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Zendikar Rising draft guide – White | Magic: The Gathering

With Zendikar Rising coming to Magic: The Gathering  Arena, I’m here to provide players with a Zendikar Rising draft guide! In this guide, I’ll be reviewing all the White cards in the set.

Before I get into my rating for each card, here’s a brief overview of my rating system.

  • 1 – Bad card or only useful in the sideboard
  • 2 – Passable, but not something I would pick early or often
  • 3 – A solid card I’m happy to pick most of the time
  • 4 – Very strong cards that provide a lot of value on their own
  • 5 – Cards that will almost always win the game if your opponents can’t deal with them

Now that we know how I’ll be rating each card, let’s get straight into the ratings.

Magic: The Gathering Zendikar Rising draft guide – White

Allied Assault – 2.5 

If you’re able to have a party of two or more, then Allied Assault becomes a pretty decent combat trick. The only problem with this card is that is does nothing if you’re behind on board. It is a win-more combat spell that will find a home in aggro-based strategies. However, I pass this card pretty often unless I knew I could consistently find value out of it.

Angel of Destiny – 5

A classic bomb. Angel of Destiny is very resilient to damage-based removal and will always win combat.  6 toughness is a lot, and the fact that this card has double strike makes it an offensive and defensive threat. The second line of text gives this card (and your other creatures) pseudo lifelink, which is very useful when you’re behind. I don’t think you’ll be winning the game with her alternate win condition, but it’s nice to have just in case.

Angelheart Protector – 2.5

A lot of people don’t like 3-mana 3/2’s, however, I’d argue that Angelheart Protector is a solid card. I like that she’s useful as an attacker and a defender. Plus, you have to remember that ‘Cleric’ is relevant for the new party mechanic, making me like her just a little more.

Archon of Emeria – 2.5

Archon of Emeria is good, but not game-changing. Its first ability does a great job of slowing down your opponent, but slows you down as well. Plus, its second ability will have little impact on most of your games. With that said, you can never go wrong with a 3-mana 2/3 flyer, making this card a good inclusion for most white decks.

Archpriest of Iona – 3.5

Most of the time, this card is going to be a 1-mana 2/2. Which is honestly amazing, since it will be able to trade with most 2-3 mana units. The real power of this card comes when you’re able to achieve a full party. Since Archpriest of Iona is already a Cleric, all you need are the three other creature types. Although it’s fairly difficult to get a full party on board, the fact that this card becomes a late-game threat for only 1 mana makes it an awesome pick for most drafts.

Zendikar Rising Draft Guide

Attended Healer – 2

Attended Healer has weak stats and can’t target itself with its own ability. A decent card that can build you a board, but nothing to get too excited about.

Zendikar Rising Draft Guide

Canyon Jerboa – 2.5 // 3

The fact that Canyon Jerboa targets itself with its own ability makes me think that it will perform well. The buff effect is strong, as it turns all your dead land draws into something useful. Of course, you have to keep in mind that this effect only benefits decks that can consistently go wide.

Cliffhaven Sell-Sword – 2

A solid 2-mana filler that can fulfill the Warrior slot in your party.

Dauntless Unity – 3

Inspired Charge with upside is always solid for go-wide white decks. Wouldn’t pick it early, but I’d also never be sad to have a copy.

Disenchant – 0.5
Disenchant doesn’t have many relevant targets this set, making it pointless this time around.
Emeria Captain – 3.5
At worst, this is a 4-mana 2/2 vigilance flyer. At best, it becomes a 5/5 vigilance flyer. And most of the time, it’s probably going to be a 3/3 vigilance flyer. In a format filled with a decent amount of flyers, Emeria Captain is an incredibly versatile card that I will almost always pick when I get the chance.
Emeria’s Call – 5+
Well, this is a bomb. For 7 mana, Emeria’s Call will develop you a strong enough board to take over the game. The fact that it makes your current board indestructible means that you can get in a free attack as well.

Expedition Healer – 2.5

A 2-mana 2/2 with two upsides. Farsight Adept is a solid inclusion in any white deck, and actually benefits you for having multiple copies of it.

Farsight Adept – 2.5

I usually never like cards that benefit your opponent, especially when it’s on your turn. Despite this, Fearless Fledgling has great stats and also helps fulfill the Wizard requirement for parties.

Zendikar Rising Draft Guide

Fearless Fledgling – 4

The best white uncommon in the set. Landfall triggers very often in a limited environment, and will turn Feildar Retreat into a game-winning threat in no time. I have no idea why the game devs thought that putting flying on this card would be a good idea.

Felidar Retreat – 5

I’m amazed at the power level of these rares and uncommons. Felidar Retreat creates a wide board for you and permanently buffs them later on in the game. On top of all of that, it only costs 1 white mana symbol. I would recommend you put this card into your deck, regardless of what colors you’re in.

Journey to Oblivion – 3.5

Premium removal that every white deck should want.

Kabira Outrider – 2

A decent filler card that will always come down as a 4/4 the turn it’s played. The effect is probably best when you target an evasive unit.

Kabira Takedown – 3

Great uncommon removal that can also target Planeswalkers.

Kitesail Cleric – 2.5

This is a decent card to play on turn 1. It can also help you lower your opponent’s defenses if played later on in the game.

Kor Blademaster – 2.5

Fencing Ace with an upside. Aggressive decks will always want this card.

Zendikar Rising Draft Guide

Kor Celebrant – 2.5

I really enjoy playing defensive units like Kor Celebrant. Plus, there are a few Orzhov life gain synergies that you can benefit from too.

Legion Angel – 3.5

This is a solid 4-mana 4/3 flyer. The ability is irrelevant in limited.

Luminarch Aspirant – 4.5

Although Luminarch Aspirant doesn’t win the game the moment you cast it, it will surely get you there. By the way, this card targets itself too.

Makindi Ox – 2

A filler 5-mana unit. Tapping a single enemy unit will be relevant for getting good attacks, but nothing to go crazy for.

Makindi Stampede – 2.5

If this card didn’t have the land aspect attached to it, then I’d probably avoid picking it early. However, the fact that it doubles as a land makes it a decent pickup.

Maul of the Skyclaves – 4

This card will pretty much slot into every white deck as it turns any creature into a threat. Flying is looking very scary in this set.

Mesa Lynx – 1.5

A slightly below-average filler card. Mesa Lynx doesn’t fulfill any party requirements, so I’d avoid it most of the time.

Nahiri’s Binding – 3

Amazing common removal for white. I really like how removal spells in limited now target planeswalkers.

Ondu Inversion – 2

A full-board wipe isn’t really the effect I want on turn 8. This is pretty much Wrath of God, but costs double.

Paired Tactician – 2

Remember when I said 3-mana 3/2’s are usually bad? This is what I meant.

To be fair, there are a decent amount of common warriors to trigger Paired Tactician’s effect. However, I can’t see any situation where Paired Tactician lives for more than a turn.

Practiced Tactics – 2.5

A good early game removal spell that scales really well.

Pressure Point – 1.5

Pressure point is a weak filler spell that marginally benefits aggressive decks. Avoid this unless you’re desperate for a 2-mana filler spell.

Prowling Felidar – 2.5

Honestly, I could see this card doing really well. If you let it sit on the battlefield for a few turns, it can quickly become a 4/5 or 5/6, which is scary.

Resolute Strike – 1.5

This card is okay, but there are better common spells you could be adding into your deck.

Sea Gate Banneret – 1.5

I’d avoid this card unless you’re desperate to get the party going.

Sejiri Shelter – 2.5

Now, this is a modal card I can get behind, since Protection has always been an insane effect.

Shepherd of Heroes – 4

The best white common creature in this set. It has amazing stats and gains you a solid amount of life.

Skyclave Apparition – 3.5

Skyclave Apparition is a removal spell disguised as a creature. The downside isn’t that bad either, since they are going to get a severely worse creature than the one you exiled.

Skyclave Cleric – 2.5

A good creature that can stop your opponent’s pressure or act as a land.

Squad Commander – 4

Squad Commander isn’t necessarily a game-winning bomb, but a great card to instantly give you a wide board. With that said, if you can get a full party, then this card becomes a threat.

Smite the Monstrous – 1.5

After looking at all the other removal options, there are several better options than this card.

Tazeem Raptor – 2.5

If you have cards that will benefit from landfall triggers, then Tazeem Raptor becomes amazing. Otherwise, it’s just a solid 2/2 flyer.

Tazri, Beacon of Unity – 5

Tazri is bonkers. Worst case scenario, you cast her as a 5-mana 4/6, which isn’t terrible. Best case scenario, you cast her for 3-4 mana, which is crazy value. Besides, if you get to activate her ability once, you’re probably going to just win the game.


White has some crazy good payoffs in the rare and mythic slots, and amazing flying units at the common and uncommon level. I’m pretty sold on drafting white in Zendikar Rising limited, and belive that it will be one of the safer options to get into in Magic: The Gathering at the moment. Also, if you’re looking to add more clerics to your party, white has the most clerics out of any color.
Anyways, that’s it for the Magic: The Gathering Zendikar Rising draft guide for White! Next up in the color wheel is blue!
Stay tuned to SQUAD for more Magic: The Gathering content.
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Paul Dudsdeemaytha

Paul Dudsdeemaytha is a Vancouver, BC-based writer and content creator at SQUAD. Paul specializes in creating guides for Magic: The Gathering and Legends of Runeterra. When he's not writing, you can probably find him throwing frisbees nearby.
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