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Ikoria Draft Guide – all White cards ranked | Magic: The Gathering

With Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Player Drafts underway in Magic: The Gathering, I’m here to provide players with and Ikoria 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.

Blade Banish

Blade Banish – 2.0 

Blade banish is a decent card, but you probably don’t want more than one copy of it in your deck. This card isn’t something you want to prioritize picking.

Checkpoint Officer – 3

This card is particularly good in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. In a limited environment where creatures get big through Mutate, Checkpoint Officer will help slow down your opponent.

Coordinated Charge – 1.5

Cycling is a really good mechanic for limited. It makes cards like Coordinated Charge somewhat useful throughout any point in the game. Just like Inspired Charge, Coordinated Charge can be a good addition for decks going wide. Generally though, not a card I’m very excited about picking.

Cubwarden – 3.5

Cubwarden isn’t necessarily a bomb, but is a strong first-pick card. A 4-mana 3/5 Lifelink creature is already pretty good, and its Mutate ability is very good as well. The problem with Mutate is that if your opponent has a removal spell, they essentially did a 2-for-1. However, Cubwarden leaves two 1/1 Lifelink tokens when it Mutates, which is awesome.

Daysquad Marshal – 2.5

I’m never sad about adding this card to my deck. I really like having a 4-mana 4/4 on two bodies. This isn’t a card you want to be picking early, but isn’t one you’d be sad about choosing either.

Divine Arrow – 2.5

Good common removal. It’s efficient, but there are better removal spells in this set.

Drannith Healer – 2

This card is okay. It’s 2-mana 2/2 with some upsides. Gaining 1 life isn’t anything exciting, but having a 1-mana cycling cost is nice.

ikoria draft guide

Drannith Magistrate – 1

A 2-mana 1/3 card is not going to help you in limited.  Its effect is barely going to help you since it was tailored for constructed play. Don’t pick this card unless you really, really have to.

ikoria draft guide

Fight as One – 2.5

This is a cheap 1-mana trick that I like. Indestructible is a solid keyword, and can really surprise your opponent. You won’t always have 2 targets for this card, but it also isn’t impossible.

ikoria draft guide

Flourishing Fox – 1.5 // 2.5

Not bad, not great. Flourishing Fox is a great aggressive creature if you get it down early and have cycling support. Otherwise, the ability to cycle it for 1-mana later in the game is always nice.

ikoria draft guide

Garrison Cat – 1.5

Not crazy about this card. It’s a 1-mana 1/1 that gives you a human 1/1 when it dies. Doesn’t really help any archetypes in this format.

ikoria draft guide

Helica Glider – 2.5

Having a 3-mana 2/2 is already pretty good. There aren’t many scenarios where you will be picking the first strike over flying, but having the option to is nice. Helica Glider is a nice addition in most white decks.

Huntmaster Liger – 2.5

Huntmaster Liger is nice, but I don’t see it being that impactful. This card can be really good if you can get it to Mutate 2 or more times. However, having a deck that can Mutate that many times and also go wide isn’t that easy.

ikoria draft guide

Imposing Vantasaur – 1 // 2.5

This card is only good if you have the G/W Vigilance deck. Otherwise, a 6-mana 3/6 is not going to help you win the game. Don’t prioritize picking this card early, since it’s very common you’ll see it as one of the last picks.

Keensight Mentor – 2.5

This card isn’t great, but isn’t bad. Giving one of your creatures Vigilance isn’t anything to be excited about. However, if you have a few Vigilance creatures in your deck, being able to give them counters every turn can be fairly scary. It’s also nice that Keensight Mentor is a human since there are a few cards that will care about that.

ikoria draft guide

Lavabrink Venturer – 4

Lavabrink Venturer is a 3-mana 3/3 with protection and is also a human. So much value! Protection is crazy strong, especially when it targets mana-costs rather than a specific color. I would recommend picking even since a lot of removal spells in Ikoria tend to be 2 or 4-mana. It sucks you can’t Mutate this card, though.

Light of Hope – 1

Sideboard card.

Luminous Broodmoth – 4

Luminous Broodmoth is a bomb. At face value, it’s a 4-mana 3/4 flyer, which is already fine. However, Luminous Broodmoth allows you to attack/block very effectively. The fact that this card can trigger enter the battlefield effects and gives the creature flying is crazy. Your opponent is not going to have fun in combat against the moth.

Majestic Auricorn – 2.5

I don’t mind the unicorn. A 5-mana 4/4 Vigilance isn’t crazy good, but I like that you can Mutate it on something for 4-mana. Gaining 4-life is a nice addition.

Maned Serval – 1.5 / 2

Some white decks won’t mind including Maned Serval as a 2-mana filler creature. However, this card is only good if you’re in the Vigilance archetype.

Mythos of Snapdax – 2.5 // 3

Mythos of Snapdax is interesting. I am never a fan of cards that allow opponents to choose the best option for them. However, I like that you can get past this if you are in Mardu. All in all, this card is okay if you cast it regularly and pretty damn good if you are in Mardu.

Pacifism – 3.5

I love Pacifism. It’s a premium removal spell. Pacifism is particularly good in a format that wants to Mutate its creatures.

Patagia Tiger – 2

This card is average. To get full value out of this card, you first need a Human creature on your board. Even if you have a human to give +2/+2 to, I don’t see many scenarios where the attack will be super impactful. With that said, just having a 5-mana 3/4 flyer makes this card acceptable.

Perimeter Sergeant – 1.5

This card is okay, but I don’t see it being super impactful.

Sanctuary Lockdown – 1 / 3

A fun build-around card. It can be first pickable if there’s nothing better in the pack. At the end of your opponents turn, you tap down their biggest blockers, and swing in with your beefed up Humans. I’ve seen this card be pretty annoying if you build around it. However, if you aren’t in the Humans archetype, Sanctuary lockdown will do nothing for you.

Savai Sabertooth – 2

A vanilla 2-mana 3/1. A fine inclusion in decks.

Snare Tactician – 2

A decent payoff card if you’re going into the Cycling archetype. It can force some damage in, and keep you opponents larger creatures at bay.

ikoria draft guide

Solid Footing – 1.5

Solid Footing gives you a lot of text for 1 mana, but I don’t see it being very impactful consider how niche its effect is. Having flash is nice though.

ikoria draft guide

Splendor Mare – 3

This card has solid stats and Cycling. A good addition in almost every white deck.

ikoria draft guide

Spontaneous Flight – 2 

A nice trick since it permanently gives your creature flying. Giving aggressive decks a trick that makes their creatures more evasive is nice.

Stormwild Capridor – 1

This card does absolutely nothing. 3-mana 1/3 flyer is not where you want to be. There are also very few scenarios where it will ever get bigger from its effect.

Swallow Whole – 2.5

A removal spell that gets the job done, but it has a lot of downsides. First, it requires your opponent to have already attacked with their creature. Then, you need to tap your own creature to destroy it. Sure, your creature gets a +1/+1 counter, but I don’t like that I won’t be able to attack/block with it for a whole turn. In the end, it only costs 1-mana, so it isn’t too bad if you aren’t severely behind.

ikoria draft guide

Valiant Rescuer – 3

Valiant Rescuer is a cycling build-around which I really like. It creates a really wide board for you each time you cycle. Just creating 2-3 tokens off this card will really push you ahead of your opponent.

ikoria draft guide

Vulipikeet – 3

If your able to Mutate this card out early, it can be quite the threat. This card is flexible and adds a lot of value to any white deck.

ikoria draft guide

Will of the All-Hunter – 2.5

A versatile combat trick. If you are drafting White, you usually want to be attacking your opponent. So as an offensive trick, this is a sub-par card with Cycling. However, I like the design of giving a creature permanent +1/+1 counters if you decide to block instead.

Conclusion

Thanks for checking out my Ikoria draft guide for White! I’ll be releasing my review for the other colors very soon.

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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