Last updated on February 18, 2024
Balance | Illustration by Randy Gallegos
While white is primarily the color of small creatures and tokens, it has plenty of powerful sorceries. These sorceries enable the small creature strategies, though white has a host of powerful effects that aren’t related to creatures at all.
Perhaps white’s best-known sorceries are its wraths, cards that destroy (or exile) all creatures on the battlefield. They offer card advantage in a color that often lacks it and they’re one of the color’s most defining cards.
Let’s jump in!
What Are White Sorceries in Magic?
Recommission | Illustration by Andrew Mar
White sorceries are cards with white in their casting cost that have the sorcery card type. There’s an abundance of multicolor sorceries which include white, but this list focuses on mono-white cards. Any card on this list can get played alongside any commander with white in their color identity.
Efficiency is one of the most important criteria for white sorceries, and good Magic cards in general. You want cards that deliver the most value and impact for the lowest possible cost. This is part of what makes white’s board wipes so strong; you’ll often spend 4 or 5 mana to destroy multiple threats that had more mana poured into them.
Utility also matters. You want cards that are useful in a range of situations. If you’re running cards with very narrow uses, such as Replenish, then the card needs to be the best at what it does. After all, you’ll often build your deck around such narrow effects rather than slotting them into a random list.
#35. Damning Verdict
Asymmetrical wraths offer tons of power and flexibility to decks capable of leveraging them, especially in Commander. White loves putting counters on creatures, so Damning Verdict often leaves your opponents without a board state while your team stands strong. This is an excellent finisher for many flavors of +1/+1 counter decks.
#34. Global Ruin
White’s skilled at mass land destruction, and Global Ruin is an interesting example of that. This is secretly a 5-color card because it’s never worth playing in a deck without all five land types. The ideal scenario is casting this and retaining five lands while your opponents only have one or two – a scenario that’s much easier to achieve in Magic’s post-Triome era.
A small Reanimate won’t break the game, but it offers plenty of utility. This is great at recurring cheap value pieces like Grafdigger's Cage or Esper Sentinel that your opponents remove often. It also pairs nicely with tutors like Entomb or Goblin Engineer that can send combo pieces straight to the graveyard.
#32. Battle Screech
White loves making a swarm of tokens, and Battle Screech clutters the skies with such efficiency it’s been a Pauper staple since its rarity downshift. A “free” flashback cost makes this an incredibly powerful token engine. It pays for two-thirds of the cost itself, so white decks that want to exploit this only need the low bar of one other creature in play to produce four total flying power in one turn.
#31. Steelshaper’s Gift
Steelshaper's Gift is the best equipment tutor short of Stoneforge Mystic. There are tons of ways to use artifacts. You can use them honestly, like Modern Hammertime, have a few silver bullets like Skullclamp in a tokens deck, or brew up a combo strategy that breaks Worldslayer. No matter what you’re doing, Steelshaper's Gift has you covered with the most efficient tutor in white that you can get your hands on.
#30. Enduring Ideal
Enduring Ideal might be a meme card, but it’s a fantastic meme card. You can’t cast any spells after this, so an Enduring Ideal deck will often be composed primarily of ramp and payoffs, seeking to cast the namesake card ASAP to cheat out massive enchantments like Overwhelming Splendor and lock their opponents out of the game. It’s fun for the whole family!
#29. Hour of Reckoning
White is known for its board wipes. Getting to reset the board often results in cards that offer powerful card advantage and stabilization, but the best board wipes are asymmetrical ones that devastate your opponents while leaving your board untouched. Hour of Reckoning is a fantastic finisher for token decks that get to Plague Wind their opponents for relatively little mana.
#28. White Sun’s Twilight
White gets memed on a lot for its lifegain cards, but White Sun's Twilight offers much more than a few measly life. Though expensive, this twilight spell becomes a win condition when X is 5 or more. The flexibility of a card that gives you some life and board presence early and becomes a finisher in the late game is worth a slot in lots of white decks.
#27. Timely Reinforcements
Timely Reinforcements has held down the sideboards of control decks for a good while. This is a uniquely white effect – it only functions when you’re behind and gets worse and worse the further ahead you are. But it’s a perfect catch-up card for control decks that often start on the back foot against aggro decks that flood the board and dole out quick damage.
#26. Single Combat
Single Combat is an excellent board wipe for Voltron decks that make a single, large creature. Even your opponent’s best creatures can’t size up to your monstrous Commander suited up with an assortment of auras and equipment. Locking them out of building a board state for the next turn does a lot to help squeeze in extra points of damage.
#25. Lay Down Arms
Lay Down Arms basically forces you to play mono-white, or at least a bunch of shocks, triomes, and other lands with the Plains subtype. Your reward is a highly efficient removal spell that always trades up on mana. It’s no Path to Exile, but Lay Down Arms is a respectable removal spell.
Oust is another 1-mana removal spell with much more flexibility since it’s not restricted by the target’s mana value. While your opponent can redraw their threat in a few turns, this sorcery does a great job of disrupting your opponent’s curve. Tucking a cheap creature early makes it much less relevant when recast later, or you can use this in coordination with a counterspell to deal with the threat for good.
#23. Declaration in Stone
White’s removal, especially spells the exile, tends to give your opponent some boon in exchange for their troubles. Declaration in Stone hands out Clue tokens like candy, which can be a significant downside. Letting your opponent go up a card after removing their threat is much worse than giving them some life. This sorcery still has its uses; it can exile multiple targets, making it an efficient 2-for-1 or better, and does a fantastic job cleaning up token decks.
#22. Dust to Dust
Dust to Dust has been a solid sideboard card in Pauper for years, where it’s especially good at disrupting affinity decks. It’s nothing splashy, just a very clean 2-for-1 that permanently deals with any threats or artifact lands your opponent plays.
#21. Kayla’s Reconstruction
Kayla's Reconstruction gives white decks a decent Genesis Wave impression. This builds up a sudden board state that can lead to a quick win, especially alongside ways to give your creatures haste. The flexibility of creatures and artifacts lets you play this in decks that might not have a ton of creatures but spam cards like Cursed Totem and Talismans.
#20. Divine Reckoning
Divine Reckoning is great in decks that care about having a single important threat in play rather than a wide board of tokens, and it’s fantastic at disrupting decks that swarm the board. Flashback gives it has a lot of utility, too. Since your opponents see the second Reckoning coming, they’re forced to play slowly so you don’t get another great wrath, giving you a chance to get ahead.
Replenish makes for a great finisher in your sagas deck but can also be a powerful combo piece. It was the crux of Opalescence back in the day, but it's still plenty powerful with modern hits like Overwhelming Splendor and Starfield of Nyx as potential reanimation targets.
#18. Winds of Abandon
Winds of Abandon is heavily underrated in Commander. It’s a bad Path to Exile on its own but becomes a cheap Plague Wind when overloaded. Your opponents get a mana advantage, but fast decks can capitalize on the destruction.
#17. Dismantling Wave
Dismantling Wave is an incredibly powerful Commander card. It’s always at least a 2-for-1, and you can usually get three cards out of this. It gets even more flexible with cycling. 8 mana is a heavy cost, but destroying all artifacts and enchantments takes some decks out of the game. It’s a great alternate mode for an already strong removal spell.
#16. Ascend from Avernus
Ascend from Avernus can be a great way to get back in the game after a board wipe. You could also lean into it as a reanimation piece, pairing it with cards like Hermit Druid to fill your graveyard as quickly as possible before dumping the contents of your deck and a combo or two onto the battlefield.
#15. Wrath of God
Wrath of God is the OG board wipe that birthed the slang term “wrath.” 4 mana to clear the board is still the going rate for this effect, with weaker wraths often costing 5 or 6 mana. While some decks benefit more from asymmetrical wraths, Wrath of God still has a place in decks that want to clean up the board without regard for their creatures.
Farewell has proven to be one of the most salt-inducing cards out of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, with some EDH players decrying its existence. 6 mana is a lot for a wrath, but Farewell pulls a lot of weight. You basically can’t evade it unless you have a way to phase your board out. It’s not quite asymmetrical, but you’ll always choose the modes that affect you the least, and some decks won’t come back from their artifacts, enchantments, or graveyards getting exiled. This offers as hard a reset as a wrath can.
#13. Dusk / Dawn
Dusk / Dawn is an aftermath card that White Weenie decks can exploit to the fullest. Decks that fill the board with small creatures don’t mind destroying large creatures, which often helps them attack through a once-imposing board. On top of letting these decks get ahead, Dawn offers a way back in the game if your opponent tries to wipe your board themselves.
#12. Sevinne’s Reclamation
Sevinne's Reclamation is a lovely little value piece. It’s rarely the most impressive card in any given list but has a great role in letting you get important cards from the graveyard. It also plays well with Entomb effects that send cards to the graveyard and is excellent alongside Intuition in many cEDH decks.
Terminus has been a mainstay of Legacy Miracles and control lists. Getting to wipe the board for a single mana is a rate that’s almost impossible to beat. Miracles are easy to set up in a format with Brainstorm and Ponder in every blue deck. It can also be useful in EDH decks running Mystical Tutor and similar effects to manipulate the top of your library.
#10. Approach of the Second Sun
Approach of the Second Sun was a fun card in Standard, even if it struggled to shine amidst the powerhouse of Temur Energy. It’s still a powerful alternate win condition. Casting it twice is a big ask, but the 7 life you gain and the knowledge of where it sits in your deck helps you, especially if you pair it with cards like Thought Scour to help draw it faster.
#9. Gift of Estates
Land Tax is one of white’s strongest enchantments, and the sorcery version of Gift of Estates is still incredibly strong. This is a 2-mana draw three that fixes your mana and can find value lands like Flagstones of Trokair. It’s not great on the play but offers a ton of value otherwise. One great, sneaky line is to use this to exceed the maximum hand size and discard a reanimation target.
#8. Prismatic Ending
Prismatic Ending needs a deck that can produce multiple colors of mana to work, but it’s fantastic removal for decks that can. It’s efficient enough you don’t need to access all five colors. Cheap spells dominate in Eternal formats, so just two or three colors can get most threats. It’s especially useful for removing key tokens or Urza's Saga.
#7. Emeria’s Call / Emeria, Shattered Skyclave
Emeria's Call is a pretty slow win condition but has incredible flexibility thanks to Emeria, Shattered Skyclave on the backside. This card easily replaces a Plains to give you a late-game spell or an early land. This card does whatever you need it to when you need it. It’s effectively running two cards in one slot, which is an incredibly powerful place to be.
#6. Austere Command
Austere Command is a flexible wrath that doesn’t offer as many modes as Farewell but can be easier to manipulate. A token deck can clear away large blockers, but a big Bant ramp deck can clear aside smaller chump blockers instead, or you can ignore creatures entirely and take the enchantress and artifact players back to square one.
Cataclysm instantly ends games and friendships for an incredibly low cost. You need to make sure you can break the symmetry of this card, which could be as simple as having a Voltron-esque creature that wins in two or three turns while your opponents have been decimated. You could also use cards with undying or something like World Shaper to keep yourself ahead.
#4. Armageddon / Ravages of War
THE saltiest white cards, according to EDHREC, Armageddon and Ravages of War are functionally the same card, though I prefer Ravages on flavor and art. These cards can be finishers in aggro decks that need a few extra turns to close the game. You can also leverage this effect alongside Avacyn, Angel of Hope, or Teferi's Protection to walk away unscathed as you raze your opponents.
#3. Council’s Judgment
Council's Judgment is an incredible removal spell. It ignores every form of protection – hexproof, shroud, ward, protection from white or sorceries, it gets around all of it to remove whatever ails you. It’s especially fun in Commander, where a savvy political player might get three permanents removed.
Before you get to the wildness of Shahrazad’s text, one can appreciate it for being banned in every format it could be legal in. When you read the card, it makes you wonder about how Magic used to be designed and whether we can go back to those golden days. This is one of the most interesting Magic cards ever, and I look forward to the day I play against it by some stroke of luck.
Balance is one of the strongest cards ever. The best way to exploit this is with a ton of fast mana; the goal is to dump your hand and play as few lands as possible for a simultaneous Mind Twist and Cataclysm. Even outside that ideal scenario, creature-light decks can leverage this as a 2-mana board wipe that might make the opponent discard a card. It plays well with Zuran Orb for some funny plays and does so, so much for so little mana.
Best White Sorcery Payoffs
The best payoffs for white sorceries will depend on how you answer the following question: Is your deck focused on creatures or not?
A white deck that’s not focused on creatures – usually a controlling deck paired with another color – will primarily benefit from the board wipes. Farewell, Terminus, and Wrath of God are all fantastic ways for creature-light decks to take control of the board, and they work well with lists full of planeswalkers.
White also has a few sorceries worth building around, especially Enduring Ideal and Replenish. A couple of powerful payoffs for these enchantment-based cards include Overwhelming Splendor or Cruel Reality that are too expensive to hard cast, or cards that reward you for playing a bunch of enchantments, like Starfield of Nyx and Sigil of the Empty Throne.
Austere Command | Illustration by Anna Steinbauer
White might be known for its creatures, but that doesn’t mean its sorceries don’t pack a few punches themselves. It’s the color of removal as much as weenies, but you can do much more with its sorceries than blow up the world.
With enchantment payoffs, recursive abilities, and a few ways to attack your opponent’s mana base, white has plenty of powerful spells to leave your opponents in ruins. What’s your favorite white sorcery? How do you feel about Armageddon in EDH? Let me know in the comments or on the Draftsim Discord!
Stay safe, and keep healthy!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: