I'll never forget the first game I played against an Elspeth. It was a triple Shards of Alara draft, and it hit me on turn five or six. I read the card, kind of shrugged, and wondered to myself, "This seems decent, I guess. But is it really that good?"

The answer was a resounding yes. I was ritually slaughtered in that game, as well as the next one when Ms Tirel came down on turn four. She sent exalted-enhanced Mosstodon into the air for enormous chunks of my life total and put me out of my misery. At least the beatings were quick. It didn't take the Magic community much longer to concur with my new discovery, and for her run in Standard Elspeth was largely regarded as one of the strongest planeswalkers ever (admittedly not the grandest position since there were only like ten to choose from at the time, but she's aged well).

Her popularity didn't just rest with the tournament folks either. Her ultimate ability was a huge play in the fledgling EDH format, and her backstory was very compelling for the lore folks: she grew up on a plane savaged by the evil Phyrexians and walked away to Bant. No matter where she goes, trouble seems to follow. Despite all the woes and hardship, Elspeth still tries to do what's right and fight for those that can't fight for themselves. A real hero type, a bonafide Knight even.

So that's where we're gonna go with Elspeth, Knight-Errant—knights. The first version of the character should be surrounded by other folks who would protect the defenseless and challenge the darkness like she does.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Elspeth, Knight-Errant by Andy Hurst

'Elspeth, Knight-Errant' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Andy Hurst

Event:

Rank:

Freeform (Casual)

Market Price: $26.93

Cards

Soltari Lancer

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5738_200w.jpg

Shadow (This creature can block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.)
Soltari Lancer has first strike as long as it's attacking.

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Warrior en-Kor

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5449_200w.jpg

{0}: The next 1 damage that would be dealt to Warrior en-Kor this turn is dealt to target creature you control instead.

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Zhalfirin Crusader

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.98

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5967_200w.jpg

Flanking (Whenever a creature without flanking blocks this creature, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.)
{1}{W}: The next 1 damage that would be dealt to Zhalfirin Crusader this turn is dealt to any target instead.

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Knightly Valor

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216555_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
When Knightly Valor enters the battlefield, create a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance. (Attacking doesn't cause it to tap.)
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has vigilance.

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Sandstone Bridge

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105377_200w.jpg

Sandstone Bridge enters the battlefield tapped.
When Sandstone Bridge enters the battlefield, target creature gets +1/+1 and gains vigilance until end of turn.
{T}: Add {W}.

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Shining Armor

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198569_200w.jpg

Flash
When Shining Armor enters the battlefield, attach it to target Knight you control.
Equipped creature gets +0/+2 and has vigilance.
Equip {3} ({3}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

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Knight of Dawn

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5604_200w.jpg

First strike
{W}{W}: Knight of Dawn gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn.

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Knight of the White Orchid

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236404_200w.jpg

First strike
When Knight of the White Orchid enters the battlefield, if an opponent controls more lands than you, you may search your library for a Plains card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.

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Valorous Stance

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227284_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Target creature gains indestructible until end of turn.
• Destroy target creature with toughness 4 or greater.

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Dauntless Bodyguard

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162193_200w.jpg

As Dauntless Bodyguard enters the battlefield, choose another creature you control.
Sacrifice Dauntless Bodyguard: The chosen creature gains indestructible until end of turn.

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Ardenvale Tactician // Dizzying Swoop

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198997_200w.jpg

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Mistveil Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180847_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)
Mistveil Plains enters the battlefield tapped.
{W}, {T}: Put target card from your graveyard on the bottom of your library. Activate this ability only if you control two or more white permanents.

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Cast Out

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212338_200w.jpg

Flash
When Cast Out enters the battlefield, exile target nonland permanent an opponent controls until Cast Out leaves the battlefield.
Cycling {W} ({W}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Knight's Pledge

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166709_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2.

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Ray of Distortion

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196584_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
Flashback {4}{W}{W} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Lena, Selfless Champion

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216300_200w.jpg

When Lena, Selfless Champion enters the battlefield, create a 1/1 white Soldier creature token for each nontoken creature you control.
Sacrifice Lena: Creatures you control with power less than Lena's power gain indestructible until end of turn.

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Danitha Capashen, Paragon

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227258_200w.jpg

First strike, vigilance, lifelink
Aura and Equipment spells you cast cost {1} less to cast.

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Silver Knight

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/46819_200w.jpg

First strike, protection from red

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Syr Alin, the Lion's Claw

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199276_200w.jpg

First strike
Whenever Syr Alin, the Lion's Claw attacks, other creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.

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Sigiled Sword of Valeron

Market Price: $0.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/169118_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +2/+0, has vigilance, and is a Knight in addition to its other types.
Whenever equipped creature attacks, create a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance that's attacking.
Equip {3}

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Relief Captain

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132281_200w.jpg

When Relief Captain enters the battlefield, support 3. (Put a +1/+1 counter on each of up to three other target creatures.)

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Knight of Obligation

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/67528_200w.jpg

Vigilance
Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {W/B}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)

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Squire

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14646_200w.jpg

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Valor

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14664_200w.jpg

First strike
As long as Valor is in your graveyard and you control a Plains, creatures you control have first strike.

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Jousting Lance

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/164722_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +2/+0.
As long as it's your turn, equipped creature has first strike.
Equip {3} ({3}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

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Call the Cavalry

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/164703_200w.jpg

Create two 2/2 white Knight creature tokens with vigilance.

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Idyllic Grange

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199256_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)
Idyllic Grange enters the battlefield tapped unless you control three or more other Plains.
When Idyllic Grange enters the battlefield untapped, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.

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Arrest

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/98736_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be activated.

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White Knight

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/46820_200w.jpg

First strike (This creature deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)
Protection from black (This creature can't be blocked, targeted, dealt damage, or enchanted by anything black.)

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Encroaching Wastes

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227334_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{4}, {T}, Sacrifice Encroaching Wastes: Destroy target nonbasic land.

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Kwende, Pride of Femeref

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162204_200w.jpg

Double strike
Creatures you control with first strike have double strike.

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Valiant Knight

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.53

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/169119_200w.jpg

Other Knights you control get +1/+1.
{3}{W}{W}: Knights you control gain double strike until end of turn.

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Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $12.67

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/68276_200w.jpg

+1: Create a 1/1 white Soldier creature token.
+1: Target creature gets +3/+3 and gains flying until end of turn.
−8: You get an emblem with "Artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands you control have indestructible."

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235540_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Plover Knights

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/46832_200w.jpg

Flying, first strike

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Dub

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215847_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2, has first strike, and is a Knight in addition to its other types. (It deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)

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Novice Knight

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/169448_200w.jpg

Defender (This creature can't attack.)
As long as Novice Knight is enchanted or equipped, it can attack as though it didn't have defender.

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Knight of New Benalia

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/164711_200w.jpg

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Solemn Offering

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/167857_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or enchantment. You gain 4 life.

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Knight of Old Benalia

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191690_200w.jpg

Suspend 5—{W} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay {W} and exile it with five time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost. It has haste.)
When Knight of Old Benalia enters the battlefield, other creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.

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Security Blockade

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/66610_200w.jpg

Enchant land
When Security Blockade enters the battlefield, create a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance.
Enchanted land has "{T}: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to you this turn."

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The Game Plan

Like any good knight, Elspeth, Knight-Errant cares about winning fights with honor and fairness, and a healthy portion of attacking for two. Most of the creatures here are pretty efficient bodies for their cost, and many of them can win a fight against similarly sized creatures due to first strike, protections, and other combat enhancers. I think this deck has my favorite flavor combo in any deck—if you go Turn 2 Squire,  Turn 3 Dub that Squire, the game should end immediately with your opponent's concession. He goes from a Squire to a Knight, people. That's a big deal!

Anyway, Elspeth, Knight-Errant wants to attack early and often because of the efficient threats that are hard to block/trade with, and then use the late game bombs like Elspeth, Knight-Errant herself, Relief Captain, Syr Alin, the Lion's Claw, or Knight of New Benalia to overwhelm the opponent's defenses and secure the victory. (As an aside here, I know the Phyrexian Invasion and then The Mending did a number on the plane of Dominaria, but my goodness the difference between the Knight of Old Benalia and the Knight of New Benalia is stark. What happened there? No school like the Old School I suppose.)

We're a bit weak to flyers, but thanks to Ardenvale Tactician and Plover Knights we're not totally helpless and of course Elspeth, Knight-Errant second ability can launch things up to get damage in as well.

The Rares

Ever since Shards came out, I've really enjoyed this creature. In other formats, pay attention to the fact that the Plains you go get don't have to be basic. Dual lands ahoy! We aren't concerned with fixing color here, but there are a few fetchable utility lands—Idyllic Grange and Mistveil Plains. But even if you're just getting regular old "Plains," this Knight of the White Orchid fights very well in the early stage of the game, and getting to "undo" going second is just such a cool effect I'm astonished we don't see it more often. The ultimate fair fighter.

Most tribes have lords these days, and this lord enables massive attacks by sometimes giving your whole (boosted) team double strike. Even just the threat of activation makes combat daunting for your opponent unless you're incredibly behind, and even on defense you're five mana away from trading with darn near anything. And if for some reason you can't spare the mana for the activation, his 3/4 body is pretty fearsome as is.

This legend seems to me like the creature version of Elspeth, Knight-Errant. Elspeth, Knight-Errant is a knight who makes soldiers and (likely) sacrifices herself to make your stuff indestructible. Lena, Selfless Champion is a knight who makes soldiers and (definitely) sacrifices herself to make your stuff indestructible. She earned her spot here for these parallels alone. Lena, Selfless Champion is dope.

There's a small package of equipment here, because several of our creatures get nice benefits from equipment. And flavorfully it's important the equipment is all stuff a Knight would use. We've got the Jousting Lance to make our guys a little more fearsome (great with Kwende, Pride of Femeref by the way), Shining Armor because what knight wouldn't want some fancy protection, and then the Sigiled Sword of Valeron. Makes more knights, gives a nice bonus, lets the equipped knight play offense and defense, and it's not a very expensive package either. An ideal rare for a knight's ensemble.

Unsung Hero

Knight of Dawn just rocks. When I started playing a million years ago, I loved the Mark Poole knights from Ice Age like Knight of Stromgald and Kjeldoran Warrior. The angles of their armor looked so cool but wildly impractical, exactly like something from a fantasy genre to kindle the imagination. Knight of Dawn aesthetic seems similar to me, but a little more formidable, and he looks like he's got a lightsaber or something, which is obviously rad. 

My White Knight was a real one but my friend Jay had a green deck and pro black didn't do much good there. Knight of Dawn, however, can prepare and protect himself in any environment. He's one of your best wearers of the Equipment and Aura suite—just remember if you ever give him protection from white, some of those enhancements might fall off. And always leave two mana up! This guy's got too much armor to get caught with his pants down.