Although some planeswalkers are tough to gauge and evaluate, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar took about ten minutes. It was one of the strongest cards in Standard from the minute Battle for Zendikar hit the shelves to the minute it rotated out. It's even good enough to have a presence in Legacy, where planeswalkers see stiff competition for playing time. If you don't quite get why Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is elite, play a game or two with it—I promise things will make sense.

Mechanically, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is similar to others of his kind. But for this project, there's one thing that separates him, I think?

Ally!

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Gideon, Ally of Zendikar by Andy Hurst

'Gideon, Ally of Zendikar' - 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: $14.49

Cards

Angel of Renewal

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105568_200w.jpg

Flying
When Angel of Renewal enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life for each creature you control.

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Oath of Gideon

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/110830_200w.jpg

When Oath of Gideon enters the battlefield, create two 1/1 white Kor Ally creature tokens.
Each planeswalker you control enters the battlefield with an additional loyalty counter on it.

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Gideon's Reproach

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/164709_200w.jpg

Gideon's Reproach deals 4 damage to target attacking or blocking creature.

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Stasis Snare

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/104875_200w.jpg

Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.)
When Stasis Snare enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls until Stasis Snare leaves the battlefield. (That creature returns under its owner's control.)

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Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $5.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/104271_200w.jpg

+1: Until end of turn, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar becomes a 5/5 Human Soldier Ally creature with indestructible that's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.
0: Create a 2/2 white Knight Ally creature token.
−4: You get an emblem with "Creatures you control get +1/+1."

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Hada Freeblade

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/34376_200w.jpg

Whenever Hada Freeblade or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Hada Freeblade.

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Captain's Claws

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111020_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +1/+0.
Whenever equipped creature attacks, create a 1/1 white Kor Ally creature token that's tapped and attacking.
Equip {1}

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Cast Out

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.11

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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Ondu Cleric

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33386_200w.jpg

Whenever Ondu Cleric or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may gain life equal to the number of Allies you control.

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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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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222818_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Serene Steward

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105675_200w.jpg

Whenever you gain life, you may pay {W}. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.

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Sandstone Bridge

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.09

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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Kor Castigator

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105630_200w.jpg

Kor Castigator can't be blocked by Eldrazi Scions.

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Disenchant

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227260_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

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Cliffside Lookout

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105586_200w.jpg

{4}{W}: Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.

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Awe Strike

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11329_200w.jpg

The next time target creature would deal damage this turn, prevent that damage. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way.

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Astral Steel

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10831_200w.jpg

Target creature gets +1/+2 until end of turn.
Storm (When you cast this spell, copy it for each spell cast before it this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)

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Nomad Stadium

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/9597_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {W}. Nomad Stadium deals 1 damage to you.
Threshold — {W}, {T}, Sacrifice Nomad Stadium: You gain 4 life. Activate only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.

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Makindi Shieldmate

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33361_200w.jpg

Defender
Whenever Makindi Shieldmate or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Makindi Shieldmate.

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Retreat to Emeria

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222664_200w.jpg

Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, choose one —
• Create a 1/1 white Kor Ally creature token.
• Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.

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Valorous Stance

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.11

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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Ondu War Cleric

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111062_200w.jpg

Cohort — {T}, Tap an untapped Ally you control: You gain 2 life.

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Spawnbinder Mage

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111075_200w.jpg

Cohort — {T}, Tap an untapped Ally you control: Tap target creature.

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Makindi Patrol

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105636_200w.jpg

Rally — Whenever Makindi Patrol or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, creatures you control gain vigilance until end of turn.

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Kazandu Blademaster

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33338_200w.jpg

First strike, vigilance
Whenever Kazandu Blademaster or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Kazandu Blademaster.

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New Benalia

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171240_200w.jpg

New Benalia enters the battlefield tapped.
When New Benalia enters the battlefield, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
{T}: Add {W}.

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Kor Bladewhirl

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105629_200w.jpg

Rally — Whenever Kor Bladewhirl or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, creatures you control gain first strike until end of turn.

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Expedition Envoy

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105600_200w.jpg

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Stonework Puma

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/104229_200w.jpg

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Munda's Vanguard

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/110695_200w.jpg

Cohort — {T}, Tap an untapped Ally you control: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.

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Hero of Goma Fada

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/104277_200w.jpg

Rally — Whenever Hero of Goma Fada or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, creatures you control gain indestructible until end of turn.

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Brave the Elements

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94209_200w.jpg

Choose a color. White creatures you control gain protection from the chosen color until end of turn.

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Kor Entanglers

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/105631_200w.jpg

Rally — Whenever Kor Entanglers or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, tap target creature an opponent controls.

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Affa Protector

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111011_200w.jpg

Vigilance

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Arrow Volley Trap

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92858_200w.jpg

If four or more creatures are attacking, you may pay {1}{W} rather than pay this spell's mana cost.
Arrow Volley Trap deals 5 damage divided as you choose among any number of target attacking creatures.

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The Game Plan

Play allies early, often, and ride their many triggers to victory. More than most planeswalker decks, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar lives and dies by the curve that starts the game. If some of the early relevant allies hit the board on the first couple turns, the deck is very difficult to beat. If the start is slower, the road to success will see some potholes. But man, if the curve starts with Hada Freeblade to Kazandu Blademaster to Makindi Patrol, it'll be a hard train to derail.

Some of the allies aren't the best combatants, but that's just fine because we've got some cohort shenanigans. We don't want to be shy about activating the Ondu War Cleric often, especially if Serene Steward is around. We can also really stack up the triggers from cards like Oath of Gideon, Retreat to Emeria, Captain's Claws, and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar himself.

Removal here is good. Cast Out and Stasis Snare are both very effective since they have flash. Valorous Stance can either be great protection or removal for a big guy. And although Arrow Volley Trap and Gideon's Reproach only work during combat, they at least deal a bunch of damage, so they should be able to beat up something worthwhile. Brave the Elements is an absurd trick for only one mana, functioning as a Falter, Fog, or counterspell for removal. Do not burn it lightly.

The Rares

There's not a lot of things more powerful in a deck that wants to attack often than making your entire board indestructible every turn. If you land this beast, and you have any gas in the tank to keep hitting triggers, it's hard to imagine losing.

We don't exactly have an Ally Lord here, but the Munda's Vanguard is almost better. In just a few short turns, it'll be tougher to activate its ability because you'll want to attack with your now gigantic army instead of conserving creatures for cohort.

We want to attack and hit ally triggers—the Captain's Claws gives you ally triggers when you attack! The Captain's Claws and this game plan are basically chocolate and peanut butter. And much like a peanut butter cup, the Captain's Claws are cheap and your whole squad wants them. Don't be stingy.

Let's get the bad news out of the way: this only benefits one planeswalker, which is not ideal with the various Gatewatch Oaths. But it does provide two ally triggers, floods the board with more creatures, and lets Gideon, Ally of Zendikar come down and create an emblem immediately—while remaining alive. Those are both potentially huge benefits. If Oath of Gideon didn't make allies, it likely wouldn't be enough for inclusion. But it does, so it is.

Unsung Hero

Storm is a dumb mechanic. Even the most blah of effects (for example: deal one damage) get insane if you can get enough copies going. White's storm entries aren't usually even mentioned, because the effects are very fair. But like any of the others, if you can get one to two extra copies, the effects are quite powerful, if not as broken.

Would you pay three mana for +1/+2 to a creature at instant speed? Maybe begrudgingly. It's the kind of trick you'd hopefully consider unplayable in a Limited deck. But would you pay three mana for "+1/+2 to target creature, +1/+2 to target creature, +1/+2 to target creature?" Of course you would. And even at just one storm copy it's playable. The best part about the Astral Steel is that it's so narrow and forgotten that it's never predicted.