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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

Image from Wizards.com

Aven Riftwatcher
Planar Chaos

Reviewed March 15, 2007

Constructed: 2.00
Casual: 2.18
Limited: 3.36

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 


* Game Store Owner

Aven Riftwatcher- Thursday

I hate reviewing cards like this because my opinions are simple. In constructed I hate the card. There are stronger, cheaper, and/or more powerful options. In limited, it's not bad. You do get the life gain, practically guaranteed. Unfortunately, it's a very short-lived flier.

Constructed: 1.5
Casual: 2.5
Limited: 3


Aven Riftwatcher

This reminds me of Venerable Monk.  Except this guy has +1 toughness and flies, and can gain you more life, and has vanishing for the same price.  Granted, vanishing is a downfall, but how long did Venerable Monk ever stay on the board?  Also, this is a Rebel, meaning you can search it out at a moment's notice.  Attacking with a 2/2 into an untapped Armor Scout used to be a reasonable move, since the most threatening thing they could search out to block with was Knight of the Holy Nimbus.  Now, even if that 2/2 has flying, they might be able to pull out a creature that can block and kill it without dying itself, and gain a few life points for doing so.  And then there are Momentary Blink tricks.  I'd say this thing is just potent enough to be a real contender.

Constructed- 3.5
Casual- 3
Limited- 4

Jordan Kronick

Aven Riftwatcher - While I concede the effectiveness of this card, I must say that it's proving to be the most annoying creature to play against in Planar Chaos. The fact that it's a rebel - and therefore searchable in multiples - only adds to the frustration. Using removal on it feels like a waste, but it's capable of generating a hefty life swing before it fades away. And when combined with white's new gating creatures, it's truly heartbreaking. A definite inclusion to just about every white limited deck that has one to play.

Constructed Rating - 1.9
Casual Rating - 2.1
Limited Rating - 2.7

KC MetroGnome

3/15 - Aven Riftwatcher

Of all the cards we've looked at this week, Aven Riftwatcher is the one that I can really see getting play. Unfortunately, it gets play in a deck that is notoriously sub-par: White Weenie (sorry white weenie players, but someone had to tell you eventually). It's got good power, a sizeable butt, and evasion. Not to mention a little life gain. In older formats, I could see this fitting into Astral Slide (note that it doesn't have to hit the graveyard to gain you that second 2 life) for life gain and replacing those vanishing counters. But they've already got Loxodon Heirarch for that. Something to think about, anyway. In limited, I would never be sad to play this.

Constructed - 2 (4 in White Weenie, which earns a 2 as a deck)
Casual - 3+
Limited - 4


Thursday - Aven Riftwatcher

Creatures with Vanishing/Fading need to be really good in order to be worth it, like Blastoderm (well, when you had Fires of Yavimaya anyway). I don't consider this to be worth it, as I'd rather have a 2/3 or even a 2/2 for the 3 mana that sticks around rather than lose it in a few turns in exchange for 4 life. Maybe if you have a way to repeatedly bounce this thing, but I don't see why this would get played in constructed, as there are far better cards.

In casual, nah.

In limited, the one thing going for this guy is he is a rebel. Therefore, he is worth considering, but make sure you wait until you have a creature advantage before playing him, because he'll get in for a few points and then you'll be down a creature. I would only pick him if I had a couple Amrou Scouts already.

Constructed - 2
Casual - 2
Limited - 2.5

-David N

Aven Riftwatcher

Venerable Monk with vanishing and twice the fun along with flying. 3 for a 2/3 flier is ok. Vanishing 3 is about right for what this guy is probably going to be used for. Dropping him in for quick life boost and using him a chump blocker and gaining life again are the probably uses for him. If you're lucky you might get 1 swing with the invasion.

Constructed: 1
Casual: 1
Limited: 2
David Fanany Aven Riftwatcher

Remember when you were learning to play, and one of the first things you learned is that lifegain is bad? Wizards of the Coast has apparently been going out of its way to rectify that with cards like Faith's Fetters and Loxodon Hierarch, and now Aven Riftwatcher. Unlike the first two, though, Aven Riftwatcher isn't a very good fit anywhere in constructed play. It's a little high on the mana curve for a white weenie-style deck, and the fact that it doesn't stay in play for ever of its own accord is also a disadvantage. Similarly, it's a little small for a control deck. I could imagine it in a mid-range skies-type deck or as a sideboard card to give you a buffer against burn, but even then you probably have better options. In casual play, the Riftwatcher can be a force. It's a Rebel and a Soldier, combining excellently with Amrou Scout, Blightspeaker, Lin Sivvi, and Field Marshal. You can even Momentary Blink or Astral Slide him when he's about to Vanish and get even more life and attacks out of him. Similarly, Aven Riftwatcher can have a decent impact in limited play. Evasion is always good, even on a creature that only gets to attack twice, and the extra life messes with your opponent's clock. And you should be picking Rebels like Amrou Scout and Amrou Seekers high already.

Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
LennonMarx Constructed
In constructed, life gain tends to be bad unless it happens to win you the game in the process, like Exalted Angel. This doesn't really do that. You get a 2/3 for a few turns, and a couple of life, and that just doesn't cut it.

This might have a place somewhere in a casual rebel deck to gain some life at instant speed and recur it with Lin Sivi. Beyond that, white has alot better flyers, and ones that don't dissapear on you.

In limited, I like this guy. If you have a rebel searcher, you can grab a 3 toughness guy to to block and opposing attacker, and gain a few life. Hardcast, he will likely gum up the board a bit in the early turns, and the life isn't a horrible thing to have added on. Not a high pick, but I wouldn't be ashamed to play it.
PsychoAnime 3 mana for a 6 life difference (gain 4 + your opponent loses 2) is quite decent,
even if your opponent has the chance to block it, but a 2/3 flying swinging on
the 4th turn has a high chance of taking a blocker down with it. It probably
won't get the chance to swing a second time though but can serve as a blocker
until it dies.

Of course, it has a nice interaction with Momentary Blink so it has Constructed
potential and use. It's also a Rebel meaning it functions nicely with the
other Rebels in the block and being a Soldier means is a nice bonus in Casual.

Disadvatanges is obviously the Vanishing, but it's really powerful without it
so it does make it more balance.

Construced: 3.5/5, Momentary Blink and the new white "rescue" cards makes this

Casual: It's not nig, but it's a Bird, Rebel and a Soldier so it goes into
those fancy tribal decks. Fun!

Limited: 4/5, It could last a few turns if you get the "rescue" cards in the
draft or as part of your sealed pool. Even without those though, it's a flier
that can swing for 4 damage and gain 4 life. Awesome!
Arcane Aven Riftwatcher

Constructed: A 2/3 flyer with an effect for 3 mana isn’t that bad, but you want your creatures to stick around and not up and leave on you in a few turns unless it has an amazing ability, 2 more life is not that worth to lose your creature. Lifegain cards in recent constructed decks have been re-evaluated as being better than once thought, but they still need to come attached to above average cards already like Loxodon Hierarch or Faith’s Fetters.

Casual/Multi: Lifegain is a bit better at this level as casual multiplayer games as you have more opponents to take on, and cards like this tend to breed a bit more creativity in deck construction. I’ve already seen a few decks utilizing this card, Whitemane Lions, Stormfront Riders, etc to gain life and tokens at impressive values. Add to the fact that it’s a rebel that can be tutored out at instant speed and it will probably find a way into tribal builds for kitchen table games. Not great as casual games have fatties and other such creatures running around, so a 2/3 that gains a bit of life isn’t going to impress all that much but may keep you alive to see the late game.

Limited: Evasion creatures hold more value in a limited environment, and at 3 mana you get a 3 toughness which should let it swing with impunity into other fliers at the same cost. The life gain is a small bonus here, life doesn’t win games but can buy you a few more swings from your opponent which can help you be a bit more aggressive. My only other problem with this is that since Limited decks are so small I want the most value out of my cards, best case scenario this card deals 4 damage to my opponent before it dies and gains me 4 life, but if my opponent wasn’t able to block it I’m going to be really sad to see this thing go, wishing it was something that might have stayed to keep hitting them. As I said before it is a rebel, so it lets it find a nice place in mono W (hard to do) or w/b rebel decks with Amarou Seekers, Kithkin Scout, Rathi Trappers, etc.

Constructed: 1.5
Casual: 2.5
Limited: 3.5
The Missing Linc Aven Riftwatcher

Constructed: To fill the three mana slot in a white contructed deck you would really need this thing to fly. But it does not. Thus it won't see constructed play unless some sort of blink deck with lots of come into play effects are a factor.

Casual: This is a fun casual card but nothing real exceptional.

Limited: If you end up drafting a couple momentary blink's and go blue/white this is a card for draft. Even if not, this is a card you can splash and will net you 4 life and a couple rounds of attacks. A solid pick for #3 card and on in a draft.

Constructed: 1
Casual: 2
Limited: 4
Aven Riftwatcher:

Constructed: There's too many good white drops, so I can't really see this being a big deal. Not that it's a bad creature, just that there's quite a bit available to white right now.

Casual: Casual players, and especially at a multiplayer table, don't really like Fading (well, revamped fading as Vanishing), as far as I've seen.

Limited: This is where the card shines. It is a flyer, rebel and does some decent damage before it dies, giving you 4 life in the process.

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