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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Commander Review: Avacyn Restored

May 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Review


Avacyn Restored : The True Divine vs Demonic

Avacyn Restored, the final expansion of the Innistrad block, is a set with an Angel theme. Here the people of Innistrad finally got their savior back, though at the cost of having their worst nightmare back. So as the name of the set implies, Avacyn is back, along with her nemesis, Griselbrand. As with the previous sets, we shall run you through the values of the potential Commanders in this set.


New Commanders:

There are 5 new Legends for this set. They are as follows.



Avacyn, Angel of Hope – W

Bruna, Light of Alabaster – WU

Griselbrand – B

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight – RW

Sigarda, Host of Herons – GW


Simple introduction done, let’s take a look at each of their value as a General.


Avacyn, Angel of Hope

Avacyn, Angel of Hope was the protector of Innistrad before its disappearance. That said it does not fail to live up to that title as a card. Being the leader of the Angels, it has a nifty 8/8 body, and as an Angel, it also flies and has Vigilance. The real deal of its ability is that it makes all your permanents Indestructible!!!… Targeted removal is uncommon, though not rare, in EDH. Due to the fact players have to deal with multiple opponents all at the same time, many players usually include in board sweep to deal with Creatures. Therefore as a Creature, Avacyn is pretty much protected from that since it is Indestructible. Add onto that, it also grant all your permanents the same indestructibility. Now dealing with your stuff is going to be even harder than before. All that said, Avacyn is not without its weakness. If it cannot be destroyed, then just bring it to your side. Sneaky opponents might just steal it over to their sides and suddenly you are facing your own Commander. So to protect yourself from that fate, the common equipments like Lightning Greaves & Swiftfoot Boots will be very useful here. Quite a standard beatdown Commander as compared with the others for this set, so there isn’t much strategies involve here when building an Avacyn, Angel of Hope EDH deck.


Bruna, Light of Alabaster

If you like Voltron theme, this is the General for you. Bruna gets enhancements the moment it goes into combat. For this unique ability, you could just throw in Auras and when the time is right, go in for the kill. The most wonderful part of the ability is not the fact that you could move Auras on the battlefield onto it when it attacks or blocks, but the fact that you could also attached Auras onto it from your graveyard and hand as well. The problem which we all faced when playing with Auras is that you lose card advantage when you play with them. Once the Creature the Auras are attached to dies, you lose 2 cards straightaway. This is even more so for a Voltron theme as the theme itself focus on building up the General. But Bruna negates that disadvantage totally by allowing you to attach Auras onto it from the graveyard. You could just use your Auras freely on any Creatures you have, no sweat even if they die. Then when you are ready, sends Bruna in for the kill, reanimating all those lost Auras at the same time. Not to mentioned that you could also attach those in your hand onto Bruna as well, totally ignoring the hefty casting costs on some Auras. Bruna is also not a small force to begin with (Flying, Vigilance, 5/5) therefore anymore added power could easily make it able to kill an opponent with Commander damage within 1 or 2 attacks.

  • Some neat Auras you might consider:-
Armored Ascension Adding power to Bruna is always good. Heavy White though…
Auramancer’s Guise Since you are going to pile Auras onto Bruna, you might as well top it off with this one. With this on, 21 General Damage is not a big issue.
Daybreak Coronet A win more situation. Furthermore since the Aura can only be attached to a Creature which already has an Aura attached to it, Bruna’s ability just works fine here.
Eldrazi Conscription +10/+10, Trample and Annihilator 2…. and you don’t even have to cast it…..
Infiltrator’s Magemark An unblockable Bruna is deadly…. and not a lot of people play with Creatures with defender…..
Steel of the Godhead This Aura from the Avatar Aura series of Shadowmoor grants more bonus to the Creature of the same colors. For Bruna’s color, the Steel of the Godhead is the bomb, effectively making one attack enough to kill an opponent, since it can’t be blocked now….
Totem Armor Auras(Eland Umbra; Hyena Umbra; Mammoth Umbra; Crab Umbra; Drake Umbra; Eel Umbra) This set of Auras are good not for the enhancement they give, but for the Totem Armor ability they have. As mentioned before, once the Creature is gone so are the Auras. Totem Armor in this case will prevent Bruna from dying from even Wrath of God.


Gisela, Blade of Goldnight

This as what Manferd puts it, the Double Double Strike, because all sources of damage is double in the end. For example, if you had attacked with a 5/5 creature with Trample and your opponent blocks with a 2/2, you can assign 2 damage to the blocker and 3 damage to trample over. These amounts are doubled to 4 and 6 respectively. Though do take note that you can’t double the damage to 10 first and then assign 2 to blocker and 8 trample over. Basic ruling asides, Gisela is a General that really speeds up the game by doubling all those damage. Like an opposite to this doubling ability, Gisela also have the ability to prevent half the damage, rounded up, to you and your permanents. Combining that with more damage preventing stuff, you could easily negate all damage dealt you and your permanents. All in all, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is both offense and defense roll in one.

  • Combo: Gisela, Blade of Goldnight + Avatar of Slaughter – Any Creatures with Double Strike work well with Gisela, and the color identity is not short of this ability. Now with this combo, every Creature on your side will hit double Double HARD (all damage sources to opponents are doubled), while all your opponents’ Creatures still hit the same or maybe even lesser (half of all damage sources to you are prevented, ROUNDED UP).


Sigarda, Host of Herons

A Commander which protects itself, something which everyone welcomes for their Commanders. Having Hexproof means that you could stack all sorts of enhancement on it and not worried about it getting killed, but the true deal comes from the ability which prevents you from sacrificing your permanents due to your opponents. Having Hexproof only prevents targeted removal, but this could be avoided by using cards like Diabolic Edict or Chainer’s Edict, which causes targets the players and not the Creatures, to sacrifice the Creatures. On top of those, there are also other spells like Barter in Blood and the Eldrazi (which forces sacrifice with Annihilator). Sigarda prevents all that and has Hexproof to further protects itself. As a Commander, I would say it is very durable by itself.



The badass of Innistrad, one of the four Liliania was contracted to, this is the demon with the real deal. Although the casting cost is not low by any means but Black has many big mana cards like Cabal Coffers and Crypt of Agadeem to help with that. Its powers are insane too. A 7/7 Flying and with Lifelink may not seems like much of a great deal to you as a General, compare to the rest here in this article, but Griselbrand real power comes from its hand refilling ability, Pay 7 life: DRAW SEVEN CARDS. In EDH, we all starts with 40 life. Using Griselbrand ability once or twice is not going to immediately kills you. In fact, you could just cast it, and use that ability for three or four times, maybe even FIVE if you are crazy enough. But crazy thinking asides, Griselbrand combination of abilities really combines well. Say you only decided to use the draw 7 cards ability only once, you could just attack with it and get back that 7 life you just paid and be able to draw again with the ability.

  • Griselbrand + Graveyard theme – You could just draw as much as you want, and discard all those cards to your graveyard for reanimating purposes, Flashback and stuff. If you are prepare to use your graveyard as a resource, then filling it up is easy with the huge amount of cards you would draw, which will always be over your hand size, with Griselbrand each time.

  • Combo: Griselbrand + Reliquary Tower – If you do not intend to discard those cards, then the tower will help to keep those cards you just drew for later use if you could not cast them all out to maintain your maximum hand size.

  • ComboGriselbrand + Empyrial Plate – A one hit kill combo when you connect the opponent witth it.


Rank Them Up

As a closure for the article, let’s rate the Commanders among this group. Bruna, Light of Alabaster is the strongest EDH Commander among all here in this group. It comes packed with an in build ability to boost itself every time it attacks or blocks, grabbing the Auras from almost everywhere (on the battlefield, in the graveyard and hand). One hit kill is not impossible with it. Griselbrand comes in close at second, though having a hefty casting cost, for the card advantage it could provides you with, not to mention that it also has a one hit kill combo which you could use while playing it. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is third for its ability damage alternating ability which works offensively and defensively. Avacyn, Angel of Hope is fourth for its ability to protects all your permanents. And finally Sigarda, Host of Herons for her Hexproof and sacrifice-preventing ability. Though ranked this way, all these Creature are by no means weak as a General. I personally feels that all of them are pretty strong EDH Commanders, all worthy of having an EDH deck build around it. So with that, we come to a close for this review. We hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I had enjoyed writing it.


This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.



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  1. […] Edward suggested in his review. Another suggestion I believe is extremely good is using Empyrial Plate. Hitting a player with a […]

  2. […] Edward suggested in his review. Another suggestion I believe is extremely good is using Empyrial Plate. Hitting a player with a […]