Final Fantasy Pro Tour: Avacyn Restored – Journey to Somewhere with Ben Heath

Journey to Somewhere – Developing Tempered Steel by Ben Heath


Hello everyone and welcome to this edition of Journey to Somewhere (and believe me, it’s been quite the journey since I began this column).

After last week’s card evaluation exercise, this week I planned on doing something different. So naturally, the topic ends up being Card Evaluation.

Oh well.

This week it’s about the Fantasy Pro Tour, an exercise where you choose what cards will be most represented by the decks that go 6-4 or better in the Block Constructed section of Pro Tour: Avacyn Restored. I’ll be writing this as I go, so let’s get started!


The Choices

Planeswalker – Tamiyo, the Moon Sage

So right away I go for the controversial option, naturally.

Garruk  Relentless and Sorin, Lord of Innistrad should be played more, but Pro Tours tend to be treated as a playtesting playground, as players try to find ways to break the format with their new toys, and planeswalkers are their favourite toys.

Garruk will be a 4-of in every green deck (or should be), and Sorin will be a 4-of in every token and human deck (if they still exist after the bannings).

But blue decks will be aplenty in Barcelona, and Tamiyo is a great blue planeswalker, so on this logic I’m going for her.

Large Creature – Zealous Conscripts

I had options, boy did I have options.

But Zealous Conscripts is an absolute house, and a finisher that R/W Humans so desparaptely needs. With the deck it’s supposed to go in also playing Cloudshift and maybe Restoration Angel, you’ll get the keep the creature forever.

Sigarda, Host of Herons is also a nice option, but she’s difficult to cast in this format. Reanimation targets such as Griselbrand, and other big creatures such as Ghoultree also available, and Green aggro decks getting access to Wolfir Silverheart, your options are massive, but I’m sticking to my guns on this one.

Medium Creature – Restoration Angel

As if it would be anything else. All white decks should be playing this card. I can’t think of another card that would be in this spot instead.

Maybe Geist of Saint Traft? The problem with it being that it’s legendary. Silverblade Paladin? An excellent aggro card and certainly something to consider, but it only goes in one type of deck. Any of the tribal lords from Dark Ascension are also worth considering, especially Drogskol Captain for the Spirit tokens deck (no Lingering Souls though, remember. that saw the banhammer pretty early in it’s Block Constructed career).

Small Creature – Champion of the Parish

Simply because Human decks are brutal in this format.

Delver of Secrets doesn’t have the same repertoire it has in Standard to back it up, and Snapcaster Mage doesn’t have enough cheap graveyard targets to flashback that don’t already have flashback themselves. If there’s another creature to consider, please say so in the comments, because for me this is an absolute no-brainer.

Instant – Desparate Ravings

The best draw spell in the format, and is excellent with Burning Vengeance -SPOILER ALERT-

Other cards to consider in this slot are Think Twice, Forbidden Alchemy and Dissipate. Other honorable mentions include Cloudshift, Righteous Blow (one of the best spot removal spells in the format) and Midnight Haunting (mmm, delicious tokens).

Sorcery – Bonfire of the Damned

I genuinely had a hard time thinking about this one, but I’ve gone for the most powerful sorcery in the end. All the miracle cards can swing games in a player’s favour, but this one more than most. It’s borderline unfair. In fact, forget about borderline, this is massively unfair, and I can’t believe this was printed.

Entreat the Angels is ridiculous, too, and is probably also a worthy option to go in this slot, but I’m going for the card that can end games on the spot.

Enchantment – Burning Vengeance

People will be building decks around this card, so it’ll be a 4-of in those decks. Since Intangible Virtue was banned, this is the easy pick. Favourable Winds is another choice you could go for, but remember that Lingering Souls is banned, and that makes the enchantment a lot worse.

Artifact – Runechanter’s Pike

I actually had to look through all the artifacts to pick the best out of a bad bunch, and this is what I’ve gone for, simply because some blue decks will be playing this and Invisible Stalker together for some massive damage, I think, especially with cards to mill yourself to feed the pike.

Angel’s Tomb and Moonsilver Spear are really good in Limited, and maybe also Block due to the fact it’s slow enough for Spear to play a part in Control decks, and enough creatures will be played for Angel’s Tomb to be effective (a bit like Glint Hawk Idol in Scars Block Constructed), and I think should be played more than the Pike, but I think people will play it safe and go with what they know.

Aside #1: As I type this, Blackburn have just been relegated from the Premier League. A shame, but personally I think they deserve it on all levels, apart from Yakubu. Feed the Yak, etc.

Non-Basic Land – Cavern of Souls

For all my ranting last week, this is the land of choice. There are so many tribal decks in this format that this will be worth playing and will be, by some distance, the most popular non-basic land.

Other options: All the dual lands, Desolate Lighthouse, Moorland Haunt, Evolving Wilds.

Player – Kai Budde

The best player in Magic: the Gathering history. Forget my man-crushes on Kibler, Finkel and Rob Wagner (who wasn’t an option. WTF WIZARDS? DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO THIS MAN IS?!?!?!?!), forget the consistency of PV and LSV. Go for the Juggernaut. He may not be a great card designer (lol @ Voidmage Prodigy) but this man can play cards. Like. A. Baws. The only downside is that he is German, and therefore the mortal enemy.

But until WotC make Rob Wagner an option in this slot, I’ll be rooting for Kai (sorry, guys).

Aside #2, Shameless Namedrop Edition: Jonathan Randle once challenged me to a game of ‘name all the invitational cards’. He named every single one, along with who designed it. Pretty sure he could name the year of each card as well, but he stopped there so I didn’t feel completely humiliated by the hiding he had just handed me.


Final Thoughts

So, that’s everything for this edition. Next time I’ll be talking about world peace, saving Ugandan kids from a tyrant, and how to cure cancer. Or I’ll be talking about card games again. One of the two.

Thanks for stopping by, mtgUK


@BenHeath37 on the Twitter


Bonus Content!

Nervous Energy Clan at Insomnia45, where I worked this weekend, for welcoming me with open arms into their pub quiz team on Saturday night. Didn’t make Top 3, maybe next time.

Blink-182 Greatest Hits, which is what I listened to as I wrote this. Not sure why half the tracks are on there, they’re terrible. Ruins the album for me.
Coldplay. Love some of the music, hate everything else. Like, genuinely hate. As in, more than just dislike. I genuinely feel a bit dirty whenever I say that I like Coldplay’s music, which I don’t get with any other band. I can imagine Grant Hislop imagining slowly skinning me alive as I type this. Sorry, buddy.


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