Avacyn, Guardian Angel is but a shadow of her former, indestructible self (Avacyn, Angel of Hope) but is still a fairly impressive card to see here, but not for the right reasons.
At 2WWW, we get a 5/4 flier with vigilance. Fairly solid stats, but what does she do?
1W: Prevent all damage that would be dealt to another target creature this turn by sources of the color of your choice.
5WW: Prevent all damage that would be deal to target player this turn by sources of the color of your choice.
Personally, I feel the second ability is a little over-costed for a creature that is easily hit with removal. The reason the original Avacyn was so threatening is that she makes all of your permanents indestructible (herself included) – but this card is just underwhelming for the name attached to it.
For that reason, I’m going to call her Jill and continue with the review.
So Jill is a fairly decent angel, though the triple costing will definitely hurt her standard play-ability. She also doesn’t protect herself, which is extremely disappointing to me. A constant mana investment to keep something alive isn’t unreasonable in my opinion. However, the first ability being 1W is very well costed and protects your other creatures from unfavorable combat and removal – but at 5/4, she’ll be the first target for removal rather than any of your other creatures.
The second ability is a painful to look at. 5WW to prevent damage is already a white effect – at 2-3 mana. The only real advantage is that it’s any sources of the selected color, not just creatures. This doesn’t protect from Valakut, however, as lands have no color. Not worth 7 mana, even if it is repeatable. 14 mana to protect yourself from two colors is just annoying. That being said, I prefer having the ability there in case I need it rather than not have it at all.
Most likely, she’ll see some Commander play in decks such as Eight-and-a-Half-Tails or Grand Arbiter Augustin IV that just need to hose the few plays your opponent’s will be making and protecting your commander. She’ll probably see a little bit of play in Kaalia of the Vast as she’s an Angel, if players are missing the other Avacyn or Iona, Shield of Emeria for whatever reason.
Honestly, I’m just very glad to see this being printed at rare and not mythic. While I’m happy to see Avacyn back in Standard, I’m a little disappointed at the card itself. I’ll likely play her in limited and in one or two Commander decks, but not much more than that.
I’ll be talking more about Avaycn in a future article, however – M15 story implications.
The second card I wanted to talk about is Perilous Vault.
Perilous Vault is a 4 drop artifact that for 5 and a tap (and exiling itself) exiles all non-land permanents. The flavor text mentions the sealing away of the Eldrazi, and for good reason. Perilous Vault is a very good way of removing Eldrazis, as it ignores indestructibility, shroud, all kinds of protection, and hexproof.
This card could see some standard play, but it’s more likely to see play in Modern Tron or just standard Commander decks. Colorless removal is a huge staple, and this would happily follow in the footsteps of Nevinyrral’s Disk or Oblivion Stone. I personally prefer using the other two most of the time, but this card would have its place. At the very least, that’s what I’m excited for with this card.
However, the exile is a little bit of a double-edged sword. While it makes it hit a lot more things, it also limits it’s own usability. It isn’t recyclable like Oblivion Stone is in Tron due to not going to the graveyard, and you’ll be exiling all of your own things too. However, some situations simply call for drastic measures.
Overall, these are both interesting cards that I’m sure will have their own uses. If you have anything else to add about either of these cards, feel free to leave a comment below.
Until next time,