it high enough that I would take it over any of the uncommons in the set. Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle 7 At 2/2 flying for four mana it’s not quite good enough, but the ability is strong enough on it’s own that I don’t think you really need to build around it. Just some incidental triggers will push it into a solid card. If you do get it early enough that you can pick a few more cards here and there to make it better, it can get out of hand and swing a late game. Tragic Poet 1 A cute reprint, but even though there’re some sagas in this set I think the number of Time of Ice and The Eldest Reborn needed to make it playable is over five. Even then it might just be a little too cute. Triumph of Gerrard 4 I have been pretty disappointed with this card in general and while in some cases it can really swing a race, I find it more often than not feels like a bad aura. It takes a couple of turns to set up and if you play it early enough and they kill your only creature you lose out on a lot of value. Triumph of Gerrard might be the card I either undervalue the most or people overrate the most, time will tell. Urza’s Ruinous Blast 7 The fact that it’s a legendary sorcery keeps it in check at a 7. I think if you take it early enough in the draft you can build a deck that takes advantage of it. I do think you need at the minimum four legendary creatures to play this and it clearly goes up in value the more you have, as this will always leave you with at least one creature. One thing to keep in mind if you end up taking this early is that you can pair it with black since there’re a few legendary creatures that people don’t draft highly such as Yargle and Whisper, Blood Liturgist. These can up your legendary count and make your deck smoother. What did you guys think of my take on Dominaria’s White in Limited? Anything I may have missed? Have you found an unexpected gems or synergies in the set? Let me know in the comments, and happy drafting. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.