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Avacyn Restored

Avacyn Restored
AVR logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Avacyn's collar, the symbol of her church
Design Brian Tinsman (lead),
Mark Gottlieb,
Dave Guskin,
Kenneth Nagle,
Bill Rose,
Mark Rosewater
Development David Humpherys (lead),
Mark Globus,
Dave Guskin,
Erik Lauer,
Billy Moreno,
Matt Sernett
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date May 4, 2012
Plane Innistrad
Themes and mechanics Angels vs. demons,
Keywords/​ability words Miracle,
Set size 244
(15 basic lands,101 commons, 60 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares)
Expansion code AVR[1]
Development codename Roll
Innistrad block
Innistrad Dark Ascension Avacyn Restored
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Duel Decks: Venser vs. Koth Avacyn Restored Planechase 2012

Avacyn Restored is the third set in the Innistrad block. It is the 58th Magic expansion and was released on May 4, 2012.

Set details[ | ]

Unusual for the third set in a block, Avacyn Restored contains 244 cards (101 Common, 60 Uncommon, 53 Rare, 15 Mythic, 15 Basic Lands), and is, therefore, a large expansion.[2] As usual, the set includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set.[1][3]

Set in Innistrad, Avacyn Restored continues the storyline arc of the Innistrad block; but, mechanically and thematically, the expansion is a "reboot" of Innistrad block. The focus is shifted away from the graveyard, and flashback or double-faced cards are notably absent. For the Limited format it was considered to be a standalone set.[4]

The 15 basic lands in the set are illustrated by the same artists who worked on the artworks of Innistrad's basic lands. They depict the same, or similar, landscapes but with a brighter tone, reflecting the change from a place of despair and gloom to a place of hope.[5] The expansion symbol for this set is Avacyn's symbol.[6]

Avacyn Restored cards represent the turning of the tide between the struggle of humanity and the monsters of Innistrad.[7] Whereas Dark Ascension featured a greater concentration of monsters, marked by a reduction in the number of humans, Avacyn Restored emphasizes the humans and angels as well as their mortal enemies, demons. Black is defined as the primary color of the monsters and evil; the other colors are now the human colors. White remained the most human-dense and -centered color; but, human tribal effects and humans were made primary and secondary themes in red and blue, respectively.

Avacyn Restored introduced a novel card frame for the Miracle ability, to provide a visual cue to facilitate players identifying cards with Miracle more readily, to cast such cards on time.[8] The new card frame features outwardly radiant lines on the card frame, from around the art and name box; furthermore, the name box features an arrow-like outcropping on the top. The set also features two new planeswalkers; Tamiyo, the Moon Sage, a Moonfolk originally from Kamigawa, and Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded, a human–devil planeswalker (and the first planeswalker with a converted casting cost of 2 mana[9]).

Flavor and storyline[ | ]

“  Ignite the Dawn  ”

Avacyn, the angelic protector of the plane of Innistrad has been released from her prisoning, the Helvault. The demon Griselbrand, and numerous of his kind, have been released as well. Avacyn Restored shows Avacyn's campaign to rally her troops to contain the demonic threat and, ultimately, to cleanse Innistrad of all these infernal creatures.[10][11][12][13][14]

Savor the Flavor[ | ]

Main article: Savor the Flavor
Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
The Guardian, the Witch, and The Angel Doug Beyer 2012-03-21 Innistrad Avacyn, Sorin, Thalia, Lothar, Mikaeus Cecani, Griselbrand, Geralf Cecani, Gisa Cecani, Liliana, Garruk
Angel's Rise and Demon's Release Doug Beyer 2012-04-09 Innistrad Avacyn, Thalia, Liliana, Griselbrand, Garruk, Volpaig, Mikaeus Cecani, Sorin

Marketing[ | ]

AVR 6 card booster

Avacyn Restored 6-card booster


Avacyn Restored edible tokens ("FM&M's )

In the intro to Avacyn Restored, Wizards of the Coast created animated trailers in English and Japanese, and uploaded them onto YouTube.[15]

Avacyn Restored was sold in 16-card boosters, 6-card boosters, five intro packs, two event decks and a fat pack.[16] The 16-card boosters featured artwork from Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Griselbrand, Archangel, Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight.[17] The small booster featured artwork from Herald of War.

The prerelease was April 28–29, 2012,[18] the launch party on May 4–6, 2012 and the Magic Online release on May 17–20, 2012. The Game Day was held on May 25–26, 2012. The promotional card given to participants at Prerelease was Moonsilver Spear.[19] The launch promo Restoration Angel, and the Magic Game Day promotional card was a full-art Latch Seeker (top-8 participants received a full-art foil Killing Wave. The Buy-a-Box promo was Silverblade Paladin.

For the Prerelease, stores could register for a limited number of Helvault Prerelease Kits along with the standard kits that come with every prerelease. When players at the special Helvault Events got achievements, they could each physically break a seal on their store's own (cardboard) Helvault. Once all the seals were broken, the store would open their Helvault and all the players would share the spoils within.[20][21] Starting with Avacyn Restored, the name of "Launch Party" was phased out.[22]

Regular boosters of Avacyn Restored come with a bonus sixteenth card that is either a "tips & tricks card" or a creature token with an advertisement on the reverse side.

"Tips & Tricks" cards[ | ]

  1. Tip: Booster Draft
  2. Tip: Avacyn 1
  3. Tip: Planeswalker 1
  4. Tip: Planeswalker 2
  5. Tip: Gatherer
  6. Tip: Decks
  7. Tip: Miracle
  8. Tip: Soulbound
  9. Tip: Limited
  10. Tip: Avacyn 2
  11. Tip: Undying

Tokens and emblem[ | ]

The Avacyn Restored tokens and emblem, in the order in which they are listed, are:[23]

  1. {W} 4/4 Angel with flying produced by Entreat the Angels and Moonsilver Spear
  2. {W} 1/1 Human produced by Commander's Authority and Voice of the Provinces
  3. {W} 1/1 Spirit with flying produced by Gallows at Willow Hill
  4. {U} 1/1 Spirit with flying produced by Geist Snatch
  5. {B} 5/5 Demon with flying produced by Demonic Rising
  6. {B} 2/2 Zombie produced by Maalfeld Twins
  7. {R} 1/1 Human produced by Thatcher Revolt
  8. Emblem for Tamiyo, the Moon Sage

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Avacyn Restored introduced the Miracle mechanic, a keyword ability featured on cards that, if and when drawn as the first card drawn that turn, may be cast for the reduced Miracle cost.[24] In addition to this, Soulbond was introduced.[25][26] This ability allows a player to "pair [up]" with a creature with Soulbond with another creature, with or without Soulbond, to confer benefits to both creatures as long as they remained paired. Both Miracle and Soulbond are featured across all colors except black.

To compensate for the lack of new mechanics, the Undying keyword ability was carried over from the preceding expansion, Dark Ascension, and featured primarily on black cards. The set also featured "loners" (creatures or other permanents that improve if their controllers control only one creature, which represented the thematic opposite of Soulbond) and a sacrifice subtheme.[27]

Another subtheme was "flickering". "Flickering", alluding to the effect of its namesake, the Urza's Destiny card Flicker, involves temporarily exiling a creature for a duration before returning it to the battlefield. "Flickering" was noted to interact with creatures with enters-the-battlefield and/or leaves-the-battlefield abilities, including those with Soulbond.[28]

Creature types[ | ]

No novel creature types were introduced in this expansion.

Cycles[ | ]

Avacyn Restored features three four-card cycles, with no black card, as a reflection of the absence of white cards in the cycles of Dark Ascension.[29] It also features one vertical cycle and a part of a mega cycle.

Four-card cycles[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {R} {G}
Legendary Angels Avacyn, Angel of Hope Bruna, Light of Alabaster Gisela, Blade of Goldnight Sigarda, Host of Herons
Three mythic rare legendary Angel creatures, whose mana cost includes WWM. They are sometimes jokingly referred to as "the Powerpuff Girls". The Angels are of increasing mana costs, with Avacyn being the most expensive and Sigarda being the least expensive.[30]
Uncommon Miracles Banishing Stroke Vanishment Thunderous Wrath Blessings of Nature
Four uncommon spells with the miracle mechanic.
Rare Miracles Terminus Devastation Tide Reforge the Soul Revenge of the Hunted
Four rare spells with the miracle mechanic.

Vertical cycle[ | ]

Cycle name
Soulbond power/toughness buffers Trusted Forcemage Druid's Familiar Wolfir Silverheart
Each of these green creatures with Soulbond is initially "below curve", or has power/toughness stats below what is usually expected for their costs; but, when paired with another creature, they grant a sizable power/toughness boon to themselves and paired creatures.

Mega cycle[ | ]

Pairs[ | ]

Avacyn Restored has four mirrored pairs.

Mirrored Pairs Description
Moonlight Geist
Searchlight Geist
Common flying 2/1 Spirit creatures for {2}M. Both have a four mana combat-relevant activated ability; Moonlight Geist prevents combat damage, whereas Searchlight Geist gains deathtouch.
Scroll of Avacyn
Scroll of Griselbrand
Common artifacts that may be sacrificed to cause you to draw a card (and gain life if you control an Angel) or to cause an opponent to discard a card (and lose life if you control a Demon), respectively.
Harvester of Souls
Soul of the Harvest
Rare creatures creating card advantage; one, when a creature dies; the other, when a creature enters the battlefield.
Triumph of Cruelty
Triumph of Ferocity
Uncommon enchantments that create card advantage if their controller has the most powerful creature on the battlefield. The cards are artistically linked, with both featuring Liliana Vess and Garruk Wildspeaker locked in combat.[31]

Reprinted Cards[ | ]

Functional reprints[ | ]

Strictly better[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Cavern of Souls is a new and tribal Vexing Shusher for no mana that allows beatdown decks to defeat tempo strategies.[32][33]
  • Entreat the Angels, Temporal Mastery, Bonfire of the Damned, and Terminus prove to not only be powerful cards in Standard where they are played fairly but also to be powerful cards in older formats like Modern and Legacy where they can be combined with effects such as Brainstorm to always be cast for their cheaper cost.
  • Restoration Angel is a staple in white creature-based decks in Modern thanks to its ability to blink a creature at instant speed to trigger again an ETB effect.
  • Blood Artist is a power card for "aristocrat" decks that plan to sacrifice their creatures for value, including the powerful Modern Yawgmoth deck which uses it to create a combo loop.
  • Sigarda, Host of Herons replaces the Baneslayer Angel because of being almost impossible to kill.
  • Vexing Devil allows burn decks to win even faster being a 4 damage Lava Spike or a 4/3 for 1 mana.
  • Appetite for Brains forms a matched pair with Rise of the Eldrazi's Inquisition of Kozilek. Both cards are uncommon cards that cause an opponent to discard a card; one, a card with converted mana cost 3 or less; the other, a card with converted mana cost 4 or more.
  • Craterhoof Behemoth is one of the most powerful green creature cards ever printed; it is an instant win in many creature decks. It is used as the finisher for Elves decks in Legacy.
  • Avacyn, Angel of Hope has the novel ability to make all permanents shared by its controller indestructible, including itself.
  • Misthollow Griffin is the first card that can be cast from exile.
  • Exquisite Blood and Deadeye Navigator provide unique effects that make for numerous infinite combos in the casual Commander format.
  • Zealous Conscripts has a special Threaten style effect that can gain control of any type of permanent and proved to be a powerful aggro card in Standard.
  • Ghostly Flicker helps power numerous Pauper decks that can utilize its ability to flicker to create value, including returning other flicker spells to hand with cards like Archaeomancer.
  • Slayer's Stronghold is part of the Amulet Titan combo deck in Modern that can be used to give the eponymous Titan haste to immediately get more lands.

Banned and restricted cards[ | ]

  • Griselbrand is one of the most powerful creatures ever when cheated into play, forming the basis of numerous reanimator decks in Legacy and unique techs like Neobrand in Modern. In each case, his unique ability to draw cards can be combined with other powerful cards in the deck to instantly win on the spot. Griselbrand is also uniquely powerful as a Commander, subsequently being banned in the casual format in 2012.
  • Primal Surge is not noteworthy other than interacting particularly well with the rules of the unofficial Oathbreaker format, where the entirety of a deck can easily be constructed out of permanents and Primal Surge can then be cast from the command zone to put the entire deck onto the battlefield. The strength of this interaction, despite the high cost of the sorcery, has led to its banning.

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Intro packs[ | ]

Avacyn Restored features five Intro packs.[34]

Intro pack name Colors Included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Solitary Fiends U B Lone Revenant
Slaughterhouse B R Harvester of Souls
Angelic Might W G Herald of War
Fiery Dawn W R Zealous Conscripts
Bound by Strength U G Wolfir Silverheart

Event decks[ | ]

Avacyn Restored features two Event decks.[35]

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Death's Encroach B
Humanity's Vengeance W U

References[ | ]

  1. a b Monty Ashley (December 15, 2011). "Announcing Avacyn Restored". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Zac Hill (April 27, 2012). "Size Matters". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (May 7, 2012). "Avacyn-gle Ladies, Part 3". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Steve Sadin (April 25, 2012). "Gearing up for Avacyn Restored". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Monty Ashley (April 23, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Basic Lands". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Monty Ashley (September 29, 2011). "The Symbol of Avacyn". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater (April 30, 2012). "Avacyn-gle Ladies, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Wizards of the Coast (March 26, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Frequently Asked Questions". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Zac Hill (April 13, 2012). "Walk For Two". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Wizards of the Coast (April, 2012). "The World of Avacyn Restored". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. The Magic Creative Team (April 18, 2012). "Planeswalker's Guide to Avacyn Restored, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. The Magic Creative Team (April 18, 2012). "Planeswalker's Guide to Avacyn Restored, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Doug Beyer (March 21, 2012). "The Guardian, the Witch, and the Angel". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Doug Beyer (April 09, 2012). "Angel's Rise and Demon's Release". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. "Avacyn Restored Trailer" — YouTube
  16. Monty Ashley (April 16, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Fat Pack". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Monty Ashley (April 11, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Booster Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Tim Willoughby (April 23, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Monty Ashley (April 10, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Promo Cards". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Monty Ashley (March 21, 2012). "Open the Helvault!". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Zac Hill (April 06, 2012). "Branding Play". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Helene Bergeot (February 6, 2012). "Changing Launch Parties For Avacyn Restored". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Monty Ashley (April 19, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Mark Rosewater (April 9, 2012). "Avacyn City, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Dave Humpherys (April 16, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Preview: Soulbond". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Mark Rosewater (April 16, 2012). "Avacyn City, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Wizards of the Coast (April, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Nate Price (May 12, 2012). "Feature: A Look at Flicker Effects in Avacyn Restored Limited". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. James Lenze II. (May 2, 2012.) "Avacyn Restored wraps up excellent block", The Rensselaer Polytechnic.
  30. Mark Rosewater (April 23, 2012). "Avacyn-gle Ladies, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. badmagicplayer. (May 3, 2012.) "Triumph of Ferocity: More than just a card?",
  32. Zac Hill (April 20, 2012). "Gonna Hate". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Matt Tabak (May 25, 2012). "Discussing Cavern of Souls". Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Monty Ashley (April 12, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Intro Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Monty Ashley (April 30, 2012). "Avacyn Restored Event Decks". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]