Into The Depths Of The Pooper Trooper: A Limited Analysis Of Torment (no Odyssey) White

White It’s not a huge secret that I am, in my heart, a white mage. No not one of the pansy ‘gain life and play with the angels’ White mages. I’m the crusading, teach people to go farm and unleash cataclysmic destruction sort of White mage. Wizards doesn’t seem to like us. This is the…


It’s not a huge secret that I am, in my heart, a white mage. No not one of the pansy ‘gain life and play with the angels’ White mages. I’m the crusading, teach people to go farm and unleash cataclysmic destruction sort of White mage. Wizards doesn’t seem to like us.

This is the least satisfying white set I’ve seen in a long time. The white is really, really bad. When one of the commons gets labeled”Pooper Trooper,” you know things just aren’t going too well…

Mystic Familiar

I’m really torn on this card. Pre-threshold it is only a blah Storm Crow; post-threshold, it hits a fair size for an airborne creature. The protection from black is fairly decent as well, although it would really make the card to have the protection before threshold. Still, it’s not a bad 16th or 17th creature if you really need one. A bit better in W/R than otherwise, as that combo tends to hurt for low cost evasion.

Final verdict: Decent.

Militant Monk

This card realises a little dream of mine… That is, white weenies that have”doesn’t tap to attack” and a tapping ability. Of course, I was thinking something more like a Bear with the ability to use Crossbow Infantry’s ability. Anyways, the Monk is certainly not a bad card, as White doesn’t have many decent offensive three-drops in Ody/Tor limited. However, the double symbol casting cost hurts and the one-toughness really hurts. Play it but expect it to die.

Final verdict: Decent, but lower quality than you’d hope for.

Aven Trooper

Aven Trooper? Homelands called, you’re due back in an hour. Seriously, this is a really disgusting card and it shouldn’t have been printed. No, I’m not kidding. There’s no reason to ever waste cardboard on this trash. Its costing cost is obscene and its ability is horribly over-priced. Three mana and discard? Yeah, I’m sure I’ll be using madness with this one a lot!

Final verdict: R&D, what were you thinking?

Teroh’s Faithful

I wish this card was 2/3; that would have been a lot better. Still, four life tends to be a fair life extension, and comes into play abilities have the most wonderful effects with Faceless Butcher – or Malevolent Awakening, if you’ve reached that much mana. It blocks most early creatures and extends your life. They aren’t all that offensive, sadly, but it’s a useful card in white/blue. It buys time.

Final Verdict: Easy to use, common, and buys you quite a lot of time. Playable in block.

Frantic Purification

I don’t get this card. It doesn’t fit madness. Most madness cards are normal mana-to-effect cards that then have a reduced mana cost through madness. Of the ten, only this and the Haze make me scratch my head and wonder. It can’t kill artifacts, and if you’re going to pay three mana for enchantment kill, you may as well add one more and either get flashback or a 2/2 flier.

Final Verdict: Obsolete, and the fact white’s common madness card is stupid chaff really hurts it.

Floating Shield

Amusing. One of the few cards I’ve ever misread in a long time. Basically, you burn-proof one creature and then, when a better creature of yours is threatened, you sack the Shield and save it if you picked the right colour beforehand. The shield should only be truly used offensively; drop it on a Mongrel (for example) and swing for a few points of unblockable damage. Later on, use it to protect something. In a sense, it’s virtual card advantage. Don’t get in the mindset of using this defensively; it’s really not a good way to use cards.

This is probably the best enchantment to naturally pair with Auramancer. (I prefer Shade’s FormThe Ferrett) Allowing you to use the shield to protect another creature from a burn spell, and then replaying the shield after pulling it back with the ‘mancer is nice.

Final Verdict: Often playable, often a good sideboard card against a deck with strong tendencies in only one colour or removal only in one colour.

Spirit Flare

Yes, it’s decent white”kill” and it can be used in lots of good ways. It’s also reusable – and probably at a fair price. However, the initial casting cost can be hard to push out in the early game and it really doesn’t fit white all that often. You just don’t have the creatures to kill anything decent. However, if you have good green by some stroke of luck, it can provide the muscle to work the Flare well.

Keep in mind that the flare targets both the creature you’re tapping and the creature you’re flaring. This is what really kills the card: You can’t target a creature with protection from white either way, and if the creature dies while the Flare is on the stack, the Flare fizzles. Gah. Why isn’t the tapping a proper cost?

Final Verdict: Expensive and not as good as it looks. Don’t play more than one and don’t play it at all if you don’t have large creatures.

Pay No Heed

In design I wish this card had been the white madness card, since it would seem to fit the general feel of madness better. A purely defensive card that lacks the crucial”draw a card” that makes so many cards like it useable. Pay no Heed can cancel out a Shower of Coals, an aggressive attacker, or make for a useable combat trick. Shelter can do the latter two at better card economy for one more mana, leaving me wondering where I’m going to use this card.

Final verdict: It’s not a bad card, but there are better ways to do what it does, barring canceling out Shower of Coals. But is it worth sideboarding in one card to deal with one card?

Stern Judge

If Pearled Unicorn and Karma got drunk after a pre-release, this is what we’d get. A fusion of two older cards, Stern Judge is nothing special creatively. His applications are obvious; played at the right time against a deck that totes black, he promises to do a lot of damage.

The judge is hampered by its low toughness, which makes it easy prey for black and red removal. Also, if played too early, you won’t really reach the critical point where your opponent has enough swamps on the table to kill him before the Judge dies. A sideboard card that must be played late, but might win you the game.

Final Verdict: Useable as your 16th creature and a killer ability, it’s a sideboard card that works best deployed late. Not a high pick, and don’t main deck it if you have better creatures.

Teroh’s Vanguard

The better a sideboard card is in the main-deck, the weaker it’s”sideboard” ability gets in relation to other hate cards. Teroh’s Vanguard is the first of the Threshold – comes into play creatures, and by far the least useful.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s an instant-speed creature – but before threshold, that’s it. It’s a Regal Unicorn for one more mana that comes out at the end of an opponent’s turn, or in-response to a 2/2 creature attacking. And then, it’s quite fully unicorny. Not an inspiring uncommon. I like Elephant Ambush and Beast Attack for their instant speed – but here it’s too small for four mana.

The threshold ability can work something like Shelter, protecting one of your creatures from a black removal spell, or maybe you’ll get really amazingly lucky and deploy it in response to your opponent discarding tons of cards to Sickening Dreams… But it’s nothing compared to the other threshold abilities.

Final Verdict: In a set full of junky white, this one truly loves its junk status. It’s too expensive for its instant speed to be useful, too small to make many important kills and its threshold ability is too situational. Sad, but playable in White/Blue.

Equal Treatment

This card is a weird one. If you have a lot of 1/1s, it increases their damage. If you’re facing an Overrunning opponent, it brings their damage down to a survivable level. And it features the all-important”draw a card” ability, as well as some damn weird art.

I don’t think I’ve played it enough to really make up my mind on it. The card looks playable; in fact, it almost looks quite good given the right decks. I’m not sure how it interacts with Shower of Coals, though.

Final Verdict: Well, it’s got”draw a card” on it. At the very worst, it can prevent some damage and cycle a card through.


If only the rest of white was this playable. Wow, what a card. First off, of the disorders cards, it’s easily second best – if not the best. It’s a huge stall against your opponent, baffling his combat math, confusing his attacks and forcing any damage based removal to really struggle. It works wonderfully with madness, allowing you to do really cruel things like Madnessing an Arrogant Wurm into play at your leisure and prevent some damage from attacking creature or prevent some burn from doing its job. Heck, it makes Violent Eruption less prohibitive to cast – and believe me, this is one of those times when madness really shines.

And, you can sacrifice it in desperation, and pull it back through Auramancers to really piss people off. I love this card and I wish more of the white in the set shined like this. It really fits white.

Final Verdict: Really useful card, even in an offensive deck where you use it to keep your creatures alive. Disturbing in white/blue, where all that card drawing (Concentrate, Breakthrough, Deep Analysis, Obsessive Search) can have it prevent huge amounts of damage.

Cleansing Meditation

More enchantment removal! I mean, with Cloudchaser Eagle, Frantic Purification and Ray of Distortion, you’d think we’d have enough removal but nooooo, we need more!

The threshold effect would be interesting if, you know, it used the crucial words”creatures” instead of enchantments – but ah, that would actually make for a rare and powerful card, wouldn’t it?

Final Verdict: If there’s any more enchantment removal in Judgement, I swear I’ll scream.

Strength of Isolation

An excellent partner to Hypochondria; of course it’s the uncommon madness card and pairing two uncommons it a little shaky. As a straight creature enchantment it’s mana economical and reasonably useful, given that it protects from black removal and helps against red’s. In these situations it’s basically a sideboard card.

If you have the cards to pair it with, it can be used as an instant-speed removal prevention, or just as a combat trick akin to Giant Growth. That’s a bit more useful than just using it to buff up a creature, and alleviates the lost card economy should your opponent bounce/kill the creature later on.

Final Verdict: Good, especially nice if your opponent is relying on black removal and black creatures at once. Nothing like your opponent conceding to an Isolated Mystic Visionary, eh?

Major Teroh

White hates two things in this set: Enchantments and black. The second one I don’t mind, although the first one I could do without. I will now officially shut up about all this enchantment removal…

Major Teroh is a 2/3 flier for four mana, one mana-symbol. Back in the day, that would get you Phantom Monster in blue… But those days have passed. Regardless, it’s fair for its price and is playable with or without a black opponent.

Against a black opponent he can be difficult to time, but he’s obviously mind-numbingly powerful if your opponent doesn’t have the removal to handle him when he needs it.

Final Verdict: Maindeckable. Hell, I played this guy in Sealed deck with a red/white/black and yes, he still kicked ass.

Possessed Nomad

3/3 creatures for four mana are considered priced”about right.” It becomes 4/4 later on and turns black, which can be bad or good depending on what you and your opponent are playing. Just remember that Major Teroh goes to the graveyard before his effect resolves, so if he’s the seventh card to hit the ‘yard, you’re gonna zoink your Nomad.

The”doesn’t tap to attack” ability helps against opponents with smaller creatures. It gets better as the Nomad gets bigger, but it’s not a bad ability either way. It does allow you to declare him as an attacker and then use his threshold ability before blockers are declared, though.

Obviously, he’s more useful if your opponent is playing white; nothing like nuking Hallowed Healers and whatnot, right?

Final Verdict: Of all the possessed creatures, this one is the worst. However, that’s not saying anything bad since all the possessed creatures are good.

Angel of Retribution

5/5 flying first striker for seven mana. If it was six, this card would be a bomb, but at seven it’s a little unlikely to see play. You’ll play it and like it in Limited, of course, but it’s not as big a deal as Wayward Angel (to me, anyways; 7/7 flying, does not tap to attack, black looks pretty fierce to me) after threshold.

Final Verdict: Giant white flier. Hurray. Dies to Waste Away – but then again, what doesn’t? I’d also like to say that rk post’s artwork is just incredible. The man’s angels just shine.

Morning Tide

It’s another sideboard card for white, but if you’re playing a white deck that doesn’t like threshold and your opponent is relying on threshold, this one can make for a major kick in the teeth… Especially since it cleans out all threshold cards. But that can be a bad thing as well.

Final Verdict: Sideboard, but the costing cost and power means if you do feel the need to side it in, your opponent will scream.

Reborn Hero

2/2″resurrector” doesn’t scream ungodly power to me, especially since the mana cost per resurrection is a double symbol – and hell, there is a mana cost. It’s a decent weenie and playable, especially if you have sacrifice effects like Malevolent Awakening or Sadistic Hypnotist, but it’s nothing special. How many times do you think you’ll be able to pay WW in a single turn?

Final Verdict: It shouldn’t have been a rare, since it doesn’t live up to that amount of power. A decent weenie, a decent combo card, and good at stalling the ground.

Vengeful Dreams

The first of the Dreams cards I get to look at, this one is likely the best. Too bad the rest of white rather sucks.

Dreams are lacking card economy without madness cards – but in Vengeful’s case, you won’t care. Not only will you knock out your opponent’s best creatures, you’ll do so very permanently and without aiding his race towards threshold.

Final Verdict: The best dreams; a bomb; a rare that I never seem to open in draft. Take your pick.


The mother of all lifegaining cards, this one sort of reminds me of Worship. However, unlike Worship, instead of leaving you teetering at one life praying your opponent doesn’t manage to remove it, Transcendence makes your life shoot back up – and if he removes it, hey, why do you care?

But like Worship, it needs a creature. A specific creature, actually – Phantatog. If you have one of these, you can eat the Transcendence at your leisure and essentially gain access to the triple the life total. Even if your opponent doesn’t damage you, you can sit back and allow mana burn to bring your total back up before munching the Transcendence down.

Final Verdict: Of course, it’s not playable in Limited.