Capitan's Guide to MP White

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This is an incomplete version {0.70} of the guide, posted for test purposes. I need to flesh out the Tribal, Artifact & Land section, and White Card types sections. As well as clean up the grammer and spelling.

Capitan's Guide to White Multiplayer Cards & Strategies


Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
2. Cards Everyone Should Have {White Staples}
3. Card Elements and Roles
4. Keyword Abilities
5. Tribal
6. White Cards/Types
• Playing Fair
• Enforcing Peace
• Dealing with Attackers
• Giving Protection
• Clearing the Board
• Gaining Life
7. Artifacts
8. Splashing other colors
• 8a. Blue Cards ()
• 8b. Green Cards ()
• 8c. Red Cards ()
• 8d. Black Cards ()
9. Synergy and Strategies
10. Off color cards

1. Introduction
White Mages sometimes are looked down upon by other Multiplayer Mages. This might be because some of the things that white is best at doing in multiplayer wouldn't work as well in duels. Usually playing defense, gaining life, preventing damage, protecting your creatures aren't normally enough in a duel to win you games. In multiplayer though, where you may face 4 or more opponents, stalling and letting your opponents duel it out can put you in a much more advantageous position. And then when you have fewer opponents, wiping out the remaining stragglers is much easier. White doesn't have to play defense or stall though, it does have quite a few cards that will have a massive impact on the board. This guide will focus on cards and strategies that you can play that have the greatest effect in multiplayer.

2. White Staples
While you could build a deck with only the most powerful multiplayer cards in your deck, you would most likely lose. Most of the powerful multiplayer cards cost 6 CMC or more. You would be long dead before you could cast your first spell. A good MP deck should contain many good commons and uncommons in the 2-4 CMC range and contain some MP bombs that can swing games in your favor. Here is a list of some of the best White Staples that should be considered when making any white MP deck.

Early Defenders
Angelic Wall-This flying wall, should stop most early turn threats.
Wall of Glare-A wall for stopping creature hordes, with Fortified Area it can also stop trampling hordes.
Longbow Archer-First Strike and Reach make this a great defender

Early Beats
Savannah Lions-Original White Weenie
Knight of Meadowgrain-First strike and Lifelink
Benalish Cavalry-
Knight of the Holy Nimbus

Creature Protection
Mother of Runes--:give one of your creatures protection from a color
Momentary Blink-Surprise blocker or lethal damage protection, better with access to .
Cho-Manno's Blessing-Force an opponent to burn two spells to kill your creature.
Otherworldly Journey-A Ghostway for a single creature, even an opponents.
Guardian of the Guildpact-Will obviously give monocolored decks headaches.
Stonecloaker/Whitemane Lion-Flash gating creature that can save one of your creatures.
Shelter-Cantrip color protection for a single creature until End of Turn.

Creature Control
Swords to Plowshares-Still one of the best creature removal spells.
Prison Term-An Arrest that can move when a new more dangerous creature comes into play.

Artifact & Enchantment Control
Seal of Cleansing-A rattlesnake Disenchant.
Return to Dust-Possible 2 for 1 artifact and/or enchantment removal to deal with those pesky Stuffy Dolls and Darksteel Colossi.
Soltari Visionary-His shadowy evasion generates problems for enchantment based decks.
Ronom Unicorn/Kami of Ancient Law-These have mostly replaced Monk Realist due to their rattlesnake effect and larger body.
Wispmare-A flying 1/3 for more than Demystify or the same cost to Evoke.
Devout Witness-A spellshaper that can Disenchant repeatedly.

Any Type Permanent Control
Oblivion Ring-Temporary permanent removal for all those annoying Planeswalkers.
Faith's Fetters-An Arrest for permanents and gains you 4 life

Life Gain
Soul Warden-Looks less threatening since it only gains 1 life at a time.
Martyr of Sands-Can nearly double your life as early as the second turn.
Aven Riftwatcher-Vanishing 3 flyer that gains you 2 life coming and going
Spirit Loop/Spirit Link-Lifelink creature enchantments.

Animal Elements
Anthony Alongi came up with six animal elements that he thought could best describe the characteristics that make a card good for multiplayer. Rattlesnakes warn off opponents, gorillas smash face, spiders set traps, pigeons feed off more people, plankton feeds the world, and cockroaches survive. Alongi valued rattlesnake cards for their ability to control the actions of multiple opponents, gorilla cards for their impact on the board, and spider cards for their ability to surprise. I would personally put more weight on cockroach cards then spider cards. If your table doesn't allow much board talk, cockroach cards can dissuade your opponents from trying to get rid of them at all. This id because many cockroach cards require considerable investment to get rid of, and they alone don't have or don't want to expend the required resources to deal with it.

3a. Rattlesnake Cards
The rattlesnake element warns off. It makes your opponents not take actions against you and instead go after other less troublesome opponents. This is accomplished by making them pay a cost to take an action against you or by making yourself immune to the effects. It is important that the cost/immunity only effects you and not all players or the card will have much stronger gorilla element, a good example would be the difference between Peacekeeper {gorilla, "no one can attack"} and Island Sanctuary {rattlesnake. "you can't attack me"}.

Thoughtweft Trio-Unfortunately restricts you to playing a tribal deck, but its combined abilities make it an excellent attacker and defender.
Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker-This creature will require that your opponents have a way to deal with it before they come after you.
Twilight Shepherd-Return cards back to your hand after mass creature destruction.
Ghostly Prison-Like Propaganda before it, Ghostly Prison will keep hordes of creatures away from you but not big fatties.
Windborn Muse-Creature version of Ghostly Prison.
Aura of Silence-The best disenchant available. Just having it on the board prevents many artifacts/enchantments from being cast.
Animal Boneyard-Turn one of your lands into a Diamond Valley.
Blazing Archon-The ultimate defense for surviving multiple attack phases. Always fun to use with Angel's Trumpet
Scourglass-Larry's Disk in white for artifact decks.
Story Circle-More versatile than a Circle of Protection especially if in an all white deck.
Imperial Mask-Better than Ivory Mask in team play.

Solitary Confinement
Spirit of Resistance
Island Santuary
Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile
Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant
Yosei, the Morning Star
Greater Auramancy
Karmic Justice
Haazda Shield Mate
Wall of Nets
Wall of Essence
Wall of Glare
Kinsbaile Borderguard
Magus of the Disk
Darien, King of Kjeldor
Graven Dominator-Really needs a Pestilence/Pyrohemia

3b. Gorilla Cards
The gorilla element pounds the board. High gorilla cards make big effects on the current state of the game. They make big swings in board position, life totals, or hand sizes, and can quickly change who is winning or losing.

3c. Spider Cards
The Spider element traps your opponents. These cards trick your opponent into making bad decisions and then surprise them. These cards tend to be instants and permanents with flash.

3d. Pigeon Cards
The pigeon element grows stronger with more opponents. These cards usually count something, and are therefore usually better in multiplayer because their are more things to count. These cards get start being more powerful, and as the game progresses and more opponents are eliminated they get weaker.

Soul Warden-Most multiplayer decks have lots of creatures. Sorceries and Instants go away after they are used, but creatures can be used multiple times to do damage or prevent damage from an attack. These early drops will usually net you 6 or more life before someone wipes them from the board with a global damage/destruction spell.
Congregate-The bane of quick magic games. This spell can drag games out. Don't forget that this spell is targeted.
Weathered Wayfarer-More opponents means that it is more likely you can use its activated ability.
Spelltithe Enforcer

3e. Plankton Cards
The plankton element feeds everyone at the table. These cards allow everyone at the table to share in the fun.

3f. Cockroach Cards
The cockroach element out lasts your opponents. These cards have repeatable effects or are difficult to get rid of. Cards that can be used multiple times against different opponents are key. Most cockroach elements are attached to permanents that have free activated abilites or cheap activation costs, especially those that don't . The Retrace keyword added some reusability to instants and sorceries.

Reborn Hero
Valor-White's Incarnation grants all your creatures First Strike
Reya Dawnbringer-Continually bring back creatures from the grave each upkeep.
Beacon of Immortality-Lifegaining that gets shuffled back to be used again.
Mobilization-A constant stream of 1/1 soldiers, that grants them additional abilities.
Order of Whiteclay
Sigil of the New Dawn
Sigil of the Empty Throne-A new addition for enchantress decks.

4. Keyword Abilities
Using your creatures to attack in multiplayer has a greater drawback than attacking in a duel. In a duel when you attack, you can only be counterattacked once. In multiplayer their may be two or more combat phases that you have to survive until your next untap step. This is why Vigilance is such a great ability for multiplayer. You can use your creatures to attack, and still not leave yourself wide open.
Serra's Blessing-Enchantment to give all your creatures this ability.
Gate Hound-Enchanting this creature grants Vigilance to your creatures.
Oathsworn Giant-Grant all of your creatures Vigilance.
Masako the Humorless-A surprise that effectively gives your creatures Vigilance.

Exalted is good for the same reason as Vigilance. You only need to send out one of your creatures to attack, and the rest can stay back on the defense. If Maze of Iths run rampant in your MP group, this ability loses its luster.

Protection from
While every color has creatures that have protection from their opposing colors, white has many more creatures that can grant the ability to another creature. The ability to do this at instant speed in response to an opponents targeted removal spells, will make them have to waste two removal spells to kill their original target.

No resource in multiplayer is more important than your life. The ability to survive through multiple attack phases gives you more options on how you can play. When you are at 2 life facing down 4-5 opponents you are forced to play a certain way. When you have 20 (or since your playing white more likely 40 or more), you have more options. You can choose to be more aggressive because you are much further from taking leathal damage and being removed from the game.

First Strike
First Strike is mostly a white and red creature ability. First strike works best with instant pump (which also works well against it). A single First Strike creature can send all those Ball Lightnings elsewhere. First Strike gets even better when combined with Exalted, since you only need attack with one creature, all your other First Strike creatures can be used to gang-block a single creature and do all of their damage first. As long as your opponents don't have any combat tricks, most opponents with creatures of toughness X or less (where X is the combined Power of all your First Strike creatures), will send their attacking creatures towards less well defended opponents.

Banding and Bands with others is probably the most misunderstood creature ability in game of magic. The rules for banding modify the declare attackers step and the damage dealing step as follows...
  • Any number of creatures with banding plus one additional creature may be declared to be in a band.
  • If a defending creature blocks any attacking creature in a band, all creatures are blocked by that creature.
  • The controller of an attacking banding creature assigns damage of the creatures that block it.
  • The controller of a defending banding creature assigns damage of the creatures that it blocks.

The practical upshot of this is that creatures with banding are great defenders especially when combined with creatures with high toughness. Imagine that you are facing down a Blastoderm, you have for your defense Wall of Glare and Teremko Griffin. If you use both to block, you can assign the damage from the Blastoderm {4 damage to the Wall, and 1 to the Griffin}. You can even prevent trample damage from a horde of Overruning 4/4s with Wall of Glare+Baton of Morale. You get to assign the trample damage, and you can choose to assign all of it to the Wall of Glare.

5. Tribal
  • Angel
  • Cleric
  • Kithkin
  • Knight
  • Rebel
  • Soldier

(This section is unfinished)

6. White Cards/Types
Playing Fair
White unlike many of the other colors strives to be fair. If you destroy one of my permanents, I destroy one of yours. White just wants to level the playing field for everyone. If you have more land then me, then I should be able to search my library for a couple more. When it places restrictions on doing things, it usually treats everyone the same. Moat prevents all non-fliers from attacking, Rule of Law restricts everyone to playing only one spell a turn, and Presence of the Master counters all enchantment spells. When it comes to clearing the board, white doesn't discrimate between friend or foe, everything dies to the Wrath of God.
Enforcing Peace, Dealing with Attackers
Above all things, white values peace. It would prefer it if no one attacked anyone else, and it has many cards that punish those who would choose to break that peace. Besides the "~this~ deals X damage to target attacking or blocking creature" cards, it has several spells that can eliminate attacking creatures
Protecting Yourself and Others
White has many cards that it can use to protect you and your creatures from harm. Besides the color specific circles of protection, white has Story Circle which can be set to the color of the biggest threat on the board. It has instant creature protection to protect key creatures. And it is one of the few colors that can protect you from being targeted by spells or abilities.
Clearing the Board
This is probably what white is most know for in duels and multiplayer. No color comes close to white at being able to completely reset the board position with regard to creatures, lands, or permanents in general. The threat that white could threaten to destroy all lands in play on turn four caused Armageddon to be removed from the core set. Balance once thought to be a way to level the playing field with your opponent was found to be too unbalanced. There were countless ways of emptying your hand, playing artifact mana, and sacrificing your permanents that it was placed on the banned/restricted list for most formats. It is still to this day considered one of the most powerful cards ever printed.
Gaining Life
This is probably the most despised ability of white. Green and black both have a fair amout of life gaining cards, at least with black life gaining usually comes at the cost of an opponents creature or life total. While green has some cards just gain life, white has many more. Some white life gaining cards are so broken (Congregate) that they just bore your opponents into attacking someone else just to get the game going somewhere. While infinite life won't win you the game, it will make you immune to non-combo decks that plan on winning through creature damage (barring that those pesky green mages aren't packing Biorhythm)
7. Artifacts and Lands
(This section is unfinished and needs suggestions for artifact cards that have activation costs in their text boxes)
Flagstones of Trokair-Good anti-Armageddon tech.
Karakas-Can even be used in non-white decks.
Serra's Sanctum-Provides mana fuel for your Mesa Enchantress decks.
Kor Haven-Not as powerful as Maze of Ith, but leaves the attacking creature tapped.
Kjeldoran Outpost-A continual source of 1/1 soldiers.
8. Splashing other colors
8a. Blue Cards ()
Swans of Bryn Argoil-Usually seen alongside red with Chain of Plasma.
Mirrorweave-This card is amazing. It can be used to your advantage even when you aren't the one being attacked.
Godhead of Awe-All other creatures are 1/1
Repel Intruders-One of the few good counterspells that doesn't result in card disadvantage.
Plumeveil-Surprise defender with some bite.
Dovescape-This card can be combined with one of the rattlesnake enchantment destruction creatures and Brand to steal all your tokens back. Or you might just want to play with high casting cost non-creature spells (Suspend / Madness)

8b. Green Cards ()
Fracturing Gust-The best artifact and enchantment control spell in existance. It destroys all permanents of those types and nets you a healthly life boost.
Mercy Killing-
Kitchen Finks-One of the better lifegaining creatures in existance. If you can manage to remove the -1/-1 counters (Power Conduit, Heartmender), this will gain you much life over the course of a game.
Privileged Position-The power of granting shroud to all your permanents from your opponents spells can't be overlooked.

8c. Red Cards ()
Spitemare-Now you can play the old Mogg Maniac + Righteousness combo in a mono-white deck.
Duergar Hedge-Mage-
Fire at Will-Being an instant almost makes this better than Arc Lightning.

8d. Black Cards ()
Debtors' Knell-Free creature recursion from any graveyard each upkeep.
Unmake-Not nearly as good as StP but cheaper $.
Divinity of Pride-
Cauldron Haze-Persist for the creatures of your choice. This card is great for team formats.

9. Synergy and Strategies
Two Card Combos
Outrider en-Kor + Task Force-Have an infinitely large defender, and they both can be searched for with Ramosian Lieutenant/Amrou Scout
Valor Made Real + Defiant Vanguard-Destroy all attacking creatures. If you didn't want to rebel search him up you could use {Abu Ja'far, Loyal Sentry, Alaborn Zealot}

Three card Combos
Daru Spiritualist+ Shuko + Starlit Sanctum-Infinite life.

10. Off Color Cards
Sometimes Wizards prints cards with effects that don't match the traditional abilities that you would associate with a color. They even released a set Planar Chaos that did this intentionally. This section is devoted to white cards that might surprise your opponents with things that white isn't normally know for.

Debt of Loyalty-White isn't known for regeneration or creature stealing, eat your heart out Black and Blue mages. You have to be careful about targeting creatures with regeneration abilites, since the creatures controller gets to decide which regeneration shield is applied first. So as long as the creature doesn't have to use the regeneration that you have granted it, you won't gain control of it. It also won't work for indestructibles.
Kor Chant-While many MP tables have probably seen an infinite life deck featuring an en-Kor creature and Daru Spiritualist+Starlit Sanctum, redirecting damage to your opponents creatures doesn't happen as often in white.
Equal Treatment-This cantrip is so versatile. You can use it to save yourself and everyone else from a large burn spell Wildfire, even spells in which the damage can't be prevented {Urza's Rage/Demonfire} since the damage is being replaced not prevented. You can use it as a mini white Overrun with a lot of 1/1 tokens. You can use it against a horde of creatures tromping your way, especially effective if you have an untapped Thunderstaff or a Palliation Accord.
Honor the Fallen-Mass graveyard hosing.
Jabari's Influence-Not nearly as good creature steal as Debt of Loyalty, but this spell doesn't require that you or someone else draws a creature destruction spell. Hopefully, your life total is high enough that you could withstand the initial assault.
Reinforcements-Stacking your library with creatures from the graveyard is a very black thing to do.
Scapegoat-Bouncing your own creatures back to your hand to protect them is a very Blue thing.
Witch Hunter-Bounce your opponents creatures.
Preacher-Creature steal.
Visions-Library rearrangement.
Seraph-Vampirism in White.
Nice topic, but I do have some remarks .

Wrath of God ranges from playable to best white card, from white weenie (see the pro tour token decks with WoG in SB..) to (/) control. So I think that it, or something similar like the, for MP, arguably better Rout, should be included in the white staples list.

Besides that, I don't agree with some of your Rattlesnake cards. Not because they are bad, but because they simply aren't rattlesnakes. A card like Moat, for example, simply says you can't be attacked by non-flying creatures. There is no threat here, it just says someone can't do something. Pernicious Deed, however, says that if someone tries to harm you, you blow up the board. Someone without flyers knows he's in trouble when you play Moat, and will do everything he can to deal with it. Either by politics or by circumventing it. The same player that sees you with a Deed knows that his valuable army will be toast when he touches you, so he probably won't. He also knows that if he doesn't overextend, at some point he can just force you to pop the Deed and still be in a reasonable position to take you on.

That distinction makes the Deed a real rattlesnake and Moat a Gorilla card. I have similar objections to Blazing Archon, Solitary Confinement and some others, because there's no threat, just a statement. In other words, a Gorilla card is a "must-deal-with" card whereas a rattlesnake is a "rather-not-deal-with" card.

I am rather torn on white in MP, because as much as I love clearing the board (repeatedly :P), white doesn't offer much else that I enjoy much. Not mono-white at least. Usually white is a supporting colour for something like WoG or other things to stay alive, but not much else. Many of the cards and strategies you mention are defensive as well. There are exceptions of course, cards like Debtors' Knell or Hoofprints of the Stag, I've used happily to build a deck around.

Although you may disagree with the definition of what a rattlesnake card, I agree with your statements about the cards on the Rattlesnake list. I believe {and Anthony Alongi who came up with the definitions} that cards that make you immune to the effects of an action are Rattlesnake cards. This is because they make your opponent choose to either deal with the card, or to go after someone else.

I don't think that Pernicious Deed acts as well as a Rattlesnake as much as it acts as a Gorilla card at least against experienced players, but I see the point you were trying to make. If you take an action against me, I will make you pay for it. But, I don't think all Rattlesnake cards have to be part of the "rather-not-deal-with" variety.

Cards that make you immune to effects do send opponents in other directions. If I have a Wall of Roots and I have given a player a Sleeper Agent, do you think that they will attack me if they have no combat tricks? Why wouldn't they attack one of the other opponents that they have to also defeat and who aren't currently immune to the 3 damage? The same thing can be said of Moat. Even if I have a Disenchant in hand, I don't have to deal with Moat right now. I can go after other opponents, and save my disenchant for something that might be worse.
Bravo Captain.

Austere Command
Nice write-up!

Parallax Wave is a card that I think deserves to be in the rattlesnakes. It doesn't have infinite duration, but it does a good job of keeping monsters away.
Hm, I read up on his definitions again and it seems he does include those cards indeed. Well, then I simply don't agree with him either ;). It doesn't make sense anyway. A rattlesnake warns you not to come closer whereas a Gorilla will just stomp you, probably no matter whether you run or not ;). I'd like to point out that Alongi names the Deed as the epitome of rattlesnake, btw.

So... as for your examples. Wall of Roots is no rattlesnake. What's the threat? Attack/harm me and what will happen? Nothing that wouldn't happen anyway :p. Maybe a better definition would be that a rattlesnake card means "rather not deal with right now", because at some point, you will have to.

A card like Moat is actually an even bigger gorilla card than I thought, because it doesn't say "you". All non-flying creatures can't attack so this is far from a rattlesnake, it paints a huge bullseye on your head because you (probably) interfere with everyone's plan.

Anyway, I think you could also name Evangelize as a nice example of something you don't expect much in white. And Resurrection of course.

Some deck ideas (mono white) would also suit the opening post, imho.
You can add my Mono White Multiplayer Control deck to your list as an example if you want.
Good write up. Why don't we petition the mods to have all the MP color write-ups stickied? I know I reference them quite often and it would be a good thing for new people to the forums/MP arena to read.
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I haven't had a chance to look over all 1500+ cards that are white and/or have white in their textboxes, so mentioning the cards that I overlooked is helpful.

As an avid reader of all of the MP writers, I do remember that the deed is infact mentioned many times as the ultimate rattlesnake card {it also has high 7-8 rating in Gorrila as well}. In my experience, I have found that putting out the deed doesn't ward off attacks from experienced players. The reasons for this are mentioned in The Ferret's excellent article on Why are you attacking me? Each turn that goes by only lets the deed player board position improve, so experienced players will attack into the deed {if they haven't already overcommited} to see if either force them to pop it, or see if they can protect themselves so other way, or just take the damage. If he does pop it, it will allow everyone to recover faster so that they can stomp the deed player into the ground before he can draw another one. I still play with the deed in my B/G decks, because it is the best form of utility printed to date.

I am glad you reread the Hall of Fame where Anthony mentions the "Armadillo" element {immunity}. Although you don't agree with wrapping this element into the same card name as rattlesnake, you must see the value of cards that make you immune to effects. You may call them gorilla, but their effect isn't exactly the same. Gorilla's impact the board, Armadillo's just protect themselves. That is why Anthony places them in the same group as rattlesnake cards. They only impact other players board positions with reguard to you {imagine if you left the game after casting a card of the appropriate type, a gorilla card once cast will have had some impact on other players, an Armadillo card once you leave will not have impacted your opponents in a significant way}.

As for you misunderstanding my Wall of Roots example, I will just chalk it up to you reading it quickly and missing important information. The point I was trying to make is, if I am immune to damage from an opponent {in the example I mentioned that I gave an opponent a Sleeper Agent and he didn't have any combat tricks. Hence I was immune to the 3 damage that he could deal if he attacked me because my wall could block. Why would he leave the Sleeper Agent back to block instead of using it to attack another opponent, since he is taking 2 damage every upkeep}. The point is that immunity from certain actions has a very similar effect to rattlesnake cards "don't tread on me." (quote stolen from Scrivener I think)

Yes, you are correct Moat is a Gorilla under the card definition, unlike Island Santuary.

An excellent suggestion about adding mono-white decks to a MP example deck section. I will get on that and complete the Tribal section, version .90 is just around the corner.
Personally, I think of Rattlesnake cards as ones that work through their ability to strike fear into the opponent, and thus cause him to turn elsewhere. A key feature of this is that the card would not work, or at least not the same way, in two-player. If the card does work exactly the same way in two-player, then it's not really a Rattlesnake.

For example, Seal of Fire on the board will probably deter an Izzet Guildmage from attacking you in multiplayer - the creature is just too valuable to throw away if the player thinks that not attacking will cause you to spare it. On the other hand, clearly you can't be dissuaded from killing it in two-player, so your opponent will always attack if you don't have any other defense in a duel. So Seal of Fire is a Rattlesnake.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
I completely agree with fractal, and no, I didn't missread your wall of roots example. My point was that he took the upkeep dmg already anyway, so nothing can change that. That he isn't likely to attack into your wall is not because it's a rattlesnake but because it would simply be stupid to do so. There is no gain from doing that (you are forced to do nothing), so it would be a bad play. As fractal put it, and I tried to in previous posts, the idea of a rattlesnake card is that it frightens opponents into not harming you, on the pain of something nasty happening. In a duel this is moot, because there are no other options.

In my playgroup, at least 1 player attacks into every ghostly prison and deed because of the reason the ferrett mentioned. I do that as well, unless I have a good reason not to (such as really needing the 2 mana for something or if I would hurt myself relatively badly if I force the deed myself). The beauty of MP is that there are other players to do your dirty work for you ;).
Since I didn't link to it before, I will do so here. Alongi's Fablous 500! article mentions the Armadillo element as part of the rattlesnake element. He decided not to seperate the elements from each other, he doesn't mention why he doesn't seperate them or place the Armadillo element in a different group. I would venture that it is because immunity has the same effect in multiplayer that retaliation has it sends opponents in other directions. The reason that rattlesnakes and armadillos work in MP and not in duels is because your opponents have other players that must be killed as well if they are to win.

Cards that grant you immunity will always be important in multiplayer. And if they send opponents at other players instead of you it doesn't matter if this was because you were immune from the effects or because you scared them into it because you could retaliate. Either way the result is the same.
I know that article, but, as I said before, I simply don't agree. Immunity is most definitely not the same as retaliation because one gives you a choice and the other does not. There are very good reasons to ignore retaliation and just attack the one with the Deed (in fact, you should, unless there is a bigger threat), whereas it is impossible to ignore someone's Island Sanctuary or Ivory Mask.

Sure, immunity cards are very useful in MP (though less so than in duels, because there are more opponents that can deal with it while not necessarily every opponent is hurt by it), but they don't say "don't attack me", they say "you can't attack me". Rattlesnake makes opponents unwilling, gorillas (or armadillo, if you want to have a separate category) make them unable.

Why do you consider Thoughtweft Trio a rattlesnake, btw? It's just a fatty with some useful abilities, but why would a player with, say, a Darksteel Colossus be scared of attacking you?

In general, look at any card in your rattlesnake list and ask yourself the question: "does this card make my opponents pay or unable to do something to me?".
I would definitely have to agree with Redox. And while I read the article as well, I feel the same. I do not agree.

To me, rattlesnake cards are:
Royal Assassin
Giltspire Avenger
Seal of Doom

Wall of Ice is not a rattlesnake card in my opinion.
Nice start with the guide. I definitely agree on getting all the multiplayer guides getting stickied since the same questions seem to pop up all the time and the guides are a great source of general information.
My Trade Thread Control capabilities are in all the colors. The difference is in the way they say no.
I definitely agree these articles should get stickied.

And to throw some fire onto the rattlesnake/gorilla debate: which would you classify Mageta the Lion as? To me he combines the elements of both types, showing that a card can be multiple types at once (or neither). Pernicious Deed (mentioned earlier) would also be both (more-so a rattlesnake). Other elements also combine, such as Rout, this would be both a gorilla and a spider card (I would weigh it heavier as a gorilla) or Braids, Conjurer Adept would be both a Gorilla and a Plankton card.

Personally I don't think Thoughtweft Trio constitutes either a Rattlesnake nor a Gorilla, but in no way does that mean he's not usable in MP, it just means he has no significant qualities to make him act differently in multiplayer games, the very reason these titles were created.

The reason Moat is considered a gorilla card (and not rattlesnake), is its not about your defense: it might help your defense, but its a card that has a large effect that greatly changes the way the game is played, no different then a Repercussion or a Damnation.
I can help out somewhat with the tribal part. A friend of mine has a decklist for a W/u knights deck that does really well in single and multiplayer. This is from memory so a few things may be off.

4 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=Arctic+Flats">Arctic Flats</a>
4 x Snow-Covered Plains
5 x Snow-Covered Island

4 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=Knight+of+Meadowgrain">Knight of Meadowgrain</a>
4 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=White+Knight">White Knight</a>
4 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=Court+Hussar">Court Hussar</a>
4 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=Sky+Hussar">Sky Hussar</a>
4 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=Rimewind+Taskmage">Rimewind Taskmage</a>
3 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=White+shield+Crusader">White shield Crusader</a>
3 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=Stillmoon+Cavalier">Stillmoon Cavalier</a>
2 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=Kinsbaile+Cavalier">Kinsbaile Cavalier</a>

2 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=Loxodon+Warhammer">Loxodon Warhammer</a>

4 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=Ponder">Ponder</a>
3 x <a href="" class="autocard-link" data-image-url=";name=Oblivion+Ring">Oblivion Ring</a>

My Trade Thread Control capabilities are in all the colors. The difference is in the way they say no.
I like this guide and look forward to your guides to other colors.
Deck Critique VCL
Rules Advisor Don't assume I have read any response you might have made directed toward me in a thread or post. The best method to contact me is Private Message as I will always check there upon logging on Please review the Code of Conduct or the Comprehensive Rules when in doubt. Also, please use Google for your easy-to-answer questions. Read this for a bit on game mathematics. This is information on game psychology and the infamous term "scrub." Autocard:
[c]Gifts Ungiven[/c] -> Gifts Ungiven
royk's Tradesroyk's Deck Dump
Kataki, War's Wage is an interesting multiplayer card as it completely destroys any artifact based deck for 2 mana.  Both artifacts lands and mana batteries are forced to tap to save themselves or you just wiped half their board.  The other beauty is that the sacrifice mechanic doesn't target and gets past indestructibility.
Felidar Sovereign as an alternate win condition with lifelink.  It unfortunately costs 2 more colorless than Test of Endurance but reduces the requirement by 10 life.
Iona, Shield of Emeria makes a significant impact upon coming into play whether it be reanimation or hard casting.
Luminarch Ascension excels in the multiplayer format and gives white a place to throw unused mana.
World Queller has a recurring, removal based ability that can remove problematic cards (planeswalkers).
Bumping to keep it alive and to wonder about the newer cards.

A shout out to Gaming Grounds in Kent, Ohio and Gamers N Geeks in Mobile, Alabama. for all your preparation needs. - why prepping is useful, from one who has been there.
This guide is off to a great start.  Gave enough examples in each animal but not over doing it either.  Only thing is it's needs updated.  Here is a list of artifacts that have white activation cost in them

I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
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I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.

How to autocard

Most important rule in autocarding is make sure you spell the card correctly.


Single Card

[*c]Forest[*/c] minus * = Forest




16 Forest

2 strip mine


minus * =

Card Nicknames [*c=Wrath of God]WoG[*/c] minus the * = WoG


Single Player Decks I'm currently playing

Assault of the Minotaurs

19 Mountain
4 Khalni Garden
1 Thawing Glaciers


4 Didgeridoo
4 Gorgon Flail
1 Konda's Banner
1 Tenza, Godo's Maul


4 Assault Strobe


4 Adaptive Automaton
4 Anaba Ancestor
4 Minotaur Aggressor
4 Talruum Minotaur
4 Gorehorn Minotaurs
4 Lord of Shatterskull Pass
2 Tahngarth, Talruum Hero

Rapid infenction


18 Forest
1 Inkmoth Nexus
1 Pendelhaven


4 Glistener Elf
4 Necropede
4 Ichorclaw Myr


4 Rancor
4 Might of Old Krosa
4 Griant Growth
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Invigorate
4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Apostle's Blessing

Use your Illusion

18 Island
4 Halimar Depths

4 Krovikan Mist
3 Phantom Warrior
3 Phantasmal Dragon
4 Lord of the Unreal
4 Phantasmal Bear
4 Adaptive Automaton
3 Illusory Angel

2 Swiftfoot Boots

3 Sleep
4 Ponder
4 Muddle the Mixture

Goblin deck


16 Mountain

4 Goblin Burrows


4 Goblin Grenade
4 Goblin War Strike
2 Brightstone Ritual
2 Quest for the Goblin Lord


4 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Goblin Balloon Brigade
3 Goblin Guide
2 Warren Instigator
4 Goblin Wardriver
4 Goblin Matron
1 Goblin King
3 Goblin Chieftain
3 Goblin Warchief
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Krenko, Mob Boss

Look out the Land is Falling

4 Evoling Wilds
4 Terramorphic Expanse
7 Plains
9 Forest

3 Vines of Vastwood
4 Cultivate
3 Groundswell

4 Oblivion Ring

2 Adventuring Gear

4 Steppe Lynx
4 Ruin Ghost
2 Baloth Woodcrasher
2 Rampaging Baloths
4 Emeria Angel
4 Vinelasher Kudzu

Ula's Deep Sea Drezins

18 Island
4 Halimar Depths

4 Inkwell Leviathan
3 Kraken Hatchling
3 Sage of Epityr
4 Stormtide Leviathan
2 Grozoth
3 Spiketail Hatchling
3 Cursecatcher

4 Quest for Ula's Temple

4 Preordain
4 Dizzy Spell
4 Clockspinning

Green Beatdown


18 Forest
4 Treetop Village

4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Rancor
2 Might of Oaks

4 Albino Troll
4 Groundbreaker
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Viridian Zealot
4 Pouncing Jaguar
4 Leatherback Baloth
3 River Boa
1 Mire Boa

Elemental Assault

16 Mountain
4 Teetering Peaks

4 Lightning bolt
3 Breaking Point
1 Warstorm Surge
4 Brute Force
4 Browbeat
4 Assault Strobe

4 Ball Lightning
4 Hell's Thunder
4 Blistering Firecat
4 Hellspark Elemental
4 Spark Elemental
2 Lightning Serpent

Death from the Sky

4 Glacial Fortress
4 Azorius Chancery
4 Seaside Haven
5 Plains
5 Island


4 Squadron Hawk
4 Soulcatcher
4 Judge's Familar
3 Augury Owl
3 Cloudreach Cavalry
3 Pride of Clouds
2 Emeria Angel
2 Aven Mimeomancer
1 God of Awe


4 Soulcatchers' Aerie
4 Oblivion Ring
2 Battle Screech
2 Airborne Raid


18 Forest

3 Garruk's Companion
3 Rogue Elephant
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
4 Skarrgan Pit-Skulk
3 Pouncing Jaguar
3 Quirion Ranger
3 Shinen of Life's Roar

3 Groundswell
4 Rancor
3 Gather Courage
3 Briar Shield
3 Vines of Vastwood
3 Fog

Multi-Player Decks I'm currently Playing


22 Swamp


4 Innocent Blood
4 Mutilate
4 Sign in Blood

2 Syphon Mind
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor

4 Necrogen Mists
4 Bottomless Pit
4 Shrieking Affliction

4 Wheel of Torture
3 Ensnaring Bridge
3 Bottled Cloister

Everyone Burns

18 Mountain
2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
2 Glacial Chasm
1 Shivan Gorge

4 Aether Membrane

3 Sun Droplet

4 Quest for Pure Flame

4 Sizzle
4 Flame Rift
4 Browbeat
4 Flamebreak
4 Acidic Soil
3 Breaking Point
3 Breath of Darigaaz

Brewing a Storm

2 Glacial Chasm
3 Sunpetal Grove
3 Greypelt Refuge
4 Brushland
4 Forest
5 Plains

3 Wrath of God
2 Hurricane

2 Ghostly Prison
2 Titania's Song
2 Aura of Silence
2 Kismet
1 Fastbond


4 Fieldmist Borderpost
4 Storm Cauldron
4 Ankh of Mishra
2 Sun Droplet
1 Venser's Journal
2 Horn of Greed
4 Iron Maiden
4 Darksteel Ingot

Beast Gone Wild

3 Kessig Wolf Run
4 Contested Cliffs
4 Kazandu Refuge
4 Gruul Turf
1 Yavimaya Hollow
8 Forest


4 Krosan Warchief
4 Wirewood Savage
3 Ravenous Baloth
3 Rampaging Baloths
2 Spearbreaker Behemoth
2 Mold Shambler
2 Terra Stomper
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
1 Gruul Ragebeast
1 Silklash Spider
1 Copperhoof Vorrac
1 Ursapine
1 Molder Slug
1 Protean Hulk


4 Wild Growth
2 Warstorm Surge
1 Spidersilk Armor


2 Garruk, Primal Hunter

Elven Rythym Nation

14 Forest
2 Wirewood Lodge
1 Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
1 Pendelhaven


3 Joraga Warcaller
2 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
4 Priest of Titania
2 Fyndhorn Elves
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Wirewood Symbiote
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Elvish Archdruid
4 Sylvan Messenger
4 Imperious Perfect


1 Asceticism
2 Biorhythm
2 Hurricane
2 Eldrazi Monument

I want to drink your blood

18 Swamp
4 Leechridden Swamp
2 Cabal Coffers


4 Pulse Tracker
3 Blood Artist
4 Vampire Nighthawk
4 Malakir Bloodwitch
3 Falkenrath Noble
2 Bloodline Keeper


3 Underworld Connections
1 No Mercy
1 Phyrexian Reclamation


4 Syphon Soul
4 Blood Tithe
3 Exsanguinate

Draw equals Pain

1 Tolarian Academy
2 Sulfur Falls
4 Great Furnace
4 Seat of the Synod
1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
2 Deserted Temple
2 Reliquary Tower
3 Island
2 Mountain


4 Swans of Bryn Argoll
2 Jace's Archivist
2 Kami of the Crescent Moon
4 Psychosis Crawler


4 Howling Mine
4 Iron Maiden
4 Ebony Owl Netsuke
1 Ivory Tower


4 Winds of Change
4 Molten Psyche
2 Copy Artifact
2 Sunder
2 Cyclonic Rift

Rainbow Sliver

4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Breeding Pool


4 Muscle Sliver
4 Sinew Sliver
4 Gemhide Sliver
3 Winged Sliver
4 Crystalline Sliver
4 Homing Sliver
2 Heart Sliver
2 Acidic Sliver
1 Sliver Overlord
1 Essence Sliver
1 Necrotic Sliver
1 Harmonic Sliver
1 Brood Sliver
1 Shifting Sliver
1 Fury Sliver


3 Distant Melody
1 Creeping Renaissance


2 Door of Destinies


22 Plains
2 Emeria, Sky Ruin


4 Veteran Swordsmith
4 Daru Warchief
3 Field Marshal
3 Knight-Captain of Eos
3 Captain of the Watch
3 Catapult Master
2 Loxodon Gatekeeper
2 Angel of Glory's Rise
2 Stormfront Riders
1 Darien, King of Kjeldor
1 Odric, Master Tactician


4 Skullclamp
2 Eldrazi Monument
1 Mobilization


1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Life Test

16 Plains
4 Kabira Crossroads
2 Emeria, the Sky Ruin
1 Miren, the Moaing Well


4 Wall of Reverence
2 Divinity of Pride
4 Serra Ascendant
4 Martyr of Sands
4 Kami of False Hope


2 Test of Endurance
1 Idyllic Tutor
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Beacon of Immortality
2 Fracturing Gust
3 Congregate
2 Well of Lost Dreams
2 Proclamation of Rebirth
4 Chastise
1 Elixir of Immortality
1 Debtors' Knell


1 Ajani Goldmane


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