Court of Grace, the best new white card?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Dec. 7, 2020, 8:57 a.m. by Peligrad

Of all the courts, Court of Grace is not only the least expensive in terms of CMC, but it is one of the only ones that help you both keep and regain the monarch.

Phyrexian Arena has long been a staple of the format, as cheap card draw at 3 CMC. I honestly feel like Court of Grace is a comparable card.

It is 4 CMC, true, but it draws a card the turn it ETBs unlike arena which draws the turn after... so they draw cards on the same turn essentially.

Rather than losing you a life every turn, it instead gives a 1/1 flying or 4/4 flying body.

True the monarch can be lost and your opponent may gain it an gain value, however with you gaining these flying creatures every turn it is highly likely that you can use them to block and keep the monarch or attack with them to regain it.

I personally think this might be one of the best (if not the single best) card draw spells ever printed in white.

Additionally it plays into all white's best strategies. It synergizes with enchantress, flyer, weenie, and token strategies and gives the player a body to equip to for equipment strategies. It also is a nearly perfect value engine in a control or stax deck.

A white card that has powerful consistent value both when you are ahead and when you are behind? Am I dreaming?

I really feel like this card is being slept on.

What are your thoughts?

sergiodelrio says... #2

December 7, 2020 9:02 a.m.

hejtmane says... #3

There are arguments made that Phyrexian Arena is not as good as cards that draw you multiple cards right away. I think that depends on what level of edh you play if you are playing at higher power levels those are too slow if you are playing at a lower power level the cards are good.

December 7, 2020 9:23 a.m.

Peligrad says... #4

Not sure who is saying that... but they are silly. Phyrexian Arena is and has been one of the most efficient value engines in MTG. Phyrexian Arena has historically had presence in much faster formats like standard, it is plenty fast and efficient.

Court of Grace is fast enough for any non-CEDH play group. And I think it might find its way into a couple CEDH deck lists even.

December 7, 2020 9:51 a.m.

Reznorboy says... #5

I believe that Mono-White specifically is not as lacking in card draw as many people believe. It may be true that the card draw is not as of high of quality, but it definitely exists. I'm going to make a small list of cards/combos in Mono-White that draw more cards than you paid to play it (i.e., I cast two cards and discard a card to make the combo, but I draw 4 out of it) that I think are better than Court of Grace (all of these have already existed). (Also, of course, artifacts are fair game. Artifacts do indeed get used in Mono-White, and should be treated as such.)

My personal favorite:

Flickerform and Sage's Reverie (and maybe Angelic Gift)

Both can be searched with cards like Plea for Guidance or Three Dreams.

One card combo (my second favorite):

Dawn of Hope

Pure Draw:

Pursuit of Knowledge Survival Cache

Ones that give only lands:

Land Tax Endless Horizons Tithe Gift of Estates Weathered Wayfarer

Ones that are wheel based:

Alms Collector and Otherworld Atlas

(Unfortunately draws opponents cards too, but you will be drawing more)

Ones that are weenie based:

Bygone Bishop Mentor of the Meek

Artifact/Enchantment based:

Kor Spiritdancer Mesa Enchantress Puresteel Paladin Sram, Senior Edificer Stone Haven Outfitter

Also, I don't think that Phyrexian Arena is very good. Your point that it was used in a "fast" format (standard) is invalid because games of cEDH are faster than standard, not the other way around, with games ending possibly by turn 3.

December 7, 2020 10:15 a.m.

Reznorboy says... #6

Actually, I just realized that technically speaking, the Artifact/Enchantment based draw cards don't technically fit my criteria, though they are still quite good.

December 7, 2020 10:17 a.m.

hejtmane says... #7

Reznorboy yep people do not realize how fast cedh can be I saw a turn 1 godo win it was of course a super rare nut draw. Turn 1 land>Rite of Flame>Sol Ring>Seething Song>Treasonous Ogre game

December 7, 2020 10:35 a.m. Edited.

Peligrad says... #8

CEDH is actually a lot slower right now than it was a year ago due to Flash being banned.

yes, a god hand can still happen to win the game early, sure. It is entirely possible that you blow two or three cards like Rite of Flame and then the spell you ramped up to gets Mana Drain'd.

Fragile aggressive decks that win turn 1 or 2 tend to be less reliable and hence lower tier than the more hearty responsive and adaptive decks that win slower but have interaction.

That is all aside of the point though. The majority of decks and play groups are not CEDH, why even talk about CEDH when the CEDH meta is stale and established.

Reznorboy, your are entitled to your opinion, but I think every card you listed with the exception of Land Tax and Weathered Wayfarer are jank. Why you'd even list a two card combo to argue against the strength of a single card is facepalm worthy.

The face that this is the way this conversation is going signals to me just how much of a sleeper card Court of Grace is.

December 7, 2020 11:09 a.m.

Peligrad I think it's important to count up just how many cards Court of Grace will draw you over the course of a game... let's imagine you get the Court by T4. Good start, not impossible by any means. Let's also say we choose to cast it over Solemn Simulacrum, Smothering Tithe, or Alms Collector--or even a three-drop like Burnished Hart, or Generous Gift. All that said, let's go with that we cast CoG on T4. We draw one card off it. Move to T5, people have likely stopped ramping (in a typical EDH game) and are now building value engines: such as Thassa, Deep-Dwelling and Mulldrifter. You are now drawing 1 (maybe) card to that players' 2, and you have a target on your back because of your flyers. T6, what's that? Austere Command, Bane of Progress, Cleansing Nova, Tranquility, Child of Alara, or Nevinyrral's Disk? Darn!

December 7, 2020 1:35 p.m.

pskinn01 says... #10

I cast it turn 2 Saturday night. It draw me extra cards and created 2 4/4 before someone chaos warped it into dictate of heliod. Three man pod. I won. Killed someone with Angel of Destiny, other player made angel not be able to attack. I killed him with my buffed creatures the next turn (he was 34 and I hit him for 35, so he died before gaining the life from the angels trigger. Finished with 135 life.

December 7, 2020 2:12 p.m.

Peligrad says... #11

Even if they wipe, monarch is still in play. Wiping might go in your favor even because if all the creatures go away and you are monarch, you are keeping it.

Court of grace can draw you cards even after it is removed. So yeah, you should count how many cards it draws you over the course of the game. Removing it isn't the end of its value.

If generating a 1/1 or 4/4 flier per turn makes you a target, then you are playing at a very casual table. Which just means the game is going to go longer than typical and court is going to generate even more value.

So thanks for supporting why this card is undervalued.

December 7, 2020 2:57 p.m.

Peligrad says... #12

Also, Court ALWAYS draws you a card. The fact that you say it "maybe" draws a card points to how you don't understand how the card works.

You're arguing against the card and you don't even know what it does lol!

You become the monarch the turn you play it. At the end of your turn, if you are the monarch, draw a card. You always get 1 card out of it!

December 7, 2020 3:07 p.m.

Court doesn't always draw you card, hate to break it to you but flyers don't always hit for damage. If they do in your pod then you're playing at a very casual table :)

December 7, 2020 3:24 p.m.

Oh ok I see what you're saying. If it guaranteed cantrips then it's the best card draw spell in white

December 7, 2020 3:25 p.m.

Also, the play pattern is this: an opponent gets the monarch, then boardwipes. You have now not only lost your engine, but given your opponent one

December 7, 2020 3:29 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #16

I... really think people are overestimating this card. One extra card and a 1/1 per turn cycle isn't great for 4 mana, is it?? Like, I don't even play competitively, and the only decks I know that would play this are my buddy's Rhys the Redeemed and Teysa Karlov builds, because they can use the token.

December 7, 2020 3:33 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #17

Hey Omniscience_is_life, hate to call you out but you sound very condescending and that's really not the energy I'm looking for on tappedout.

December 7, 2020 3:35 p.m.

Apologies. I'll leave this thread as it's not making me feel the happiest

December 7, 2020 3:35 p.m.

I don't think this particular court should see a ton of play in blue or black decks (besides enchantress, where I think it's a pretty great card), because they have a ton of card draw effects. Green is still pretty high in card draw, and also is good w/ tokens, so I think selesnya tokens is another good home for this. I feel like flyers will usually hit to get the monarch back if you lose it, even in cEdh where flyers aren't super widespread. I feel like this card could be pretty crazy good in one specific cedh deck, which is mono-white heliod stax (a deck that I only saw once in a playing with power video, but although the deck seemed janky it made its way to the finals of that tournament and locked down even the most competitive of decks), as the card draw in addition to the beaters is pretty nice, especially as the deck contains a bunch of pillowfort effects to keep the monarch.

December 7, 2020 3:51 p.m.

I think it is casually very good for white and will absolutely be a staple for mono white and boros in a casual setting. As others have said, adding any of the sultai colors make this a lot more questionable as a card draw engine when compared to other options possible. Not by any means unusable with those colors, but not where I would go.

As far as cEDH, it is too slow for most decks. At 4 mana, you better be doing something better than a 1 card* and 1 vanilla creature per turn. We want multiple cards off a spell and who knows how many turns this will get us cards because there may not be many turns left. Also combat damage is one of the least likely ways to win aside from specific commanders so these tokens are very little impact.

December 7, 2020 4:22 p.m.

Peligrad says... #21

1 card per cycle with no additional upside would be a new white staple...

Mangara, the Diplomat is a white staple and it isn't a guaranteed card draw per turn and it is substantially more vulnerable permanent.

Outpost Siege sees considerable play and it is an impulse, not even a draw.

There are some deck building considerations with this, obviously. But if it your deck's goal to dominate combat either by superior force or through control, especially if your deck values haste for the token. Then this is a great card.

You should run 10 card draw spells per deck list. For most, I certainly can't think of 10 other spells that I'd rather run over this in white 2 color combinations. Even in white/blue there are certain strategies where I would run this as one of my 10 card draw spells.

December 7, 2020 4:23 p.m.

Peligrad says... #22

I agree with everything you said GhostChieftain

Not a CEDH card, but a solid white staple, especially in mono color decks.

December 7, 2020 4:27 p.m.

MagicMarc says... #23

I agree about the casual versus competitive, I believe that Court of Grace is good enough to land in any casual white deck that wants cards and creatures. It may be too slow for cEDH but most anywhere else it can provide a ton of advantage when supported.

I think that Dawn of Hope is a good comparison card for Court of Grace. They both cost the same to net one card. They both require a cost or condition to get you a creature. They are both subject to the same removal suite. They even look like they would scale in power over a long game in a similar fashion. The advantage to Dawn of Hope is the possibility of multiple activations in the same turn. The disadvantage is not getting anything at all without an additional cost and conditional requirement. The advantage for Court of Grace is no additional costs and the disadvantage is the need to maintain Monarch status. I would think this makes it subpar in the long game or as you add more players.

Both cards can provide a win condition by going wide. I would give the advantage for this to Court of Grace for getting flyers which are evasive and the chance to get bigger bodies when you are the Monarch.

If either of these cards are not addressed the card advantage and creature production adds inevitability to a deck. Knowing it's in your deck can be built around. Sure, it's not an instant infinite combo or I Win! button so may not ever reach a Top 8 but for kitchen tables I think both are strong choices for a white deck.

They also don't need much support from other cards in the deck to work.

If Dawn of Hope sees play in casual commander decks, there's no reason this card would not as well.

December 7, 2020 4:37 p.m.

Peligrad says... #24

MagicMarc Agree. I find it confusing that Mangara, the Diplomat and Keeper of the Accord got so much attention and this one is flying under the radar.

I haven't see a card slept on this hard since Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath and Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger were printed.

December 7, 2020 5:06 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #25

Seems like a playable arena.

December 7, 2020 5:48 p.m.

griffstick says... #26

Yea the Court of Grace card is alot like Luminarch Ascension, because they both attract you to get attacked.

December 7, 2020 6:48 p.m.

Ruffigan says... #27

This card is fine at a casual table, but there are probably better things you could be playing for 4 mana. I agree with the sentiment that it is like Phyrexian Arena, which is very slow. When I started playing EDH I jammed Arena into all of my Black decks but over time realized it is just not fast enough, often running Night's Whisper or Sign in Blood is better. Obviously White doesn't have those, but unless you are running mono-White there are comparable cheap cards that get you cards faster. In my opinion, this card fits well at a table up to like 5-6 power level.

December 7, 2020 7:30 p.m.

Reznorboy says... #28


I think you've been pretty rude as far as dismissing myself and others opinions, saying "lol" when someone made a simple mistake as far as interpreting a card.

The title of this post is "Court of Grace, the best new white card?"

If even you agree that the card is not cEDH, then it's not the best.

December 7, 2020 7:59 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #29

You make some really great points, and I'm excited to try it out in a few decks.

December 7, 2020 11:48 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #30

The monarch mechanic should not be considered a card draw engine. The monarch is more than just drawing the card. Introducing the monarch in your games makes them more dynamic and eventful, because everybody wants to draw the card, and combat will suddenly have a much bigger impact on the boardstates over all.

The reason people "sleep" on this one, is because it's not even the best in its cycle. Keeper of the Accord gets more attention because carddraw is more easily backed up by artifacts than putting lands into play.

If you think people slept on Uro, I'm not even sure we're playing the same game.

December 8, 2020 4:20 a.m.

LeaPlath says... #31

Court is not even the best 4 mana white spell that gives you the monarch. Unless you are dropping it on you established board, you are just gonna take damage and lose it. You cantrip. Everyone else goes +1 for playing Magic and you lose the CA.

At the same CMC you have Palace Jailer and Palace Sentinels. Both of which impact the board that turn. Block or remove a threat and block helping you keep the monarch. Interact better with recurssion and flicker which white likes.

December 8, 2020 4:28 a.m.

Peligrad says... #32

LeaPlath I disagree. This is a 4 drop. You ramp on 2 and drop it on 3 and it is highly likely that there are no creatures on the board able to swing on turn 3. If you lost it at all, it is probably lost to a mana dork.

Palace Jailer is ruined by the wording. If it said that it remains exiled until THAT player becomes monarch then it would be a good card. But the fact that any player taking monarch returns the creature to play means the removal is very weak. He has no key words and his body is weak.

Palace Sentinels has no abilities at all and again an under-stat'd body.

Court of Grace is a less vulnerable permanent. White and Green are the only two colors that can efficiently remove enchantments at all. It grants value every turn that it is in play. The fact that the 1/1s fly mean that you will be able to get monarch back regularly.

There are a lot of decks out there that just are not equipped to compete for monarch. Many of the decks that are combat oriented take so much time to setup that you'll have accumulated a lot of value off Court of Grace before they are ready to contest for it.

Are there going to be games where drop it and it gives 1 card draw and then gets destroyed? Sure. There are games where Sylvan Library Land Tax Defense of the Heart even Mana Crypt do nothing. You have to look at the consistent average value that a card gives you for the cost. If you have a deck that can make good use of the tokens and can compete for monarch, Court of Grace is extremely good

December 8, 2020 9:41 a.m.

Peligrad while difficult to envision, I can imagine scenarios in which Land Tax, Defense of the Heart and Mana Crypt wouldn’t do very much; even then, it can be argued that they still provide indirect advantage by redirecting the attention of your opponents and their interaction. However, can you please explain to me the event in which Sylvan Library would do nothing? I cannot grasp it.

December 8, 2020 9:58 a.m.

Peligrad says... #34

You play it and then they play Bane of Progress prior to your next upkeep.

December 8, 2020 2:08 p.m.

Peligrad - LOL I'm sorry but that's just ridiculous. In your example, the card itself did not 'do nothing' on its own; its impact was simply mitigated on account of external circumstances. Those two are nowhere near the same thing. In a sense, your Sylvan Library would have an impact on the board because it further compelled the Bane of Progress player to expend their removal. By your logic, every single card in the game is made worse by the fact that it can in some manner or another be interacted with.

After this latest comment of yours I'm starting to think that you're approaching troll territory here. Reznorboy was right about you.

December 8, 2020 2:17 p.m.

Yeah, bad take. One could argue that in the case of a Bane of Progress being played that you are likely to lose the monarch and you are just fueling your opponent if the example switched Sylvan Library for Court of Grace. Sylvan Library is 99 times out of 100 better than court.

December 8, 2020 2:43 p.m.

MagicMarc says... #37

I am pretty sure Sylvan Library is never a bad play, never a wasted slot and pretty much guaranteed to appear in any decent green deck pretty much ever.

Its pointless to talk about other cards interaction with it or how much value it provides. A resolved Sylvan Library has to be interacted with or it's value is going to get oppressive on it's opponents.

As much as I like Court of Grace in a casual setting it is certainly no where near the value of Sylvan Library. Though a draw 1 with a condition is not too shabby, a guaranteed draw 2 with life loss to keep the cards is amazing.

December 8, 2020 3:12 p.m.

Peligrad says... #38

Guys... we're saying the same thing.

I'm not saying Court of Grace is better than any of the cards I listed. I listed powerful staples of the format that no one with experience in the format is going to say are bad.

A lot of the arguments people are slinging in the forum are exactly what you guys are flaming me for. Our points are exactly the same.

Sylvan Library is a great card. The average value it provides is massive. There are situations where it does nothing, but that is not the average situation.

In the same token, you can't judge Court of Grace by the worst case. There are going to be many times where you don't get hit in one round and you untap with monarch. There are going to be many times where the token you get off Court of Grace enables you to retake monarch and draw the card. More often than not, Court of Grace is going to provide you with multiple card draws and multiple bodies on the field and at least a couple points of damage or damage blocked. The average value of the card is what you need to consider when deciding to put it in your deck list.

That's my point.

December 8, 2020 3:13 p.m.

Peligrad says... #39

Honestly rereading my comment I have no idea how you guys interpreted it any other way. I was quite clear. You guys just need to learn how to read.

December 8, 2020 3:19 p.m.

TriusMalarky says... #40

Aight, my thoughts: first, I think EDH games don't actually go all that long. 8-10 turns is probably a good estimate of game length -- but that's 8-10 per player.

So, if you resolve Phyrexian Arena t3, you can expect to draw 5-7 cards over the course of the game, and it doesn't do anything immediately. Compare to Tymna or Tuvasa the Sunlit as ways to draw one extra(or more with Tymna, or if you have instant speed enchantments in Tuvasa) card each turn in the command zone. Both of them can do something immediately, so they're better lategame, and they also don't take up a draw: they're always in your command zone.

Thus, I wouldn't consider Arena. It's too slow for a draw engine in the 99. IMO, draw engines in the 99 gotta be pretty good, like Notion Thief or Ad Nauseam. Lots of cards now is better than twice as many in as many turns.

Court is interesting, and guarantees a draw -- 4 mana cantrip, which is bad -- and is incredibly likely to give you a 1/1 with flying. So 4 mana to get a 1/1 and a card as its floor. Not great.

But I don't think we should be comparing it to Arena, or using it as a draw engine. It's a way to bring Monarch to the table, and it also makes it so you're one of the best equipped to maintain Monarch status. It brings another angle to the table.

I'm a big fan of cards that, while not strategically correct, are correct to run for the purpose of fun games. Rootweaver Druid is a 3-mana Rampant Growth, in overall effect, but it guarantees that no player is mana or color screwed. Court of Grace, on the other hand, doesn't do nothing and also brings a fun, combat-centric political aspect to the table. That's the reason to run it. It sucks compared to Arena, which is already bad card draw, but it's amazing when considering the fun it could bring at the right tables.

December 8, 2020 4:33 p.m.


Felidar Retreat in my opinion. Upgraded Cathars' Crusade.

December 8, 2020 10:07 p.m.

Gleeock says... #42

A little more niche, but stronger within that niche, albeit I am using "niche" pretty loosely because it is a fairly wide niche. It has playtested very well with my Marisi deck where evasion, white weenie, & boardwipe recovery all play very well. On repeated playtesting it ends up being a surprisingly relevant spell. As to pro-Court of Grace guy notes, it actually plays well with boardwipes, particularly in more agro-weenie decks with haste-splash. If you play a meta with copious creature-sweeps & creaturesweeps of your own it seems to play pretty strong.

December 8, 2020 10:14 p.m.

Gleeock says... #43

It has this effect where players tend to forget about it once monarch is taken from you & forgotten threat cards have solid value in-and-of themselves. I will have opponents just absolutely fretting about removing my Luminarch Ascension, which I end up seeing less flyers from over the course of a game versus this card which ends up making more threats in a white weenie strategy. I've seen players just kind of sigh & still boardwipe knowing full-well the recovery rate this card has from that.

December 8, 2020 10:20 p.m.

Gleeock says... #44

Reznorboy that is a goofy leap to fit "best" criteria as cEDH or nothing. best new white card: Court of Grace could fill those shoes. & unlike several of the other cards listed above, this one is not removal bait & is not repeated attack bait like ascension. It has its own utility + card draw/versatility that could put it in the argument for best new white card. It depends on if the "new" prerequisite includes commander legends only or how far back "new" is going. After using all the new monarch cards, I have actually classified them all as solid 99 inclusions & had tons of fun with them.

December 8, 2020 10:37 p.m.

MagicMarc says... #45

I still like the fact that Court of Grace can provide a win condition without relying on anything else to happen or any other card. That does makes it a stronger choice than a lot of other cards.

December 8, 2020 11:07 p.m.

I agree that this card is very powerful. However I am not sure if this is so great if you are running it in a deck that is not something like Queen Marchesa. Also you become the target of attacks, (especially in multiplayer) because your opponents want to become the monarch and prevent you from getting 4/4s. I do think that this is still a decent card, but cards like Mentor of the Meek and Smothering Tithe are better, especially in commander.

December 9, 2020 8:25 p.m.

Gleeock says... #47

I personally like it better than mentor (or as much) &, yeah, tithe classifies as better game impact (though the removal bait with that one is sky-high). As I said though, it is not repeated attack bait unless you keep grabbing back the monarch with an ill-advised crackback situation. Unless your opponents are very fond of massive evasive haste-smash or one-sided wipes that isn't too hard to avoid particularly in white weenie.

December 9, 2020 10:34 p.m.

MagicMarc says... #48

Smothering Tithe is not a good comparison because it does not provide any of the features of Court of Grace.

And with what tithe provides, you would never give that up to make room for the court.

But Mentor of the Meek is pretty inferior compared to Court of Grace. The mentor will never provide a draw without other plays. The court is always a Draw 1. The mentor has a mana cost to draw, the court does not. The court provides creatures all game long. Which can be a win condition. The mentor never provides creatures.

The only advantage the mentor can provide over the court is it's use as a combo piece or the times you can draw 2-3 cards in 1 turn. Looking from just a consistancy perspective, Mentor of the Meek is a lot less reliable a source of anything at all and is much more vulnerable to removal than an enchantment.

December 10, 2020 2:26 a.m.

Peligrad says... #49

I think people's fear of being attacked is largely irrational. As the defender, you have significant advantages. Unless a deck is built to succeed in combat, it probably won't. Early game utility creatures generally can't attack favorably, and people are generally not going to sacrifice a utility creature to get another through and take monarch. Losing your Oracle of Mul Daya to gain monarch just isn't worth it. So unless people in your play group are playing infect you probably don't care much about taking attacks from early game creatures. One decent blocker is usually enough to keep people from attacking favorably.

And yeah, Smothering Tithe is a better card than Court of Grace lol. Unfortunately there are not many 4 drops as powerful as Smothering Tithe, especially not in white, so there is room to play both cards in the same deck.

December 10, 2020 8:47 a.m.

plakjekaas says... #50

What tables do you play at where infect is the only deck that can attack early? When your white monarch card acts as a Phyrexian Arena, you're probably all playing some stax/control decks with a combo finish, where nothing happens until someone tries to win. Sounds boring.

Tribal decks, token decks, equipment decks and decks with flying commanders all laugh at your "irrational" fears of being attacked. Then you can hit them in return and laugh back at them. That's how the monarch enhances gameplay. Making combat more prevalent, because an extra card is usually worth a utility creature, the later in the game you get. Combat damage becomes a wincon again, and boardwiping when you're not the monarch now has a drawback, it's not the great equaliser anymore. The Tokens from Court of Grace help in rebuilding, but so does the card the monarch will draw you. Giving a reason to keep the monarch till upkeep was great design in this cycle, it will enhance the dynamics I described.

Smothering Tithe becomes better if you manage to lose the monarchy, giving extra treasure when you're not making Angels in your upkeep.

December 10, 2020 10:01 a.m.

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