Nerd Bites

So you want to play Magic the Gathering? Part 3, White

So we have arrived at our second colour in our MTG articles, this time it’s white. The colour of order and purity. In white we have the many rising up and being powerful together. In white we are but all cogs in the machine and we all have to get along. Unlike green, who rules by nature’s laws, white creates its own laws and moralities, further enforced by religion, the tribe or the state. These artificial laws, man’s laws, help hold society together and keep the individual down, in some ways this is good, there are no random acts of violence and everyone gets their fair share, but at the same time no one really excels, because everyone is equal, everyone must stay the same and everyone must serve their purpose, to make the society better.


White is highly defensive, it is not an aggressive colour, it uses high walls and strong shields to keep its enemies at bay, or powerful healing spells to keep it in the game, though this is not whites only philosophy, true it believes in a strong defence, but a pre-emptive strike can be just a useful. Even if the pre-emptive strike is not entirely warranted those who use this power can justify it by saying they are the chosen few, they are the clean ones. I am not saying that those of this colour hate all others, they just tend to see those like them as better and in a way they are correct as white works together for all their good, but not always for good.


To find a real world analogue to white you need only look at Governments, these massive forces can dominate huge areas of land, they keep order with laws, regulations and rules. Using religious groups may be better comparisons, for this I will use 2 different Christian groups who will exemplify the two different sides of white mana.


The salvation army – This is an organisation where through time and effort you may rise through the ranks, their mission is to help the lowest of the low and bring them up, this is a very white outlook, the many helping the few (to quote Spock “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few).

Now on the other hand

The Westbero Baptists – An organisation that is almost universally hated, but they too would fit into this category, to their own they are very good, to outsiders they are very judgemental, they will condemn you but in their mind they are doing it for your own good. That’s what white is all about, doing something for good, for the greater good, just happens to be all a matter of perspective. Even Politicians can be seen as White both JFK and Hugo Chavez, fit into this category.

Opinions on other colours


White and Green are very close neighbours, they both seek to protect life and both seek balance, both are very spiritual. Sadly they do have their differences, Green believes in nature over nurture while white is its opposite, that is the root of their problem (once again that’s just a little pun there).


Both these colors represent order and wisdom, they use laws to control and govern the world around them. Once again this is not a perfect relationship, Blue tends to use its subjects and work in secret White does not like that, White prefers to be honest about what it’s doing and why.


Though they are very different their followers will both move in huge groups and both groups are willing to die for their respective causes this breed’s mutual admiration. Red unfortunately had a tendency to rush in without thinking and cause to much collateral damage.


Ok there is obviously some major differences here, but when it comes down to it, white and black are both very spiritual and both will seek to improve themselves it’s just Black seeks to make itself stronger for his or her own ends while White endeavours to improve the group as a whole.

Key features of White

White is all about the defence and it has many features that help with this. Healing and life gain play key roles in a white deck, protection in the form of auras and walls are also common placement in the arsenals of White players. Exile is a great ability that is found regularly in white decks, this allows you to remove creatures from the game, even whites attacking creatures tend to have many features that make them very effective such as double strike or first strike.

Gideon is one of the most powerful White Mana users in MTG lore.

Gideon is one of the most powerful White Mana users in MTG lore.

All and all white is great to play with, you can use your healing abilities to outlast your opponents, or build walls that cannot be breached while you stand back amassing a glorious army that will annihilate all that stands in its path, white truly is a force to be reckoned with.

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