Magic: The Gathering Ikoria Limited Picks For White

Magic: The Gathering has always been a game where the power levels of colors in the game fluctuates with every new set to come out. There have been times where green has been weak, and white has been amazing (and don't even get us started on blue). Generally, with each set to come out, there's bound to be a few cards that break the mold for Draft and Sealed-style Limited formats. Here are our picks for white's best commons and uncommon within Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths.

Wizards of the Coast's promotional art for Magic: The Gathering's set Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths.
Wizards of the Coast's promotional art for Magic: The Gathering's set Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths.

#10. Swallow Whole

For what it's worth, an effective Cannibalize for one mana seems pretty strong. That lends itself well to the claims that Ikoria is a pushed set. However, the need to tap down one of your own creatures in order to remove an opposing creature is a rather hard sell in many cases, even if you're getting it buffed as a result. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with casting it in the Vigilance deck that is likely to come out of this set. I wouldn't even pout if it was some of the only white removal I got in my pool (provided I'm going that color, or even hate-drafting it).

Swallow Whole, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
Swallow Whole, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

#9. Divine Arrow

There's a fair amount of talk that creatures in this set are going to have strong toughness levels. After all, this is the Lair of Behemoths we are talking about, here. Divine Arrow is not higher on my list because while it's decent removal for a marginal cost, I don't think it's the best in that a lot of creatures are going to grow to massive sizes before this card can deal with them.

Divine Arrow, a reprinted card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
Divine Arrow, a reprinted card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

#8. Fight as One

Normally, I'm not huge on combat tricks in Magic: The Gathering. However, combat seems to be the name of the game in Ikoria. To that end, frail Human creatures could use a buff to withstand the onslaught of a beastly mutated creature, and similarly any of those beasts can use the buff too. Fight as One does both, or either, for those creatures. That seems pretty neat, especially given the propensity to two-for-one an opponent's board.

Fight as One, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
Fight as One, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

#7. Blade Banish

The Wanderer is back, and ready as ever to exile some mean monsters! Exile feels more important in this set since there are a fair few creatures that mutate and bring cards back from the graveyard. As such, Blade Banish is pretty good as far as removal goes. Blade Banish definitely feels more helpful than Swallow Whole in that the Vigilance deck will be unaffected by the latter card, but it's likely outclassed by cheaper removal like Pacifism.

Blade Banish, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
Blade Banish, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

#6. Valiant Rescuer

Irony aside (as I sympathize more with the monsters on Ikoria than the humans), Valiant Rescuer is a hero in the white Cycling deck type for Ikoria Limited. All things considered, adding a body to the battlefield is great where applicable, and so this card provides an incentive to load up on cards with Cycling in order to populate the board. While it has Cycling itself, you're probably better off hard-casting it so you can get more value off of the later cycles you're sure to enact.

Valiant Rescuer, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
Valiant Rescuer, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

#5. Spontaneous Flight

Why is this common a high-end pick for me? For one, it's an all-too-necessary combat trick for the combat-heavy Limited environment, and on top of that, it grants the creature you're buffing a Flying counter, meaning it stays evasive later on. This may be putting many eggs in one basket (especially if removal is high), but with all of the Mutate in this set, that seems to be what people are doing anyway.

Spontaneous Flight, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
Spontaneous Flight, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

#4. Majestic Auricorn

Speaking of Mutate and putting your eggs into one basket, Majestic Auricorn is the best anti-burn tech white has in Ikoria Limited. This card seems to do everything, provided you can keep mutating onto it: it gains you life, it has Vigilance (and will likely provide the creature-based backbone of the archetype!), and what's more, mutations are repeatable! That's great value against any opposing red player.

The Showcase variant for Majestic Auricorn, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
The Showcase variant for Majestic Auricorn, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

#3. Light of Hope

As with any charm-like effect, Light of Hope is surely going to be a high pick for any drafters going into white. Not only can it gain you life or buff a creature if necessary, but it also serves as a crucial counter-removal for cards like Capture Sphere or Pacifism. Plus, it can remove high-end bombs like Song of Creation or Titans' Nest. This mode can be situational, but that's why it has other modes!

Light of Hope, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
Light of Hope, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

#2. Huntmaster Liger

This card ranks very highly for me in that it can provide an anthem effect that could rival cards like Coordinated Charge or even, in other formats, Overrun (sans the Trample). Being that it's a repeatable Mutate effect that just gets bigger and bigger, the effect could even bypass a Pacifism if you're going wide enough!

The Showcase variant for Huntmaster Liger, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
The Showcase variant for Huntmaster Liger, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

#1. Pacifism

Obviously this card was going to make it onto the list, given the number of mentions it had in earlier entries. If cards like Luminous Bonds can get high on a Limited list, Pacifism makes it here too. Killing a creature only moves its zone, making it easy to move back in the right circumstances. Pacifism simply incapacitates what you need it to, making it very effective. Obviously, if you're casting this spell you need to be wary of sacrifice effects and mutation (as mentioned with the Huntmaster Liger), but overall, the spell is strong enough to be our #1 pick for Limited in white.

Pacifism, a reprinted card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
Pacifism, a reprinted card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

What do you think of white in this set? Is it strong enough to maybe put the color back on the map in other formats? Is it even good in Limited? Let us know what your thoughts are!

About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.

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