Saturday, March 14, 2015

Playing White in Dragons of Tarkir, Part One

Have I mentioned that White is generally the best color to play in Standard Pauper? With the full spoiler out now for Dragons of Tarkir, it's easy to see that this set will be no exception. Indeed, within only a few hours of the spoiler being released, at least one player was already complaining about one new White Common.

White has the following advantages when it comes to the format:

  • White is fast and efficient. White gets access to cheap creatures, typically with good abilities, typically including the key mechanics of the set. Combined with the right spells, it can win very fast, or simply create enough tempo that an opponent can't keep up.
  • White has lots of options. There's very little that White can't do. It has good creatures, evasion, removal, enchantment destruction, combat tricks, creature protection, lifegain, and even some graveyard recursion. About the only thing it can't do is counter spells, destroy artifacts, or deal direct damage.
  • White has game against almost any archetype. There are very few ways to win in Standard Pauper that White doesn't have some answer to, even if that answer is simply being faster than an opponent. 
With that said, let's take a look at two particularly strong White commons in this set:

Center Soul is our White protection variant for the set, and with Heroic still in the format, it's particularly powerful. While the Scry on Gods Willing, along with the cheaper cost, might still give it the edge, getting to protect two of your creatures for the cost of 1W at Instant speed is quite strong. Granted, the second casting won't be as good as the first, since it's not like it will be dodging removal or the like. But most of the time it will at least make that creature virtually unblockable, which is still great value. The dream, of course, is getting to enable Heroic with both castings, getting two activations for the price of one.
And after a long absence, White once again gets a solid tapper at Common in Dromoka Dunecaster. While not quite as good as the reliable Blinding Mage, the ability to tap down your opponent's best non-flying creature each turn is quite strong. Having to pay 2 mana instead of just one is a significant increase, so using this early will be a sizable hit to your tempo. Worse still, being unable to target flyers does mean that sometimes you won't be able to interact with your opponent's best creature. But even with all of those limitations, tappers are still quite strong, and thus this is a card I suspect will see quite a bit of play.

Next time, I'll take a look at three more White Commons from Dragons of Tarkir that look particularly promising. I'm also hard at work at Part One of my set review, which I hope to have out early next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment