Happy Halloween(ies)! Ben Fischer, aka betafisch, aka certified-white-weenie-aficionado here. White got something very unique in Midnight Hunt limited: card advantage. I’d like to take a look at some of the best white common creatures of not only the set, but of recent memory. Mmmmmm... I can already smell the hot dogs.
Let's be honest: white usually doesn’t get much in terms of card advantage. A fairly common play pattern among white decks in modern limited is to curve out with efficient creatures, only to be brick-walled by an opposing 4/4. However, when aggressive white creatures are paired with card advantage, we get an aggro deck with “reach,” or the ability to close out a game after having finished curving out. A typical white aggro deck might get out-valued by midrange, but a deck with reach finds a way to leverage their cheap creatures and push through to end the game. A few non-white cards that I’ve found give white decks reach are effects like
Abandon the Post,
Geistwave, or even
Dreadhound’s drain ability. Look for cards that can break a stalling board wide open via direct damage, evasion, or beneficial attacks.
The cool thing about Midnight Hunt is that we don’t actually need to rely too heavily on other colors to provide reach in our white decks. White has access to one of the best forms of reach directly attached to its commons- card advantage! Join me as I “roast” some of my favorite weenies of the set.
That’s right folks, your eyes do not deceive you-
Search Party Captain draws you a card! I will play literally as many copies as I can draft- it’s like a cheaper, more aggressive
Jokes aside, this has the most obvious card advantage of the bunch, as it literally draws you a card. It pairs well with the flying spirits and witches in white, and will often cost 1-2 mana. This is no
Sarulf’s Packmate, but a 2/2 is a decently-sized body in the format. Don’t be afraid to trade or even sacrifice a 1/1 to a blocker to allow yourself to cast your
Search Party Captain. When trying to win with reach, you often have to admit to yourself that you are not going to out-grind your opponent. Instead, you need to end the game quickly, before your opponent can stabilize. Losing a token or the front half of a
Lunarch Veteran is often a fine price to pay for 4-8ish damage, and
Search Party Captain's card draw ensures that you don’t run out of action while making these calculated attacks.
Mourning Patrol is misunderstood. The more I play with it, the more I see its ability to attack cleanly into many opposing board states, as well as to block decayed tokens all day (or, uh, Morning).
The card advantage inherent to disturb cards like
Mourning Patrol requires some work to access- the creature does have to die. Still, your opponent can’t take two damage from this thing forever, and once it's removed or trades, the back side can pressure your opponent in the air. As I mentioned above, evasion is a strong form of mid-to-late-game reach.
So, to review, we have a reliable attacker that draws an evasive threat when it dies… I’m in! This may not look like the most aggressive card in the world, but I find myself wanting a copy or two in every white deck.
I’ll admit it- I was slow on adopting
Lunarch Veteran, but now that I’ve seen it in action, I’m a veteran at casting Veterans. It has similar inherent card advantage to
Mourning Patrol thanks to disturb, and often gains you 4-8 life in a game- but why is this good? Midnight Hunt is a fast format- you’re closer to death than you think. Decayed zombies are at their best when their sacrifice downside is negated, and a great way to achieve that is for the game to end via an attacking horde of tokens. Kill your opponent before the sacrifice triggers can ever go on the stack!
Decayed zombies are so cheap that they can present a problem for white decks that would prefer to race, rather than block. That's where
Lunarch Veteran comes in. Imagine your opponent has 5 decayed tokens. At any life total below 10, you probably feel nervous, but when you’re at 30 life, you probably feel pretty safe. Turn one
Lunarch Veteran can functionally negate 3-6 decayed tokens as attackers, just not in the traditional sense. Now imagine playing multiples!
Candlegrove Witch is my favorite 2-drop in the format. While I know it’s usually correct to draft the
Siege Zombie instead, I personally prefer closing out the game with the white fliers vector.
This weenie does not have inherent card advantage like the others, but does have the best built-in reach of the bunch. A turn 2
Candlegrove Witch will often deal the majority of your damage in a white aggressive deck, and will demand an answer from your opponent in the late game. Coven is easy to turn on, thanks to all the graveyard recursion and token-making. Put some counters on this and turn it sideways!
Where would white weenies be without some combat tricks?
Flare of Faith is the best combat trick for the weenies deck ( I have found 0-2
Blessed Defiance to be fine as well). Prioritize getting a copy or two, and never cut it before you cut other similar spells in other colors. Look back at one of your white decks from the format- I bet you had about 8-13 humans. It’s really hard to go wrong when your combat trick always either wins combat or trades with an opposing trick at worst. Bounce spells are the one weakness of
Flare of Faith- I recommend thinking carefully about attacking into two untapped blue mana.
It's time for me to go on a Midnight Hunt for some candy. I’ll leave you with two examples of 3-0 white decks I drafted that made great use of the weenies. As Crimson Vow cards are spoiled, keep an eye out for ones that function similarly to those discussed above. There’s truly nothing spookier than a white deck with card advantage!
1 Gavony Trapper 1 Candletrap 1 Jack-o'-Lantern 1 Silver Bolt 1 Ambitious Farmhand 3 Candlegrove Witch 1 Sungold Sentinel 1 Can't Stay Away 1 Duel for Dominance 2 Flare of Faith 1 Join the Dance 1 Rite of Oblivion 2 Dawnhart Wardens 1 Jerren, Corrupted Bishop 1 Saryth, the Viper's Fang 2 Search Party Captain 1 Liesa, Forgotten Archangel 1 Sigardian Savior 8 Plains 4 Swamp 5 Forest
1 Chaplain of Alms 1 Lunarch Veteran 2 Candlegrove Witch 1 Covetous Castaway 4 Shipwreck Sifters 1 Flare of Faith 2 Locked in the Cemetery 1 Falcon Abomination 1 Gavony Dawnguard 1 Mourning Patrol 1 Nebelgast Intruder 2 Borrowed Time 1 Clarion Cathars 1 Galedrifter 1 Organ Hoarder 1 Search Party Captain 1 Memory Deluge 1 Vanquish the Horde 8 Plains 8 Island
If you’re interested, you can hear some more in-depth discussions of these cards and others in the latest episode of the Draft Chaff Podcast. Happy Halloween!