Today we are going to look at the white strategies in M19, as they relate to sealed play. I won’t be looking at cards like Ajani or Resplendent Angel, because if you are playing white you are playing these cards. Instead, I’ll be looking at the Removal, the Questionable cards, and the Traps; as well as the strategy of the Archetype.
Isolate: I wouldn’t play this card. There really aren’t many 1 mana permanents that matter.
Cleansing Nova: Start this card every time. You can wipe the board if you are behind, and if you are ahead you don’t need it. Your opponent also won’t play around it often.
Hieromancer’s Cage: This card is great to play one or two of, but weak to Naturalize effects. If you open more than 2, I would look for higher impact cards before playing a third.
Luminous Bonds: Unlike Hieromancer’s Cage, it’s difficult to go wrong with 4 of these. It’s good on offense and defense, and is reasonably costed.
Take Vengeance: On the one hand, this is a sorcery. On the other hand, it’s 2 mana and is relevant when you need to kill something at any point on curve.
Ajani’s Last Stand: This card seems either pretty good or terrible to me. If you are playing several small creatures, this seems like good top end—since they will HAVE to kill your creatures to stabilize. If you are behind, it does absolutely nothing. The second ability is mostly irrelevant, but cool in a pinch. Because it isn’t a home run even when it does the thing, I would lean toward not playing this.
Suncleanser: If your opponent’s play a lot of cards with counters, this is only ok. It blocks well, so if you have a slow deck it is ok, but overall it seems less than stellar to me. I would keep this out of my deck if I had a 2/2 for 2 mana.
Ajani’s Welcome: This card, at best, gains you about 10 life. Starting at 30, with one less card, is not very good. It’s terrible late game, and hardly worth it on turn one.
Novice Knight: Cards that can’t attack struggle to win games. Unless you have a couple high impact equipment, I wouldn’t play these in the main deck. If your opponent is very aggressive, you should consider siding these in to block though.
Rustwing Falcon: DON’T. DO. IT. Even with 3 of them. On turn one, this is OK at best, but it is unacceptable turn 3 forward.
Revitalize: You could play this to draw a card OR you could play a card that does something. If you have a lot (like 6+) of cards that care about life gain in a meaningful way, I can see playing one of these, but even then I would probably rather just have a spell that impacts the board.
White is the most straight forward strategy to me. Play creatures, and attack. You want to avoid cards like Daybreak Chaplain and Dwarven Priest, and aim for cards like Cavalry Drillmaster and Gallant Cavalry. Use cards like Star-Crowned Stag and Pegasus Courser to gain tempo, then finish your opponent with an Inspired Charge or, better yet, an Angel of the Dawn. Power uncommons are cards like Ajani’s Pridemate, Knightly Valor, and Herald of Faith, which are either efficient for their mana cost, or high enough impact to swing a stalled board in your favor. Most of the rares care about the other cards you have in play too, or supplement strategies that go wide with smaller creatures, which indicates to me that you want to be aggressive to be successful.
Don’t forget to pre-register for the M19 Pre-Release either online or in-store!