Demonic Tutor

Today you will learn how to (not) land a demon.

Wow, where did this momentum come from?

Westvale Abbey / Ormendahl, Profane Prince

From (EX+): 8,88 € Price Trend: 3,80 €

If you were paying close attention at the end of the last article, you saw that there was already a very high interest in this card 36 hours ago, but by now the price has completely exploded.

Good job, if you picked up some copies early. There is no need to panic though if you missed this opportunity, as the price will come down again. In fact I would try to lock in your gains as fast as you can - once your cards actually arrive.

Why am I saying that? Isn't this colourless land going to be a 4-of in every Standard deck for the next 18 months? I don't think so...

Getting extra value out of your lands in the late game is always great. If you have run out of actual cards to play, even paying six mana and one life for a stupid 1/1 might start to look exciting. Though that is still infinitely worse than all of the creature lands, which are also Standard legal, and which can actually fix your colour issues instead of making them worse (unless you are planning to play 1-colour Eldrazi). So we aren't playing this land for the first two abilities but for the third one, trying to create a 9/7 creature with flying, lifelink, indestructible, and haste. Sacrificing five "real" creatures to get there doesn't make any sense, so we are obviously trying to produce cheap creature tokens. Secure the Wastes is the most effective way to do that with a single card, while there are lots of other cards that can provide smaller amounts of tokens, like Thopters and Eldrazi Spawn. Some of the best cards in the format like Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Nissa, Voice of Zendikar can even keep producing a free piece of demon fodder every turn, but how many colourless lands can you really afford to play in a deck that wants to curve 1GG into 2WW?

Will the Abbey see some play? Definitely, but I don't see how a six mana activated ability, that needs a great board state or another six mana instant to be good, could become format defining even in Standard.

Between Dispel countering your Secure the Wastes, To the Slaughter taking out your demon and your planeswalker, and Declaration in Stone removing your demon or all your saved up tokens before you can even get to the demon, the format seems to have lots of answers to stop this clunky combo that doesn't even win automatically. Reflector Mage and Anguished Unmaking are great outs as well, and even the new wrath Descend upon the Sinful doesn't care about being indestructible. There are also a lot of flying creatures in the format to effortlessly chump-block Ormendahl before handling him on the next turn. Even if these main deck cards were not already enough to stop the demon cult, there are multiple hate cards against tokens and small creatures available as well. There is even Crumble to Dust in the format, stopping that threat once and for all.

To summarize: In theory using a huge indestructible creature as your win condition could have been great in some Standard formats, but the specific removal cards everyone should be using in their decks in the near future will line up well against that.

Unless you have an even better idea how to safely summon Ormendahl I would stay away from “Wasteful Abbey” and/or sell your copies into the current hype as soon as you get them.

Buy Declaration in Stone and all the other white cards you like instead. White has been getting a plethora of great cards recently and will likely be part of multiple tier one Standard decks.

1 Comment

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GoldenShade(2016-04-02 09:38)

Thanks for this valuable article containing many good ideas.