Monday, April 23, 2012

Avacyn Restored review for Mayael.dec

I basically have one EDH deck, and it's Mayael the Anima. She's lots of fun; I like spinning the wheel and slamming a random fatty every turn. Here's my thoughts on how Avacyn Restored affects the Mayael deck.

Avacyn is obviously absurd. Spearbreaker Behemoth is one of the best fatties in the Mayael deck, and Avacyn has the same effect with no mana activation, vigilance, flying, +3/+3, and protecting everything. She dominates the red zone as an 8/8 indestructible vigilant flyer, hoses opposing removal, and combos with your own mass removal in a pretty unfair way. (Why yes, I think I will cast Armageddon and keep all of my lands, thank you for asking.) Any Mayael deck that leaves her on the sidelines is probably making a mistake.

I am not a fan of one-for-one removal. Even with the tucking, I don't think this is good. Yes, it hates on generals, but six mana is a lot of mana, and if you pay the Miracle cost you're stuck with sorcery speed, which is very awkward. You could be playing Hallowed Burial instead and getting much more value. Or Terminus, which I'll get to. Or if you really need a targeted tuck effect, I'd prefer Oblation. I mean, this isn't stone unplayable, but even with a big library manipulation package, I would not play it.

I like this card a lot, but not for this deck. It's a pretty durdly enchantment that doesn't synergize very well with Mayael. Even in a token-heavy build, there probably just isn't space for it.

This is a nice big splashy effect to ramp into, but the Mayael deck doesn't want X-spells, it wants actual creatures that work with its commander, so this doesn't really fit (as fun as it may be). Luminarch Ascension is a better card, and I don't run that, so I'm certainly not going to run this.

This is a good card, and a good choice for this deck. It's better than Final Judgment, which I currently run. You only have room for a certain number of Wrath effects, but I feel like Terminus is definitely a contender for one of those slots. Most of the time it will be a slightly overcosted version of Hallowed Burial, but there will be times when it's your only out and you get to cross your fingers and pray to topdeck it so you can slam it and follow up with an awesome dude. I don't know if it's the best Wrath out there (since there are a lot of good Wraths), but it's certainly up there, and well worth considering.

It does work with Mayael. This is another dumb fatty in the same vein as Serra Avatar or Hamletback Goliath or Multani, Maro-Sorcerer. I'm not a big fan of dumb fatties like that. If you want them to be good, you can put trample effects in your deck and make them good, but it just seems better to have good abilities. Worth noting, though, that this guy is a one-shot with Gisela, so style points if you get that going. Overwhelming Stampede is a good one as well.

This is an odd effect that makes you want to play land destruction. It's good if you have blink effects like Tawnos's Coffin or whatever, but the chances of hitting just one land are too high for me to want to run it. There's already a 7/7 for 7 that punishes them for playing lots of creatures: it's Novablast Wurm, and I am pretty sure it's better than this guy.

Not a fan. Mayael makes you want to get dudes out at the end of their turn, in which case this is a vanilla 5/5. The potential to be a sweet finisher is certainly nice, but unless you build the deck with creature swarms in mind, I doubt this is better than Triumph of the Horde or Overwhelming Stampede. (Probably better than Titanic Ultimatum.) I won't write it off, but I'm not very excited here.

I sort of like this one. The library-flipping effect overlaps pretty well thematically. I'm not sure what to do with it, though. Tribal Beasts, I guess? Eh...

See, look, it's a trample guy for that deck I mentioned earlier with the mega-vanilla fatties. If you run a bunch of Serra Avatars and Malignuses (Maligni?), a card like this might actually be playable. And of course it is an auto-include in the Pauper version of the deck.

It's like Genesis Wave, except way better? Wow, this is basically Incoming! in a black border. So yeah, even if you're not mono-permanents, it should be very difficult to cast this and not get insane value. Powerful, powerful card, will win games if you cast it. If you're a competitive version of the deck, you should probably run this (although if you're a competitive version of the deck, it will probably be worse than Tooth and Nail for Kiki-Jiki + Village Bellringer).

Not worth six mana. For six mana you should be activating Mayael, not durdling with Creeping Molds. Pass.

This could be playable just as a fun little value card, but it's probably just worse than a real Wrath effect. You're in white, so you shouldn't have to resort to this sort of thing. Miracle here is basically irrelevant, too, since you want to hold this card until the right moment. You could play this for cute durdliness, but I don't think it's an actual good card here.

This isn't terrible, but it's probably worse than Regal Force, and Regal Force isn't exactly the best creature in the deck. You could play this guy, I suppose, but I don't expect him to be very exciting. Compare Rampaging Baloths, which I would say is better.

Cute. Fits the theme, but...not actually good. I guess if you like flavor, you could run it.

This would be sweet in the Pauper version, but sadly it is an uncommon.

Well damn, that is a ridiculous card. Double all your damage? So she attacks for ten flying, first striking damage all on her own? And double all the damage your opponents deal to each other? And, wait, she also plays Ghosts of the Innocent for your side, basically making all their attacks horrible against you? Hell's bells. Sign me up. This is a snap auto-include in every Mayael deck ever.

Significantly less exciting than the other two legendary angels in this set. 5/5 is not very big and hexproof is not very relevant. The anti-sacrifice ability is good against Eldrazi, though, so I'm pegging Buttercup here as a metagame call. If you expect to see Eldrazi or other sac effects, shuffle her up. She's also good if you're trying to keep your curve low, but what sort of Mayael deck tries to keep its curve low? I mean seriously.

It's nice to incidentally hose the graveyard, but you want to play your mana acceleration too early in the game for it to matter, and if you draw it later on, hitting just one card at sorcery speed is not going to be relevant. So it's pretty much just a Manalith. Much, much worse than Darksteel Ingot or Recross the Paths, not even close, and this isn't exactly a deck that's in the market for a Manalith in the first place. This is not a good card for this deck.

This isn't going to be a reliable fixer even if you're a tribal deck, since it doesn't work on activated abilities or noncreature spells. I don't think it's good here. There's too many other colorless-producing nonbasics fighting for space, and this one doesn't do enough to justify the slot. Given the high price it's guaranteed to fetch, it's just not going to be worth it.

This is a good card, but is it good enough? Like I said, there are already hella colorless utility lands fighting for space; I'm not convinced this one makes the cut. If it turns out to be affordable wallet-wise, I'm willing to test it, but I am skeptical. (I guess it's good with the "Put your library onto the battlefield" sorcery--maybe that's enough.)

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