Aven Mindcensor

Aven Mindcensor

Creature — Bird Wizard

Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.)

Flying

If an opponent would search a library, that player searches the top four cards of that library instead.

Browse Alters View at Gatherer

Trade

Have (4) gildan_bladeborn , metalmagic , abby315 , Azdranax
Want (4) silver374 , Neemzor , LoudZoo , adam1floyd3

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Amonkhet (AKH) Rare
Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations (AKHMPS) Common
Future Sight (FUT) Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Highlander Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Pioneer Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Frontier Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Aven Mindcensor occurrence in decks from the last year

Modern:

All decks: 0.03%

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.06%

White: 0.49%

WU (Azorius): 1.37%

Aven Mindcensor Discussion

kalfred16 on Queen of Disaster

4 hours ago

Older20 - Ahh thank you, that means a lot! That's a good rec, I might take out Aven Mindcensor for her.

Tzefick on How would you give white ...

10 hours ago

TL;DR: The pre-text is LONG. Sorry about that, but there's a lot to unfold about the subject. If you just want to skip down to the suggestions I brainstormed, go below the first set of 3 lines.

It is no secret that the Commander community for a long time has regarded white as one of the weaker colors in Commander, especially as a monocolor. Many have pointed their fingers at how well the color achieves mana ramp and card draw/advantage.

White actually do have a small slew of card advantage and ramp cards or cards that in essence cheats the requirement for mana.

White has raw card draw in Mentor of the Meek and Dawn of Hope, although hidden behind a requirement in form of a trigger. Both are triggers that are fairly easy to achieve but not without costs. Not to forget Sram, Senior Edificer (and Puresteel Paladin) - but again behind a trigger requiring a very specific type of deck building. White has additional card advantage through regaining access to cards once lost, like through a Sun Titan getting back small permanents, or Nomad Mythmaker, Order of Whiteclay, or Bishop of Rebirth.

White has ramp in form of Knight of the White Orchid and Kor Cartographer and pseudo card advantage in good ol' Land Tax. The knight has a requirement that you need to be behind to actually ramp, and that aspect goes again in many of white's attempts to imitate ramp and card draw. White can only catch up, they cannot get ahead. These aspects are most recently seen through Verge Rangers (pseudo card advantage - not ramp, you don't get access to more lands than 1 per turn) and through Cartographer's Hawk. There's also Oath of Lieges but that is a symmetrical effect and may as well just benefit some of your opponents as much as it does you.

White can cheat the requirement for mana in a few instances, like casting Resurrection on a higher costing creature, an aspect they share with black and often a favorite when the two are paired. Where they differ is that black usually does it for less mana at another resource expense, and that black has different means to get those creatures out into your graveyard to set it all up. White has none of these opportunities/advantages.

This thread mainly aims to discuss white getting card draw/advantage in the Commander format and how they would achieve it to fit their color identity, but we can talk about the Commander format in general as well. To clarify, the topic is aimed at discussing how white could get card draw/advantage and not really whether or not they should - do feel free to voice your opinion for or against but please keep it limited and instead focus on how card draw could fit into white's color identity. It doesn't necessarily have to be from a place within the current color identity, but could be exploring new design space that hasn't been seen before.


Let's examine how other colors achieve card advantage:

Blue is super easy and the main color that achieves it, they usually do it straight as an investment for the specific purpose of gaining more resources; Concentrate. Blue also has access to looting options where they draw cards and discard cards (or the other way around); Merfolk Looter / Tolarian Winds. Blue also has the largest collection of cards with Flashback, so even once Blue uses a resource from their hand, they can do it again from their graveyard; Deep Analysis - although these cards are usually more costly than their non-flashback peers.

Black is also relatively easy as they imitate blue's investment but at an additional cost; Night's Whisper. As previously stated black can also access their graveyard like white and reuse mainly creatures that have died or otherwise put into the graveyard (from say an Entomb) by using Animate Dead or Zombify. Black's ability even goes beyond their own graveyard and dip into their opponent's graveyard. Black also have some aspect of self-discarding, usually as a symmetrical effect that aims at harming their opponents while still being able to access the cards they lost themselves; like Cunning Lethemancer.

Red is relatively new on this block, as they have for a long while had many of the same issues as white. Red did however have cards that looted (drawing and discarding cards) in the concept of picking up the strongest of a larger selection of cards - this is also called card filtering as you don't get an advantage in resources, only the selection. However red also has a selection of cards with flashback or activated or triggered abilities from the graveyard. With the introduction of impulse draw - so named from Act on Impulse, where red exiles a number of cards from the top of their library for the ability to play those for a limited time. Thus red has achieved temporary card draw.

Green is one of the richest colors in the color pie at the moment, having access to a lot of control cards, protective measures, card advantage, ramp and swingy plays. It is no wonder to me how green is one of the stronger colors in Commander. Green has access to some very strong card advantage cards that fits right into the slow format of Commander. Rishkar's Expertise is a favorite as it combines the Commander format's slow pace, green's affinity for big creatures, and a powerful swing in resources, all in one card. Another is the ability to draw from creatures being cast or entering the battlefield. Outside the slow Commander format, you don't really see these types of cards, but within the format they are strong and valuable. Green also has access to the most flexible way to reuse cards from the graveyard through Eternal Witness, Greenwarden of Murasa, Road of Return - road and Myth Unbound are even commander specific benefits that makes casting your commander cheaper, within the color with the most access to mana acceleration. So the color that needs it the least has ways to reduce their mana demand on casting their commander. I would argue this aspect should have been placed within white and/or blue more than in green. Black is getting in on it with Netherborn Altar, so in the future we might see the other colors circumventing the commander tax in some fashion.

White has very few card draw cards (the best of which are mentioned above) and all are locked behind some kind of condition that is not insignificant, compared to something like Beast Whisperer.


It would seem white lacks behind quite a bit in this aspect. When a color cannot do something itself or not very well, they usually seek toward artifacts to fix their issues. Here you can utilize Mind's Eye or Loreseeker's Stone or Arcane Encyclopedia or Book of Rass or Endless Atlas or Skullclamp or Tome of Legends to name a handful of the better variants. What most of these have in common is that they are expense to cast or maintain or require some specific deck building choices to function.

If the general consensus of Commander players are to be taken into account along with the perceived strength of each color, it would seem these artifacts are not enough to help white overcome its lack of card draw. Furthermore white's other strengths doesn't seem to have enough impact to offset this lack.

The general argument I have seen against providing white with card advantage is; it breaks the color pie, white can utilize artifacts to fix their weaknesses to some extend, white's strengths comes from mass land destruction, taxing (Thalia, Guardian of Thraben) and hatebears (Aven Mindcensor). Again I don't really want this thread to be overshadowed about arguing for/against White getting card draw into their color identity, let's just assume white eventually will get card draw - how would that look like?

Brief discussion on the counter arguments Show

I really like the way WotC incorporated card draw into red, as impulse draw feels red but it is card draw and it helps red smooth out some edges it may have in especially multiplayer formats, such as Commander.

So, if we assume white is eventually going to get card draw, how would it look like? Here's a couple of ideas for concepts on how to incorporate a card draw mechanic with white flavor.




Taxing

Good ol' taxing. We already have Smothering Tithe, so something similar to Rhystic Study could be a possibility. It could be an aura you put on a land, so whenever it is tapped that opponent pays mana or grants you card draw. It doesn't necessarily have to be mana that is taxed, it could also just be the action/trigger itself that is the tax.

A taxing example Show



Warring / "spoils of war"

White is the most militarized color that deals in organized military strategy, being the main color for the creature types Soldier and Knight. White is often associated with combat and attacking as well. Perhaps it should be used to its advantage and provide some means to acquire card draw - figure it a substitute for roleplay wise gaining lands / trade routes / power / intelligence.

Example of war "spoils" Show



Trading

I actually really like the idea of this one, although it may be harder to properly accomplish.

White has before had trades happening like Armistice and Bargain. There's also the advocates and Benevolent Offering but they are not unique to white and is a set mechanic. It's been a while since this was part of white's color pie, but it could be again.

Example on trading Show

The flavor is there, as white is a color of community and peace, so trading seems like a natural byproduct. I really like the political aspect from this mechanic when considering multiplayer formats.



Divination

An alternative to direct card draw; you choose a card type (instant, sorcery, creature, land, artifact, enchantment, planeswalker) and then look at top X cards of your library, you may reveal a card of the chosen type and put it into hand, put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

This reflects the Commune with Nature (which is a green card I know) but it seems to fit white's color pie as the more religious color, to ask the gods/divine/faith for a boon and maybe it is answered, maybe not. Obviously you can deck tech to increase your chances but the idea is a card draw that is not guaranteed. Under the right circumstances it can be stronger than a card draw as it may filter.

Example on Divination Show



Honor the ancestors

I really wanted to create some kind of mechanic that allowed white to dump cards into their graveyard, to synergize with white's inherent ability to generate card advantage through recurring permanents, especially low CMC permanents. As it stands white needs to cast those smaller permanents and have them put into the graveyard from the battlefield - thus making these recurring effects a lot more narrow than their black and even green brethren, who can more easily set up these beneficial plays. But it doesn't seem very much like a white thing to self-mill, ala Surveil, nor do they discard. For white to have this particular synergy you would have to make them gain it without much prior precedent.

One thing that seemed sort of within the flavor of white would be to honor the ancestors, remember the history, keep to the traditions. I think you could work that flavor into some kind of mechanic that could work to white's advantage.

Examples on Honoring the Ancestors Show




Anyway, that's just what I brainstormed for. Like I said before I really liked the flavor on red's card draw and I want white to get something similar. Do you like any of my suggestions or think you can refine them? How would you give white card draw that is flavorful?

Brogan54 on Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

1 week ago

My recommendations :

I think most people will tell you that Oloro offers little competitive advantage to you compared to other esper commander like Zur (who can fetch Necropotence into play) or even Aminatou (who is a combo piece in the command zone). I think upsides for Oloro would be that he can do larger ad nauseam and possibly can even run Humility which few decks can win while it is on the board.

LOW IMPACT:

Teferi's Protection

Rhox Faithmender

Debt to the Deathless

Despark

MANA COST TOO HIGH

Merciless Eviction

Anguished Unmaking

Disallow

Thran Dynamo

TOO SLOW

Mox Tantalite

Phyrexian Arena

Twilight Prophet

Crypt Ghast

Winds of Abandon

Vindicate

Search for Azcanta  Flip

I would first add better ramp, better draw, potential Stax, tutors and then other win cons.

RAMP

Dark Ritual

Fellwar Stone

Mox Diamond

Talisman of Hierarchy

Talisman of Progress

Copy Artifact

Mox Opal

Cabal Ritual

Grim Monolith

Lotus Petal

Dramatic Reversal

DRAW

Ad Nauseam

Night's Whisper

Windfall

Timetwister

Whispering Madness

Brainstorm

Ponder

Preordain

Verity Circle (good against dorks)

Plunge into Darkness (a good Impulse)

Mindblade Render

Sygg, River Cutthroat

STAX

Drannith Magistrate

Aven Mindcensor

Cursed Totem

Notion Thief

Humility

Blind Obedience

Rest in Peace

Torpor Orb

BETTER COUNTERSPELLS

Mental Misstep

Dispel

Flusterstorm

Delay

Spell Pierce

Spell Snare

Negate

Tale's End

BETTER REMOVAL

Chain of Vapor

Gilded Drake

Yahenni's Expertise

Into the Roil

Blink of an Eye

TUTORS

Vampiric Tutor

Imperial Seal

Transmute Artifact

Intuition

Whir of Invention

Praetor's Grasp

Spellseeker

Academy Rector

OTHER COMBOS

CONSULT COMBO Demonic Consultation

Tainted Pact

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

Laboratory Maniac

AD NAUSEAM COMBO Angel's Grace

Ad Nauseam (draw whole deck, can Windfall and make everyone die while AG means you can't lose

Helm of Obedience

Rest in Peace / Leyline of the Void

Heliod Walking Ballista

Approach of the Second Sun

Dramatic Scepter

Isochron Scepter

Rocks that produce at least three mana total (outlet is extort with blind obedience or crypt ghast) If have pristine Talisman gain infinite life, which is infinite draw with commander

Didn't look at landbase

xtechnetia on Pattern Recognition #153 - Teferi ...

1 week ago

Control player here. I've talked at length elsewhere about how much I hate Teferi, Time Raveler, but this article has some good history and exploration on Teferi cards so let me try and present a more encompassing viewpoint.

What Teferi does, in context isolation, isn't an issue. It's existed before - on Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir - and that's considered a fine card. The beautiful aspect of Magic design is that practically every aspect of gameplay is open to attack - that's why we have spells like discard, land destruction, and so forth. The stack is no different in this regard.

3feri is a collection of smaller problems that adds up to one major problem:

  • His static is asymmetrical. Prison static effects are usually symmetrical (Winter Orb, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben) for balance reasons - it means you can't just jam them into any deck, you have to build your deck to carefully break the symmetry of the prison. Now, asymmetrical static effects are a fine thing to have too, but have generally been higher costed (compare Leonin Arbiter and Aven Mindcensor) to account for this. 3feri is costed incredibly well for his power - years ago, a 1WU instant that matched his -3 would probably have been Standard playable!
  • He comes in WU colors. This is a major point that I think is overlooked by many. If he was 1WG or 1RG instead of 1WU, we'd probably be looking at a card fair creature decks could board in against control decks. Which is totally fine, control hosers have existed forever and fair creature decks are always a welcome sight in Magic. But instead he's 1WU, so coupled with the asymmetry of the static, that means that this supposedly anti-control card fits into control shells. This has several unpleasant implications, including the once-amazing mirror matchup now being reduced to "resolve 3feri first ez game".
  • He protects himself on the board with his -3. This gives him an amazing floor of being a pseudo 3cmc Time Walk, which is part of why he's so widely seen - because even against decks that don't particularly care about the static, he can still reset a threat while maintaining card neutrality (if they kill it with board presence) or advantage (if they use a spell to be rid of it). Contrast to the other widely-maligned curse walkers, Narset, Parter of Veils and Karn, the Great Creator - these do not protect themselves on board, making counterplay to the board much more feasible and the walkers themselves less of an auto-include.
  • He doesn't say "opponents can't cast spells on your turn" like Dragonlord Dromoka or Grand Abolisher. He literally says opponents can cast spells only at sorcery speed. This has the side effect of shutting off a ton of random stuff like suspend, cascade, and other mechanics that were clearly never intended to be shut off by the static, but are anyways.

3feri isn't "broken" in the traditional sense of the term, and doesn't deserve a ban (most likely) on raw power level concerns. But he's one of the faces of this new, post-WAR era of Magic and is an unpleasant, constant thorn in gameplay across every format from Standard to Vintage. Even if you're playing a fair creature deck that cares little for the passive, he's a card-drawing bounce that serves as a strong tempo play (or, if he survives, you're now vulnerable to instant-speed wraths and discard), and if you're playing a stack-interaction deck, you either answer this guy on the stack yourself or you probably lose.

tl;dr He just represents everything that I (and many others) hate about the current design era of Magic.

enpc on Why fetch lands for mono?

1 week ago

TriusMalarky: Having fetches in the graveyard is not a bad thing.

Every colour has access to Crucible of Worlds and Sensei's Divining Top and being able to shuffle unwanted cards from the top of your library is nice.

Green has Ramunap Excavator in addition to Crucible. It also has Mirri's Guile and Sylvan Library which act similar to Sensei's. And then there's all of the landfall effects and cards like Titania, Protector of Argoth and Splendid Reclamation.

White has cards like Sun Titan which, if you're playing mono white then you want as much ability to consistently hit land drops as possible.

Black and Blue both have a slew of delve cards and eating a land to play Dig Through Time seems like a solid play.

Not every mono colour deck wants to run fetches, if you're running stax yourself or are used to playing against it, then it seems bad to crack a fetch into an Aven Mindcensor where you don't have to. Or to play an early fetch into a Blood Moon. But that doesn't mean that they don't have their place.

As for the reason we don't see a lot of fetches in mono colour decks (which aren't mono green lands based decks) is that typically the fetches sit in a price point between casual where stax isn't generally a thing and competitive where stax and even one shot stax effects like Aven Mindcensor very much are a thing. i.e. casuals don't want to pay for them and competitive decks don't want to be hit by stax. Yes, this is an overgeneralisation however I also don't think it's wrong (though I'm sure there are other factors than just this).

Dark_Danda on 0-60 in 3.5! (Rhys tokens)

2 weeks ago

Hi there

Nice deck you got here! I love to see other rhys decks. I have been working on my rhys deck since 2012 and would liketo share any insight I got ever since then. Could you clarify what your aim is in terms of power level and budget? I can see you already got quite a good focus on tokens but not so much on control Like Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Collector Ouphe, Aven Mindcensor. Though I understand that in your current built Collector Ouphe would hurt you guite a bit.

In any case I can highly recommmend Mox Amber. This card is busted in your deck ;)

Cheers

Metropolis39 on Modern 8-Pride

3 weeks ago

Selfless Spirit is a great flier to consider. Aven Mindcensor is a great card for the maindeck or sideboard. Brazen Borrower is a better bounce spell than gust of wind as it doubles as a threat

Load more