Deck For A Day: White Noise

Static Orb. You know you want to abuse it. But how do you do it? Let the doctor show you a mono-W deck that’s sure to please.

It may seem like it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. Actually, I wrote a twenty-page article for StarCity on U/W aggressive decks for a post-7th Edition environment. It was to be Part One of Three — the first step in a big grand deckbuilding experiment, culminating in a slew of playable decks.

Then the article got delayed in posting.

Then StarCity’s server went down.

Then I lost interest in the experiment, as people started talking about Apocalypse.

Then I got promoted at work, upping my workload by a leap and a bound.


Somewhere in the midst of this chain of events, I lost interest in Magic. I even contemplated leaving the game for a long while. I mean, why do I do this? StarCity doesn’t pay me for these articles. People generally don’t play the crazy decks I build. Cheating and widespread buttheadedness run so rampant in online tournaments that they’re no fun. I own no cards, so there are no investment costs for me to lose if I leave the game. Leaving sounded reeeaaallly tempting.

Then Binary21 started going deck crazy.

Then Reeve Geary started taking one of my decks to Friday Night Magic.

Then I actually READ the Apocalypse spoiler.

Then I found some evenings to play online.


I think I’m back, although I never really went anywhere. Don’t believe me? Here is a deck to show my good intentions:

During my U/W aggressive craziness (I generated twenty-three decklists, accounting for the length of the aforementioned article), I tried a U/W Static Orb deck with white non-tapping weenies and blue card drawing. The more I looked at the deck, the more white I started adding and the less blue stayed in the design. At one point I only had, I think, Meddling Mage and Opt…. When Mike Mason wondered aloud whether a mono-white Static Orb deck might work in today’s Type 2.

Voila! A deck is born.

Consider playing this deck until July if you are tired of the current vogue decks (and Lord knows I am):


4 Glittering Lynx

4 Steadfast Guard

4 Glittering Lion

4 Diving Griffin

4 Serra Angel

4 Seal of Cleansing

4 Static Orb

4 Glorious Anthem

4 Parallax Wave

4 Rishadan Port

20 Plains


How To Play The Deck:

White Noise is a tempo deck, but it took me awhile to figure this out. Reeve Geary took it to a 2-2 finish at a FNM and was complaining about how Static Orb didn’t actually lock anyone… And yet talking about the Orb as a lock didn’t feel right anyway. Instead, I realized after some games that the Orbs purpose is to dramatically slow your opponent’s development more than yours. Thus, if your opponent slows to a crawl under the Orb, you should be playing at more of a saunter. It still feels slow… But it’s but less slow than what you see across the table.

Thinking of the deck as a tempo deck is tremendously helpful in figuring out how to play White Noise. Drop a few creatures, mess people up with Seals of Cleansing, Rishadan Ports, Static Orbs, and Parallax Waves. Keep the disruption up, pecking away at an opponent. Usually by the time your opponent has saved up enough mana to use mass removal or find a better creature than yours, it is about time to drop Serra Angel.

Sounds simple… Which it is. I have now won both mini-tournaments on #minimadness I have entered, since realizing that playing the deck is about tempo. Along the way I have beaten Blue Skies, Fires, Counter-Rebels and Wildfire decks to name a few. Wheee.

(By the way, if you are looking for a place on NewNet to avoid the whole mess of points that — I think — leads to people cheating or generally being an ass online, try out #minimadness. The tourneys are small but plentiful, and truly serve as fun playtesting. Isn’t that what online play is supposed to be all about?)


Creature Choices:

It seems like the creatures are best explained in blocks.

First, there is the Glittering block. The Lynx is currently white’s best non-Rebel one-drop, and you can imagine that Rebels don’t quite have the synergy to work with Static Orb. Both Glittering Lynx and Lion also make combat decisions horribly difficult when Static Orb is on the table. As a side benefit, the Glittering crew works superbly well against Fires, barring the appearance of Shivan Wurm.

Second, there is the non-tapping block. Steadfast Guard, Diving Griffin, and Serra Angel make a nice ladder of creatures. These non-tapping creatures are just very, very spiffy with an Orb out, meaning they can attack repeatedly while you recover your mana. Serra Angel is, obviously, the crown jewel of the creatures. In Reeve’s version, he opted for three Angels and one Cho-Manno’s Blessing.

Notice that all of the creatures are fine Constructed choices, even without a Static Orb on the table; they simply become much better in the presence of the Orb.


Non-Creature Choices:

Seal of Cleansing is better than Disenchant in this deck because it can sit and wait for a target, rather than requiring mana to be available at a critical moment. It also acts as a deterrent, helping the tempo advantage the deck gives.

Static Orb and Glorious Anthem flat-out make your creatures better than your opponent’s. The Orb is obviously also useful for slowing any response an opponent might have for mass creature removal and slowing weenie hordes to a near-halt.

Parallax Wave, I have decided, is the most important card in the deck other than Plains — and if I could play with eight of them, I would certainly do so. (Who wouldn’t? — The Ferrett) Simply put, the Wave acts to both remove opponent’s blockers and protect your own creatures. Reeve and I have often decried the fact that we can’t tutor for a Wave anymore. I am also embarrassed to say that this card was the last to find its way into the deck, eventually replacing Reveille Squad. Thank you again, O Mike (Sacred) Mason!

Notice, too, that the deck tries its best to load up with enchantments and artifacts, making the targeted removal of most decks insufficient. The sideboard should only add to the number of targets, as your opponent sides in their artifact and/or enchantment removal.


Land Choices:

Rishadan Port is too good not to use. It doesn’t have terrific synergy with Static Orb, but it is perhaps the ultimate disruption in Magic right now and can often keep a recovering opponent away from the mana they need to cast spells like Wrath of God or Wash Out. Other than the Port, though, the deck really doesn’t need to get fancy with its mana. Especially with all of the double-white spells in the deck, Plains are good.


Sideboard Thoughts:

This has perhaps been the most difficult deck to sideboard. Simply put, there isn’t a lot for white to do vs. Blue Skies and Fires that it doesn’t already do… That and, oddly enough, in most matchups it is hard to decide what to take out. Perplexing.

Some cards I have used to moderate effect…

Aura Fracture – The only card that has consistently been a star performer from the sideboard, Aura Fracture is simply amazing in this deck. It does not require mana — and so has good synergy with Static Orb — and is a perfect solution for spells like Fires of Yavimaya, Saproling Burst, Worship, Opposition, and so on. With the deck’s low mana curve, it is also fairly easy to sacrifice a couple of the lands you weren’t planning on untapping anyway.

Crusading Knight – My thinking here is that a lot of people are excited about the return of Duress and thus will play lots of black…. Yet I think in about eight matches I have only seen two decks using Swamps. Hrmph. So much for that theory. Then again, in both matches the Knight helped me win at least one game.

Distorting Lens – Reeve pointed out that the deck had absolutely no answer to Voice of All. Bennie Smith suggested Distorting Lens, and since the deck has a vulnerability to Wash Out anyway, this sounded like a great idea to me.

Honor the Fallen – This has been my best answer to both Rebels and Nether Spirit. I like it better than Last Breath in this deck because it gives you the life advantage rather than your opponent. In a tempo deck, this is important.

Longbow Archer – Thanks again to Bennie Smith for this suggestion. Longbow Archer is a tempting replacement for Glittering Lion, which is arguably the most droppable spell from the maindeck. At the very least, it is a great sideboard cards versus Blue Skies and can hold off Nether Spirit ad infinitum.

Pure Reflection – About the best thing I could think of versus slow control decks, especially those that use a couple Blinding Angels or Fat Motis as their kill. The Reflection is a nice way to punish an opponent. Thanks to Zvi and The Solution for pointing this out to me.

Sanctimony – Talk about buying yourself time. Wildfire, Burning Bridge, and Goblin decks — all of which I have seen post-7th — sure hate this card.

Wrath of God – Another answer for Voice of All. Wrath is also just generally useful if you suspect your opponent is using more creatures than you are.

Given these many choices, my current sideboard looks like this:

3 Longbow Archer

3 Aura Fracture

3 Pure Reflection

2 Distorting Lens

2 Honor the Fallen

2 Sanctimony


White Noise After Apocalypse:

Other than Coalition Honor Guard, I don’t see an awful lot in mono-white for this deck in Apocalypse. The possible exception is Dodecapod, which is a good sideboard card for almost any deck that needs to combat discard strategies. Other than these two cards, however, pickings are slim; Apocalypse just wasn’t made for mono-colored decks.

However, the new painlands in Apocalypse make splashing a non-allied color incredibly easy. Vindicate, Gerrard’s Verdict, and Spectral Lynx look like excellent additions to White Noise after splashing black. (Should that be Gray Noise?) Dwarven Patrol is quite splashable and easily replaces Glittering Lion when adding red (Pink Noise?). If the mana base could ever be figured out by someone other than me, Lightning Angel would also fit perfectly (um… Vomit Noise?).

But beware when using these strategies: One of the reasons White Noise is currently so consistent is that it does not experience mana screw. Steadfast Guard is easy to cast on the second turn. Subjecting yourself to a second color also means untapping the correct lands under Static Orb, which is bound to be frustrating. If you can make mono-white work, I highly recommend doing so.

If, however, you are too tempted by the Apocalyptic possibilities, I understand.


Have fun out there,

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar

[email protected]

doctorjay on IRC

Proud member of Binary21