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Core Set 2021 Draft Guide – White | Magic: The Gathering

With Core Set 2021 coming to MTG Arena, I’m here to provide players with a Core Set 2021 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.

Core Set 2021 Draft guide – White

core set 2021 draft guide

Alpine Watchdog – 2

Alpine Watchdog is a decent filler card, but won’t do much to help you win the game. There is some Dog synergy in this set, but I’d still stay away from this card most of the time.

core set 2021 draft guide

Angelic Ascension – 2.5

When I saw Angelic Ascension, I immediately thought about the possibility of turning my one drop into a 4/4 flyer. I don’t think that this card is going to be crazy good, but I do think that it’s worth including in aggressive decks. Also, never use this card as removal. There’s no point exiling your opponent’s biggest threat if you’re just going to give them another threat you have to worry about.

core set 2021 draft guide

Anointed Chorister – 2

Life gain is an archetype in this set, however, 5-mana to make this card good is a heavy cost to pay. I would cut this card most of the time unless I had life gain synergy or had ways to put counters on it.

core set 2021 draft guide

Aven Gagglemaster – 3

This card is a solid pick for any white deck. While gaining 2 life isn’t anything game-breaking, there are enough fliers in this set that gaining 4 life from this card isn’t difficult to achieve.

core set 2021 draft guide

Baneslayer Angel – 5

A pure bomb. Baneslayer Angel is amazing during all phases of the game and will win you the game unless your opponent can deal with her right away.

core set 2021 draft guide

Basri Ket – 4

Basri Ket is a cheap planeswalker that’s amazing if you’re able to go wide. The downside is that this planeswalker won’t win you the game the moment you play him. You’re going to need to build around him to maximize his value.

core set 2021 draft guide

Basri’s Acolyte – 3.5

Basri’s Acolyte is a good solid common. It’s not hard to get two creatures on the board by turn four, so I expect Basri’s Acolyte to have maximum value pretty often.

core set 2021 draft guide

Basri’s Lieutenant – 4

Basri’s Lieutenant has a solid stat line, puts a counter on something the moment it enters the battlefield, and can even leave a creature behind when it dies. This creature packs an incredible amount of value for 4 mana.

core set 2021 draft guide

Basri’s Solidarity – 1.5

If your deck has +1/+1 counter payoffs, then this card can be a great inclusion. Otherwise, it is most likely going to be a filler card in white decks. This card would be a lot better if it was instant speed.

Celestial Enforcer – 2.5

Celestial Enforcer is great at slowing down your opponent’s board if you are able to consistently have a flyer on board.

core set 2021 draft guide

Concordia Pegasus – 2.5

A solid common flyer in the set that I’m happy to have in most of my decks.

Containment Priest – 2

Although this card can be a decent sideboard tech, I wouldn’t want it in my main deck. Also, a 2/2 creature with flash is unimpressive.

core set 2021 draft guide

Daybreak Charger – 2.5

A strong aggressive 2 drop that will be useful in any deck. I expect aggressive decks to want multiple copies of this card.

Defiant Strike – 1.5

Defiant Strike has never been an exciting card and shouldn’t be picked often. With that said, if your deck has a lot of first strike or lifelink, Defiant Strike can be a decent inclusion.

Dub – 1.5

Dub is not worth opening yourself up to a two-for-one. I can see Dub being included in aggressive strategies, however, for most decks, there are much better options.

core set 2021 draft guide

Faith’s Fetters – 3.5

I love that Faith’s Fetter can target any permanent. Faith’s Fetters gives white decks an answer to any threat and can completely turn the game around. This card is a premium removal spell and first-pickable.
core set 2021 draft guide

Falconer Adept – 2.5

Although creating a bunch of several 1/1 flying birds is very appealing, Falconer Adept will require some build around. Cards like Gale Swooper and Basri’s Acolyte, for example, do a great job at helping Falconer Adept attack more than once.

Feat of Resistance – 2.5

Feat of Resistance is very flexible and a solid trick in any white deck. Protection can help us counter spells, keep our creatures alive, push through damage, and so on. With that said, I wouldn’t want more than 1 copy of this card in my deck.

Gale Swooper – 2.5

Gale Swooper is an amazing common creature. Giving one of your creatures flying for the turn can be really impactful when there are cards like Falconer Adept running around.

Glorious Anthem – 4.0

Core Set 2021 seems to be very a combat-focused limited environment. Therefore, having an enchantment that boosts the stats of all your creatures is very relevant, and will be impactful during all points of the game. I will always be happy to first-pick this card in a draft.

Griffin Aerie – 1.5 // 2.5

It’s going to be difficult to reliably get value out of Griffin Aerie unless you are heavily in the life gain archetype. However, the payoff here can be worth it if you pick it early on in the draft.

Idol of Endurance – 1.5 

This card is a trap. The fact that we can only get creatures with a converted mana cost of 3 or less is very restricting. You’re better off just casting those creatures yourself.

Legion’s Judgment – 2.0

A filler removal spell that I’ll sideboard most of the time.

Light of Promise – 1.5

I can see this card being okay if put on a creature with lifelink, otherwise, it’s mediocre. The card has no immediate value so you’re setting yourself up for a two-for-one.

Makeshift Battalion – 2.0 

In a go-wide aggro deck, Makeshift Battalion can be a great 3-drop to curve into. That said, this card will be a vanilla 3 mana 3/2 most of the time and several decks will probably cut this card.

Mangara, the Diplomat – 4.0

Mangara’s value engine is insane. This creature isn’t going to beat down our opponent, but will drastically slow down our opponent’s clock and make sure they cant take over the game.

Nine Lives – 1.0

Nine Lives is just a fancy life gain card. It can help you survive a few turns, but in the end, it doesn’t really help you win the game. I’d rather just include another creature or removal spell instead.

Pack Leader – 3.5

I’m a big fan of Pack Leader. The fact that this card protects itself makes it worthwhile to build around. Plus, it’s fairly easy to pick up a few Dogs in the draft since most of them are at the common rarity.

core set 2021 draft guide

Rambunctious Mutt – 2.5

There are a decent amount of enchantments/artifacts in this set, making Rambunctious Mutt a good filler card.

Revitalize – 1.5

If you have “gain 3 or more life” payoffs in your deck, this card is worth including. If you don’t, never pick this card.

Runed Halo – 2.0

In a limited environment, Runed Halo just stops one of our opponent’s creatures from attacking us. It’s not great because that creature can still block, however, it can be a decent spell to slow down our opponent’s clock.

core set 2021 draft guide

Sanctum of Tranquil Light – 1.5

6 mana is a very steep cost to tap a creature. Remember that the shrines are legendary, so most two-color decks that run shrines will still have to pay 5 mana for the ability. If the draft format ends up being slow, I could see this card being good, but for now, I would stay away.

Seasoned Hallowblade – 2.5

Seasoned Hallowblade is a strictly worse version of Adanto Vanguard. Still, this card is a very strong creature capable of dealing tons of damage. In aggressive decks, I expect this card to be highly sought after.

Secure the Scene – 3.5

The downside of Secure the Scene is negligible. This is a premium removal spell that can deal with any nonland permanent.

Selfless Savior – 2

Although 1 mana 1/1’s are usually bad, I actually like Selfless Savior. The ability to protect your best creature at instant speed makes this card a great inclusion in any deck. Plus, it has Dog synergy!

Siege Striker – 2.5

Siege Striker requires some build around but the payoff is worth it. There are several +1/+1 counters and buff spells in this set, which makes Double Strike a very scary ability.

Speaker of the Heavens – 2.0

I may be wrong, but I don’t think it’s realistic to consistently have 27+ life to make this card work.

Staunch Shieldmate – 2.0

A vanilla 1 mana 1/3. A good statline for go-wide decks.

Swift Response – 3.5

A common instant speed removal spell for 2-mana. I love it.

Tempered Veteran – 3

Tempered Veteran scales incredibly well into the late game and is great in a +1/+1 synergy deck.

Valorous Steed – 2.5

Paying 5 mana to get a 5/5 on two bodies is great. A solid common that almost any white deck will include.

Vryn Wingmare – 3.0

If you’re playing this card, you’re most likely the aggressor and have several creatures spells in your deck. Therefore, its ability will hurt your opponent more than it hurts yourself.

Warded Battlements – 2.0

This card is too awkward for most aggressive decks but has potential in the U/W flying archetype.


White lacks token creation in this set, however, they make up for it by having a lot of strong removals spells. I expect the U/W Flying archetype to be very strong, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Anyways, that’s it for the Core Set 2021 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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