Extended White Weenie Part II: The Rest of the Matchups

In Part I, we looked at some of the most extreme matchups for Extended White Weenie, both the worst (board-locking NO Stick and Pernicious Deed-packing Rock), as well as what we initially thought of as some of the best – Red Decks. While the various Rock decks and U/W control were about as bad as expected, and Red Deck Wins was maybe even better than expected, Goblins didn’t turn out as expected at all. In this section, we will round up most of the rest of the expected Extended metagame and begin to determine if White Weenie is bad or just misunderstood.

In Part I, we looked at some of the most extreme matchups for Extended White Weenie, both the worst (board-locking NO Stick and Pernicious Deed-packing Rock), as well as what we initially thought of as some of the best – Red Decks. While the various Rock decks and U/W control were about as bad as expected, and Red Deck Wins was maybe even better than expected, Goblins didn’t turn out as expected at all. Rather than being a near-bye, like Red Deck Wins, Goblins turned out an unfavorable 30% over our 10 game set.

In this section, we will round up most of the rest of the expected Extended metagame. In Friday’s Part III, we will finish up with an updated White Weenie list, tested against the same decks.

As with Part I, the White Weenie deck we used is Neil Reeves’s version from Pro Tour Columbus:

18 Plains

2 Isamaru, Hound of Konda

4 Savannah Lions

4 Benevolent Bodyguard

4 Mother of Runes

4 Ramosian Sergeant

4 Samurai of the Pale Curtain

4 Whipcorder

3 Exalted Angel

3 Cursed Scroll

4 Chrome Mox

2 Parallax Wave

4 Crusade


1 Exalted Angel

4 Absolute Law

3 Rule of Law

2 Topple

1 Parallax Wave

4 Serenity

Our first opponent is another White Weenie deck: Life. I used Arita’s list from Columbus because of pedigree. Keep in mind that during the PTQ season, it is likely that Life will move to Aether Vial for additional speed and resistance to disruption.

4 City of Brass

2 Forest

6 Plains

4 Brushland

3 Starlit Sanctum

4 Windswept Heath

1 Academy Rector

1 Eternal Witness

3 Daru Spiritualist

4 Task Force

4 Shaman en-Kor

3 Nomads en-Kor

4 Eladamri’s Call

1 Test of Endurance

1 Animal Boneyard

1 Parallax Wave

1 Seal of Cleansing

1 Rule of Law

4 Worthy Cause

4 Living Wish

3 Enlightened Tutor

1 Sterling Grove


4 Orim’s Chant

1 Daru Spiritualist

1 Eternal Witness

1 Nomads en-Kor

1 Starlit Sanctum

1 Academy Rector

1 Seal of Cleansing

1 Energy Flux

1 Ensnaring Bridge

1 Engineered Plague

1 Genesis

1 Isochron Scepter

Life over White Weenie 9-1

To give you an idea of how miserable this matchup is, White Weenie lost a game on the play with turn 1 Hound of Konda, turn 2 double Savannah Lions, turn 3 Ramosian Sergeant plus Crusade. Life had to time it perfectly – reversing the sequence on a card or two would have cost it the game – but was able to go infinite on the third turn.

Parallax Wave is very effective for either side of the board, moreso for Life than White Weenie. The reason is that White Weenie’s clock isn’t that fast and it has no finishing punch – no Fireblast as it were – so Life can use one of several enchantment hunting cards to find a Seal of Cleansing and go infinite even if White Weenie has one of its two Parallax Waves in play. On the other hand, Life’s Parallax Wave has to actively use only one of its counters in order to buy three turns or so.

A lot of people use the mere existence of Life in the metagame to say that you shouldn’t play Red Deck Wins… Let me tell you, after playing and playing against Life a few dozen times, I’d much rather be Red Deck Wins in this matchup than White Weenie.

While I knew that Life would be a terrible matchup, I thought that White Weenie would do much better against Gadiel Szleifer Reanimator deck. While Reanimator is one of the fastest, most consistent aggressive combination decks, it kind of puts all of its eggs in a single basket, and can be easily disrupted if that one creature is contained. For example, the top Reanimator players were stymied in Columbus by Isochron Scepters Imprinting Fire/Ice and the simple presence of Snap in Mind’s Desire. In the same way, White Weenie has the maximum number of Whipcorders and a full set of Ramosian Sergeants to go and get them. Chrome Mox in the White Weenie deck means that Sergeant can search up Whipcorder on turn 2 and be ready to hold off a 6/6 beater by turn 3. As it is rare for Reanimator – a deck that spends most of its resources getting that initial clock out – to have a second significant threat, the matchup seemed simple.

4 Underground River

4 Polluted Delta

6 Swamp

2 Island

4 Akroma, Angel of Wrath

4 Putrid Imp

3 Rorix Bladewing

4 Vampiric Tutor

4 Careful Study

4 Exhume

3 Duress

4 Brainstorm

4 Chrome Mox

4 Reanimate

1 Show and Tell

1 Sickening Dreams

4 Cabal Therapy


4 Smother

3 Phyrexian Negator

2 Gilded Drake

2 Show and Tell

1 Echoing Truth

1 Cranial Extraction

1 Energy Flux

1 Energy Field

The result?

Reanimator over White Weenie 6-4

This matchup was pretty close, which wasn’t that surprising – I just thought that it would lean the other way. The reason that Reanimator did as well as it did was all on one card: Sickening Dreams. Not only does Sickening Dreams serve to dump a 6/6 flyer for easy reanimation, but it is a convenient two-damage packet. That damage is vitally useful in almost any game for sweeping one or more Whipcorders or ending the game a turn early.

Reamimator’s main clocks have six power. Unless there is a Crusade in play – and there often is in this matchup – that means that it needs four hits from one of its big beaters, even though they are huge. Three hits over a lightning quick 1+2 turns does 18, meaning that setting up a Sickening Dreams for two can steal a full turn. It is also an important card to play just to keep the beats going, as a Whipcorder in the middle of a game will buy several turns of beatdown from assorted Savannah Lions and Benevolent Bodyguards.

In the same way, Putrid Imp is a sometimes important offensive component. While the Imp’s primary purpose in the Reanimator deck is to discard a 6/6 flyer just waiting in the wings for a trip to the bin, the fact that it can crack for one or two damage can also shave that fourth turn off of Reanimator’s lethal clock.

After boards, look for Reanimator to bring in Smother for Whipcorder and improve its already favorable matchup.

From this point on, the matchups get better for White Weenie – and yes, “better” creature decks are still down river.

U/G Madness has always been serviceable for White Weenie-based decks. In block, Spurnmage Advocate kept Roar of the Wurm off the board, Madness Engines from doing anything productive, and Wonder from dominating the race. In Extended, Whipcorder plays a similar role.

The U/G deck that I tested is Geoffrey Siron’s from the Columbus Top 8.

9 Island

7 Forest

4 Yavimaya Coast

4 Arrogant Wurm

4 Basking Rootwalla

4 Wild Mongrel

2 Wonder

4 Aquamoeba

1 Merfolk Looter

1 Thought Courier

2 Chrome Mox

2 Roar of the Wurm

3 Daze

4 Careful Study

2 Intuition

4 Circular Logic

3 Deep Analysis


3 Submerge

3 Oxidize

4 Chill

1 Ray of Revelation

2 Waterfront Bouncer

2 Masticore

White Weenie 6-4 over U/G Madness.

These games were a bit weird. Wild Mongrel is the best creature in the matchup by a mile. While that shouldn’t be particularly surprising, don’t forget that its ability to get bigger is accompanied by the ability to change colors. That means that when Crusade is in play, Wild Mongrel is generally attacking for four or five damage. If Madness is on the play with Wild Mongrel, it is usually a blowout for U/G. By the same token, if U/G Madness doesn’t draw Wild Mongrel, it literally never wins; all four games that Madness won out of these ten, Mongrel was an active threat.

The reason that White Weenie did as well as it did is that U/G Madness has no real answer to a utility creature. U/G Madness decks of the past played cards like Stupefying Touch in order to hold off opposing Madness engines or slow down giants like Visara the Dreadful. If Whipcorder hits the table, White Weenie can start controlling the board. Considering the fact that White Weenie can start pumping out a stack of Whipcorders, this can quickly spell doom for U/G. Basically, White Weenie can thaw out as many as all four Whipcorders and tap down all the relevant Madness creatures and then smash through in one or two lethal swings. Mother of Runes serves a similar purpose, but with less focus. Mother of Runes can help win a fight, force through damage, or contain a huge threat, and U/G has no better answer to it than to Whipcorder.

Exalted Angel was surprisingly blah. I’m sure it beat up U/G a couple of the winning games, but it hardly seemed the lynchpin to the White deck’s strategy. Plenty of times it will cruise over on turn 4 and just get mugged by a Wonder Dog. Samurai of the Pale Curtain also did surprisingly little; I’m sure it would be fantastic against my U/G Threshold deck, which relies on Flooded Strand-type lands for its baseline strategy and Genesis recursion to beat other creature decks.

The big surprise of the playtest was the Affinity matchup. I consider Affinity the best deck in Extended (if not the best deck to play, necessarily), so imagine my surprise at the end result of the 10 game set: 5-5.

I used Pierre Canali’s Affinity deck, which was good for 30K, if not a favorable matchup against White Weenie.

4 Seat of the Synod

4 Vault of Whispers

2 Ancient Den

2 Glimmervoid

4 Darksteel Citadel

1 City of Brass

2 Blinkmoth Nexus

4 Arcbound Worker

4 Disciple of the Vault

4 Frogmite

4 Arcbound Ravager

4 Meddling Mage

3 Myr Enforcer

3 Somber Hoverguard

3 Cranial Plating

4 Aether Vial

4 Chromatic Sphere

4 Thoughtcast


3 Kami of Ancient Law

3 Engineered Plague

3 Chill

1 City of Brass

2 Seal of Removal

3 Cabal Therapy

Affinity won the first two games, including a dramatic game that included turn 1 Aether Vial, turn 2 second artifact land, Arcbound Worker (from the Vial), Frogmite, second Vial, and double Myr Enforcer. Given a draw like that, it wasn’t surprising that Affinity won: what was surprising was how close the game was.

Like U/G Madness, Affinity has no way to contain a utility creature. Its only plan is to go all out with aggression. This isn’t a bad ideam as Extended White Weenie doesn’t have anything along the lines of Shining Shoal – at least not YET – so there is little downside in Affinity’s going for the kill. The only problem is when White Weenie can throw a monkey wrench in the kill.

Like U/G Madness, Affinity is highly vulnerable to a chain of Whipcorders. Mother of Runes is obviously much worse against Affinity than it is against U/G Madness, but that doesn’t mean that it is useless. For example, White Weenie will often have enough Whipcorders and mana to tap down every artifact creature – but not every single creature that Affinity can present. The artifact creatures are important because of Arcbound Ravager, but the Meddling Mages can be contained using Mother of Runes.

Samurai of the Pale Curtain is really good at holding in both of the main bombs in the Affinity deck. It prevents Disciple of the Vault from playing Fireball and is nearly as effective against Arcbound Ravager’s ability. All in all, this makes for a very servicable matchup for the Star City community’s pet deck against Extended’s best offensive deck.

While the theme of last week was the most extreme matchups, this week – with the exception of Life of course – showed us much more moderate opposition. Reanimator is very winnable, and is favorable for the bad guys solely on the strength of a single card. U/G and Affinity – both considered to be better creature decks than White Weenie – failed to end up on the right end of the matchup. If you consider the fact that White Weenie can bring in Serenity whereas Canali’s deck doesn’t bring in much of anything, the Affinity matchup should be very winnable.

Next up: A New List and the Big Finish