Is White VIable Now?  (Featuring E Honda)

Being an older geek who played Street Fighter as a young adult I ordered the Street Fighter X Secret Lair. Recently the cards arrived and with my new stash of cards that could become commander decks I read them all again to refresh myself. While reading E Honda my mind spun thinking this is a really strong casual deck and then put it aside with the thought It’s mono-white there is not enough support to make it strong enough to go out into the wild with it and win. 

Then I had a pause. Strixhaven brought us Secret Rendezvous. New Capenna brought up Bennie Bracks, Zoologist. Commander Legends 2 brought up Your Temple is Under Attack and more importantly Archivist of Oghma.  Meanwhile over the last year White included Achaeomancer’s Map, Deep Gnome Terramancer and Smugglers Share making white an all in “catch up” ramp strategy to build alongside other mana rocks which ironically means your not ramping lands so it doesn’t hurt the catch up strategy. 

Challenging Suppositions

I am here to tell you White and more specifically mono-white is not nearly as bad as you once thought it was. It’s not blue level card draw or green level ramp but there are now enough cards in the format that will allow white to be competitive with other colors. What white does not have is a lot of selection in the ramp and draw categories. Most decks will be competing for the staples in the category and they will often look very similar. There just isn’t enough to create a variety of packages. Right now when you are building your ramp and card draw categories for mono-white decks they will mostly be the same cards over and over again. Yes, there are token or weenie strategy card draw cards in white that not every deck will want. For the most part white card draw packages will be similar. If you want something unique, you will have to wait for more options. Right now there are just enough cards to make a viable package. 

Wizards has also been playing around in design space with three mana value mana rocks. Do not immediately dismiss them. While there are two mana rocks for other colors, sometimes we will want to slide back over into some of the higher cost ones. These cards provide additional abilities for that extra mana. If we are selective they can fill a hole in our mana ramp package while providing additional value our deck can use. 

A Word of Warning

This also comes with a warning. Commander Legends 2: Battle for Baldur’s Gate seems to have tanked This will suggest a potential small print run of the set. In a couple of years as the boxes dry up in the marketplace the supply of cards like Deep Gnome Terramancer and Archivist of Oghma will dwindle and their prices should rise. Unless these cards have a reprint or Wizards starts making other draw and ramp cards that are stronger in white, these cards should have a natural appreciation in cost. These cards, while not cheap now, have a strong potential to rise in value and be less accessible due to cost later. 

E. Honda

So I have begun the brewing process for E Honda. I won’t go into the full details here of how to make such a deck work. I can give you a first look at what card draw and ramp packages look like for a mono-white deck. This can be used as a basic template of how to construct these mono-white packages or how to begin your packages with white in them.  

You will note that Jeweled Lotus, Mana Crypt and Mana Vault are not included in these packages. Neither is Smugglers Share which is a strong catch up card for white. Esper Sentinel and Land Tax also missed the cut despite being elite cards. These cards did not make the cut in the current deck due to limiting the budget of the deck in an attempt to keep the deck affordable. Fellwar Stone was also excluded since we are in mono white and the odds of creating a colored mana is reduced than multi-colored decks. In its palace is a three mana rock Patriar’s Seal which will provide an additional ability of untapping our commander. Consider these cards as well when building your mono-white packages. 

Early E. Honda Packages

Card Draw and Quality 

  • Alhammeret’s Archive
  • Archivist of Oghma
  • Bennie Bracks, Zoologist
  • Cut a Deal
  • Flumph
  • Halo Fountain
  • Mentor of the Meek
  • Pursuit of Knowledge
  • Rumor Gatherer
  • Secret Rendezvous
  • Skullclamp
  • Wedding RIng
  • Welcoming Vampire
  • Your Temple is Under Attack

Secret Rendezvous

Bennie Brack’s Zoologist

Cut a Deal


Halo Fountain

Mentor of the Meek

Pursuit of Knowledge

Rumor Gatherer

Secret Rendezvous


Wedding Ring

Welcoming Vampire

Your Temple is Under Attack

Mana Ramp/Fixing

  • Arcane Signet
  • Decanter of Endless Water
  • Deep Gnome Terramancer
  • Gauntlet of Power
  • Kor Cartographer
  • Marble Diamond
  • Master of Ceremonies
  • Moonsilver Key
  • Palladium Myr
  • Patriar’s Seal
  • Scouting Hawk
  • Skyclave Relic
  • Smothering Tithe
  •  Sol Ring
  • Weathered Wayfarer

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