Amonkhet Review – White

Hi everyone.  Welcome to the first in my series of reviews of the cards in the upcoming Amonkhet expansion.  Today we’ll be taking a look at all of the White cards.  In this article, I will discuss these cards as they relate to Standard play.  My system uses number ratings ranging from 0 – 5 to gauge how well I think the cards will perform Standard play.  I will offer some pros and cons for these cards and give my thoughts and rating on the card for Standard play.  Please keep in mind that these ratings are based on my opinion only and may differ from your opinion.  (If you have a different opinion, please sound off in the Comments section below and let me know your thoughts.)

How My Rating System Works

5.0:  Format All-Star.  This card is a total Bomb card.  For those that aren’t familiar with this term, it basically means this card will win you the game if left unchecked for a turn or two.  These cards tend to be hard to defend against and can turn a game around in a hurry.  Some cards that are bombs in limited may only be a mediocre card in constructed play.

4.0:  Above Average Card.  This card is great.  It can be played in multiple decks and will have an impact on the game every time.  These cards can change a game quickly, get you back in the game, or shift the tempo of the game.  These cards are usually vulnerable to some type of removal (or are a removal spell themselves), but they make up the majority of cards found in major tournament decks.

3.0:  Average Card.  These are generally good cards, and many of them will be the majority of cards found in a tribal deck.  Cards in this category are usually similar to other (higher-ranked) cards but cost 1 mana more or have a drawback in some manner.  In Limited play, these are the majority of your deck.

2.0:  Niche Card.  These cards serve are very narrow function and are usually meant for your sideboard.  They could be removal spells that only remove 1 type of card, or cards with mediocre stats that have an ability that helps against opponents playing a certain color or strategy.  In Limited play, these cards are put in your deck if you have no other options and need the card to reach your 40-card minimum deck size.  For Constructed play, you will rarely play this card unless it’s from your sideboard or you want to be “cute”.

1.0:  Will Rarely See Play.  The worst of the worst.  These cards are rarely played (if they’re played at all).  These cards generally have bad stats, cost too much mana, or have basically no impact on the game when they’re played.  Overall stay away from this card if possible.

And now, on to the cards…

 

Angel of Sanctions

Angel of Sanctions  

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  The fact that this exiles any nonland permanent means it can get rid of an annoying planeswalker your opponent has, a troublesome enchantment, a vehicle that’s been harassing you, or your opponent’s best creature.  With choices comes playability, so I believe this card will likely see play in Standard.

 

Anointed Procession

Anointed Procession

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Doubling tokens is great, but the fact that this costs 4 mana and you still need ways to create tokens on future turns limits the playability of this card.  Creatures with embalm will certainly help with this problem, but this will likely only be seen in the most dedicated of token-producing decks.

 

Anointer Priest

Anointer Priest  

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This would get a higher rating if you gained life for each creature that entered the battlefield under your control, but since it only works when tokens enter, it’s pretty limiting.

 

Approach of the Second Sun

Approach of the Second Sun

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While this is a very cool card, and I do love alternate win conditions, I don’t think this will likely see much play.  People will try it.  People will fail.  And people will move on.

 

Aven Mindcensor

Aven Mindcensor

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While I don’t think this is a great card in the current Standard environment, I do think it will be fairly widely played.  The 1 Toughness is a real hindrance in this format with Walking Ballista being so prevalent.

 

Binding Mummy

Binding Mummy

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is a prime example of a niche card.  It will be seen in many decks that focus on embalm creatures or zombie-based decks, but nowhere else.  I think it’s a fine card and with so many zombies able to return to the battlefield from the graveyard, it could be a real tide turner at times.

 

Cartouche of Solidarity

Cartouche of Solidarity

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Vigilance and first strike are good abilities, but this card is just mediocre.  I do think this card has potential to be played in decks trying to break the Trials because of it’s low mana cost, but it’s not likely to be a game changer for you.

 

Cast Out

Cast Out

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Another card that exiles a nonland permanent.  Seems good to me.  And the fact that it has flash means it’ll be a nice way to blindside your opponent when they play something you can’t deal with.  The cycling on this card seems silly though, as I really have a hard time thinking of a situation where I wouldn’t just want to keep this in my hand.

 

Compulsory Rest

Compulsory Rest

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  There’s very few circumstances where I could envision this card, however there are creatures that are large enough that I could see trading 2 points of life in order to get rid of it as advantageous.  This won’t see much play at all, but it could see inclusion in some sideboards.

 

Devoted Crop-Mate

Devoted Crop-Mate

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Most of the time, returning a 2 mana creature from your graveyard to the battlefield won’t have much impact on the game.  However in decks that utilize lots of 2 mana or less creatures (like a white weenie deck), I could see this card being very good.

 

Djeru’s Resolve

Djeru’s Resolve

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  If you need to block something and just need to keep your blocking creature alive, then this is the card for you.  The problem with this is, what happens next turn?  This card isn’t very good, but might pop up from time to time in decks that have benefits for cycling cards.

 

Fan Bearer

Fan Bearer

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  2 mana to tap target creature in addition to tapping this creature is far too much of a price to pay.  I don’t expect this to see play.

 

Forsake the Worldly

Forsake the Worldly

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  An expensive sideboard card is all I see here.  This works in a cycling deck, but even there I don’t think it’ll be in the main deck.

 

Gideon of the Trials

Gideon of the Trials

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  When this card was spoiled, people lost their minds.  While I like the Platinum Angel-like effect, this version of Gideon really does nothing to help you actually when the game.  This will see plenty of play, but in my opinion it’s only a good card, not a great one.

 

Gideon’s Intervention

Gideon’s Intervention

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Here’s another good sideboard card.  This is a good answer to an opponent’s Gideon, or to any large creature you know your opponent might play.  This is also bad news for Electrostatic Pummeler if he were to see play again.

 

Glory-Bound Initiate

Glory-Bound Initiate

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While having a 4/4 with lifelink is very good, the fact that you’re down a creature the next turn makes this card just okay.  Is it worth on missing out on potentially 2 points of damage the next turn, or trading with one of your opponent’s creatures?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

 

Gust Walker

Gust Walker

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card has the potential to break a stalemate for you, but all-in-all just isn’t exciting.  Don’t look for this to appear in lots of decks.

 

Impeccable Timing

Impeccable Timing

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  3 damage is likely enough damage to deal with most of your opponent’s creatures.  I think this will be fairly playable as removal in this Standard format.

 

In Oketra’s Name

In Oketra’s Name

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Here’s another niche card specifically for zombie decks.  I could also see it getting some fringe play in a token-based deck, but there’s likely to be better options.

 

Mighty Leap

Mighty Leap

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This could be good to push through the final points of damage you need to finish off your opponent, but that won’t happen very often.  That’s why I don’t see this getting much play in Standard.

 

Oketra the True

Oketra the True

Rating:  4.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card is great.  With enough mana, you can singlehandedly build an army large enough to allow this god to attack or block.  And since white is the color of small, cheap creatures, you’ll likely already have the army in place when you cast this card.  This will see play.

 

Oketra’s Attendant

Oketra’s Attendant  

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  For 5 mana, I’d like to have larger stats than 3/3, but since this has both embalm and cycling, it’ll be good enough.  I also like the fact that the embalm cost is the same cost as the original casting cost.

 

Protection of the Hekma

Protection of the Hekma

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  If you’re playing this on turn 5, saving yourself from 1 point of damage that each creature your opponent has probably isn’t helping out too much.

 

Regal Caracal

Regal Caracal

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I know I’m probably biased towards this card, but I think this is very good.  I love tribal decks, and there are enough cats in Standard to make a 2 or 3 color cat deck.  Also, for 5 mana you get 7 power and toughness spread across 3 creatures, 2 of which have lifelink.  Seems really good to me.

 

Renewed Faith

Renewed Faith

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Normally cards that only gain you life aren’t that great, but the fact that you can cycle this and still gain some life is good.  This will definitely be included in cycling decks.

 

Rhet-Crop Spearmaster

Rhet-Crop Spearmaster

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  If the exert ability could be used while blocking somehow, it would be a more versatile ability.  As it is, I don’t think forcing through 1 extra point of damage every other turn is good enough to see play.

 

Sacred Cat

Sacred Cat  

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Getting 2 creatures for 1 mana that gain you a minimum of 2 points of life seems good.  And this card slots in perfectly in a cat-based tribal deck.

 

Seraph of the Suns

Seraph of the Suns

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  For 7 mana, this card needs to be bigger than 4/4.  This won’t see much play as long as Grasp of Darkness is still in Standard.

 

Sparring Mummy

Sparring Mummy

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This will likely see plan in a deck centered around exert creatures.  Elsewhere, while it does have some functionality, I don’t see it being widely played.

 

Supply Caravan

Supply Caravan

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  If I have 5 mana, I’m not looking for a 3/5 creature.  I want something bigger or with some sort of evasion.  Sorry, Supply Caravan.  You’re just not very good.

 

Tah-Crop Elite

Tah-Crop Elite

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Now here’s a creature with exert I can get behind.  Exerting to pump your whole team is something that feels worth doing.  I think this could see play in aggressive white decks.

 

Those Who Serve

Those Who Serve

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  If you have long-term plans, then this is the 3-drop for you.  Otherwise it’s just a good blocker without much punch.

 

Time to Reflect

Time to Reflect

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Exiling any creature that your opponent blocks with for only 1 mana seems really strong.  The zombie clause on this card won’t come up too often, but is just an added bonus.  This will see lots of play.

 

Trial of Solidarity

Trial of Solidarity

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  A +2/+1 bonus is nice, and in conjunction with vigilance it’s very good.  Also, being able to recast this later in the game is an added benefit.  Nice card.

 

Trueheart Duelist

Trueheart Duelist  

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  As long as your opponent doesn’t have trample, this card can be an excellent way to protect yourself for a couple of turns.  I think this will see play in quite a few decks.

 

Unwavering Initiate

Unwavering Initiate  

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I’m a big fan of vigilance, so it should come as no surprise that I like this card.  The embalm cost is a little high, but it’s like an added bonus for the late game if there’s nothing better to do.

 

Vizier of Deferment

Vizier of Deferment

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While I can see the advantages of playing this card, the fact that it’s basically a combat trick limits it’s playability.  I do think it’s good in a deck with blinking effects though.

 

Vizier of Remedies

Vizier of Remedies

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  With Amonkhet it seems that putting a -1/-1 counter on a creature you control can be used for good results.  That’s why I don’t see this being more than just a sideboard card.

 

Winged Shepherd

Winged Shepherd

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  A 3/3 flyer with vigilance is good, but not so good when it costs 6 mana.  The fact that this has a low cycling cost helps make this card playable.

 

Dusk /// Dawn

Dusk /// Dawn

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Aftermath cards are difficult to evaluate.  The Dusk portion of this card seems very good for when you fall behind.  The Dawn portion of this card could be very good if your deck is built around creatures with low power.  With that being said, I think this will likely see some amount of play initially, but that amount will lessen as the format goes on.

 

And that’s my review of the White cards in Amonkhet.  Nothing stood out as an all-star, but there were a few gems to be had.  What do you think?  Was I spot on with my assessments, or did I miss the mark horribly?  Let me know in the comments section below.  And be sure to come back tomorrow for my review of the Blue cards.  I’ll see you then.

Mike Likes

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Mike Likes

Mike started playing Magic back in 1994, but gave it up at the end of 1995. He came back to the game during the Lorwyn block and has been playing ever since. Around this time, he opened and ran his own comic & game store, while also raising his newborn daughter. After 8 years, he sold his business and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. With the debut of Kaladesh, his entire family became regular Magic players. He now has hopes of competing alongside his wife and daughter at a Grand Prix or similar event in the future. #MTGDad

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