|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|2011 Core Set (M11)||Mythic Rare|
|2010 Core Set (M10)||Mythic Rare|
|Promo Set (000)||Mythic Rare|
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Planeswalker — Ajani
+1: You gain 2 life.
-1: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Those creatures gain vigilance until end of turn.
-6: Put a white Avatar creature token onto the battlefield. It has "This creature's power and toughness are each equal to your life total."
Ajani Goldmane Discussion
1 month ago
1 month ago
EDIT: Revised versions appear below after the initial iteration.
This idea bases around Ajani during the Shards of Alara story but not his rage mindset from Ajani Vengeant and instead focuses on his abilities to bring out aspects or avatars of the strengths of his allies.
Ajani has always kinda had this sort of behavior as we see in his planeswalker forms like;
These sort of abilities have primarily manifested themselves in +1/+1 counters and often as a board wide buff or targeting multiple creatures. It works relatively well with White Wheenie strategies of many low cost efficient creatures.
However Ajani have also been shown to have abilities that are more focused. I'm thinking in the lines of Soul's Grace , Soul's Fire , Soul's Majesty , and Soul's Might - all of which are cards from Shards of Alara. To some extend it is also shown in Titanic Ultimatum . These abilities are more aligned with Naya's design of big fat creatures. I have always been disappointed that Ajani have never again shown any such ability in his future planeswalker designs and felt wanting a version that reflected these abilities.
So here goes an attempt at creating a Naya related version of Ajani Goldmane.
Ajani, Soulforger Show
Legendary Planeswalker - Ajani
+2 Create a 0/1 white Avatar creature token with Soulbond and "As long as this creature is paired with a creature, it is a non-legendary copy of that creature with Soulbond and creatures paired with this creature cannot attack or block."
-1 Choose a creature you control. Create a red Aura enchantment token named Avatar of Flame attached to the chosen creature. The token has enchant creature and "Sacrifice Avatar of Flame: Avatar of Flame deals damage equal to enchanted creature's power to any target."
-3 Choose a permanent you control. Look at the top x cards of your library, where x is equal to the total power of creatures you control plus 3. You may exile a card from among them face down, then put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order. When the chosen permanent leaves the battlefield, if the exiled card is a permanent you may put it onto the battlefield. Otherwise put it into your hand.
Sadly I couldn't get the Custom Card function to properly work.
Some issues I acknowledge right of the bat:
The abilities are rather lengthy and could be cut down to be less complicated at the expense of being less dynamic. For instance the +2 could be a static token that just copies the P/T at the time of creation. It's a lot less flavorful. So instead of manifesting a creature's soul and let that do the fighting and safeguard the actual creature, it would be more generic token creation, also with less limits. In the current wording you can in principle only have one avatar per creature but if the original creature gets removed, the magic of the avatar remains and can take on a new form whenever you have another creature enter the battlefield - which is something I like as an interaction.
Likewise the -1 could literally just be a Soul's Fire but it removes the ability to delay the damage to instant speed and the possibly to make the creature larger before blowing something up. It does however open the ability up to fizzling by removing the creature before the aura token is created.
The "ultimate" could be a fixed number of cards to look at. I was swaying a bit between a singular and a board wide application with more of an "ultimate feel" to it (obviously at a higher loyalty cost). However I figured this had a better application across formats and wouldn't be the typical EDH battle cruiser ability. It does however provide with some technical card advantage and can cheat out some powerful stuff, making it a risk removing permanents "enhanced" with a replacement. You are able to trigger it yourself but Ajani is also in colors that typically don't sacrifice their own permanents nor bounce them back to their hand. Well... green does have a slew of creatures that sacrifice themselves for lands or removal abilities, but in general these colors don't sacrifice their own. You can obviously utilize board wipes to facilitate their demise and secure you come out on top. It could be considered to change it so that you have to choose a non-artifact permanent, as many artifacts do sacrifice themselves.
I found it a bit more difficult than I imagined to create abilities that worked off of the Soul's X template that wouldn't just be incredibly powerful or incredibly bad, depending on cost and application. The concept is also heavily reliant on having creatures to be truly beneficial but I also think the abilities are strong enough to offset that drawback. The idea was to get away from the generic +1/+1 counters that in some terms signifies bringing out the power of the individual but is just so generic, boring, and done to death, and in that regard I consider this version successful.
The wording may need a helping hand, especially the +2 ability. In general tokens don't have abilities that grant them further abilities.
The flavor texts of all the Soul's X cards notes that Ajani sculpts these avatars (e.g. Soul's Majesty ) but it felt weird calling him Ajani, Soulsculptor... kinda running a bit too close to a certain other person of the Lorwyn-5.
Any feedback and suggestions are welcome.
Edit: I forgot to mention this before, but I figure this Ajani callback is destined for a supplemental product that doesn't go into Standard. First of all because he is quite powerful for typical Standard and more complex with ability keywords that is not explained directly on the card.
Ajani, Soulforger v2 Show
Legendary Planeswalker - Ajani
+2 Create a 0/1 white Avatar creature token with Soulbond and "As long as this creature is paired with a creature, it has power and toughness equal to that creature's power and toughness. It has Soulbond and "Creatures paired with this creature can't attack or block."
-1 Target creature you control deal damage equal to its power to any target.
-3 Look at the top 5 cards of your library, you may reveal a Creature, Enchantment, or Equipment from among them. If that card's converted mana cost is less than the greatest power among creatures you control, you may put it onto the battlefield. Otherwise put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
So, a revised version. I kept the +2 relatively intact for a couple reasons.
First to defend Ajani, the token is 0/1 by itself but is fully capable of chump-blocking.
Second the idea of making avatars out of your creatures to engage in combat is pseudo card-advantage although missing out on that creature's abilities (in the revised version). It also has the added benefit that if you attack with the Avatar and the Avatar dies, the original creature can block, effectively giving it Vigilance. However if the attacking creature is too big to die or gets through, the original creature cannot engage in combat - effectively making it "worse" on larger creatures. I find Vigilance on large creatures to be oppressive in terms of combat, more so than many other keywords.
Another benefit that befits red is that if the Avatar lingers unpaired, it can effectively grant Haste to new creatures.
Lastly I heavily want to avoid the "traditional Ajani pump", as that design is lazy and has been done to death.
-1 changed to straight Soul's Fire . It was the least original idea and was generally just there for a good ability that had a fair requirement.
-3 changed to a more static ability that provides some card advantage that Ajani has been known to be able to do previously; Ajani, Mentor of Heroes , Ajani Unyielding , and Ajani, Valiant Protector .
I traded Mentor of Heroes's ability to grab Planeswalkers for Equipment. Mostly because Equipment in general doesn't get much love, like Auras, but also because Ajani seems to have slumped down into a Superfriends booster segment, which I get with where his story goes after Shards of Alara but as this is set during Shards, I think it makes more sense that he favors Equipment. After all he used his dead brother's axe to make his iconic Twin Axe to seek revenge for his brother's murder.
As for the ability to cheat them onto the battlefield, remember that Ajani is 3 colors (the 3rd of that kind if we exclude the Commander planeswalkers), and it requires a creature with high power to gain a large swing from it. Ajani is also in colors that don't manipulate the top of their library... much... - looking at you Sylvan Library , Mirri's Guile , and Sensei's Divining Top .
Post scriptum; I just now noticed that all iterations of Ajani has something to do with life. Either straight life gain, lifelink or life total... Kinda breaking that format with this version.
Although I think life gain in general is a weak ability without the capabilities to utilize it as a benefactor, so in interest of keeping a 3-color Ajani relatively powerful, I'll break that trend.
3 months ago
makes a really fun token to populate.
Downside though is the math on his -1 ability gets a little ugly with a token deck.
4 months ago
So before I list cuts and suggestions let me start with what I've gathered from your deck.
You have a lack of value on a LOT of card that you've chosen, I'll explain in more detail in cuts but every card should serve to help you win the game not just push your theme/gimmick. sometimes you gotta make slots for cards.
Lack of spot removal. You have little to no way to deal with your opponents shenanigans, to be exact you have only 2 bits of spot removal. Your deck's gameplan isn't fast enough or big enough to just play solitare like some combo, control, or hyper aggressive decks.
You have a distinct lack of board wipes, to be exact you have one. I get your hesitation to run these but... You have to, if not someone is going to be in a better position than you and it's going to cost you the game.
I feel like you're ignoring your colors' strengths. Green ramps, White removes, and Blue Draws/Counters. Play to those strengths because that's what makes Bant such a powerful color combination!
Alright to the cuts:
- Tamiyo, field researcher: I get it she's an omniscience but I don't think that she lives for long and her + and - abilities aren't really all that useful to you or the gameplan. Not enough value.
- Nissa, vital force: You aren't playing lands, the only thing useful on this card to you is her - ability. Sure her ult would gain some passive use IF you ever got there! Not enough value.
- Spellbook: I don't understand why this was there to begin with... Reliquary Tower is far superior, and if you must have an artifact for it I'd run Thought Vessel over it anyday.
- Contagion Clasp: I'ma big believer that Contagion Engine is just better. For 4 extra mana upfront you get to wipe an opponent's board, and you get to pay the same 4 you'd pay on clasp but you'd get two proliferates instead. Who cares if you get it out turn two you can't do anything with it for two turns.
- Call the gatewatch: You aren't playing planeswalkers... this card doesn't have enough value and doesn't help you achieve your goal at all.
- Djeru, with eyes open: Refer to Call the Gatewatch
- tireless tracker: This COULD get there, it COULD be useful, but... That's a could be, not a guarantee. I'd prefer to see a card here that is going to help definitively.
- Vizier of the menagerie: you only have 25 creatures... you have a 1/4 chance for this to actually mean something. Not enough value as the deck stands with so few creatures. I'd rather see consistent draw power here.
- talisman of progress: I just don't think it's necessary you have 5 rocks total this isn't necessary at all.
- oath of ajani: I get it... It's first ability helps you out a lot, but... I just feel like it's a wasted card slot. it's an enchantment that you're basically treating as a sorcery.
Here are some card I'd suggest filling these holes, which I'll break down into categories.
Useful +1/+1 Shenanigans:
- Kalonian Hydra
- Champion of Lambholt
- Tuskguard Captain
- Abzan Falconer
- Loyal Guardian
- Prime Speaker Zegana
- Zameck Guildmage
- Bloodspore Thrinax
- Mikaeus, the Lunarch
- Walking Ballista
- Hydroid Krasis
- Sage of Hours
- Doubling Season / Primal Vigor
- Fuel for the Cause
Staples that should be in the deck including Spot removal!
- Vedalken Orrery
- Teferi's Protection
- Heroic Intervention
- Rhystic Study
- Path to Exile
- Swords to Plowshares
- Defense of the Heart
If you're going to play walkers these are much better suited to your deck:
Finally some board wipes
Last thing, I'm not taking into account budgets of any kind I just want to help you create the most competitive deck that won't fold over if someone screws your gameplan over. Also if I came off as a dick at all apologies, it's not intentional.
4 months ago
I'm just going to start naming off potential suggestions. Most of them should be self explanatory. Felidar Sovereign Ajani Goldmane Bountiful Harvest Ajani's Welcome Soul Warden / Essence Warden . Use what you want.
5 months ago
I would definitely add these cards: Phyrexian Processor , Phyrexian Rebirth , Slime Molding (better than it looks since paying 11 mana will give you a 3 mana 10/10 each turn after), Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage (populate mana-sink late game), Parallel Evolution , Illusionist's Bracers (populate twice, for the same price!), Acidic Slime (just an awesome green staple), Sakura-Tribe Elder , Phantom General , Angel of Sanctions (INFINITE REMOVAL EACH TURN!), Beast Within (staple removal in green), Budoka Gardener / Dokai, Weaver of Life (mana acc and lategame big tokens in one)
I would consider these also: Worldspine Wurm , Parallel Lives (awesome, but a bit $$$), Rootborn Defenses (stops a board-wipe and pops), Trostani's Judgment (high cmc, but good value), Overrun (probably wins you the game if you have a few creatures out), Hydra Broodmaster , Austere Command (wipes opponents' boards, but a bit $$$), Elspeth, Sun's Champion , Elspeth Tirel (both Elspeths have great board wipes for token decks), Oblivion Ring , Yavimaya Elder , Ajani Goldmane / Ajani, Caller of the Pride (both have great synergy with big lifegains), Baloth Cage Trap (P.S you can play this and populate as combat trick!), Beast Attack (the flashback makes this a good comeback-card in case of board wipe and you need to get the pop-engine going), Blade Splicer (very powerful early-mid game)
I would 100% cut these cards: Take Heart , Centaur Healer , Healer's Hawk , Parhelion Patrol , Candlelight Vigil , Conviction , Noble Purpose , Flight of Equenauts , Siege Wurm , Bounty of Might (no trample=hard to use)
6 months ago
Love the angel theme!
I hate to break it to you, but I don’t think that’s an infinite combo. It’s a powerful combo, but it isn’t infinite. Serra Avatar’s stats are equal to your current life total. If you use Wall of Reverence on it, you’ll just double your life total. Say you have 10 life. That means Serra Avatar is a 10/10. So if you use Wall of Reverence on it, your life total will become 20. That will then make Serra Avatar a 20/20 and the combo stops there. All that Rhox Faithmender does is double your lifegain. So you’d gain 20 life instead of 10, making your life total 30 and Serra Avatar a 30/30 creature.
Aside from that, I think for now I just have some pretty general deck building tips.
You should really aim to get your decks down to 60 cards. Helps make sure you’re drawing what you need instead of something highly situational. If you still feel like you need something like that, a sideboard may be a good idea.
Your mana curve is kind of crazy. If you don’t know what mana curve means, basically it’s how many cards you have within each CMC value. How many cards that cost 2 mana, 5 mana, etc. It shows your mana curve below in a bar graph. Ideally, you would have a lot of very low cost cards and only a few high cost cards causing that bar graph to “curve” downwards. You have a LOT of high cost cards, especially for only having 23 lands and no apparent mana ramp.
I would cut down on the sheer amount of unique cards in this deck. These cards do share a theme, which is good. However, there’s a lot of fluff that could be cut. Lots of cards in here do pretty much the same thing as other cards and it’s just not necessary to have them all when you can just have multiples of 1 of them. I would pick maybe 10 or 12 cards that you think are the core of the deck, what’s absolutely necessary, and then get full playsets of them until you get your 60. This will ensure that you’re only drawing what you need. You’ll find that it’ll make the deck operate much more efficiently.
It’s great to have options, to be able to do and defend against just about anything, but it doesn’t really work very well. Trying to make both a counters deck and a lifegain deck is going to water down both strategies. This is a game where focused, goal oriented, and efficient decks win the day. So I would encourage you to pick one function, make it the focus, and make everything else either much less prominent or just take it out.
I made a copy of your deck here (My Angel Deck copy) and edited it to show you want I mean by all this. I didn’t add any new cards, just worked with the ones you have in there. Not saying you should to do exactly this, it’s just an example. I took out Serra Avatar since it takes so much mana to play, and instead went for the Ajani Goldmane route, which gives you a Serra Avatar as you said, but should be easier to play. I cut out a lot of the cards that do pretty much exactly the same thing, tried to find more consistent cards, and made them the focus, which is +1/+1 counters and getting your Avatar token from Ajani. These counters are achieved through lifegain, however you get that lifegain through attacking with lifelink for the most part, so your focus is stil on dominating combat and on your creatures power/toughness.
So good luck with all that. I do have some card suggestions in mind, but first things first, you gotta work on the structure of the deck. When you’re all done with that, tag me in another comment and I can give you specific card suggestions.
Again, cool deck and cool theming. Angels and lifegain are both really fun to mess around with.
7 months ago
Cards I'd consider adding:
Primevals' Glorious Rebirth can be a huge swing.
Aminatou, the Fateshifter has tons of utility for little mana.
Elspeth, Knight-Errant comes down early, protects herself, can allow Atraxa to kill someone with 3 hits and her ult makes any threats you have very hard to deal with.
Oath of Gideon makes tokens to protect your walkers with, generally speeds up your ult clocks, and enables some sneaky combos, like allowing some walkers to instantly ult with doubling season that previously couldn't or allowing Tezzeret the Seeker to find The Chain Veil and stick around to untap it.
Oath of Teferi is a bit expensive manawise, but allows your walkers to go bonkers.
Shalai, Voice of Plenty can block, provides hexproof to the team as well as you (it's surprising how many annoying things say "target player") and comes with a built in Gavony Township to pump your tokens with.
This is very meta-dependent, but you look somewhat light on removal. I'd consider at least one 4-mana wipe (Damnation, Wrath of God, Day of Judgment, Supreme Verdict) and one or two more exile effects for hard to remove must-answer threats (Descend upon the Sinful, Swords to Plowshares, Anguished Unmaking, Utter End, etc.) unless you really never feel like you need them.
I've seen Deploy the Gatewatch get bad/no hits too many times to be a huge fan of it. Definitely a flavorwin though.
I'm not sure how necessary Gilded Lotus is, considering all your other ramp. Your Landbase doesn't look like you need the colorfixing, and 5 mana seems like a lot to still be ramping, even if you get 3 mana back.
Vraska the Unseen just ended up being an overpriced killspell most of the times I played her, and even if she ults, the tokens still have to untap, and not be blocked, to kill someone.
Liliana, the Last Hope's ult is very nice, but imho not really worth her other 2 pretty useless abilities.
Lastly, seeing as how high quality your landbase is, I'd consider carefully cutting back on the basics and replacing Cultivate with a Farseek and maybe a Nature's Lore. I'm running 37 lands with a pretty trashy base and rarely run into problems, but if you're rather safe then sorry when it comes to lands, that's understandable.
Good luck and have fun playing!
Ajani Goldmane occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.01%