I've been lazy, not so much busy as of late, just lazy. Watched the NBA Finals during the past week with some friends at bars and such which was good times. Also, as i'm sure most of you have heard, the bannings announcement took place a few days ago, four our beloved EDH, Griselbrand and Sundering Titan got a whack from the banhammer. Neither are too terribly surprising. Lets hop into the review!
1 - This card shouldn't see much, if any play in EDH. Either very limited uses to one or two specific generals, or just bad.
2 - This card might see a little play, and it's not totally unplayable, but by no means should it see tons of play.
3 - This card is solid. Will see a respectable amount of play from decks in it's colors, and isn't too limited in it's strategy.
4 - This card will see a large amount of play. Bordering on becoming a staple for that color, the power level of this card is obvious, and it's something decks want.
5 - Something that will become a staple of that color. These cards are cards that are simply good enough to be played in every deck of that color regardless of strategy.
Champion of Lambholt : This might see some fringe play in certain strategies, dropping him the turn before a large token maker goes active might be interesting to have all of your creatures unblockable.
Craterhoof Behemoth : A 5/5 body with haste for 8 is a little subpar, but entering and giving this large of a pump to all of your creatures is pretty darn solid, obviously, this card is stronger in decks seeking to clog the board a little, but it has a strong effect, and effects the board significantly the turn it hits play.
Descendants' Path : This might have potential in a tribal strategy, not that many of them are viable at this point. That said, if you're in tribal and are running green, a free creature every third turn or so isn't terrible, especially if you have something like Sylvan Library to help stack it.
Druids' Repository : This isn't quite a mana sink...but in essence, it's more of a "storage land" for attackers. Either way, i don't see this being particularly relevant in any decks, there are just better ways to mass mana, that aren't as fragile to removal.
Primal Surge : I've spent a lot of time pondering this card, and i've consulted with some fellow players on it as well. The general consensus is that it's just too...dicey. Sometimes, you can make profit on it: valuing lands at two mana each (due to Rampant Growth and Explosive Vegetation , it seems like the suitable ratio), and then other permanents you hit at cost..but without something like Scroll Rack to really make it big...it's just, lackluster more often than not. I'd almost always rather be casting Genesis Wave , especially since that gets better as the game progresses, and Primal Surge does not.
Revenge of the Hunted : I don't mind the idea of this on something with deathtouch (looking at you Wurmcoil Engine ), but i don't think it does enough to warrant a slot in a deck unless for some reason you need a Taunting Elf effect.
Somberwald Sage : This might see some play in decks seeking to play a lot of creatures. Mayael the Anima comes to mind first, as a particularly creature-heavy deck. Plus, even when it dies, it is a viable target of a Sun Titan , which is a perk fore creature strategies.
Soul of the Harvest : The same shell of a Primeval Titan , however instead of giving you ridiculous mana ramp, makes all of your creatures cantrip until it's killed. Solid, not as powerful as the Titan, but solid.
Terrifying Presence : Interesting combat trick in terms of a fog effect, however i can't play any fog effect that isn't Constant Mists .
Triumph of Ferocity : Not awful, but it's going to shift around a lot with the changes to the boardstate that happen almost every turn in the format, and i'd rather just run something consistent like Phyrexian Arena or Sylvan Library .
Ulvenwald Tracker : Two mana isn't too bad to trade creatures. It's one less mana than Arena itself, and only taps the tracker, not either of the creatures that are necessarily doing the fighting. Sill, it's just...a really lackluster effect in this format. I would potentially consider this in a deck like Doran, the Siege Tower though, where you're building it with the idea of having more toughness than power, so your 3/5s kill their 3/3s, and so on.
Wild Defiance : I can't see a viable use for this card. There isn't enough burn in the format to use this as a counter to it. It doesn't save it from spot removal, if you're pumping guys with targeted cards, your deck is already playing ill-advised cards to begin with...just, no.
Here we arrive to what some are referring to as the "Powerpuff Girls", which having grown up in the 90s, and with it being on before Johnny Bravo for a while, i find amusing.
Bruna, Light of Alabaster : I love this card. I love everything about it, and i've already built a deck around it. I love the colors (UW control is one of my favorite archtypes), and the option of a control deck having a voltron-style general is pretty powerful, plus, some of the lines of play that can happen with her are just ridiculous. Plus, i have been on a kick of trying to find generals that force you to build a strategy in awkward colors, and UW Enchantress is definitely qualifying for that.
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight : The most commonly played, and probably most exciting of the three, I am already seeing a lot of decks with her at the helm. I think she has become the new go-to for the red/white decks, with Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer becoming more of the go-to option for people who want to use a lot of artifacts, and play a more all-in style of game.
Sigarda, Host of Herons : I have not seen much of her thus far, i think people are still deliberating on how to build her. Evasion and Hexproof are two great abilities to have on a General, so there's no problem there, and 5/5 is a perfectly acceptable body, especially considering she's a 5-drop. This card is limited most by being Green/White. The win conditions in those colors are heavily combo-based, which more times than not will give the nod to Gaddock Teeg over Sigarda, but she definitely has potential.
*Author's Note: I was initially going to stop after Green and Multicolored, like normal...but when i remembered that there were only three multicolored options, i figured why not just finish up the whole set, especially with M13 just around the corner, so here you are.*
Angelic Armaments : An equpiment giving 2/2 and flying isn't awful. I think biggest limitation to this card is going to be the equip cost of 4. Powerful option in the equpiment slot, just too much mana.
Conjurer's Closet : This will be an MVP in any and all "enters the battlefield" strategies. Any decks seeking to utilize those effects are going to play this card for sure.
Gallows at Willow Hill : I suppose maybe if you're in human tribal?
Moonsilver Spear : Giving any creature the Geist of Saint Traft effect isn't bad. But 4/4s aren't overly large in this format compared to Standard. As for the first strike, there are better equipment to give that.
Vessel of Endless Rest : Something to consider in the mana fixing department, but Darksteel Ingot pretty much has a lock in this slot, as it has had for years.
Alchemist's Refuge : I love this as an addion to a deck like Momir Vig, Simic Visionary . I love that it's any nonland as opposed to just creatures like Winding Canyons , which already sees a good chunk of play. Any deck with blue and green in it that plays Winding Canyons can almost switch it directly with Refuge, and improve the card quality. Decks like Momir Vig however may want both.
Cavern of Souls : Making waves in a lot of formats, and for good reason. If you're in tribal, this could see some play, but overall, i can't see this be worth it in most cases, unless you just really want to protect your general from countermagic.
Desolate Lighthouse : Looting has always been a beloved aspect of the game, especially for those of us who played back in the days of UG Madness. Having this in a deck will give you an option to pitch some lands, or even Anger or Wonder and draw a new card, without having to dedicate a more valuable card slot on a creature to do this job.
Slayers' Stronghold : I can't see this card replace Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion as the best RW "spell" land. The haste is taken care of by Hall of the Bandit Lord which is seeing staple-status play, and has been for a long while, and adding +2 and Vigilance for paying in essence, three mana isn't overly impressive. There will be certain decks that play this though, and it's definintely not unplayable, just not as powerful as i want in a land based on creatures.
This wraps up the review of Avacyn Restored from the perspective of Commander. Once again, I apologize for the delay. Go read up on the spoiler for M13, some of those cards i'm already excited about for Commander. Enjoy the Summer weather; and until next time..take care everyone, and thank you for reading.