Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade

She does very little (except block) against humans/white eldrazi.

@fsecco Wrong. Phyrexian mana IS real mana. Mental Misstep will be castable through this card as long as you have at least 1 land in play as the opponent.

Begin rant:
If they continue to print maindeckable cards like these that prohibit specific prominent strategies, we'll eventually arrive at a point where the meta can't be anything but rock-paper-scissors with extra steps, except there will be more than just three archetypes in this awkwardly uninteractive relationship; the meta will be a boring mess.

It's bad enough now that we are expected to dedicate 4-6 sideboard cards against dredge, 3-4 cards against Shops (depending on your maindeck choices), and a bunch more to address the weaknesses of your specific deck.

Luckily for now, many of such sideboard cards can address multiple archetypes, allowing relatively frugal use of sideboard slots. But with each viable newly printed card that lops off a specific strategy from a match, affected decks would need to cram more sideboard cards into the already tight sideboard to compensate. If the invalidated cards are powerful cards that require and reward building around outside of such matchups, the affected decks would need to rely on 1-of or 2-of silver bullet sideboard cards, or give up sideboard cards for other bad matchups that are bound to exist.

Decks becoming obsolete is a common occurrence. But when strategies that are employed by a significant portion of the meta becomes heavily hindered or turned off by not just a few sideboard cards, but 10's and 20's of maindeck, possibly uncounterable, one-sided non-artifact creatures (for which there is no Hurkyl's Recall equivalent) like Kambal, Leovold, Thalia 2, and so on, in addition to the usual spells, enchantments and artifacts, how many negatively affected players will feel compelled to continue playing Vintage?

Even the decks that play these cards themselves will lose to coin toss, rather than skill, too many times in mirror matches. And how many pointless Karakas ping pong games will be played before people decide this game isn't worth their time anymore?

If printing cards like this were a unique or uncommon instance, it would be fine. But this card is the result of an ongoing trend of overpowered creatures that is set on turning every format into slow, creature-centric bore, where 'interaction' means hosing noncreature spells for as long as these cheap, one-sided permanents are in play, and turning them sideways.

Maybe this trend is a good thing for some players. But I can imagine a lot of people leaving the format if the trend continues and every fallout from Standard is allowed as a four-of for months after they are released. Restricting potentially broken new cards and determining if they should be unrestricted over a period of time doesn't seem like such a bad idea anymore.
End rant

@juice-mane Given a long enough timeline, the best deck will eventually be comprised of 75 restricted cards. It's the nature of the format. Luckily, for now, the printing of Lavinia, Azorius Renegade is powerful but not the killing blow to the format. She's just forces adaptation.

What I cannot figure out is how this card is good in Standard. It is kind of ok in Modern. Wizards is allowing card design break older formats but offer little to no value in their more “current” formats.

Standard is still a turn creature sideways format and it is dumb and boring. Modern is a faster turn dude sideways format or I destroy all your stuff but still little to no stack interaction.

Is Wizards getting away from the stack? The higher order in Magic has always been to figure out how to win quickly and out maneuver your opponent. Cards like this do offer some options for containing or restricting those approaches but offer no thinking of how to maneuver, it’s a blunt tool not a fine instrument.

I am just confused by what is supposed to be fun play or what the point of this card is.

I guess there is more hype around the card than utilization so we will see what happens. Damping Sphere was a huge fail.

last edited by moorebrother1

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

Isn't Phyrexian mana still mana whether you pay a blue or pay 2 life?

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

@fsecco Wrong. Phyrexian mana IS real mana. Mental Misstep will be castable through this card as long as you have at least 1 land in play as the opponent.

"Phyrexian Mana" doesn't actually exist. Only the Phyrexian Mana Symbol does.

107.4f. Phyrexian mana symbols are colored mana symbols: {W/P} is white, {U/P} is blue, {B/P} is black, {R/P} is red, and {G/P} is green. A Phyrexian mana symbol represents a cost that can be paid either with one mana of its color or by paying 2 life.

Funny thought about this card. From the 2018-09-25 B&R update:

Workshop decks have become more and more popular. However, too many games are effectively decided by the first player's first turn. A major problem is that a turn-one Chalice of the Void for 0 deprives the opponent an opportunity to put Moxen on the battlefield. While players can adapt by not playing Moxen, the point of the format is to provide a place to play those cards. Chalice of the Void is restricted.

How easily this can be changed to be about this card:

Workshop Blue decks have become more and more popular. However, too many games are effectively decided by the first player's first turn. A major problem is that a turn-one Chalice of the Void for 0 Lavinia, Azorious Renegade deprives the opponent an opportunity to put Moxen on the battlefield. While players can adapt by not playing Moxen, the point of the format is to provide a place to play those cards. Chalice of the Void Lavinia, Azorious Renegade is restricted.

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

How easily this can be changed to be about this card:

Workshop Blue decks have become more and more popular. However, too many games are effectively decided by the first player's first turn. A major problem is that a turn-one Chalice of the Void for 0 Lavinia, Azorious Renegade deprives the opponent an opportunity to put Moxen on the battlefield. While players can adapt by not playing Moxen, the point of the format is to provide a place to play those cards. Chalice of the Void Lavinia, Azorious Renegade is restricted.

Lavinia is very different from CotV, though. CotV costs 0, Lavinia costs UW, which makes her not a 100% turn 1 play. Also, she can be answered in every color with 0 cost (Karakas), whereas against Chalice you need green or red if you want to kill it turn 1 (for 1 mana and a tempo loss).

So UW control with Lavinia in it seems pretty absurd. You can counter everything but opponents can't FoW or misstep back. Throw in wastelands to keep the opponent's land count down and caverns to safely land Lavinia and other humans (Snapcaster, baby Jace and finisher Mentor) and you're good to go : )

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

She does very little (except block) against humans/white eldrazi.

Well, if I come up against humans or w eldrazi I'll side her out.

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

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

She does very little (except block) against humans/white eldrazi.

Well, if I come up against humans or w eldrazi I'll side her out.

I'll also disagree. Turn 1 Lavinia stops Thalia or an early TKS (because they can't use Moxen or Crypt for it. This gives you a huge tempo boost. I'd side her out on the draw, but probably leave in on the play.

Why do people continue to mention turn 1 Lavinia like that is a thing?! Are you all mental?!! You can literally only do that with turn 1 mox pearl, mox sapphire, lotus petal or black lotus. That is it. She isn't going to be entering the battlefield turn 1 that often. Jeez.

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

Why do people continue to mention turn 1 Lavinia like that is a thing?! Are you all mental?!! You can literally only do that with turn 1 mox pearl, mox sapphire, lotus petal or black lotus. That is it. She isn't going to be entering the battlefield turn 1 that often. Jeez.

That sounds like it’s a thing.

Isn't @CHA1N5 gonna build a Lavinia + Spell Queller deck? Come on, man.

@baishuu off of 4 specific cards (one of which most decks don't run in Lotus Petal)? That is most decidedly NOT a thing if you are a deck designer at all. That is an "oops I have it" kind of thing, not a "I can reliably do this" kind of thing. People were comparing this card to Chalice @0 earlier and I'm just trying to point out that that will NOT be its function most of the time. Moxen are going to have their moment in the sun on turn 1 more than likely most of the time. Where I see this being interesting is in stopping later game topdecked moxen or tutors for Lotus being as powerful.

I do think this card will be impactful to the extent of what can I or can I not cast. Or what is countered. Online, MTGO will just counter the spells as necessary or not let you click on cards you cannot cast. But in person this is a different story. Kind of like dredge in person versus online. All the triggers stack for you online. Mistakes will be made.

Livinia is another turn one play that doesn’t allow for your opponent to go mox, orchard, Oath. Go.

@Stormanimagus

Rather than declare something “not a thing”, you could easily approximate the odds of an event occurring. Or we could have more “phyrexian mana is real mana” posts...

@chubbyrain I'm not going to crunch the numbers on it cause I don't have to. I know that having to draw a land AND a 4-of and another specific 4-of is not that likely. It will, of course, happen. Does that mean you can build your deck to EXPECT this sequencing to happen? No. You cannot. That would be irresponsible deck building. That is all I'm saying. I'm not saying it can never happen. I'm saying that the odds are not in favor of seeing turn 1 Lavinia a statistically significant portion of the time (let me be clear that "statistically significant" here means "with enough consistency to rely on it as something to expect and, thus, build around"). Do you disagree?

@ChubbyRain as a matter of general annoyance I have with your comment. I don't have to be an expert in probability or combinatorics to be able to speak intelligently to the general likelihood of a scenario playing out given a deck's design. There are some helpful "rules of thumb" when it comes to specific 2-card combos and general good practices for deck building. For example, through experience and other smarter players telling me so, I have discovered that if I want to see a certain type of effect in my opener I should likely run about 8-9 copies of that effect in my deck. If I want to see a specific card in my opener SOME of the time but not necessarily see multiples over the course of the game I generally run 3 copies of that card (obviously accounting for the fact that some decks run 3-4 preordain and other topdeck manipulation and some do not). If I want to see a specific card over the course of a longer game (or a game I expect to go long) I generally run 2 copies of that card. If I want to have a back-up copy of a card that I generally don't want to see too often I run 2 copies of that card. You can see where I'm going with this. It doesn't take an extensive knowledge of probability and combinatorics to make smart deck building decisions or to recognize smart ones from less-than-smart ones. So I could really do without the condescending comments. Really.

Currently most pilots don’t run out all moxen on turn 1 in the control matchup, unless the mana is needed immediately (to protect them from removal/dack, save them for when a storm count or mentor trigger is needed, and generally deprive the opponent of information). The credible threat of Lavinia on turn 2 will change this behavior, so that even though I agree T1 Lavinia is “not a thing” the presence of Lavinia will affect how we play with power.

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