Stacking The Deck: Covering Dragons of Tarkir
Introduction/ Dragons of Tarkir Spoilers. White Cards.
Hello everyone and welcome to "Stack The Deck". This will be the first of many articles talking about the premier cards from Dragons of Tarkir. Each article will be split into different themes.
The following link is the site I use to keep up on the new spoilers. Feel free to follow along as I discuss the cards in this article. http://www.mtgsalvation.com/spoilers/148-dragons-of-tarkir
First, we're going to talk about mono white cards in this set but before we talk about the new cards, let's go over the new mechanics in this set.
First off, megamorph is a thing now. You can play a creature faced down as a 2/2 creature for three colorless and flip it for it's megamorph cost. When you do, that creature gets a +1/+1 counter. It's a pretty interesting take on the morph mechanic, not only do creatures get the surprise factor of the morph but they also get a power boost for getting megamorphed.
The next mechanic is Rebound, yes rebound is back. For those of you that don't know, if you cast a card with rebound from your hand, you exile it as it resolves. If you do, you can cast it for free from the exile during your next upkeep. It's a very powerful ability to say the least, but I'll get more into this mechanic as we talk about cards with it.
Silumgar's brood has a new mechanic in the form of Exploit. When a creature with exploit enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice a creature and if you do it triggers an effect. It fits black really well especially when you take the lore and flavor text into consideration. This is my favorite mechanic lore wise. Just a reminder, you are allowed to sacrifice the creature that enters the battlefield if you're desperate enough.
The final new mechanic in this set is Formidable. Formidable effects will only trigger if creatures you control have a combined power of 8 or greater. This is a more functional take on Ferocious in my opinion. Sure in Temur having a creature with 4 power or more is easy, but it allows other decks that play a more widespread and balanced assault to take advantages of certain triggers.
Now onto the new cards. There aren't many low rarity white cards that have been revealed so far however the power level is pretty strong.
We're going to go through some commons first. Sandcrafter Mage is a 2/2 creature for two colorless and one white. When it enters the battlefield, bolster 1. Simple, powerful, love it. Don't know if it will be standard playable but it will definitely find a home in limited decks. Next is Artful Maneuver, an instant that cost one colorless and one white. Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn and it has rebound. This means that in Heroic strategies, you trigger heroic at instant speed during your opponent's turn and then trigger it again during your upkeep, just for one example. Power boosts are always welcome, but the ability to give a creature +2/+2 two turns in a row for two mana is pretty powerful, especially for a common.
I'm only going to discuss one white uncommon so far and that card is Surge of Righteousness, an instant that casts for one and one white. Destroy target black or red creature that's attacking or blocking, you gain 2 life. This introduces a set of removal that targets two specific colors. Definite potential for the sideboard.
Brace yourself because we're going over the best white rares so far (excluding dragons). First is Radiant Purge, an instant that casts for one and a white. Exile target multicolored creature or multicolored enchantment. Once again, simple but very powerful. Having trouble getting rid of Siege Rhino, not anymore! Definitely a sideboard card for Blue/White Control and other White decks.
Profound Journey is a sorcery that casts for five and two white. Return target permanent card from your graveyard to the battlefield and it has rebound. I'm just going to say it, this is a bomb! Returning any permanent is one thing, but rebounding it for free is ridiculous. Two permanents for 7 mana? I'll take it.
Hidden Dragonslayer is a 2/1 creature with lifelink that you can hard cast for one and a white and can megamorph for two and a white. When it's turned faced up, destroy target creature with power 4 or greater and opponent controls. Once again Siege Rhino hate, but the Rhino aside, this card is pretty good. I'll take a 3/2 with lifelink for three mana any day but destroying a high powered creature in the process is really powerful.
Arashin Foremost is a 2/2 creature with Double Strike that you cast for one and two white. When it enters the battlefield or attacks, another target Warrior creature gains double strike until the end of turn. White/Black Warriors you get your ace in the hole! This card is good enough as a 2/2 doublestriker but the ability to give other warriors double strike upon entry and combat is really solid. Playable in limited and Standard in a proper Warriors based deck.
This one's a little sad but we're going to have to talk about it eventually. Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit is a 2/2 Legendary Creature that you cast for two white. Whenever another nontoken creature enters the battlefield under your control, bolster 1. She's still playable even in the afterlife. Her flavor text gives me the chills, "Martyred for worshipping her ancestors, she now walks among them". Yikes.
The final card we're going to discuss is the lone mono white Mythic released so far. Ojutai Exemplars is a 4/4 creature that you cast for two and two white. Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, choose one: Either Tap target creature, give it first strike and lifelink until end of turn or exile it and return it tapped under it's owner's control. A 4/4 for four mana is good enough, throw in the versatility and you've got a bomb in any white deck. Tap a creature, playable. First Strike and Lifelink, very playable. Exiling it and returning it tapped, strange but considering that you can cast any instant you want to dodge removal spells, very playable. Nothing's funnier than your opponent trying to Stoke the Flames him to death and you responding with an instant of your choice. For comedic value let's say......Lightning Strike your opponent's dome.
White's taken care of for now and we'll cover the other colors and time goes on. If I missed your favorite mono white card, talk to me about it in the comments below. I look forward to writing more articles for you and covering the other colors in Dragons of Tarkir.
Cards of Interest
© 2015 Peter Elacqua