Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
The Best White Planeswalkers in Magic
Like its source faction, white planeswalkers in Magic emphasize lifegain, token swarming, and martial prowess, granting several ways to buff your creatures or overwhelm foes with sheer numbers. They also tend to enter with impressive loyalty-to-mana ratios, letting them take a few hits before perishing.
Remember you can only control one of a given planeswalker at once (even in different forms), so be careful not to overload your deck with the same character. Thankfully, white has several competent spellcasters to choose from; which mages reign supreme? These are the 10 best white planeswalkers in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Gideon, Champion of Justice
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4
GIdeon's Champion of Justice mode can accumulate loyalty like no other. Entering with a fair value of four, his +1 automatically gains one, then acquires one more for each creature a target opponent controls, often netting five or more in a single round!
Once you've stockpiled loyalty, use +0 to turn Gideon into an indestructible creature with power and toughness equal to his loyalty, or use -15 to exile all other permanents, resetting the field in case things weren't going your way.
9. Nahiri, the Lithomancer
Nahiri's disappoints with only three loyalty, but her handy +2 grants two more and creates a 1/1 kor soldier token, also letting you attach an equipment you control to it. Then, -2 plays an equipment from your hand or graveyard for free, an excellent way to field high-cost relics, and -10 creates a legendary equipment that grants its beholder +5/+5, the valued double strike trait, and doesn't cost any mana to attach.
Essentially, Nahiri's a must-have for equipment-based decks (a common white theme), and she can even serve as commander in EDH format.
8. Ajani, Caller of the Pride
As we'll see, the Ajani lions offer several powerful planeswalkers. In this case, Caller of the Pride only needs three mana yet enters with four loyalty, offering an early entrance with a solid health reservoir. +1 places a +1/+1 counter on a creature, indefinitely empowering it (even if Caller leavers the field).
-3 grants a creature flying and double strike for the turn while -8 constructs a number of 2/2 cat tokens equal to your current life. No one ability here steals the show; all are useful and appreciated on such an inexpensive combatant.
7. Kytheon, Hero of Akros/Gideon, Battle-Forged
This transforming card begins as a legendary creature with 2/1 stats, impressive for a first turn card. Kytheon can also spend three mana to become indestructible for the turn, and after surviving a combat where he and at least two other creatures swung, he morphs into his Battle-Forged planeswalker mode.
From there, you have three interesting effects that never subtract loyalty. +2 forces a single creature to attack Gideon on its controller's next turn, but I generally prefer +1, which both grants a creature indestructible until your next turn and untaps it, a great way to refresh mana-producers. Finally, +0 turns Gideon into an indestructible 4/4 unit for the turn. +1 is the star here, but all are handy abilities, especially for a card that only ever needed one mana.
6. Ajani Goldmane
Goldmane bears a respectable mana/loyalty ratio, and his decent +1 simply nets two life. His real treat comes from -1, which places a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control and grants them vigilance for the turn (letting them attack without tapping).
Since you'll likely be using -1 repeatedly, you'll rarely amass six loyalty, but if you do, -6 creates an avatar token whose power and toughness equal your current life, offering an enormous beatstick who can easily finish off opponents if given trample.
5. Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants
Like Goldmane, Adversary of Tyrants only needs four mana and enters with four loyalty. His +1 gives up to two creatures a +1/+1 counter, adeptly empowering multiple units at once. -2 revives a creatures with CMC 2 or less from your graveyard, handily rejuvenating vanquishing troops, and -7 gives an emblem that creates three 1/1 cat tokens with lifelink during your end steps.
A decent ultimate, but Ajani's +1 and -2 reign supreme, offering continuous swarming and strengthening of your soldiers.
4. Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Elspeth arrives for four mana with four loyalty and offers not one but two loyalty-adding traits. Her first +1 creates a 1/1 creature token, great when you need more throwaway blockers. Alternatively, her second +1 grants a creature +3/+3 and flying for the turn, an impressive boost, particularly against green decks (which tend to be weak in aerial combat). Lastly, -8 provides an emblem that grants your creature, enchantments, artifacts, and lands indestructible, shielding most of your army.
In short, Elspeth's ability to switch between two additive effects make her a versatile planeswalker who can finish with a formidable defensive ultimate.
3. Gideon, Martial Paragon
Gideon's Martial Paragon form only needs one of his mana to be white, blending well in multi-color decks, and he enters with a respectable five loyalty. Additionally, his excellent +2 untaps all creatures you control and grants them +1/+1 for the turn. This is one of the best loyalty-adding effects in the game; use in tangent with green mana-tappers to obtain absurd amounts of resources plus boosted stats.
+0 turns Gideon into an indestructible 5/5 creature for the turn and -10 grants your creatures +2/+2 for the turn while tapping all opposing monsters. Nice to have available, but generally you're best off simply spamming Paragon's fierce +1.
2. Elspeth Tirel
Often underestimated, Tirel surprises many players by just how competitive she is. While she only arrives with four mana despite her cost of five, she carries a +2 that gains one life for each creature you control, potentially gaining massive amounts. This also combos well with -2, which creates three 1/1 tokens (who can indefinitely stall foes without trample).
Best of all, -5 destroys all other permanents except lands and tokens. This brutal wipe should eliminate most enemy units while leaving your tokens unscathed, and don't overlook that Tirel can both access and survive the effect after a single +2.
1. Ajani Steadfast
Ajani's Steadfast form only needs one white mana, enters with a nice loyalty count, and offers three excellent effects. +1 grants a creature +1/+1, first strike, vigilance, and lifelink for the turn, an enormous boost that speaks for itself. -2 also impresses, placing a +1/+1 counter on your creatures and a loyalty counter on your other planeswalkers.
Finally, -7 grants an emblem that prevents all but one damage you and your planeswalkers would suffer from any source. This makes you and your mystics nigh-invincible, especially with a bit of lifegain, and since it dampens all damage, it even reduces self-inflicted injuries. With a trio of stellar effects, Steadfast is an easy pick for my own white decks, especially since he's surprisingly cheap for such a quality planeswalker (who often approach triple digits), costing less than $13!
Supporting Planeswalkers in Magic
Today we've seen several powerful mono-white planeswalkerw, but pairing with other colors expands your options. For instance, green makes a nice addition, offering additional Ajani forms plus the handy "Doubling Season" enchantment, which doubles the starting loyalty of your planeswalkers (and the number of +1/+1 counters your troops attain).
Defended by the swarms of tokens white decks tend to create, white planeswalkers aren't easy to remove, repeatedly boosting your army while your opponents struggle to break through your barricade. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next set of formidable planeswalkers, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill