Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Anti-Tutor

Back when Shards of Alara came out, I was really excited about Mindlock Orb. Here was some secret tech!

But there are certainly some problems with the card, which come to light the more you think about it. On its own, Mindlock Orb doesn't really do anything. And it costs 4 to get out!

Much later, I would find out the card I was hoping for was actually printed in an EARLIER set, right under my nose.

The card? Aven Mindcensor.

Aven Mindcensor gives your opponent a small chance (4 cards) of finding what they are looking for. In exchange, you get a slew of upgrades:

1) It costs 3 mana instead of 4.
2) It only stops your opponents from searching, you can still tutor all you want
3) It's a creature you can use for all of the normal creaturely things when you aren't hating people's tutors
4) One of those creaturely things is attacking, and Aven Mindcensor happens to be a 2/1 flyer
5) While the Censor is a creature, it also has FLASH. This means you can cast him in response to someone's Demonic Tutor or Fetchland and hose them right off the bat.

How much tutoring goes on in your typical game of magic? To be honest, not a huge amount in the games I've been playing. You'll have to look at your own metagame and count the Misty Rainforests.

I was reminded of the Mindcensor again after watching the GGS Live coverage of last year's World Vintage Championships. Round 4 Conley Woods casts Aven Mindcensor in response to Stanley Chen's Merchant Scroll. Then later in the game casts another Aven Mindcensor in response to Demonic Tutor.

This year, the annual Gen-Con Vintage Event is taking place at the exact same time as the U.S. Magic Nationals (also at Gen-Con), but hopefully someone covers this because each match is always highly entertaining.

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