APPENDIX A: Specific abilities of white weenies
White weenies have many powerful abilities, and these bring in tricks of their own. Generally, however, one tries to avoid defensive abilities and those restricted to combat only.

More than a thematic touch, protection is the most versatile ability emphasized in the White Weenies. In 1996, for example, Tom Chanpheng became World Champion by defeating a mono-black Necropotence deck with WW and the 12 most powerful protection from black creatures of the time. (Note how the deck also emphasizes the Disenchants available to WW, with 4 extra Divine Offerings to deal with Nevinyrral's Disk and Serrated Arrows, the Necropotence deck's only answer to protection from black. Also, Strip Mine was unrestricted in Type II at the time, and Land Tax was restricted.)

1996 World Champion, tom chanpheng
Type II

Creatures (20)
4 Savannah Lions
4 Orders of Leitbur
4 Orders of the White Shield
4 White Knight
2 Phyrexian Warbeasts
2 Serra Angels

Removal (10)
4 Disenchant
1 Balance
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Reprisal

Other tricks (6)
1 Land Tax
1 Reinforcement
1 Armageddon
1 Zuran Orb
1 Lodestone Bauble
1 Sleight of Mind

Land (24)
11 Plains
4 Adarkar Wastes
1 Kjeldoran Outpost
4 Strip Mines
4 Mishra's Factories

4 Divine Offering
2 Aurenson's Aura
1 Sleight of Mind
1 Reprisal
1 Exile
1 Kjeldoran Outpost
2 Serrated Arrows
1 Spirit Link
1 Energy Storm
1 Black Vise

Protection has offensive and defensive benefits. On the offense, the main consideration is that creatures with protection from a color cannot be blocked by creatures of that color. When using Mother of Runes or Cho-Manno's Blessing, one should use this aggressively when one has momentum. Casting Reverent Mantra when both sides have many creatures wins the game outright.

The most important defensive benefit is that protection from a color counters any ability and destroys creature enchantments of that color. Thus, when one does not need protection to slip an attacker past a large blocker, one holds the Mother or Blessing in reserve and casts these in response to an opponent's spell, much like a Counterspell. Protection can even be used to destroy a Treachery on one's creature or an Empyreal Armor on an opponent's shadow creature.

One must be careful, however, since the protection ability can be responded to. For example, two Lightning Bolts on the stack still kills Mother of Runes, and is a common way for mono red to neutralize her.

Another important defensive benefit is that protection from a color reduces damage from that color to zero. This can be used to save creatures, and a Reverent Mantra with many creatures in combat radically changes the outcome. This is even more important when blocking, as a single Black Knight or Mother of Runes can stall a Juzam Djinn after a slow start.

It is important to note that protection comes at no extra mana cost to a creature (for example, a White Knight has first strike, protection from black and 2 power, all for WW). Thus, it is like a "bonus" ability that can be integrated without penalty in most decks. The Casual deck at the beginning of the article has five protection creatures and three en-Kors against a black or red deck, giving it an edge against such decks but no disadvantage against others.

Finally, protection creatures are not completely invulnerable, as red and black decks can use Cursed Scroll and Masticore (and to a lesser extent, Aeolipile and Serrated Arrows) to kill these. (Of course, WW has Disenchants ready.) Finally, abilities such as "destroy all" and "destroy creature that blocks this creature" are unaffected by protection.

Damage redirection
Though closely identified with Stronghold's en-Kors, older decks also used Alliance's Martyrdom against large Drain Life spells. The basic idea is to spread out damage that would normally kill one creature, rendering the damage source impotent. Thus, a 2/2 Warrior en-Kor is hit with a Lightning Bolt, it can spread one point of damage each to two other creatures (but note that damage all three creatures will have 1 point of damage until the end of the turn, not until after the Bolt resolves). Two Warriors blocking a 6/4 Craw Wurm can also redirect the damage to just one Warrior, or to a weaker creature, effectively trading the Wurm for just one weenie. Obviously, this ability is greatly enhanced by Crusades.

En-Kors, however, become even stronger when paired with creatures with protection, as all damage from the right color redirected to these creatures is reduced to zero. An en-Kor and a Mother of Runes can play havoc with an opponent's offense (block with both, then give Mother protection and redirect all damage to her). Add Pariah to the en-Kor, and you have a powerful casual combo (while it shuts down red, it is easily neutralized by killing the en-Kor with a non-damage spell such as Swords to Plowshares). Even playing a creature with protection, attacking with it next turn, then playing an en-Kor can stall an take the momentum from an opponent's offense.

(As a final note, an old Tempest combo was an en-Kor, Mogg Maniac, and Furnace of Rath. The en-Kor would redirect damage to itself, causing the damage to multiply due to the Furnace, then redirect 20 points of damage to the Mogg Maniac. The Maniac could then deal equivalent damage to the opponent.)

Flying and shadow
Since Academy and Trix were killed, creatures can be as common in competitive Type I play as they are in casual play. When the number of creatures on the board slowly grows and the game is stalemated, these become crucial. Send them in for a few points of damage at a time while waiting for an opening. Note that your Soltaris (white creatures with shadow) cannot block, and should attack regardless of the situation (unless you need to block opposing shadow creatures).

Cheap flyers are unavailable to WW, as the cheapest 2-power creatures are the 3-mana Thunder Spirit from Legends and Nightwind and Thermal Glider from Masques. The Thunder Spirit is handy in combat, and though protection does not always justify the extra mana, the Nightwind Glider evades both Moat and Abyss.

The only other noted flyers are Duskrider and Freewind Falcons from Visions when absolutely needed. In its time, 2-mana Freewind Falcon was able to block Wildfire Emissary, Frenetic Efreet and Ball Lightning (though the new trample rules make this illegal) while the rest of the team attacked, though it still died to Suq'Ata Lancer's flanking.

"2-power for 2" shadows are available, but playing too many shadows can make one unable to defend when the game slows down. More shadows are usually played only with Empyreal Armor, to allow the Armored creature to deal damage quickly and without being chump blocked.

First strike
This is a very common ability associated with white's knights. The basic idea is that one of your 2/2 creatures can block or be blocked by another 2/2 and kill it without itself being killed. It can force an opponent to chump-block instead of trading creatures when he is desperate, and can allow your attackers to unexpectedly kill larger blockers with Army of Allah.

This ability can be more subtle, however. Immediately after first strike damage is assigned, one can use a Cursed Scroll or splashed Lightning Bolt to kill a larger opposing creature before it can kill your weenie. Gang blocking with first strikers and en-Kors also allows the weenies to survive, though it is still as dangerous if one of the blockers is eliminated before they deal damage to a larger creature.

Although first strike is useless outside combat (effects like Arena do not consider first strike, too), it is usually built into creatures at no extra mana cost, and 2/2 first strikers often cost 2 mana.

This special ability from the Mirage block is rarely used because all flankers except the 1/1 Mtenda Herder are slower 3-mana 2/2s. Basically, it allows attackers to trade for slightly larger blockers. It has two nuances, however.

First, creatures that block flankers receive –1/-1 as soon as they are declared blocking. This means that a 2/1 regenerating River Boa or a 1/1 Mother of Runes giving itself protection from white still die from blocking an Mtenda Herder. Second, this means that a 6/4 Craw Wurm declared as a blocker to an Mtenda Herder can immediately be Bolted to save the Herder (though it is already blocked and does not deal damage).

Note that flanking has no effect when the flanker is blocking, except that it negates the flanking of an attacker (in the rare occasions you actually play against a flanker, which will probably be red's Suq'Ata Lancer).

This is mainly an ability from Ice Age last seen in Urza's Destiny's Capashen Knight, although the original white pump-knight was the Order of Leitbur from Fallen Empires. A simple rule is to never use activated creature abilities (aside from those involving flying and shadow) until right before damage has to be assigned. Pumping an attacker before blockers are even declared, for example, merely gives away information to the opponent, allowing him to block more effectively.

An extremely defensive ability (offensive when used with larger creatures), this has become relevant with the Benalish Trapper and cousin-Apprentices in Invasion Limited. (Of course, they are easily killed and far less effective outside Limited, and useless against decks without creatures.)

When you want to tap creatures to prevent them from attacking, note that you must do this during the combat phase, before attackers are declared. Choose carefully since the opponent will not reveal what he will attack with until after you play your effects, and since he can decide to declare zero attackers after you tap. (Do not make the mistake of tapping when he declares his attack phase, as you will tap attackers during the main phase and allow him to play things like Sleeper's Robe and Skizzik before attacking.) Waiting until this last possible moment not only prevents surprises, but it also allows you to tap creatures during the end of your opponent's turn. You can tap another blocker during your own turn, in effect tapping an extra creature that may provide enough of an opening for your attack.

Another usual rule is to simply attack when the opponent has no creatures in play (unless one expects Ball Lightning). The extra 1 point of damage can be crucial for the aggressive WW deck.

Note that the original tapper was not from Invasion, but Tempest's Master Decoy, arguably the white weenie with the funniest art.

This is an obscure ability that was very much alive in weenies until Fallen Empires and Ice Age. This is unfortunate as the "basic" bander is the 1/1 Benalish Hero, and Gerrard of Benalia is an important character in the new Magic cast. Banding was removed from from the game because it is very difficult to understand, yet not very effective. (There is a reason why Tolaria is the weakest Legendary Land and had to be redeemed by the printing of Tolarian Academy!)

In simple terms, banding can be used only when blocking or attacking. When a creature is blocked by at least one creature with banding, all damage from that creature to the blockers is assigned by the blocking player (instead of the attacker). Thus, if a 1/1 Benalish Hero and four other 1/1s blocked a 5/5 Juzam Djinn, the blocker could assign all 5 damage to one creature and still kill the Djinn.

Attacking is more complicated. One can declare any number of banders and up to one additional non-banding creature as a "band". This band is blocked as if it were a single attacker (with abilities such as landwalk, flying and shadow not applying unless all attackers in the band have the ability), and the attacker distributes the damage from all creatures that block the band. Thus, if a Juzam Djinn blocks four Benalish Heroes and another 1/1 which have formed a band, the Djinn dies while killing only one 1/1.

It seems powerful at first glance, and Ice Age-era casual games with Mesa Pegasus and Pikemen were fun, if confusing. However, note that banding has no effect outside combat, which makes it bad. Moreover, banding is useless unless one has more than one creature. It is also easier for an opponent to chump-block a band, which can stall WW's offense. In addition, removing a bander with an instant or ability also usually kills the rest of the band (the expected damage redirection is lost, resulting in a more lethal assignment of damage to the band). Finally, banding is included with creatures "at no extra mana cost" only in 1/1s such as Benalish Hero and Icatian Infantry, and all banders cannot meet the "2 mana for 2" rule.

Still, it is a fun ability, and if you want to relive the classic hero themes with banding, first strike and protection from black, by all means! There are a few tricks such as banding better small banders like Icatian Infantry with your 2/2 knights to allow the 1/1 bander to trade for a 3/3 blocker that is stalling your offense. When desperate, it can even be banded with attacking shadow creatures, which allow these to deal damage to a blocker but take none since the sacrificial 1/1 will absorb it.

Damage prevention
Though too weak in normal play, creatures that prevent even 1 point of damage are very powerful in Limited play. One may want to try them in a casual WW, and as with other abilities, the applicable rule is to play the ability at the last possible moment for maximum flexibility. (Do not underestimate these damage prevention abilities, however. Take a good look at the decklists in this article, and you will find creatures with damage prevention abilities such as Defender en-Vec and Sanctum Guardian.)

Permanents that prevent damage such as Story Circle and Worship are more commonly used in WW than creatures that prevent damage. However, one must be careful of the few black effects that cause one to lose life instead of taking damage. Commonly seen in Limited play are Masque's Highway Robber and Invasion's Stormscape Apprentice, while Kaervek's Spite is seen in aggressive black weenie decks.