White's issues in Commander

Custom Cards forum

Posted on Oct. 25, 2019, 10:41 a.m. by Tzefick

This thread is mainly concerning Commander and especially some of the issues that pertain to certain colors, this thread will focus on white. The color's strengths and weaknesses and what they share with other colors. If you just want to see the heart of the thread and skip the pretext, jump down to the segment named "The suggestions".

First of all I'd like to direct attention to TappedOut's Berryjon and his articles of Pattern Recognition concerning some of white's color pie identity in the following links. If you need to refresh or get a better understanding of what white is all about, please go read them, they are quite good:

http://tappedout.net/mtg-articles/2019/apr/4/pattern-recognition-105-white-crust/

http://tappedout.net/mtg-articles/2019/apr/18/pattern-recognition-106-zoo/

http://tappedout.net/mtg-articles/2019/may/2/pattern-recognition-107-lifegain/

http://tappedout.net/mtg-articles/2019/may/23/pattern-recognition-109-white-filling/


This is a brief summary of those articles;

White is the color of status quo and Balance . "No one should pull too far ahead , we should be equal" - that could be a motto for white.

It is a color of community and unity, as seen with Anthems , promoting going wide rather than green's strong. As an effect of this white usually has smaller creatures but they often have keywords like first strike, lifelink, vigilance, indestructible, and others. As a consequence, white has the largest collection of evergreen keywords as a primary identity, sitting at 7 keywords, where the next highest is blue at 5.

(source on keywords: https://mtg.gamepedia.com/Evergreen)

Most group-hug cards are also using white's color pie in some fashion.

White is also a color that desires lifegain for the sake of lifegain. Whilst a color like black likes to gain life to use it as payment for other effects, white simply hoards life for the sake of hoarding life. White shared this feature with green in the early days , but green has since moved on to something a bit different . In the earlier days white also had a variety of prevention mechanics but it got phased out, mostly because it wasn't a very good mechanic and caused nothing to happen in a match.

White is in many ways "peaceful" but can also be destructive. For creatures the destruction is total and symmetrical or very specific but at an alternative "cost" that is not exacted on you but rather benefits your opponent.

White loves and hates artifacts, as shown by some of their early cards and some they have retained throughout the years .

And the same is mostly true for enchantments. White has an affinity for auras, but as most know, auras have a glaring issue that so far hasn't been solved without pushing the auras extensively. White shares the love / hate of enchantments with green.


White's strengths can be roughly summarized in

  • Going wide and buffing wide

  • Large collection and occurance of keyword abilities on creatures

  • Gains life the most efficient

  • Destroys everything in equal measure, ensuring a "balance" (can be offset by granting indestructible or simply ghosting them away )

  • Can deal with pretty much any permanent

  • Affinity for artifacts and enchantments

White's weaknesses can be roughly summarize in

  • Little to no card draw, if there it is conditional

  • Little opportunity for interaction with instants and sorceries, meaning white often just takes the punishment, with some exceptions

  • Going wide often clashes with their desire for balance that blows everything up

  • Lifegain outside aggro match ups is often not that valuable by itself

  • Their spot removal is often not very efficient without having some significant kind of drawback , even though they are flexible


Of white's strengths, they share lifegain with black and green. They share mass destruction with black and red. Their removal options on creatures is general for all, but black does it better, and red can conditionally be more efficient but generally not for Commander. Red can perform better on the artifact removal and in the more flexible artifact/enchantment removal, white gets bested by green, especially at multiple spot removals. Blue (and to a certain degree red) can utilize artifacts better, and green utilizes enchantments better.

There's a lot of white's strengths that they share or can be found in another color. As such white is a very flexible color but the old saying is also jack of all trades, master of none.

However the biggest strike white has in Commander is the lack of resource acceleration, this can both be mana ramp but to a larger degree it's card advantage. Blue is obviously master of straight card draw, black has a long list of trading something for card draw, green can get it through dropping creatures (or enchantments ), having many creatures or in rare occasions to off their own creatures , and red has recently been getting a push for temporary card draw or card draw while at a disadvantage . White is still kinda stuck on having mostly cantrips and a few weak conditional card draw engines . Other than that, they have to rely on artifacts for their card draws.

This combination of master of none and no real card draw is one of the reasons why white struggles in Commander as a singular color.

The Command Zone produced an analysis of over 300 games of mostly 4 players, and white came out as the color with the least win rating. And not just monocolor, but decks that contained white.

(Link to a Reddit-hub for said analysis, showing both data and video analysis: https://www.reddit.com/r/EDH/comments/9r4emn/full_data_dump_from_the_command_zone_statistics/)

However this data and analysis is incomplete and cannot be used as a definitive way to compare the colors, as the amount of games is only 316, differing power levels may occur and some conditions may apply to the play groups. However differing power levels and soft-bans is also part of what Commander is, it is first and foremost a casual format.

I've seen a few people argue that white could look like that because one of their stronger archetypes, resource denial, is frowned upon or directly banned . I don't quite agree and frankly I understand the reasoning behind frowning on effects that grinds the game to a halt. If you can lock and kill your opponents easily with Armageddon , then I don't mind it as much. But I would rather not just wait around for that player to slowly grind the rest of the players out. And there's no bearing in "well, you could just concede" - which is basically saying you might as well not play.

As such I really hope white's multiplayer strength does not have to come from mass land destruction, but instead that we can find ways to make white better in the format.

We have recently received Sevinne's Reclamation which some have speculated could be a way for white's color pie to indirectly gain mana ramp through lands, by returning low CMC permanents from the graveyard.

Now, that was a lot of pretext to get to the heart of this thread:


The suggestions:

White in Commander or perhaps multiplayer in general needs some way to gain card advantage. Every other color has come up with ways to achieve it and white is kinda still stuck.

So far white's card draws have been conditional on doing something else that results in a card draw.

Mentor of the Meek , Dawn of Hope , Puresteel Paladin , Kor Spiritdancer , and Sram, Senior Edificer are the only real card draw engines in white. They are all quite narrow or have a cost associated with it. I don't believe white should just get straight card draw, but they need something less constricting/more generic to help out white as a whole.

Suggestions on card draw Show


Another issue I see with white is how they have a lot of cost expensive cards but no real mana ramp outside artifacts.

Green is obviously covered, black usually cheats mana costs, red is not that heavy on costs but do have some rituals to grant quick mana and in some scenarios the Braid of Fire . Blue has been getting a lot of mana boosting through non-mana artifacts with Urza, and they tend to untap their permanents, generating mana. White is again getting the short end with less to show for direct mana ramp.

As mentioned before, we have recently gotten Sevinne's Reclamation (and Brought Back ) which could be an indirect source of mana ramp, by restoring lands from your graveyard. I think this would be a fine way to utilize white's color pie and their ability to restore permanents.

Let's get to some suggestions

Suggestions on land ramp Show

So with all that said and done. What is your experience with white in Commander? Can you recognize these issues? What do you think needs to be done?

And of course, you're more than welcome to share your ideas and suggestions of cards and mechanics that can help white in multiplayer formats and Commander.

TypicalTimmy says... #2

I sort of feel like your "Life gain variant" card should put the counter on it whenever you gain life (1x counter) and not based on how much life you gained.

For example, a 4/4 with lifelink shouldn't put 4x counters on it, it should put 1.

It would be far to easy to break that card with things such as True Conviction and Windbrisk Raptor .

If you have 21 power on the board because of a ton of small 1/1s, 2/2s and a few 3/2s or whatever, if you swing in full that would be 21 counters, which is 7 draws. That just seems a bit busted in my opinion.

October 25, 2019 10:56 a.m.

Caerwyn says... #3

Personally, I think the very concept of colour-pie-appropriate ramp and card draw is flawed at its core. White is never going to be a ramp or draw powerhouse, and any attempts to do so fall flat at more competitive levels. I think there is a fairly simple reason for this - most of what has been done to "fix" White's resource issues gets bogged down in conditions. In such an explosive gain as commander, you want your Ramp/Draw to function independently--not require lifegain or creatures or some other situation to function.

So long as Wizards keeps making these cards as their "solution", White is going to keep suffering.

Rather than focus on trying to bring White up to par on resource generation, I think Wizards should shift the focus toward what White does best--resource denial and equality.

Let's look briefly at the two most successful White resource cards-- Land Tax (which I would argue is more about deck-thinning than ramp) and Smothering Tithe . These cards seek to equalize the playing field by using an opponent's superior Ramp/Draw against them. That's very much in White's wheelhouse, and, while these are also conditional, they're conditioned on something an opponent is already going to be doing.

White also has a number of other fantastic ways to negate the effect of Ramp/Draw--cards like Rule of Law and Deafening Silence effectively say "Oh, so you have lots of mana and/or lots of cards? Cute--enjoy not being able to play all those cards you have."

White has the best Stax pieces and way to shut down the superiority of Black's tutors .

White is the primary colour for the only ability to completely stop trample , though Wizards let that critical balance fall by the wayside.

There are a lot of things White does a whole lot better than other colours. I think the colour would be better served by focusing on what it does best--White doesn't have to be the best at resource generation to win, it merely needs to force everyone else to play on White's level.

October 25, 2019 11:32 a.m.

berryjon says... #4

While I thank you for starting with me and my concerns with , you have to realize that outside of specific issue of Commander Products and the cards put in them specifically for Commander, you have to balance any proposed solution through the lens of Standard, Modern and yes, even Pioneer. You can't 'fix' one problem without addressing various knock-on effects in other formats.

October 26, 2019 3:25 p.m.

As much flak as its gotten, I'd like to bring up Arcane Signet . I'm of the opinion that cards like this are good in commander, specifically for leveling the playing field on ramp for colors that struggle with it like White. Arcane Signet is one of the most powerful ramp options in the format now imo, especially where colored mana production is concerned. Colorless effects that cover these weaknesses can be printed without breaking the color pie, can be printed in ways that won't break other formats, and can bring a lot more balance to commander imo. Cards like Mind's Eye are probably some of the best card draw White can get its hands on currently, and I think the best chance White has at getting better card draw is through colorless card draw.

I know that this brings up concerns about "homogenizing" the game, but so would printing things like unconditional draw in white.

October 26, 2019 10:08 p.m.

enpc says... #6

For a post that touches on a lot of what white does, I knid of think you've missed the mark here. White's whole deal is that it is a resource denial colour. White is bad at ramp, but is good at shutting down opponents' ramp . White is bad at drawing cards, but is great at shutting down opponents' card draw . Want to play lots of spells? Nope . Fair and balanced Magic is all you get.

I just don't understand the need to try and warp the colur pie just so that you can play ramp and card draw in white and let's face it, specifically for commander. White is good at white does. If you don't want to play those effects then don't, but don't expect white to be able to keep up with the other colours. But forcing the colour out of the colour pie just to so that you can't play white in commander without pissing other people off just seems short sighted. Them's the breaks, sorry.

November 3, 2019 11:19 p.m.

enpc: The issue with effects like that imo is that they draw a lot of hate from the table. If White has to rely on those to keep up, then White is even more screwed than it is without them, because they immediately turn the game into a 3v1. Especially given how they interact with other effects. Spirit of the Labyrinth comes frighteningly close to the same lockdown that got Leovold, Emissary of Trest banned, and your opponents are not just going to ignore that. Most of White's "fair and balanced" effects are the furthest they could be from fair and balanced, while masquerading as fair and balanced, and on an emotional and psychological level, that's going to cause your opponents to target you.

Cards like Rule of Law look "fair" on paper, except that your deck is going to be designed to make the most of this, while your opponents are stuck durdling because their decks were designed to be playing more cards and interacting with things. And your opponents are going to feel this immediately, and be upset about it immediately. Whereas colors like Green and Blue can sit there and ramp and draw cards, and maybe if they go too crazy with it will build up a threatening board presence, but an Explosive Vegetation doesn't draw ire the way an Armageddon does. I dare say that even a Rhystic Study doesn't draw ire the way a Rule of Law does.

That's why imo, what White needs more than anything, is a touch of subtlety. It needs a handful of cards to address this issue that don't immediately unify the table against their caster. But this is an inherent issue with the theme of denial, it's hard to design something that denies your opponents in a way that isn't really brazen.

The other thing that I think would help the situation, as I stated above, is just having more baseline colorless stuff that everyone has access to that makes the ramp and card-draw disparity smaller. I don't believe the gap should be closed entirely, green should still always be better at ramp than colorless/other colors, but so long as cards like Llanowar Elves exist, I doubt that'll be much concern.

November 4, 2019 12:29 a.m.

enpc says... #8

Tyrant-Thanatos: THAT'S THE FREAKING POINT THOUGH!

White doesn't ramp, white doesn't have tonnes of card draw, but what white does is wreck your opponent's stuff. And really well. But if you don't want to do this, then DON'T PLAY MONO WHITE. But the idea of saying that you don't want to do what the colour does but then also want lots of ramp and card draw is stupid. On top of that, giving white access to ramp and CA in addition to the arsenal it already has is just dangerous.

This whole "white needs ramp and card advantage" is EXCLUSIVELY a commander issue. And exclusively a casual commander issue. In every other format including (cEDH), people are happy to just play the stax effects that whit is so good at. But in casual commander people don't want the feel bads. But breaking the game by giving white access to lots of ramp and draw because a few poeple wan't to ignore what white does is just naive.

There are so many options as well that you can suppliment white with. Either add a second colour, or run lots of artifacts. But people need to give up on the notion of an artifact-lite, mono white deck that doesn't play staxs but is still viable. Having it would fundamentally change the game for the worse.

November 4, 2019 1:03 a.m. Edited.

jaymc1130 says... #9

"including (cEDH), people are happy to play the stax effectis that white is so good at"...

.....

Stax effects in general are extremely ineffective in true competitive EDH games. These are cards that generally can't be defended, hamper your own strategies and card inclusion choices, and make the person playing it a lightning rod for interaction spells that then won't be able to be used to prevent opposing combo win lines (which white cannot do itself generally speaking in most situations, so it is absolutely RELYING on other opponent's in a cEDH setting to handle this burden of interaction).

The only stax effects that are actually competitive level in true cEDH environments are the asymmetrical ones (Karn, Ashiok, Linvala, Mindcensor, etc). People who still think things like Leonin Arbiter, Thalia, or Null Rod are effective cards to play in a true competitive EDH setting are way behind the times and playing cards that actually decrease their odds of winning a match when played as well as decrease the odds of winning the match just by being included in the deck.

Just wanted to clarify this point.

On a different note, mono colored anything isn't viable in cEDH, even Urza is at best a tier 2 deck and can still have trouble beating some other tier 2 decks (Flash Hulk, Food Chain, etc) on a consistent basis. Black lacks the ability to deal with a wide variety of threats, Green just can't interact favorably with most combo win lines and has extreme trouble defending against opposing interaction, Blue doesn't have the tools to efficiently tutor except for artifacts and this just doesn't cut it when facing a diverse range of threats and strategies, and White and Red don't do anything remotely well enough as a mono color to be within even shouting distance of competitively viable.

November 4, 2019 1:44 a.m.

enpc says... #10

jaymc1130: All of that is irrelevant here sorry. The arguement has nothing to do with commander tiers or the overall effectiveness of stax in cEDH compared to other control strategies. Just like the how the casual EDH player's mindest is generally very narrow, you're looking far too narrowly here too.

White as a colour identity (that is, format independent) excels at bringing balance to the game and then generating advantage through attrition. White has a combination of some of the most powerful and the most numerous stax effects across the board, as well as some of the strongest target removal and boardwipes.

The arguement that mono-coloured decks aren't as competitive as their multi-coloured bretheren or that there are asymmetric stax effects outside of white that are strong doesn't come into it at all. The arguement is that white shouldn't be given a bunch of ramp and card advantage simply because a small group of players wants to play a colour but ignore what it does (and what it has done since basically the inception of the game) and effectively break the colour pie.

November 4, 2019 1:57 a.m.

But if you don't want to do this

The problem is that it's not a matter of want. It's a matter of what actually works in a multiplayer environment.

small group of players

And I just don't believe this part. This sentiment has been echoed by the majority of Commander players from what I've seen, which is the fastest growing format in the game. I actually agree with you that White shouldn't receive unconditional draw or ramp cards. I disagree though, with the sentiment that nothing needs to be done about this issue. Something else needs to be done. Something that doesn't break White in other formats, but that enables players to run White-heavy decks in EDH without being overly penalized for playing the only way they can. That's why I advocate for colorless solutions. Something that isn't exclusive to white, doesn't break white, but adds an element of base capability to all decks.

November 4, 2019 2:07 a.m.

enpc says... #12

Tyrant-Thanatos: At the end of the day, commander is just one format, popular as it may be. And as it stands, there are no cards which are legal in commander only.

Small group of players is just that. We are talking about a cross section of players who want to play commander, in mono-white, generally casual based, who want to play without runnign a bunch of stax, who want to play white heavy (i.e. without a lot of artifact support).

As for advocating for colourless solutions to fix White's issues, there are already a lot of options. Between new cards like Endless Atlas , Arcane Encyclopedia as well as classics like Skullclamp (since white has no problem with tokens), Staff of Domination , Mind's Eye and others, there is sufficient draw. And on the topic of ramp, there are a lot of really good artifacts that can be run in any colour. And I haven't even touched on all of the white cards that integrate well with artifacts.

The cards already exist in this context, the issue is that generally the players that are complaining about the lack of ramp in white are also the players not running these cards, or not running them in the quantities that they should. And there is no remedy to bad deck building other than just getting better at it. But that doesn't mean WotC should just release a bunch of new cards to make up for a poorly built deck's inadequacies.

Not to mention, releasing good colourless cards just pushes the available card pool for everybody up, it doesn't actually affect the card advantage or ramp disparity.

November 4, 2019 2:22 a.m.

jaymc1130 says... #13

@ enpc I wasn't in any way relating to the main topic of this thread, you folks already seemed to have that discussion well handled. I was specifically and only referring to some of the statements you made that specifically referenced white being capable in competitive settings and clarifying any misconceptions you might have in that regard given the nature of your specific statements.

I think I'd agree with you actually in terms of White and it's place in the color pie and the tools it probably should and shouldn't have easy access to. But that's not really important to the clarification of white in competitive settings (and this less than competitive standing is in part due to it's limitations in terms of tools).

November 4, 2019 2:24 a.m.

enpc says... #14

jaymc1130: That's understandable. I don't have any misconceptions that at the top end of the competitive scale, mono white decks will suffer compared to white/X lists as the stax effects provided by white will only get you so far.

That being said, I would still say that while ther are some shiny new planeswalkers that have effects similar to existing white cards, that white generally has the monopoly on the best slew of stax effects. That was the point I was trying to make.

November 4, 2019 2:29 a.m.

jaymc1130 says... #15

@ Tyrant-Thanatos Enpc makes a great point about adding in more colorless options isn't really a solution. All this would do is increase the pool for every potential deck and all colors without changing the gap disparity at all. The ultimate effect is that it would actually make white less effective, as the colorless options will already be better utilized in other colors as the other colors are already stronger in a general sense and if anything it would actually increase the gap disparity.

I think I'd also agree with him that there are plenty of options available in artifacts and colorless cards as it is. If anything WotC needs to STOP printing these types of cards as it homogenizes decks in every single format and makes MTG a more stale game in general, regardless of format being played.

November 4, 2019 2:30 a.m.

jaymc1130 says... #16

@ enpc I think that's a very accurate statement. White certainly has the widest range of stax options available in any color.

November 4, 2019 2:32 a.m.

Small group of players is just that. We are talking about a cross section of players who want to play commander, in mono-white, generally casual based, who want to play without runnign a bunch of stax, who want to play white heavy (i.e. without a lot of artifact support).

As for advocating for colourless solutions to fix White's issues, there are already a lot of options. Between new cards like Endless Atlas , Arcane Encyclopedia as well as classics like Skullclamp (since white has no problem with tokens), Staff of Domination , Mind's Eye and others, there is sufficient draw. And on the topic of ramp, there are a lot of really good artifacts that can be run in any colour. And I haven't even touched on all of the white cards that integrate well with artifacts.

The cards already exist in this context, the issue is that generally the players that are complaining about the lack of ramp in white are also the players not running these cards, or not running them in the quantities that they should.

All I can say to this is that you and I have very different experiences with this format. That cross section of players encompasses everyone that I've ever played commander with. Even randoms at the shop. Even if they don't want to play that specifically, they believe it should be viable, which as of current, it is not.

The listed cards are indeed steps in the right direction, and help somewhat. But no, to address the last part, White decks that run Mana Crypt , Mana Vault , Sol Ring , Skullclamp , Mind's Eye , etc. and White artifact interaction effects, still fall behind. They still draw fewer cards, get less mana, and win fewer games.

Our experiences clearly differ on this matter. But the only thing close to hard data I've seen on this format shows pretty clear indication that white has a problem.

Edit: Also to address this,

And as it stands, there are no cards which are legal in commander only.

While technically true, cards like Arcane Signet and Command Tower don't function outside of Commander, Brawl, and Oathbreaker.

November 4, 2019 2:44 a.m. Edited.

enpc says... #18

So there are a few things worth mentioning here.

The first is that if a player doesn't want to take advantage of what white does well, then that is on that player. If you were playing green but didn't want to use ramp and then were complaining about your deck being slow, that would be on you. Again, I don't think it's fair to expect that the game should break the very well established colour pie just to cater to poeple who don't want to play accordingly.

Secondly, when it comes to casual commander, the one thing I have learnt is that as a general rule, people suck at deckbuilding. That's not a dig at anyone in particular, but the common theme I notice is that people just don't want to devote deck slots to things like ramp or card advantage. They want to play all of the big, splahsy spells and as such their deck suffers. This especially goes for white. White has some very powerful creatures with quite board altering effects, however to offset it they are expensive to play.

Yet time and time again I see decks ruuning really heavy curves with minimal ramp or card advantage and then people wondering why their deck is running slowly. But they don't want to cut the big, fun spells to actually make their deck work properly. Again, I don't see how that is the fault of the colour pie.

Now onto decks that are playing good artifact integration and yet are still falling behind, how many of these are then leveraging the stax effects that white offers? Because again, if you're not slwoing your opponents down because you choose to not run certain cards because they are "unfun", then that's on you.

And look, I'm sure that there are some good white decks that still get outpaced by their bretheren of different colours. But at the end of the day, you're never going to strike a perfect symmerty with all colours and all commanders across all levels of play within a format. And as was mentioned, the ramifications of introducing white based ramp outside of commander are huge and will negatively affect many other formats. Because no card can be assessed for just commander - it will be playable in both legacy and vintage at a minimum. And in these formats, mono white death and taxes lists are already a thing and are quite strong. Introducing white based ramp would have to potential to make them that much more powerful.

On the topic of commander only legality, yes you are correct that Command Tower , Arcane Signet and a few other "command zone" based cards are not relevant in any format where there is no commander, however the kind of white based ramp you're descibing wouldn't fall within this. And sepcifically trying to word it so that the card would be unplayable in any other format would be bad card design and I dare say, not a good solution to the problem, or in my opinion at least, not porblem.

November 4, 2019 8:15 a.m.

enpc says... #19

The other thing is (and sorry for the double post, was thinking about this after I posted), rather than giving white a bunch of ramp and card advantage effects, if you really think that white is underpowered then the correct move would be to give white some more powerful stax effects, preferably ones that got stronger based on the number of player still in the game. This would be the way that you would remedy any perceived issues - rather than breaking the colour pie, you would give white cards which already fit within its strategy. Yes, this would mean that to make white work well then you would have to play these kind of effects, however I don't think that that would be an unreasonable fix. And if you didn't want to play those strategies then again, that would be your decision and you would have to wear the consequences of that.

November 4, 2019 8:33 a.m.

Secondly, when it comes to casual commander, the one thing I have learnt is that as a general rule, people suck at deckbuilding. That's not a dig at anyone in particular, but the common theme I notice is that people just don't want to devote deck slots to things like ramp or card advantage. They want to play all of the big, splahsy spells and as such their deck suffers. This especially goes for white. White has some very powerful creatures with quite board altering effects, however to offset it they are expensive to play.

Yet time and time again I see decks ruuning really heavy curves with minimal ramp or card advantage and then people wondering why their deck is running slowly. But they don't want to cut the big, fun spells to actually make their deck work properly. Again, I don't see how that is the fault of the colour pie.

This is where our experiences differ, and I can't refute what you have experienced with the format, and it's perfectly valid. It's just not what I've experienced. "Casual" commander, in my experience, involves crazy infinite combos, huge board presence, artifact ramp, etc. When I go down to my LGS to play commander night, and a guy sits down with Marchesa, the Black Rose , I can expect him to combo off turns 4-6 if nobody stops him. That's "casual", as I've experienced it. And that's not even a very optimized combo commander imo.

Within my personal playgroup, we tend not to be that... aggressive about our deckbuilding, because we do like big splashy spells, but we understand that we need to ramp into those spells for them to be viable. Even then things can happen, I can drop Bolas's Citadel turn 3-4, reveal Aetherflux Reservoir and just go off.

Now onto decks that are playing good artifact integration and yet are still falling behind, how many of these are then leveraging the stax effects that white offers? Because again, if you're not slwoing your opponents down because you choose to not run certain cards because they are "unfun", then that's on you.

The issue here isn't with "unfun" necessarily, it's with making yourself a target. With the level of decks I'm used to going up against, if I just drop a Rule of Law , I can expect that I probably won't get another turn this game. Because the moment I throw that on the stack, I have sent the message to the rest of the table that if they don't kill me ASAP, they have no chance. I do tend to run some of White's stax-type effects in my white decks, but I can't include too many or they'll clog up my hand because honestly, the important part with these kinds of cards in EDH isn't the deckbuilding, so much as it is the play sequencing. You have to play around the fact that these cards turn your opponents against you, and if you aren't prepared to deal with a 3v1, playing these cards will kill you.

I'm sure that there are some good white decks that still get outpaced by their bretheren of different colours. But at the end of the day, you're never going to strike a perfect symmerty with all colours and all commanders across all levels of play within a format.

This I agree with. The game will never be perfectly balanced. But as eternal formats go, the disparity between White/Red and Blue/Green/Black in EDH seems significantly larger than color disparity in other formats imo. It's enough that I've watched newbies catch on to it pretty fast. People with no previous knowledge of the format, getting into it, and figuring out that White is just bad.

Arcane Signet and a few other "command zone" based cards are not relevant in any format where there is no commander, however the kind of white based ramp you're descibing wouldn't fall within this.

Perhaps I've described it poorly then, because Arcane Signet is exactly what I want. I want to see it printed more, and I want to see more cards like it. It alone, in my experience in the short time I've had to play around with it, has done wonders to help close the gap on ramp between colors. It's actually better than most green ramp cards, unless your deck cares about lands specifically. Arcane Signet is available to all decks of all colors (barring mono-colorless), and provides colored ramp for 2. For green decks, this is often a slightly worse Nature's Lore . For decks weaker in ramp like White, it's just great. The closest comparison I can even find for it in White is Marble Diamond . And wow. Just wow.

give white some more powerful stax effects, preferably ones that got stronger based on the number of player still in the game

This is a pretty cool idea though! I'm not sure how this would work out exactly, but I'd be interested to see something like Undaunted becoming a White thing, as opposed to a one-off single-cycle throwaway keyword. The idea of fending off multiple foes at once has always been a pretty White concept imo, with cards like Guardian of the Gateless , Grasp of Fate , etc. It seems kind of ironic to me though that White would then struggle in a multiplayer format.

November 4, 2019 9:58 p.m.

jaymc1130 says... #21

@ Tyrant-Thanatos Part of the reason white struggles in multiplayer formats is precisely because it is a color that includes a lot of effects that hamper the entire table.

You are dead on in regards to your experience when it comes to playing Rule of Law with your group, and this is precisely the reason why the overwhelming majority of symmetrical hate effects are ineffective in multiplayer: it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to defend these effects against 3 players simultaneously and the resources expended by opponents to deal with your hate piece reduce the number of resources available to prevent players from winning the game when they are expended on a card that wasn't ever going to win the game and often is only a mild or temporary impediment to game winning lines of play.

The draw back of these wide ranging effects is that being punished for having played it in multiplayer is way more punishing than it is in 2 player mtg, even if the effect is able to hamper the whole table when played. In most situations, if a hate piece doesn't even last a full turn cycle you can expect to lose the game in multiplayer just for having played it, you basically wind up casting Time Walk for each of your opponents.

There's a reason why the symmetrical hate effects aren't really competitively viable and this reason also is what makes white less competitively viable as a color as this is a color that is very focused on having lots of those types of effects as primary core color principles.

November 4, 2019 10:23 p.m.

Tzefick says... #22

Ok, so this thread kinda blew up more than I expected, so forgive me for the monster text.

To avoid a massive wall of text, I will divide my responses in spoiler blocks to ease the view.


TypicalTimmy and life-variant card draw power Show

Berryjon, considering other format Show

White's resource denial Show

Other remarks Show

November 5, 2019 9:31 a.m.

Tzefick says... #23

Also Caerwyn Banding is a relic of an old ruleset that somehow gets an exception that defies all logic based in the rules concerning combat damage, after combat damage assigning became an order ranking. It makes no sense that it gets special treatment and it should be burned at the stake.

Banding should burn Show

November 5, 2019 10:50 a.m.

Tzefick says... #24

enpc You seem to be the flagbearer for the sentiment: Keep things as they are.

However the main argument I seem to hear is that WotC shouldn't mess with the color pie to grant white ramp or card advantage and that it would affect more than just Commander so it shouldn't be done just to please some Commander players.

Let me ask you then which of the suggested cards you figure would actually see play outside Commander, like in Legacy or Vintage? I put no veil over the point that this thread is directed at Commander and that I attempted to craft solutions that I figure would be uninteresting for anything but Commander/multiplayer.

Which of the suggested cards breaks white's color pie that hasn't seen a similar effect in white or in colorless?

life gain draw variant ( and this )

land trigger draw variant

creature draw variant

permanent restoration and add Sevinne's Reclamation and Brought Back .

It seems like you reflect more on the topic "white getting ramp and card draw", than what I actually suggested to accomplish that goal.

I said in the OP that I don't believe white should get straight card draw nor ramp - and therefore the suggested solutions takes an indirect route. And most of these are merely different takes on existing cards and effects.

November 21, 2019 9:02 a.m.

enpc says... #25

Tzefick: I'm kind of confused here, what are you trying to say? Which cards are you talking about?

And yes, youv'e listed a bunch of cards that already exist and provide some level of pseudo ramp or provide card advantage. So again, I'm confused. What is the point you're trying to make here?

Some cards like Sun Titan can bring back fetchlands sure, however that is a nice side function of the card. But trying to build a card which specifically brings back lands not only seems very green and not white, but also means that players need to have a bunch of fetchlands in their deck, thuis making it unusable for the majority of casual players whose budget doesn't facilitate the cards.

And if you make it cheap enough, legcay D&T would love that since they can abuse the crap out of Wasteland .

again, white is not good at card advantage or ramp, but that is by design. But it can suppliment this by running artifacts which is what it does. That's the point of artifacts - they are good at filling in gaps, albeit at a higher cost.

So when you combine this whit hte little ramp that white has, you actually have a playable amount available:

Sol Ring , Mana Vault , Mana Crypt , Grim Monolith , Arcane Signet , Thought Vessel , Mind Stone , Fellwar Stone , Marble Diamond , Coldsteel Heart , Wayfarer's Bauble , Knight of the White Orchid , Mox Diamond , Chrome Mox , Lotus Petal , Pearl Medallion and that's without going above 2 mana. No, some of these are not the best ramp, but that's how it works.

And white has decent tutoring whern it comes to equipment. I don't see why they need a bunch more unconditional draw power.

So, let's put this back on you for a second since you're the one who believes there's an issue. Assuming you would need say 10 different white ramp/draw cards to offset the cards already available. Try coming up with the 10 cards that aren't just functional reprints (think Nature's Lore vs Three Visits ) and that wont break other formats, but are still fair for both casual and competitive commander as well as the other eternal formats.

November 22, 2019 9:26 a.m.

Lotus Petal isn't ramp. That aside, I know WotC isn't "supposed" to take secondary market into account and all that, but the $ price tag on that gaggle of mana rocks that White needs in order to try to keep up is off the bloody rails imo. I don't mean to move goalposts here, but honestly, your average edh player doesn't have that kind of dough to blow on making their white deck compete with a $100-200 simic deck. It is what it is, but it paints a lot of this perception imo. Most if not all of the solutions that exist for white's weaknesses are exorbitantly expensive, and simply not in the range that most players have access to.

November 22, 2019 1:14 p.m.

enpc says... #27

Lotus Petal absolutely is ramp. It falls under the category of one shot ramp, like Dark Ritual . And I was hoping somebody was going to bring this up.

I listed all of the better mana rocks from a playability point of view, which included some very expensive ones to buy. But on the less playable end (3+ CMC) there are a slew of cheap to buy mana rocks, like Manalith , Darksteel Ingot , etc.

"But those rocks aren't good" you might ask yourself. And that's the point. There are a bunch of "less good than the green alternative but still playable in a casual environment" mana rocks which white has access to. But if your argument is that they're not as good and so you don't want to play them, then tough, welcome to how balancing works. And if that's not fair in your mind then you have some really bad double standards.

November 22, 2019 7:50 p.m.

I had a whole post written up and ready but you know what, fuck it. It's not worth it. You're not going to change your mind, and I'm not going to change mine. And I'm not going to waste my time arguing with someone who's just going to be condescending about it.

November 23, 2019 10:39 p.m.

Tzefick says... #29

enpc Your response makes me believe you didn't actually read the OP through. Further suggested by how you said earlier that I forgot to talk about White's ability to resource denial while I clearly had a shorter paragraph mentioning Armageddon , Ravages of War and Limited Resources and how I didn't believe that archetype was a very progressive way to forward white's multiplayer playability in Commander, even though it is one of white's more powerful archetypes but it has some nasty side effects on the political spectrum.

My main problem with white having to almost exclusively go to artifacts for fixing their problems on ramp and card draw is exactly because artifacts are plentiful in Commander and therefore many run artifact removal. It is quite tough as a white player that spent a lot of mana on dishing out mana ramp and/or card draw artifacts, just to have an opponent cast Bane of Progress or Vandalblast or be the target of an incidental Casualties of War or Aura Shards , and there's limited options for white to counter that, bar the expensive catch-all . Why green has better and more flexible counters that actually fits white more is a bit strange to me and I wish white had at least a comparable answer that didn't cost 40$.

In a way I wouldn't mind if white also got some artifact restoration as they did in the older days . Blue and red has some good artifact pulls but white did have that same affinity back in the day, so it is definitely part of their color pie . White just has a huge problem again with the symmetrical effects being a disadvantage in multiplayer unless they can fuel the graveyard - which they cannot by themselves.

One solution could be a Tempting Offer card that pulls back artifacts.

Tempting Offer Show

One of the mana ramp suggestions (in the OP) was indeed to return low CMC permanents, which could hit ramp artifacts as well - so pulling double duty and well within white's color pie. Getting extra lands this way is more resilient versus playing mana artifacts but requires extra steps compared to mana artifacts and will never be a true replacement but merely a supplement. And it's not the first time white restores lands .

I think it would be better if white players could included these types of permanent restoration cards into their decks and it was viable, rather than having to put Manalith into their deck.

Again these suggestions are unlikely to replace mana artifacts or become auto-includes, but they could provide good supplementary support. I advocate choice, but if improvements could be made to a color specific solution to a color that falls behind in the format, then I see no issue.

And none of the suggested cards are something I would imagine would swim rather than sink in eternal formats, but it's possible there's something I overlook.

It's also meant as a general take on a possible solution, and not necessarily the only thing needed to improve white's ability to compete in casual EDH. For instance if the land restoration cards I suggested was a way to go, then more cards that facilitate that line of play could be made. More functional reprints of Evolving Wilds , a variant on Flagstones of Trokair or basically anything that helps that line of play and doesn't need to be *the* fetchlands . Prismatic Vista was a very good alternative to the fetchlands, that sadly has taken a very similar price trend. Although I think that may have more to do with the price of the Modern Horizons set compared to what value was in there, than the actual card - a cash-back so to speak. Now I just hope for future functional reprints - even while owning 2 Prismatic Vista s.

White lands that end up in the graveyard Show

What I mean to say with the above, is that the suggestions in the OP and here is more about a direction of solutions to this perceived issue with white in casual Commander, more than it is "this card will single-handedly turn white into just as great a color as green for Commander". Therefore reflecting on these cards' viability in context to only existing cards would be against the point I try to make.

Think of red for a moment. For almost two decades, red didn't have actual card advantage. They had Browbeat as a punisher mechanic, they had Wheel of Fortune in the very early days but those are more exceptions than the rule. Then red got their temporary draw or draws with downside with an underlying theme "it's here in the now, use it or waste it". Card draw is so basic and essential to the game, that each color has come up with ways to achieve it. I think white needs to find a similar solution for multiplayer formats.


And finally, to quote you; "But if your argument is that they're not as good (the manarocks) and so you don't want to play them, then tough, welcome to how balancing works. And if that's not fair in your mind then you have some really bad double standards."

Does balancing need to include price tags? Joke aside.

But how come a large portion of the Commander community has expressed that white and to a lesser extend red are the least powerful colors in Commander, especially white when considering mono color? Red is getting support lately and is improving, but white falls behind.

Do you claim you know balance better than all those people?

November 26, 2019 9:15 a.m.

enpc says... #30

Tzefick: I read through the original post, but I want to circle back to it later. And you will have to excuse the order in general, I was responding to this across the course of a day.

On artifact removal

There are a few points to unpack here. The first, and most importantly, is that removal is a big part of Magic, the Gathering and honestly, is what makes games (and deckbuilding) interesting. IF MtG was just about amassing board states and then slamming big creatures into other big creatures, the game would be much more boring (not to mention take much longer). But your argument here basically boils down to "artifacts are bad because they die to removal". I get that there are a bunch of good artifact removal cards, but that doesn't mean that we should stop leaning into artifacts because of it.

As for dealing with removal (especially mass removal) - there are still many options that white already has access to which does actually allow them to ramp. Wayfarer's Bauble , Burnished Hart , Solemn Simulacrum , Kor Cartographer , Knight of the White Orchid are all perfectly valid land ramp cards. Sure, the average CMC of these spells is higher than their green counterparts, however green is THE ramp colour, so it would be expecteded that there would be hihger costs/more contitions to be met for other colours to do a similar thing. And that's without even touching on cards like Sword of the Animist or Explorer's Scope which are both equipment and what white excels at.

In addition to this, while not ramping, white already has access to cards like Weathered Wayfarer , Land Tax , and Tithe which allow you to consistently hit your lands. While not as good as outright ramping, if you're hitting your lands each turn, you're genereally not doing too badly. And when combined with other ramp effects, by mid to late game you still end up with as much mana as most players.

Now onto the artifacts. Yes, there are a lot of good artifact removal effects which can slow players down. But I would also point out a few things here too.

Mana dorks are a very common form of ramp in commander. Most green decks will run a bunch of them and there are even strategies (elf ball) which almost solely relies on them. But just as artifacts can be hated on, white has some of THE best creature removal in the game. This includes both single target but also mass removal, which can severely hamper your opponents with regards to ramp. And unlike green (who is the main comparison point here), white doesn't rely on mana dorks, leaving you relatively unaffected from a mana standpoint.

In addition to this, white has a lot of ways of protecting your stuff from being destroyed, whether it's indestructible, hexproof, just an outright Teferi's Protection (which yes you did mention), or more importantly shutting down an opponent's removal source using Torpor Orb effects, of which white has many. Sure, this doesn't stop everything, but it can shut down a lot of (especially green) big bad ones. We are seeing a lot of these printed in new sets, to the point where WotC are really trying to drive home the point that "this is what white does".

Ok, now circling back (And I will do this more than once) and picking up on my previous paragraph. On the topic of land ramp - white is very good at shutting down this. between all of the MLD, Balance type effects and library shutdown effects like Aven Mindcensor , white hating on green's land ramp is to green hating on artifacts (i.e. white's main ramp source). Again I reiterate, this is what white does. It has been made abundantly clear, since we have time and time again seen printing of cards that equalise the board, to take away other players' advantages. So again I push the point that white is capable, however the issue here is that it's not the way you (or some other casule commander players) want it to be. But again, that's not white's shortfall.

On Graveyard Recursion

This topic follows on from the whole artifact removal thing. Yes, white is very strong in graveyard recursion. And just to touch on one of your points, even recently white got a bunch of graveyard recursion via cards like Daring Archaeologist and Restoration Specialist . Not repeatable sure, but still decent. And let's face it, any mono-white commander product is going to see Sun Titan reprinted. But back to the whole recusrion thing in general - while white is good at recursion, it's permanent based, not specifically land based. Yes, this overlaps (especially in the case of Sun Titan ) but here it's just a bit of nice value.

Land recursion is very much a green thing (I'm not even going to list the cards) and that makes sense. But for white, the recursion is generally symmetric if en masse. And again, this makes sense. White is good at wrecking stuff, so it's also good at bringing stuff back. But the point is that just because you wreck stuff and bring it back symmetrically doesn't mean that you can't exile a graveyard or two in the middle. Ok, but what's my concern with what you're recommending (both across the board but let's talk specifics)?

So, fundamentally I have no issues with the release of white cards which can return permanents from the graveyard to the battlefield, and fundamentally I have no issues with pairing these cards with any kind of fetchlands to ramp. As you mentioned, we have the new Sevinne's Reclamation and Brought Back alongside Sun Titan and Profound Journey .

Where I have issue in this case is not with the concept of having a cheaper spell that hits smaller stuff, but in this case your suggestion. Unforntunately, ther is a fine line between being able to be used early game for ramp purposes and just being broken. The card you proposed is similar in effect to Unearth , though it being able to hit any permanent for 2 mana (yes, even CMC 2 or less) is super good. That means that in legacy it can hit cards like Young Pyromancer , Snapcaster Mage (to get other spells even at sorcery, like itself for example), Thalia, Guardian of Thraben , Wasteland , etc. as well as potentially getting another permanent too. It just seems way too powerful. Sure, we could start tweaking the mana costs/effects but I think you would end up with effectively a functional reprint of Sevinne's Reclamation . And look, if that's what you're going for then that's fine. But that's the danger with working under the guise of returning permanents while focusing on lands.

As for the land sepcific recursion effect though, this just seems out of charater (and heavily moving into green's territory). Just because one card was printed, which again did a symmetric effect (almost seems good with Armageddon + Tormod's Crypt ...) does not mean that it's a shoo-in for more cards to be printed like that. Planar Birth was printed inthe same set as Catastrophe and it seems like those cards were designed to play well with each other. As for hitting land drops each turn, I have no issues with this (hell, I even mentioend it before) and to aid in the available "non-good fetch" fetches, you have Terramorphic Expanse , Evolving Wilds , Myriad Landscape , Grasslands , Flood Plain , Bant Panorama , Esper Panorama , Naya Panorama , Warped Landscape , Terminal Moraine and Thawing Glaciers . That's a pretty good collection of budget fetch effects that already exist. And between Scaretiller , Sun Titan , Sevinne's Reclamation and Crucible of Worlds (and in conjuction with other ramp) there are already options there.

Again, I will double down on my argument that if you look, these cards already exist and can be made to work together in a deck. Yes, Crucible of Worlds has ~$25 USD price tag (at the time of writing this) however that is not too exorbitant for a strong EDH card.

On Other Colours

I get that each colour has its strengths and weaknesses and that when you put all of them alongside each other there will always be a worst colour. But I don't think that's a bad thing. White is an incredibly powerful colour outside of commander, and as a second colour, white is still super good. But mono-white has to have a weakness. In this case, it's slow. Buat again, that's done for a reason - because white represents balance. White might be slow, but it will do a really good job of slowing you down with it. And again, I get that ther will be a group of players who don't want to play all of the stax cards for fear of getting other poeple's backs up. But what about the players who don't care about that? you've now just armed a bunch of people with ramp and draw with their existing supply of stax. Think of how much worse that will be.

Now onto red (since you touched on it) - yes, WotC have come up with a nice balance for red's card advantage (in that it matches red's ramp style) - momentary bursts of value. Rituals and exile - you use it or you lose it kind of effects, which makes sense (and which you pointed out). But it's all done within the bounds of the colour pie still. But everything about white screams that it's card advantage is making sure your opponents don't have cards.

On Budget

While I believe that commander should be avaialble to anyone, there are some cold, hard facts: Some people can spend more than others, and, not everybody within a playgroup has the same budget.

The cards I listed before were budgetless and in most cases, the best of the best. And I understand that only a small portion of commander players actually own said cards. But there are always alternative cards at all budgets, they just may not be as desirable. But that's where my double standard comment came in, which is "if you want to play a colour that doens't have good ramp, but still want the best ramp then either pay the money to buy the good (read "expensive") stuff or deal with the fact that you can't/won't buy it." I don't think that's an unfair statement, and it's a slippery slope once you start pandering to it.

But again, if ther is a budget discrepency within a playgroup then I also don't think that it is WotC's responsiblity to fix it. This is something that the players have to own and is an entire discussion point in an of itself, so I will leave that there. But I think most players would agree with me on this.

On Other Players

Here's where we get to brass tacks (if we haven't already), I wouldn't agree with you on the comment that "a large portion of the commander community" thinks that mono-white needs fixing. Ther eare some poeple, sure. And those people might make a lot of noise about it, but that doesn't mean it's the majority of players. I know that most players who I interact with would agree wiht my viewpoint on it.

And don't get me wrong, I play both casual and competitive lists, I work full time and have funds available to afford nicer cards. A casual list for me sits in the $400-500 range. But before you discount my opinion becasue fo that, hear me out. I have looked at many, many, many lists on tapped out, ranging from <$100 to >$5000 and have learnt a lot over the years. Typically the things I notice is that the kinds of poeple who complain about a lack of XYZ have also employed a lot of bad deck-building practices (no, I'm not implying this on your lists). Really heavy mana curves, little ramp to begin with, high CMC ramp, lack of focused win conditions, all that good stuff. And I'm not saying that the decks are completely unplayable, but a lot of them are really clunky and slow. And I won't begrudge people for building those decks. But if your average CMC is 4.5 and then you're complaining that your deck is slow, that's becasue of the card choices you made. However bad deckbuilding is not WotC's fault.

So compared to those poeple, I will be a bit arrogant and say I undstand balance better than them, yes. But, and more importantly, so does WotC - because they seem to be printing more stax cards for white as sets come out, but not more ramp and card advantage which would fix the non-problem.

November 27, 2019 3:36 a.m.

Tzefick says... #31

enpc Fair enough, I'll get to your response in bits too. Sorry it's been so long underway but I've had my response written down on a different PC that I couldn't get access to for a while. I'm just going to post this initial section and keep adding to it going forward.


  • "But your argument here basically boils down to "artifacts are bad because they die to removal". I get that there are a bunch of good artifact removal cards, but that doesn't mean that we should stop leaning into artifacts because of it."

Not quite true. My argument is that relying too heavily on artifacts makes you very vulnerable to a removal type that is a lot more common than counter measures to alternative kinds of resource generation - like land ramp, blue's untaps and artifact manipulation, black's graveyard ress, alternative payments, and rituals, and red's artifact swap, rituals and other mana cheats . It's a lot easier to counter measure an artifact than many of the other types of mana accelerations in the game. And if your color can basically only achieve a very fundamental mechanic of the game like ramp and card draw through artifacts, it makes you more vulnerable than those that can achieve it in a different way.

I completely agree with you that removal is a fundamental part of an interactive game like MtG and is part of the fun and makes the game what it is. I don't advocate that removal/interaction should be worse or something like that. However I reckon when there's a disparity between how well removal interacts with artifacts versus other mana accelerators and that it hits certain colors more than others, then I see a possible issue that is worth looking into and possibly correct.


  • "In addition to this, white has a lot of ways of protecting your stuff from being destroyed, whether it's indestructible, hexproof, just an outright Teferi's Protection (which yes you did mention), or more importantly shutting down an opponent's removal source using Torpor Orb effects, of which white has many."

I mean outside of Avacyn, Angel of Hope and emblem elspeth , and the aforementioned Teferi's Protection (which is a pretty ludicrous spell in of itself), white cannot actually protect their own non-creature stuff that well. And their hexproof is mainly to protect the player themselves and not their board (there's odric off-keyword giver - I mean deathtouch, skulk, menace?) - which is kinda weird in my eyes as white is the color of community and going wide more than tall and have indestructible as a primary evergreen keyword.

Lands can be protected through Terra Eternal with the side effect that it helps your opponents too, or through Sacred Ground if your opponents try some land destruction.

So white doesn't actually have that good, flexible or effective means to protect their own non-creature stuff. White is even the color of indestructible as one of their primary evergreen keywords... and it's actually worse off when protecting non-creature permanents than a color like green .

So in your proposed scenario where white counters green's land ramp with MLD, green actually has a very good, cheap and flexible counter, that leaves white at a huge disadvantage. Although it is only one card, but then again, there are 3 major land destruction spells in white (that is legal in Commander) being Armageddon , Ravages of War (check that price tag, hello Portal), and Catastrophe ... and to an extend Fall of the Thran .

Lands have always been the exemption to many destruction effects and there have not been printed much in terms of land destruction in recent times (outside 1-for-1s Tectonic Edge that is meant for removing utility lands/power lands). So I'd like to challenge your claim that land destruction is what WotC wants to show is part of what white does. I cannot deny that WotC have made more stax-like cards for white in recent times, but I reckon that's because taxing and hindering is something WotC can more easily print for white as a color identity mechanic than land destruction, again because lands have a special status and don't perish as most other permanents in the game.


In relation to the mentioned cards that can help white to land ramp; true these exists and many utilize them in their decks if they don't have better options. I did not actually know of the Kor Cartographer , paralleling Wood Elves in a worse state, fitting of a color imitating another color's strength. I would just like to see more of these type of cards, and if WotC finds a way to make them less mana intensive (like the 6 needed for Burnished Hart - it's still a good card because it's 2 on the field, but it's good more due to lack of better) but requiring something else that white is good at, I think that would be a good compromise between allowing that power but not make it as flexible and strong as green's ramp. Simply requiring more mana to mana ramp, seems kinda unproductive as those colors wanting that imitating mana ramp is already light on mana production. Kinda feels like "Don't be poor, just be rich. It's easy making money when you're rich!".

And I'm afraid I'm being a bit repetitive, but stax effects in general, are something that negatively influences white's political standing and threat/annoyance assessment in Commander - so if white is doomed to be the "I hold the rest of you back"-kind of guy, to be somewhat "on par" with the rest, then white is always going to be a bad color for casual multiplayer formats, like Commander.


  • "So again I push the point that white is capable, however the issue here is that it's not the way you (or some other casule commander players) want it to be. But again, that's not white's shortfall."

The limited data we have and many players' personal experience says that white is less likely to succeed in Commander than any other singular color. Do you think this is just pure fiction spun up by white-loving players? Or do you think there's some truth to it? Why would white players be more prone to bad deck building than players of any other color?

Jumping at bit in your post:

  • "Here's where we get to brass tacks (if we haven't already), I wouldn't agree with you on the comment that "a large portion of the commander community" thinks that mono-white needs fixing. Ther eare some poeple, sure. And those people might make a lot of noise about it, but that doesn't mean it's the majority of players. I know that most players who I interact with would agree wiht my viewpoint on it."

My anecdotal evidence is from 6 friends I play Commander with, where most agrees that white is the worst of the colors for Commander when considering mono-color (I'm uncertain of the opinion of 2 of them as they haven't said it outright). Other than that I know that the Youtube content creators "The Command Zone" has strong opinions on white lacking support in Commander, and as far as I've seen in the comment section of their video regarding color strength, within context of the Commander format, there's a lot of people who shares that viewpoint and a lot who don't. Of those that don't share the viewpoint, there's some who are very vocal and sadly also some who are frankly quite rude in their statements.


I'll end my post here and get back to you when I have more time.

December 9, 2019 11:56 a.m.

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