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A Vigilant look into Vigilance | MTG Mechanics and the Color Pie

I will go ahead and say it, no mechanic in Magic: the Gathering fits its color better than Vigilance does to White. It not only encapsulates its mechanical identity but is also one that expresses its philosophy as well, and to me that’s the key to a perfect keyword.

boros soldier vigilance mtg art

Vigilance has been with the game since Alpha, featured on the iconic White card Serra Angel, granted it was before the use of keywording, but the honor still stands. If you are not familiar with the effect, it states: “Attacking doesn’t cause <Creature Name> to tap”, but that isn’t what I want to talk about. This is a website that focuses on the ColorPie, and the philosophies that spring from it, so with that in mind what does Vigilance mean and how does it express the ideals of White Mana.

Vigilance is defined as: “the action or state of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.”

What we know of White is that it is the color of order and in all things, it strives for structure and peace. The use of vigilance as a White mechanic is meant to express its never-ending fight for its ideal world, all while everywhere around them that same world wishes to ruin what they have worked so hard to build.

White cannot rest, it cannot grant one inch to the chaos that is ever present at its borders, it must remain Vigilant.

We see this in the plethora of soldiers and knights at their disposal. They stand straight and tall across White’s borders, almost as solid as the statues that decorate the gates. White is always at war with a morally depraved world, and it is only through strict Vigilance that it will prevail, and its utopia can be maintained.

I ask you to think of a better mechanic that encapsulates the philosophy of its color than Vigilance. Let me know down in the comments below what mechanic you would like to have me cover next, and if you liked this article then be sure to become a member that way you can be notified when my next article goes live.

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Sheldon Larmond
Sheldon Larmond
Aug 24, 2021

Yo great article! A friend recommended your Color pie alignment chart replacement video and I've been a fan ever since.

I'd be interested In your thoughts on prowess and exalted; i just built a jeskai commander deck around Shu Yun and I've found the mechanic really interesting; it seems like it belongs more on a wizard than a monk at first glance.

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