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April 14, 2016

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Cards I Don’t Hate: Lambholt Pacifist

I had been thinking of an idea for an article series for a while, but was struggling to come up with one that would be consistent and rewarding to write. For many players, spoiler season can feel like an inspirational time. And for me this recent spoiler season was no exception. Every new card spoiled was coupled with excitement from players about how powerful it was, true or not, and it annoyed me to no end. During spoiler season, every single card is the greatest thing that has ever happened. My article series, in many ways, is inspired by the overblown reactions from players during spoiler season. Obviously, due to the design of Limited formats, sets often contain many cards that are awful for Standard. Limited is great, and Limited cards have their place, but people wasting time testing Sin Prodder was too depressing to handle, and a large inspiration for this series.

As far as constructed, I’m grumpy about having to play anything that isn’t a busted bomb or mythic in my deck. Yet, I figured I spill enough ink complaining about things and explaining why I think this or that card sucks so I may as well try something new.

In this series, I will talk about a wide variety of cards that I find interesting, or are generally underrated and underplayed. The only requirement, really, is that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to play the card in my Standard deck. I mean, I’m going to play Evolving Wilds in my Standard deck this season, but that doesn’t mean I’m not embarrassed about it. Having said that, I’m not going to waste your time explaining why Archangel Avacyn is a playable Standard card. The cards I talk about in this article series will be ones I wouldn’t be embarrassed to lose to in any level of tournament play.

The first card I wanted to talk about is one that I thought might end up a role player when I first saw it during spoiler season: Lambholt Pacifist.

I still think this card is solid, actually. I wouldn’t be surprised to have a future opponent kick my teeth in with the curve of Pacifist into Dromoka’s Command, fighting, let’s say, my Sylvan Advocate, and putting a counter on it to enable itself to attack. Attacking for four on turn three and removing a threat is an acceptable play in my books.

I like Lambholt Pacifist because it plays well with cards already proven in constructed. Because its four-power requirement can be enabled by itself, format staples like Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, Dromoka’s Command, and Always Watching make it an efficient and reasonably consistent threat.

There are also some builds of Collected Company decks that would be happy to cast this card on three and the pass to flip it on turn four with Company up. It doesn’t take much to make this card work, and only asks you to play cards you should probably be playing already. On top of that, it’s not that embarrassing on its own, especially considering the lack of pure control decks in recent Standard. Sure, removal heavy control decks might be a bit of a problem for the card, but I think cards like Always Watching help mitigate the risk.

The card is best suited in GW decks, but there are certainly other options available. The card is a brick wall against the aggressive white human decks in the early turns, and forces midrange and control decks to play something early or face down the flipped 4/4. I think the card has a lot of potential, and I would certainly not be embarrassed to lose to it in the near future. There’s even a chance you catch me casting a few of them in the near future!