Despite all the expansions that have been printed, only a handful of white weenies have made it to the elite top tier of WW. The following are the best of the best, with key abilities aside from the prerequisite power requirements. Because casting costs tend to increase in newer expansions and cards grow weaker (or simply more balanced) because Limited play is taken into account, one does not expect the composition of this list to vary greatly.
(The only other additions may be Diving Griffin and Steadfast Guard, though these abilities relate to blocking and a 2/2 is not that strong a blocker unless one has Crusades.
Note that one should not simply play all the creatures listed below. One should decide how mana 1 mana and 2 mana creatures one wants to play, then a lesser number of 3 mana or even 4 mana and 5 mana creatures. When one has finalized this "mana curve," again, usually with more 1 mana and 2 mana creatures, one fills in the deck. The creatures below are the first choices for each segment of the mana curve.)
Rare, Creature – Lions, Alpha/Beta/Unlimited
Flavor Text: The traditional kings of the jungle command a healthy respect in other climates as well. Relying mainly on their stealth and speed, Savannah Lions can take a victim by surprise, even in the endless, flat plains of their homeland.
Artist: Daniel Gelon
The classic first-turn
play of white weenie, it remains unmatched as a 2-power 1-mana creature
with no drawbacks. Even Zoo decks use white simply for this fast creature.
Its closest competitor is red's Jackal Pup, whose drawback is tempered
by the direct damage that backs the Pup.
Common, Creature – Soldiers, Fallen Empires
Errata: ~this~ comes into play with a javelin counter on it. Tap, Remove a javelin counter from ~this~: ~this~ deals 1 damage to target creature or player. [Oracle 99/07/23]
Artist: Edward P. Beard Jr.
Deceptively weak, this is the only white weenie ever printed with a straightforward direct damage ability, and is one of few creatures able to take out opposing utility 1/1s from Prodigal Sorcerors to Royal Assassins.
This is as close
as white comes to red's Mogg Fanatic, and the same tricks apply. When blocking,
the Javelineers can tap to kill the creature they block (to kill a 2-toughness
creature) or deal 1 damage to another attacker (though the player will
still take combat damage, this can kill two one-toughness creatures at
the cost of only one of your own) or to the opponent. In action with other
creatures, it can be held back from an attack to do an extra point of damage
to a blocker that allows a first-striker to finish it off.
Common, Creature – Cleric, Exodus
Errata: Whenever another creature comes into play, gain 1 life. [Oracle 99/07/21]
Flavor Text: Count carefully the souls and see that none are lost. -Vec teaching Rulings:
The ability will not trigger on itself coming into play, but it will trigger on any other creature that is put into play at the same time Soul Warden is, or while it is in play. [D'Angelo 99/08/01]
Does not trigger on a card in play being changed into a creature. [D'Angelo 99/02/23] See Rule K.5.1.
Artist: Randy Gallegos
The aggressive WW
does not normally concern itself with its life total, but this card has
allowed it to keep up with even more aggressive red decks without skipping
a beat and losing an offensive creature slot. Red can be forced to waste
removal on this lowly 1/1, which is good since it has less flexibility
and card drawing than WW.
Mother of Runes
UnCommon, Creature – Cleric, Urza's Legacy
T: Target creature you control gains protection from a color of your choice until end of turn.
Flavor Text: My family protects all families.
You can only pick black, blue, green, red, or white. See Rule G.3.1. [DeLaney 99/02/10]
Artist: Scott M. Fischer
This is the single most powerful (not to mention the most annoying) white weenie ever printed. Hold its ability back to counter opposing abilities aimed at your creatures, or use it aggressively to make your weenies unblockable. Mother, however, is also the most overrated creature in WW, since many beginners fail to note that using Mother of Runes (instead of, say, Savannah Lions) slows down the WW deck. This is hardly a disadvantage in slower WW decks such as Rebel, though.
Also note that the
standard way to kill a Mother is to use two spells or abilities against
it. A Fireslinger or Prodigal Socreror, for example, can target it during
the opponent's end of turn, then again during the next turn when Mother
is tapped. The easiest way is to simply use Cursed Scroll or Masticore,
UnCommon, Creature Knight, Alpha/Beta/Unlimited
Protection from black, first strike
Flavor Text: Out of the blackness and stench of the engulfing swamp emerged a shimmering figure. Only the splattered armor and ichor-stained sword hinted at the unfathomable evil the Knight had just laid waste.
Artist: Daniel Gelon
The classic white
weenie. Schools other weenies in combat, and is even a favorite of the
old Sleight-Knight strategy (using Sleight of Mind to change the color
Order of Leitbur
Common, Creature – Clerics, Fallen Empires
Errata: Protection from Black. WW ~this~ gets +1/+0 until end of turn; W: ~this~ gains first strike until end of turn. [Oracle 99/09/03]
Flavor Text: The powers of the corrupt will fade before the fury of the pure." --Bethan Leitbur, 'The Way'
Flavor Text: Followers of Tourach regarded all other religions equally: with open contempt. Not so the followers of Leitbur, who made it their mission to eradicate the Order of the Ebon Hand.
Flavor Text: Trained to battle the followers of Tourach, the Order of Leitbur was not as successful in later conflicts with Orcish and Goblin raiders." --Sarpadian Empires, vol. I
Artist: Bryon Wackwitz
Arguably the most powerful white weenie, this classic "pump knight" edges out White Knight with a pumping ability that makes it a formidable threat even in the midgame and even against larger blockers. However, it is mana intensive, and is less useful with Armageddon, Tax/Rack and Cursed Scroll. The mana required to power it also means that it should be played only after other 2-mana creatures, as it is a weaker blocker early on. (If you play a White Knight second turn, the Knight can block an opposing 2/2, but if you play an Order before the Knight, the opponent will attack.)
The 1-toughness of the pump-knight also makes it vulnerable to effects such as Mogg Fanatic, and Serrated Arrows was a classic anti-pump knight measure in the days of Ice Age. This is negated somewhat by Crusade, however.
A final note is that the Order of Leitbur is the most commonly played white weenie with three versions of alternate art.
put an easter egg in this card: though these cards are sometimes affectionately
referred to as "litebrites," the correct pronounciation is actually: "Order
of Lite Beer" --Shadow)
Order of the White
UnCommon, Creature – Knights, Ice Age
Protection from black. W: First strike until end of turn. WW: +1/+0 until end of turn
Flavor Text: Shall we turn away a worthy soul because his parents were peasants? I think not." --Lucilde Fiksdotter, Leader of the Order of the White Shield
Artist: Ruth Thompson
This clone of the
Order of Lite-Beer allows one to play up to 8 pump-knights. The original
is stronger, however, because of an obscure blue card called Knight of
the Mists that destroys a target Knight when it enters play. On the other
hand, one may want to use Order of the White Shield with Mother of Runes,
Soltari Priest, and Soltari Monk, to reduce the impact of creature type-driven
cards such as Engineered Plague and Tsabo's Decree against creature type
UnCommon, Creature – Archer, Visions
Errata: 2/2, First Strike. ; ~this~ may block as though it had flying. [Oracle 99/07/21]
Flavor Text: "If it bears wings, I will put it to the skies over Tefemburu." - Ruya, Zhalfirin archer
The player can choose to treat this creature as flying or non-flying when declaring blockers, but only one of the two during a single declare blockers step. For example, it can block a creature that can only be blocked by flyers. [bethmo 99/06/13]
Artist: Eric Peterson
This is the weakest of the 2/2s listed here, simply because its ability works only when blocking. However, it is the only weenie on the list that is still in the Type II pool. It is also the only top weenie aside from Thunder Spirit that can block a Morphling and survive, if there is a Crusade out.
When Engineered Plague,
Extinction and Tsabo's Decree are concerns, however, note that Longbow
Archer is neither a Cleric nor a Knight (the new black anti-Rebel card
Tsabo's Decree removes creatures of a specific type from the hand as well
as from the board).
UnCommon, Creature – Cleric, Tempest
Protection from red, Shadow.
Flavor Text: In Rath," the priest said, "there is even greater need for prayer. Artist: Janet Aulisio
Considered the best
Shadow creature, this is used to make small attacks past an opponent's
defensive line, or to more devastating effect with Empyreal Armor. It is
also one of the first playable protection from red creatures, a top creature
of the first Extended tournaments, and is one of the best reasons to use
Cursed Scroll when playing red.
UnCommon, Creature – Cleric, Tempest
Protection from black, Shadow.
Flavor Text: Prayer rarely explains." --Orim, Samite healer
Artist: Janet Aulisio
Priest is considered
better because a red deck tends to have more Bolts to throw, but some decks
can use the Bolts on other creatures and other colors on the Priest.
White, UnCommon, Creature – Knight, Stronghold
Errata: 0: The next 1 damage that would be dealt to ~this~ this turn is dealt to target creature you control instead. [Oracle 00/02/01]
Flavor Text: Only a matter as vital as destroying Volrath could bring together the reclusive Kor people.
When you redirect damage it is still combat damage. [D'Angelo 99/06/01]
You can use this ability as much as you want prior to damage being dealt. [D'Angelo 99/06/01]
It is possible to redirect more damage to a creature than that creature's toughness. [D'Angelo 98/03/23]
It can redirect damage to itself. [D'Angelo 98/03/17]
Artist: Stephen Daniele
The en-Kor ability
has been discussed, especially with protection, Pariah and other tricks,
but Warrior is simply the only one that meets the "2/2 for 2" rule.
Rare, Creature – Spirit, Legends
First Strike, Flying
Flavor Text: It was full of fire and smoke and light and... it drove between us and the Efrafans like a thousand thunderstorms with lightning." --Richard Adams, Watership Down
Artist: Randy Apslund-Faith
Three mana plays
are often restrictive in WW, and this is one of the best (and the most
expensive and hardest to find weenie). It is excellent in combat, though
the flying is wasted against creatureless decks, except against Moat.
Common, Artifact Creature, Alliances
If Phyrexian War Beast leaves play, sacrifice a land, and Phyrexian War Beast deals 1 damage to you.
Flavor Text: Deal with the spawn of Phyrexia cautiously; only with time may we control them." --Arcum Dagsson, Soldevi Machinist---AND---"Knowing its origins, how could they have thought they could control it?" --Sorine Relicbane, Soldevi Heretic
Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz
White has no playable
3 power for 3 mana creatures, and Phyrexian War Beast filled this gap for
a long time. The loss of a land is not much to a deck with low mana requirements
and Land Tax, and it has the bonus of being unboltable. (The preferred
3/4 for 3 mana, Steel Golem, does not work with a creature-heavy deck.)
Rare, Creature – Knight, Exodus
First strike. Protection from red. Protection from black.
Flavor Text: Our belief shall be the lance that pierces Volrath's heart.
Artist: Randy Elliott
the Paladin is simply the greatest headache of black and red decks, yet
is no slouch against other colors. It is best combined with other tricks
such as en-Kors and Pariah.
Uncommon, Artifact, Prophecy
0: Tap all lands you control. Chimeric Idol becomes a 3/3 artifact creature until end of turn.
Artist: Mark Tedin
Another rare 3 power
creature for 3 mana, this one is Boltable but evades mass destruction including
your own Balance. The drawback can be played around with little difficulty.
Rare, Artifact Creature, Urza's Destiny
Errata: At the beginning of your upkeep, you may discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice ~this~. 2: ~this~ deals 1 damage to target creature. 2: Regenerate ~this~. [Oracle 99/07/21]
Artist: Paolo Parente
4 power for 4 mana is a rare deal, but the ability of this "machine gun" is heaven sent for White and its limited creature removal. The regeneration is a bonus that makes it harder to kill for some decks, notably red decks. The artifact nature also bypasses abilities such as protection from white. The drawback is also one of the most brutal in the game, but Masticore's raw power and cards such as Land Tax can offset this to some degree.
Always remember that
you need to begin each turn with one card in hand to sacrifice to Masticore,
so if you are down to one card in hand, do not play it. Also remember to
sarifice Masticore during upkeep when necessary, especially in case of
a stalemate on the ground.
UnCommon, Creature - Angel, Alpha/Beta/Unlimited
Errata: Flying; Attacking doesn't cause ~this~ to tap. [Oracle 99/09/03]
Flavor Text: Born with wings of light and a sword of faith, this heavenly incarnation embodies both fury and purity.
Artist: Douglas Schuler
White weenie decks
sometimes reserve one, two or even three or four slots for larger creatures
for midgame punch, and Serra Angel is the trademark white creature (read
former World Champion Tom Chanpheng's decklist if you think larger creatures
are for children). It is one of the best blockers in the game, and is instant
death after an Armageddon. Do note that while it is unaffected by plain
Lightning Bolts, a very old trick is to use the Bolt after Serra blocks
an opposing weenie.
Rare, Creature – Angel, Nemesis
Flying; Whenever Blinding Angel deals combat damage to a player, that player skips his or her next combat phase.
Flavor Text: "Their eyes will shrivel and blacken before faith's true light."
Artist: Todd Lockwood
A more recent contender
to Serra Angel's throne in the WW hierarchy, this card can shut down creature-based
decks by itself. Creature removal is stronger in many Type I environments,
however, and the Blinding Angel is also weaker against creatureless decks.
Rare, Creature - Spirit, Prophecy
Flying; Sacrifice 2 lands: Choose a color. Jeweled Spirit receives protection from that color and artifacts until end of turn.
Artist: Christopher Moeller
Another recent contender,
it can abuse surplus land and Land Tax to the fullest. Though unstoppable
in Masques Limited, note that Jeweled Spirit does not have the 4 toughness
to ignore Bolts.
Mageta, the Lion
Rare, Creature - Spellshaper Legend, Prophecy
2WW, Discard 2 cards from hand: Destroy all creatures in play other than Mageta the Lion. Creatures destroyed this way cannot regenerate.
Another powerful five-mana card, this functions like Blinding Angel, and has the same drawback. It is also Boltable. Remember to hold surplus Plains in hand to feed this beast, and play creatures cautiously unless the opponent is not playing with creatures.