The Top 10 White Cards From Kaldheim For Constructed

Between Clerics, Angels, and Spirits, white offers plenty of powerful options for Patrick Chapin’s Top 10 cards in the color. What made his list?

Codespell Cleric, illustrated by Manuel Castañón

Kaldheim is the sweetest Magic set in recent memory and this week I’m taking a look at the Top 10 cards of each color, followed by the multicolor cards, artifacts, and land this weekend. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s jump in!

10. Runeforge Champion

Runeforge Champion

Runeforge Champion’s power is obviously bound by the quality of the Runes, and for now (and the foreseeable future), there are just five. While we could splash off-color Runes quite easily with DFCs and Runeforge Champion’s own ability, the white and the red ones are among the best anyway.

Rune of Sustenance Rune of Speed

While there is the risk of actually drawing the Runes, they’re not exactly the least efficient Auras ever. When you can get them as part of a Runeforge Champion play, however, they can be quite good.

Rune of Sustenance off Runeforge Champion isn’t just a 2/3 lifelink cantrip for four; it also lets us put the lifelink on one of our other creatures that presumably can attack this turn.

Rune of Speed is even more exciting, making the Champion into a 3/3 haste threat that draws a card, which is pretty reasonable.

Rune of Flight Rune of Mortality

Both Rune of Flight and Rune of Mortality would be easy splashes if we thought we were getting our money’s worth.

Raugrin Triome Savai Triome

We likely must play Raugrin Triome or Savai Triome anyway, so the splash is pretty free if either card has appeal to us.

We might not need multiple copies of the Runes, since Runeforge Champion can find whichever you need from your graveyard, as well as your deck. Maybe we want the option to give two creatures lifelink, but it’s certainly not something we need to be doing.

9. Glorious Protector

Glorious Protector

Glorious Protector is an homage to Restoration Angel, and like Restoration Angel, Glorious Protector just isn’t that into other Angels.

Restoration Angel

However, like Restoration Angel, there’s a lot of depth to this ability and I suspect it’s going to turn out to be quite the sleeper. While it can be merely an efficient flash threat that can protect creatures about to die (especially against sweepers), Glorious Protector can also be built around.

Yorion, Sky Nomad

Combining it with enters the battlefield triggers can be huge, if we have a way to think get it back out of play (whether dying or blinking or bouncing), all of which can get really wild with Yorion and the sort of company it usually keeps).

Charming Prince Niambi, Esteemed Speaker Barrin, Tolarian Archmage

Creatures like Charming Prince, Niambi, and Barrin can be particularly interesting with Glorious Protector, potentially as another enters-the-battlefield trigger or as another way to reset your Glorious Protector. Any two of them can generally cause Glorious Protector to just keep triggering, turn after turn.

While Shepherd of the Cosmos isn’t the exact same thing as Glorious Protector, there are some similarities.

Shepherd of the Cosmos

The Shepherd is far less mana-efficient, but the built-in card economy is nice, and somewhere along the line, there’s definitely some potential to loop. For instance, it’s not all at once or anything, but using the Shepherd to get back Charming Prince can then get back Niambi, which can then reset the Shepherd (whether by bouncing it or by recasting the Prince). This can then let the Shepherd get back our The Birth of Meletis, and so on.

We’ll be getting more in depth with the card later in the week, but I definitely want to call it out for the high potential that puts it in the Top 10.

8. Starnheim Unleashed

Starnheim Unleashed

Starnheim Unleashed sort of has four main ways of using it:

  1. Turn 2 foretell it. Turn 3 cast it, you’ve got a 4/4 flying, vigilance token on the third turn, sort of like an Exalted Angel play, but a turn earlier (and without lifelink).
  2. Turn 4 hard-cast it and you’ll have a passably efficient Serra Angel a turn ahead of schedule.
  3. Foretell it in any of the first four turns, and then you can cast a better Broodmate Dragon on Turn 5.
  4. Late in the game, it can theoretically completely take over the game in a Decree of Justice sort of way (though again, kind of a turn earlier).

There’s definitely some risk to adding creatures to target with removal, but the sheer quantity of stats you get efficiently distributed, along with pretty great flexibility, all adds up to a package worth considering (particularly if you have plenty of other foretell cards).

Here’s a list that plays enough other 4/4s that we’re less exposed when relying on Starnheim Unleashed.

We’ll be getting into the various Sagas later in the week, but while we’re on the topic of white cards, Search for Glory is a very speculative experiment here, but the extra lifegain might actually be enough to get it over the finish line.

Search for Glory

Three mana to find our choice of a Saga, snow permanent (probably a land), or a legend (whether a creature or a planeswalker) – that’s a great deal of flexibility. As long as we’re consistently gaining two or three life, that might actually be worth the three mana.

Yorion, Sky Nomad Elspeth Conquers Death Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Remember, there are some really high-impact targets available to us!

7. Doomskar


Doomskar is the new white sweeper and while opinions on it have varied wildly, I think it’s going to end up landing at “pretty good, but not meta-defining.” It’s not as good on raw rate as Shatter the Sky, but when you’re playing other foretell cards, obfuscating whether or not this is what you’ve exiled, it can make for some excellent plays.

Imagine you’re stuck on mana and you get to foretell Doomskar. It’s exiled face down, so they don’t know it’s not one of the many other quality foretell cards. Then, despite being stuck on just three land, you can sweep the battlefield and buy yourself time to get back into it. Heck, it might just be Turn 3 and you’re on the draw against a fast opponent!

Another possibility is just tucking it safely away, protecting it from discard like Duress and Elspeth’s Nightmare.

Duress Elspeth’s Nightmare

Even if you’re not actively trying to hide it, getting to pay for it in installments means that if you sweep the battlefield on Turn 5, you can generally keep two mana open to help protect yourself from whatever follow-up comes next. To this end, the most natural starting point for utilizing Doomskar is in an Azorius Control deck.

One thing to be careful of with foretell:

Drannith Magistrate

Drannith Magistrate stops foretell dead in its tracks (not to mention being the only playable mono-white Wizard in Standard).

6. Rally the Ranks

Rally the Ranks

Rally the Ranks, a mostly more-efficient Glorious Anthem assuming you’re a tribal deck, isn’t as flashy as some past options, but it’s a quality effect at a quality rate, so it’ll find homes, whether naming Spirits, Warriors, Dwarves, Angels, Clerics, Knights, Humans, whatever. For instance:

Neither Beskir Shieldmate nor Sigrid, God-Favored is load-bearing here, but they are both worth giving a shot.

Beskir Shieldmate Sigrid, God-Favored

Beskir Shieldmate just has good types as far as we’re concerned and gives us a passable amount of material for helping fight through removal. Sigrid would be exciting, but Skyclave Apparition sets an incredibly high bar. Besides, there are just so many exciting three-drops in this set…

5. Righteous Valkyrie

Righteous Valkyrie

…not the least of which is Righteous Valkyrie, an uncommonly reasonably well-stated three-drop flyer with great types and two attractive abilities, one rewarding both Clerics and Angels with lots of lifegain and the other rewarding lifegain with an enormous stat boost if we can hit 27.

While we’ll be seeing Righteous Valkyrie later in the week in more Valkyrie-centric strategies, I wanted to take this chance to illustrate an example of the range that might be possible, and by extension the value of elastic thinking.

Bishop of Wings

An Angel that rewards you for Clerics and lifegain is tailor-made for Bishop of Wings in bigger formats; however, maybe there’s more to the card than just the straight up approach. For instance, consider some of the Clerics in Standard.

Cleric of Life’s Bond Conclave Mentor

The mana in Standard makes splashing two colors pretty easy for the wedge combinations (Abzan, Jeskai, Mardu, Sultai, and Temur), and while Cleric of Life’s Bond seems the more natural approach, giving Angels also being in black and the lifegain theme, maybe there’s actually something to Conclave Mentor (and potentially with both, in chorus) on account of its synergy with Resplendent Marshal, despite +1/+1 counters not being traditionally what we think of with Clerics, nor what Righteous Valkyrie is explicitly speaking to.

While the mana actually looks pretty good with this sort of a path, the synergy isn’t quite tight enough yet. We’re not really getting our money’s worth out of Speaker of the Heavens yet, and in a perfect world, we’d want to play a full four copies, implying we’re making Righteous Valkyrie reliably awesome. 

Speaker of the Heavens

Amusingly, despite Glorious Protector being a Cleric as well as an Angel, it also isn’t actually that good with the Clerics (though I guess we might sideboard it as a tool against sweepers).

4. Clarion Spirit

Clarion Spirit

Clarion Spirit works great as a Turn 3 play followed immediately by a one-drop, at which point we’ve already gotten 3/3 worth of stats across two bodies (and one with flying) for just two mana, not to mention some pretty good implied value on future turns.

I could imagine Clarion Spirit actually showing up in a variety of decks, potentially even across formats. While it may be capped at once per turn, it’s not actually the worst Young Pyromancer when you consider the second point of toughness, the tokens flying, and creature spells being able to help with the triggers.

Young Pyromancer

What’s more, it being an efficiently costed Spirit has very real tribal implications. Modern has long been home to high-quality Spirit decks and the additions of Clarion Spirit, Usher of the Fallen, and Ascendant Spirit represent a substantial increase in powerful options (even if the addition of so many non-flyers forces us to re-evaluate a lot of basic assumptions).

However, the Spirit tag may still be worth a little bit in Standard. We don’t have many tribal rewards, but Shacklegeist isn’t nothing.


Besides, there are just so many Tier 1 Spirits, it’s not like we actually have to make any sacrifices, really. We can just play them and primarily benefit from generic tribal rewards, such as Resplendent Marshal.

3. Resplendent Marshal

Resplendent Marshal

Resplendent Marshal brings an incredibly efficient supply of stats to the battlefield while also having a high floor on account of its efficient flying body.

Venerated Loxodon

While Resplendent Marshal isn’t always going to hit Venerated Loxodon levels of cost-effectiveness, we’ll often be able to get at least a couple of counters coming and going, plus some occasional super-high ceilings. Where Resplendent Marshal is really going to shine is when it’s used in a more focused tribal deck.

2. Usher of the Fallen

Usher of the Fallen

You had me at 2/1 for one with good types.

Usher of the Fallen is more than just a 2/1 Spirit Warrior for one. It’s also got a great boast ability that basically lets us buy a Castle Ardenvale activation for 60% off.

Castle Ardenvale

The token can be even better though, since it’s got pretty good types itself.

While Usher of the Fallen will frequently be the best creature to cast on Turn 1, just given its power, we won’t always snap off an activation on Turn 2. It’ll take some practice and familiarity with matchups to determine when you can sacrifice that tempo for the extra material. The opportunity cost also really depends on your hand.

In general, activating in that spot is pretty good against opponents with a lot of removal, particularly sweepers. It can also be useful if your opponent has lots of small creatures and there’s likely to be a fair bit of attrition. When you really need to race as fast as you can, however, it can easily be worth just dropping two more one-drops and committing an extra four power to the battlefield.

This is a pretty straightforward white aggro deck, but it’s hardly the only way to play Usher of the Fallen. It is interesting to consider the implications of suddenly getting two more two-power one-drops to put alongside Venerable Knight (and kind of superior ones, at that).

1. Codespell Cleric

Codespell Cleric

Codespell Cleric is a bit less assuming, but don’t get it twisted, the way the games play out, Codespell Cleric might end up proving to be the best white card in Kaldheim!

Yeah, Usher of the Fallen is way sexier, and lots of the three-drops are strong, but there are just so many alternatives you could play, whereas Codespell Cleric is good in a way that we’re very short on and in the market for. It’s also just so good at getting more for your mana than most anything you can do in the format.

If you’re playing a deck long on one-drops, Codespell Cleric is generally 2/2 worth of stats, either a 2/2 vigilance (for one) or as a 1/1 vigilance with the +1/+1 counter somewhere even more useful, generally giving us “virtual haste” or buffing a flyer or whatever. The ideal sequence is to just cast a different one-drop first on your second turn, and then drop the Cleric and ideally buff the one-drop you cast Turn 1.

Battlefield Raptor

Maybe that’s the Usher of the Fallen, but maybe it’s Battlefield Raptor, who puts the counter to pretty good use (and represents a small inflation over previous options).

Okay, see you tomorrow when we go voyaging into the realms of the Top 10 blue cards of Kaldheim…