White Staples

April 9, 2015

By Dodo Bird Commander writer Ryan Zeitz


Hey there Commander players, Rhyno here charging at you with my top 3 white staple cards. By staples I’m talkin’ about those cards that you should shuffle up in every white deck regardless of what type of deck it is. But I won’t make you soldier through any more boring frontmatter, let’s get to it!

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#3 – Wrath of God

3 - wrath of god












Wrath of God wears crown in white creature wipe town—it’s a classic, and it’s the cream of the crop. For decks both aggressive and defensive, Wrath of God is a great tool that can stop an offensive onslaught dead in its tracks, break up creature combos, or just even the score when your creature-based deck is getting outsized. It gets the nod over Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile for the simple reason that it shines in multiplayer Commander games where it garners additional card advantage.

And that no-regeneration clause is of relevance in Commander: it enables you to take down Ezuri-based Elf armies, it dries up Yavimaya Hollow, it takes down Thrun as a Commander, and it says good night to Asceticism.


#2 – Land Tax

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White is a color hard-up for card draw, meaning Land Tax’s role is of special importance in white decks–it helps them keep pace with the stronger card advantage of other colors, especially blue. Land tax also has the ability to grow your hand size beyond seven, transforming your discard step into an opportunity to pitch monsters for later recursion in your reanimator deck (or just hold onto the lands and gain some life with a Venser’s Journal).

And of course, not being limited to just Plains, Land Tax can help to fix mana in multicolor decks. Playing an enchantress-style deck that needs a little added mana-flow? Then Land Tax is the perfect card for you.

Unlike in legacy, in Commander you probably don’t want to go so far as to take advantage of Land Tax’s extra lands to pay for Moxes, but Land Tax + Scroll Rack is a sweet Legacy trick you can certainly add to your repertoire. The basic idea here is that the 3 lands you gain every turn Land Tax triggers can be flipped for actual spells by using them to dig deep into your library with Scroll Rack.


#1 – Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

1 - Elsh Norn












The queen herself, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite will sabotage the opposition’s battle plans, no matter how cunning, no matter the size of their monsters, and no matter how many their troops. Perhaps the place where Elesh Norn shines best is in token-heavy metagames where you’re playing a tokens deck yourself. In this scenario she will wreck opposing armies while gaining maximum value from her +2/+2 buff due to your own sizeable squad.Even bigger green creatures which Elesh doesn’t send right to the graveyard are going to have a heck of a time attacking due to their shrunken size, especially with Elesh herself being so intimidatingly large.

Elesh Norn together with Dovescape is one of the sickest tricks you can pull with her in Commander, and her static -2/-2 buff essentially locks smaller Commanders like Edric Spymaster of Trest, Ashling the Pilgrim, and Kaalia of the Vast out of the game until she’s dealt with.

Those are my picks for the top 3 white staple cards. What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Which white staple cards do you never leave home without?


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