Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
White Auras in Magic
Magic: The Gathering offers several types of cards to increase your spellcasting prowess. One of these categories are enchantments, permanents that remain on your field and offer ongoing effects, similar to artifacts, but usually requiring a specific color to cast. A subtype of enchanments are the aura spells, which (like equipment cards) typically attach to a creature to increase their power.
Aura curses attach to and debuff an opponent, and others actually adhere to lands (we'll see one later) to offer additional benefits, but most will increase the prowess of a given creature. Since white is an army-intensive faction that overwhelms foes with sheer numbers, token generation, and power/toughness boosts, you'll definitely want to supply your monsters with the best weapons available. But with hundreds of white auras available, which spells are worth your time? These are the 10 best monowhite aura enchantments in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Battle Mastery
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 3
With a moderately affordable cost of three mana, Battle Mastery offers the rare double strike trait. This valued ability allows your creature to inflict both first strike and regular combat damage, not only doubling their overall damage output but potentially allowing them to avoid a counterattack (if the first strike damage eliminates a foe).
It's as simple as that. You won't many cheaper ways to provide double strike, and the trait works extra well on cards that activate effects when landing combat damage since they'll activate twice, like with Akki Underminer.
9. Hyena Umbra
If you're looking for well-rounded yet inexpensive buff, you can't go wrong with Hyena Umbra. For a single mana, the enchanted creature receives a nice +1/+1 power/toughness increase, and it gains first strike, letting it attack first and potentially avoid a counterattack (however, unlike double-strike, it only hits once).
As if that didn't already justify the price, your combatant also gains totem armor, letting you prevent its destruction by detaching Umbra. With a single resource, you're getting +1/+1, first strike, and a one-use shield against death, worthy benefits that can also help protect your commander in EDH format.
8. Gleam of Authority
Gleam of Authority only needs white mana, but it can work especially well in multicolored decks, particularly alongside green's hydra creatures. For the low price of two mana, your attached creature gains +1/+1 for each +1/+1 counter on other creatures you control. If you're employing hydras or other counter-happy monsters, your unit's combat prowess will absolutely skyrocket.
Plus, whether or not you have any qualifying units out, Authority also grants vigilance, letting you attack without having to tap and keep yourself ready to block. Your unit can also spend one white mana and tap to bolster 1, placing a +1/+1 counter on your unit with the the least toughness. This not only strengthens your weaker warriors, it helpfully sculpts Authority's first effect, simultaneously strengthening two fighters!
7. Dragon Scales
Like Authority, Dragon Scales costs just two mana and grants the ever-handy vigilance trait, letting you swing without losing your ability to later tap or block. However, it also provides a nice +1/+2 increase, slightly upping power and moderately increasing toughness to make your armored creature sturdier in battle.
Plus, even if Dragon Scales ends up in your graveyard (after either itself or its bearer is destroyed), it can reattach itself (for free) to a creature entering the battlefield with a CMC of 6 or more, further strengthening your strongest units and granting Scales some surprisingly helpful late-game potential. In the rare cases you'd want to, you can even attach Scales to an opponent's creature with a CMC of 6 or more when it arrives.
6. Chained to the Rocks
Chained to the Rocks offers the same "exile target creature an opponent controls until X leaves the field" as similar spells like Isolation Zone and Banisher Priest, but for lower cost and easier play. The only downside is that you must attach Rocks to a Mountain land (which fuels red spells), so Chained to the Rocks really only works in red/white blends.
Still, it's a great and cheap albeit temporary removal that also handily bypasses the indestructible defensive trait, and since it attaches to lands (which very few cards can destroy), your opponent won't be able to eliminate it with a mass-creature wipe.
5. Gift of Immortality
The biggest downside to aura spells are how they're removed from the field if the creature they empower is destroyed. Gift of Immortality alleviates the issue with its awesome effect: for just three mana, when the enchanted creature dies, you return it to the battlefield under its owner control!
As if a free revival weren't enough, Gift also reattaches itself to the rejuvenated unit at the end of the turn, giving your opponent a very narrow window to utilize a removal before your reborn titan becomes immortal once more. Gift even works if it was your own card that initiated the unit's death, forming powerful combos with self-sacrificing engines like Burnished Hart.
4. Ethereal Armor
Ethereal Armor offers an impressive ability on its own with potential to grant even more power. For a single mana pop, the attached creature gains +1/+1 for each enchantment you control as well as first strike.
Since Ethereal is itself an enchantment, you're guaranteed at least +1/+1, which combined with first strike already justifies the negligible mana cost. And if you have other auras, enchantment creatures, or simple enchantments fielded, you can gain even more strength, allowing Ethereal's prowess to keep up to speed even in the late game where bigger spells are being played. Cheap, effective, and ever-increasing in strength, Ethereal Armor is one of white's best spells.
3. Triclopean Sight
Demanding only two mana, Triclopean Sight offers four useful benefits. The attached creature gets +1/+1 and vigilance, letting it swing harder without having to tap. Additionally, when Sight enters the field, you untap the enchanted creature, letting you use it without needing to wait for your next untap step. Lastly, Sight bears the coveted flash attribute, letting you play it on any phase at instant speed.
What else can I say? Four versatile abilities with low cost make it easy to see why Site belongs in any white aura deck.
2. Cartouche of Solidarity
Similarly to Ethereal Armor, Cartouche of Solidarity offers +1/+1 and first strike for just one mana. However, it also constructs a free 1/1 white soldier token with vigilance, meaning Solidarity serves as both a weak unit and a low-cost upgrade, rounding out your deck list with two versatile and early-game advantages.
Further increasing its versatility, Solidarity bears the rare Cartouche subtype, a quality that can strengthen other cards' effects, but even if you don't run any Cartouche support in your build, its initial abilities more than warrant inclusion.
1. Daybreak Coronet
For its incredible powers and lost cost, the only drawback to Coronet is that you can only enchant a creature who already bears at least one aura, so be sure to flood your deck with several power-ups to ensure you'll be able to use it. But once it's out, your equipped creature will gain a daunting +3/+3, vigilance, first strike, and lifelink, recovering your life by a corresponding amount whenever it deals combat damage. That's an insane increase for two mana, and since your attached unit should have at least two auras once you play Coronet, it'll be a nightmare for your adversary to counter.
A must-have for any white aura deck, you won't find better buffs at lower mana ranges. I use Daybreak Coronet in any aura-based deck I craft, and it falls in a mid-range price zone for magic cards, costing around $12, meaning it's not terribly bank-breaking to obtain a legal copy for official play.
Magic's Best Commanders for Aura Cards
Artifact equipment spells are colorless and can be reattached (for a price) if their original bearer falls, giving them certain advantages, but auras make up for their failings with spectacular increase at affordable costs. They're not the most abundant card type, but auras enjoy a good number of supports. Strong commander choices include "Bruna, Light of Alabaster," who can equip auras from your hand (for free!) whenever she attacks, and "Sram, Senior Edificer," who lets you draw a card whenever you play an aura or equipment.
And be sure to utilize regular creatures like "Hero of Iroas," who reduces the cost of your auras and gets stronger when you attach one. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of creature-strengthening spells, vote for your favorite aura and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill