Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
– Ravnica Allegiance
February 20, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.67
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Much as some players love the style of play that involves preventing everything from happening until time stops, not everyone has time for games like that. Fortunately, when it comes to this Ravnica block that isn’t a block because we’re calling it something else, Azorius has found a way to shut things down in a more proactive way. Lavinia doesn’t have massive combat stats, but she’s reasonably efficient at attacking and does progress the game state for her controller. Her effect is incredibly powerful in a vacuum – recalling Gaddock Teeg in a way, slowing Bloodbraid Elf decks to a crawl, and very nearly having the “WOW *&%# TRON” meme in her text box. I’m not sure it’s even going to be enough to really stop Tron in practice, but decks like that will certainly have to adjust when she hits the table.
Lavinia 2.0 is very much a card geared towards older formats; in the current Standard, it’s not likely that she’s going to do much. But she’s a potent hate bear for stopping aggressive acceleration plays (slowing down decks like Elves, Storm, and Tron) and for impeding decks that try to cast cards “unfairly”, like off of cascade or other effects (like the Expertise cycle from Aether Revolt). A two-mana 2/2 isn’t going to win any awards, but Lavinia has the ability to really do damage in Legacy, Modern, and even Vintage…formats reliant on fast and “unfair” ways to power out effects, and a turn 1 Lavinia is a good way to screw over a pile of Moxen.
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