Continuing on from the quick look at the viable colorless Cube additions Rise of the Eldrazi offered, I’m going to go through what I see as the viable white options for my Cube. White’s pool is smallish as I see it, but there are some powerhouses.
It seems that this card would be very strong in limited formats, such as the Cube. I initially overlooked this card, but I’m adding it because I think it may have some merit. It’s not as strong as Elspeth but for six mana it’s got a solid body, and the activation cost isn’t onerous. If you can play the angel, you can pay the activation cost. This card gets better in a mono white deck simply due to the number of times it can then be activated. It is probably a good idea to drop Deathless Angelinto play with some kind of backup; two white mana open, or something like Counterspell or Vines of Vastwood. I feel like I will make some room for this to see what it does, but it feels like it could be good. I think it would take the place of Pristine Angel in my cube.
Wow. Gideon Jura. What can’t he do, right? He was a major factor in the winning deck, piloted by Lewis Laskin, at Starcitygames.com’s Atlanta 5k recently and his price has seen a rise as a result. Gideon is really good. Good enough to jump straight into my cube.
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Linvala, Keeper of Silence is a great way to shut down opposing decks that rely on creature abilities. The body to cost ratio is great, she has flying, and she has that one-sided nature that we are happy to take advantage of in a game of Magic. White has been getting a boost in power level starting with the release of Magic 2010, and Rise of the Eldrazi is continuing that trend. I plan on making room for Linvala in my cube on a trial basis to see how she plays out.
Oust seemed to get a lot of attention focused on it when it was spoiled. With white’s power level these days I like to take a good look at the removal options it is given. The direct competition Oust has in the cube is Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile, both of which are instant and remove the creature from the game entirely. I think what hurts Oust the most is the Sorcery speed at which it runs.
Repel the Darkness
White doesn’t have a lot of cantrips in my cube, so I keep my eyes peeled for cards that might fit in. Repel the Darkness provides a similar effect to Blinding Beam, though it trades the ability to keep the opponent from untapping for a card. White generally has a lot of mass removal options to clear the way. This card might provide the color a nice option when facing fatties.dec though I would be hard pressed to know what to remove from my cube to make room for this. I think this would make a great addition to a peasant/pauper cube, but in mine I don’t think it has the power level needed to punch a hole in my current cube list.
Student of Warfare
This was one of the levelers that looked good even before people got to actually play with Rise cards and discovered that many of the levelers were great. Student of Warfare at level two is a three mana, 3/3 first striker. If you only left him at that he would still be great. At level 7 he becomes a finisher capable of taking out all but the fattest of the fatties. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to replace Loam Lion with this guy, as he easily beats him out in overall value.
I actually didn’t think too much about Survival Cache when I first saw it. On second pass I realized that it’s effectively 4 life and 2 cards; a Divination with bonus life gain, if you will. I run Pulse of the Fields in my cube as a way for white to stem the bleeding while it searches for an answer. Survival Cache feels like it is doing more than Pulse of the Fields as it is actively drawing you into possible answers while also providing lifegain. However you have to be ahead in life take full advantage of the card. White can usually do that easily, however I think that makes it more of a “win more” card, and less of what I’m looking for in a white card for my cube. I may try this out in the place of Pulse of the Fields to see whether my feelings about this card are confirmed. It feels like it could be a sleeper card, but I think it might get left out simply due to being too situational to get the full benefit.
If I was to base my answer on the artwork alone, I’d find a foil and add it to my cube. I really dig the art on this card. Thankfully the art isn’t all I like. Transcendent Master is a very strong leveler, though you need to invest nine total mana before you see the first benefits of all that leveling. At max level he’s practically a lifelinking Darksteel Colossus. My fear is that the down payment you have to make before he gets to a level that starts providing good benefit is too high. There’s so much bounce and removal that can make that investment a waste. For five mana you get a Baneslayer Angel that goes right to work earning her keep, whereas the Master starts off a little slower. The nice thing is that at three mana for a 3/3 he’s not terrible. I’m going to try him out in and see how he plays. I’m pretty sure I’ll be keeping him in for a while.
Wall of Omens
Not truly too much to say here. Wall of Omens is the white Wall of Blossoms. I have the Wall of Blossoms in my cube already, and this card is also going straight in. It has already been talked about in depth, seemingly everywhere, since it was spoiled and I don’t see a reason not to play it.
White in Rise of the Eldrazi has a lot too offer the Cube format, in my opinion. There are really solid cards that will likely be in my cube for a long time to come. If you have a pauper cube, there are some great levelers and spells as well. Maybe reviewing Rise from the peasant/pauper perspective would have some value down the road.