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Magic: The Gathering Avacyn Restored Review

/ May 27th, 2012 No Comments

Avacyn Restored Review

Avacyn Restored Review

Avacyn Restored Review

Magic: The Gathering Avacyn Restored is that latest set for the still popular card game, Magic: The Gathering. The release date of this series was on May 4, 2012 with the pro tour taking place a week later, the week of May 11-12 in Spain. These cards are black-bordered and sold in booster packs, intro packs and fat packs. Avacyn Restored represents the third incarnation of the Innistrad block but also large enough to be drafted by itself. The good folks at Wizards of the Coast sent us an intro pack and five boosters to check out Avacyn Restored and in this review we’ll talk about this series.

About Avacyn Restored

As mentioned before these are wonderfully designed cards sporting a black-border. There are five intro packs available – Angelic Might, Solitary Fiends, Slaughterhouse, Fiery Dawn and Bound by Strength. The lore behind this set is that the archangel Avacyn has returned. While humanity takes up arms and drives back the creatures of the night, all the righteous band together for a holy fight.

Our Intro Pack

Avacyn Restored Intro Pack

Avacyn Restored Intro Pack

We received the Slaughterhouse intro pack which is black/red and design to have players kill early and often. With this deck you won’t just want to kill the other players’ creatures – you’ll easily want to sacrifice your own for better gain because many have the “undying” ability which allows them to simply jump back on the battlefield. Many of the black creatures in this deck either replace themselves with zombies or get bonuses whenever someone dies. Combined with the red deck, full of really good sorcery cards like Fling, you’ll end up killing an opponent’s creatures (while sacrificing your own) but able to replace your sacrificed ones instantly. It’s downright diabolical when played correctly.

New Mechanics

There’s some new mechanics introduced that add a new dimension to your matches. The first is Miracle, which allows a player to cast some instants and sorcery cards for little mana. An example of this is the “Banishing Stroke” card which costs one plains and five others (put target card on the bottom of opponent’s library), but you can utilize the Miracle cost (one plains) if it’s the first card you drew this turn. Nasty!

Another new mechanic is called Soulbound and allows creatures to team up. This means when you have a created enter the battlefiend with the soulbound mechanic, you can pair it up with another unpaired creature you control. This could conceivably allow you to join two cards to make non-flying creatures flying and so forth.

As mentioned before the Undying mechanic, seen before and now returning in Avacyn Restored, allows your creature to return to the battlefield (assuming no counters on it) … and you get to add a +1/+1 counter. This can get very nasty very quickly for opponents. The final two new mechanics are Loners (some creatures get VERY powerful when they are the only one you are playing) and Flickering which exiles a target creature you control and brings it back to the battlefield.

Artwork and Imagination

Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering

A lot of the new cards here (244 to be exact) are really well designed and the artwork from Wizards of the Coast has never been better. These cards look modern, updated and frankly next-generation, especially when to compare them to some of the older cards of years gone by. The new mechanics add a very interesting element to your games and many of the new creatures are well thought out and balanced fairly.

Playing with Avacyn Restored

Since we got in the Black/Red deck we’ve played a few games. Yes, around the office we’re still self-admitted nerds that play Magic: The Gathering at lunchtime on Fridays. The deck when played well can really overwhelm an opponent and despite their best efforts, basically do no real damage from upkeep to upkeep. We all know the best thing about MTG is simply frustrating your opponent to their wits end and there’s plenty of cards in this deck to make that happen.


If you sat on the sidelines for a while, Avacyn Restored is a great new set to jumpstart your Magic: The Gathering addiction. It’s a wonderfully designed deck with five intelligently thought out new mechanics. We’ll hopefully dive deeper with more articles as we’re very curious how a Green/Blue deck might play against a Black/Red. Until that happens, you just might want to take a trip to the local comic book store to check this new set out.

Sean W. Gibson

Sean W. Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson has been the owner and Executive Editor of Gaming Illustrated for over eleven years. His roles include acting as CEO and President of Gaming Illustrated, LLC and also includes being a reviewer, previewer and interviewer. Sean's opinions on this site do not reflect those of his full-time employer.
Sean W. Gibson
Sean W. Gibson

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