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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Ajani Vengeant
Image from Wizards.com

 Ajani Vengeant
- Shards of Alara

Reviewed Nov. 4, 2016

Constructed: 3.88
Casual: 4.00
Limited: 5.00
Multiplayer: 3.67
Commander [EDH]: 3.75

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

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Card of the Day Reviews 

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Ajani Vengeant
In some of the recent sets, Ajani's planeswalker cards were not rated as highly on some people's ranking systems. In hindsight, I can't help but wonder if they toned him down as a reaction to his first year in Standard. Lorwyn's Goldmane provided an insane boost to any of the block's various tribes that could cast him, and this version, from Alara, was and remains a weapon of mass destruction. He's equally at home in aggressive and controlling decks, being able to deal with creatures on both an offensive and defensive basis, plus anything else that depends on tapping, and his ultimate may be the absolute hardest for an opponent to recover from. Even Nicol Bolas might have to set his off against an opponent with a lot of tokens, or some on-table way to try and draw cards. Neither of those help so much when you have no lands. Ajani Vengeant has been a pillar of Magic decks since his first day, and will be for years to come.
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 5/5
Multiplayer: 4/5
EDH/Commander: 4/5
James H. Ajani's angriest iteration has always been one of the more popular planeswalkers, and it's not hard to see why. In the worst-case scenario, he's a sorcery-speed Lightning Helix that threatens to Helix them a couple more times. That's not to dismiss its +1, though; Ajani's ability to keep tapped permanents tapped can keep your opponent off a color of mana or leave their biggest attacker unable to keep smashing face or block. In a close situation, sometimes you just need a turn of that permanent locked down, and Ajani offers it to you.
Ajani's value is that, to a point, he's not hugely threatening. He is a card advantage engine, but he's not as in-your-face as Liliana of the Veil or Jace, the Mind Sculptor, which gives the kitty cat a chance to hang around and create chaos. In Naya or R/W decks in general, he's worth consideration for all the little things he does well.
His ultimate is pie-in-the-sky, but if you can resolve it, you've already won.
Constructed: 3.75
Casual: 4
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 3.25
Commander: 3.5

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