Weakest Mono Color

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Feb. 28, 2022, 10:31 p.m. by Wuzibo

I saw something the other day. It was a new video on youtube that was covering a budget Elesh Norn deck. When the video started, the man making the video played a voice recording from a fan that inspired him to make the video, or gave him impetus to.

In that short recording, the fan said "Given that mono white is generally regarded as the weakest mono color, i was wondering if you could showcase a budget mono white deck that is competetive." Or something to that effect.

I couldn't believe what i heard. Mono white is the weakest? I don't know by what metric. I played a few different edh decks in my day, but never mono white. I did, however, do mono green and mono red, and in my first big playgroup we all played together for a few years and at one point or another there was a mono colored deck of every color in our group. Someone else in our group played Elesh Norn for a bit. Someone Did purphoros, and i did too. I did daretti, heartless hidetsugu and yisan. Someone did sheoldred and Sidisi. Idk which mono blue someone did, but the theme of the deck was making everyone else draw their deck in like, 10-15 turns. I stuck with my daretti deck most of the time compared to the others who would switch it up more, because my yisan deck was more for messing around and i didn't have a good landbase for multicolored stuff. Eventually I was forced to build Zurgo Helmsmasher voltron deck that i turned into a Kaalia deck because voltron stuff is expensive as shit, even compared to the good angels, demons and dragons because my playgroup made Daretti unplayable, even though it was a decent deck. This playgroup was incredibly competetive and we actively tried to make the most overpowered stuff we could. This playgroup was active from 2014 to 2017. I stopped playing from 2018 to about a couple months ago. I wanted to give that as a background.

From my perspective, playing mono red anything was very weak for the simple reason that red didn't (and i checked, it still doesn't) have good spot removal or answers compared to the rest of the other colors, and it also has fewer things which are incredibly threatening on their own. I'm specifically thinking about enchantment removal. Red currently has access to 2 cards that, on their own, can deal with enchantments without wiping the board. One is Scour from Existence, and the other is Chaos Warp. Those are also 2 of the 3 cards red has that can deal with indestructible permanents/creatures on their own, that 3rd one being Burn from Within. I say on their own because technically i could play Mycosynth Lattice, make everything an artifact, and then Vandalblast or do something else that blows up a specific artifact, but i first have to make it an artifact with mycosynth, and mycosynth has to resolve and also not be destroyed or exiled or bounced in response to me casting vandalblast. I can also use mycosynth to make everything an artifact and then use Goblin Welder to force people to sac their stuff, but thats a lot of hoops to jump through.

Blue can just counter something threatening, or return it to your hand and then counter it when you try to cast it again. Blue can even counter stuff that explicitly says "this spell can not be countered" on it. Mindbreak Trap. They can counter when they're tapped out Pact of Negation. And even if your spells do resolve, they probably won't hit what you wanted to take out, because blue can phase its stuff out, blink it, or return it to their own hand. You have a big creature, like, say, a Hydra with X in the casting cost that is technically a 0/0 that enters with x counters on it, blue blink spells become removal, because then the counters fall off and it re-enters as a 0/0 and instantly dies. Blue also has the single best board wipe in the game Cyclonic Rift.

White has an absurd amount of really good removal spells like Path to Exile and other 1cmc white stuff that exiles - not destroys - creatures which is just strictly better than destruction. It also has Disenchant. What can red do vs one of the Nyx gods? nothing. How is it dealing with Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre. It's either found a way to pump out at least 4 1/1s every turn or it isn't, and when ulamog hit the field it probably blew up the 1 thing that could pump out those 1/1s. It also has inertion spells like Pacifism

Green has a bunch of that stuff as well, but it just tends to be tied to a creature with an etb effect. Reclamation Sage for instance. It also has Krosan Grip, which actually can't be countered or dealt with by blinking, or even mindbreak trapped. It does struggle with indestructible stuff a little bit, but at least it can make very large blockers that also have reach..

Black has ways to make you sacrifice all your stuff and no shortage of destroy effects, and ways to put a bunch of -1/-1 counters on it, so it even has a way to deal with indestructible stuff.

So i want to give you the situation that forced me to stop playing mono-red. The other players in my group generally didn't play monocolors as much. the only other one was the one with the sheoldred and sidisi decks. the elesh norn guy made his elesh norn deck out of his regular Marath deck. One guy played Karametra to start off with but then built slivers. And one guy played Rafiq while we got used to the game and then went back to Oloro- which included test of endurance and felidar sovereign. The sheoldred, oloro, and slivers player started running Leyline of the Void. I played daretti. When youre playing a mono-red deck that has to use its graveyard to do well, and the game starts with that out, that's awful, but it's made worse by the fact that i literally had no answers to it. It made my commander more a liability than an asset. His ult literally becomes abrogated when that hits the field. Same with containment field, but at least the game didn't start with that out, and the sheoldred player would at least get rid of that for mutual interest. What am i supposed to do as a mono red player about any leyline card, for that matter? So I did the only thing i could do, which is obliterate, O stone, nevinyrals disk, winter orb, blood moon, or hope i draw chaos warp or scour. The problem with chaos warp is that it can backfire. I chaos warped the ashnods altar the marath guy had one time to stop him from going infinite. He topdecked ulamog and won the game. So i basically have to blow my one good spot removal spell on an enchantment that isn't even really a threat, it just stops me from playing my deck with my commander. My only other option was a cheese 2 spell combo that just wins the game if uncountered - Dualcaster Mage and Twinflame. Because my options were limited to oppressive stall and boardwipes, and i have the potential to cast 2 cards for 5 mana and just win the game, the rest of the table comes to hate or fear me. They come to know that my strats involve stall and stax so they always take me out first. There was nothing i could really do. So i went to Hidetsugu. I never once got to tap him in a game. I went to krenko. Same issue. I went to purphoros, and did ok, but still, the lack of enchantment removal and ways to deal with indestructible stuff always felt bad, especially because my opponents had that stuff and had it for cheap. In mono-red, what do i do when someone puts Darksteel Mutation on my purphuros? How many sac outlets or -1/-1 counters are there(that i can put on my own creatures) in red? I got upset about it, especially because in the middle of our play time, the rule about chaos warp changed so i couldn't make them shuffle their commander away anymore. So they got to keep their ways to stop me from getting to do anything with my commander, but i didn't get my way to stop them from using theirs anymore. I understand it was because i was playing the aggro color and because i was a threat, but game after game of not getting to play the game started to drag. So i made a kaalia deck so mean they stopped playing with me. They didn't let me have fun playing pillowfort stax stuff, so i made a deck that was so aggro I usually won before they did anything with their commander, and then they didn't have fun, except for the sliver player who shared a lot of the ideas i had about the state of balance in magic and our local meta. Slivers are aggro and become scary really fast but it's hard to be aggro in a 5 color deck, and he understood how our playgroup evolved to just be more and more punishing to a monored yard deck and was happy to see me having fun playing commander for the first time in a long time. The sliver player and I are the only one who are still friends.

The point of this all is that, in my playgroup, the deciding factor was not usually your ability to make threats or create problems for your opponents. It was your ability to respond to threats and problems. In that department, red is sorely lacking primarily because it doesn't have enchantment removal or a good way to deal with indestructible stuff, or even big creatures for that matter

Is there something I'm just not getting? What are other people's thoughts?

TypicalTimmy says... #2

Tldr lack of solid ramp and draw.

White relies far too heavily on other sources to ramp, rather than ramping by itself. It's "best" ramp is Serra's Sanctum which only works if you have a boat load of enchantments already in play, meaning you need tons of mana before you get tons of mana.

And white has tons of cantrips, but trading 1-for-1 does not move you ahead in net cards. All you do is waste your turn.

February 28, 2022 10:36 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #3

The tldr was for me, by the way. I normally make large, rambling posts before I finally get to a point. But I'm in the process of a machine setup at work.

Sorry if it sounded like I directed it toward you. Wasn't my intention.

February 28, 2022 10:41 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #4

As an avid player, red wins via combos and synergy. Sure a bagillion Krenko goblin tokens is fun and all, but why wait until combat when they can spread some ETB damage? Or cheat titanic forces into play and win that turn. Or destroy everyone's lands and artifacts and watch as they all scramble to pick up the pieces.

Of all the "fair" ways to win, red is definitely dirty. Not as bad as some guilds and definitely some shards and wedges, but going solo red is a filthy animal who will take more than it gives.

If you're playing mono red, and you can't win by T8 at the latest in a 4-player pod, you aren't playing mono red properly.

February 28, 2022 10:46 p.m.

Grubbernaut says... #5

It's a question of levels. White is absolutely, 100%, without any doubt at all, to the point it's a well-established meme, the worst color in EDH. The only truly competitive cards outside of fringe situations/decks that I can think of that are mono W in identity are Sevinne's Reclamation, Ranger-Captain of Eos, Silence, Swords to Plowshares, Esper Sentinel, Enlightened Tutor, Emiel the Blessed and then stax pieces. It's also not attached to basically any of the best 2-color cards. Beyond that, the commanders struggle to actually close out a game; Heliod is probably the best, and even that is D-tier, by competitive standards.

White has no good draw, which is a HUGE downside. No viable counters, extremely limited tutors, no good ramp; all very important things. Stax is really the only good strategy for the color, and even its literal best deck is worse than most of the meta. It's not even the best stax deck.

For a point of comparison, red get Godo, which presents a win nearly every ton once it establishes mana.

Honestly - it sounds like you should just hop on Spelltable and give cEDH a shot. Proxies are your friend, and having a group that doesn't want to play at your power level is a huge drag. I'm (very obviously) biased, though.

February 28, 2022 10:48 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #6


Red has that problem too, though. It's card draw is bigger, but it has the same problem, you don't move ahead in cards. you have to cast the card, then discard another card, and then you get to draw two. That's 2 for 2, which net doesn't give you any cards.

Most red ramp is also single use. Gauntlet of Might isn't, and Braid of Fire only works on instant speed stuff you cast at upkeep. In mono colors, generally by turn 3 or so you don't really need more colored mana if your first few lands were basic lands, which is kinda likely since you won't be running any of the nonbasics that produce more than one type of mana. I checked a couple monowhite decklists right now and of their 30-35 lands, around 17 to 20 tended to be plains, so over half of the lands. How many cards are there in white that actually require more than 3 or 4 white mana? Most have 2 or 1, Even the high cmc stuff is only 2 or 1 white mana and then a buttload of colorless, which white certainly has access to the same as everyone else.

February 28, 2022 11:09 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #7

Ahhh, young Padawan. You have fallen into the trap of false equivalency. Red and white might seem the same, but they are indeed foils of one another. For you see, while white has small tokens, large fliers and prisons, red too has small tokens, large fliers and prisons. But white cares about netting you life for ETB effects and within combat.

Gaining a million life doesn't win you the game, lest like two fringe cases.

Conversely, red deals in ETB non-combat damage, then focuses on haste and more damage output.

In white, a 1/1 may get you 1 life ETB and 1 life next turn with lifelink. But in red, that very same 1/1 is dealing 6 ETB non-combat damage with Purphoros, God of the Forge and then 1 more with combat and haste. In terms of a point-spread, white went up for you and only you by +2 and it took 2 turns to do it. Meanwhile, red drove everyone down by -2 and someone else down by -3.

Additionally, white deeply cares about enchantments and artifacts, but mostly enchantments. White has staples that care about artifacts, but those are staples for a reason. Meanwhile red exclusively cares about artifacts, giving it a much higher density of cards to play with. Since the primary means of ramp in EDH is mana rocks (artifact sources), red is at a clear advantage.

Finally, red has what's known as "impulse draw", which is exiling a card and being able to play it immediately that turn. Red also has looting, as well as rummaging.

White has none of these. Only cantrips.

So while on the surface they may seem identical, they are actually diametrically opposed in almost every facet ;)

February 28, 2022 11:23 p.m.

The main issue with your argument about Red's removal, as I see it, is that you really only need a few ways to deal with enchantments/indestructible creatures anyways. I can run Chaos Warp, Introduction to Annihilation, and Liquimetal Torque and be pretty much set to deal with whatever comes at me. Even in a green or white deck, are you playing more than 3 sources of enchantment hate?

Past that, ritual-type mana and impulsive-style draws are actually very strong--the burst of mana I can get from a Dockside Extortionist, Storm-Kiln Artist, or Birgi, God of Storytelling  Flip is generally all I'd need to pop off, and the access to cards from things like Jeska's Will, Light Up the Stage, or Ignite the Future is enough to hit land drops and answers.

White just can't draw enough cards to stay in the running with the value engines of the other colors, and usually has to pivot to control to keep things balanced. Control is certainly viable, but tends to get hated-targeted off the table or just outpaced. Plus, white has little access to strong mana acceleration, usually putting it just a turn behind the others. Again, its main technique for balancing this is control, but that comes with the above issues.

February 28, 2022 11:24 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #9

TypicalTimmy "win by turn 8" Oh yeah. Thats how purphuros works. Ideally cast turn 2.Turn 6 he's killed everyone. Thats why I only did krenko for a couple games and then made it a purphuros deck instead. All the same stuff works in it, basically, but it was faster, and that's what it had to be. Hidetsugu was the same, cast turn 3 or 4, by turn 6 or 7, everyone's life total is 5, and i have tokens so im swinging to win and lava axing someone for the meme.

However, my point about "how does a monored player respond to someone putting Darksteel Mutation on their purphuros?" still stands. Sometimes, you just really need to get rid of an enchantment, and the fact that red can't get rid of enchantments while every other color can makes it feel weak to me. Maybe that matters a lot more if you're trying red artifacts, but that might not be as viable as i think.

February 28, 2022 11:39 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #10


what is that? Introduction to Annihilation. I've never seen that before. I'm getting that. Most of my post is made irrelevant by that single card existing now. It certainly did not before i stopped playing a few years ago.

The Liquimetal Torque thing is actually something i referenced before with mycosynth lattice. It's the same idea, make it an artifact and then remove it. I knew about that. Now it makes sense.

February 28, 2022 11:48 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #11


Yeah i get it now. I didn't realize they released another colorless exile target permanent card. That makes the whole rant about lack of enchantment removal kind of irrelevant.

The problem wasn't that they didn't want to play on my level. We were all fairly good and we didn't care about proxying. The problem was they put cards into their decks specifically to stop me from playing my deck, and those cards were enchantments at a time when red simply did not have access to enchantment removal. I played Daretti, Scrap Savant to start with. mono red combo artifact stax. It was fun for a while, but then they got leylines. There were 3 people in the 5 person pod running Leyline of the Void. Scour From existence and Intro to annihilation didn't exist when this play group formed. Everyone else was basically a combo or stax player. The sliver guy usually tried to go infinite or take someone out with door to nothingness. The marath guy tried to go infinite, so he was combo. The oloro guy tried to stax until he combo'd off with Exquisite Blood and Sanguine Bond or won with Felidar Sovereign or Test of Endurance. Sheoldred is more aggro than anything, usually winning with commander damage. She's got a high cost for aggro, though. The big problem i had with it then was that they had something that they could literally start the game with that made my whole strategy pretty much untenable, and i didn't have access to anything like that - even with proxies.

So I switched to kaalia, and something that aggro just kills decks like those. Sheoldred can't be cast that fast. Marath won't have combo pieces before she's dropping bombs. the poor sliver guy might not have all his mana colors yet, and oloro is just going to be up 8 hp or so.

I don't want to go back to monored though. I'm very happy with Kaalia. I've played her sans proxies a little recently, and even without avacyn, stoneforge mystic and mother of runes shes an absolute terror. I could get into cEDH with that. Thanks!

March 1, 2022 12:35 a.m.

Wuzibo says... #12


I just gotta respond to that last comment otherwise i'll feel rude.

For the majority of my time playing mono-red, i was playing mono-red artifacts, which, admittedly might not the best way to play red. Red artifacts generally work off cheating them in out of the graveyard. Impulse draw in mono-red artifacts is a double edged sword which is why i didn't consider it as weighing as heavily as you do. It's especially risky near the start of the game when i need the draw most. "Amazing, i have exiled my Darksteel Forge and i can play it this turn but i only have 7 untapped mana, so now I've lost it for the rest of this game." Granted, as the game goes on, it becomes a lot better.

Looting/rummaging doesn't give card advantage and can have the same drawbacks as impulse in mono-red artifacts. The commander i mentioned, daretti, he enables rummaging. However, it sucks to do that with him in the situation i described above where people were running a lot of yard hate and i specifically wanted to pitch artifacts into my yard to cheat them out.

And white doesn't just have cantrips. Inspiring Commander, Mesa Enchantress, Losheel, Clockwork Scholar, Welcoming Vampire and Sram, Senior Edificer will double the value of white cantrips. Some only once a turn, but that's still better than nothing. Sage's Reverie can be amazing if youre playing around enchantments.

I might have been overvaluing spot removal a little, since it was one thing i didn't have much access to. I also was undervaluing red's ability to win before removal becomes that relevant. The commander i played the majority of the mono-red with certainly did no favors there.

It seems to me like that other guy who brought up how white doesn't have the greatest commanders is onto something there. That's an explanation which makes more sense than anything else. I guess the card draw is a little on the weaker side in general, and the lack of ramp to get bombs out before opponents is problematic, but since most of the ramp is colorless artifact based, and the most expensive white cards only take like, 3 white mana to cast and then like, up to 9 colorless or so, it's not too behind everything else in that department.

I see the problems now though. I think it's being overblown a little, but i can see it now.

March 1, 2022 2:09 a.m.

griffstick says... #13

White has gotten some good stuff recently I can't say it is the worst. But as mono color is concerned. White is worse than red because it's cmdr choices are bad

March 1, 2022 2:48 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #14

Well, let's break it down like this:


  • Functionally no ramp outside of Serra's Sanctum and Smothering Tithe
  • Loads of targeted exile removal
  • Cantrips draws only, lest a few Commanders like Mangara
  • Almost always puts you in one of three very rickety boats: White weenies, Angels, prisons & Stax


  • Lots of ramp. Runaway Steam-Kin, Koth of the Hammer, Dockside Extortionist, Mana Geyser and Battle Hymn, to name a few
  • Burn is basically their removal, but it's so easy to deal lethal amounts of damage that this works just fine. Plus artifact and land destruction so you can grind games to a screeching halt
  • Yes, red draw is flimsy. But it's still draw, and there's a lot more of it than white. While it may act essentially the same as a cantrips (replace card in hand with card from deck), it also allows more utility when you can pick and choose between the top two or three. As for impulse, cards such as Outpost Siege and Furious Rise may not feel like card advantage, but it's an additional card you get to cast that turn. The first time you impulse, you replaced the enchantment (e.g. cantrip), but the second time is straight value
  • Loads of ways to win, mostly through damage, but everything white can do, red can also do. Drop a Mudslide and watch the game crash to a sudden stop. It's amazing.

Red is not the best mono color, but is superior to white in every way, with the exception of maybe instant speed 1mv removal. But red is so aggressive that you take the hit and fire back full force anyway

White has it's benefits. The issue is white is best at propping other colors up. On its own, it has nothing to prop up and thus falls apart.

March 1, 2022 3:21 a.m.

SteelSentry says... #15

It sounds like the problem is more to do with your opponents hating out your deck specifically than the colors you're playing. It's true that Red doesn't have universal value engines like the other colors do, and it's not as removal heavy as white is, but many of red's strongest effects are the ones that let you win explosively out of nowhere; when I still had my Neheb, the Eternal deck put together, I was able to win in one turn once, where all I had was 9 mana of lands/rocks, and empty handed (with a timely Reforge the Soul miracled).

White has certainly many tools recently, but all the removal in the world won't win you the game, which White can often struggle to do.

March 1, 2022 3:29 a.m.

plakjekaas says... #16

Sram, Senior Edificer, Puresteel Paladin, Mesa Enchantress, Mentor of the Meek, Welcoming Vampire, Land Tax, Endless Horizons, all the equipment tutors for Sword of Fire and Ice or Mask of Memory, if your only draw in white is cantrips, you're playing white wrong too.

White also has a lot of catch-up ramp like Knight of the White Orchid and Archaeomancer's Map and such, which white is uniquely equipped to profit from with stuff like Karoo, Path to Exile, Winds of Abandon and many more. On top of that, fetchlands + Sun Titan are a powerful engine to not fall behind in spendable mana.

And of course there's tons of Colorless stuff to help you out, but that would help other colors as well, so no real need to mention them.

You'll have to work a bit harder for white than for other colors, but the past 3 years have equipped white well enough to close out the gaps that started the 'white is bad'-meme. You'll lean more on synergy than power, which is why it falls behind competitively, yet the most powerful preemptive answers are in white, which is why many competitive decks will include it, but not be mono colored. Drannith Magistrate, Rest in Peace, Rule of Law, Aven Mindcensor and Stony Silence on the board together will prevent almost every deck from winning.

Tl;dr: white is the worst mono color, but not weak by any stretch. For the best results, combine it with other colors.

March 1, 2022 4:14 a.m.

SteelSentry says... #17

TypicalTimmy the win was, as far as I remember, I wheeled into Seize the Day, Flame Rift, Ashling's Prerogative, and I had previously looted away Recoup. Casted commander, Prerogative on 'odd', and then rifted. After combat, casted the extra combat, used the flashback on the wheel, and managed to get enough mana with big beaters and extra combats to dig for an X burn spell for lethal.

March 1, 2022 5:29 a.m.

Guerric says... #18


I'm a huge fan of white in general, and have such have regularly led complaining sessions about it over the years. It is getting better with some great new cards like Welcoming Vampire, but it is definitely behind. That being said, most would say mono-red is the second worst color, so and most of the research I've heard would suggest this as well.

I've noticed that in almost all your commentary here you have focused heavily on the abundance of removal and board wipes in white and the lack thereof in red. It is true that white has the best removal and board wipes in commander. The problem is that removal and board wipes don't win games. Sure, they're controlling, but control is also only good to the degree that we are moving towards a win con. Controlling pieces like that are also weaker in a multi-player environment where someone else can just do our work for us. Board wipes in particular work this way. If I play a white board wipe I'll destroy all my own stuff too at sorcery speed, and everyone else gets to rebuild before I do. In addition, white strategies also tend to be very oriented around creatures and tokens, so we usually set ourselves back more than other people because of our principal weakness, namely, the lack of consistent and meaningful card draw.

And this issue, card draw, is white's biggest weakness. I think it will get better over time as even Maro has finally admitted that he was wrong about white and card draw, but that's still where we are at at the moment. We can play threats and we can police the board, but we eventually end up hitting ourselves, and we can't draw the cards to keep up with our opponents, so we end up sitting there like a chump with two cards in hand trying to rebuild while our opponents run away with the game due to their amazing ramp and draw.

Sure, red is behind blue, green, and black. But they have been getting "impulsive card draw" for awhile now, and while it's use it or lose it, it still moves through the deck. Red also has some wheel effects, which allow it to redraw a hand when it's bad. Moreover, red is stronger because there are a plethora of good artifact-based strategies in red. Daretti, Scrap Savant was merely the vanguard for a lot of strong "brown" decks where red can win via powerful artifact-based combos. Red has Godo, Bandit Warlord and Helm of the Host. It can play Godo late game onto an empty board and win our of nowhere. It also has Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Splinter Twin combos, which once again, can win out of nowhere. Red doesn't need to maintain a board state to win, it can just pull it out of nowhere late game. White generally can't do this. It's only powerhouse commander is the Heliod, Sun-Crowned with Walking Ballista, whereas red has many.

White has been making strides in that we are finally getting some card draw, more ramp (which wasn't as big of a problem in my estimation), at least one commander, and some tools to protect our board state like Cosmic Intervention and Flawless Maneuver. But we still have a ways to go.

March 1, 2022 8:37 a.m.

TriusMalarky says... #19

Honestly . . .

| Idk which mono blue someone did, but the theme of the deck was making | everyone else draw their deck in like, 10-15 turns.

You're playing a very specific subset of EDH. Incredibly casual, incredibly low power. Of course, that's fine, nothing wrong with playing what you find fun, but . . .

That's an environment in which you cannot compare notes. It's a specific friend group, with a specific meta, it is quite literally impossible to compare anything in your group to anyone elses group.

Yes, White is by far the weakest mono color -- for reasons already explained above. It becomes entirely unviable in mid-to-high power EDH, and only becomes worth using again when you get into cEDH where Oswald Fiddlebender and Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle helm artifact based decks with a few white cards splashed in.

The list goes as follows: Blue, Black, Red, Green, White. Blue entirely because of a set of about 6 cards that together cost $300, Black because of a set of 4 cards, 3 of which are tutors, that cost $842, Red almost entirely because of Dockside Extortionist at $70.

Given your implied budget, "Eventually I was forced to build Zurgo Helmsmasher voltron deck that i turned into a Kaalia deck because voltron stuff is expensive as shit, even compared to the good angels, demons and dragons", I doubt you'd have played with most of those(also the time line means Dockside and FoN and Guardianship were not available, and prices on specific cards may have been cheaper) meaning you definitely would not have been anywhere close to the environments in which white would actually show up as worse than other colors.

March 1, 2022 11:39 a.m.

Wuzibo says... #20

TriusMalarky "Low power" I'm sorry, "...very competitive and actively tried to make the most overpowered stuff we could" must not have been clear enough.

March 1, 2022 1:48 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #21


"Removal and board wipes don't win games"

Yeah and neither do lands or drawing cards, if you really think about it. But they sure do help, don't they? I'm not saying that makes white not the weakest, but it certainly says to me that its weakness is being exaggerated.

You brought up kiki-jiki and splintertwin. You know what can disrupt that combo? Pathing the splintertwin in response to them tapping kiki jiki with splintertwin as the target, making kiki's ability fizzle and leaving him tapped. Now you've taken that win-con off the table/out of the game. One time, when i was playing, i ended up losing after the marath player stopped me from winning turn 5 with Dualcaster Mage and Twinflame by removing dualcaster mage in response to me casting twinflame on it. He won the game next turn by playing mana echoes and going infinite.

Sometimes, just being able to take out that Doubling Season on this turn so that the marath guy can't instantly win is all you need to do to win, because next turn you can Obliterate and you have something like Darksteel Forge protecting half your board, leaving you the only player with a board.

I understand that the situation I'm describing is a little niche, but it's not so niche it's obscure.

I'll acquiesce that white is weakest, but red is a close second.

March 1, 2022 3:20 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #22


The problem was them hating my deck specifically and the fact that red doesn't have a way to respond to that hate at all, whereas the other colors do. It also felt bad that there simply is not good hate stuff like that to put in red that the other colors can't respond to. They can put out an enchantment that screws my whole strategy, and i have no way to remove it. Proxies were allowed so budget wasn't an issue, but there were no cards in red that did what i needed. I can't put out anything that screws their whole strategy that they also can't remove with just a cheap instant or sorcery, which is why it seemed particularly imbalanced. That's why i got so excited when Scour from Existence got released. Now there's Introduction to Annihilation too, which makes most of my post just irrelevant. It got released when i was on hiatus, so i was unaware of it.

March 1, 2022 3:32 p.m.

Grubbernaut says... #23

Unironically, the strategy in red would be to ignore enchantments, and go fast enough to get under the big ones that might actually prevent a win.

It's not that white is useless, it's just a lot less useful, especially on its own. Scour and Intro are both really subpar cards, for reference, and your deck would be made better by using a strategy that commonly played enchantments simply doesn't mess with. If you try to play around everything, you end up playing around nothing.

March 1, 2022 4:25 p.m.

Guerric says... #24


I totally get it! As someone who would love to play mono-white if it was viable I feel the lack of card draw in a pretty profound way, and as someone who has played mono-red it makes sense that you would feel the lack of removal, and it makes sense that you would envy the fact that white can remove anything. As such, overvaluing it seems perfectly logical. And the removal is very good! I would not say white is weak at all when paired with any other color in today's environment, and I play those great removal cards in many decks.

As for mono-red being the second worst combo, I'll take your word for it, and what research has been done would suggest you are right. Red really only removes artifacts well in commander and has absolutely no tutoring other than Gamble, which makes it pretty weak.

I think the real area where mono-white struggles is just in terms of the lack of good commanders. When you pull up mono-white on EDHrec, there are only five commanders with over 1,000 decks (which is a small amount), and the most is Heliod with 1800. Mono-red, by contrast, has four commanders with over 2,000 decks, and the top commanders has 5,000, and the top 7 decks have more people playing them than the second most popular white commander. There are some decent decks in red, but there really aren't many good mono-white commanders, which is why no one wants to play it!

That being said, I hear your pain, and think both colors need better support as single colors in the future.

March 1, 2022 4:40 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #25


In mono-red artifact focused decks, ignoring an enchantment that exiles stuff which goes to your graveyard means you don't get to do what people play red artifacts for. You just have to hard cast everything, and at that point you might as well be playing colorless or some other color artifacts, so that's not really a valid strategy to deal with that. Also, the enchantment i was talking about can be on the field at the start of the game, so "go fast enough" also doesn't work there. There is no way to build a daretti deck around a strategy that yard hate enchantments won't mess with

But you are right, the better strategy would be to have a deck built around a strategy not shut down by commonly played enchantments. In that respect, the red commanders that go aggro, win fast and win hard, are superior to anything white has.

March 1, 2022 4:58 p.m.

Grubbernaut says... #26

Playing a deck that only has one line to win is always going to result in the feeling that you can't do anything, especially in a color that can't deal with it. That's one of the downsides of playing a narrow strategy. I actually just had a conversation with a Daretti brewer on the cEDH subreddit about why I don't think the deck is competitively viable, for reference.

On the flipside, Leylines are pretty bad cards in general, so forcing your pod to have them makes the decks generically weaker. This can be great in decks with multiple lines from which they can win.

Check out Godo! It's fantastic.

March 1, 2022 5:30 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #27


as Grubbernaut kind of said, red's weakness is kind of it's strength. It can win fast and hard, but if it can't, it will struggle more than the other colors to deal with stuff that messes with its strategy. Green can deal with an elesh norn being out, but a good number of red creatures will just die as soon as they hit the field. It can also remove problems, and its ramp is permanent, and it has actual card draw that gives real card advantage like Toski, Bearer of Secrets and Colossal Majesty so if they can do something to survive a red assault early, they will just outscale. Between black or blue, idk which is strongest exactly. I want to go with blue because it has ways to deal with anything your opponents do - even if you think your combo pieces are well defended - and makes it hard to deal with anything they do.

However, i can see how red having that as a clearly defined strength puts it ahead of white, which doesn't really have clearly defined strengths apart from removal, and there's a decent argument that blue removal and ability to deal with things before removal becomes relevant(counters) is is superior to that anyway.

Also, this was specifically about mono-colors. In a combination, white is usually decent, since it can kind of cover the weakness or offset the cost of other colors - protect little green mana dorks or red creatures, gain the life you spent for black spells back, letting you do more pay life stuff, and negate the "lose the game" effect that red "extra turn" cards have. I find it harder to talk about the relative strengths there, though, since the number of cards to consider becomes so huge.

March 1, 2022 5:34 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #28


My deck didn't just have 1 line to win. I sometimes won when leyline was out and i didn't get a graveyard. It just became much harder because the whole point of playing daretti is to use his rummage ability to pitch big artifacts into your graveyard and cheat them out. I could still use it and pitch stuff i didn't need and extra lands away, but it was a loss in value.

Some of the wincons were boardwiping and then Blightsteel Colossus combat damage

Mindslaver locking.

Platinum Angel + Moltensteel Dragon + Soul Conduit Pay down to zero life then switch life totals with people. Combine with voltaic key to do it to a 2nd person, then pay down a little more and swing at the guy who doesn't have fliers with a dragon that has like 40 power.

Dualcaster Mage + Twinflame infinite dualcaster mages with haste that swing and win

Hellkite Tyrant + Mycosynth Lattice steal opponent's stuff and usually win on my next upkeep

Mycosynth Lattice+Karn, the Silver Golem blow up all their 0 mana rocks and all their lands for the low price of 1 mana a piece. Not a win con in and of itself, but basically is. Rings of Brighthearth+Basalt Monolith to make infinite colorless mana to pump Steel Hellkite infinitely and use Staff of Domination or a red X spell which i can hit someone with, and Stuffy Doll could be the target to hit them anyway even if they gave themselves hexproof.

I've seen godo. I saw it years ago too. I'll play it one day i promise lol.

March 1, 2022 6:02 p.m.

TheoryCrafter says... #29

While few and far between, Red dealing with enchantments seem more concerned about punishing the controller/owner than removal. In addition to Dockside Extortionist, this includes Aura Barbs, Blood Oath, Enchanter's Bane and Starfall.

March 1, 2022 8:28 p.m.

Grubbernaut says... #30


Right on, sounds like you have your bases covered.

March 1, 2022 9:05 p.m.

bomb_arie says... #31

I liked what you said about the Slivers. Feared in a casual setting but no problem when decks get more competitive. Same that happened in our playgroup.

March 2, 2022 1:50 p.m.

Wuzibo says... #32


My friend's wasn't uncompetetive. unchecked he could take over the game very easily, and when there's 4 or 5 people on the board, it's hard to keep any one person down. Sliver Overlord lets him tutor most of what he needs for the slivers, and you have to realize, most of us went in on the decks. I was probably the "cheapest" player. But the group wasn't too nitpicky about proxying anyway. you just like, couldn't do a deck of proxies. I had divining top as a proxy for a long while, for instance, cuz that was very expensive back then. Slivers have their own ramp too. He could go infinite with Sliver Queen very easily off Mana Echoes and something that lets him spend mana as though it were mana of any color, and that sliver that makes other slivers untap whenever another sliver enters the battlefiend combined with a sliver that lets slivers tapped for mana. If he has enough slivers on the board, he might not even need mana echoes. He had access to funds. He went in on the lands pretty hard too so he had his mana sorted as best as anyone really could. And with access to every color, he could do cheesy blue stuff like cyc rift and polymorphs jest, and use Amoeboid Changeling to take our creatures, as well as blue draw. He could use green ramp, white creature buffing and solid removal, and black draw, tutors, and other good stuff. and in red he could get Impact Tremors and Purphuros whcih work quite well with them, as do haste enablers. Zada, Hedron Grinder. He felt red was a little on the weaker side just because other colors offered more stuff overall. Building 5 color decks, he got to choose anything, and uniquely red effects or options that were better than another color's were few and far between outside stuff the red can slivers do anyway, like haste. But that's a different discussion.

They are pretty balanced overall though. I think they're in a good spot at least, but their obvious synergy is very strong at lower levels of play.

March 2, 2022 9:28 p.m.

Please login to comment