I must say one of my favorites in the entire set so far is Vessel of Endless Rest. Frites has been giving me fits. I virtually can’t beat it with Delver. There isn’t even a point in posting the videos… they were a complete massacre. Vessel of Endless Rest is a very attractive solution to the menacing deck. Thwarting all their hard work with a single card that accelerates me as well is pretty sweet. Sadly, there is little Delver can do with extra mana laying around. I am therefore tempted to move away from a hard-nosed, aggressive build. I will not let go of it without a fight, though. Dropping my land count to 20 and taking a second look at my spell suite will probably be my last attempt at a viable mono-blue Delver list until Magic rotates online. If that fails, I will look to move to a more controlling, late-game deck that relies on Delvers for early pressure in the matchups where it proves useful.
I promised myself I wouldn’t rabbit trail in this article and look what I did… Moving on. Cavern of Souls makes me want to cry. Humans, humans, humans… and zombies. I don’t see myself playing decks that would merit that land, so if I pull any, they will be sold once those decks realize how good the card is against control. Great for solving color issues in those tribal decks as well. However, if Humans decide to get smart and start playing Islands, I may have to acquire a few.
All of the nonbasic lands in this set are pretty spicy. Decks meeting the conditions they require would probably be interested in these.
Conjurer’s Closet is interesting, though its mana cost is very restrictive. Blinking a creature each turn can be sick given all the enters the battlefield triggers on the creatures in this set. Great for limited. Not convinced it will see play outside of that at 5 mana.
Moonsilver Spear is a card I can get behind in limited. Swinging with a random dork into a clogged board just got interesting. Sure the thing dies, but he gets replaced with a 4/4 Angel you can re-equip the sword with. Outside limited, 4 mana is probably more than a lot of decks can afford to pay. I think the Swords will be the go-to equipment until Scars of Mirrodin rotates.
The big ol’ mythic dual-color cycle of angels…. They certainly make me feel like I am playing the wrong deck… Frites, meet your new reanimation targets. Thank goodness they don’t nerf Delver as hard, but they all hit like trucks so I feel that is an inadequate consolation. If you say, “they all die to removal,” you are correct. Sadly, they do not die to all removal and that means they will be royal pains. Oh, and don’t forget the grandmother of them all, Avacyn herself… an 8/8 flying, vigilant angel for 8 that makes all of her controller’s permanents indestructible. Good luck with that… unless you play Islands, Plains, or Swamps. In that case, you are fine… no need to worry. Oblivion Ring, Vapor Snag, Smallpox, and Helvault (oddly, it IS mana-efficient to use it on Avacyn… Her flavor text matches this even… interesting) to the rescue! Wait.. Helvault is colorless. But need I go on? Granted you are still dealing with an 8/8 flier… getting hit by that thing probably isn’t an option, so don’t expect reinforcements to arrive in time. Chump blocking with Spirit tokens seems fine.
I think I’ve made my point. Avacyn will most likely not see much play. She might be a good sideboard card for Frites against certain matchups, but she is no all-star, and she is hard to hard-cast, relegating her to the sidelines (as far as I can tell… perhaps a ramp deck will make effective use of her).
Terminus is also beautiful. A Wrath of God for Frites, Zombies, and other nasty graveyard-exploiters. This and Vessel of Endless Rest may be enough for Frites to consider adding a few shuffle effects to keep all their goodies off the bottom of their library.
I suspect everyone and their brother will be putting together an Angels deck, so prepare… Also, prepare to profit from this set. I suspect the angels will be big-time sellers in the secondary market, possibly as big as Vampires was if a competitive version becomes available. I might pull the trigger on my first booster box ever. With only 244 cards in the whole set, a big score could put me in the black before I finish opening all the packs.
Treacherous Pit-Dweller is an interesting gamble. The flavor is awesome: “This guy over here managed to kill me, so he must be stronger than my other master; I’ll join his side.” It seems like a good card. A 4/3 for 2. Will be interesting to see if this guy gets a shot in competitive. I have a feeling the risk will be well worth it. Lots of Ebay sales have him at $0.99 for 4. May end up being random junk, but only time will tell. Personally, I’m keeping my evil eye on this one.
Silverblade Paladin. Another interesting card. Yes, the double strike is fragile as well as the creature that confers it, but unchecked, this guy can bruise many, many ribs. Also one of those sleepers. There are enough blink effects between white and blue to make me believe soulbound will be a legitimate mechanic in competitive.
Entreat the Angels, as expected, has not escaped the hype. Ebay presale prices are already starting to get up there. There was this one card waaay back in Scourge called Decree of Justice. It saw some significant time in the limelight as a way to end games. Control mirrors were fought over resolving this spell. Perhaps those times have returned? Only time will tell.
Devastation Tide gets me extremely excited. Finally, a foolproof way to deal with all those stupid tokens!!!!!! I’d love it if this card got some love, but I don’t have my hopes up. The hard-casting cost is rather reasonable, so who knows… And the ebay prices are higher than many of the other cards.
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage seems really good. He protects himself and has a significant impact as soon as he enters the battlefield. People have already caught on. Pre-sale prices on ebay are over $60 for 4.
Cards with an X in their cost are always good for second looks. Divine Deflection is no exception. XW to prevent the next X damage taken by you and permanents you control and deal it to target creature or player. Using it in MTGO is going to be a pain, but it may be worth it. This is a very interesting card with a multitude of uses. I cannot wait to see how the price on this card changes. It seems it would be nearly impossible to lose against some decks once you have this in hand and enough mana to redirect any lethal assaults. Having this in your deck will drastically change how people play. The opponent will be forced to plink you to death slowly once he is wise to the trick. The highest price I see for the pre-sales that are not Buy It Now (which are overpriced) is $4.57 for 4. That may be where it stays.
Restoration Angel has not been spared from the limelight on the pre-sales… over $5 for 4. To be expected, as it is probably one of the best given its ability to trade 1-for-0 with targeted removal spells.
Infinite Reflection feels as though there should be a way to break it. The mana cost is high, but so is Hive Mind. If it finds a home in some sort of combo deck, expect the price to bump up a bit. Its price at the moment is minimal. Should be able to pick up copies during the pre-sales on eBay for $0.99 for 4 or perhaps a bit more without too much trouble.
Deadeye Navigator is an interesting card. It is difficult to deal with save for mass removal. It does not have any kind of evation, but combining it with a common soulbond creature (Wingcrafter) will solve that issue. I like it, but doubt it will see much serious play. Should be no trouble getting some of them for dirt cheap on eBay.
You can view the entire spoiler at www.mtgsalvation.com. Just click on the Avacyn Restored spoiler tab.
That’s about all I have for now. Good luck and have fun in the pre-release this weekend. So, what cards will you be keeping your eye on?