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By: Familyman608, Nickalus Aaron Beaven
May 10 2012 12:00pm
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The Commons Corner - Avacyn Restored Edition!

Today we will be taking a look at the commons of Avacyn Restored.  We have all seen the spoiler for the set, some of us even played in the pre-releases.  I cannot predict what awesome combo will be the next big thing, but looking at it from a block perspective i can give my thoughts.  Again you can take it or leave it.  Either way it is my opinion at the end of the day.

Lets delve into the few new mechanics that will be seen in the pauper world.  First will be soulbound.  I can see many decks using these cards.  There will not be alot showcased in this article on soulbound creatures.  It is a neat mechanic, and will require a more indepth look.  There are a few that I have chosen, because they are just plain good.  Although this is not a new concept, it is very important in this set.  The ability of blinking your creatures.  There are many cards that blink your characters in this set.  Unfortunatly we will not be looking at miracle.  As they saw fit not to feed the pauper community a miracle card.  Although i am not surprised, would have been fun to mess around with one on the common level.


If you have read over the spoilers you have noticed that there are more angels in this set then ever before.  So of course a couple of cards we will be looking at in white, will be angels.  The first is Seraph of Dawn.  It is absolutly amazing.  In draft this will be a powerhouse card, and in constructed with a four toughness it will be invaluable.

It's just a beautiful card.  Hard to kill, it has lifelink, and its cost isn't overwhelming.  You will be sure to see this is the future in the pauper format.  Playing standard pauper as I do alot, i will see this card most likely the first week it is released to MTGO.  Voice of the Provinces is another angel with some unique abilities and unending capabilities.  Although its casting cost is higher, does not really put to much of a damper on a nice size angel.

 I said before its casting cost was higher.  It is a high priced card, but as well all know CMC isn't as big of a factor in the modern days of magic, as it was before mirrodin block.  Also using the blinking mechanic will get you more little 1/1 soldier guys as well.  So in theory its a soldier spawning angel.  Leading us into the third card I am discussing today and that is Cloudshift.  Its not a momentary blink, but its close.  Whenever i see blinking cards like Cloudshift, or Momentary Blink i see counterspells.  They are effectively counterspells for there appropriate color.  Mainly white, but i beleive there are a few in other colors as well. 

Howard lyon is an amazing artist, and i have grown fond of his artwork.  His attention to detail is amazing.  A few others he did were Make a wish, and Silverchase fox.  So abilities aside, this card is just very pretty to look at.  Its properties are amazing however.  It allows you to bounce creatures if used in conjuction with (Aether Adept), or kill creatures if used with Stingerfling spider.  It also saves creatures from any kill cards, aside from the obvious split second cards.

There are a few other white commons that i could consider using.  It all depends on your playstyle, if you are conservative, or aggresive.  It decides what kinds of cards you are willing to go out of your way to play.  We will change paces and look at the blue commons of the set now.  Blue is a strong color yet again.  I can forsee many cards from the color being used, there are a few that i would use.  Although i am not big on blue.  I can see the versatility of the cards. 


Although i don't play blue often, the blue cards I am going to cover in this article are awesome.  I do keep an open mind when looking at a set as a whole.  That being said, alot of the blue cards in the set are solid.  Let us look at a few of the commons.  We will start with Crippling Chill.  It gives board advantage and card advantage.  For three mana at instant speed.  You really can't argue with it.  You get two turns to attack without worry of that creature, and you get to draw a card.  Obviously there are ways to untap, but they would have to board against that kind of deck.  And lets face it, we seen how well Frost Titan went over.  Argued by many as the worst of the titans.  I don't forsee a problem with a sleeper card.

As you can see, its just a solid card.  You can surprise your opponent, or stay alive another turn, or just need the draw ability.  As an instant it changes how this card can be used.  Its just one of those cards, i think will be a nice addition to standard pauper.  Possibly modern pauper as well, however we will see how that goes.  In draft this card would be amazing.  Draw and some creature control, after a while it starts to add up.  Moving from the control factor.

We will head right into our first blue creature.  Also our first soulbound creature.  Elguad Shieldmate is going to take blue control by storm.  Its ability to give hexproof to any creature you control, is just unreal in pauper.  Now you get two hexproof creatures for the price of one

As a 2/3 it is beefy for a ground creature, but when its paired it becomes that much better.  My prediction is, shieldmate will go in draft second, or third pick.  And blue control will find a way to introduce it, to protect its spire golems, or its delvers.  Moving right along into our third blue card.  Mist Raven, unlike Aether Adept, has flying, which puts it perfectly in blue.  Used with cards like Cloudshift, you can clear a board, and swing for the win.  Its a decent creature, with some nice control.  Once again i see this doing very well in draft

Although the mana cost is four.  You couldn't really lower it, as it would probably considered uncommon.  I like this card alot as well.  I dont play blue often, but i do know that the control decks will look twice at this card.  On a side note, the art is by john avon.  How can you go wrong with that?

The next card is Amass the Components.  I wasn't going to include this card, but after some thought i decided to.  It really is inferior to Brainstorm in every possible way.  However, the reason I included it, was because it is standard legal, and brainstorm is not.  So i can see how this card will get some play.

I will let you make the comparison, but lets face it.  If you are not playing standard or modern pauper, use brainstorm.  I will conclude blue with that thought.  Next we will be looking at the new cards that black has given to us.  There are a few that blow my mind.


Flashback is out, and there are very few cards with undying.  So lets see how black will conform to the new set.  Glancing over the set, i noticed a few black cards that stood out in my mind.  Going to share those with you today, and see if you feel as I do.

We will begin with Bone Splinters.  The first time looked at this card, i saw one mana cost removal spell.  The additional cost is a minor inconvenience.  Alot of creatures have on death triggered abilities.  Would be nice to use those in a constructed deck, however in a draft point of view, sacrificing a creature to kill another is a good trade, depending on the creature.

It is not instant, but for 1 mana, i won't complain on killing a creature.  Like I said before, the additional cost, is a minor inconvenience.  I think this card will be played in most black control decks.  At least in standard play it will be.  As we continue, we will be looking at one of the best removal cards to come in a good while.  It is sorcery, but it can be as big as you need it to be.

Death wind will see sideboards for black control.  I predict it will see playin in all formats of pauper.  Its a great targeted spell that lets you get rid of what you need to.  Being common, only intensifys its need and use. 

Tragic Slip

Although I would have to look at tragic slip before looking at this card, in a draft perspective, it don't get any better than this.  First, second, or third pick.  Any later than that, and this is a steal.   However, watch for the sleeper cards.  Most people will be playing white/blue.  It has good synergy and great cards.  I am going to go out on a limb, black will be strong in draft, because of the removal, and abilities that come with the cards.  I am not sure how it will do, as i haven't personally drafted it yet.  But i think it will be a strong color.

Since this is about the halfway point, i am going to reiterate.  My opinions are not your opinions.  We may share the same views, but at the end of the day.  You can play what you want to.  I am simply looking at the facts, and deliving the best possible information i can.  Things may change, due to rares and uncommons in the draft format.  But as it sits right now, I don't see my selections and predictions being any different.  With that being said lets proceed.  I am sure you are eager to get into the next colors.


So there are some very unusual cards in green this time around.  I haven't seen anything that blows my mind.  However there are alot of neat tools that would be useful.  So lets look at our first card.  If you want card advantage, and mana fixing all in one card then, Abundant Growth is the way to go.  It does both, for the perfect price.

For mana fixing purposes, i don't see a better card.  On the otherside of the line, it is green, and won't do you any good in say black, or blue.  So I would assume you can figure your own way to mana fix.  Obviously if you know how to and want to use this card then by all means. 

Veering away from the mana fixing world, we will go into the new fog.  Being able to use it to squeak damage through, or kill a creature, or kill a player.  It is a sneaky sleeper I think.  At first glance it seems alright.  After a few hours of browsing the cards and reading them over and over.  It begins to look alot better.

I personally like the freedom to choose.  It makes the card, in my eyes, alot better.  For only one additional mana, i think its worth it.  Draw your own conclusions.  I think it will be a sleeper in draft.  Giving green a sort of control.  Looking at another card we will see alot of I believe.   Sheltering word, gives life gain, creature protection, and counter removal all for two mana.  I say you can't go wrong with that.  It doesn't give you +1/+1 like Ranger's Guile, but it does give you health, that you may have needed.  I look forward to see if this grows in alot of green decks.  I think it may, but we will see.

Ranger's Guile

You can compare the two, but I am partial to gaining life.  Since we are talking about green, lets start to look at my favorite common green creature.  I entirely may be wrong on this.  Wildwood Geist seems to me, a solid creature.  3/3 blocker and a 5/5 attacker for five mana.  I like the effect it has, its different.  After playing this game for a long time, I love different.

Although straight removal still kills it.  I like the fact that it adjusts to your playstyle.  You can be agressive, while still having a nice blocker.  If you don't want to attack.  It really allows you to customize how you draft, or what you play with it.

The card just looks fun, to play with, and a pain to deal with.  So that about wraps it up for green.   Like I said earlier, I don't see cards that jump out at me, just some fun cards to play with, and some unique abilities that go with them.


So unfortunalty as commons go, red didn't get much.  Alot of the cards that red recieved, are so situational you may see it in one or two decks total.  I am going to talk about the cards i think will see play in draft, and constructed.  Lets look at some of the creatures first, and we will end with the best common in red.  So Kruin Striker can be amazing.  Kudotha it would work, if storm could find a place for it, would work there as well.  I will say that trample on a red creature isn't common.  So the fact that it gets trample, makes it all right.

I could see if you, wanted to use it in a RDW kind of way.  Dropping goblin tokens, or spirit tokens might work. Red/white might be a nice combination.  With gather the townsfolk or Kudotha Rebirth, you could effectivly run over your opponent.  Its very situational, and you won't see it used very often in constructed unfortunatly.

Lets look at Heirs of Stromkirk next.  We all love vampires, or at least the thought of vampires.  I saw this card, and was blown away.  It gets bigger and bigger, and it has intimidate.  So if they aren't playing red, or don't have artifact creatures, it will grow.  I like the card for its abilities, and the cost of it.  I can see this being powerful in draft.  I can also see it getting some playtime in the vampire block deck.  Not sure about standard, but we will see how what happens in the coming weeks.

I will be keeping an eye on this card in the near future.  It looks like a decent card, but i can't tell how it will do in constructed.  I suggest if you are drafting red, try and pick up as many of these as you can.  There will usually only be at most two people drafting red in any given draft.  So your odds are good.  Now for, in my opinion, the best red common in the set.  Red has been waiting for a burn spell like this in constructed pauper, especially to deal with the (twilight drake).  Thunderbolt gives a choice to throw it at the player, or get rid of a hefty creature that you normally couldn't get rid of.

With the casting cost of incinerate, and the ability to do four damage to a creature.  How could you not want to use this in any red deck you play?  If it has burn this should be in it.  I am so excited that this card was printed.  It gives the best part of creature removal, and player damage in one spell.  There are not many artifact or land commons in this set.  There are only a couple i would consider good. 


There is one creature, and a couple of regular artifacts that need some attention.  At first we will look at the creature.  I am not a fan of pumpable creatures, I normally wouldn't say much about them.  Narstad scrapper isn't much to look at, outside of the fact it is a colorless pumpable creature.  It can fit in any deck you use.  It doesn't give cool abilities, and its cost is ok at best.

I can see how it will be a decent draft card.  I can also see how it may work in some Cloudpost decks.  A large amount of mana can make this a serious threat.  Which leads me into the color specific artifacts.  The next two are usable by any deck, but if you control certain creature types you get a bonus for using the artifact. 

I believe the Scroll of Avacyn will be more useful, and more used.  Draw a card, and gain five life if you control an angel.  In many cases it will be used for the draw ability alone.  However if you control an angel you get a bonus.  Its not much, but these are the common artifacts that are worth while.

Final Thoughts

Its tough to discern what the best card will be.  They are all different, and have many different uses.  What's for sure is the pauper world won't change to much.  Unfortunatly, i don't see many cards that will change the way standard pauper functions.  I do see some nice combo cards, but nothing that will change the format.  That goes for classic pauper as well.  There isn't a card that would change the format.  Some will work well with others, but that's about it



Frost Titan isn't the worst by KaraZorEl at Fri, 05/11/2012 - 14:19
KaraZorEl's picture

Frost Titan isn't the worst of the Titans by any means- it's just that control has shifted to winning quickly. You can still play it a Heartless Summoning deck and cast it for 2UU.

Agreed by Familyman608 at Fri, 05/11/2012 - 15:20
Familyman608's picture

Couldn't agree more. I love Frost titan, but as playability goes. It is the least used. I personally think its going to make a comeback after avacyn, giving more lockdown for blue.

Abundant Growth will be MVP by deluxeicoff at Fri, 05/11/2012 - 17:53
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Abundant Growth will be MVP imo. Blue/Green Temporal Fissure decks get a HUGE boost of improvement with this gem.

I also agree, it is rather by Familyman608 at Sat, 05/12/2012 - 02:39
Familyman608's picture

I also agree, it is rather amazing how much this set will support the others, yet stand alone.

Crippling Chill gives neither by Splendid Belt at Sun, 05/13/2012 - 16:17
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Crippling Chill gives neither board nor card advantage. If it was a permanent which cantripped, it would give card advantage. As it is an instant whose affect disappears after a turn, the fact that it replaces itself simply represents card parity, rather than disadvantage (for example when you play Vapor Snag on an opponent's creature, you're actually giving yourself card disadvantage, but you're gaining tempo). Chill doesn't give board advantage, because it's not removal. It gains you some tempo, and can be an interesting combat trick. I'm not saying it's a bad card, just that it doesn't give board or card advantage.

End of pedantry.

Thanks by Familyman608 at Sun, 05/13/2012 - 18:08
Familyman608's picture

thanks for the clarification. And yes it is a neat combat trick, especially at an instant.