Avacyn Restored

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Avacyn Restored
AVR logo.jpg
 
Set symbol
{AVR_symbol}
Symbol description
Avacyn's symbol
Design team
Brian Tinsman (lead),
Mark Gottlieb,
Dave Guskin,
Kenneth Nagle,
Bill Rose,
Mark Rosewater
Development team
David Humpherys (lead),
Mark Globus,
Dave Guskin,
Erik Lauer,
Billy Moreno,
Matt Sernett
Art Director
Jeremy Jarvis
Release date
May 4, 2012
Themes and mechanics
Angels vs. demons,
Loners”,
Flickering
Keywords and/or ability words
Miracle,
Soulbond,
Undying
Set size
244
(15 basic lands,101 commons, 60 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares)
Expansion code
AVR[1]
Development codename
Roll
Innistrad block sets
Innistrad Dark Ascension Avacyn Restored
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Duel Decks: Venser vs. Koth Avacyn Restored Planechase 2012

Avacyn Restored is the third set in the Innistrad block. It is the 58th Magic expansion and was released on May 4, 2012.

Set details[edit | edit source]

Unusual for the third set in a block, Avacyn Restored contains 244 cards (101 Common, 60 Uncommon, 53 Rare, 15 Mythic, 15 Basic Lands), and is therefore a large expansion.[2] As usual, the set includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set.[1] [3]. Set in Innistrad, Avacyn Restored continues the storyline arc of the Innistrad block; but, mechanically and thematically, the expansion is a "reboot" of Innistrad block. The focus is shifted away from the graveyard, and flashback or double-faced cards are notably absent. For the Limited format it was considered to be a standalone set.[4]

The 15 basic lands in the set are illustrated by the same artists who worked on the artworks of Innistrad's basic lands. They depict the same, or similar, landscapes but with a brighter tone, reflecting the change from a place of despair and gloom to a place of hope.[5] The expansion symbol for this set is Avacyn's symbol.[6]

Avacyn Restored cards represent the turning of the tide between the struggle of humanity and the monsters of Innistrad.[7] Whereas Dark Ascension featured a greater concentration of monsters, marked by a reduction in the number of humans, Avacyn Restored emphasizes the humans and angels as well as their mortal enemies, demons. Black is defined as the primary color of the monsters and evil; the other colors are now the human colors. White remained the the most human-dense and -centered color; but, human tribal effects and humans were made primary and secondary themes in red and blue, respectively.

Avacyn Restored introduced a novel card frame for the Miracle ability, so as to provide a visual cue to facilitate players identifying cards with Miracle more readily, so as to cast such cards in a timely manner.[8] The new card frame features outwardly radiant lines on the card frame, from around the art and name box; furthermore, the name box features an arrow-like outcropping on the top. The set also features two new planeswalkers; Tamiyo, the Moon Sage, a Moonfolk originally from Kamigawa, and Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded, a human–devil planeswalker (and the first planeswalker with a converted casting cost of 2 mana [9]).

Flavor and storyline[edit | edit source]

Ignite the Dawn

Avacyn, the angelic protector of the plane of Innistrad has been released from her prisoning, the Helvault. The demon Griselbrand, and numerous of his kind, have been released as well. Avacyn Restored plays out Avacyn's campaign to rally her troops to contain the demonic threat and, ultimately, to cleanse Innistrad of all these infernal creatures.[10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

Marketing[edit | edit source]

Avacyn Restored 6-card booster

In the prelude to Avacyn Restored, Wizards of the Coast created animated trailers in English and Japanese, and uploaded them onto YouTube.[15]

Avacyn Restored was sold in 16-card boosters, 6-card boosters, five intro packs, two event decks and a fat pack[16]. The 16-card boosters featured artwork from Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Griselbrand, Archangel, Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight.[17] The small booster featured artwork from Herald of War.

The prerelease was April 28–29, 2012 [18], the launch party on May 4–6, 2012 and the Magic Online release on May 17–20, 2012. The Game Day was held on May 25–26, 2012. The promotional card given to participants at Prerelease was Moonsilver Spear.[19] The launch promo Restoration Angel, and the Magic Game Day promotional card was a full-art Latch Seeker (top-8 participants received a full-art foil Killing Wave. The Buy-a-Box promo was Silverblade Paladin.

For the Prerelease, stores were able to register for a limited number of Helvault Prerelease Kits along with the standard kits that come with every prerelease. When players at the special Helvault Events got achievements, they could each physically break a seal on their store's own (cardboard) Helvault. Once all the seals were broken, the store would open their Helvault and all the players would share the spoils within.[20] [21] Starting with Avacyn Restored, the name of "Launch Party" was phased out.[22]

Regular boosters of Avacyn Restored come with a bonus sixteenth card that is either a "tips & tricks card" or a creature token with an advertisement on the reverse side.

"Tips & Tricks" cards[edit | edit source]

  1. Tip: Booster Draft
  2. Tip: Avacyn 1
  3. Tip: Planeswalker 1
  4. Tip: Planeswalker 2
  5. Tip: Gatherer
  6. Tip: Decks
  7. Tip: Miracle
  8. Tip: Soulbound
  9. Tip: Limited
  10. Tip: Avacyn 2
  11. Tip: Undying

Tokens and emblem[edit | edit source]

The Avacyn Restored tokens and emblem, in the order in which they are listed, are:[23]

  1. {W} 4/4 Angel with flying produced by Entreat the Angels and Moonsilver Spear
  2. {W} 1/1 Human produced by Commander's Authority and Voice of the Provinces
  3. {W} 1/1 Spirit with flying produced by Gallows at Willow Hill
  4. {U} 1/1 Spirit with flying produced by Geist Snatch
  5. {B} 5/5 Demon with flying produced by Demonic Rising
  6. {B} 2/2 Zombie produced by Maalfeld Twins
  7. {R} 1/1 Human protduced by Thatcher Revolt
  8. Tamiyo, the Moon Sage emblem with "You have no maximum hand size. Whenever a card is put into your graveyard from anywhere, you may return it to your hand"

Themes and mechanics[edit | edit source]

Avacyn Restored introduced the Miracle mechanic, a keyword ability featured on cards that, if and when drawn as the first card drawn that turn, may be cast for the reduced Miracle cost.[24] In addition to this, Soulbond was introduced.[25] [26] This ability allows a player to "pair [up]" with a creature with Soulbond with another creature, with or without Soulbond, to confer benefits to both creatures as long as they remained paired. Both Miracle and Soulbond are featured across all colors except black.

In order to compensate for the lack of new mechanics, the Undying keyword ability was carried over from the preceding expansion, Dark Ascension, and featured primarily on black cards. The set also featured "loners" (creatures or other permanents that improve if their controllers control only one creature, which represented the thematic opposite of Soulbond) and a sacrifice subtheme.[27]

Another subtheme was "flickering". "Flickering", alluding to the effect of its namesake, the Urza's Destiny card Flicker, involves temporarily exiling a creature for a duration before returning it to the battlefield. "Flickering" was noted to interact with creatures with enters-the-battlefield and/or leaves-the-battlefield abilities, including those with Soulbond.[28]

Creature types[edit | edit source]

No novel creature types were introduced in this expansion.

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Avacyn Restored features three four-card cycles, with no black card, as a reflection of the absence of white cards in the cycles of Dark Ascension.[29] It also features one vertical cycle and a part of a mega cycle.

Four-card cycles[edit | edit source]

Vertical cycle[edit | edit source]

  • Soulbond power/toughness buffers: each of these green creatures with Soulbond are initially "below curve", or have power/toughness stats below what is usually expected for their costs; but, when paired with another creature, they grant a sizable power/toughness boon to themselves and paired creatures — Trusted Forcemage, Druid's Familiar, and Wolfir Silverheart.

Mega cycle[edit | edit source]

Pairs[edit | edit source]

Avacyn Restored has four mirrored pairs.

  • Harvester of Souls (black) and Soul of the Harvest (green) are both rare creatures creating card advantage; one, when a creature dies; the other, when a creature enters the battlefield.
  • Moonlight Geist (white) and Searchlight Geist (black) are both common flying 2/1 Spirit creatures for {2}M. Both have a four-mana combat-relevant activated ability; Moonlight Geist prevents combat damage, whereas Searchlight Geist gains deathtouch.
  • Scroll of Avacyn (white-aligned) and Scroll of Griselbrand (black-aligned) are both common artifacts that may be sacrificed to cause you to draw a card (and gain life if you control an Angel) or to cause an opponent to discard a card (and lose life if you control a Demon), respectively.
  • Triumph of Cruelty (black) and Triumph of Ferocity (green) are both uncommon enchantments creating card advantage if their controller has the most-powerful creature on the battlefield. The cards are artistically linked, with both featuring Liliana Vess and Garruk Wildspeaker locked in combat. [31]

Reprinted Cards[edit | edit source]

Functional reprints[edit | edit source]

Strictly better[edit | edit source]

Strictly worse[edit | edit source]

Notable cards[edit | edit source]

  • Cavern of Souls is a new and tribal Vexing Shusher for no mana that allows beatdown decks to defeat tempo strategies.[32] [33]
  • Entreat the Angels acts as a new Decree of Justice being a strong finisher for control decks.
  • Sigarda, Host of Herons replaces the Baneslayer Angel because of being almost impossible to kill.
  • Vexing Devil allows burn decks to win even faster being a 4 damage Lava Spike or a 4/3 for 1 mana.
  • Griselbrand gained widespread notoriety for his ability to provide massive card advantage for a relatively minor cost, especially since his own lifelink ability rendered the cost moot. He was subsequently banned from EDH due to the format's larger life total, allowing players to instantly dig out combos using him in a single turn in an otherwise random format.
  • Appetite for Brains forms a matched pair with Rise of the Eldrazi's Inquisition of Kozilek. Both cards are uncommon cards that cause an opponent to discard a card; one, a card with converted mana cost 3 or less; the other, a card with converted mana cost 4 or more.
  • Craterhoof Behemoth is one of the most powerful green creature cards ever printed; it is an insta-win in many creature decks. It is used as the finisher for Elves decks in Legacy.
  • Misthollow Griffin is the first card that can be cast from the exile.

Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]

Intro packs[edit | edit source]

Avacyn Restored features five Intro packs.[34]

Intro pack name Colors included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Angelic Might W G Herald of War
Solitary Fiends U B Lone Revenant
Slaughterhouse B R Harvester of Souls
Fiery Dawn W R Zealous Conscripts
Bound by Strength U G Wolfir Silverheart

Event decks[edit | edit source]

Avacyn Restored features two Event decks.[35]

Event deck name Colors included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Death's Encroach B
Humanity's Vengeance W U

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Monty Ashley. (December 15, 2011.) “Announcing Avacyn Restored”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Zac Hill. (April 27, 2012.) “Size Matters”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (May 7, 2012.) “Avacyn-gle Ladies, Part 3”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Steve Sadin. (April 25, 2012.) “Gearing up for Avacyn Restored”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Monty Ashley. (April 23, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Basic Lands”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Monty Ashley. (September 29, 2011.) “The Symbol of Avacyn”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater. (April 30, 2012.) “Avacyn-gle Ladies, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Wizards of the Coast. (March 26, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Frequently Asked Questions”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Zac Hill. (April 13, 2012.) “Walk For Two”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Wizards of the Coast. (April, 2012.) “The World of Avacyn Restored”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. The Magic Creative Team. (April 18, 2012.) “Planeswalker's Guide to Avacyn Restored, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. The Magic Creative Team. (April 18, 2012.) “Planeswalker's Guide to Avacyn Restored, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Doug Beyer. (March 21, 2012.) “The Guardian, the Witch, and the Angel”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Doug Beyer. (April 09, 2012.) “Angel's Rise and Demon's Release”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. "Avacyn Restored Trailer" — YouTube
  16. Monty Ashley. (April 16, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Fat Pack”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Monty Ashley. (April 11, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Booster Packs”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Tim Willoughby. (April 23, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Prerelease Primer”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Monty Ashley. (April 10, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Promo Cards”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Monty Ashley. (March 21, 2012.) “Open the Helvault!”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Zac Hill. (April 06, 2012.) “Branding Play”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Helene Bergeot. (February 6, 2012.) “Changing Launch Parties For Avacyn Restored”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Monty Ashley. (April 19, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Tokens”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Mark Rosewater. (April 9, 2012.) “Avacyn City, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Dave Humpherys. (April 16, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Preview: Soulbond”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Mark Rosewater. (April 16, 2012.) “Avacyn City, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Wizards of the Coast. (April, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Mechanics”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Nate Price. (May 12, 2012.) “Feature: A Look at Flicker Effects in Avacyn Restored Limited”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  29. James Lenze II. (May 2, 2012.) "Avacyn Restored wraps up excellent block", The Rensselaer Polytechnic.
  30. Mark Rosewater. (April 23, 2012.) “Avacyn-gle Ladies, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  31. badmagicplayer. (May 3, 2012.) "Triumph of Ferocity: More than just a card?", BadMagicPlayer.com.
  32. Zac Hill. (April 20, 2012.) “Gonna Hate”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Matt Tabak. (May 25, 2012.) “Discussing Cavern of Souls”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Monty Ashley. (April 12, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Intro Packs”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Monty Ashley. (April 30, 2012.) “Avacyn Restored Event Decks”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]