Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade

Since I helped to derail this threat, I will now attempt to put it back on the tracks. I acknowledge that there is deep seeded disagreement about the perceived "fun" of cards like this. My bottom line is I love diversity in any format and I like seeing wildly different or opposed cards/strategies collide on the battlefield. I find that sort of jockeying for position to be what makes matches of magic worth watching. But, I digress. Back to analyzing THIS card :).

Here are some ways I think this card could be built around:

  1. A deck with Knight of the Reliquary and Ramunap Excavator. My reasoning for this is that if you can keep your opponent at less lands you can keep them even MORE hard locked. I also like the idea of Sylvan Safekeeper in such a list to ensure that the Lavinia survives early spot removal. Such a list would also run 3-4 Stony Silence to make sure moxen can't help cast things if they are eeked out early. I think this list would be Bant.

  2. A more Esper approach with something like Salvagers as a win con. I think a deck like that might be able to make use of Lavinia's ability to essentially stop Force of Wills. This kind of deck could probably also run its OWN Force of Wills. I'm also not sure this sort of list would be able to max out on Caverns.

Those are the main 2 shells I see this card being abused in. Do other people have additional thoughts?

-Storm

@stormanimagus
I don't think the deck will have high enough powerlevel, but as a long time fan of tax-rack in general (currently playing it in premodern) and parfait i like the interaction between land tax and Lavinia. I know i'm gonna try some brew with tax-rack, mox diamond (always good with land tax, but also more ways for t1 lavinia). Blue for fow misstep daze and the regular good blue cards. Enlightened tutor + toolbox package. Something to kill their lands, maybe cataclysm. And a kill condition, maybe belcher + tinker + blightsteel. I know i played blueberry parfait in a tournament a long time ago and had a lot of fun.

I do think it will be hard to make it viable when on the draw and opponent starts with 2+ moxes. Stony silence is kind of a nonbo with scroll rack.

Sounds like Lavinia has potential to go into a lot of decks. And people will be testing it.

Parfait, Bant, 5C Humans, Vintage version of Modern Humans, Bomberman...

Good luck to all!

I helped derail this too, so let's try to bring it back on track.

At a time where most sets don't even include a Vintage playable card, I'm just always excited to see a new card that could shake things up a bit, especially one that has an ability we've never seen before.

I don't think it will have a major impact on the meta, but it will get people trying new stuff, and that's awesome of itself.

@wagner said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

Yeah, it's exactly my impression of what Vintage has been for a long time. When a new blue card gets printed, everyone is super happy to have a new toy, but when a new hate card gets printed, people throw a tantrum because they can't use their toys like they want.

Think about what you just said. People are happy when they get a new toy. People are unhappy when that new toy is taken away. Not to be too droll....but duh!!
I will say it flat out - prison decks are good for the format. I will say it flat out. Aggro decks are good for the format.
What is getting tiring though is seeing, "xW 2/2 stop doing this effect"

Wanting to get cards for a play style out there is fine. What is problematic is the way R&D has been going about it for white. Take a 2/2 or a 2/1 or a 3/2. Give it a low CC of 2 or 3. Tack on an existing static affect that disrupts others game play. Boring and uninspired. Why not CiP triggers? Why not leaves play triggers that make exiling or killing the white creature a bad idea? Why not something like palace jailer that gives white some modicum of card advantage? Why not green, black or red?

So much discussion is pretty crazy actually, but I guess most of it comes from a more general level than just this specific card. When the dust settles, I think we'll see this card in some sideboards (probably PO most likely) and that's about it. It won't see much maindeck play, it won't spawn new archtypes or push fringely played (playable?) archtypes like Hatebears or whatever you want to call them to become metagame staples.

Edit: I don't know why this is replying to @Khahan but for some reason it is.

last edited by Griselbrother

I would love to see how those complaining would design "hatebears" that they would welcome.

@khahan said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

Why not CiP triggers? Why not leaves play triggers that make exiling or killing the white creature a bad idea? Why not something like palace jailer that gives white some modicum of card advantage? Why not green, black or red?

Regarding the "leaves play triggers", it's likely because if the card isn't killed, it's just a bear which can usually be ignored and raced by control/combo decks. There is little incentive to actually kill it. If it does get killed, then the defensive players gets to choose when and can mitigate the effect.

For CiP trigger, it would need to be something strong enough to have an impact in Vintage while not breaking newer formats, and that's a thin line to navigate. Hate towards broken play is likely to have a smaller impact on other formats while being playable in Vintage.

Also, CiP effets are pretty much just a spell tacked on a creature, I find that less interesting design than a continuous or reusable effect, which is what permanents usually do.

As or card advantage, Dark Confidant is an amazing engine, and even then it's not played a lot. That shows the power level creatures must reach to be played in Vintage.

I'd also want to see suggestions of a fun hatebear that has Vintage potential.

last edited by Wagner

@griselbrother did you read my comment before? I gave a few examples how not to design hate cards and how to do it properly, that still allows for interesting choices.
Don't use a static "X can't be done" but instead use stuff like:
" whenever an opponent draws a card, other than the first card in their turn, they lose 2 life"
or
"Whenever an opponent plays an artifact spell they discard a card"
or
"This creature can't be countered, any player may pay (2) to ignore this effect until end of turn"

Or how about hating effects that aren't just static? Activated abilities can be very interesting if properly designed, and it would be interesting to see if you can bait it out, or if you would rather attack with the creature instead of leaving open a hateful tap ability. (DRS kind of did that job in legacy against reanimator and snapcaster decks)
That's basically what Mother of runes is, and it is quite interesting to play against mother since you can bait her ability and stuff like that.
There are so many more interesting design choices than just "opponent can't do X"

@aelien The leonine arbiter template is a nonstarter. The card leads to judge calls and horrible experiences on mtgo. It’s widely recognized as a mistake.

As for the other designs, wizards had tried that template with kambal, harsh mentor, and others. Obviously they are aware they can design cards this way. Why do you think they chose not to?

@chubbyrain true the arbiter wording regularly leads to misunderstandings. I basically just wanted to pitch ideas without getting the wording perfectly.
Do you think a wording like "as long as [card] is on the stack, each other players spells cost (2) more to cast" this would not only make this card hard to counter without just saying "can't be countered" but it would also allow for very interesting protection possibilies, where you could basically but this spell on the stack and then use its ability to get a temporary defense grid effect for your instants.

Iam not sure if your question as to why they chose to use a static "opponents can't do x" ability was rethorical and you expect an answer like "because it's not powerful enough" or something like that. If that is the case I do not agree with that. Leovolds card drawing ability is powerful enough, ogThalia is, scap clan, kambal...are all powerful enough without saying "you can't do X"

@aelien said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

@griselbrother did you read my comment before? I gave a few examples how not to design hate cards and how to do it properly, that still allows for interesting choices.
Don't use a static "X can't be done" but instead use stuff like:
"1 whenever an opponent draws a card, other than the first card in their turn, they lose 2 life"
or
"2 Whenever an opponent plays an artifact spell they discard a card"
or
"3 This creature can't be countered, any player may pay (2) to ignore this effect until end of turn"

  1. This seems just worse than Spirit of the Labyrinth, which is already not very playable.
  2. Now that is super interesting, however discard and artifact hate don't go together well on the color pie. It would have to be a black-green creature. Unless you make the discard random, in that case red only could work.
  3. Being uncounterable isn't enough by itself to be playable. Vexing Susher is uncounterable has been making all your spells uncounterable for 10 years and sees very little play. Making it counterable for a cost is much much worse than this.

I get what you're getting to, but giving the opponent a choice in what they can and can't do has pretty much never been a viable option and permanents that do that rarely see any play.

last edited by Wagner
  1. This seems just worse than Spirit of the Labyrinth, which is already not very playable.
  2. Now that is super interesting, however discard and artifact hate don't go together well on the color pie. It would have to be a black-green creature. Unless you make the discard random, in that case red only could work.
  3. Being uncounterable isn't enough by itself to be playable. Vexing Susher is uncounterable has been making all your spells uncounterable for 10 years and sees very little play. Making it counterable for a cost is much much worse than this.
  1. Yeah it is, however the point exactly was to not have "players cant draw more than 1 card each turn" and substitute it for a more interesting ability that still leaves interesting choices open.
  2. true.
  3. This is not meant as a whole card design, but just as an ability to slap on cards that would otherwise get "cant be countered"

All of these are not full card designes, but rather are examples on how to handle "hate" while not using "x cant be done" design. These are not meant to be powerful enough, balanced, or the only ability a creatue should have. These are just design ideas to mix and match with power/thoughness, cmc, other abilities and stuff like that,

@aelien

Of course, the but issue is that the P/T can't vary that much. If it costs 1, it's unlikely to have a clock that makes it matter. If it costs 2, it really can't go more than a 3/2 without warping other formats or the color pie, and anything costing 3 and more it's likely just too slow to be a reliable threat.

That's all to be taken into account in the design, and that's why I'd like to see a card design that is both balanced and powerful enough.

Taking your second idea, I would drop that on a 2/3 body for BG and I think it could fringe playable because of the difficult color combination.

last edited by Wagner

@josefk said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

@stormanimagus
I don't think the deck will have high enough powerlevel, but as a long time fan of tax-rack in general (currently playing it in premodern) and parfait i like the interaction between land tax and Lavinia. I know i'm gonna try some brew with tax-rack, mox diamond (always good with land tax, but also more ways for t1 lavinia). Blue for fow misstep daze and the regular good blue cards. Enlightened tutor + toolbox package. Something to kill their lands, maybe cataclysm. And a kill condition, maybe belcher + tinker + blightsteel. I know i played blueberry parfait in a tournament a long time ago and had a lot of fun.

I do think it will be hard to make it viable when on the draw and opponent starts with 2+ moxes. Stony silence is kind of a nonbo with scroll rack.

@josefk you can use Ratchet Bomb, Dack Fayden, Ancient Grudge or even Gorilla Shaman to deal with opposing moxen.

@aelien said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

Iam not sure if your question as to why they chose to use a static "opponents can't do x" ability was rethorical and you expect an answer like "because it's not powerful enough" or something like that. If that is the case I do not agree with that. Leovolds card drawing ability is powerful enough, ogThalia is, scap clan, kambal...are all powerful enough without saying "you can't do X"

Actually, no they are not powerful enough. Leovold's card drawing ability is nice, but were it not for his "opponents can't draw cards" ability, he'd be trash. Thalia is a sphere - she basically reads "players can't play spells for their mana cost" and is one-sided due to the build she is featured in. Scrap clan and Kambal are decent, but are not game winning in most cases. They are SB cards vs storm and are marginally good vs a couple decks. They do squat vs dredge or shops. The reason WotC went with "player can't do X" ability is because it's the kind of ability most likely to work. All the "give my opponent a chance to play around this ability" abilities basically make the creatures more annoying vanilla bears. Tacking 2 on to a counterspell is miles worse than "can't be countered". How hard is it to get 2 mana in vintage to pair with your free FoW?

There may be more interesting abilities than "can't do X," but those abilities are not playable/viable in the wide spectrum of Vintage meta. Lavinia DOES give the opponent a choice...play lands to cast spells and stop being greedy with your 13 land manabase. Play REB, Pyro, Fluster, Drain, and stop expecting every counterspell to be free.

Lavinia is good as she is castable early, stops free counters, stops Workshop ramp, shuts down combo, stops dread return, negates moxen (you can't cast them or use their accel to go beyond your land count). She's basically everything bears wants - a versatile tool vs every deck...you know, like FoW is. Bout time bears got something as widely useful as FoW.

last edited by Thewhitedragon69

@thewhitedragon69 I could either respond to most of your quite nonsensical points, but i iam very lazy and at a friend's right now so please just read my big post from before.

Does anyone think the wording is weird on this card? It looks like WoTC is using the same wording for triggers as Chalice of the void. They have said several times that if they would remake chalice they would make the spells unable to be cast instead (along the lines as sanctum prelate) .
This card seems like its a judges nightmare at the next year's GPs.

@aelien said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

@thewhitedragon69 I could either respond to most of your quite nonsensical points, but i iam very lazy and at a friend's right now so please just read my big post from before.

I'd like to hear, at least, which of those points were nonsensical specifically, and why you think so. The abilities that do not shut off an opponent's ability to perform an action are rarely powerful enough to be playable.

You mention leovold's ability being strong enough, but if he didn't have the "opponents can't draw more than 1 card" ability, do you really think he'd be playable just because he lets you draw when your stuff is targeted? I highly doubt it.

  • 219
    Posts
  • 26243
    Views