The Color Pie Identity Project – White

Editor’s Note: Yes, the prerelease set me back some time. Don’t worry, the posts will be shorter for the first day of the week, so they will be on time.

Welcome to the final color in my grand Color Pie Identity Project. By no means, is White the weakest color. In fact, over all, it can be the most powerful. The problem is the past is that even though White has had great cards, they have just been over matched at by other cards at that time.

Today, we look at the color as a whole and try and decide what White means, since it’s constantly viewed as the “lost child” where Wizards try to throw things to make them stick.


White has classically been the color of “Good,” as it’s seen. I mean, White has life gain, protects its creatures, and non-“Threatening” mechanics. But, White is hardly the case. With effects that kill creatures, redirect that damage, and can dictate what you can do; those sound like Black, Red and Blue effects. Why are they in White in the first place?

What White is about is control. White likes to make rules, and have everyone else follow by those rules. It will protect its creatures, enchantments, artifacts and lands from the damage you want to cause them and it will make you jump through hoops to get them. But if you ever want to have or do anything, you have to “pay a tax.”

Actually, White is alot like Left-Wing Political thinking; everyone should have an equal piece of the pie (not Color Pie) and if you have more than other people, you should have to pay for those. Note: I am not making a political statement, this is how the color works. The taxing, the rules that are made, tell me that’s not Liberal thinking. They want to make the little man (creature) equal in everyone’s eyes, so White has spells and creatures that help the little man, another Liberal trait.

And White’s creatures? For the most part, they’re defensive, trying to protect you (The Planeswalker?) in support of your laws and rules. On the flip side, White also has aggression-based creatures, trying to be the enforcers of your law. They will fight for your laws and help keep them intact.

How it deals with:

Artifacts – It used to be number one in hate, but now it’s number 3. If it’s something that gets in the way, sure, White can destroy it. Depending on the block mechanic, they can still destroy artifacts from time to time.

Creatures – Mass removal is something that White can still do, usually getting at least one spell like that per a block. Getting rid of creatures by White is done through combat to attacking or blocking creatures, either by damage or just plain removal.

Enchantments – White is still the color to have the most enchantment hate. It’s not Green’s hatred of things that are unnatural, but for things that White doesn’t control.

Lands -Not very often can White get rid of lands (any more). So, unless it’s a balancing spell, don’t expect too many White land destruction spells.

Relationship with:

Black – Black is way too selfish for its own good. It doesn’t share the wealth with it’s other creatures and it kills at will. Black doesn’t play nicely with others, and White doesn’t like that.

Blue – The main difference between these two colors is that Blue has more knowledge and it only temporary takes cares of threats (bouncing them). They both like controlling their opponents, which is why you see these two colors played together commonly.

Green – The community aspect and looking out for the little guy is what these two colors like about each other. Sure, gaining life and destroying artifacts and enchantments are common between these colors, but don’t confuse the two.

Red – Too random, too chaotic. Red doesn’t follow rules, so White doesn’t like Red. Simple as that.

Cards that demonstrate the color:

Creature – Leonin Abunas for protecting your stuff.

Enchantment – Rule of Law for setting rules about what everyone can do.

Instant – Chastise for controlling opposing creatures in the attack step.

Sorcery – Wrath of God. Resets everyones creatures.

So, there we go. The end of the project (save Thursday’s column). Sad to see it go? What else do you guys want to see on this page. Sound off.

3 thoughts on “The Color Pie Identity Project – White”

  1. Wow, this is old.

    Hey, this is Ilvaldi from the mtgsalvation forums and I’m commenting on your analysis of white. Some points I thought you might want to consider:

    Though I absolutely agree with you that white is capable of being super-liberal (maybe a socialist color), I think that this is merely just only a derivation of what White truly stands for.

    Two years after your post now, and, looking at the Alara block, we see a white character that is kind of excluded from your ruling–Elspeth. If you read the web comic (which I’m sure you do), it seems that this Planeswalker doesn’t really care about the actions of other insomuch as to force them to do something else. Elspeth is a planeswalker with no ambition and has the only desire of living in a peaceful community. Even then, Elspeth does not seek to govern the people but rather interact and be part of the people or at least part of the stereotype of “people who have a normal life and are absolutely normal.”

    After the conflux, Elspeth realized that her Bant was no longer the same anymore and she disappeared. This kind of contrary to your White character making rules for everyone. Elspeth didn’t make rules. She didn’t force Bant to go back to the way it was. She just went to find a new home. In a sense, something has to be accounted for here.

    Also, unlike liberals, White does one-up itself on a measure of being a bit intolerant sometimes. This I think is a bit conservative of white. This is a color that, as expressed with Bant, is one capable of creating castes and creating social stratification based on nobility, divinity, bravery, and etc. Just because White makes everyone equal, doesn’t mean that White can’t also make everyone unequal.

    In a sense, the complexity of White is enormous I think. There’s a way, I believe that you can pierce this dilemma of white having these caste like orders and being Mr. Fair and Nice. In this, I think there would have to be a lot of appeal to Kantian ethics, contractualism, and justice theory. In the idea of just desserts, White’s pillars of belief, law and order, can hinge on the basis of morality and morally correct actions, relying not necessarily on the people, but on the intuition and logic of ethics and virtue to dictate its actions. If a there is a riot that threatens to escalate and kill innocent lives unless you (as White) kill one innocent individual, would you do it? If you were an ambulance driver who had twelve patients in your vehicle and knew that, if you were to stop at any second, you would not make it in time to save them, find that an injured man is lying unconsciously on the front of the road and there’s no way you can dodge him unless you stop, what do you think white would do?

    In such, I think white is an ambiguous color. Just as there are many colors to represent the color pie as a whole, so are there many different kinds (or shades you can say) of White.

    If you’re planning to update these blog posts, do let me know. I would definitely look forward to any changes you might make in improving them.


    P.S. Where do you Ethics (like, philosophical ethics I mean such as Kantian Ethics, Virtue Ethics, Utilitarianism, Egoism, Contractualism, and etc.) belongs to–White or Blue?

  2. Conservatism has elements of white in it as well. (White would, for instance, oppose abortion.)

    Classic (18th-century) liberalism is more black/red, the European form being more red and the American form being more black.

  3. I am pretty sure it is meant to be the “Windborn Muse” rather than “Seedborn Muse”..

    White is my favourite colour from MTG, where it brings many tales of valour to the battlefield..

    Yes, we may be mere knights or soldiers.. fighting against dragons and hellspawn abominations.. but with white it feels like we still stand a chance..

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