Lavinia of the Tenth
– Dragon’s Maze
February 21, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
As a dedicated midrange player, I still hold Lavinia’s older card in high regard. Her new one may well grow on me, but there’s nothing quite like throwing a 4/4 onto the table and inviting your opponent to “just bring it”, as Dwayne Johnson would put it. It’s even better when your 4/4 delays a multitude of dangerous permanents, up to and including Garruk and Jace (most versions, at least). And in multiplayer, not only does she affect more people, but more people means more chance of valid targets to detain. White and blue also have the best flickering effects, which can easily lead to that detention becoming indefinite.
The most powerful Azorius cards from Return to Ravnica hardly mentioned the guild’s flagship mechanic, but it was still a potent mechanic all the same. Detain is a pretty flavorful and effective way to impede your opponents…and mass detain is not too far from that. For five mana, Lavinia 1.0 will lock down your opponents’ cheap non-land permanents for a turn…which scales well to multiplayer, and it also hits things like mana rocks. While it won’t keep them from casting spells inherently, she can be good for stopping token swarms from popping off, and slowing down an opponent or two is always good.
Protection from red is also rather neat; while it’s not the most impactful ability, it does give her some added utility in being able to randomly block red creatures and dodge mass burn. There will be some decks she totally shuts off, which is nice!
She’s not going to ever make much of a splash outside of more casual formats, except as maybe a one-of tech in some control shells…and, even there, you might have better options than Lavinia. But she’s great with multiple people, and Commander is a solid home for her.
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