The 2013 Optimal Multiplayer Cube - White

The Optimal Multiplayer Cube - 2013


  1. Introduction
  2. White
  3. Blue
  4. Black
  5. Red
  6. Green
  7. Gold
  8. Colourless
  9. Nonbasic Land
  10. Optimal Multiplayer Cube 2013
  11. Budget Version
  12. Legacy-Legal Version
  13. Conclusion



The white vote was completed on September 9th 2013.

The Top 40
The white section in a 360-card cube is 50 cards in size. As we are listing the top 80% we are after the top 40 cards in our power rankings for white. In order, these were:

  1. Wrath of God (13.1)
  2. Balance (12.7)
  3. Day of Judgment (9.8)
  4. Armageddon (8.5)
  5. Land Tax (8.3)
  6. Luminarch Ascension (8.1)
  7. Stoneforge Mystic (7.3)
  8. Limited Resources (7.1)
  9. Sun Titan (7.0)
  10. Moat (5.8)
  11. Replenish (5.5)
  12. Academy Rector (5.1)
  13. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite (4.7)
  14. Enlightened Tutor (3.9)
  15. Cataclysm (3.4)
  16. Humility (3.3)
  17. Swords to Plowshares (3.3)
  18. Ghostly Prison (3.1)
  19. Avacyn, Angel of Hope (2.9)
  20. Austere Command (2.9)
  21. Terminus (2.8)
  22. Hallowed Burial (2.5)
  23. Elspeth, Knight-Errant (2.4)
  24. Congregate (2.3)
  25. Baneslayer Angel (2.2)
  26. Martial Coup (2.1)
  27. Stonehewer Giant (1.9)
  28. Entreat the Angels (1.9)
  29. Blind Obedience (1.9)
  30. Blazing Archon (1.8)
  31. Luminate Primordial (1.7)
  32. Akroma's Vengeance (1.6)
  33. Mother of Runes (1.6)
  34. Path to Exile (1.5)
  35. Oblivion Ring (1.5)
  36. Syndic of Tithes (1.4)
  37. Rout (1.4)
  38. Soul Warden / Soul's Attendant (1.3)
  39. Shattered Angel (1.3)
  40. Mirror Entity (1.2)

Just outside of this list, also on 1.2, is Iona, Shield of Emeria.

The Curve

There are a few obvious problems with the initial curve:

  • The creatures and spells are way out of balance (14 creatures, 26 spells).
  • Our white spells are absolutely loaded with blanket reset cards. There are no less than eleven different reset cards here. That's definitely too many.
  • There is, believe it or not, virtually no artifact or enchantment removal here - usually one of white's strengths.

Fixing the Holes
Ideally here, we want to balance the creatures and spells, remove some of the resets and add some artifact and enchantment removal.

Fixing the Creature/Spell Balance
We're currently six creatures short. The next six creatures outside the Top 40 are Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Suture Priest, Gideon's Avenger, Cloudgoat Ranger, Grand Abolisher and Sunblast Angel. The first five are all excellent, but Sunblast is another reset, as fun as it is. Weathered Wayfarer tied with it, and is another great option for us.
The bottom six spells in the Top 40 are Rout, Oblivion Ring, Path to Exile, Akroma's Vengeance, Blind Obedience and Entreat the Angels. We're already trying to lower the number of reset cards here, so Vengeance and Rout are a given. But O-Ring is one of our few artifact/enchantment removers, and Path to Exile is also more than useful. Martial Coup and Hallowed Burial are the next resets in the list - we can kill two birds with one stone and remove them instead.
+1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
+1 Suture Priest
+1 Gideon's Avenger
+1 Cloudgoat Ranger
+1 Grand Abolisher
+1 Weathered Wayfarer
-1 Rout
-1 Akroma's Vengeance
-1 Blind Obedience
-1 Entreat the Angels
-1 Martial Coup
-1 Hallowed Burial

Fixing the Reset Cards
We're almost there with the white reset cards. Ideally, we want to limit the number of resets in the cube - a multiplayer game that degenerates into a reset every six turns is not much fun, and we want to make sure this doesn't happen. Knowing that we've probably got Damnation and Nevinyrral's Disk coming into the cube later on at the very least, it's probably a good idea to limit ourselves to three reset cards here. The top three were Wrath of God, Balance and Day of Judgment. This means Armageddon, Cataclysm, Terminus and Austere Command should go overboard.
However, as per last year's list, Austere Command is both artifact/enchantment removal, and a 6CC+ spell (and we're about to remove the only other one). So it gets a stay of execution again - simply too versatile.
Bringing three non-reset spells back in, we can afford to deal with the further lack of artifact and enchantment removal. Blind Obedience is a good card we've just dropped, so that can come back in, and Aura of Silence and Paraselene were both just outside of the Top 40 - good choices.
Yes, Paraselene is, strictly-speaking, a reset, but at least it's not sweeping creatures like all of the others!
-1 Armageddon
-1 Cataclysm
-1 Terminus
+1 Blind Obedience
+1 Aura of Silence
+1 Paraselene

Fixing the Curve
This gives creatures a curve of 3-4-2-2-4-5, spells a curve of 5-3-4-7-0-1, and an overall curve of 8-7-6-9-4-6.
It's pretty good, but the spells are very heavy at 4CC and light-on at 5CC+, and our creatures are heavy at the top of the curve and light-on in the middle.
If we drop two 4CC spells for two 5CC, we're close to perfect.
Our bottom two 4CC spells are Elspeth, Knight-Errant and Congregate. A shame to see both of them go, but such is life. Smile
We obviously don't want to be adding reset spells back in, so this discounts the 5CC spells we've already knocked out.
The next two non-reset 5CC spells in our vote were Cathars' Crusade and Sigil of the Empty Throne - two incredible cards that even work well in tandem. Good stuff!
Our bottom two 6CC+ creatures are Blazing Archon and Luminate Primordial - again, a shame to see them go, but the Archon in particular is pretty hard to cast, and we've got a few hard-to-cast things there already (hello, Avacyn!), so over they go.
Let's pick the next 3CC creature, and the next 4CC one, just to really level things out. These are Mirran Crusader and Windborn Muse, respectively. Nice picks!
-1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
-1 Congregate
-1 Blazing Archon
-1 Luminate Primordial
+1 Cathars' Crusade
+1 Sigil of the Empty Throne
+1 Mirran Crusader
+1 Windborn Muse

That gives us the following...

 Budget Constraints

Nowadays, a couple of different things are over our $20 budget. Obviously, Moat is one of them. Smile

Academy Rector is just underneath our $20 ceiling as I type, so he can stay.
The only other decent white 2-drop that deals with equipment is Puresteel Paladin. Not the worst replacement for Stoneforge Mystic (especially given we still have Stonehewer Giant in).

The only other flying white 4-drop that makes abilities harder to activate is Angel of Jubilation. Not an easy cast at triple-white, but good enough.
We have a few choices as a Moat replacement. None of them come anywhere near it, as you could imagine. At 4CC, we have Aurification, Lightmine Field, Light of Day and Reverence as cut-down versions. Moat is all about sitting back with a big "look elsewhere" sign while you try and combo out, so in that repsect Lightmine Field is probably the best fit.
Our last two are simply two gorilla finishers, and there were plenty of those that got voted for, so we'll just pick the next two in the list under $20 a copy. That would be Blazing Archon and Luminate Primordial.

Archetypes to Add
The mana curve for white currently looks like:
When adding an archetype, we need to take into account that white is lower around the 2, 3 and 5cc mark.
Some potential directions to take the final ten cards are:
Lifegain: This is obviously one down to personal taste, as not everyone likes life gain (but that's why we have these archetypes). Ajani Goldmane enjoys comboing with Wall of Reverence, and we also have room for cards such as Felidar Sovereign, Serra Ascendant and other lifegain-centric cards.
Knights: The Knight tribe is actually quite strong in a cube environment. Knight Exemplar and Kinsbaile Cavalier produce a draftable strategy, while strong cards like Mirran Crusader, Paladin en-Vec and White Shield Crusader will be drafted regardless.
Enchantments: We have Replenish and a decent number of enchantments already here in white. We can force this archetype fairly easily with Mesa Enchantress, Sigil of the Empty Throne and decent enchantments like Spirit Loop and Angelic Destiny.
Soldiers: This tribe is also strong enough to be a valid archetype, thanks to cards like Darien, King of Kjeldor and Field Marshal.

Example Knight Archetype
+1 Knight Exemplar (Knight lord)
+1 Kinsbaile Cavalier (Knight lord)
+1 Hero of Bladehold (Excellent aggro 4-drop)
+1 Paladin en-Vec (Similar to Mirran Crusader, just a peg down)
+1 Puresteel Paladin (Card draw, helps equipment strategies)
+5 spells to balance things out. Knights will benefit from creature pumpers like Crusade and Honor of the Pure. You may even want to throw in a couple of Knight-based spells like Opal Champion and Waylay if you think they'll get drafted.

Example Enchantment Archetype
+1 Mesa Enchantress
+1 Celestial Ancient
+1 Spirit Mantle
+1 Sigil of the Empty Throne
+1 Angelic Destiny
+1 Worship
+1 Island Sanctuary
+3 creatures to balance things out. Perhaps things like Auramancer or Monk Idealist if they will be drafted.



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