A Magictation by Mikeal Basile
“Magictating” is defined as getting into the zone with your Magic the Gathering collection–thinking, planning, organizing, reminiscing about past games, and imagining future games. It is a combination of hard thinking about the game and calm meditation, reveling in the joy it brings you.
I waited to write the white article in this series until the end as it’s the cheapest color to play. This is likely because it is the least popular color in Commander. It also makes me wonder that if white manages to get more tools to be more fun and more competitive at the casual Commander level, then perhaps some of these cards are bound to go up and up in price. Heck, as long as they’re cheap now, then I guess it doesn’t really matter. Let’s embrace these presently budget friendly prices and start looking at some under-used, often-forgotten, yet powerful white mythic rares.
1. Crested Sunmare
Crested Sunmare is just a ton of fun. Any turn you gain life you get to make a 5/5 horse. Oh, and Crested Sunmare also makes those horses indestructible. That’s wonderful Day of Judgement insurance. Being able to protect your creature from mass removal is very strong indeed. Now, couple that with the ability to get an additional 5/5 every single turn, and you have a seriously powerful card. Even as a 5/5 for five Crested Sunmare is a good deal for the mana. Now, combine this with some life gaining strategies (a common theme in white) and you’ll be off to the races in no time!
2. Devout Invocation
Big ridiculous effect, check! Super cheap price tag, check! Unexpected fun for everyone? Yes, because who doesn’t losing to massive number of angels? Starnheim Unleashed is similar in a way, but it requires a ton of mana. For seven mana, Starnheim Unleashed only nets you three 4/4 angel tokens. While Devout Invocation takes every creature you have on the board, and then pairs an angel with it. It’s almost like giving all of your creatures a guardian angel. I’m loving the flavor behind a play like that. Also, this card has only ever been printed in M14 nearly a decade ago! Slamming Devout Invocation is bound to make your opponents pray for mercy.
3. Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Brimaz, King of Oreskos is another mythic that’s only seen a single printing. This hasn’t even gotten a “the list” reprinting yet. For a popular commander and legendary creature, that is a bit surprising. An absolute beating in limited, Brimaz, King of Oreskos is oft overlooked in Commander play. His 3/4 stats don’t sound impressive, but the speed that he cranks out cat tokens is often enough to allow tribal cat decks or tokens matter decks to ramp up to ridiculous proportions by turns six and seven. Those turns, if uninterrupted, can be game-ending. When you’ve added a few more buffs onto the team with either Arahbo, Roar of the World or Rin and Seri, Inseparable you will be thanking Brimaz, King of Oreskos for netting you another check in the wins column.
4. Highcliff Felidar
Highcliff Felidar can wipe out three of the biggest threats at once for just seven mana. Oh, it also nets you a 5/5 body afterwards. Also, it’s a cat (cousin of Brimaz?). Oh, did I mention that this card is a fantastic Ephemerate or reanimation target? Highcliff Felidar could easily have flown under your radar as it was a game night promo from the year Covid-19 hit…as in 2019. That means a bunch of people probably have no idea it even exists. I adore playing cards that are obscure, and it helps when the art is equally adorable.
5. Militant Angel
I totally picked up Militant Angel for my EDH cube. It fits plenty of different themes, and happens to be another sweet game night promo. Five mana for a 3/4 flying lifelinker isn’t a bad rate. Netting yourself several more 2/2 knight tokens with vigilance for being aggressive makes this promo a genuine mythic. This is another heavily underplayed card, and I’m sure plenty of us out there need to be both more aggro…so get your aggressive growth by enlisting a Militant Angel.
6. Sublime Archangel
No, I’m not just going to bludgeon you with angels. Sublime Archangel was card that I had on my radar for some time. It held a $20+ price tag for a while. Then, it rotated out of standard and dropped below $10. I almost bought it then, but it just seemed a little more than I was willing to pay. Honestly, a mythic with only one printing that’s under $10 is a good buy. I was being stubbornly cheap. In this case I was rewarded. When Ultimate Masters came out, Sublime Archangel was not only reprinted, but it was reprinted as a down-shifted rare. Losing mythic status made it drop under $5, and it now hovers near bulk prices. That’s a shame, because the effect this offers is huge, and being able to turn a tiny token into a “block or die” threat each combat is a very powerful effect. Sublime Archangel is a sublime deal no one should be passing on. You can even find mythic copies for the cheaper price tag, so enjoy its sublimely cheap price tag.
7. Soul of Theros
Soul of Theros is the cheapest it has ever been. This began as a bargain mythic and has become cheaper than most useful uncommons. This mythic has seen print only once, and is honestly a soulful way to blow apart an end-game with your token heavy decks. It pairs nicely in just about every white deck’s strategy. Six mana is a chunk to pump your team with, but it is something that is repeatable. Every turn you can pump. Even once it dies you can still get one last heroic effort from the Soul of Theros. Oftentimes, that last effort is all it takes to close out a game.
8. Hero of Bladehold
Hero of Bladehold pairs nicely with Soul of Theros, but that’s not why it is on this list. This is an offensive anthem effect via battlecry, but it also has an excellent power and toughness rate to help you develop a board very quickly. Overall, this card is cheap to cast, cheap to buy, and can easily augment nearly any white deck’s offensive suite. Hero of Bladehold is far more powerful than it seems, but what card isn’t powerful with a textbox so full of words?
9. Quarantine Field
Oblivion Ring is just ok in Commander. Quarantine Field allows you do get up to all sorts of shenanigans. You can lock up lots of problems or use it to protect your own stuff from a board wipe that hits enchantments, so you can lose nothing while your opponents lose the game. It scales nicely as the game goes on, so it makes for a flexible piece of conditional removal. I like pieces like this. I like locking up threats. I like taking care of multiple problems with one card. I just hate that I’m using a quarantine measure during an actual pandemic. So, aside from the fitting flavor of the times, sadly, I think Quarantine Field is a mythic that looks like an uncommon, plays like a mythic, and fits a common person’s budget.
10. Felidar Sovereign
Felidar Sovereign is a card that can literally win the game. Paying six mana for a 4/6 might seem a bit underwhelming, but stapling vigilance and lifelink onto it make it far more appealing. Yet, those little enhancements don’t make this a mythic. When you read the rest of that text box you come across those feared word, “…you win the game.” Those words make whatever they are augmenting a genuine removal magnet. The amazing part is that the qualifier to this phrase is that you have 40 life (your starting total in a Commander game) at the beginning of your upkeep. This card is ridiculously powerful. Running it alongside cards like Miraculous Recovery is just plain dirty. Remember, you can cast Miraculous Recovery on someone’s end step, and then people only have instants to respond to your potential game-ending instant reanimation of Felidar Sovereign. Perhaps it’s the king or dare I say sovereign lord of these under-valued white cards.
This series has been a blast to research and to write. I would be lying if I did not admit to buying more than a few of these cards for my decks. As I keep sifting through the deals and cheaper cards oft forgotten I get excited to try out these older, but mythically good cards. The hidden benefit to running powerful rare and mythic cards that are under-valued is that no one expects them. People don’t think twice about seeing the staples in the format, or the heavy hitting mythics. We expect the expected. These spiced up budget rares and mythics no one talks about, writes about, or even plays are the cards that allow you to surprise people and alter game states in ways others were unprepared for. Catching your opponents unawares has long been a way to shift the game in your favor. So, until next time, may the mythics and the rest of the cards be ever in your favor!