Peebles Primers — White Weenie in Lorwyn

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When folks start talking aggro, especially in Standard or Block, talk soon turns to White Weenie. With the Kithkin tribe looking particularly strong in Lorwyn, today’s Peebles Primers takes a look at two possible directions for the little White men. Benjamin brings us two decklists using the new goodies from Lorwyn — an all-White beatdown machine, and a Green/White build featuring man of the moment Gaddock Teeg. Warning: Contains Spoilers.

There was a while there when casual players around the world would build White Weenie decks, but those interested in winning tournaments deemed it unplayable. Eventually, the powers that be decided that people liked White Weenie enough that they should try to push it in terms of playability. It eventually got to the point where the deck made the Top 8 of U.S. Nationals in 2005 and Grand Prix and PTQ Top 8s around the world during Kamigawa Block Constructed. Since then, the deck has died down again, but there’s a good chance that it’ll be coming back strong when Lorwyn hits play this weekend.

The full text of the spoiler hit the web over the weekend, and the first thing that jumped out at me was how much the Kithkin tribe seemed to be getting pushed. The thing that sold me on the idea that they could be a competitive force in post-Lorwyn Standard was the fact that they didn’t get their own Green/White dual land. If Wizards is hesitant to push that hard, it means that they didn’t want to go too far over the top. Today I’ll be looking at some possible aggressive builds for Champs next month. I’ve put relevant spoiler text at the bottom of the article, in case anyone wants to wait just a few more days to see the cards.

The main incentive for White Weenie in Lorwyn comes from two cards: Goldmeadow Stalwart and Wizened Cenn. The Stalwart is today’s Isamaru and the Cenn is one of the best Crusade effects I think I’ve seen in a while. However, both of those cards require that you play the tribal theme of Lorwyn pretty heavily.

The question that I started talking over with my friends was what we would do to make sure the Kithkin count was high enough. The obvious idea at this point was to move into Green for access to Gaddock Teeg, though we decided to explore the possibility of both a Green/White deck and a Mono-White deck. After all, Temple Garden is gone and we don’t have a Kithkin dual to work with, so the mana in a deck with multiple WW and GW two-drops might be enough of a reason to stay away. The Mono-White deck I pursued wanted to play a swarm of tiny men and then enhance them with Anthems, while the Green/White deck wanted to play higher-quality creatures and use spot pump to finish games.


The Kithkin we looked at for the Mono-White deck were Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tender, Goldmeadow Harrier, Kinsbaile Skirmisher, Knight of Meadowgrain, Militia’s Pride, Mirror Entity, and Springjack Knight.

I want to talk first about Mirror Entity. The card is not necessarily that impressive looking as a 1/1 for three mana. It may turn out that I am wrong, and that the card is bad, but the experiences I’ve had with it so far are outstanding. First of all, the Changeling ability means that he’s not just a 1/1 for three, he’s a 1/1 for three that will let you play Stalwart, and he’ll benefit from the Cenn’s ability. Then there’s the fact that he has some huge damage potential. Imagine that you play a random 1/1 on turn 1, and then two more on turn 2. Those three creatures will have your opponent at sixteen life on turn 3. If you spend your third turn playing Mirror Entity, and then spend your fourth turn activating him, you’ll have dealt twenty damage. The same works with Stalwart and Cenn; you attack for three on turn 2, five on turn 3, and then fourteen on turn 4. He simply ends games.

The reason that I started with Mirror Entity is that he implies something about how you want to build the deck. Evasion has always been strong when you’re dealing with Anthem effects, but when your Anthem gives +3/+3 instead of +1/+1, you really want to make sure you’re connecting. Clearly the Stalwart doesn’t have any form of evasion, but the rest of the one-drops in the deck should.

This led me naturally to the Forge-Tender. When I first passed through the list of Kithkin, he didn’t grab my attention, but when I began to think about it, I decided that he had to be good, even great. As a Kithkin, he’ll help your Stalwart and be helped by your Cenn, but as a Pro-Red creature, he’ll sneak by Mogg Fanatic and hold off Greater Gargadon. And then, when it comes down to it, he can even save your side in the event of a Pyroclasm or similar. Many of my fellow players believe that the Harrier is the stronger one-drop Kithkin, since it has the ability to hold off any fatty out there, not just Greater Gargadon. Personally, though, I believe that the evasion is worth more than the utility.

The next one-drop I settled on wasn’t a Kithkin at all. Suntail Hawk is not the world’s most intimidating card; it’s a 1/1 and it doesn’t even get bigger when you play your Wizened Cenn. However, it comes out fast and it loves to see Anthems, and when you’re playing with Mirror Entity, the ability to create a 4/4 flying attacker is nothing to laugh at. Twelve one-drops satisfied me, so I moved on to two-drops.

The Forge-Tenders, Cenns, and Mirror Entities gave me twelve revealable Kithkin, so I wanted to make sure that I got at least another playset. The available two-drops were Kinsbaile Skirmisher and Knight of Meadowgrain. The Skirmisher deals more damage than the Knight, but one damage does not, in my mind, make up for the loss of First Strike and Lifelink. The Knight does not have true evasion, but when it’s getting pumped up by Wizened Cenn, Glorious Anthem, and Mirror Entity, First Strike should be enough to make sure he wins any fight he starts. Meanwhile, the Lifelink ability threatens to bury any aggressive deck that doesn’t answer him immediately, since you’ll be gaining life in Warhammer-like chunks.

With my Kithkin count taken care of, I moved to everyone’s favorite White Weenie two-drop, Soltari Priest. Shadow is even better than flying when it comes to making a 4/4 and sending it in, and everyone already knows how good he is on his own.

That brings the Kithkin worth looking at down to Militia’s Pride and Kinsbaile Skirmisher. While I would love the Skirmisher to make the deck, since it’s ability is so strong with creatures like the Cenn or Knight of Meadowgrain, I just don’t think the Clash ability will go our way enough. With over half of the deck costing one or less, you’re at a serious disadvantage. The Pride, though, is a very strong card when the tokens are better than 1/1. They’ll grow with your many pump effects, so you’ll often be getting one-mana hasty 2/2s or 3/3s, which is quite overwhelming.

With so much of the deck focused on the Weenie rush, I wanted to make sure I had more than just Glorious Anthem to enhance my army. Wizened Cenn and Mirror Entity bolster that force, but the card that caught my eye was the White Planeswalker, Ajani Goldmane. People who have been paying attention to Limited recently understand that Marshalling Cry has an extremely strong effect on the game for any aggressive deck. Ajani costs one more mana that the Cry the first time around, but he brings four copies of the effect and each is free of charge. In addition, your creatures stay pumped permanently and they gain Vigilance to allow them to defend for Ajani if your opponent tries to swing back to kill him. Besides, while he will usually be used to enhance your army, he gives you the option to gain some life or create a giant monster.

There were some other cards that I wanted to put in the deck, but I was already out of space. I’ll briefly mention Thorn of Amethyst and Oblivion Ring here. Both are good disruption cards and can help you keep a control deck from stabilizing against you, but as neither could actually win the game for you I decided that they would ride the bench (or more likely, sideboard) for the first iteration of the deck.

4 Goldmeadow Stalwart
4 Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tender
4 Suntail Hawk
4 Wizened Cenn
4 Knight of Meadowgrain
4 Soltari Priest
4 Mirror Entity

4 Militia’s Pride
4 Glorious Anthem
3 Ajani Goldmane

21 Plains

There are plenty of other options for the deck. Glorious Anthem could easily be Griffin Guide, while the Militia’s Pride gives us enough Kithkin padding that the Knight of Meadowgrain could become something like Knight of the Holy Nimbus.


The splash-Green version of the deck started from the same core: four Stalwarts and four Cenns. My testing with the White deck showed that Forge-Tender and Mirror Entity were also slam-dunks, and so they immediately made the cut. In addition, the whole reason to play Green was Gaddock Teeg, and so he became a four-of. With eight one-drops, eight two-drops, and four three-drops (all Kithkin, too), the deck was free to evolve in whatever way seemed right.

Unlike the Mono-White version, this deck was not meant to be a swarm deck, and so both the supporting creatures and supporting spells would play out differently. Gaddock Teeg got me onto the idea of other Legendary WG two-drops, and so Saffi Eriksdotter started being considered.

On her own, Saffi isn’t that amazing. She’s good against removal but she’s certainly not the heaviest-hitter out there. However, Lorwyn comes tailor-made with an ability we can abuse with Saffi: Evoke. Evoking Bramble Horns while Saffi is out gives you a 3/3 creature and a +6/+6 boost, at the cost of two mana and Saffi herself. The other card I wanted to play was Timbermare. Sure, the Timbermare’s nothing new, but it is a solid five damage that’s very hard to stop, and Saffi turns it into another solid five damage that’s just as hard to stop as the first five.

With the creatures taken care of, the spells were next. In this deck, since you’re less likely to open with three consecutive one-drops, Griffin Guide seemed much better than Glorious Anthem. In addition to the fact that this deck can’t come out of the gates as fast, it also doesn’t have Suntail Hawk’s Flying or Soltari Priest’s Shadow, and so some extra evasion is a welcome addition. Finally, my old MGA days wouldn’t let me sit still and leave Stonewood Invocation on the bench. This Might of Oaks hits just as hard today as it did in last year’s Standard, and the untargetability seems better than ever.

4 Goldmeadow Stalwart
4 Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tender
4 Gaddock Teeg
4 Saffi Eriksdotter
4 Wizened Cenn
4 Mirror Entity
3 Bramble Horns
3 Timbermare

4 Griffin Guide
4 Stonewood Invocation

4 Horizon Canopy
4 Brushland
10 Plains
4 Forest

Where’s Tarmogoyf? Sure, creatures are easy to get into the graveyard, but I’m not ready to put Flagstones and Edge of Autumn into this deck just to get Lands and Sorceries. Terramorphic Expanse isn’t in the deck due to the fact that it needs to play guys on turns 1 and 2, and can’t afford to stumble while fetching up a land. With four enchantments and four instants, it simply seemed to me that I couldn’t count on the Goyf being bigger than a 2/3. Given that I’d like to end the game on or around turn 5, waiting until turn 10 for a 4/5 didn’t seem to me as though it was worth it. Time may tell that I’m wrong, and that the Goyf will always be big enough that it’s worth weakening the Kithkin theme, but for now I’m ready to play without him.

I’m getting ready to head to campus to continue testing these decks (and others). While it is likely that the deck I play at Champs won’t be either of these exact sixty, I think that there’s a very good chance that the core of the deck will make it through intact. Hopefully these decks are a good starting point for your own testing, beyond the simple block deck updates.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me in the forums, via email, or on AIM.

Benjamin Peebles-Mundy
ben at mundy dot net
SlickPeebles on AIM

The spoiler can be found here at MTGSalvation.com, and here are the cards I talked about, grouped into one easy-to-find spot:

Ajani Goldmane
Planeswalker – Ajani
+1: You gain 2 life
-1: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Those creatures gain vigilance until end of turn.
-6: Put a white Avatar creature token into play with “This creature’s power and toughness are each equal to your life total.”

Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tender
Creature – Kithkin Wizard
Protection from red
Sacrifice Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tender: Prevent all damage a red source of your choice would deal this turn.

Goldmeadow Harrier
Creature – Kithkin Soldier
{W}, {T}: Tap target creature.

Goldmeadow Stalwart
Creature – Kithkin Soldier
As an additional cost to play Goldmeadow Stalwart, reveal a Kithkin card from your hand or pay 3.

Kinsbaile Skirmisher
Creature – Kithkin Soldier
When Kinsbaile Skirmisher comes into play, target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

Knight of Meadowgrain
Creature – Kithkin Knight
First strike

Militia’s Pride
Tribal Enchantment – Kithkin
Whenever a nontoken creature you control attacks, you may pay {W}. If you do, put a 1/1 white Kithkin Soldier creature token into play tapped and attacking.

Mirror Entity
Creature – Shapeshifter
{X}: Creatures you control become X/X and gain all creature types until end of turn.

Oblivion Ring
When Oblivion Ring comes into play, remove another target nonland permanent from the game.
When Oblivion Ring leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner’s control.

Springjack Knight
Creature – Kithkin Knight
Whenever Springjack Knight Attacks, clash with an opponent. If you win, target creature gains double strike until end of turn.

Wizened Cenn
Creature – Kithkin Cleric
Other Kithkin creatures you control get +1/+1.

Bramble Horns
Creature – Elemental
When Bramble Horns comes into play, target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn.
Evoke 1{G}

Gaddock Teeg
Legendary Creature – Kithkin Advisor
Noncreature spells with converted mana cost 4 or greater can’t be played.
Noncreature spells with {X} in their mana costs can’t be played.