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Innistrad: Crimson Vow Set Review - White
(Justyna Gil) | Art by
A Nice Day for a White Wedding
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to review the white cards for Innistrad: Crimson Vow. As a color, white has long been considered to be on the poorer side of "for richer or poorer" when it comes to Commander, so whenever a new set drops, many of us are looking for some powerful new cards to have and to cherish until power creep do us part. I think we're all itching to get to the reception, so let's skip the ceremony and see what gets left at the altar.
Mythics and Rares
By Invitation Only
This feels like it should have been a black card, what with all the sacrificing, but instead we get a very interesting new tool in white's mass removal arsenal. While white already has ways to get around indestructible withand , this is a great option for token decks (such as or ) that have extra creatures to give up. It takes the right deck, but manipulating board wipes to be one-sided is pretty wonderful!
Outside of token decks, this card is fine, and costed similarly to other such board wipe effects. Sacrificing 13 creatures is usually going to be enough to clear the board, but at that point you're better off with a traditional Wrath, where you can keep your creatures with something likeor .
This card has the potential to swarm the board with tokens, and the fact that it functions as instant graveyard hate is icing on the cake. Be on the lookout for cards with multiple types, like, or any artifact creature or enchantment creature, to maximize the value. is another way to catch more cards types and is likely to synergize with a deck that wants to cast a lot of creatures.
Speaking of which,, is going to so some serious work in decks. shows up in a whopping 86% of GE Oketra decks, and it sounds pretty awesome to create even more tokens whenever you cast six times a turn. Outside of that, Human tribal commanders like , , and are all happy to get more bodies on the field, so the Protector definitely has a home in the format.
Faithbound Judge // Sinner's Judgement
Ifis played on curve, it would be able to attack around the same time that a would. That isn't going to cut it in most Commander games. The other half is a very slow kill condition on a single opponent. Three turns isn't an eternity to wait, but it's not quick, either, and you're likely to earn a lot of ire during the wait. Even using Proliferate effects, you can only shave a single turn off of the wait time. It would be fun to knock out several opponents this way, but since the enchantment exiles itself, you'd probably have to rely on cards like to try.
I think this card has a home in, which can make use of both sides of the card most easily. The front half has defender, but obtains the potential to attack right away with Arcades. Arcades players can therefore focus their attacks on one player while using the Sinner's Judgement effect of this card to deal with another player, all while defendd themselves with a huge wall of creatures as the clock ticks down.
If you've been looking for another effect like Enchantress deck, you're in luck! Getting seven enchantments on the field at once can be a big task, but once you get there, gives flying and vigilance to each of your creatures, not just the tokens. This can turn your into quite a threat! would be happy to have more options for win conditions, and is likely interested in the evasion and defense.for your
While Spirit Tribal theme page for you'll see that it's only running 6 enchantments on average, and even the newly-printed is looking for nontoken Spirits to deal combat damage for her triggered ability to work. This card could be a win condition for enchantment-heavy decks as a way to get even more mana out of that commander, but it'll likely remain mostly within the Enchantress theme, and since appears in over 15,000 decks, that's pretty admirable company to keep.creates Spirits, I don't see Spirit tribal decks running enough enchantments to warrant using this card. If you look at the
Here we have a powerful, repeatable removal tool for +1/+1 counter decks. Removing two counters from among your creatures is easy to pay, whether you're going wide or tall. At one mana, this fits anywhere on your curve and doesn't even require a tap to activate, so it can be utilized the turn you play it.and can easily get the required number of counters, while and are happy to have another way utilize their counters (though of course, the more tuned versions may not have need of this effect if they're focusing on infinite combos). For best results, pair with a to eternally knock out troublesome enemy artifacts and enchantments for as long as you need!
Katilda Dawnhart Martyr // Katilda's Rising Dawn
Another finisher for Enchantress decks!is played in 10,563 decks, while is played in 15,961, and if I dare say so, Katilda has quite a bit over both of those cards. Flying gives a better chance for a direct hit, and lifelink will keep you in the game longer. Enchantress decks are certainly more interesting in casting the back half, to enchant their commanders to deal commander damage, but even as a creature, Katilda is still a problem that needs to be dealt with. Best of all, barring exile removal, she's a problem that needs to be deal with twice.
and would likely be happy to have a creature they can sacrifice to an edict effect, especially if it can later return as an Aura in the future. could certainly use another way to put opponents on a clock. decks that lean on enchantments and/or Spirits can make Katilda massive, and Kykar's sacrifice ability will make certain you can use her as an Aura when you need it. In the event you play against a Vampire tribal or even a Changeling tribal deck, that 'protection from Vampires' may even come in handy, too!
Somehow, this card is worse when you pay its Cleave cost. Both red and white have more reliable removal than this. If you really want this effect, I'd recommend that instead you use, since it can also be a land.
Savior Of Ollenbock
It may not look like it, but this is actually a powerful modal card. First of all, it acts like awhenever it trains, so you can use it as repeatable removal as long as you attack with other bigger creatures. Second, this effect can also hit a creature in the graveyard, and since it all comes back to the battlefield when the Savior leaves (not dies, but when it leaves the battlefield) you can also use this as a reanimator effect. This goes great in decks that utilize blink effects, and would make an excellent reanimator engine with or . Cards like and will even be able to recur the Savior itself, since it's a three-mana card. It even has low power for things like and ! This is easily my favorite card in the set, don't overlook it.
An excellent top-end finisher for +1/+1 counter decks that like to go wide. This card pairs well with any card that puts +1/+1 counters on multiple creatures, like, and . Often just having a lot of fliers is enough to win a game. Aside from combat, there are some neat tricks you can do when turning creatures into Angels. If you can cause creatures to enter the battlefield with counters on them, they will enter as Angels, triggering and to gain you life. is especially fun with this card - if you can get counters on the Spirits it creates with something like , then they will make another Spirit when they die, which becomes an Angel! Just add your favorite free sacrifice outlet and you're off to the races! Commanders that deal in +1/+1 counters like , , and should be looking for a spot to play this card.
Voice of the Blessed
They did it. They made a better. If you have one of the 7,255 decks that run Pridemate (and aren't doing some kind of theme brew) you are going to want this. , , , , and all tend to make use of lots of incremental lifegain effects, which means this card will power up to lethal in next to no time. This card may even earn a home in +1/+1 counter decks that want to go tall, since putting all your counters onto this card (with, say, a ) will give you a huge, indestructible, evasive, vigilant beater. At the end of the day, a or a bounce spell will undo the work it took to get there, but lifegain decks are always happy to get another method of weaponizing all their lifegain in a new, exciting way.
While it's nice to see white getting more draw effects, I think most decks that marry this to their strategy are going to file for divorce in a few months. The counters are added to this card whether you get to draw a card or not, so a well-timed removal spell can block you from getting those cards. The tokens are a hollow consolation prize, and instead of going to the graveyard, where you could get it back, this card just transforms into an anthem that will prevent you from abusing your tokens with a. Mono-white decks looking to make large numbers of creatures to attack with, like , might find a home for this card, and is happy to see it turn into an anthem, I suppose, but at the end of the day, decks in other color pairings will have better card draw options to reach for.
Another attempt at giving white card draw, and it's better than the card above. This card is very evocative of, except the mana requirement is replaced by a once-per-turn limit.
If your deck wants the Mentor, then it wants this as well. This card has a home in the format, but it's far from the 'answer' to white's card draw woes. To maximize this effect, you need to be making creatures every turn, not just your own, which likely means making tokens, or some type ofeffect. Thing is, those decks tend to make use of anthems, which can potentially lock you out of drawing cards from this Vampire.
If you want to add this to your token deck, take a cue from Partner decks withand use cards like or to pump your creatures at the last minute. Aside from Sidar Kondo, I can see this card showing up in decks, since it's a Vampire, and Edgar makes tons of small tokens very consistently. Among mono-white commanders, and are great at making small creatures on other players' turns, and loves a , which pairs very nicely with our new Vampire friend.
Uncommons and Commons
Arm the Cathars
This looks like a Limited card, but I think it has a home indecks as a way to trigger several of the creatures with the Heroic ability that tend to show up in those decks, such as , while still providing a boost to the commander.
As white gets more reanimation effects, such as, it may be worthwhile to start looking at free discard outlets like this one. decks can use this to discard creatures to recur, for example, and can discard unwanted cards in order to exile this creature and make a Spirit token as needed.
Heron of Hope
sees play in 5,598 decks, to help them get a boost to their lifegain. While the Heron costs four mana, the ability to grant itself lifelink is just one more way to trigger permanents that care about lifegain. Not a huge mover and shaker, but a cute one.
It's no secret that double strike is one of the better keyword abilities in commander. While the Geist can be cast from the graveyard as an Aura, I think most enchantment-focused decks would be better off looking at a regular ol'. I think this card would actually shine more in Equipment decks like or . At two mana, this comes down early and wears Equipment like and quite well. Then, if it ends up in the graveyard, it can be recast to pass double strike onto the next creature you want to suit up!
I Now Pronounce You Sleeve and Card
That brings us to the end of this review. It it seems like Enchantress and +1/+1 counters are the strategies that caught the bouquet this time around. Which cards from this set are going into your white decks? Were there any hidden gems I missed? (If you're wondering about, remember that Crimson Vow Commander-exclusive cards will be handled in a different review!) Get in the comments and speak now, or forever hold your peace!