[AER] Ajani Unyeilding - Payin' 4WG For Ancestral

I don't think it's fair to compare a card's casting cost to Dromoka without at least mentioning that the most successful Dromoka-running decks use Oath of Druids. This is not strong evidence in favor of cards costing 4WG, just as it wouldn't be fair to compare an 8 drop sorcery to Griselbrand. Sometimes Dromoka gets cast, but that fact that it has a modal cost is part of its value.

Also, when cast Dromoka can't be countered... this is much closer to Yawgmoth's Bargain in casting cost/castability. And... way worse.

Answering the OPs question though, I'd say if Ajani costed 1GW I'd consider it.

@fsecco Yeah, I was thinking I might bid 2WG even... and maybe fit it into a Kelly Oath Build, or some sort of odd plainswalker control that for some reason is running Sylvan Library over Dack? The white/green cost is almost as bad as the six total really.

@Brass-Man said in [AER] Ajani Unyeilding - Payin' 4WG For Ancestral:

I don't think it's fair to compare a card's casting cost to Dromoka without at least mentioning that the most successful Dromoka-running decks use Oath of Druids. This is not strong evidence in favor of cards costing 4WG, just as it wouldn't be fair to compare an 8 drop sorcery to Griselbrand. Sometimes Dromoka gets cast, but that fact that it has a modal cost is part of its value.

Dromoka also cannot be countered, so with mana drain mana, a black lotus, or a tolarian academy that casting cost looks a lot more accessible. And of course, the Oath of Druids thing is a reality. Only some versions of Sylvan Mentor were running Dragonlords. It's a great card, but not for it's casting cost as much as its amazing abilities.

Also where are you getting Ancestral comparison? It says put all non-lands PERMANENTS in your hand. So unless your playing dudes.dec, this aint drawing you shit. This thing is garbage in all but standard MAYBE.

@Topical_Island Even at 1GW I still wouldn't play it, probably, since its +2 only works in creature heavy decks. Maybe it would be cool in Humans or GW Hatebears at 1GW. Not anywhere else though.

Doesn't have to be used in creature heavy decks. Artifacts, enchantments and plansewalkers count.
I just think it's one generic mana too much to matter in that case.
Most decks will curve out at 4cmc. At which point any other planeswalker is favored over this Ajani.

Effects and their costs can't really be separated from each other or from game context. The mana curve very much dictates the direction of Vintage, even if it isn't explicit. Nowhere is this more obvious than the decline of Mana Drain: such a powerful abstract effect, but the classic Mox-powered combo control strategy that wants it can't use it favorably against the early threats, cheap interaction or taxing effects that sprung up around it in the last 3 or so years.

We sometimes temporarily set this reality aside to evaluate the most unique effects because they don't have many comparables. I'm thinking of certain one- or two-card combos in smaller formats, or Time Walk effects in Vintage. For the most part though, comparables are really useful.

I remember thinking about a year after JTMS took over Vintage that the right way to have looked at it at the time was a weaker but easier to facilitate Necropotence, which the combo-control strategies at the time salivated over. Nowadays this analogy breaks down in many ways, mostly because less blowout effects like Tinker, Key/Vault, etc. are being played. As a combination quality/removal engine, the Mind Sculptor tends to come down too late in a lot of matchups compared to e.g. JVP.

Back to Ajani: as above, the gold standard for quality/removal is JVP. It is really hard to justify going up the curve much further if what you want to achieve is multiplexing removal onto your value engine, since a Swords alongside JVP costs just 1 mana on both the front and back sides. The premium I currently pay to get more value is 1 mana to upgrade to Dack (in Gush aggro shells against control opponents) or maybe 2 mana to JTMS (as the upper end of Oath combo-control). But I wouldn't play Ajani over either of the above unless I really valued having direct (instead of incidental) access to the Swords effect. And if that was the case I wouldn't pay more than two mana, because in this metagame if you can't access your Swords effect on the second turn you might as well not have a Swords effect. The only exception were if I playing a control deck that really valued a fifth and sixth copy of Swords for late game TKS/Smasher. Then I might swallow playing 3 mana; but in such a deck would I even get much out of the +2?

In sum: no more than two mana in the current metagame.

last edited by ribby

@ribby When you said the gold standard for removal was JVP, did you mean JTMS? Baby Jace can't remove anything without help from other cards you drew.

@MaximumCDawg I did mean JVP. In the current environment either one of JVP's backside abilities is effectively removal in many common game scenarios. -2/-0 on Thalia does a lot to advance Pyromancer-based game plans. And rebuying Bolt does require you draw Bolt, but e.g. Delver is kinda designed such that this happens a lot.

last edited by ribby

No this definitely is not good enough for Vintage. Shouldn't have made this thread.

@desolutionist Yes, it has been a great day for us to learn, my brother. Now, we know not to make threads about 6cc walkers.

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Well the joke's on you because now Ajani can cost only 5 mana (or less) 😛 😛 😛

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last edited by fsecco

@fsecco I'm actually disgusted that they keep printing planeswalkers matters cards. Next we'll have "search your library for a mythic rare card and put it into your hand."

@Water0 It's totally different. Mythic is not an in-game information, whereas Planeswalker is. I don't mind this at all. I wonder if we'll ever have an ammount of effects like that where PW superfriends can be a thing. It's possible it will be in Standard, since they seem to be pushing that. But I'd be very glad if Vintage Superfriends was a thing (and not that Narset Moat control from months ago).

I'd say Heart of Kiran is a good card to go in that direction.

@fsecco Heart of Kiran is a mythic rare that has an ability that only cares about mythic rares. This might not be the best place for this kind of discussion, but printing mythics (especially obviously pushed ones) that care about other mythics is a very, very bad direction to take this game.

The Llorwyn 5 are the only rare 'walkers. I didn't realize that

An argument could be made that the decision to print Intro deck planeswalkers eases the "but mythic only" feel since those are mythic in expansion symbol color, only.

That is a great trivia question AJ. Can anyone tell me what exactly is the dislike for mythics? I seem to have just missed this piece of MTG culture.

More rare = more expensive. I think that's the core complaint.

When Mythic was created, they made a lot of promises/predictions/claims that it wouldn't just be tournament-level cards but would instead focus on epic characters and unique effects.

Mark Rosewater: This now leads us to the next question: How are cards split between rare and mythic rare? Or more to the point, what kind of cards are going to become mythic rares? We want the flavor of mythic rare to be something that feels very special and unique. Generally speaking we expect that to mean cards like Planeswalkers, most legends, and epic-feeling creatures and spells. They will not just be a list of each set's most powerful tournament-level cards.

We've also decided that there are certain things we specifically do not want to be mythic rares. The largest category is utility cards, what I'll define as cards that fill a universal function. Some examples of this category would be cycles of dual lands and cards like Mutavault or Char. That also addresses a long-standing issue that some players have had with certain rares like dual lands. Because we're making fewer cards per set, in the new world individual rares will be easier to acquire because each rare in a large set now appears 25% more often.

Source: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/making-magic/year-living-changerously-2008-06-02

A lot of people (including me) felt like the commitment not to put utility cards at Mythic was immediately violated by Lotus Cobra. The high-profile and rapid violation of their stated policy (as many saw it) made people very distrustful of Mythic rarity, and many came to see it as basically a money grab. Personally, I think the whole rarity system is a poorly-considered cash grab, and that alternative business models would probably produce higher profit as well as a more satisfied player base.

Examples of utility lands at Mythic: Eye of Ugin, Bazaar of Baghdad (Eternal Masters), Maze's End, Mirrorpool, Volrath's Stronghold (of all cards. in Tempest Remastered). This seems to me as flagrant a violation of their stated policy as can possibly exist, with the exception of straight up putting a set's cycle of dual lands at Mythic.

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