Where is White?

Posted in Event Coverage on March 16, 2002

By Ben Bleiweiss

As you may have noticed, White hasn't exactly been tearing up the tournament scene this weekend. Odyssey Block Constructed (or OBC, between you and me) seemingly thus far only consists of three colors: Blue, Green and Black. The consensus among most players is that White more than Red is the hopeless color of the two missing ones. A miniscule percentage of White decks were played total at the Pro Tour, and even fewer made the second day.

At the end of day one, here were the standings of all the decks containing White:
34th: Morgan Karlsson, Green/White Madness w/ Tireless Tribe
50th: Mattias Kettil, Green/White Madness w/ Tireless Tribe
106th: Michael Bower, Blue/Green/White featuring Mystic Enforcer
118th: Mattias Jorstedt, Green/White Madness w/ Tireless Tribe
124th: Boonc Jirapongtraklul, Blue/Green/White featuring Mystic Enforcer
134th: Richard Wei Jei Chiu, Green/White featuring Mystic Enforcer
162nd: Gerar Godinez-Estrada, Blue/Green/White featuring Mystic Enforcer
202nd: Alan Tarr, Blue/Green/White featuring Mystic Enforcer
203rd: Jan Tomcani, Blue/Green/White featuring Mystic Enforcer
211th: Robert Weimer, Red/Green/White featuring Mystic Enforcer
224th: Shin Gill-Won, Blue/Green/White featuring Mystic Enforcer
226th: Daniel Steinsdorfer, White Weenie w/ Blue for Aether Burst
260th: Jason Barker, Blue/Green/White featuring Mystic Enforcer

The combined records of all white decks in Osaka were 36-48-2 by the end of the first day, with one of those wins being a bye. This made for a 47.3 match win percentage, which isn't very impressive at all. While two players made the second day with white cards, neither showed many signs of success, earning a combined 3-7 record by the end of the 12th round.

Although many people consider Mystic Enforcer to be the best 'white' card in the format, the only two white decks to make the second day of competition did not play the Enforcer, despite being White/Green. Instead, they relied upon cards like Tireless Tribe and Wild Mongrel to take advantage of undercosted madness creatures such as Basking Rootwalla and Arrogant Wurm, to create a creature rush in the early game.

Many of the three color decks did not even play Plains! They ran Sungrass Praries as their sole way of achieving white mana. They basically had the same cards as many of the other Blue/Green decks, such as Compulsion, Circular Logic, and Wild Mongrel, but hoped to use Mystic Enforcer as a way to metagamed against black decks. While on the surface this might appear to be a good plan, it did not work out. This was because most mono-swamp decks ran 4 Innocent Blood, 4 Chainer's Edict, and 4 Mutilate between the deck and sideboard, giving them 12 answers to kill the Enforcer without targeting it.

Only one player (Daniel Steinsdorfer) tried to use a purely white weenie based strategy, and he coincidently had the only deck in the entire event that ran a majority of white spells. Out of a field of 287, he was the ONLY person running a predominantly white deck. I'll say it one more time, because I really want to drive home how little white impacted this environment: out of several THOUSAND matches played over this weekend, a grand total of TWO were won by a majority white deck. That does not speak very well for white as a color so far in Odyssey block. Hopefully Judgement will have some tools which will give white the boost it needs in order to become competitive again.

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