I’ll Bet A Hundred Words Per Card That These’ll All See Play In The New Extended

I’m sick of hearing people say that R&D has castrated white in Extended – get over Swords to Plowshares, people! In the meantime, I’m willing to ante up 181 cards that will see play at PT: Houston – and if I’m wrong, I may wind up writing sixty-four pages of crow.

I haven’t submitted an article to StarCity in a long while (insert comment here, editor), so allow me to introduce myself: My name is Ben Bleiweiss. I’ve played Magic since Revised, played professionally for a couple of years, and now write a weekly column for MagicTheGathering.com (Uncommon Knowledge, the column about Magic History), provide coverage for The Sideboard at major events, and do the monthly puzzle column for Inquest Magazine (Dead Man’s Hand – go pick up a copy of Inquest today and check it out. )

Yes, I’m shilling that much. I enjoy the hand that feeds me.

Three recent events converged in my life to prompt the writing of this article. In no particular order:

1) We were putting together an article with various top 10 lists in Onslaught for MTG.com, in which my niche were the top 10 cards for the Extended/Type 1 formats.

2) Inquest assigned me my first major article, a piece about the dominant decks in the upcoming November Extended format.

3) The following letter arrived in my e-mail box, with several other almost identical variations appearing over and over:

Sirs from Wizards,

I’m very indignated with your policy about white colour (probably every white loved wizard is too).

It’s very evident that you manage all the contest about selecting eigth edition… It’s more evident for example with the crusade. White people like the crusade about 8000000 times more than glorious anthem… That’s the evidence.

In my location people only play extended format.

With”Swords to plowshares”,”Tithe” and”Empyrial armor” out from extended, and with the green disenchant (it’s exactly the same card !!), white colour is not serving anymore in magic, nor a pure white deck neither

a splash colour.

Do you want to white dissapear from magic? Well, you have got it.

For my part, I think to leave magic.

It’s simple, if I can’t play my favourite colour with my favourite cards, the only I can do it’s to leave magic. I don’t think to change to another colour, I love white.

What sad, isn’t it ?

I know a lot of people with my same thinking.

That’s you have got.

An angry white magic player (probably an ex-magic player).

(Name withheld by me)

As an aside: Most of these letters arrived from players in European countries, so you’ll have to excuse the small grammatical and spelling errors. Often, American players take for granted and even ridicule the English speaking abilities of non-native speakers, which is sad given how few Americans in general can speak two languages, much less the three to five languages that averaged in European nations. I would like to applaud the author for their efforts in English.

While the language isn’t perfect, the message is perfectly clear: They feel that white has gotten the shaft in Extended.

First of all, Crusade is perfectly legal in Extended, 8th edition vote or no. For those who have been following MTG.com, there has been a promotion to vote for cards in 8th edition. The final vote pitted Crusade against Glorious Anthem – one would get the boot, and the other would be heralded for years to come.

Glorious Anthem won with 6,402 votes versus a paltry 3,302 votes for Crusade.

By nearly a two to one margin, the players voted to keep Crusade out of Type Two… And I don’t think this is a case of”people hate White, so they voted for the worse card.” If that were the case, Nekrataal would have lost to Dark Hatchling some ten weeks earlier. Trust me, people who are passionate about hating a color are much more passionate about gigging black then neutering white (and to further this train of thought, no color is more universally despised than blue). Black is about killing your creatures, taking away the cards in your hand, generating obscene amounts of mana, and beating your face in with a combination of mana denial, card denial, unblockable shadow creatures, and that damned Hatred card.

White’s about peace, love, life gain, and having the Wrath of God on your side.

If people wanted to see Crusade again, they would have voted for Crusade.

So now I have to deal with the big three white cards that are leaving Extended: Swords to Plowshares, Tithe, and Empyrial Armor. Yes, these were all major cards for white. Their losses will definitely be felt. But to say the loss of these three cards shows that white will disappear from Magic?

Get a grip!

Empyrial Armor, the newest of these three cards, last saw print in June of 1997.

Tithe bowed out in February of 1997.

Swords to Plowshares last saw print in June of 1995. That’s when Ice Age was released.

For seven years, there has not been a tournament-legal set that contained Swords to Plowshares. The last two (Ice Age and 4th Edition) went out of print in February of 1996 and April of 1997. For the past five years, you have not been able to purchase any pack that contained an in-print Swords to Plowshares.

My friends, Swords to Plowshares, Empyrial Armor, and Tithe have been gone from Magic for a long time. Extended finally is sweeping out some fossils from the museum, allowing fresh new cards to be played in their stead. With Swords to Plowshares gone, a vast number of other removal spells (in virtually every color) become viable – Swords did the job so well that it was practically futile to play with anything but. Now that it’s going to be gone, there will be a lot more innovation in deck building.

Or maybe people will just play with Smother.

Either way, to declare an entire color dead based on three cards (and by the by, Tithe isn’t exactly a winner without the revised Dual Lands in the format, since the only multi-colored lands they could tutor for were rotating out of the environment anyhow) does a great injustice to the deep, deep richness of the white card pool for November Extended.

Included with this article are a list of white cards which I believe are Absolute sure bets to be played in the new Extended. There are 146 mono-white cards included, along with 35 additional multi-colored white cards on the list, for a total of 181 cards that I am sure will be used come November.

  • I am not including fringe cards…
  • I am not including cards which ‘might’ be good…
  • I am not including any cards which ‘might’ be broken by new innovations…

These are cards which have been tried, tested, proved – or, in the case of Onslaught cards, are so good that they will definitely see play (due to my Non-Disclosure Agreement, I am not allowed to name these cards until after the pre-release on 9/27/2002. You’ll notice the list below is alphabetized for your convenience, so it will be easy to recheck this list in the future).

How will we check up on this list to see if I’m right? Pro Tour – Houston takes place November 8th-10th, exactly a week from the rotation of the Extended environment. It will establish the metagame for the new environment, since it’s the first major Extended tournament to use the new rules.

I am so sure that each and every one of these 181 cards will appear at least once between main decks and sideboards in this format that I will make a bet right now with you, the reader. For each card on my list that does not make an appearance during Pro Tour: Houston, I will write a hundred meaningful words for StarCity explaining why each of those cards didn’t see play. And I’m sure most if not all of these will see play. Check out the upcoming Inquest article, where a majority of the decks I feature for the new Extended contain white cards.

That’s a potential 18,100 word article! By comparison, this article is only 2,000 words, or eight pages. But I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is (for each card I’m wrong about, I have to invest a considerable amount of my time writing an article for free, when I’m usually paid to do so).

The Official”Put My Money Where My Mouth Is” PT Houston White Checklist:

  1. Absolute Grace
  2. Absolute Law
  3. Academy Rector
  6. Allay
  7. Ancestor’s Chosen
  8. Ancestral Tribute
  9. Angel of Mercy
  10. Armageddon
  11. Arrest
  12. Aura Blast
  13. Auratog
  14. Balancing Act
  15. Battle Screech
  16. Benevolent Bodyguard
  17. Blinding Angel
  18. Cataclysm
  19. Chastise
  20. Cho-Manno, Revolutionary
  21. Cho-Manno’s Blessing
  22. Circle of Protection: Black
  23. Circle of Protection: Blue
  24. Circle of Protection: Green
  25. Circle of Protection: Red
  26. Circle of Protection: White
  27. Clear
  28. Commander Eesha
  29. Crusade
  30. Defender En-Vec
  31. Defiant Falcon
  32. Defiant Vanguard
  33. Devoted Caretaker
  34. Devout Witness
  35. Disenchant
  36. Dismantling Blow
  37. Divine Sacrament
  38. Enlightened Tutor
  39. Erase
  41. Exile
  42. False Prophet
  43. Flickering Ward
  44. Fresh Volunteers
  45. Gerrard’s Battle Cry
  46. Gerrard’s Wisdom
  47. Global Ruin
  48. Glorious Anthem
  49. Glory
  50. Golden Wish
  51. Hobble
  52. Honor the Fallen
  53. Humility
  54. Intrepid Hero
  55. Ivory Mask
  57. Jeweled Spirit
  58. Jhovall Queen
  59. Karmic Guide
  60. Lashknife Barrier
  61. Last Breath
  62. Lawbringer
  63. Light of Day
  64. Lightbringer
  65. Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero
  66. Longbow Archer
  67. Mageta the Lion
  69. Monk Realist
  70. Morningtide
  71. Mother of Runes
  72. Nightwind Glider
  73. Nomads en-Kor
  76. Opalescence
  77. Order of the Sacred Torch
  78. Orim, Samite Healer
  79. Orim’s Chant
  80. Orim’s Prayer
  81. Orim’s Thunder
  82. Paladin En-Vec
  83. Parallax Wave
  84. Pariah
  85. Pegasus Stampede
  86. Phantom Nomad
  87. Pianna, Nomad Captain
  88. Pilgrim of Justice
  89. Planar Birth
  90. Prismatic Strands
  91. Pure Reflection
  92. Pursuit of Knowledge
  93. Radiant’s Dragoons
  94. Ramosian Lieutenant
  95. Ramosian Sky Marshall
  96. Rapelling Scouts
  97. Renounce
  98. Reverent Mantra
  99. Rout
  100. Rune of Protection: Black
  101. Rune of Protection: Blue
  102. Rune of Protection: Green
  103. Rune of Protection: Red
  104. Rune of Protection: White
  105. Sacred Ground
  106. Sacred Guide
  107. Samite Ministrations
  108. Sanctimony
  109. Scour
  110. Serenity
  111. Serra Angel
  112. Serra Avatar
  113. Shaman En-Kor
  115. Solitary Confinement
  116. Soltari Crusader
  117. Soltari Monk
  118. Soltari Priest
  119. Soltari Visionary
  120. Spectral Lynx
  121. Spirit Cairn
  122. Spiritual Focus
  123. Spurnmage Advocate
  124. Staunch Defenders
  125. Steadfast Guard
  126. Stern Judge
  127. Story Circle
  128. Sunscape Familiar
  129. Suntail Hawk
  130. Tariff
  131. Test of Endurance
  132. Thermal Glider
  133. Topple
  135. Vengeful Dreams
  136. Voice of All
  137. Warmth
  138. Warrior en-Kor
  139. Wave of Reckoning
  140. Waylay
  143. Wishmonger
  144. Worship
  145. Worthy Cause
  146. Wrath of God
  147. Absorb
  148. Anurid Brushhopper
  149. Armadillo Cloak
  150. Aura Mutation
  151. Captain Sisay
  152. Charging Troll
  153. Crystaline Sliver
  154. Death Grasp
  155. Dromar, The Banisher
  156. Dromar’s Charm
  157. Eladamri’s Call
  158. Fleetfoot Panther
  159. Galina’s Knight
  160. Gerrard’s Verdict
  161. Goblin Legionnaires
  162. Goblin Trenches
  163. Hunting Grounds
  164. Lightning Angel
  165. Llanowar Knight
  166. Meddling Mage
  167. Mirari’s Wake
  168. Mystic Enforcer
  169. Noble Panther
  170. Overgrown Estate
  171. Phantom Nishoba
  172. Questing Phelddagrif
  173. Reviving Vapors
  174. Rith, The Awakener
  175. Sabertooth Nishoba
  176. Sliver Queen
  177. Sterling Grove
  178. Teferi’s Moat
  179. Vindicate
  180. Victual Sliver
  181. Wax/Wane

See you all back here in a month and a half, where I expect to write maybe a five hundred-word article: Three hundred words of explanation, and two hundred words praising the diversity of white decks in the format.

Ben Bleiweiss

[email protected]