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The White (Right) Profile

Comic Booked Guest Writer 09/11/2012 Games and Gaming

Allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Kevin Stringer, and I’m an amateur filmmaker.  I’ve been playing Magic for nine years (since the release of Mirrodin), with a few breaks here and there from the game.  Even though I started ten years after Alpha was released, I’ve played with cards from every set, so I feel that I have a decent grasp on the history of the game.white

To give you some insight into my style, I can demonstrate my likes and dislikes of Magic set design.  My favorite sets (in order) are: LegendsRavnica: City of GuildsInnistrad, and Invasion.  For those of you unfamiliar with any of these sets, they’re AWESOME.  Of course, this is subjective, but they are pretty cool.  My least favorite sets (this time, in no particular order) are: HomelandsLorwynShards of Alara, and Avacyn Restored.  Obviously, there are things that make each of the eight sets I’ve named unique, so this doesn’t quite give you the perfect look into my brain.  It certainly doesn’t hurt, though.

I hate introducing myself, so let’s move onto the “meat and potatoes” of why you’re reading this: the color white.  Clearly, I don’t know everyone’s background with MtG, but chances are that you have, at some point, either played or encountered a “white weenie” deck.  It’s a great way for new players to learn the game without being overwhelmed, which is part of the reason that I love white so much.  To me, white is the most evocative color in Magic.  It may not traditionally print the most powerful, format-breaking cards.  It may not provide the most ridiculous interactions and combos (see Trix here).  But what makes white interesting and special to me is how the cards make sense and bring out emotions in me.


You might be asking yourself what I mean by “the cards make sense”, and the best way to answer that is by a demonstration.  Take the card Wrath of God, for example.  This card just oozes flavor in every facet of its existence.  The name, art, design, effect on the game, and even the color assignment all work perfectly in the original “wrath” card.  In the Old Testament of the Bible, when God was angry, stuff went down and people got messed up.  In the MtG version, nothing is different.  The card is white (to represent divinity and purity, as part of white’s role in Magic), the art describes the title, and the effect that the card has on the game matches all of the above.  I get a certain feeling when I see a card designed so perfectly.  My brain doesn’t even have to be on for me to understand what’s happening.

This is one of the ultimate examples that show’s white’s great design in the history of Magic.  Serra Angel, Swords to Plowshares, Armageddon, and Disenchant all fit this same bill.  Now, I know that these are all cards that were printed with Magic’s beginning, but they provide great context for white as a color and as a design style.  Plus, they have all been reprinted in another set at some point, showing their importance in the history of the game.

Usually people like to talk about white as the color of order, protection, law, divinity, and purity.  This is definitely a good way to explain the color pie to new players, and I even do it myself.  But when I’m playing Magic, each mono-colored, multi-colored, and colorless card brings out a feeling in me specific to its colors (or lack thereof).  That’s what makes this game so unique.  If I wanted to play a card game where every single card was over-the-top powerful, I’d design my own.  But I play Magic because of what the cards represent to me, and the escape that it gives me from daily life.

I’ll end this with a challenge for you.  Think about your favorite color in Magic: the Gathering.  Decide what cards, for you, really define that color’s role in the game and why you enjoy that color most.  I’d love to hear what people feel about the other colors in Magic, so please feel free to respond in the comments!  Thanks for reading.

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About The Author

While the writer of this article may not be a part of our official writing staff, we hold them in the highest regard and felt that they should be published here for your reading pleasure! If you are interested in writing an article (or a series of articles) for Comic Booked as a Guest Writer, please contact us. [email protected]

  1. Jayson Kemper 09/11/2012 at 6:25 am

    Excellent introductory article. Just curious, what about Legends makes it your favorite set?

  2. Kevin Stringer 09/11/2012 at 6:37 am

    Thank you sir! Well, my favorite thing from Legends is the art and the flavor. It just feels really strong in that evocative way that I wrote about in the article. The cards are just really fun to study visually.

  3. Kevin Grigsby 09/12/2012 at 7:01 am

    How did you know my first Magic deck was White Weenie!? Haha :) I for sure agree about Legends, the whole set oozes flavor and whenever I find myself wanting to pick up a new card it always seems to be from that set!

    Looking forward to your future guru posts!

  4. Nick Frijia 09/12/2012 at 1:18 pm

    Here's a challenge I was posed some time ago by a friend: come up with three cards for each color (no restrictions on the cards, they just have to be of the right color) that, when put together, best represent the color's section of the color pie. If I remember correctly, my choices for white were Balance, Knight of Meadowgrain, and Glorious Anthem.

    What would you pick for white?

  5. Kevin Stringer 09/14/2012 at 6:30 am

    That's an interesting exercise, Nick…..I would definitely agree with Balance. My next article is actually going to be about the insanity of Balance. Other than that, I'd say Wrath of God and then either incarnation of Elspeth.

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