Synergy In Onslaught Limited: The White Cards

Most players are capable of judging the face value of cards: Yes, Silvos is a good green card and Cruel Revival sure is consistent kill! This, however, is more a discussion of which cards work well with each other and what combos you should look out for while drafting, or building your sealed decks. Hence,”synergy.”

This is not your standard Limited set review.

While I do and will give judgements on the strengths of cards, this is more a discussion of which cards work well with each other and what combos you should look out for while drafting, or building your sealed decks. Most players are capable of judging the face value of cards, what I’m attempting to accomplish is not to tell you, why yes, Silvos is a good green card and Cruel Revival sure is consistent kill, but to tell you which cards you might not notice, or little combinations and tricks which can help you win games or see packs a little differently when drafting.

Onslaught as a set lacks much of the niftiness that Odyssey did; it feels more like Invasion block, to me. Your choices are influenced more overtly than the subversive Odyssey graveyard theme’s effect on Limited play – however, this doesn’t mean the set is lacking in style or interesting cards to play with. It does have some disappointments in the almost silly limited power of some of the rares effect on the game.”Giant Idiots Ruin Games” might sound humorous, but losing a game simply because Visara is a stupidly good limited card that few cards can effectively remove is an exercise in pointlessness and luck.

Beyond that, drafting and building based on creature type is an enjoyable feeling to myself. It adds some hint of the vague, curious nature of the casual player into the competitive player’s mindset. It is true that not all decks will benefit from drafting certain creature types – but many cards will encourage you to look at drafted creature slightly differently. This, of course, is an example of internal synergy – which is actually what I’m writing about. Enough introduction; let’s get to the cards before more people stop reading this.

Akroma’s Blessing

The Blessing would be a lot better in different sets. I am familiar with the”Glory alpha-strike technique,” but the Blessing has two flaws in that comparison. The first is it is a single activation; the second is that Onslaught contains an abundance of colorless morph creatures which will often enough keep the alpha strike from being a fatal one.

The Blessing is especially good against or within red decks, which benefit from an abundance of damage based board clearers. Against other types of removal, it feels like an inferior version of Shelter.

Akroma’s Vengeance

There are no man-lands in Onslaught, meaning the Vengeance will likely sweep the board of all non-land permanents that matter. This leaves you with the inability to combine it with Centaur Glade or Mobilization, but it does not mean the card lacks synergy beyond a normal Wrath. Indeed the Vengeance becomes a better board-clearer when facing cards like those two.

Aphetto Dredging is a favorite of mine to follow up the Vengeance. Recovering two to three dead creatures after a Vengeance, even of the same type, will make sure that even if you draw four lands afterwards you will have something to throw on the table. Symbiotic creatures (Elf, Beast and Wurm) will leave you with a fresh crop of insects to pelt your opponent with. Rotlung Reanimator is, of course good. Failing that, Unholy Grotto can at least make sure you’re able to put new zombies into play following a clearing.

Vengeance does not prevent regeneration. With enough mana, a Boneknitter can keep a full force on the other side of the table, and Silvos is probably not going to die to this.

“Ancestor’s Prophet

This is not exactly a card I would put in the bomb rare category, but at the same type the prophet appears in one of the stronger – if not the strongest – creature types, and many of those creatures don’t mind sitting around waiting to be tapped for an effect at the end of your opponent’s turn. Ten life is a fair amount, and the Prophet is a decent blocker at 1/5.

There are no special combos with this card that do not apply to the other lords. Keep in mind that on the fluke your opponent picks up a False Cure and uses it, this card will deal ten damage to you in a turn. Thanks, Wizards; I’m really sure life-gain needed hosing. (Oh, it did! The Ferrett)

Astral Slide

I’ll talk about recurring cycling later on, on other cards, but there are a pair of cards that work like that. Astral Slide is an interesting card because it can trigger a number of tricks. By itself working on vanilla creatures, the Slide can remove creature enchantments, protect your creatures, or remove blockers – and functionally, that’s a very powerful group of effects for a single card. It is necessary to have enough cycling to do so, but keep in mind that cycled cards come at no direct card disadvantage.

The Slide has interesting effects when combo’d with Aether Charge, allowing you to pummel your opponent to zero fairly rapidly. It combines with any decent comes into play effect, with Death Match, Clone, and Wirewood Savage all being pretty good at working alongside the Slide. Removing a creature also ensures that it returns untapped; it’s kind of funny with the Charge – Slide one out at the end of your main phase, and it’s all ready to block next turn.

Aura Extraction

This is a bizarrely weakened reprint of Mirage’s Disempower. Aura Extraction is a tempo card, and it is not completely without worth. It can disrupt your opponent’s enchantments, slowing down cards like Centaur Glade, or it can remove their protections granted by Circle of Solace or Sigil of the New Dawn. The problem with the card is that, you’d honestly usually just destroy the offending enchantment, not force them to redraw and cast it. Also, though there are a number of good enchantments, they are not commonly seen. It has cycling, yes, which doesn’t make it maindeckable anyways.


If Aura Extraction is used on this card, all the Gold counters are removed. If this card is destroyed, all Gold counters are removed. If your opponent has a way to change creature types, the Wall type vanishes, allowing it to attack again. There are so many ways to get around what this card does.

Now, is what Aurification does powerful? I imagine No Mercy was powerful in limited formats – though even though I played during Legacy, I don’t remember if I used it. Aurification is a watered-down No Mercy – nine times out of ten it’s a worse card, with the exception being regenerating creatures, who don’t care as long as you regenerate them. Generally, the card is good if your opponent will need to attack repeatedly. It will slow down a game, and perhaps allow you to gain control. White is an evasion color, so there’s no problem slowing the game down and beating them with fliers. It’s a”lose less” card in the extreme, so it depends if you think your W/U or W/B deck needs cards like that.

You could combo Aurification with Callous Oppressor and Wall of Mulch, or Endemic Plague, but such combos are pretty much just stupid.

Aven Brigadier

It disappoints me that post-Judgement the ultimate victors in the Odyssey block are Green and Black, but I probably should have seen that coming. I’m glad White is portrayed as pathetic in a set it’s actually good in, and I’m glad Black continues to rule the storyline for what, the how many sets in a row?

Hi, your writers aren’t creative at all.

The Brigadier is a 3/5 bird soldier flier for six mana in and of itself. Soldier is a good creature type, allowing the usage of spells like Daru Encampment or Piety Charm. With those stats, you would likely draft the Brigadier simply as a fatty flier.

The pump abilities, however, are what push the card into the”subjective bomb” category. It’s true you need other birds, other soldiers – and oh yes, bird soldiers! – to make this Aven a bomb. However, those creatures make up common, uncommon and rare slots all through Onslaught’s White and Blue, so there’s no way that having 4/4 Gustcloak Harriers could be considered bad. It’s a good card on it’s own, and a very good card should you deck suit it, which it most likely will. Since you’re playing white and all.

Aven Soulgazer

Larger than two-toughness fliers are a good thing – and like the Brigadier, the Soulgazer is good without its ability. The Gazer’s ability depends on your opponent’s deck – the ability to determine morpher’s identifies is a useful ability in Limited, assuming they have morph creatures you need to kill. The card combines well with anything that lets you remove morph creatures when your opponent can’t effectively unmorph them. This would include stuff like Sparksmith, Words of War, or any spell that deals two damage – and there are a number of those. This is probably the only card that could make Break Open playable (but still very, very bad). Hey, that card is smaller than 2/2 when you morph it! Hey, why don’t I play Shock instead?

Battlefield Medic

The Medic is one of the strongest damage prevention creatures to be made by R&D in a long time. With two clerics on the table, he becomes troublesome; with more, things can rapidly go downhill from there for your opponent. But, interestingly, the Medic can not target players. I don’t know why; it does fall into balance with the other”Titania” creatures and their setup, but it weakens the medic and removes it from Constructed contention (at the moment, and in my mind).

The medic’s powers are best spread out – and with that in mind, Aphetto Alchemists are a good friend to it, allowing you to target another creature. As the Alchemist has Morph, this can be one of the best targets for its unmorph, untap plays. The Medic also favors playing Aphetto Dredging or Patriarch’s Bidding, as he favors having lots of living friends.

Catapult Master

My personal favorite of the six lords in Onslaught, the Catapult Master is both reasonably priced for his power and toughness, while offering an aggressive ability that matches up with an aggressive creature type and it’s cards.

The Master wants to be played with Mobilization – or barring your ability to pull that rare, Daru Cavaliers can help find him buddies to man the trebuchet with. Like all Lords, he is fond of Patriarch’s Bidding, which can bring him and all the necessary soldiers back with him. This is especially synergistic, since the Master removes from the game, filtering out your opponent’s best creature type if it’s on the table, since your opponent either removes the Master or will very likely lose very soon.

Catapult Squad

Sort of like a mini-lord, the Squad is better than Lords in a lot of situations. As a turn 2 drop, with an easy mana cost and aggressive build, the Squad can be fast beats in a format where fast beats are a welcome sight.

The Squad’s ability works well with Piety Charm’s third ability, Mobilization’s secondary ability, or any thing which can mass untap creatures to promote a very large amount of Catapulting. Riptide Chronologist would probably work fine here, assuming the card wasn’t blatantly overpriced for what it does. The Squad has an interesting interaction with Gratuitous Violence, as well.

Chain of Silence

The Chain cards require a situation of particular advantage to be used effectively – at which point they become underpriced versions of other spells. Chain of Silence has no such situations; it is impossible to use it during combat to have any real effect on the board unless your opponent has no land. You can use it to prevent the damage from a sole attacker – but using it in such a fashion isn’t exactly great card economy nor really accomplishes much of anything. Chain of Silence can not be used to target spells, making it really, a worse card than Pay No Heed.

Circle of Solace

I’m tempted to rate this card very lowly and ignore it, but that is not exactly correct. It is untrue that Circle of Solace is a great (or even good) card, but it can shut down large portions of an opponent’s deck in Limited or make it much harder for your opponent to race against evasion creatures. If you name”beast” against a R/G deck, how many of his cards are now unable to effectively attack?

The Circle works well, of course, with Imagecrafter, which lets you protect yourself from creatures outside of the type you picked. Not a good card, but a great stall card with more flexibility than other circles/spheres in Limited games.

Convalescent Care

This card is descended from the Exodus rare Convalescence. Clearly the care is an attempt to bolster the previous, unwieldy rare, into a somewhat better card. Personally, while I am tempted by the joyful words ‘Draw a card’ written upon this one, it feels unlikely that the card will ever be activated more than once in a game at most.

It’s hard to place a card which definitely relies on the game play your opponent has. If he intends to alpha strike you out with Choking Tethers or Wave of Indifference, this card will be nothing more than dead. If he plays to poke you to death with slower, evasive creatures, then this card can seriously hamper his game plan. This makes it a sideboard card, at best.

Crowd Favorites

It’s hard to convince yourself to look at a 7CC card with an open mind. You think to yourself, no matter the format, 7CC cards are just too much mana and will never be useful. Magic, however, isn’t built around stringent thinking so much as relative thinking. What makes a card good isn’t just the card, but the environment it’s played in. I think you can see where I’m going with this.

I’m not outright recommending Crowd Favorites – it’s not so incredible that it will always win you the game – but should you reach the mid-to-late game (as you very well might, since Onslaught is slow), this is a very potent card. They provide a superb blocker, a large body, and if you are on the offensive, the Favorites can deepen the rift as they tap down your opponent’s best creatures. So don’t dismiss the Favorites offhand, if you deck is shaping up well, they can be a favorable addition to a Limited deck.

There are no real combos with the Favorites; their abilities work around you having a lot of mana, but saying”These work well with having lots of Elves!” is rather not a combo.

Crown of Awe

Using the Crown as a sideboard card against a deck with strong black and/or red elements is standard procedure. However, keep in mind, should you possess some of red’s strong damage-based global removal in this set, Crown of Awe allows you to”share” the protection with several creatures. For example, if you are using a Skirk Marshal, placing the Crown on it and then lending protection from red to the other goblins will make for a very one-sided ritual.

“Crude Rampart

Walls are at best suboptimal cards, providing too little interaction in limited games to be generally effective. What good is a creature which can never attack – which is what you keep creatures around for?

Some walls, of course, possess abilities which compensate for it. The Rampart is simply big.

The Rampart is able to attack, once, for double it’s normal casting cost, by played it morphed and then breaking free once attacking is declared. That is a useful options, but as for the main trait of the Rampart – being a fair-priced bit of defensive fat – you will have to decide for yourself if it fits into your deck.

Daru Cavalier

Should you draft only one, Daru Cavalier costs two mana too much to be playable in most decks. However, should you draft upwards of two, the Cavalier becomes a useful card, granting you a chain of Soldiers to lay down turn after turn. Since many soldier cards rely on pure numbers, this is a good thing. However it becomes questionable how to draft these, as they will be picked late early on and then increase in value as you gain further Cavaliers – but if you don’t pick them early enough, then someone else might get the idea to…

Should you draft them in multiples, the Cavaliers are really good alongside Catapult Squad and make Unified Strike fairly solid. They are also very nice with Tribal Unity, where a boost to a group of first strikers can make for some very good combat math on your end.

“Daru Healer

A long time ago there was a card known as Sanctum Custodian. If you drafted White in Urza’s, you often like having these, as they prevented a solid amount of damage and provided a decent body for their cost.

Daru Healer is no Sanctum Custodian.

The Morph ability allows you to get in an unexpected single point of damage prevention. While this show possibilities to surprise your opponent, and the morph cost is fair, the number of situations in a game where this might come up do not necessarily justify using this creature. The Healer I would only put into a cleric-centered draft deck; otherwise, it’s simply too much for too little.

Daru Lancer

At six mana, for a 3/4 the lancer would have to possess a pretty great ability to be Constructed worthy. Well, he doesn’t – and you’re left wondering whether or not he’s worth playing even in Limited. He is slow, that is true. He is, however, a decent-sized morph creature that can kill a blocker or blocking creature in combat through his morphing. He is also a soldier, and a good target for Piety Charm through his decent stats and his first strike.

He works nicely as a morph trick, and is good target for Improvised Armor as well, as first strike on such a large creature will make him very hard to kill in combat, especially in this environment.

Daunting Defender

One of my favorite Clerics in the set, it’s fine with me in Limited that this cleric is five mana, for what is effectively a 3/4. There are situations where he isn’t… But he brings up the skills of your other Clerics as well. That’s pretty solid for his mana cost.

The most aggressive clerics tend to sit in Black, of course, and the Defender’s mana cost lends itself to being played in black-dominated deck. The Defender, of course, works best with Slice and Dice used as a combat trick, where his ability shields every cleric on your side from the Slice’s effect.

Dawning Purist

Ninety percent of the time, there isn’t going to be an enchantment on the other side of the board – and then when there is one, you’ll be glad you have a cleric in your deck that mysteriously is able to destroy enchantments while still being a 2/2 for three mana. Sure, it’s not really a good card, but simply having more clerics isn’t necessarily a bad thing in a deck where you want more clerics.

The combo with this card is Crafty Pathmage and/or Wave of Indifference, but it’s not like you’d really expect to be regularly blowing up enchantments. It’s good to get Centaur Glade out of your hair, but don’t think you’re going to be doing it every game.

Defensive Maneuvers

It’s hard to really like a card when, at best, it’s a bad reprint of a bad card. Solidarity is better in every way; it doesn’t affect your opponent, it doesn’t affect”some” or”most” of your creatures, and it even does more than Maneuvers does! While it’s silly to compare good reprints to better ancestors, I can’t understand why they would water down any already-bad card.

Oh yes; because it’s very thematic to have cards that no one is ever going to play.


Enchantments generally don’t regenerate, so this will do for taking out those meddlesome punks Centaur Glade and Dragon Roost. Sure, it’s not like you’d maindeck it… But you’ll go looking for one if those cards show up in game one.

Disciple of Grace

Like all the other clerics I’m going to review, this card gets an honorary ‘More clerics in cleric deck = good!!!’ shout out. Actually, I’ll stop that.

Anyway, the Disciple’s protection ability is generally not a huge deal; the cycling really isn’t, either. However, at the very worst you can cycle it to fix your mana and then Aphetto Dredging it back. Hi, slow card advantage, how are you? Oh, you let me down in Invasion Draft, too?

Dive Bomber

It’s 2/2, it’s got evasion, it can kill 4/4s when blocking them and it’s a soldier. The bomber can make for a sudden surprise with Aphetto Alchemist, and works nicely with Mobilization’s secondary ability anyway. 2/2 fliers for four are standard in the common slot – and while it’s a pseudo-update of Expendable Troops, it’s at least a good enough card. Unlike Aven Archer. Blech. And remember that Evasive soldiers work well with Piety Charm!

Doubtless One

I would really have preferred that the White”One” had a Soldier. How about we hit up the thesaurus for some suggestions for the word Dauntless? Hey, cool, we can call the Soldier Avatar Fearless One. Awesome! Wizards, get on it. I want this one in Legions, and it’s giving +1/+1 to all other soldiers.

Wait; I’m reviewing a card. Oh yeah.

Doubtless One is likely to be one of the larger ones, as Clerics occur in two colors. The life-gain ability presents your opponent with a difficult-to-deal-with creature. While Doubtless One is like all the Ones and not internally great, a B/W cleric deck will be quite happy to see it. All”One” cards are better in draft, where you can pull cards to increase the quality of them.

Exalted Angel

Hey, I’m like Rakavolver, only one color! And you can get me out on turn 4! Play me, play me!

Foothill Guide

I find it funny that the Blue version of this card, Riptide Biologist, is larger and its ability generally more useful. However, I digress, the Foothill Guide is a decent enough card. Goblins are pretty dangerous, and while beasts can be a bit bigger, remember you can deal two points of morphed damage and then unmorphed to survive blocking a 2/* goblin – however, there aren’t many of those. I can only think of Skirk Commando.

It’s more of a sideboard card unless you really want clerics, and then it’s Morph guy ’til you need that extra cleric in play. The morph cost is cheap enough that it’s good for that.


Take a really powerful ability, and then put a really high mana cost on it. Alright, it’s balanced… Well, not quite, but whether a person wants to admit it or not, the Glarecaster is really quite unfriendly.

It’s expensive, but it represents reusable Repentance power. You attack with your Rorix; Glarecaster forces it all back to Rorix. True, the caster isn’t going to be able to do a whole lot when you’re actually casting stuff, but when and if still makes it a threat. Plus it’s a 3/3 flier, which is no slouch.

Now, if they would have just made the ability a bit cheaper and put it on a smaller creature – but whatever. Hey, remember the card says you can redirect the damage from you when you judge this card.

Glory Seeker

Other writers have said it, but I’ll say it in more definite terms; this is less a Grizzly bear and more a two-drop with some skills to pay the bills. To define how important creature type is in Onslaught drafts, just think about how important the creature type Sliver is when you’re playing a Sliver deck. Would you pay two mana for a basic sliver if you were drafting Slivers? If your deck says”yes” when it comes to Soldiers, then you want Glory Seekers in your deck.

As for card synergy, because soldier is a major type, Crown of Ascension and Crown of Fury work really nicely with them.

Grassland Crusader

One of the few White-Green natural synergy cards in the sets, the Crusader is more or less a reusable piety charm with legs. While six mana is a lot to pay for a 2/4, the mana-free activation makes the Crusader a dangerous card, and a decent blocker even all by his lonesome, where tapping to aid himself makes him 4/6 – big enough to block many of the beasts in the set.

The crusader favors bird soldiers, of course, as their evasive damage works nicely with him… But there is only one blue bird soldier, Ascending Aven, unfortunately. The Crusader also works well with Aphetto Alchemist, especially as a morph trick.”Does not tap to attack” is, of course, good on him.

Gravel Slinger

One of the few aggressive morph tricks that doesn’t involve the creature simply getting bigger, the Slinger is half of a Catapult Squad with a morph trick involved. Against many decks or in many situations, the ability to add one more point into a combat can lead to your opponent losing a card where he wouldn’t. The Slinger’s morph is cheap enough that it will be regularly activated and used as a combat trick The card is overpriced, though, for a straight up 1/3 Crossbow Infantry.

I like the Slinger with first strikers. Crown of Fury and Battered Craghorn are good with him – especially when your opponent least expects it to flip over and make that killed Craghorn a lost */4 creature for him instead.

Gustcloak Harrier

We begin reviewing the Gustcloaks with the mighty Harrier. It’s 2/2, it’s common, it flies. It’s less than four mana, and it has an additional good ability. What’s not to like?

The Harrier is great with anything that works with Soldiers or Birds, it’s great when you can remove fliers and it’s great at just annoying your opponent.

If you’ve ever seen Hellsing, which I would heartily recommend, the Harrier reminds me of Anderson screaming at Alucard ‘SHOOOOOT ME!’ while charging at him.

Gustcloak Runner

It’s a soldier and its ability isn’t outright horrible. I’m not really fond of the Runner, but I’m certain there are decks and situations where he’s pretty decent. (I’m not – The Ferrett) If, for example, your opponent has two 2/2s, and you have two 2/2s, you could attack with all three, and prevent the Runner from being the”I’ll let a 2/2 through and pound the weenie” situation from coming up. That makes him a little better than other 1/1s that intend to attack.

Gustcloak Saviour

When the cloak covers all of your troops, it’s just plain old funny to watch your opponent react to your declaration of attacks. This guy just loves working with Mobilization; your opponent either makes blocks you like, lets your creatures through and so on. Behind on that, the Savior is a 3/4 flier for five mana – only one of which is white. It’s one of the few cards I’m willing to splash in Onslaught draft.

The Savior works well in situations where you simply have more creatures than your opponent, or more evasive creatures than he can safely block. It allows weenie decks to continue the offensive even if the opposing deck has one or two fatties that you would normally have to suicide rush to get past. In this, he’s a great white card.

“Gustcloak Sentinel

There aren’t a lot of soldiers that are 3/3 for four mana in this set, and I again continue to expound on how damn much I love the Gustcloak ability. I hope there’s a gold 2/2 soldier elf with Gustcloak in Legions; man, I just love forcing my opponent to either make blocks I like or not at all.

The Sentinel is also a big soldier. This reduces the number of”good blocks” your opponent is allowed to make against the Sentinel, and also puts him in a good situation to make use of Piety Charm, Vitality Charm, Crown of Fury, and so on – unlike a lot of soldiers, who simply don’t have the size to turn those cards into beast killing situations.

Gustcloak Skirmisher

It’s like a Gustcloak Harrier that trades a W for 2 and gets a slightly bigger butt! I love Gustcloak Harrier, and while the extra mana doesn’t seem worth it, I really can’t say no to flying soldiers.

Harsh Mercy

This is one of those cards which is divided firmly by tribal situations. It isn’t a Wrath of God; it’s more like a very wonky Cataclysm. If your deck is Soldiers and more soldiers, then the Mercy will only force your opponent to lose creatures. Those situations are rare, and even worse, often enough the Mercy is one-sided against you.

But that doesn’t make it a bad card. Creature kill, especially mass kill, can be very good even when it’s flaky – as long as it’s cheap, which the mercy is. Three mana means you’ll be able to cast it pretty often. Also remember that Morph creatures have no type, so they can not be saved.

The Mercy is a creature type card. Resolving Mistforms into the”saved” type of your choice and using Imagecrafters is par for the course. Standardize counters this spell – woo hoo.

Improvised Armor

Fat pants, the sequel. Due to the fact there’s not a lot of solid creature removal (and next to no bounce), the Armor is often on for good. Five toughness is damn hard to get around, and two power turns gnats into problems pretty rapidly. This is a card to be either used defensively, or offensively on evasion creatures; 4/7 Gustcloak Harriers aren’t very easy to get rid of. I am fond of putting this card on Doubtless One; even at 3/6, the One becomes a serious thorn in the side.


Definitely my favorite Giant Growth effect in the set. Inspirit is great both offensively and defensively. A surprise blocker is good, as you may have noticed. In close matches where you’re both attacking and blocking, the ability to boost a blocked creature over its blocker and leave it ready to block the next turn can be key. In a game against a friend, he blocked my Hystrodon with his Gangrenous Goliath, letting ‘don trample over, killing the Goliath and leaving the ‘don ready to deal with his other, more dangerous, attackers.

Inspirit works nicely with Catapult Squads as well, of course, letting three soldiers pull off two flings and winning a combat math as well. I know it’s just a Gerrard’s Command in a lot of ways – but Onslaught White loves untap effects, as there’s lots of creatures who are quite happy to be untapped.

Ironfist Crusher

An interesting card. It’s outright overpriced, but it’s not exactly bad. Just combine this late pick card with the other late pick card, Sandskin, and suddenly your opponent is going to have a lot of trouble busting through the ground war. The morph ability is, like a lot of other cards, overpriced for what it does. This guy works with Inspirit in kind of funny ways, and I rather like breaking open an Aphetto Alchemist to untap the Crusher just when your opponent thinks he’s got you.

Jareth, Leonine Titan

Giant white ass-kicking nigh-invulnerable fat. Hey, got a Cruel Revival the turn I drop this? No? Okay; time for the Lion to kick down the doors of your house.

I think Mageta, the Lion (wow – a Prophecy card wins at something?) probably gives this cat a thrashing in bomb rare category, but Jareth is my second favorite of the Giant Idiots. He can be blocked by number of creatures, namely morphing creatures, but he’s very hard to deal with. It’s more like you’ll die before he does. Jareth combos well with Inspirit, obviously. Aphetto Alchemist is his pal as well.


The worst of the three token generators, unless you combo it with other soldiers – then the built-in Serra’s Blessing turns this card into my best friend. Catapult Squad, Catapult Master, Gustcloak Savior, Aven Brigadier, Shared Triumph, Tribal Unity, Cover of Darkness, the Crowns, mass removal … so on and so forth. This card isn’t exactly a super bomb, but given time, it will definitely win you the game. Very little enchantment removal is seen main deck in Onslaught, barring perhaps the odd Nova Cleric or whatever isn’t useless maindeck if they don’t have enchantments.

Nova Cleric

Speaking of Nova Cleric, here is it. Isn’t it funny that White is traditionally the color with the best enchantments, and here they gave White a walking Tranquility? I wish they’d give us a little less enchantment removal, but the Cleric here is decent enough.

This card is best in Rochester if you know you’re going to be seeing the potent enchantments. You may want to play it anyway if you’re going clerics; 1/2 for one isn’t bad and extra clerics aren’t either. It’s better than losing to a Centaur Glade, right?


In Limited you have only so many bombs and then you’re out of high end cards. Oblation works well either way, as dealing with Bombs go. While the drawback is high – your opponent is gaining card advantage – you may simply need the opposing card off the table. A Dragon Roost in the library and two cards in hand is better than one on the table pumping out dragons, right? Saving your own bombs isn’t so bad, either. Here you’re losing two cards, but drawing two cards, and your opponent is seeing your bomb off the table. I can’t say if either situation is actually”good,” but neither is”bad”. Drawing two cards makes the latter situation a bit hard to scoff at. Resources are resources.

Remember to call this card”Weapons Inspection.” *winks*


Makes Silvos and Rorix stop working! That sounds pretty good. Blahblah reprint blahblah stop printing it blahblah four sets so far blahblah.

Pearlspear Courier

Hey, it’s something that gives your soldiers”doesn’t tap to attack”! Well, I would have preferred First Strike there, champs – but whatever. It’s a bit worse as a combat trick than Everglove Courier for that – but all the couriers are generally good, especially ones that have common fliers in their creature types. The only thing better than a 2/2 harrier is a 4/4 vigilant one! I really like the art, as well.

The card obviously combines nicely with the various soldier-tap effects. Tapping him to keep a soldier from tapping when attacking is a choice with tap effects aren’t. Do you want a decent-sized creature attacking, and then use its tap effect, or two creatures using their tap effects?

Piety Charm

Let’s look at the effects individually, lemme see. A white Giant Growth for soldiers only – good! (If you don’t have soldiers in white, then you’re drafting nothing but clerics – and then you’re weird). Destroy target creature enchantment – great on a Charm! All your creatures don’t tap to attack – situational, again, but also good in the right spots.

Looks like a winner to me. Great with other tap effect cards, sneak-busting Pacifisms/Sandskins on your creatures or just the normal growth style tricks. Three situational but strong when needed effects for W is a good charm.

Renewed Faith

As playable life gain goes the Faith is, well, playable. Yes, for my 22nd or 23rd card I’d rather have something worth playing, but if white is your mana color, two life for two mana and a little bit deeper into your deck isn’t a bad thing if there’s something to look for. Not much else to say about that, sometimes the six life will let you win a race, too.

Righteous Cause

The Cause is a good way to slow down an opponent’s advance when utilising a lot of your own weenies or Gustcloak creatures. The card isn’t good; it only sits in specific decks or against specific decks. But when it does work, it can be quite beneficial. Very nice combo with Symbiotic creatures or Mobilization, and so on. It’s kind of a late-game card; too bad it wasn’t priced to move at four mana.


The Skin is pretty decent. I wish the card read”All damage dealt to or dealt by” and not combat damage, which would have made it a better defensive card. It’s a lot like Pacifism, except the creature remains as a blocker – but this also gives it defensive possibilities when used on your own creature. If your opponent doesn’t have access to removal that will nail a Battlefield Medic, Wellwisher, Sparksmith, or the like, making a trick creature which can block almost anything and do its business.

Shared Triumph

If you’re drafting one or two tribes, you will likely sit down and face an opponent who didn’t draft too heavily into your tribes. It doesn’t really matter what tribes it is, they all enjoy a bonus to their power and toughness. Unlike Crusade, it doesn’t automatically annoy you when you’re going up against another white deck, which is also a plus.

The real power of this card comes out when you’re able to manipulate creature types to your advantage. Using Mistform Mutant or Imagecrafter to grant one or take away the bonus, is all fine and dandy. Even better is the way it works with Morph creatures, doing things like giving you 3/5 Ironfist Crushers, 4/5 Daru Lancers, and so on, which makes their morph abilities generally better at surprising or crippling an opponent. A generally good card if you’re going Tribal – and you usually will be.

Shieldmage Elder

I don’t get the design behind this card. The effect it grants is really quite powerful – there’s no debating that. Endless Pay no Heeds for everyone! But, if you compare this to Grasslands Crusader, well… Where’s the 4 toughness? Or the five mana cost? Or something to make it playable?

It’s alright if you’re playing white/blue and have a lot of clerics and wizards to work with it. I mean, it shuts down damage sources pretty solidly and isn’t affected by summoning sickness. But they sure missed the boat on the mana cost; I really can’t see myself paying six for a 2/3 with an ability that only works if I have other creatures.

Sigil of the New Dawn

I only really like the Dawn if I get some benefit out of recurring the creature – like Ravenous Baloth, Divebomber, Aether Charge, or Symbiotic creatures. The Dawn by itself is… Well, it’s like badly-priced bounce unless you’re getting some other effect out of it. It will win you games if you’re able to use it on a stable board… But I’ve played it in many decks of mine and simply been unable to use it successfully due to the mana-hungry nature of the card. Oversold Cemetery is a better card by a large margin.

Sunfire Balm

While all of the uncommon”reverse kicker cantrips” are good, this one is probably unfortunately the worst of them. Bandage isn’t a bad card, and this card isn’t over-priced for what it does in comparison to other cards. But a single point of damage simply isn’t enough to have a swaying effect on the game, with Solar Blast and Death Pulse will both result in absolutely positive trades, and Complicate a harder-to-use (but deadlier) effect.

Still, I would run the Balm in my deck most of the time, as cycling for an effect isn’t negative at all. The card is good in any Limited deck where creatures will fight – and they do that a lot, I hear!

True Believer

Burn can’t target you, neither can Trade Secrets, Blackmail, Aether Charge, and any number of other cards. It nullifies a couple of cards, some of which you would use on yourself, but mostly ones used on you. The believer is a generally good cleric, with a decent ability and a good cost for its stats. There isn’t a lot of combo action with the Believer; just play it and hope it delays your opponent long enough for you to win.

Unified Strike

Assuming you have the necessary soldiers to get Unified Strike working on low-end creatures, the Strike is a decent enough kill card. Most white decks will be able to get at least two soldiers on the table before the game ends, making the Strike a cheaper-but-more-fickle Swat. Given more soldiers, it’s better, although it’s a sort of win more card.

The Strike is a big fan of Mistform creatures, of course, and anything else that can temporarily raise the soldier count. After all, the Strike only cares while it’s targeting and resolving – after that, you’re fine.

Weathered Wayfarer

The Wayfarer is a really nasty little card that feels a bit more like it would be better in Odyssey block synergy wise, but no less a powerful card. It just seems like filling your hand up with extra land would be really good when you could discard it to hit threshold.

Anyways, the Wayfarer has more synergy as a shuffler than a land-searcher. While land-searching is, indeed, a great ability, the big power can come from cards like Aven Fateshaper, Future Sight, or Information Dealer, allowing you to manipulate your draws a la Brainstorm + Thawing Glaciers style. Nice card for that.


Oh Good God, yes! I love this little dork. He morphs, he taps, he attacks for two. What’s not to like? He’s even an uncommon to spread the tap-dork love! Yip yip yip.

Anyways, the Whipcorder is one of my favorite cards in Onslaught, as you may have well noticed. He combos nicely with Pearlspear Courier, which makes him a really unfriendly dork, and Aphetto Alchemist, which makes for some eerie comparisons with Puppet Master and so on.

Words of Worship

The question you have to ask yourself is”Hey, how in hell does gaining five life a turn win me the game when I’m not drawing cards?” If you can answer that question, play the Words all you’d like.