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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
Image from Wizards.com

Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
- Journey into Nyx

Reviewed May 12, 2014

Constructed: 3.75
Casual: 4.50
Limited: 4.70
Multiplayer: 4.10

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Ajani, Mentor of Heroes

It seems Ajani's uproarious red streak has mellowed into a wiser (but no less primal) green streak. Times like this I wish they still put out a novel for every expansion. Alas.

The first time I saw this card, the Ultimate ability distracted me from the fact that Ajani's first two abilities are both +1, and he therefore has nothing to spend his loyalty on except his Ultimate. Gaining 100 life does nothing to put you any closer to winning, but it puts your opponents a LOT further away. If you resolve the Ultimate, you can pretty much alpha strike every turn, confident in the fact that no, your opponent can't swing back and kill you next turn, or the turn after that, or the turn after that.

And by that point, you should have a superior board position. Ajani's two +1 abilities are both all about bolstering your team, either by finding you extra creature cards, or by pumping up your creatures. If you play this, you'll definitely also want a few Pacifism-style Auras in your deck, so Ajani has a shot at finding you removal spells when you need them too.

Constructed- 3.75
Casual- 4.25
Limited- 4.5
Multiplayer- 4

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Ajani, Mentor of Heroes

There may be more to being a hero than winning battles, but Ajani has a singular focus on various aspects of that exact concern. His first ability breaks open creature stalemates and turns regular creatures into dominating ones. His second ability drags you kicking and screaming back into a game you were out of (seriously, how many relevant cards in Theros does it fail to draw?), and then keeps you there. His third makes it literally impossible for some decks to defeat you: think of all the decks you've seen that struggle to deal 20 damage in a reasonable amount of time.

(Unhinged combo of the week: this guy plus Mycosynth Lattice plus March of the Machines plus Pygmy Giant. You're welcome.)

Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 5/5
Multiplayer; 4/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Ajani, Mentor of Heroes which is a five mana Green and White planeswalker with four loyalty. The first +1 adds three
+1/+1 counters to one, two, or three target creatures you control which
is a solid effect, particularly combined with Hexproof, Trample, or evasive effects that are each readily available in either Green and White. The second +1 is selective card advantage that can add the most useful card out of four to your hand which helps control the battlefield and maintain pressure on the opponent. The ultimate of gaining one hundred life is primarily for use alongside life gain combo decks that can win the game with massive life point totals as otherwise it is just a stall with minimal offensive advantage. The second ability can support the first by finding worthwhile targets or support the third by finding a card to complete the combo, while the first ability is for an aggressive deck with bypassing defenses as a focus. Overall the higher mana cost and passive ultimate will keep this from seeing much play competitively, but it should be a frequent sight in Casual, Commander, and Multiplayer.

In Limited the life gain ultimate can make losing from loss of life very difficult, but the second effect can make running you out of cards a viable alternative for an opponent with little draw power. The first and second effects can and will dominant a game and as they both increase loyalty it should be very difficult for an opponent to destroy Ajani.
An easy first pick in Booster as either Green or White should offer decent draft picks and the other color can be splashed. For Sealed it may be a little more difficult to have both Green and White as strong colors, but splashing one or both and using any available color fixing can be worthwhile just to include this.

Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.5


Deck Garage

Ajani, Mentor of Heros

Planeswalkers are always a big deal, but how does this new Ajani stack up?

First off, he costs 5 to play. Most of the time green/white decks want to be aggressive, so it's not the biggest hit there. But, if your deck can get him out quickly, his abilities are pretty powerful. His four loyalty is pretty good, making him harder to kill quickly with damage.

His first ability can help you bump up your creatures in a hurry, and reminds us of previous Ajanis. Your token army gets more and more powerful each turn. Seems pretty good.

His second ability lets you look through the top 4 cards of your deck and select an Aura, creature, or Planeswalker. If you built your deck right, you should be getting something pretty good each turn. It's unlikely you'll hit 4 lands, and you probably shouldn't have too many non-creature, non-enchantment artifacts in your deck if you're playing this Ajani. I expect this will be the most popular ability.

And of course, the ridiculous ultimate ability. Most of the time, you're not going to get to use his ultimate. Most of the time, if you have built him up enough to use it, you're pretty much in control of the game. Gaining 100 life is cute, but unless you're running a crazy combo deck, it doesn't really help you win.

Constructed: 4
Casual: 5
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 4

Michael Sokolowski

I am so incredibly thrilled that green & white finally got a planeswalker. It feels like we've been waiting a while.

Ajani, Mentor of Heroes is a great card, especially for casual and limited players. His abilities make him more suited for a slightly slower more control-oriented style of play, which is fine because that's what green-white is good at anyway. Despite the big, impressive number on his ultimate ability, you're really only playing him for the first two.

What Ajani excels at is keeping your momentum going. Every turn he's helping you improve your board presence in some way. Either he's helping you dig through your deck to find more creatures to play, or he's improving the creatures you already have, turning a single 1/1 into a 4/4, or a group of 2/2's into 3/3's, or however you personally want to distribute three +1/+1 counters that you can put on anyone in any combination.

It's no coincidence that Ajani's abilities are perfectly suited for Theros mechanics. This is literally begging to go into a heroic deck. Imagine getting heroic triggers from 3 different creatures in one turn, and doing so is Ajani's +1! Heck, the fact that both of her abilities are +1's is fantastic! Again, it helps with the theme of never running out of gas, getting stronger every turn. Ajani's all about helping you get stronger.

Gaining 100 life seems like it'd be awesome, but honestly even when you get to 8 or 9 loyalty, I'd probably rather play one of the other abilities before that. Unless you're at like 1 life and a light sneeze might kill you, you want to play an ability that will help win you the game, not an ability that will slow down your opponent's ability to win the game. Not that it isn't fun in casual games, though! I've always wanted to find a good way to use Felidar Sovereign.

Overall Ajani, Mentor of Heroes is an extremely solid card. Useful without being game breaking, and I love that green-white finally gets some planeswalker love. Play this in the right control deck, and watch as you and Ajani slowly but surely overwhelm your opponent with creatures that keep on growing in both strength and number.

Constructed: 3.75
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4

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