changing the white balance affects the camera's perception of white. this is done to compensate for different colour lighting. For example, under tungsten lighting white is perceived by our eyes as yellowish, so the camera adjusts for that to make the white look like white. But if you use tungsten white balance under normal sunlight, everything will look cooler.
So that works something SIMILAR to a filter, but can never replace the filter. Firstly, unless u shoot raw, it is very hard to predict which white balance u need to create the effect you want. Using white balance also has limited possibilities, unless u know how to play with white balance compensation or kelvins.. you also cannot replace other filters like polarisers, nd, star effect filters etc... the only thing that u can minimally replace is the colour filters....
why not use your cam, take a shot each using different WB, you will see the effect. Learning from book is just one aspect, doing it and understaning the effect yourself would be more beneficial.
I think it should be able to do something to replace the red or blue filters? If we use a slightly reddish card for white balance, or use a preset sunset setting, we should be able to make the picture cooler. On the other hand, using a slightly bluish card, or using preset cloudy setting, the picture should appear warmer. So in this way, we can tweak the white balance and obtain our desired effect?