Aven Mindcensor

Aven Mindcensor

Creature — Bird Wizard

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

Flying

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

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Pioneer Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Unformat Legal
Vintage Legal
Casual Legal
Custom Legal
Quest Magic Legal

Latest Decks as Commander

Aven Mindcensor Discussion

Caerwyn on Is there a better feeling …

4 days ago

Opposition Agent was a poorly designed card, and one Wizards should never have allowed to exist in the first place. What makes it worse? Everyone--including Wizards--knows that White struggles in EDH, but one of its greatest boons is its ability to punish searching with cards like Aven Mindcensor . With one card, Wizards created something that, when on the battlefield, does White's traditional effect better than any White card. But that is not the worst part--the threat of Agent is much greater than the threat of any White card--thus, even off the battlefield, it paralyzes play in a way none of its White brethren do.

DrukenReaps - I'm not sure you can say that there shouldn't be any banlist beyond banned as commander on one thread, then turn around the next day and say it "sucks" that the RC does not do anything about Opposition Agent the next day!

jaymc1130 on About Urza's Saga in cEDH

1 month ago

When this card was spoiled I thought it looked super sweet and that it would find homes in all the eternal formats and be a dominant component in the more modern formats. Now that I've had a chance to play about 100 games combined with and against the card in cEDH settings, however, I've reached a very surprising conclusion.

This card is actually unplayable in cEDH settings. It's legitimately a net negative contribution towards expected win rate just by holding a slot in the 99 (-2.4 % in this sample size, about twice the percentage at which our group stops playing cards in this format at all). When actually played in a game (according to the data we've collected so far) that negative contribution towards win rate triples to almost -7.5%. If the expected average win rate of a deck in a vacuum assuming players and decks of equivalent capabilities is 25% for a 4 man pod, dropping down to 18% and giving up a quarter of you're expected win shares for a card you play yourself is simply awful. A 100 game sample size isn't a huge data set, but it's become a benchmark by which we evaluate things in our group.

This would have shocked me completely if I hadn't been witness to the exact reasons this card has difficulties in the format. With that experience it seems not only logical, but obvious that this card will struggle in cEDH. I'll dive into why in more detail.

  1. In a format where games are either insanely explosive or astonishingly grindy, Urza's Saga can't hold up either end of the bargain. A 3 turn clock for a free tutor seems solid at face value, but is way too slow for this specific format to be considered a consistent means of generating an advantage in game. Every white deck is running Aven Mindcensor , every blue/black deck is running Ashiok, Dream Render and Opposition Agent . Just resolving the tutor portion of this card successfully happened a hair shy of 1/3 of the time the tutor effect triggered in our games. This is way too slow, with way too much risk and a typically modest at best reward to be effective in the more explosive games. When it comes to grindy affairs this is a land that sacrifices itself and causes it's owner to lose the battle of attrition in a huge way (doubly so in the case of Oppo Agent hijacking the tutor) in a format where making consistent land drops every turn is often very difficult. Denying yourself resources by playing your own cards is generally a less than ideal circumstance. Urza's Saga just doesn't perform in either scenario.

  2. The constructs are not only meaningless in cEDH, but are a trap to even make. Spending mana on the early turns of game in cEDH on constructs is never a correct play, no matter what deck a player may be piloting. Tapping out to make some random non impactful bears and playing shields down into opponents is a fantastic way to lose a lot of games. While the constructs may be very powerful in other formats, in cEDH this aspect of Urza's Saga is quite literally worse than useless as choosing this option tends to present opposing players with very easy windows of opportunity to win games while you're tapped out and cannot represent the ability to interact with an attempted win. Those constructs certainly won't be killing any opponents very quickly any ways (outside of Urza Artificer decks) if this isn't the case.

  3. Urza's Saga does not produce colored mana. This might actually be the most impactful negative aspect of this card in cEDH settings, it's a bit hard to tell. Regardless, in the most competitive settings, mana base consistency and being able to cast spells and interact with opponents in the first 3 or 4 turns of the game is a critical component of consistent success in the format. Urza's Saga simply isn't going to help in this regard and makes it an unappealing choice for a land drop in the opening stages of the game (precisely when it would be most effective, timing wise, as a play to set up a tutor effect for down the road).

In hindsight it seems like these things should all have been very obvious from the jump. Still, I really wanted for this card to be good in what has become my favorite format. Sadly, from a cEDH statistical performance perspective at least, this card appears to be completely unplayable. I hope you folks have had more success than we have with the Saga, and if not, well, at least we know why.

Mana_Mythic_Legendary on Pursuing Perfection, Part 6: Azorius …

1 month ago

Here’s something interesting: while there are over 120 mono-colored legendary creatures, there are less than fifty to each color pairing. As the pool has grown limited, we’ll need to shake up the format of these articles going forward. I’ll be grouping playstyle-linked generals where possible, but where that's not an option we’ll instead discuss generals who match the color pair’s themes overall. And today, we discuss Azorius!

Maybe you came here to build a deck build around flying. Maybe. Assuming you’re not Peter Pan, you probably came sniffing after a combination of White stax and Blue control. Maybe this is about enchantments for you. Maybe this is about blink. But in summary, this pairing has a general slant toward prevention and manipulation rather than offensive power.

White, when played defensively, comes across as a big, solid castle that central catering forgot to stock with anything but a vat of sour cream and the world’s blandest potatoes. Thick walls, but comparatively little offense or subtlety. This ties into stax in part, but also touches on themes which weren't covered in the white article: potent life-gain a la Rhox Faithmender and friends, shockingly powerful barriers such as Solitary Confinement and sweeping control of the board like the Aven Mindcensor . One of White's inherent disadvantages, however, comes to mind: besides a handful of "I win" cards like Felidar Sovereign and Near-Death Experience , white has no teeth outside the combat phase, and relatively little draw to dig for them. Test of Endurance and Celestial Convergence are made more reliable by white's fine pile of enchantment tutors, but personally I'd rather not depend on cards that give your opponents time to prevent your win.

Blue, on the other hand, isn’t so much defensive or offensive (in one sense, anyway), skipping that spectrum in preference of sidestepping problems until you can strategery your way to victory. It's great, in theory, and generally in practice. Blue, so long as we're lampooning, is a brilliant, twerpy engineer. A pest so frail they’d crumple under a breeze, so agile you’ll never tag them, and so annoying they’ll leave you begging for the clean killing blow they're too reedy to actually fetch you. The glaring problem, though, is that if an opponent can ignore a blue player's tricks and actually land a few hits, said blue player is probably screwed.

Combine them, though... Combine them, and they shore up one another's weaknesses in a big way. Combine them, and you potentially have the most solid, strategic defense in the game. Suddenly you have all the draw you could want for your Approach of the Second Sun , your Sphere of Safety will have an Enchanted Evening , and you can actually, feasibly win with Azor's Elocutors ... which will probably see you dying alone, unloved, and undoubtedly quite pleased with yourself.

For today, we're discussing Blink/Flicker, Control (again), and the Miscellaneously Themey. As always, please bear in mind that our focus here is not necessarily competitive but rather on thematic, archetypical commanders.

Blink/Flicker

ETB effects are wonderful, wonderful things. You get a body, sometimes even a good solid one like the Sun Titan and some nice, tasty effect that hopefully makes said body only the icing on a fine, fine cake. The classic example would be Palinchron : pair it with something repeatable like Deadeye Navigator and you have infinite mana. Then you can Meteor Golem the table's collective psyche straight into the nearest mental ward. Or, if you really want to emotionally cripple someone, blink their commander whenever they try to attack, attach some voltrony wincon, or... well, anything.

Brago, King Eternal With White providing the protection keyword, Blue shelling out unblockable, and flying sourced from both, this pairing inarguably has the best evasion. Brago may not have the muscle to kill someone as is, but there are some great options for fixing that. Not that you need to: if you have a board of flickerhappy boyz, Brago's a great pick for commanding your blinking battalion.

Lavinia of the Tenth

Upon reading this card you may feel a great disturbance in the force, as though millions of token decks cried out in terror and were suddenly detained. Ask yourself: how many permanents cost less than 4 mana in a game? Assuming you're not playing an entire meta of leafy green lunatics, the answer is "most." This was my wife's first deck. Lavinia had herself a Conjurer's Closet , or something like, most games. I was grateful when she switched to slivers.

Ranar the Ever-Watchful

I like this guy. I like spirits. Rewarding the blink life with a swarm of tokens and supporting a neat mechanic with a number of good cards, Ranar's a great choice for someone who wants it all.

Control

Turtle up until you find your win, you spineless wart. Or, as Sun Tzu would say "Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack." Ghostly Prison AND Propaganda anyone? Nobody buys time like Azorius (blue extra turn shenannigans notwithstanding). The best spread of control options are tied up in these two colors, maintaining a proper hold on the battlefield to ensure you can, eventually, uninterruptedly, shamelessly legalese someone to death.

Grand Arbiter Augustin IV Simple. Direct. Rude. Terse? Resentful? Me? Absolutely. Do. Not. Want.

Lavinia, azorius renagade

I have seen Gaddock Teeg a few times, to my discomfort. This feels like Teeg playing favorites. For someone labeled as a renegade, Lavinia certainly abides by this pairing's preference for smacking people in the kisser with a banhammer. Opponents can't cast anything large. Opponents can't cast anything free. Those fond of Izzet spellcasting combos must HATE this card. Hell, as someone who plays Rashmi, Eternities Crafter , I hate this card and haven't even seen it played.

Gwafa hazid, profiteer

Taking a step back from going wide, Gwafa reminds me of that scene in Robin Hood: Men in Tights where the sheriff tries to laugh his way though delivering bad news. "Your creature is worthless, haha. But you draw a card, hoho, isn't that nice? Hehe, aren't I nice?" Go to the darkest, dankest, smelliest hell, Gwafa.

Miscellaneous

Hanna, Ship's Navigator

Most of the removal tied to artifacts and enchantments works off of destroy effects, not exile, so if your focus isn't on commander-based synergies but rather your board state, Hanna may serve you well, especially considering how often tossing an artifact will get you a new one.

Kangee, Sky Warden

If you really want to flyspam, Kangee is a solid pick: blue-white has a whole mess of options to hose down the opponent with an airborne death swarm. Top marks if you manage to regularly play Dovescape and know the pleasure of watching your opponents try to process all their cool stuff turning into birds.

Bruna, Light of Alabaster

You like auras? Here you go. Avoid stuff like Reliquary Tower , overload your hand with goodies like Steel of the Godhead and All That Glitters , then gloat when you slap Bruna down and get everything you discarded into play without the bother of paying for it. Hell, put your auras on the creatures that tutored them. Bruna doesn't mind. She'll take them anyway, from anywhere. Thank God she doesn't have haste.

And, for my personal favorite...

enter image description here This guy is a fantastic face to put on a political deck. Nobody wants to smash the guy who gives out free cards and life! At least, not until you find Mind Over Matter , or something like. You won't deck anyone thanks to this wascally wabbit's wording, but you'll have your entire deck in hand. That should be all, folks. The only reason Kwain doesn't have a deck in this house is because Rashmi and Pramikon got here first and stole all the good stuff.

That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back soon for Dimir!

Other Articles:

Mono-Green, with links to the other colors at the bottom

Koalatoucher on Land destruction

1 month ago

This looks like a blast to play and a pain for your opponents, deliciously evil. Well done! Have you play tested this a lot? Do you find that single target land destruction is enough to slow or stop most game plans? I like the amount of land destro spells and the recursion but I always find myself wanting to blow up all the lands at once.

If you like cleansing wildfire but want to make it a little more evil, consider search prevention effects like Stranglehold or Aven Mindcensor lol They also combo with Ghost Quarters and Field of Ruin to add more recurrable destruction effects.

Great work! Great deck! Keep up the land destruction!

plakjekaas on Pursuing Perfection, Part 1: Mono-White …

2 months ago

My favorite mono white commander is the forgotten Heliod, God of the Sun . Skybind is amazing when you can make Enchantment Creature Tokens at a whim. Your team having Vigilance works amazing with Meekstone + Blind Obedience . With all the Cleric support in the last few sets, you could even take a peek in that direction.

Most white ramp that actually puts land into play, requires your opponents to have more lands than you. White has a few options to make that happen: Path to Exile , Winds of Abandon , Settle the Wreckage (which can also work wonders using it on yourself if you're the go-wide token player) in addition to bounce lands like Karoo and Guildless Commons . Of course, Extraplanar Lens works double duty there.

But the absolute best card in white, to drag down the other players to your level and make them watch their step, is Aven Mindcensor . Really, try it. It's the best response to a green player putting a Boundless Realms on the stack.

arquistar on Octavia Unblockable Cantrips

2 months ago

I've been brewing a similar deck. I think cards with delve (although typically awesome) are a bit of a trap for Octavia (ref: Treasure Cruise , Dig Through Time ) as it can really hamper your graveyard spell count. Also I'd look in to lowering your mana curve, big spicy spells are nice but sometimes having a Gitaxian Probe is nice. I'd also cut out 3-4 creatures and work on putting in some more instants. Keep in mind Octavia's ability transforms any creatures in to 8/8's not just yours so be sure to politic a bit and turn somebody's Solemn Simulacrum or Aven Mindcensor in to a Quilled Slagwurm to make for bad blocks or random swings in life totals.

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