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December 7, 2016

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Daily Dose of Aether Revolt – The Return of the Big Cat

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Aether Revolt, where today we are excited to talk about the return of a Planeswalker we haven’t seen since the Magic 2015 set. Aether Revolt brings us the return of Ajani! Before I bring out the preview card for the new Ajani, let’s have a look back at the different forms that Ajani Goldmane has taken over the years.

Here is the top 5 rankings of Ajani Planeswalkers that we’ve seen so far.

5)

This first edition of Ajani has a strong ability to give all your creatures +1/+1 counters, but its gain 2 life ability just lacks the power that the other Ajani planeswalkers have. I will admit though that creating a large Avatar creature is very satisfying.

4)

Ajani Steadfast gets the slight edge at number 4 as its first ability not only gain you life, but allows you to get in extra damage while also leaving yourself a blocker to defend yourself. This repeated +1 ability is just much better than gaining 2 life a turn.

3)

At just three mana, this Planeswalker hits the mark. There were many games in which I could play Ajani, Caller of the Pride, add a +1/+1 counter and than the following turn give it flying and double strike to deal some major damage. Even just playing this to provide a surprise finishing flying and double strike attack often would give you the win.

2)

Having two plus abilities is something we don’t see very often on Planeswalkers and when we do they are usually very strong. Ajani, Mentor of Heroes is no different. Ajani, Mentor of Heroes allows you to pump up your creatures if you have a strong board position or allows you to draw into something that will help you. Don’t even get me started on gaining 100 life, that’s just crazy.

1)

Ajani Vengeant provided what few Planeswalkers do, allowing it to protect itself in two different ways. Being able to lock down an opposing creature or land of your opponent to prevent them from killing Ajani Vengeant is hard to come back from. If that doesn’t work, then you just kill their threat and gain some life along the way. If you able to lock them down long enough to get to the ultimate ability, you can destroy all their lands and most often win the game on the spot.

Now that we’ve seen the Ajani Planeswalkers of the past, let’s look forward to what is to come in Aether Revolt. Welcome to the cat team, Ajani, Unyielding!

AjaniUnyielding

“[+2] Reveal the top 3 cards from your library, put all nonland permanents in your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.”

This is an amazing ability that will be able to gain you some major card advantage. Since you are only able to draw the nonland permanents from this ability, you should build your deck around having permanents that can act as removal. This could include other planeswalkers such as Nahiri, the Harbinger or enchantments like Stasis Snare. A current deck that uses a lot of permanents is the Blue/White Flash deck. This could perhaps morph into a Bant deck that could see the return of Tamiyo, Field Researcher among other cards. Being able to cycle away lands in the late game when you just want to be drawing permanents to put onto the battlefield is very strong.

“[-2] Exile target creature, its controller gains life equal its power.”

I never thought we would be seeing Swords to Plowshares again even though it is in the form of a Planeswalker ability. Being able to protect yourself as a Planeswalker is very important and this ability is a second way to do that. The first ability brings it to six loyalty which makes it hard to kill and this will clear the battlefield of any threat you want. If you have creatures to protect it on board you can use this ability twice in a row.

“[-9] Put five +1+1 counters on each creature you control and five loyalty counters on each other planeswalker you control.”

Like most ultimate abilities, this is a game winning ability. This new final ability will add not one +1/+1 counter to all your creatures, but five +1/+1 counters. If you are also playing a Super-friends deck, all your other amazing Planeswalkers can go straight to their ultimate abilities thanks to Ajani, Unyielding.

Ideally when playing Ajani, Unyielding you would like to bring it up to six loyalty counters while getting card advantage from it, but there will be times when you will need to use it as a removal source, which will leave it at a vulnerable two loyalty counters. There are already plenty of good permanents in Green and White right now, which could lead to Ajani, Unyielding seeing some play in Standard depending on how aggressive the format is.

Thanks again for reading an early preview edition of the Daily Dose of Aether Revolt. I’m looking forward to seeing if we get some more December gems for us to talk about as Aether Revolt will be coming in fast and hard once the calendar hits 2017. I will see you next time on the Daily Dose and let me know your opinions on how you think Ajani, Unyielding will impact Magic in the months to come.