Commander Staples – Utility Lands – White

One of the very first things to change back in Magic’s ancient history was the shift from the word ‘Tap’ to the original tap symbol.

Jesper Myrfors was the original art director for MTG, and designed The Dark.
This Plains feels fuzzy.

That ‘tap’ symbol didn’t last long, and quickly gave way to this.

This tap symbol was the one.

If you look closely at the images above, you’ll see another bygone relic: the old white mana symbol. We’ve had the ‘new’ one for nearly 20 years now, but I still feel like the original was more elegant and looked better. A lot of fundamentals got hashed out in those formative years, and not least among them was white’s reputation as a colour, and default archetype.

Oh no, you go first. No you.

Whether you’re playing Hatebears, Devoted Combo, or some flavour of Standard Aggro (maybe not this meta…), White often relies on small creatures, affectionately known as ‘weenies’ to get the job done.

Also Mother of Weenies.

Weenies in the old days were some of the first stirrings of tribal synergy we now have in abundance. While Merfolk, Zombies and Goblins got the very limited lords, White (and to some degree Black) got anthem effects to boost the power of boards full of weenies. These small creatures could be played on curve for very little mana, and when the anthem dropped, they had already gone too wide to be profitably blocked, and could finish the opponent off easily. We can now get this sort of synergy from Merfolk, Elves, Gobs, etc. and ‘weenies’ in those colours can gang up and be big game in any format. White weenies have become very specialized and there are enough powerful options to build a deck like Hatebears that is really just tribal disruption.

The foundation of Hatebears.

Hatebears plays small creatures for about 1W, and sometimes for the single W. And that’s what this post is all about. This is the last in the series of mono-colour lands, and these ones all produce or use that W. Can we use this prime real estate to turn our weenies into giants?

The New

I guess humans live here.

Castle Ardenvale makes humans. Just like other humans do. Although other humans rarely also produce white mana. At a cost of essentially 2WWW (including tapping the Castle) these are not cheap humans, but white still makes the most of weenies, with tons of great anthems, human lords, and combat tricks. Where white maybe does the best with token humans however is white’s ability to use Equipment. With a lot of the heavy-duty Equipment played in Commander, the original body doesn’t matter so much. A 1/1 token swinging with a Sword of Fire and Ice is still pretty badass.

Use me, human!

If your white deck favours Equipment, the Castle is an optimum choice, making you stronger against sweeper effects. In many other decks, it provides a body to sacrifice, or one to ETB, both of which can figure into your deck’s primary engine. As always, an instant speed chump-on-demand is a major asset in Commander. There is always a Legendary creature out there for every deck you’ll face. Commander damage is a thing, and trample is rare. Even if your meta is entirely blue spellslinger decks, the day will come when they’ve all fizzled and are forced to try and attack with Talrand, the Sky Summoner for the win. And you’re ready, because you have Castle Ardenvale.

Says he’s friends with Drake.

I haven’t talked about the cost of the Castles much, because when I started writing this series, the dust was still settling. They’re cheap. Foils are cheap. Stock up now. If you can get one of these awesome utility lands for under a dollar, and apparently you can, why not do it? They are performers, their downside is minimal, and you should love having them around. I don’t work for Wizards, or any store or anything, so this is entirely motivated by me wanting you to play better games. Land, like in real life, is one of the greatest investments you can make in Magic. What’s better than a cheap cycles of lands that goes in just about every deck?

Tremendous artwork.

Speaking of cheap cycles of lands, Idyllic Grange is the last of the cycles of typed non-basics in Eldraine. Like most of those, this is pretty cheap in non-foil, and unlike some of the rest, is also cheap in foil. As with Mountains and Swamps, Plains’ enjoy a major land-based type payoff, listed below, in Emeria, the Sky Ruin. Plains also have a few fetch options, mostly to allow mono-white some viability against the raw speed of green+anything. White often wants to play a low land count if possible, but doesn’t draw cards well enough to offset any manascrews. Not everybody can afford Land Tax, despite a recent printing, and white ramp can be hard to come by. Fetching Plains might be your best path to the late game.

Pour one out for me, too!

Gift of Estates can get you some Plains, like Idyllic Grange. As can Knight of the White Orchid and Kor Cartographer, who put them directly into play. Oreskos Explorer works, too.

Scouting for a plains feast, or a fancy feast?

These cards aren’t too hard on the wallet, and as the collection of utility Plains’ grows, they will, too. Tithe, from Visions, is on the Reserved List, and while good, is not cheap at all.

Cheap to cast, not to buy.

I kind of ignored the +1/+1 counter aspect of Idyllic Grange, but do I have to say much about it? There are plenty of synergy cards, like Hardened Scales, and plenty of synergy Commanders, like Daghatar, the Adamant. This card will shine brightest when a Commander emerges that is better with a +1/+1 counter, or gives you boost from dropping one on a dork. Maybe it already exists. Otherwise this is just a great little boost for a lucky creature.

Heliod would like you to use this on him first. Lousy edict effect.

What’s this?! A third entry into The New for white? Saucy. I am shocked Modern Horizons’ Hall of Heliod’s Generosity isn’t more expensive. In fact I’m going to get myself a copy the next time I think of it. Why? Well in blue there is a similar land that goes for around $25-30 non-foil. The Hall is currently about 5 or so ($20ish foil). There’s a vast difference between recurring utility Artifacts vs. Enchantments, I know, but there’s also a Theros expansion looming. In the meantime, I’m surprised people haven’t scooped this up just for utility. I play a lot of things like Ghostly Prison, and this is tailor made for the many times that gets a target on it. Last year we had an Enchantment-based deck in the Commander series, and while that didn’t take off like crazy, did put a ton of tools out there. And if Auras are ever going to be a thing, this is the kind of card that will be a big cog in the machine. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this will be pushing $10 or more this time next year. That’s barring a reprint, possibly even in the Theros set. This is just too good, and has such little downside that it’s tough to hold much against it other than not making white mana. I’m not a speculator, but I think this is a good buy at a low point.

The Great Whites

Too few people will get to see this wacky art in person. Love that crescent citadel!

Serra’s Sanctum comes from the *cough* cycle that also contains Gaea’s Cradle, Tolarian Academy, and Shivan Gorge. This is probably the middle of the class, but is still completely insane under the right circumstances. I think Gaea’s Cradle is OP for Commander, but doesn’t oppress too much, and this is only OP in the right decks. This can produce no mana as much as it can produce 8 or more. The sweet spot is 2-4. That’s a typical number of Enchantments for any deck to have in play over the course of a game, and won’t cause your friends to go searching Ebay for damaged copies of Strip Mine to stop you. In that case, this could slot into a pretty wide range of decks, and do a lot of work. There’s a catch, as with Gaea’s Cradle. This is expensive. Reserved List expensive, and while not as much as Cradle, is still a comfortable three digits. While I think most Commander decks that run white can use this card, most budgets won’t get enough out of it to justify the cost. We will see fewer and fewer of these, which is too bad. It’s a cool card.

If you are mono-white, or have reliable access to Plains through your Commander, Emeria, the Sky Ruin is a slam dunk. I run Karametra as one of my Commanders.

While this is a Harvest God, I play it as my Spring Commander.

While I make a point of not tutoring normally, Kara is from my very early days as a deck builder, and has a lot of nostalgia value for me. I do play a suite of non-basic Forests and Plains, but tutoring is pretty tiresome, and I usually just grab basics. I’m okay with getting basics because the rules allow any number of them in a deck, making redundant copies (ie. basic tutors) okay for me. Once Emeria is out, or if I have it in hand, I will prioritize Plains until I have 7. Emeria is amazing. Returning a creature is almost always welcome, and can be an ETB trigger that can figure in all sorts of tricks.

Sometimes this gets countered and Karametra is sad.

Emeria, the Sky Ruin has been printed in Commander before, and only occasionally figures into 60 card constructed. It’s still about $10 non-foil, and maybe more than $20 for foil. Considering the power level here, it’s worth picking up a copy if you can find a cheap one. Watch out for reprints, too. This could be part of a Masters set where Valakut is a chase card.

Everything’s so soft and white in the background here. Are those pillows?!

Many decks love to do what’s called ‘Pillowforting,’ which is stacking a bunch of effects that prevent or hinder other players from attacking or targeting them. Kor Haven is a great fit for those decks, but like Maze of Ith, does a pretty stellar job of keeping heat off you in any deck that can activate it. There’s a lot of available tech here. Arriving untapped and making colourless are almost always welcome from a utility land. Plenty of decks need to prioritize colour fixing, but many can also afford to have stuff like this. Maze of Ith doesn’t make mana at all. The mighty Maze also prevents the attacking creature from taking damage, where this keeps that open for strategy. Cards like Kor Haven offer a major political chip in addition to everything else they do. Since the attacker this targets can belong to anyone, every attack has to go through you on some level, as long as this is untapped. You can change a lot, for a low cost. I think this is underplayed by a lot. The options include something that’s a first for this series, but will get a lot more attention in rainbow and colourless lands: Expeditions.

Does your monitor enable foils?

These are premium foil versions of a selection of chase lands, randomly inserted into a small number of Battle for Zendikar packs. That means future reprints of Kor Haven are likely, too. Regular Nemesis edition will run you about $10 or more, and the foil maybe $30-40. The Expedition, if you must have the bling, is in the $40 range. This card performs, and can be as amazing as Maze of Ith, or more. Recommended.

Something something, Castles are good…

I’ve spent the week going on about how much I like the Eldraine Castles. That’s totally extended to Eiganjo Castle as well. It behaves like a Plains, and while it doesn’t jive so well with Emeria, will play a nice role in any white deck. I suppose your white Commander deck has a white Commander. It’s very likely. Preventing 2 damage to that Commander is useful. Maybe not now, but soon, and maybe often. This also prevents damage to any legendary creature, which can figure into combats you’re not involved in, among other things. This is about $10 in non-foil, and $40+ in foil. It’s one of many cards that need a reprint, and aren’t quite valuable enough to sell a Masters set or supplement on their own. That may change, but will also mean these are more expensive.

The White Heat

That’s a handy spot to hideaway.

When white is just white, or when it’s with red, white is usually a combat colour. Things change when white plays with black, blue and green, though, and that’s why Windbrisk Heights isn’t the height of white lands. It’s still exceptional in the right build, though. White is probably the colour that can benefit the most from a free cast. There aren’t many in white’s repertoire, and the mana isn’t great, either. The issue one runs into with this is that white decks can be low curve, and hardly get much of a benefit from the cheating aspect here. But sometimes you get the big angel, or the big artifact, or the extremely timely anthem card. This breaks some timing restrictions, because there are multiple times this can be used after attackers are announced. This can be activated right after attackers are assigned, right after blockers are assigned, before combat damage is assigned, in main phase #2, and at endstep. If you regularly attack with 3 creatures and you play white, this can be a simply amazing piece of tech. Rules and such on Hideaway are here. It’s good to know how to use a card like this, and what you can and can’t do. Windbrisk Heights has a few printings, including Lorwyn and Commander 16. The non foils are $1-3. Lorwyn foils are in the $10+ range. Two fun options are the From the Vault: Realms foil, about $3-5, and the Modern Event Deck non-foil, which might be had under a dollar. Probably not for long.

Slightly more ready for Armageddon.

Trokair appeared first in the incredibly OP Fallen Empires set. That pile of cards was so strong, they could only put 8 cards in a pack. Am I joking? Yeah. Not about 8 card packs, though. Even with 20 years of Magic’s top minds breaking cards and formats, Fallen Empires still has few if any expensive cards, despite 27 cards on the Reserved List. It also has very little presence in any format. Fallen Empires would figure poorly in a Fallen Empires-only format. Flagstones of Trokair is a callback to those days, with an attempt to reconcile. White’s a good reconciliation colour, and this is a pretty good card. Of all the cards on this list that come in untapped and make W, this does the best Plains impression. Part of that impression is a dramatic death, but that’s acting for you. This is worth playing because of the recovery ability against Mass Land Destruction, or something like Annihilator that wants you to sacrifice permanents. You know you’re covered, because a Plains is coming to replace the Flagstones. And it’s not even a basic, so you can get your Temple Garden or Plateau. You can even copy this to get an immediate trigger. Not sure why, but you can. Maybe it’s the seventh Plains for Emeria. This isn’t a cheap card, and you might not get a copy for much under $5, even in non-foil, even though it has a recent printing, even as a Legendary land. That should give some indication of the potential. Foils are $30-40 depending on edition.

Pronounced (more or less) Shell-doran.

Kjeldoran Outpost does what many white cards do and makes a 1/1 on demand. This is a soldier without any other type, which is fine, but less relevant currently than similar 1/1 tokens made by white cards that are humans, warriors and human warriors. And some cats. All work as blockers, and Equipment holders, and such. This is a great ability stapled to a land, and the usage cost is decent also. If you can leverage the soldier thing, or the tribe gets more support in future, this gets better. Like the other lands of its cycle, this requires the sacrifice of an on-colour basic-type land. Unlike some of those, that doomed Plains can be tapped, making this less of a tempo loss to play. It only produces a single mana, though. This is a Reserved List card, and copies are starting to get expensive. More than $5, probably. There is a 1997 Championship deck edition, with alternate backing and gold borders, but this is hardly something you’d proxy, I’d think. Could be wrong. Good card.

Got a tricky dinner party coming up? Shefet!

Sometimes a class of cards is too low impact to figure anywhere but Limited (ie. Draft or Sealed). One-turn anthem effects, that give all your creatures +1/+1, are rarely good enough to play anywhere unless they do something else. Even then, they’re hard to justify. Shefet Dunes, however, takes the temporary anthem effect and adds it to a perfectly serviceable white land. When the effect is on demand, and hard to counter, the temporary anthem is a surprisingly powerful effect. Having the option to repeat it by using other Deserts is so good. Any combat-oriented white decks will love this, and love it more the wider they go. You can also use it for a single creature too. Rafiq of the Many and a lot of fast cat-tribal decks stack up power and then apply double strike, and this is another weapon in that arsenal. Two final wrinkles need to be addressed here. First, we have this cute little guy…

So cute!

Eldrazi Displacer is a reason for a white deck to run a bunch of C-producing lands. You might have no other Eldrazi or uses for that mana, but a sweet blink outlet is a sweet blink outlet. The other mention is from one of Magic’s other Kings…

Soldier type!

Darien can use all sorts of clever damage outlets, including on lands, but Shefet Dunes doesn’t qualify, as it is life lost. The card is cheap, and foils are around a dollar.

The Mistveil cleared the Bride’s head by a couple of inches.

Mistveil Plains is even a Plains in name. Adding to your Emeria toolbox, or just your regular old white deck, is easy with cool cards like this. Are there specific applications for this effect? Tough to say. Rescuing a card from a Bojuka Bog is good, and if you can shuffle your library with things like Evolving Wilds, this puts anything right back in the mix to be drawn again. If you have a recurring tutor effect, and something that you sacrifice or even just cast to use, like an Instant, this becomes a major value engine. This card can be a bit techy, and that’s fine. Finding awesome uses for cards like this are part of the fun, and this can easily stand in for a basic Plains in almost any white deck. Ultimate Masters brought this back, and both foil and non-foil are the cheapest options. Shadowmoor copies are more, with the foil around $20.

Steppe lively now.

Sejiri Steppe offers an extremely strong one shot ability for a land. Considering others like it give things like +1/+1 and vigilance, Protection from a colour of your choice is a massive jump in power. Lands rarely play at instant speed, and if you do that, it’s mostly with basics and basic-types. This is difficult to use as a combat trick or something, but it’s strong enough to use during a main phase for sure. Sejiri Steppe is great for Go-Tall or Voltron strategies that invest in a single creature as an attacker. This helps get by all sorts of blockers and other trouble. This is also great to play before casting an Earthquake, or other spell that damages all creatures, to keep your creature safe. Protection doesn’t matter vs. boardwipes like Day of Judgment, however. Sejiri Steppe has a minor drawback as well that it can only be used on your creature, taking away some political options. Entering tapped isn’t great, especially since it’s not a Plains. You can’t have everything. You can have a non-foil copy of this for next to nothing, though, and the foil is around $5.

I preferred Benalia Lite.

New Benalia might look niche, but if you can show me a deck that will reliably turn down a free scry… it probably wins within 2 or 3 turns every time. Even then. For all the decks that don’t do that, a Scry effect is a welcome smoothener. You either feel good about what’s coming or ship it for anything else. Both great for your game and your mental state. Coming in tapped and not being a Plains are legit drawbacks for white, but white doesn’t get to Scry much. Take a step into blue territory, and give this a try. Unless you must have the $5-10 Future Sight foil, copies are very cheap.

The Niche Players

Watching for sky bandits.

Forbidding Watchtower is a pretty great blocker, and while you can’t see it in the printing I chose here, the type is Soldier. But it doesn’t go much beyond that. Blocking is great, and I sing the praises of chumps up and down, but white isn’t a colour that can afford to have their block also cost them a land. This is a dangerous thing to risk, and makes this a niche card. I play this in Noyan Dar, the Roil Shaper.

Try not to be a Noyan.

I like creature lands in that setup, because having an extra layer of Power and Toughness to activate is handy. My other lands pretty much all have flying upon activation, though, and sometimes I think I keep Forbidding Watchtower around for the artwork. Which is fine. It doesn’t suck, it’s just niche. Non-foils are about a dollar in both printings, and foils are around $10.

To future glory also!

The tokens made by Memorial to Glory are Soldiers, too. White lands seem to do Soldier stuff. I feel like trying to do Soldier tribal is a trap for now, though. Good thing it hardly matters when all you really want is a couple of 1/1s. Memorial to Glory makes 2 friendly dorks at a somewhat pricey cost (for white), but costs you a land, which can be very bad (for white). If your deck loves tokens, or Soldiers, or just wants to pile bodies onto the field for anthems and such, this works. Having a double chump outlet for emergency blocking purposes, like, doubles your chumps. So that’s cool, too. This is currently Dominaria only, but I bet it shows up a lot in future in supplements. I’m surprised it dodged the populate Commander precon. This is also very cheap.

I’m sure there were points in history where the Waltz was referred to as the Blighted Step.

Blighted Steppe might be the worst of the Blighted cycle. There are times when it will be a big swing, and it helps with those Eldrazi Displacer activations, but how much life can this really gain, and will that matter? Budget white decks should be all over this, but cautioned as always that white can ill-afford to lose lands. This is helped by the ability being mostly for emergencies, or in response to a sweeper, but hindered a little because you can’t make other players gain life. This can give lifegain decks a single big boost, or a just a trigger, both being useful. But are those things worth losing your mana potential? Hopefully you don’t have to decide much, and this occasionally steals a game. Copies are dirt cheap all around.

Soldier on.

I put both Daru Encampment and Karoo in my Grinch deck as locations likely to be found in the world of Dr. Seuss. This is fun to say. Daru! As a land, this is merely okay. Changelings are more prolific these days, and we even have more than 40 (!) Commander options that are Soldiers and have white in their colour identity. Doing voltron with any of those? Why not try this? Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas gets a lot out of this as a Double-Striker, and Daxos of Meletis can’t be blocked and killed by a 2 power creature any more.

Good thing I camped in Daru!

Daru Encampment will not make waves, probably, but sometimes a lot of little things come together to form a big, cool picture. Adding this to yours will hardly cost you a dollar, even in foil.

Probably has a big old tube television in it.

Ancient Den is like the other artifact lands, too powerful for Modern and Mirrodin blocks, but just right for Commander. White doesn’t have a ton of Artifact abusing-strategies, but that changes when you add black and blue. White also does a lot of Equipment and Vehicle stuff, and if your deck is already working Artifacts, this might fit in somewhere. White is one of the colours that kills all the Artifacts with a single spell, so be careful you don’t forget you played this. This is also surprisingly pricey. Non-foils are about $2-3, and the Mirrodin set foil is around $20.

I expected a rickety old signpost.

Kabira Crossroads might have the single lowest impact ETB ability of any land I’ve covered so far, but white is a lifegain colour, and a trigger is a trigger. Lots of cards have a line of text that says, ‘Whenever you gain life…’ including some real Commanders. Karlov of the Ghost Council would play this in a… heartbeat. Shockingly, the Zendikar set foil is closing in on $10. Non foils are next to nothing.

Hard to fight when you’re nomad.

Remember earlier when I pointed out that Shefet Dunes didn’t work with Darien, King of Kjeldor? Well Nomad Stadium does. It’s good to have a go-to home for a card like this, because holy cow, is it ever tough to sleeve up otherwise. I like gaining life as much as the next guy, and a trigger is a trigger, but without payoffs, you’re eventually going to have to sac this to recoup the life you lost tapping it for mana. Ouch. One printing makes the foil about $3, but non foils are cheap, if you want them.

Release the Clachan!

Rustic Clachan is pretty lucky to have that untap clause on it, because entering tapped and doing nothing else is tough for a W land that’s not a Plains. Plains look down on it. Rustic Clachan also can be discarded to make a creature slightly larger, which is not insignificant, but isn’t great for white unless you’re flooding. White needs lands, as I’ve said, and keeping one back for a teeny trick is seldom worth it. But niches are niches, and there are many +1/+1 counter decks in white that should consider any outlet, and this is fine for budget and even Kithkin tribal decks. Foils are $2ish, and the regulars are much cheaper.

Flying sandstone is probably stable.

Sandstone Bridge is fine. It’s just not exciting. Vigilance is so functional it’s boring. You get to save the energy of reaching out and turning a card sideways, and can instead just nudge it with your foot or pepperoni stick or whatever to indicate the attack. I kid. Serra Angels won the first Magic World Championship. Sandstone Bridge will give you a useful boost, and give a 3/3 Angel a taste of what the big time feels like. Budget for sure, voltron too. Nothing expensive here.

What’s on the island, Serra?

Speaking of Serra, here’s the HQ. Cathedral of Serra plays pretty well in Angel tribal, just as a theme card, but since a fair amount of useful Angels are Legendary, this can do some work too. The best home for this is with either Captain Sisay card. Both are Legendary-themed and should have some game for this. Not tapping for mana really hurt this cycle bad. Otherwise, they might be format staples. There might be a reprint someday, maybe in a supplement, or From the Vault, but until then, these will quiety take on value until they’re shockingly expensive for what they do. This one’s about $5 right now.

The Cyclers

Desert of the False would likely be blue.

Desert of the True should border on Shefet Dunes whenever it can, but as white struggles to draw cards by itself, this card will always have use. Very cheap.

Something about this artwork really speaks to me.

Drifting Meadow is the cycle-for-2 entry for white, and because of that, has neither a foil or an expensive printing. Good value for way under a dollar.

So many Steppes… it’s like a high rise in here!

Lots of printings make Secluded Steppe cheap and easy to get, other than in foil. The Modern Horizons foil will be at least $5 fairly soon, and the Onslaught foil is over $10.

Questionable Mana Producers

Should have been abandoned by the printer.

Abandoned Outpost really doesn’t have much going for it right now. White isn’t enough of a theft colour to worry about strange activation costs. This is cheap. Moving on.

A great place to feed the Pigeons of Cho.

Doing a Harry Potter deck that runs white? Fountain of Cho (Chang) is your card! For one semester at least. White has a smidge of proliferate, but not enough for me to advocate running storage lands. No matter how much white struggles with mana, these won’t make it better unless the Commander does. Too bad. Foils are $3 or so, nons under a dollar. Somebody’s buying these, I guess. Hope they have a reason.

I’ll take one Icatian, please.

Add Med to Ication Store and you’ve got a drug store! Hey, I’ve played lands for their theme value and nothing else before. How many cards say ‘store’ on them? Doing a shopping mall thing, or small town? You could do worse. This costs around a dollar and there are no foils.

Dear, dear, what a nice place.

Karoo is not only fun to say, it became the name of the cycle, and of this sort of land as a general trope. Some white decks will happily sacrifice the early going and their quick weenie potential for a midrange or control game. This figures into strategies like that as one of very few mana-plus options for white. No foils, but two cheap printings.

Are TV remotes self-pick?

Remote Farm isn’t too bad for really aggressive white decks. One thing to note is that Sun Titan, and some other cards, can bring lands back for value. Remote Farm gets pretty decent after a few activations, and a single recursion from your Sun Titan makes that easy. If you run Faith’s Reward regularly, this might be worth a look.

I’ve used this for ramp a few times with Evolving Wilds. Go white!

Remote Farm is cheap but not in foil, where it is around $10. This cycle could easily be printed again, as I mentioned in previous posts.

Eventually it was just flagstones.

Ruins of Trokair, that classic from Fallen Empires, is still a budget option for any white deck, and decent in all-in decks. Plus the awesomeness of Fallen empires cards. You can probably get this for less than a dollar, but the other two printings are white-bordered. And cheap, too.

I can see clearly now…

Vivid Meadow wants to be something other than an extremely budget mana fixer. Maybe someday. If you’re multicoloured, but heavy on white, and can’t spend much, look no further. Foils can be as much as $5 or more, but cheap otherwise.

The Final Two

Goat tribal, 2021’s worst nightmare.

Springjack Pasture isn’t really a white land, and is actually kind of a rainbow land, but it has the word ‘white’ on it, and makes white tokens. Goats are cool, and I’m happy to see them as tokens, but if I’m allowed to be a bit of a goat and complain, they get crushed by Mice tokens from Eldraine. Not cool. But what else is cool is any instant speed token generator, and even more so when the tokens, and other Goats (including Changelings) can be turned into mana and life. Or sacrificed to prevent theft or exile. Always good to remember. This isn’t a great mana-fixer, but it’s better than some, and you can always suit up a Goat token with Embercleave or something. This card has a ton of moving parts which can hit a wide variety of triggers. Maybe it’s what your deck is missing. When Goat tribal is a thing, we’ll all be trotting out to find cheap copies of this. $1-2, or $15 or so for the Eventide foil. I’d expect a reprint, but in a Commander precon, so no foil. Maybe in a supplement like Battlebond or Conspiracy as some fun spice.

For our grand finale, Emily Dickinson. Wonderful words.

And then, there was one. The last mono-coloured land is the one we can never play. It’s amazing that Karakas comes from the same set that gave us the Elder Dragons who were the first Commanders, and spawned Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH). This could have upset the format. This was probably a house-ban from day one, as it made the white decks so much more powerful than the others, at least regarding oppressing opposing Commanders. Nowadays, we’d probably have more to fear from decks that wanted to bounce their own Commanders and cast them again with no tax. Or something worse. In any event, this is wrong for Commander, and should be banned. You shouldn’t have to define every deck you build around a single card, and as long as Karakas is out there and in print (it is) it would skew the format too much by being legal.

New, but not improved. No Emily Dickinson.
Starting around $30, $50 at least for foil, and $75+ for Legends.

A card that sees an amazing amount of play is Lightning Greaves, the same with little brother Swiftfoot Boots. I don’t want to have to have these cards in play if I want to be able to use my Commander. And Karakas can bounce in response to equip anyway. It’s too good vs conventional and jank strategies, and might be too good in general. Thanks for being an awesome card Karakas, and for cleaning up all those Marit Lage tokens in Legacy, just stay out of my format.

Are we at the end already?

And so ends the white slice of the pie. I hope your bites were satisfying. White has some cool cards to hang out with the Plains’ in your decks. I would like close by pointing out a few fun cards that show some wacky ways you could interact with Plains from the early days of Magic.

This doesn’t go that far back, but it sure sucks to see it Disenchanted.
Orc butt.
I feel like I’ve seen this artwork before…
Stay cool people. Don’t throw shade.

Thanks for reading, and double thanks if you also read any of the rest of these posts. They can be easily accessed through my What’s New post on the main page. I’m going to extend this series next week with coverage of all the of the rest of Magic’s Utility lands, so bookmark this site, or subscribe, or just come back then. Cheers, readers!

Black, Blue, Green, Red, Multicolour Identity, Rainbow, and Colourless lands can be reached by clicking that colour.


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