Under My Skin

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The combination of colors in magic really help players find a deck that they will always enjoy playing. The variety of strategies that come along with each color allows players to formulate unique tricks and devastating plays that leave their enemies speechless, or may also result in rage. This rage is demonstrated through frustration of certain decks that players go against. The deck I find myself becoming the most frustrated against is the color of all things just and holy: white.

The color of white in magic is to represent a place of law and order, of peacekeepers and upholders of justice. However, I have come to think of white as annoying cards that may seem small and harmless at first but have the ability to swarm the field and overwhelm many decks.

First, I find the cost of many of the white decks to be quite low for their casting requirements. In addition to low cost requirements, they come with abilities that cause a great deal of frustration, such as M14’s Capashen Knight, a small two drop creature with 1/1 but also has the awesome ability First strike. Another card from M14 is Fiendslayer Paladin, who is a three drop with 2/2 and has Lifelink and First strike. Now, if I was playing white I would be really excited to use this card. However, going against white and seeing things like this irritate me to no end. It has no cost to activate its abilities plus it cost the opponent only three mana. The creature can use its abilities even on my turn and also has a mechanic that protects it from being targeted from black or red spells.

Going back to what I mentioned, I get annoyed when playing against white specifically when faced with an army of Fiendslayer Paladin - like creatures. It’s quite overwhelming when your opponent has three 1-drop creatures who each have lifelink or firststrike and you are stuck with two Cancels in your hand that you cannot even use due to their 3- drop cost. It is super irritating when you are watching your life drop with every attack and the difference between your life and your opponent’s life is doubled because of the white favored mechanics like Lifelink and first strike. It’s a lose-lose situation most of the time early game because you can either give up a creature or take the attack to your life, either way your opponent is getting the better plays early on. Also, even if you do manage to wipe the field of their smaller creatures, their late game creatures are just as annoying to deal with.

Let’s take a closer look at another M14 white card, Archangel of Thune. This card is made to win games. First, it has flying, which aside from blue, is one of white’s most favored mechanics. Plus, it also has Lifelink. Again, super white. Then you have its wonderful ability “Whenever you gain life, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.” Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful card and for it’s 5-drop cost you should be rewarded. This has taken Curse of Stalked Prey, turned it into an awesome creature, and the ability doesn’t need your opponent to bleed, it simply needs to deal damage in some way, shape or form. Plus, it gives the bonus to everyone on your field. Suddenly the small little 1 - and - 2-drop creatures that already have first strike have turned into monster slaying paladins that are sure to overrun most decks.

When all is said and done, the combinations that can be played with white becomes quite overwhelming. White has a strong early game presence as well as a late game sustain that makes even veteran players get frustrated with the color. Although this color does have it’s moments of rage it does need to be played by skillful players to maximize its potential. However, I think what best sums up the reasoning of why white gets under my skin is best stated by Felicia Day, “the white characters are all a bunch of douche bags.”

Check out our article about the different colors in Magic, Magic: The Gathering - Your Deck and You | Part 1: Colors

Author: Austen Edman


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