Care for a story?
If you follow the story line back in Kaladesh, you will know that Tezzeret manipulated Dovin Baan to work for him and stop the Gatewatch from meddling with his plan of taking control of the planes’ artifact creations and subdue the power that lies within the Planar Bridge. Nicol Bolas has instructed Tezzeret to steal the Planar Bridge so that he can transport his army of immortals into Ravnica to retrieve what is thought to return Bolas to the apex of power.
The story took a short pause as the Gatewatch drifted separately into Ixalan and Dominaria, bruised and struggling to regroup in anticipation of meeting the God-Pharaoh in battle once again. Now that Ravnica Allegiance spoiler is in full swing, we are seeing this story come back to life and today we’re bringing two Planeswalkers at opposite ends together and see what magic they can bring if they choose to work together.
Dovin, Grand Arbiter has single-handedly crashed dozens of MTG threads online, in social media and in reddit pages. The reactions to a 3-mana planeswalker can only be described as negative. Here’s what I was able to research thus far:
- Cheap, easy to protect by Sealing Away or Baffling Ending the threat on turn 2.
That’s it. Similar to Jace, Cunning Castaway, a blue Planeswalker that needs combat damage to work is off-putting. Not even Mono Blue tempo would splash white to play Dovin and hope to deal combat damage from 2 creatures played 2 turns before and bring him up to 6 loyalty which is short of Dovin’s -7 ability to draw 3 more one-drops they can draw much faster with Chart a Course.
- Turn 3 do-nothing Planeswalker
- Cannot decently protect himself
- Combat based abilities is bad on blue
- Ultimate is not game-winning in itself
- Search for Azcanta is 100 time better
However, I don’t think Dovin’s +1 ability should be the basis of his usefulness. Definitely the $40 price tag he comes with is highly questionable at this point until we see Invisible Stalker getting reprinted on this set but what’s interesting to me is his -1 ability. Creating a 1/1 flying thopter and gaining you one life is pretty good against an aggro deck in certain sequences. On the play, the 1/1 token can come in between Adanto Vanguard and Dovin, causing the white weenie player 4 life if he chooses to save Adanto.
In the same respect, Tezzeret does the same thing with his +1 ability. Though there’s no life gain, at least he’s ticking up his loyalty instead of down. But the cool interaction lies with his 0 ability. With enough activation of Dovin and Tezz’s ability, you can essentially have free Divinations every turn thanks to Tezzret’s 0 ability.
So we have 1/1 thopther token generators, now what? Well, let’s make them bigger!
I miss the good ‘ol days of UW control where we win with Serra Angels after casting an Armageddon the turn before. Divine Visitation transforms our thopters into 4/4 angels with vigilance allowing us to close out the game in true Azorious fashion.
To protect our Planeswalkers and Divine Visitation, we’ll play a suite of counter magic. Thankfully we now have Absorb which is very good against a very aggressive meta filled with Arclight, BG and mono Red.
I want some variety in our removal and spread them across the curve. Seal Away is good for Adanto Vanguard which I think is the bane of this deck. Ixalan’s Binding is great against anything and Cleansing Nova is just our panic button in case we can’t handle the amount of threats or we can’t target the creature like Carnage Tyrant or Nullhide Ferox.
To help us draw the cards we need when we need them, we will play Search for Azcanta which will help us dig for Divine Visitation, Sweepers or more Planeswalkers. Speaking of Planeswalkers, we will also play the flagship Walker for Azorious, Teferi. Dovin Baan still has learning to do when it comes to controlling the board.
The missing cards underneath Divine Vistation are the 3 copies of Dovin. MTG Goldfish is not displaying it properly so don’t sue me :).
The sideboard is tweaked towards surviving hand disruption particularly Thought Erasure and Disinformation Campaign. Spell Pierce and Negate helps us keep our hands safe from discard. It also helps us fight off against Contempt or The Eldest Reborn on turn 4 or 5.
Revitalize and Lyra both come in against decks that plan to go lower and try to sneak underneath our counter magic, or might punish us for keeping a loose hand.
Deputy of Detention is a really nice sideboard card we can put in against GW, Mono Green, or any color combination that’s not packing a lot of creature removal. The 1/3 body is quite useful too at blocking 2-power creatures. If we untap with Deputy, we can most often protect it. We can also play around our Cleansing Nova in case the opponent decides to waste a removal to get his creature back, we can cast Nova after and catch everything else.
Invoke the Divine is particular in the sideboard to destroy The Immortal Sun, The Eldest Reborn, Conclave Tribunal or whatever enchantment or artifact that poses a threat to our walkers or Visitation.
The deck will surely get upgrades when more cards are spoiled so take this brew with a grain of salt. The shell is there but we can always spice things up, tweak here and there, and streamline the card choices once the entire set is spoiled.
That’s it for today, and I hope you top deck lethal in all your future games!