Have you ever played a game where your opponent drops a Gideon of the Trials? You have my sympathies. Good god, it's so annoying. It just sits there and prevents damage for a hundred years until you wonder why on earth you decided to play this game. You reason that if there's a higher power, it doesn't have your best interests in mind.

So if we're building a Gideon of the Trials deck, what kinds of things does white do that mechanically and/or flavorfully echo this sentiment?

I think I have an idea…

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Gideon of the Trials by Andy Hurst

'Gideon of the Trials' - 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: $26.34

Cards

Immolating Glare

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/110799_200w.jpg

Destroy target attacking creature.

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Gideon of the Trials

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $3.42

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129778_200w.jpg

+1: Until your next turn, prevent all damage target permanent would deal.
0: Until end of turn, Gideon of the Trials becomes a 4/4 Human Soldier creature with indestructible that's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.
0: You get an emblem with "As long as you control a Gideon planeswalker, you can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game."

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Atalya, Samite Master

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7426_200w.jpg

{X}, {T}: Choose one —
• Prevent the next X damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn. Spend only white mana on X.
• You gain X life. Spend only white mana on X.

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Whipgrass Entangler

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10717_200w.jpg

{1}{W}: Until end of turn, target creature gains "This creature can't attack or block unless its controller pays {1} for each Cleric on the battlefield."

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Test of Faith

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/68312_200w.jpg

Prevent the next 3 damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn. For each 1 damage prevented this way, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.

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Beloved Chaplain

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/9286_200w.jpg

Protection from creatures

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Benevolent Bodyguard

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118610_200w.jpg

Sacrifice Benevolent Bodyguard: Target creature you control gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn.

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Akroma's Devoted

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10696_200w.jpg

Cleric creatures have vigilance.

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Lashknife Barrier

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7819_200w.jpg

When Lashknife Barrier enters the battlefield, draw a card.
If a source would deal damage to a creature you control, it deals that much damage minus 1 to that creature instead.

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Eight-and-a-Half-Tails

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118613_200w.jpg

{1}{W}: Target permanent you control gains protection from white until end of turn.
{1}: Target spell or permanent becomes white until end of turn.

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Battlefield Medic

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10398_200w.jpg

{T}: Prevent the next X damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn, where X is the number of Clerics on the battlefield.

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Altar's Light

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11325_200w.jpg

Exile target artifact or enchantment.

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Soltari Monk

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5739_200w.jpg

Protection from black
Shadow (This creature can block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.)

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Hallowed Healer

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/9300_200w.jpg

{T}: Prevent the next 2 damage that would be dealt to any target this turn.
Threshold — {T}: Prevent the next 4 damage that would be dealt to any target this turn. Activate only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.

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Miraculous Recovery

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180868_200w.jpg

Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Put a +1/+1 counter on it.

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Steadfast Sentinel

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/134889_200w.jpg

Vigilance
Eternalize {4}{W}{W} ({4}{W}{W}, Exile this card from your graveyard: Create a token that's a copy of it, except it's a 4/4 black Zombie Human Cleric with no mana cost. Eternalize only as a sorcery.)

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Dusk // Dawn

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.42

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196620_200w.jpg

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Divine Sacrament

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.53

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/9294_200w.jpg

White creatures get +1/+1.
Threshold — White creatures get an additional +1/+1 as long as seven or more cards are in your graveyard.

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Daunting Defender

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10407_200w.jpg

If a source would deal damage to a Cleric creature you control, prevent 1 of that damage.

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Soltari Priest

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14641_200w.jpg

Protection from red
Shadow (This creature can block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.)

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Repentance

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5690_200w.jpg

Target creature deals damage to itself equal to its power.

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Abuna's Chant

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11906_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• You gain 5 life.
• Prevent the next 5 damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn.
Entwine {2} (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/115936_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Banisher Priest

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212334_200w.jpg

When Banisher Priest enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls until Banisher Priest leaves the battlefield. (That creature returns under its owner's control.)

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Remote Farm

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6655_200w.jpg

Remote Farm enters the battlefield tapped with two depletion counters on it.
{T}, Remove a depletion counter from Remote Farm: Add {W}{W}. If there are no depletion counters on Remote Farm, sacrifice it.

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New Benalia

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.16

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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Custodi Squire

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/83174_200w.jpg

Flying
Will of the council — When Custodi Squire enters the battlefield, starting with you, each player votes for an artifact, creature, or enchantment card in your graveyard. Return each card with the most votes or tied for most votes to your hand.

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Kor Sanctifiers

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/107979_200w.jpg

Kicker {W} (You may pay an additional {W} as you cast this spell.)
When Kor Sanctifiers enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, destroy target artifact or enchantment.

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Devouring Light

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/90958_200w.jpg

Convoke (Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for {1} or one mana of that creature's color.)
Exile target attacking or blocking creature.

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Path of Peace

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161896_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature. Its owner gains 4 life.

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Mother of Runes

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $6.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132098_200w.jpg

{T}: Target creature you control gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn.

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Forbidding Watchtower

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15130_200w.jpg

Forbidding Watchtower enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {W}.
{1}{W}: Forbidding Watchtower becomes a 1/5 white Soldier creature until end of turn. It's still a land.

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Syndic of Tithes

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/67409_200w.jpg

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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Ghost Quarter

Market Price: $1.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166821_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}, Sacrifice Ghost Quarter: Destroy target land. Its controller may search their library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Ancestor's Chosen

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180839_200w.jpg

First strike (This creature deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)
When Ancestor's Chosen enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life for each card in your graveyard.

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Rebuff the Wicked

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234321_200w.jpg

Counter target spell that targets a permanent you control.

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Doubtless One

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10414_200w.jpg

Doubtless One's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Clerics on the battlefield.
Whenever Doubtless One deals damage, you gain that much life.

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Zealous Inquisitor

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12898_200w.jpg

{1}{W}: The next 1 damage that would be dealt to Zealous Inquisitor this turn is dealt to target creature instead.

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Faith's Fetters

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226975_200w.jpg

Enchant permanent
When Faith's Fetters enters the battlefield, you gain 4 life.
Enchanted permanent can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be activated unless they're mana abilities.

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The Game Plan

We're going to sit there and prevent damage for a hundred years until the opponent wonders why on earth they decided to play this game. Plus our deck is full of clerics, so if there's a higher power, we reason it probably has our best interests in mind. Between Battlefield Medic, Hallowed Healer, Daunting Defender, Gideon of the Trials plus ability, Test of Faith, Lashknife Barrier, Abuna's Chant and some of our rares, we're decent at keeping opposing forces from connecting. Beyond just preventing damage, we've got several reliable blockers like Mother of Runes, Beloved Chaplain, and Zealous Inquisitor that are tough to put down.

We don't attack super well, but there's a couple good beaters. The pair of shadow creatures are evasive and should hardly ever get blocked, so they'll be a reliable damage source. Two copies of Doubtless One might be large given our supply of Clerics, so you should feel comfortable sending them into harm's way (especially since their spirit link effects will incentivize using your damage prevention effects to keep them safe). Ancestor's Chosen is a big beefy first striker, although his big beefy price tag will keep him out of the game until a bit later.

Don't mess with the Church—these clerics have some top notch removal. Faith's Fetters, Immolating Glare, Devouring Light, and Path of Peace often hit their mark. Most creatures can't fulfil the obligations of their repentance, and we have a weird reset button at rare to help us out that's usually favorably asymmetrical.

Lastly, keep in mind there are many things in this deck offering uses for our mana, so plan out your turns carefully.

The Rares

Gideon of the Trials is an obnoxious Planeswalker, so it's only fitting he's accompanied by an obnoxious rare. Eight-and-a-Half-Tails here can take over the game for the low low price of 700 mana, made payable every single turn of the game. It's easy to think of Eight-and-a-Half-Tails as a safety blanket, but constantly using it as such will hinder your development, and this kind of deck thrives by developing the board when possible. The effect is awesome, but it's expensive.

We've got 24 lands, and 23 of them make white mana. This bodes well for Atalya, Samite Master powers. If we can just gain like 11 life over the course of two turns, that provides a pretty insane boost to our life totals, making a damage race unfeasible.

It just seemed right to make the anthem in the cleric deck seem a bit more religious, and this has the added bonus of doubling up if we ever hit threshold. Our creatures are pretty dinky, which is bad in every situation except when playing with our last rare, so the Divine Sacrament is almost always a welcome addition to our battlefield. Just keep in mind that it's symmetrical.

If we don't have the Divine Sacrament around, this card is extremely potent. At least 17/22 creatures dodge it, with Doubtless One likely to get got, but might dodge if your board is crappy enough. And once you've cast it, the Dusk half is similarly excellent since it'll recur the vast majority of your troops.

Unsung Hero

I've rarely had to play against this creature despite playing Magic for over 20 years. I didn't play much Limited back in Onslaught Block, and that's where Whipgrass Entangler did most of its work. But I remember a time (It must have been a Prerelease) where this critter just absolutely worked me. Remember this effect works for both attacking and blocking, and it doesn't require the Whipgrass Entangler himself to tap. And our Clerics are difficult to kill since we can so easily prevent damage, or protect them via Mother of Runes or similar effects. So for two mana each, you can easily hamstring your opponent's creatures. Your opponent needs to pray you don't draw this beast of a cleric, but unfortunately for them your troops have been doing the praying thing a lot longer.