The final part of the six-part Avacyn Restored Casual and Commander review covers everything that doesn’t fit into a the five colors – so we’ve got multicolor, artifacts and lands ready to be reviewed and explored! Artifacts are almost always fun since pretty much everyone can use them!
But Avacyn Restored is a little different, since there are only three gold cards and all of them happen to be legendary angels! That’s going to mess with the top 5…
Bruna, Light of Alabaster
For years, the aura commander has been Uril, the Miststalker. He’s huge, grows even bigger and is near impossible to kill. But Bruna may offer a new alternative, and color pairing, to aura-centric players who are looking for something different. Being an evasive 5/5 for six with vigilance makes her decent in the air, but her ability is what looks to be most exciting.
Bruna not only allows you to play auras for free, she also steals them from other players and returns them from a graveyard. As far as I’m concerned, she effectively removes the card disadvantage so often found on auras. Toss in the fact that she can move auras during combat, and you’ve got a fascinating Voltron-style commander that will play differently from Uril. So have fun stealing everyone’s licids.
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
Boros players haven’t got the widest selection of commanders to pick from, so just getting a new one is nice, especially one that isn’t so creature-combat focused. But what I really like about Gisela is that she is a two-turn clock essentially for commander damage. Or just regular damage since this augments damage for everyone else at the table.
Furnace of Rath is a great way to force the game into sudden death overtime, but having your own Furnace attached to an angel is beyond great. Then you get to the white half where Gisela is near impossibly to kill in combat. Your opponent needs a 10/11 (or a 10/5 first striker) to be able to kill Gisela alone. Cast her, toss on Lightning Greaves and watch the world crumble around you.
Sigarda, Host of Herons
Sigarda just isn’t as exciting to me as her sisters. Flying and hexproof on a 5/5 for six is a great deal, but green and white isn’t exactly a color combination struggling for new commanders. But here’s my biggest issue with Sigarda, she doesn’t do anything new.
Tajuru Preserver has been doing the same thing for years but rarely sees play (unless you are in a heavily infested Eldrazi playgroup). Sigarda just does it all over again and that just isn’t exciting enough to me.
A 3/3 angel for 3 that is immune to sorcery speed removal is nice, but I don’t see this card making any big strides. The inability to animate it for mana hurts it and stops it from being a bigger Glint Hawk Idol.
I love equipment and it really bugs me that Wizards has essentially ruined it by making the five Swords. All equipment now is compared to those in casual because they never rotate. Angelic Armaments just falls short. It isn’t awful and I love the flavor, but you’re paying seven mana to give a guy +2/+2 and flying. That’s really expensive.
If you’re running some weird Angel-Human tribe deck, this kind of could work. But again, all equipment suffers because any one drop is going to be vying for Skullclamp’s slot.
Now this interests me. The flickering being at the end of your turn is a bit odd, but I understand not wanting to have to explain to people why their flickered creature can’t attack. But the Johnny in me can’t wait to abuse this with any kind of temporary stealing. Or anything involving counters. It’s just a shame this only works on creatures… but it would probably be obscene with Planeswalkers. Good thing it plays so well with Gideon Jura.
Gallows at Willow Hill
In the right deck, this can be an amazing piece of recursive removal. The human requirement can be a bit of a pain, but knowing at the end of a turn you can whack another creature might almost make it worth it. It’s a lot of hoops to jump through and the fact that it doesn’t work on regeneration though makes me wary.
I love the art on this card. The card itself though isn’t nearly as exciting. In Commander, I don’t see ever playing this (unless you have a construct theme deck), but in casual 60 it’s a cheap piece of defense to protect you early game.
Don’t mistake this for turning your creature into Saint Traft, because the angel doesn’t get to attack. As a token generator, this is amazing since you only need to attack with it once, get an angel and then equip said angel. It’s a solid piece of equipment, but I worry about the simple fact that it only gives first strike. Worst case though, you can sacrifice a small creature in combat to get a 4/4 angel out of it.
I love charge counters and I love forcing card draws. Otherworld Atlas combines them into a delicious combination that can either be great for keeping players happy, or enraging someone by ensuring they have to wait a full round before getting to play with all their cards – before discarding them all! I’m sure there is some awful way to abuse this (maybe Laboratory Maniac).
Scroll of Avacyn
If you’re playing angels, this is a decent cycling card but at the end of the day, it’s like half a spellbomb.
Scroll of Griselbrand
I always prefer loss of life over life gain, but this scroll is another odd piece. If you have the demons to back it up, it’s decent but not great still.
Sorry Poseidon, there is no reason to really play this ever outside of limited.
I much prefer this over Echo Circlet. Still a relatively rare ability, the ability to block multiple creatures can drastically change a battle. Tossing this onto a Fog Bank protects you much more, so if you plan on turtling up, consider this shield.
Vessel of Endless Rest
I love this card. I love the three mana artifacts that add any color since it allows some mana acceleration and mana fixing at the same time in colors that aren’t green. But since Darksteel Ingot became the standard, it is hard for other cards to live up to it. Manalith didn’t pull it off, but I really like the extra line of text on the Vessel. Being able to get mana and put any card on the bottom of its owner’s library means late game, you can use it to get your best threat or use it offensively to stop someone from abusing their graveyard.
The newest take on Winding Canyons, I really like this card. I don’t care about casting creatures with flash, but the idea of turning any sorcery into an instant is very, very exciting. Or instant Planeswalkers (not sure why though…). This is a weird combo card that is bound to make for some screwy plays. I just want to break the rules of Magic with it.
Cavern of Souls
This card is interesting and I love how divided people are on it. I personally find counterspells to be less than awesome in multiplayer since it is a losing proposition – just like playing burn. So the ability to make creature spells that can’t be countered is fine, but Overmaster isn’t exactly taking over the table.
In a multicolor tribe deck like Silvers, I see this as being excellent simply because it comes into play untapped and adds any color. But if you’re just playing Elves, this isn’t any better than a forest usually because you can’t use it to cast colored spells! I honestly think this card is overhyped Thran Quarry that is less useful in multiplayer.
For commanders, counterspells are a bigger issue. Again though, you really need the tribe focus to make this worthwhile.
Izzet Mages, here is a land for you! Filtering your hand is amazing, especially late game when you just want to draw a certain card. This card isn’t splashy or fancy, but it’s so simple and solid that I can’t help but love it in any deck that runs red and blue.
This card is going to make people hate you. The life gain aspect can quickly become a nuisance, especially given how cheap some angel spells are. There are better lands out there and gaining a single life probably won’t be enough to make me play this.
Rounding out the assortment of enemy lands is the Boros one and much like their angel, this is amazing. For only two mana (well, three really), a creature gets haste, vigilance and +2/+0! But my favorite cards in Magic are the ones with multiple uses. Thanks to giving haste and vigilance, you can toss the benefit on an opposing creature to get a few extra hits through to an opposing player. It’s subtle, but I really like the idea of a land that can really mess with combat.
As a whole, the “other” category in Avacyn Restored is underwhelming. Aside from the legendary angels, the artifacts are pretty bland while the lands are decent but very niche. But I think that sums up Avacyn Restored fairly well. There are only a few dozen cards I’m legitimately excited about while the rest just look lost.
Top 5 Multicolor, Artifact & Land Cards from Avacyn Restored for Casual and Commander
5. Conjurer’s Closet
4. Desolate Lighthouse
3. Vessel of Endless Rest
2. Bruna, Light of Alabaster
1. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight