Last updated on April 30, 2023

Balance (Secret Lair) - Illustration by Mark Poole

Balance (Secret Lair) | Illustration by Mark Poole

White is the color of community, strength through numbers, and solidarity. It wants to play by the rules predictably; think loyal alignment in D&D, if you will. White in MTG has been flavored in the form of angels, spirits, armies, knights, and clerics. At the most extreme level, white wreaks havoc and destruction like a powerful god, destroying everything symmetrically.

Today we’re taking a look at the best 34 cards white has to offer in all aspects, ranging from creatures to powerful enchantments and anything in between. Stay with me until the end and let’s see white in all its glory!

What Are White Cards in MTG?

Monastery Mentor (March of the Machine) - Illustration by Brian Valeza

Monastery Mentor (March of the Machine) | Illustration by Brian Valeza

For white cards, we’re only considering cards with white symbols in their mana costs. Let’s exclude all gold cards, hybrid cards, artifacts with white mana symbols, or white double-faced cards that transform into other colors (sorry Brutal Cathar). We’ll also consider the historical value of cards, cards that are iconic and traditional, or cards that see or saw heavy Constructed play. With that in mind, let’s go to the rankings!

#34. Approach of the Second Sun

Approach of the Second Sun

Not many cards say “you win the game” outright, Approach of the Second Sun is one of them. Approach needs to be cast twice for you to win, and it has seen play as a win condition in control decks with lots of filtering, card selection, and scry/surveil effects. The seven life you’ll gain is a nice benefit to ensure you won’t die before casting it again.

#33. Astral Slide

Astral Slide

A relic of MTG’s past, Astral Slide would probably be too powerful for today’s Standard formats. This card allows you to blink a creature whenever you cycle a card, and coupled with powerful ETB creatures like Flametongue Kavu or Mulldrifter you can get a huge resource advantage. A sure include in white EDH decks built around ETB creatures.

#32. Righteous Valkyrie

Righteous Valkyrie

A 2/4 flying angel for three mana is already very busted by creature standards. Righteous Valkyrie goes further, offering you ways to gain life and a fat +2/+2 bonus to all your creatures if you have seven life more than your total. The Valkyrie is played mainly in angel decks, but it can be played in cleric tribal decks and decks that value lifegain. Also, it’s not legendary so it works well in multiples, since both the lifegain triggers and the +2/+2 bonus stack.

#31. Anointed Procession

Anointed Procession

Anointed Procession is a staple in every EDH deck that wants to produce tokens or have token-making effects. If you have Commander decks in white that go heavy on populate or commanders that make tokens like Rhys the Redeemed or Marneus Calgar, be sure to include this card. If making three tokens with Elspeth, Sun's Champion is already strong, why not make six?

#30. Silence


The synergy between Isocron Scepter and Silence is a very potent lock that can take an opponent out of the game, and that can be even expanded to EDH if you have ways to untap the Scepter. Silence isn’t that powerful by itself (as Thassa's Oracle isn’t either), but it’s such a powerful combo piece that it deserves to be on the list.

#29. Monastery Mentor

Monastery Mentor

Monastery Mentor has been a great card in many formats all the way up to Vintage, where the sequence of casting it as fast as possible using fast mana and following up with free spells like Mox Sapphire and Gitaxian Probe makes Mentor one of the biggest threats in the format. This card is a good bet for decks like or where you want to have a tempo deck full of cheap spells. Monastery Mentor will return to Standard now with March of the Machine, and it’ll probably see a high amount of play there as well.

#28. March of Otherworldly Light

March of Otherworldly Light

White’s always been good in dealing with many permanent types, but you wouldn’t maindeck Disenchant[card], right? [card]March of Otherworldly Light solves that problem, allowing you to have maindeck removal that deals with artifacts, creatures, or enchantments. WotC has been attempting to power up white spells recently, and March of Otherworldly Light was a sure hit.

#27. Leyline Binding

Leyline Binding

Six mana for an effect like that is very expensive, but guess what? In the right deck, it will cost one or two mana, tops. Be it in current Standard or five-color domain decks, Leyline Binding is one of the best and cheapest versions of this effect, and as such, it’s seen play in many formats.

#26. Blind Obedience

Blind Obedience

Blind Obedience is a prison piece that will slow down your opponents’ creatures and mana rocks, disable haste creatures, and will give you extort triggers to bleed everyone down while you benefit from the lifegain. Extort is interesting in EDH since each extort trigger will gain you three life, and that can be redirected further with cards like Sanguine Bond. Blind Obedience sees play in many archetypes, from bleeder decks to lifegain and stax/prison decks.

#25. Adeline, Resplendent Cathar

Adeline, Resplendent Cathar

Adeline, Resplendent Cathar isn’t only a huge beater but also a token maker. And she’s got vigilance too, so attacking is relatively free. She’s great as a threat that can be equipped and wreak havoc on your opponents.

#24. Ghostly Prison

Ghostly Prison

One of the best ways to play defense or survive in multiplayer games is by discouraging enemy attacks. People will think twice before attacking you if you have Ghostly Prison around since they’ll waste precious resources by doing that. Windborn Muse has the same effect but it’s much more fragile as a 2/3 creature. Try playing both together for the ultimate defense.

#23. Kytheon, Hero of Akros

Kytheon, Hero of Akros

Creatures that are 2/1 for have been a staple of Constructed decks since Savannah Lions. Kytheon, Hero of Akros is a notch above by being able to give himself indestructible and turn into Gideon, Battle-Forged. 1-drops that have utility late are powerful and versatile cards.

#22. Farewell


Mono-white hasn’t got a good selective sweeper probably since Austere Command. The flexibility on Farewell is awesome since you can choose to exile whatever threatens you the most, be it creatures, graveyards, or everything at once. Yes, it costs six mana, but most good sweepers are in that mana value range, and this card’s effects are probably the best you can get for it.

#21. Ephemerate


One of white’s biggest strengths is to blink creatures with good enters-the-battlefield abilities, and Ephemerate is a two-in-one blink effect thanks to the rebound ability. It can be used to protect your own creature as well as to abuse good ETB triggers from cards like Mulldrifter, Solitude, Fury, you name it.

#20. Esper Sentinel

Esper Sentinel

White’s got problems with card draw in EDH, and this 1-drop is a good solution. Esper Sentinel acts on a similar base as Rhystic Study. You’re taxing everyone around the table each time they cast a non-creature spell or else you’ll draw a card. The cost of one mana may not sound like much, but any equipment that raises Esper Sentinel’s power will get the cards flowing your way very fast.

#19. Sun Titan

Sun Titan

Sun Titan is a good piece of mid- to late-game value that makes you constantly get goodies back from your graveyard, which can include lands, auras, and small creatures. All the while being a massive 6/6 with vigilance. Sun Titan can be blinked, reanimated, or “Voltroned,” and all of those are good combinations.

#18. Giada, Font of Hope

Giada, Font of Hope

On her base stats, Giada, Font of Hope is already a pushed creature, being a 2/2 with flying and vigilance for only two mana. You have further upside because she’s a ramp piece for angels and a pseudo-lord. She’s the difference between a 5/5 Baneslayer Angel for five mana and a 6/6 Baneslayer for four mana. Combine that with her being legendary and costing only two mana, and you’ve also got a very popular and powerful commander for angel tribal decks.

#17. Akroma’s Will

Akroma's Will

Akroma's Will has two modes. One will allow you to deal a powerful alpha strike with your creatures by granting flying and double strike, while the other mode will grant your creatures lifelink and protection. Cards like Overrun are only good when you’re ahead, so this is an Overrun that’s good on offense and defense too. If you have your commander out, you can choose both modes, which is a plus.

#16. Heliod, Sun-Crowned

Heliod, Sun-Crowned

Heliod, Sun-Crowned is powerful because it’s very flexible, both as a commander and a role-player in a given deck. There are infinite combos with him that outright win you the game, like with Walking Ballista, but he can be a centerpiece of devotion decks, +1/+1 counters, lifegain decks, and enchantment-based decks. His mana value of three works very well with cards like Collected Company, Unearth, and Recomission too.

#15. Stoneforge Mystic

Stoneforge Mystic

Stoneforge Mystic is one of the best 2-drops in white. She’s capable of finding equipment in your deck, cheating it into play, and works wonderfully well with living weapon equipment like Batterskull or Kaldra Compleat. With this card, you can have a toolbox of powerful equipment in your deck to look for what’s best in each situation.

#14. Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

Elspeth, Sun's Champion

Elspeth, Sun's Champion has two main functions: The first is to generate a massive number of soldiers each turn which can block well and end the game. The second is to be a sweeper of big creatures that can foil your plans. This incarnation of Elspeth has dominated a lot of formats, either as a midrange threat or control win condition, and it’s easily capable of winning a game all by herself.

#13. Wrath of God

Wrath of God

Wrath of God is the quintessential sweeper. You’ll pay four mana to destroy all creatures on the board, no questions asked, and they can’t be regenerated. Even today, Wrath of God is the standard staple by which modern sweepers are compared.

#12. Teferi’s Protection

Teferi's Protection

Many EDH games revolve around surviving massive wrath effects, and Teferi's Protection provides that. Your board will simply phase out of the game, which protects all your permanents and you. Until your next turn, you’re given the benefit to ignore what’s happening in a given turn and keep everything exactly the way it was.

#11. Smothering Tithe

Smothering Tithe

White was having some problems in EDH, often perceived as the worst color due to its lack of ramp and endgame power. Smothering Tithe was one of WotC’s way of correcting it, and it quickly became one of white’s most played cards in the format. Smothering Tithe will give you at least one Treasure a turn unless your opponents pay mana and you’ll profit either way by slowing them or ramping you.

#10. Palace Jailer

Palace Jailer

Like White Plume Adventurer, Palace Jailer is a good creature, but it comes with the monarch mechanic, and that makes all the difference. The earlier you get the monarch condition on, the better because you’ll draw a much-needed extra card each turn. Since white decks are full of good creatures and spot removal, it’s hard to take the monarch condition back from a white player once they have it.

#9. Land Tax

Land Tax

White is very weak in the ramp department, and it’s usually behind on land count, especially against green players. So, what Land Tax does is that it fills your hand with basic lands each turn. Not only that, but you can search for any basic land so it’ll fix your colors too. Finally, it’s a form of massive card advantage since we can discard the lands for effects like Cathartic Reunion or Seismic Assault.

#8. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben has been a staple for white creature decks ever since it was printed. The best aspect of this card is that your opponents’ removal spells and sweepers all cost one more and therefore you’ll get a massive tempo advantage. Thalia puts a halt on decks like storm combo all by herself, and it’s a needed feature to survive fast combo formats like Legacy and Vintage.

#7. Enlightened Tutor

Enlightened Tutor

One of the best tutor effects available in white, Enlightened Tutor will get the enchantment or artifact you need, and it goes together with combos that need those kinds of permanents. Think Isochron Scepter combos, Voltaic Key combos, Sword of the Meek + Thopter Foundry; the list is huge. You can tutor powerful enchantment creatures, such as the gods, or enchantment-based removal.

#6. White Plume Adventurer

White Plume Adventurer

White Plume Adventurer has just been banned in Legacy and made Mono-White Initiative a top deck in Vintage. The initiative mechanic is very powerful in 1v1 games, and White Plume is the cheapest way to get the engine started. Combine that with fast mana from Eternal formats and we can get initiative on turn 1. All the while being a 3/3, which isn’t the worst.

#5. The Wandering Emperor

The Wandering Emperor

The Wandering Emperor is the first planeswalker with flash, and as such she’s a threat that control players don’t have to tap out to cast. Her combination of abilities is very solid since she has removal, token making, and creature buffing in her arsenal, allowing you to stabilize a board and win from there. You can play her in aggressive or midrange decks too, enhancing your little dudes with +1/+1 counters or making more tokens.

#4. Solitude


Solitude does everything a white midrange/control deck wants and it has synergies with lifegain as well. A 3/2 flash lifelink creature would already be playable in a control deck looking to stabilize, but this one comes with Swords to Plowshares attached. Your opponent is attacking you? Cast Solitude, exile their best attacker, block with a 3/2 lifelink, gain some life. Worst-case scenario, you can flash it in at the end of your opponent’s turn and start attacking.

#3. Armageddon


How busted is it to destroy everyone’s lands? WotC quickly discovered that it’s not a fun game experience to mess with people’s lands, and as such cards like Armageddon that provide mass land destruction don’t see print anymore. You’ll lose your lands too, that’s true, but if you’re already winning, you don’t need your lands anymore.

#2. Swords to Plowshares

Swords to Plowshares

Swords to Plowshares has always been the premier white spell and a reason to play white in the formats where it’s legal. Modern has Path to Exile, which is almost as good as and could be on this list as well, but the downside of giving your opponent a land is usually much worse than life. Plow is a clean, cheap answer that kills almost any creature in Constructed formats and it’s played as a four-of in both aggressive and control decks alike.

#1. Balance


Think of the following scenario: I cast some mana rocks, have only Balance in my hand, and cast it. Suddenly everyone else loses all their cards in hand, their lands, and their creatures. Balance is one of the most unfair effects, and here lies its power. You’ll cast Balance when opponents are ahead of you on permanents, be it creatures, lands, or cards. Think something like Wrath of God meets Armageddon meets mass discard. As an unfun card that punishes players that commit to the board and get ahead, the card is banned in EDH since it’s easily abusable.

Best White Card Payoffs and Synergies

In human tribal decks, you’ll want cards like Champion of the Parish and Thalia's Lieutenant. They either buff existing humans or get buffed by the next humans you play.

Anthem effects (named after the card Glorious Anthem) are ways to give static bonuses to all your creatures. White token decks will benefit from cards like Anointed Procession and Intangible Virtue. You can also play Wedding Announcement since it’ll create tokens and buff all your creatures after two turns.

White planeswalker cards are often designed to buff your creatures. Elspeth, Gideon, and Ajani are good planeswalkers to have among your creature-heavy decks, and good examples are Gideon Jura, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Elspeth, Knight-Errant, and Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants.

What Are White Decks Good At?

White decks are good at many things, but here are the most common white archetypes:

White weenie is the quintessential white archetype, focusing on lots of small creatures ranging from mana value 1-2. This type of deck wants to attack as early as possible, with lots of two- and three-attack power creatures. Glorious Anthem or Always Watching can further buff your creatures, and you want to win as fast as possible.

White is also great at taking advantage of symmetrical effects like Wrath of God and Armageddon. If you destroy all creatures, you’re at an advantage in control decks with few to zero creatures, while if you’re already ahead on board with small creatures, Armageddon will slow your opponents down enough that they can’t come back.

Disruptive aggro and tribal aggro are variations on white weenie where you’re playing cards that share a creature type, or you’re playing cards that foil your opponent’s plans (e.g., Elite Spellbinder, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben). Those decks are usually called Death and Taxes because your white disruptive creatures tax your opponents’ mana.

Prison/stax decks are decks in which you’re stopping your opponent from playing cards and attacking you while gaining incremental advantages over time, be it with lifegain, Treasure tokens, or card draw. You’ll play a lot of white enchantments in these decks and cards that complement the strategy, such as Ghostly Prison, Sphere of Safety, and Thalia, Heretic Cathar.

Finally, another archetype where white’s been getting better and better is the auras/Voltron archetype, which consists of piling auras or equipment on a single creature for the win. White creatures usually have lots of keyword abilities like flying, first strike, double strike, lifelink, or vigilance, and as such it makes sense to enhance those. You can use cheap auras in a single creature or a big equipment like Colossus Hammer.

Wrap Up

Blind Obedience - Illustration by Seb McKinnon

Blind Obedience | Illustration by Seb McKinnon

That was certainly a difficult task to select and rank so many powerful and awesome cards. White has always had busted cards ever since Alpha, but for a while, it was perceived as the weakest color across all formats. Then we got powerful designs such as The Wandering Emperor and Solitude to even things out.

Anyways, let me know your favorite cards that didn’t make the list in the comments below. Many powerful cards couldn’t make it, so maybe I missed out on your favorite white card. Let me know in the comments down below, or let’s discuss it in the Draftsim Discord.

Thanks for reading folks, and stay safe out there!

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