Wakening Sun’s Avatar
November 20, 2017
Commander [EDH]: 3.92
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We usually think of carnosaurs – the large, two-legged meat-eating dinosaurs like allosaurs and tyrannosaurs – as being the destructive type of dinosaur. I’m not sure there’s any reason that has to be exclusive to them. After all, creatures like the triceratops have certain physical similarities to modern-day animals like rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses, and if their habits were even vaguely similar, ceratopsians might well have been the most dangerous animals of their day.
In the context of Ixalan, Wakening Sun’s Avatar is certainly one of the most dangerous of its peers. While the requirement to actually cast it prevents a lot of the graveyard shenanigans that its game text seems to invite, it’s still a tribe-specific Wrath of God, for a tribe that both has a lot of tribe-specific ramp spells in the same set and is partly on-color for the best ramp spells in Magic. I’m pretty sure there’s a way to make it work.
Two things that I love are Dinosaurs and “Wrath”s. When Wakening Sun’s Avatar was previewed, my jaw hit the floor. Now that the hype has cooled down, I’m less impressed by this styracosaurus. 8 mana, even if it is a game winner, is ridiculously expensive and hard to fit in decks. Red – White Dino decks run much cheaper cards and Naya dinos have access to Gishath. Speaking of which, its a bummer that Gishath doesn’t combo with Wakening Sun’s Avatar. Another issue is that Dinosaurs usually don’t have a problem with creatures but instead have issues dealing with other permanents in a thematic way. It’s up for debate but I think this card would be better if it destroyed artifacts and enchantments instead. That being said I can’t deny how awesome it was when I played this guy with a Regisaur Alpha and Goring Ceratops on the field. Cerapods are the best.
Commander (EDH): 4
At least in theory, Wakening Sun’s Avatar should be an eight-mana “I win” button. Wiping the field of all other creatures that aren’t Dinosaurs sets up for an alpha strike with the rest of your team, which is certainly a good return on investment for eight mana. Unfortunately, the big dinosaur plays a bit worse than that; he’s unable to join in on the alpha strike without aided support, he only wipes the board if you cast him from your hand (so no reanimator shenanigans), and he’s a 7/7 with no combat abilities. For eight mana, three of which is colored.
I’ll be frank: Wakening Sun’s Avatar is awesome in casual Dinosaur decks and Commander, where you can work around his weaknesses better, but he comes up waaaaay short in Standard, where you want your bombs even bombier. Gishath, Sun’s Avatar works much better for a big Dinosaur bomb, and I can’t really see a solid place for this creature outside of fun decks.
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