Whenever a new set comes out, everyone seems to flock to the splashy rares and terrifying mythics, but when you’ve got a set as full of flavor as Innistrad every card is worth looking at! So for the casual and Commander players, here’s a set review of Innistrad starting at the beginning: white!
Maybe if you’re making some odd griffin themed Commander deck, you could find a place for this winged beast. But for only one more white mana, you get a Serra Angel. This is a depressing way to begin.
Angel of Flight Alabaster
Here we go! Recursion goes a long way in singleton formats, so getting a 4/4 flier and the ability to soulshift any spirit at the beginning of your upkeep is a decent deal. There are plenty of odd spirits that require a sacrifice to generate an effect like Burr Grafter or any of the Eidolon. She’s a solid utility card that packs decent beats and gives white some nice recursion.
And remember kids, Ghost Council of Orzhova is a spirit!
This is similar to Baneslayer Angel, and I know some Angel enthusiasts who would love another terrifying 5-drop. With the inclusion of a human (and there are plenty of white human commanders!), this becomes a near unkillable monster. A great card that will beat people down, just be ready to have the most recent Oracle rulings so you know when a card is or isn’t a human (Order of the Ebon Hand: not a human or a centaur.)
Tappers are decent and if you’re running some weird multicolor white-blue Gideon’s Avenger deck, this priest could be right at home. But like most cards that specifically mention humans, you need to brush up on Oracle wordings. The Commander crowd can look elsewhere though because there isn’t much here.
Bonds of Faith
This is an interesting creature enchantment. The ability to pacify many threats or pump up your own is an interesting choice – especially when cards allow you to change creature types on a whim. This is a very interesting card, especially with politics. I’m not sure it is a big enough effect to be included in every Commander deck, but it’s got some interesting utility.
Champion of the Parish
This is basically Hada Freeblade but for humans. A decent one-drop in an aggressive white weenie strategy, but this Champion seems like in a game with multiple opponents he’s just going to get overwhelmed.
Not the most exciting creature.
Cloistered Youth / Unholy Fiend
A Watchwolf for white-black could be interesting in an aggressive beat down strategy (especially with Champion of the Parish lending a hand) as long as you have a way to sacrifice it, but I’ve seen many players devoured by their own Carnophages and Vampire Lacerators in multiplayer games. In duels, this card is amazing but when you’ve got to deal 60 to 80 damage before winning, having it cost you one life for every three doesn’t seem like a good deal.
Part of me is annoyed that this isn’t an Incarnation as well, but Dearly Departed is amazing! On the battlefield, this group of spirits can easily trade with many dragons, demons and angels. But once this dies (or is discarded), Dearly Departed rapidly boosts your forces. In Commander, it’s an interesting 1-of, but in 60-card casual this can really shine.
In my playgroup, the graveyard has consistently been underutilized as a resource (allowing my Reanimator deck to run rampant), so if you go the human route, this card is essentially a free Honor of the Pure!
Even without Flashback, I would love Divine Reckoning. There is something fun about letting people choose one thing to keep. If you’re wily, you can regenerate a bunch of stuff from this – or just run indestructible cards! Angelic Overseer, any human and this spell is a decent way to wipe the board.
Or in a big game of Commander, I just love the idea of all creatures besides everyone’s Commanders getting wiped. Something tells me Zur will like this way too much.
I like this card a lot. It’s simple and the fact that killing him gives you a flier can make the game interesting. Toss in a Lifeline, and he’ll keep coming back again and again too.
So this isn’t quite Modular, but it’s pretty close for white. I love how many cards in this set give players a tough choice about killing an opposing creature. In a weird way, this card reminds me of Ironshell Beetle, but when combined with some other gems even in this set – like Divine Reckoning, Elder Cathar is an interesting card.
A 2/2 for two with first strike and vigilance would have been fine in the long history of two-timing white weenies. Elite Inquisitor is great for holding down the battlefield. The added benefit of having protection from three tribes is great too! The whole werewolf one is going to be heavily dependent on your playgroup, but protection from zombies and vampires? This card might as well say protection from black creatures! A fantastic two-drop all around, any White Weenie deck will want to consider him.
Feeling of Dread
I’m quite jealous of those mutton chops. If I could grow facial hair like that, I absolutely would. Sadly, my facial hair growing capabilities are limited – just like this card.
A mono-white Faceless Butcher? Oh yes! With the ability to devour tokens whole and permanently exile opposing creatures for 4 mana when combined with Erratic Portal, this card is dangerous. Or if you really want to be annoying, you can lock the game by have three of them on the battlefield at once. A must include in mono-white Commander decks.
In a spirit-themed deck, this is okay for defensive spells but there are better lords out there. Like Adaptive Automaton naming spirits.
It’s a white take on Keldon Warlord! That’s a lot of fun in multiplayer and the fact that this card is always a 3/3 when you cast it (well, almost always) makes me thing this could be a fantastic finisher in any white token deck. In standard, this will make waves but on the kitchen table it will continue being a solid card – or just toss her into Counterpunch.
While I like cards that force players to make choices, the choice between preventing my opponent’s creature from attacking but effectively giving them one free block each turn versus the ability to make it so my creature can’t kill anything doesn’t seem like a very good choice.
Now this is a fun uncommon! A quick boost and vigilance to creature tokens makes this a must build-around card but that’s what kitchen table Magic is all about. Plenty of white cards make creature tokens now, and the ability to make your Doomed Traveler a much more terrifying monster when killed makes me really like the underlying token theme of this set.
Speaking of a token theme – this guard is basically Doomed Traveler but doubled. Well, except the mana cost… Any deck that wants to sacrifice creatures for a benefit could make great use of this guard (like Garruk, the Veil-Cursed perhaps). She’s a bit pricey, but a creature that needs to be killed three times is worth considering.
Mentor of the Meek
I’m beginning to see a theme here with the humans of Innistrad. While this isn’t Mind’s Eye, White Weenie has always lacked solid card drawing, and this is just what is needed to refill your hand on the cheap. The best part is that the Mentor’s ability triggers when any other creature enters the battlefield under your control! So when you Mausoleum Guard dies, you can pay 2 and draw two cards! A fantastic card and an auto-include in any white weenie strategy.
This is basically Join the Ranks, only a lot better since it’s cheaper and they have evasion. A neat combat trick and great for getting tokens, but nothing super exciting.
Mikaeus, the Lunarch
Mikaeus originally debuted in From the Vault: Legends, so people have had a chance to play around with the newest Commander. As a build around, this guy is just begging to team up with Contagion Engine or any of the proliferating artifacts. But the simple fact that is this guy can get big really quick – or make your army very big.
The ability to boost himself or all your other creatures makes him a serious threat and a pain in a pinch, like in the middle of combat. I really like this card because you can pretty much play him whenever you want after turn two and that kind of versatility isn’t something you usually get in a Commander.
Moment of Heroism
A decent combat trick, but I still hate how lifelink benefits the controller of the creature so you can siphon some life in the middle of combat. Still, a straight up white pump spell is rare so there may be a use for this.
In Commander, this is a fantastically mean card that will make you one enemy. Combined with Meddling Mage, this can easily allow a white-blue mage to become even more annoying (I didn’t think that was possible).
In casual-60, Nevermore is fine in a pinch to shut down someone’s deck but I know plenty of red mages who will punch you in the face for taking away their Lightning Bolts.
A paraselene is also a term for “mock moon” or when a ring of light surrounds the moon like a Halo. I guess Wizards really wants to push mass enchantment removal and maybe this will be the card to finally get my playgroup to realize enchantments are a huge issue.
But I doubt that will happen.
As a Tranquility variant, this is a decent card that can get a fair amount of life. It’s really dependent on your metagame though. But now you have to pick between this and Tempest of Light.
Purify the Grave
COLOR SHIFTED COFFIN PURGE! Still not worth it.
Rally the Peasants
A decent pump spell for the Boros player, Rally the Peasants seems to work well as a simple spell with built in card advantage. Any deck that uses multiple creatures to attack in Red-White will want to consider this. Also, for 4WR all your creatures get +4/+0 for some nice double dipping.
A cheaper alternative to Neck Snap, Rebuke is a solid addition to white’s arsenal of creature removal. In multiplayer, you just need to remember that the creature doesn’t need to be attacking you in particular. A great utility spell that white Commanders may want to run.
As a one drop, this isn’t terribly exciting for me.
In a world of werewolves, it seems weird to get a fox creature. Maybe Eight and A-Half-Tails was getting lonely? I want to compare this guy to Kami of Ancient Law or Ronom Unicorn, but the simple fact that you’ve got to pay 1W to activate his ability just feels too pricey – even for exiling.
Slayer of the Wicked
It’s Buffy! This white take on Nekrataal is interesting but probably needs some extra help to really work outside of competitive Magic. If you know people at your table love zombies and vampires, then get ready to use this guy. Or get creative with cards that let you change creature types.
Smite the Monstrous
Spare from Evil
This is very similar to Brave the Elements, but fills a different role. As both a creature protector and a way to strike a finishing blow, it’s an interesting spell to cast. But like many of the human-centric cards, be ready to pull up the Oracle text.
Another addition to the white weenie deck! Spectral Rider packs some decent evasion and reminds me a lot of Leonin Skyhunter. A fine card but nothing too exciting.
Null Rod as an enchantment! Stony Silence can absolutely shut down some decks and is a fine addition when artifacts get out of hand. Definitely a competitive staple, and a pain to deal with. If you play this, you’re a dick. Especially when combined with Mycosynth Lattice.
The biggest problem with Siege Mastadon was not the creature type.
Tharben Sentry / Thraben Militia
A 5/4 trampler in white is downright weird, but could have some uses – especially for only 4 mana. But I just feel like this card doesn’t do enough. One thing worth noting though is that the transform trigger is a may.
Given how much stuff seems to die, Unruly Mob can quickly grow in size but the fact that it’s only your creatures makes me think this mob won’t ever be big enough.
I really like this card. A sometimes Mortify, Urgent Exorcism is a very interesting alternative to Disenchant. With almost 350 spirits in Magic right now and over 1600 different Enchantments, odds are good that this card will destroy something.
Like most Magic sets, a lot of Innistrad seems to be filler for limited formats. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some major gems available for white Commanders.
Top 5 White Innistrad Cards for Commander & Multiplayer
5. Dearly Departed
4. Urgent Exorcism
3. Mentor of the Meek
2. Fiend Hunter
1. Mikaeus, the Lunarch