Cards/Decks/Strategies against White Eldrazi

I'm just looking to brainstorm for cards (commonly played or not) that have good game against the commonly played cards in White Eldrazi. Any thoughts? What have you used or seen that's had any success against these guys?

In no particular order...

Swords to Plowshares/path to exile - obvious if you are on white yourself
Murderous Cut - delve through spheres
Electricity - does not kill eldrazi but can take out thalia, revokers, spirit of the lab and eldrazi mimic all at once. Also pretty good against pyromancer.
Dread of Night - not a fan, but now serves double duty vs mentor tokens and white bears.
Ensnaring bridge in the right deck.
Thoughtseize/Cabal Therapy - It has been stated that the Eldrazi decks can be prone to clunky draws, so hand disruption could be a good option.

I don't love bounce spell unless you are using it in conjunction with mana denial because they get to re-cast Thought-Knot and attack your hand again and reality smasher has haste. Rich has been running set adrift which may be the best of an awkward bounce situation. Reflector Mage may be the best bounce option, but it would need to either be top-decked or have survived thought-knot in the first place...

@p3temangus Good list. What do you think about Wasteland against them? Balance in the main board? Are there other angles of attack to them rather than just shooting creatures that hit the table?

I was talking about it to someone who plays modern and not vintage and basically

Ensnaring Bridge
Blood Moon (things that disrupt mana)

For this reason I could see Blue Moon/UR welder being well positioned against Eldrazi. Has artifact mana to power through spheres. I think Paul Rietzel's deck was designed to beat Eldrazi.

Could any of you post a winning decklist of white eldrazi? I have seen a few lists, but not a tournament winning one.

I would start with aiming at their manabase, since the deck seems to rely on a mixture of sol lands and coloured sources to function properly.


This one just went 6-0 online on May 28 (On MTGO) I think it's a pretty good sample of what White Eldrazi is.

4 Endless One
4 Eldrazi Mimic
1 Spirit of the Labyrinth
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Thought-Knot Seer
4 Reality Smasher
Spells (14)
1 Black Lotus
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
4 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Umezawa's Jitte
Lands (22)
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Caves of Koilos
1 City of Traitors
4 Eldrazi Temple
3 Eye of Ugin
2 Karakas
Sideboard (15)
4 Containment Priest
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Umezawa's Jitte
2 Dismember
1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
4 Leyline of Sanctity
2 Leyline of the Void

The sheer number of lands and mana sources in this thing is just crazy. How does one punish that? Should we be trading cards one for one with spot removal and then outdrawing them?

... In fact, the more I think about this, I'm realizing how very important cards like Spirit of the Labyrinth and Thalia are to this deck. Eldrazi is a deck with no draw engine at all, and to boot, this one has 22 lands plus 8 artifact mana sources, for an exact 50/50 ratio of stuff to mana. That's nuts. If one has a way to draw cards against them at all, and get rid of threats at all, it seems like this thing is just going to run out of business very fast. They basically have to kill you with what they have in the opening hand, and the top 3 or 4 cards of their Library... One can expect about 4-5 creatures in their top 9-11 cards judging by this list. Do we just rain Swords down on them?

last edited by Topical_Island

@Topical_Island Much of the card advantage is virtual. Each land that adds two mana is essentially drawing a card because that's one less card they have to commit to the board in order to cast a spell of the same mana cost. Also, many of their creatures are two for ones. Thought Knot Seer is a two for one if it isn't removed and Reality smasher is a two for one if it is removed (by spot removal). Additionally each sphere effect that gets placed on the table forces the opponent to commit an additional card to the board for each spell they play. Once again this amounts to virtual card advantage through mana advantage. It's all interrelated. Spirit of the labyrinth is absolutely back breaker against anything playing Gush; however, if heavily committed blue draw engines were not key players in the meta I don't think Spirit would be important to this strategy.

Edit: Staying on topic I'd say in addition to Blood Moon effects and Ensnaring Bridge there is still Engineered Explosives to address the 2 drop sphere effects and Firestorm for the creatures when you can only afford to cast 1 mana spells and have a huge stack of un-castable cards in hand.

last edited by Aaron Patten

@Topical_Island Wasteland + Null Rod/Stony Silence are probably good against them, with Blood Moon (as it has been stated) potentially being a total blowout. The more I think about it, hand disruption may be the second best strategy. This deck is on 30 (30!!) mana sources, literally half their topdecks are blanks if you are taking the meat of the deck out of their hands.

I am not sure if the White Eldrazi list (even the one posted) have been totally optimized yet. If i were playing the deck tomorrow I would be on at least 3 total plains/wastes and find more of a middle ground between Eldrazi beats and white bears. Maybe Stoneforge Mystic/batterskull along with Jitte has some place in these lists (sorry I know this is a "how to beat eldrazi thread")

Thanks for the list @Topical_Island !

I agree with the analysis. Drawing more removal than they draw threats seems possible. It also seems quite doable to keep them pinched on mana, to keep them from committing too many threats to the table on the same turn and forcing them to play tiny Endless Ones.

The mana base is interesting. I haven´t seen Caves of Koilos in a long time and it seems very good here, since it produces colouless mana. These probably occupy the slots basic plains would otherwise have though, turning on ghost quarter and path to exile. The deck seems to fold to blood moon or back to basics, as long as it´s backed up by a reasonably quick finisher.

Eldrazi displacer has an ok body, but it costs 7 mana to steal additional cards with it and though-knot and I don´t see any other obvious combos. Why is it here? To come down on turn 2 and beat?

Dealing with creatures across this wide range of toughnesses seems quite challenging. Artifact removal is relevant against the deck, but it doesn´t support the creature removal suite at all (the deck doesn´t even run revokers or factories!). Bolts don´t really cut it. Dismember should be good.

FWIW I prefer this White Eldrazi list:

4 Ancient Tomb
1 Black Lotus
4 Cavern of Souls
1 Chalice of the Void
3 Containment Priest
4 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Eldrazi Temple
1 Karakas
1 Lodestone Golem
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Phyrexian Revoker
5 Plains
4 Reality Smasher
1 Sol Ring
1 Strip Mine
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Thorn of Amethyst
4 Thought-Knot Seer
2 Vryn Wingmare
4 Wasteland

1 Aegis of the Gods
1 Containment Priest
2 Disenchant
2 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Karakas
2 Rest in Peace
1 Spirit of the Labyrinth
3 Swords to Plowshares
1 Trinisphere

It leans towards disruptive hatebears and drops the Mimics and Endless Ones. But I agree completely that the optimal lists for this deck have not yet been found. I've played ten matches or so with White Eldrazi and when it works it feels great but when it floods or similar it just feels terrible living off the top of the deck.

Wastelands have certainly been effective but it's kind of a house of cards and if someone removes or ignores the Thalia or answers the one Thought-Knot or Reality Smasher it loses effectiveness. When I move to something else I am going to be loading up on Swords to Plowshares for sure.

@Recklessmbermage said:

Eldrazi displacer has an ok body, but it costs 7 mana to steal additional cards with it and though-knot and I don´t see any other obvious combos. Why is it here? To come down on turn 2 and beat?

Eldrazi Displacer combos with Containment Priest.

How about The Abyss? It's an old one! 🙂

once you get talking about 4 mana noncreature spells you can pick any number of good spells, but getting to that point through thorns and thought-knots is difficult.

one thing to note is that the eldrazi player only gets so many draws before they go into top-deck mode. some number of those will be creatures, some will be mana, and a few will be lock pieces. it's important to get them into topdeck mode so that half of their draws are dead cards (mana).

some combination of hand disruption, spot removal, and permanents (dudes that can match or counter their dudes) seems like a good solution to me.

just try to not get too cutesy and start playing Shriekmaw.

just try to not get too cutesy and start playing Shriekmaw.

That's actually what I've been attempting to do. See, Thrashing Wumpus had been absolutely wrecking Randy's White Weenie deck and I suspect thats exactly why he's added the Eldrazi. So, there just needs to be a Thrashing Wumpus that has more reach. Paul had no problem dismantling the Eldrazi deck with Myr Battlesphere; can the Eldrazi deck beat any old 6/6? I mean, it certainly wouldn't cost any extra mana...

Massacre Wurm stands out to me because its a 6/6 with a built in Wumpus effect.

last edited by Guest

something that looks very good against this deck is oath, oath is good against shops so i imagine its good here as well.

@letseeker It's ok. I play a lot of Oath. Eldrazi is new though so it's not clear yet. But Shops doesn't have mainboard Containment Priest. That's a big difference.

Untested thoughts:

Peacekeeper, Magus of the Moat, Meekstone, Balance, Porphyry Nodes, STP/PTE, Dismember, Meddling Mage, Dread of Night/Sulfur Elemental (spillover from Mentor hate)

last edited by Dave Kaplan

@letseeker oath is a bye Ehen you play displacer. The griselbrand will not attack you for sure.

My experience with the Eldrazi is limited to Legacy (thus far), so I'm not sure if anything can really be ported across, but it is certainly true that in Legacy, Baleful Strix is quite effective against them. Unfortunately, Baleful Strix is quite poor against Thalia (who has first strike) and Spirit of the Labyrinth (who says no to drawing cards).

As was noted above, attacking the Eldrazi mana base can be very effective. In Legacy this is especially true, where opponents don't have access to artifact mana. While I think it is likely less true in Vintage, it is also true that the Vintage Eldrazi decks are trying to add a colour which makes them slightly more susceptible to Wasteland-type effects.

I get the feeling that the format is slightly soft to Key / Vault at the moment. Fewer Abrupt Decays, fewer Null Rods, fewer Stony Silence etc going around. With that in mind, it is possible that maybe an Esper control deck could be competitive? I could be very wrong about this, but it does seem as if the Eldrazi deck is significantly less well equipped to tax the opponent's mana, given they can only have one Thalia in play at a time (as opposed to having Lodestone Golems and some number of both Thorns and Spheres).

Back on topic, do people think it is worth playing Path to Exile alongside Swords to Plowshares? Or is it worth trying to diversify by playing some number of Dismember? Dismember obviously doesn't get Mental Misstepped, but I don't think that is actually a concern here.

@darkritual I play 4 mainboard Abrupt Decay, so I'm actually pretty happy to see a Displacer. The lines that are the worst for me are fast Thoughtknots followed by Priest, or Smasher. I think Thoughtknot is just bonkers myself. If Lodestone was broken because it was a clock and disruption... well, Seer?

(Cavern naming... well anything, but naming Eldrazi into Seer... ouch.)

last edited by Topical_Island
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