I should preface this by saying that I've only thought of this card meaningfully in a Doomsday shell.
This thing is Doomsday's new best friend, and does almost everything that Doomsday wants to do. The only things this doesn't completely do from a protection standpoint is preclude REB/Blast, though it does force them to remove Teferi with it, potentially still giving you a window. I suppose it also can't deal with 2 lock pieces, though Doomsday is somewhat resilient in the first place. It is also fairly obscure to tell how well it fits into Doomsday's curve, which is incredibly tight post-gush restriction, but being that Doomsday would quite often be a 4-mana play without Teferi already in play, I suspect it will slot in well, or at least adequately. The +1 is probably not likely to be used well, but could potentially allow you to Thoughtseize on their draw step without fear of repercussion (this actually beats REB/Blast assuming they were tapped out, but that is unlikely to happen). This train of thought may lead to playing more Thoughtseize, which I feel may not be a terrible idea to start.
Assuming Teferi isn't dealt with, it will also draw you into your combo next turn free of charge while potentially removing whatever is stopping you (with no possible responses other than Ballista/Ravager shenanigans). Essentially, for Doomsday at least, this is Defense Grid + Top + Abrade in 1 card with more inevitability, more efficiency, and as a bonus pitches to Force. These points may lead the deck at large in a more controlling direction which, while slowing it down, should actually give it an edge in the current meta, assuming the number of Wastelands doesn't pick up.
I should also say that I don't necessarily think that this card is such a slam dunk for other archetypes, including similar storm builds.
well, after reading the comments in this thread I have just one thing to say: I'm glad most of you all are not in charge of R & D. People are ripping this card apart without even understanding that it really only answers unfair plays in the first place. If you don't think playing a Dig Through Time for UU without really blinking an eye is broken as shit, then could you find it within yourself to kindly F-OFF! Would you?? Wait. . . have you done it?!! NO?? Please do. Like I'm sooo sick of this BS. It wasn't lazy design. It was sufficient design to actually make an effing difference vs. all the nonsense blue has received over the past 5 years. It actually DOES something relevant vs. PO AND Jeskai, providing a traditional human deck with a much needed 2-drop to supplement Thalia. It also plays very nicely with Wasteland and Knight of the Reliquary. I think this card makes such a deck a much more competitive prospect and SO WHAT IF IT IS?? I really just want to give every complaining character in this threat the tiniest Violin to help assuage their delicate egos. Magic is ever evolving. Vintage is ever evolving.
LEARN. . .
TO. . .
ADAPT. . .
YOU. . .
FREAKING. . .
Blue decks having Force of Will and cards that just draw them into more of that card have enjoyed having answers for virtually everything all the time. If Cavern of Souls makes that proposition slightly less certain then GREAT!!! It's about time that Force of Will got taken down a peg or two. Maybe start playing real 2-for-1s and run some Wastelands? Like, there are a lot of options. Jimminy Christmas!
Calm down buddy. I don't think Lavinia is impossible to deal with or game-breaking in any way, I just don't agree with this style of design. Again, I think Cavern is my real issue (uncounterable rainbow mana?) because even if I decide to deal with it my opponent has most likely already produced at least 1 threat and Wastelanding it is probably going to be negative tempo at that point. That said, it exists, so I will deal with it, but I do not like the way it causes my opponent and I to basically ignore each other.
I also disagree with your Dig Through Time example. Not only has Dig been restricted for very, very good reason, it also (usually) takes a staggering amount of thought and sequencing to get to the point of casting it for UU, and even then it is easily countered (non-blue decks have Pyroblast).
Well, most cards in Vintage are non-symmetrical from Island to Paradoxical Outcome. Why should it be different when it comes to creature?
Hmm, I wasn't trying to imply that it should be different, instead that all cards should be designed with interactivity in mind. Paradoxical is an interesting example because it imposes severe restrictions to your deckbuilding ability, much like Thalia or Oath of Druids. Lavinia can pretty much slot in anywhere, particularly the sideboard of control decks, and I can picture it making the control mirror abysmal to play in. I recognize that there is a lot of personal bias here because I find the vintage control mirror to be the most engaging, thoughtful, and grindy match of magic that I've found thus far, but that's my opinion.
TLDR: "X cant be done" cards are incredibly boring, dont take any play skill from both sides and are just very lazy and bad game design. The more cards like this see print, the worse MTG gets as a whole.
This is almost exactly how I feel, specifically the part about lazy game design. Non-symmetrical cards require much less thought and timing than others, especially when backed by 4 cavern of souls.
I play this game because of its intricacy, decision making skills, and interactivity, and personally feel that cards that diminish these possibilities are lazy at best, detrimental at worst. If this card said "players" instead of "opponents", I would have roughly 0 things to say about it and would consider it a well designed and legitimate (highly playable) card, but as it is, it is removing most of the thought process away from both parties. For example, imagine Ensnaring Bridge stating "opponents creatures". Or similarly for Tangle Wire, Sphere, etc.
I've got no issues with people playing their extremely hateful decks when said decks have had a thought process behind them, but cards that lend themselves to less interactive game states do not sit well with me, and I feel that this is one of the more egregious examples in a long time.