Monday, January 16, 2012

New Card - Vault of the Archangel

I almost convinced myself that a rare enemy land cycle wasn't going to happen in Dark Ascension... I was wrong. This next card was first previewed by TCG Player:


First Impression

Huh?

We all know about the 5 tribes of Innistrad and each tribe is a 2-color combination of friendly colors. But now Wizards throws Vault of the Archangel (black/white) into the mix and it looks like things are as clear cut as they appeared to be. If it weren't for a comment made by Maro, hinting at a new cycle of lands in Dark Ascension, I might argue that the Vault of the Archangel is a 1-of and not part of a 5 card cycle. The vault is of the same colors of Sorin after all.

So far in Dark Ascension, for the most part they've stuck to the five established tribes of Innistrad (spirits, zombies, vampires, werewolves, and humans). But because this vault even exists at all, I'm prepared to make a pair of wild guesses. (And what's the point of having your own blog if not to make wild guesses from time to time?)

  • Wild Guess #1 - Vault of the Archangel is a 1-of rare land and only exists because Sorin, Lord of Innistrad is also a black/white card.
  • Wild Guess #2 - Vault of the Archangel is part of a 5 card, rare land cycle and not only will there be 4 more rare lands of enemy colors to come but... this is the first hint of what's to come in Avacyn Restored. Wizards is going to "pull an Invasion" and the entire set of Avacyn Restored is going to put the old tribes aside and a new batch of enemy color tribes is going to emerge. As far as the lore goes, I'm sure the re-emergence of Avacyn together with Sorin's planeswalker power will be capable of nutty things. Maybe Sorin (and Avacyn?) decide that Innistrad is too far gone, there's no saving it, and they need to start from scratch? (Sorry, humans. Avacyn is restored, but you lose anyway.)

As for the card iteself, this land is so powerful that you can put it into any black/white deck that has creatures in it. This land is literally going to be a staple in Block Constructed, Standard, Modern, Legacy, and maaaaaaybe Vintage, but I think a 4cc activation is just too slow for Vintage. This is the type of card that, if it were created in the days of Arabian Nights/Legends, there's no way it would also tap for mana. Because this land exists in today's world of Magic design (where lands almost always have to tap for mana), it actually became more powerful than it would have been if it were created in the past.


Deck Ideas

Black/White Tokens all the way. It's as if that archetype in Innistrad Block wasn't powerful enough. Black/White Tokens is going to be one of the most powerful archetypes in the entire block. I don't know enough about the metagame of Standard to make any statements about that, but could it also work for Standard? You tell me.

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