After writing about the impact of Ravnica Allegiance on Standard and Legacy, I felt like it was only right to write about the best card in this set for Vintage.
Lavinia, Azorius Renegade has two lines of text, and both of them are particularly relevant in Vintage, a format where the land count is very limited due to the presence of Moxes.
On top of that, there are a large number of spells that are played without spending mana in Vintage: For starters, Moxes and Mana Crypt, followed by Force of Will, and Mental Misstep and Gitaxian Probe, branching to Dredge with their flashback spells like Cabal Therapy and Dread Return, as well as Hollow One and Basking Rootwalla from Survival and Dredge.
This card looks to be bad only versus Ravager Shops, a deck that plays a large number of creatures, so it doesn’t get too affected by the first ability. It also only plays seven 0-mana artifacts, but if you manage to resolve it on turn 1 on the play it will still be a good piece of disruption.
The other strength Lavinia has is that she only applies to your opponent, meaning you can play this Human Soldier in any deck, not just Hatebears. You could even play it in Paradoxical Outcome!
Paradoxical Outcome is in fact my pet deck—a deck that I’ve played twice in the last two Vintage Challenges with good results (6th and 18th). Here’s my updated list with Lavinia, Azorius Renegade.
Since my last Vintage Challenge, I decided to trim one Night’s Whisper for one Lavinia main deck. In a deck with a lot of Moxes, where you can maximize the possibilities of having a turn-1 Lavinia, the card will be a good addition no matter where you put her. Keep in mind that she’s a legendary creature, which means you’ll see more Karakas than before, which also makes that a great addition to your sideboard too for when you face Lavinia on the other side of the table.
I don’t think I need to have proper answers in the main deck. The two Repeal serve as catch-all answers for Stony Silence, Shops, annoying artifacts, and now Lavinia, Azorius Renegade.
As I mentioned, the other deck that could make use of Lavinia, Azorius Renegade is some sort of Hatebear deck, and the best one out there right now is Eldrazi & Taxes. It’s currently mono-white, but you can revisit the mana base and make some room for her.
W/U Eldrazi & Taxes
In order to find room for blue sources I had to cut Karakas from the main deck, which isn’t pretty, since it works so well with so many of my creatures. But it was a necessary to find 12 blue sources.
Cavern of Souls still counts since Lavinia is a Human, so it stays on theme. I decided to cut the Eldrazi Displacer + Containment Priest package since I just don’t have enough sources to be able to reliably cast them (it’s hard to count Cavern of Souls for both). Lavinia on turn 1 will be as good as Thalia turn 1 in this format, and the cost to play her here is low.
In the past, when Vintage was bigger, there were tournaments with prizes for Unspoilered decks (without Power 9, Mishra’s Workshop, and Bazaar of Baghdad) and Hatebears was usually a good fit for that award.
This card will power up that archetype a lot, but the problem is that nowadays Vintage is mainly played online (with a great turnout) and whenever it’s played in real life (Eternal Weekend) those prizes don’t appear anymore, so it’s a little bit pointless to create a good Unspoilered deck list.
I’m going to leave you here with a picture of my wonderful Vintage deck. I get to play monthly in the local Vintage league in our area. We usually have between 15 to 20 people, but it’s still a blessing to be able to play with such pretty and wonderful cards!