Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade

Omg, this card looks absurd. It stops too many things against almost every deck in a non-symmetrical way. Now we can have 8 leovolds in the same deck.

Seems like wizards won't need to restrict PO after all (not that I thought it had to, but you got it...)

last edited by GutoCmtt

My predictions? This will make its way as a 3-4 of in a lot of decks, to a point where people will start playing Cavern of Souls in blue decks again, just to resolve this turn 1 (and also Mentor and Snap later on). Jeskai Xerox will become a lot more prominent in the meta, since it has access to 8 Bolt/Plow if it wants and also plays in a more natural mana curve.
And yes, even against Shops you'll want this turn 1 since it's a Chalice for 0 that also stops early Spheres (you'll side it out on the draw).

PS: also, we'll see more Karakas around 😄

last edited by fsecco

Rules PSA for this potent, yet potentially confusing card:

  • Lavinia has two different abilities (one continuous, one triggered) that function in very different ways. Both, however, are only effective if Lavinia is in play before the opponent begins to announce a spell. Flashing in Lavinia with an opposing spell on the stack does not stop that spell in any way.

The first ability looks only at the converted mana cost of the spell being announced (not how much mana will actually be spent when the costs are paid) and the comparison against the number of lands you control is PROBABLY(*) performed after you have chosen modes and alternate/additional costs for the spell, and chosen targets, but before you pay any costs. Some corollaries:

  • you can cast split cards, so long as the half you choose to cast meets the CMC requirement.
  • you can cast Gush using its alternate casting cost even if you only control five or six lands.
  • similarly, you can cast Ancestral Recall even if Gemstone Mine with a single counter on it is your only permanent, etc.
  • you must choose a value of X for spells like Repeal which keeps their total CMC at or below the number of lands you control.

If you do not control enough lands, you cannot announce the spell at all (similar to Meddling Mage or Void Winnower).

  • you cannot announce the spell even if, due to some convoluted interaction of mana abilities and replacement effects, the number of lands you control would increase during payment of costs, or if Lavinia would leave play during payment of costs.

The first ability affects only noncreature spells. Hollow One is unaffected, as is Phyrexian Metamorph regardless of the permanent that is eventually copied, etc.


The second ability is a triggered ability which triggers on your opponent announcing a spell. In particular, the second ability applies only to spells that your opponent is legally allowed to announce per Lavinia's first ability.

The second ability checks only the amount of mana your opponent(**) actually paid (not the converted mana cost) during announcement of the spell. In particular:

  • the ability sees mana spent on additional or alternate costs, cost increases, and cost replacements. A Mox cast under ordinary circumstances triggers Lavinia. A Mox cast under Sphere of Resistance or Trinisphere does not. Gush or Force of Will played using their alternate costs will, under ordinary circumstances, trigger Lavinia.
  • under ordinary circumstances, spells cast "without paying their mana cost" (due to Mind's Desire, Spell Queller, Omniscience, etc) trigger Lavinia.
  • spells placed directly onto the stack (due to a storm trigger, for instance) are not cast and do not trigger Lavinia.

Lavinia's second ability is an ordinary triggered ability that counters the triggering spell on resolution. In this way the ability functions similarly to Chalice of the Void:

  • the triggering spell is placed on the stack under the Lavinia trigger and triggers other abilities (Monastery Mentor, etc) that looks for players casting spells. Players can also target the triggering spell with countermagic, etc.
  • Lavinia's second ability can be countered by spells or abilities like Stifle.
  • Lavinia's second ability does nothing to uncounterable spells like Abrupt Decay.

Confusingly, Lavinia's second ability triggers on both creature and noncreature spells. So if your opponent controls only Bazaar of Baghdad, they can announce a free Hollow One (despite controlling fewer than five lands) but it will trigger Lavinia's second ability.


(*): That is my interpretation of the current comp. rules. However, this kind of conditional prohibition on spell casting is novel: previous effects like Void Winnower or Gaddock Teeg looked only at the characteristics of the spell, whereas Lavinia looks at both spell characteristics and the board state. So it's possible Lavinia's functionality could change if the spellcasting rules are revised/clarified in a future rules update.

(**): Technically Lavinia looks if any player paid any mana to cast the spell, a distinction that matters only in extreme corner cases.

last edited by evouga

Sorry about the overposting, but I've been thinking a lot about this card. This also makes Oath a way better deck in a Lavinia-dominated meta - but even then a slow answer.

Also, now it's time to return to Humans brewing. This can make Humans a really viable deck.

@fsecco interestingly though, a Lavinia-infested meta will also contain a bunch of Karakases, so the beneficiaries will be Oath decks with non-Legendary targets such as Inferno Titan (or Sphinx of the Steel Wind, Blazing Archon, ...?)

It's sad to see the manufacturer of this card game continue to explore the effects that amount to: 'you can't do this' plastered on creatures. Cards that reduce possible interactions between cards tend to contribute to boring games.

If they absolutely needed to print yet another prohibitive card like this, why make it a creature? It's comical to imagine a scenario where this creature with such powerful magical abilities is hitting/stabbing you for 2 life points a turn while simultaneously retaining enough focus to exercise her immense magical powers. At least add a clause where the abilities are turned off when the creature is tapped. Even comic book superheroes need to focus when channeling their powers.

last edited by Guest

@evouga Yep. Inferno Titan seems particularly good. The only problem is that once Lavinia is in play, you can't protect Oath. So Lavinia + FoW is game over anyway.

EDIT: You CAN wait until turn 3 to play Oath + Fluster, but I bet giving 2-3 uncountered turns to an opponent is game over anyway.

last edited by fsecco

Absolutely disgusting card. Horrible game design. The fact that this is a non symmetric effect makes this way to powerful and easy to just slot in. This forces fair decks to play a ton of removal and it just hoses pretty much all combo decks way to hard and easy.
Restrict Cavern of Souls immediately, the card is overdue anyways because of bullshit design!
I guess let's hope shops somehow keeps this crap under control with ballista.

last edited by Aelien

Playable on turn 1? Check.
Nukes every single Vintage deck? Check.
Effects are one-sided? Check.

Blue-Lodestone! Have fun non-Blue vintage players!

Also a new toolbox creature in survival maybe?

@vaughnbros said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

Nukes every single Vintage deck? Check.

Surely this is an overstatement. Outcome cares, Xerox and Oath are impacted to various degrees (but not overwhelmingly so), Shops/Dredge/Survival are surely happy to see their opponent running this card. Is there even a second deck where you could really consider this a hoser? The effect is (conditionally) powerful enough for this card to have a place, but I'm personally not very interesting in running this.

last edited by Brass Man

@brass-man Please explain why survival would be happy to see this card.

It's not Vintage that gets messed up by this card but Legacy. They just made Legacy Miracles a ridiculous deck. Vintage runs a lot of blue creature removal in general.

I am curious to see if this is all hype and no play like Damping Sphere. The card has great potential, and I like it against Dredge and Survival in a Xerox deck.

last edited by moorebrother1

@brass-man does this turn off Rootwalla? Does paying 0 count as paying mana?

@p3temangus Based on established rulings for Nix (which uses the same wording as this), it does counter Rootwalla.

@topical_island said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

@brass-man Please explain why survival would be happy to see this card.

Simply that Survival decks aren't really impacted by this card in a meaningful way. Not that's it's actively good for the Survival player when it's in play - I just meant that you'd rather your opponent have this in their deck than something scarier.

@p3temangus said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

@brass-man does this turn off Rootwalla? Does paying 0 count as paying mana?

While I don't want to speculate on the rules of unreleased cards, I suspect that Lavinia does counter free Hollow Ones and Basking Rootwallas. However, Hollow Ones importance comes in the early game (literally turn 1), when Lavinia, Azorious Renegade is unlikely to be castable. Once you hit the midgame, it's not super important that your free creatures resolve - Lavinia counters them, but they'll still put Vengevines into play.

There will be games where you have a Bazaar of Baghdad but no Survival of the Fittest and Lavinia shutting down a turn 4 Basking Rootwalla would have more impact, I could be underestimating that sort of thing, but it doesn't feel like a winning sideboard plan to me (not without other cards to support it, at least).

For what it's worth, I think there's a fair (but not airtight) argument that this could be a better anti-Outcome sideboard card than Stony Silence, which would immediately put this into some existing 75 card decks.

@brass-man The thing is, i dont think this is a sideboard card. I think decks will play this card maindeck because it just impacts enough matchups (pretty much only goes out against Dredge and Shops i guess) and still have their sideboard cards ready.

@juice-mane said in Single Card Discussion - Lavinia, Azorious Renegade:

It's sad to see the manufacturer of this card game continue to explore the effects that amount to: 'you can't do this' plastered on creatures. Cards that reduce possible interactions between cards tend to contribute to boring games.

If they absolutely needed to print yet another prohibitive card like this, why make it a creature? It's comical to imagine a scenario where this creature with such powerful magical abilities is hitting/stabbing you for 2 life points a turn while simultaneously retaining enough focus to exercise her immense magical powers. At least add a clause where the abilities are turned off when the creature is tapped. Even comic book superheroes need to focus when channeling their powers.

I think I'm fine when they are symmetrical. These one way Leovold effects are stupid and lazy.

It's pretty good against survival. Most of the Hollow ones and rootwallas are not cast on turn 1, it also stops hands that have low land counts to have some progress, stops force of will, late drawn mox/lotus (which can be pretty relevant too). And it stops the half of the survival creatures that containment priest doesn't. Sounds like the card is amazing. If I was playing against survival with it, I'd definitely bring (or keep) it in

  • 219
    Posts
  • 56681
    Views