The best Knights in all of Magic:
The story of knights:
Not too long ago knights were relegated to rounding out mana-curves in aggressive or mid-range white decks. They were essentially retainers, mercenaries who flocked to whichever army needed them, blending seamlessly into the ranks and serving their commanding planeswalkers well with little notoriety. This all changed with the introduction of one proud lady in the M11 set. This Knight Exemplar united her clan, established a framework for her underlings to succeed within, and, consequently, white mages around the multiverse started dreaming of wielding righteous armies on tribal levels. (For those of you who don't know, "tribes" are cards -- usually creatures -- that share a common subtype and are thus capable of synergizing with each other based on their tribal alliances.)
Why you should play knights:
Knights are a blast to play for a number of reasons. They're aggressive, quick onto the battlefield, undeniably powerful and efficient for their mana costs. Additionally, they are capable of tremendous offense together, but can also quickly switch to powerful gang-strike defense. Most importantly though, they imbue a truly special feeling when unleashing holy righteousness on the foulest of foes.
To me, knights are holy crusaders, and holiness begins and ends with white mana. This all started with White Knight when I was growing up (the quintessential knight), and though I love me some multicolored knights -- my website and company are named after one such knight -- this list is devoted to the mono-colored variety. I'm sure I will do a tribute to knights of the colorful sort at a later time.
Without further adieu, Here are 10 (errr, 13) of the best knights In all of Magic:
10. White Knight / Silver Knight / Paladin en-Vec
White Knight and Silver Knight embody efficiency. 2/2 bodies for 2 mana? Pretty solid. 2/2s with first strike for 2 mana? Now we're talkin'. 2/2's with first strike, and protection from a powerful/hateful color? Yea Boi!
Paladin en-Vec is a great offspring of these two, but will cost you a bit of speed/tempo for 1 additional mana.
These knights go well in just about any white deck. They wreak havoc in the early game as aggressive attackers and work well in late games with their first strike gang defense potential and protection from black/red.
9. Knight of the Holy Nimbus
This spooky knight is more powerful than he looks. An aggressive 2/2 body for 2, he comes out quickly and knocks any blockers down to size with his flanking ability. The real kicker here is his deceptive self-regenerating ability--reminiscent of the first hokage, anyone? This dude wreaks havoc with no repercussions until the late-game, when you've probably already won.
8. Knight of Meadowgrain / Fiendslayer Paladin
I make no apologies -- I'm a huge fan of lifelink. These lifelinkers come out fast, apply pressure as attackers, help you win a life-race against another aggro deck and serve as terrific late-game gang blockers with your other first-striking knights. Buff them up easily for even more lifegain and shenanigans. Can't. Go. Wrong.
7. Knight of the White Orchid
This dude is super handsome and he rides a lion. Or, rather, a leotau to be precise. Pretty good stuff in my book. Thankfully, he's more than just a pretty face.
A standard 2/2 first striking knight body who comes with the ability to tutor for a plains and accelerate your mana base is nothing short of amazing. This knight will help you recover from low-mana draws and accelerate you into your more powerful creatures and spells. He's a trusty ally in the most dire of pinches.
6. Silverblade Paladin
Silverblade Paladin puts in work. A 3 drop 2/2 that with double strike who just happens to give any of your other creatures double strike is going to administer some pain. He curves out perfectly with your other 1 and 2 mana knight creatures, and is versatile enough to be a tempo-based turn 3 creature, or an over-the-top late-game finisher. I like him. A lot.
5. Mirran Crusader
As evidenced by Silverblade, double strike is not an ability to be underestimated. It effectively doubles the damage potential of whichever creature possesses this rare trait and further amplifies any creature augmentation you can muster (a pretty easy thing in white). Adding an additional +2/+0 to a creature with a piece of equipment, or +1/+1 counters with any number of spells will be doubled as well. The Mirran Crusader represents hope for his plane because he possesses this rare ability as well as protection from 40% of the cards in the game. He's my favorite enforcer in a tribe full of enforcers.
4. Hero of Bladehold
This lady is a one woman army. Aside from the fact that she makes lowly soldiers instead of knights whenever she attacks, she is perfect. A powerful 3/4 body, a pseudo-lord who boots all other attackers, and a board presence generator are a tremendous value for 4 mana. At the very worst, she, by herself, attacking alone, attacks for 7 damage with her soldier buddies. That will never happen though since you will always have another powerful knight or two on the board before she touches down. She's terrific.
3. Kinsbaile Cavalier
We're stepping into knight lord territory here. Remember my love of double strike? Now imagine all of your knights picking up that most amazing trait and slicing your opponent to pieces. This little kithkin is an absolute terror in a tribal knight deck. That goat looks pretty wily too right?
2. Knight Exemplar
Now we're cookin' with fire.
Knight Exemplar is one of the best lord creatures of any tribe. Boosting all of your knights by +1/+1 (a standard lord trait) is worth the price of admission, but she takes her game a giant step further making all of your knights indestructible. An absolute must have 4x in any tribal knight deck, she is even capable of taking things up another notch when there is another copy of her in play (making both copies of her indestructible as well as your other knights). One-sided board wipes, boosted first and double strikers, and unstoppable attackers and blockers all become possible with this exemplary lady. I think I'm in love.
1. Student of Warfare
Who could be better than the Knight Exemplar you might ask? Fair question. There's only one. The pound-for-pound king (or, rather, queen) of the knightly order. The best lady-knight there is. The unstoppable, the unflappable, the eldrazi-slaying Student of Warfare.
This little lady is a trained killer. She comes out on turn 1 and before your opponent knows what's happening they're getting smacked for 3 on turn 2. While they're trying to figure out what just hit them, they're getting struck for an unaugmented 8. The Student is one of the finest 1 drop creatures in the game, and, if left unchecked, is capable of winning games by herself. She holds the rarest of honors as an incredible early, mid, and late game draw and is capable of dominating with or without her peers. Give her a shot. You won't be disappointed.