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Alara Promo Card

Today on Magic Arcana, we were shown the Shards of Alara Prerelease Card which will be given out during Prereleases (September 27/28, AND Launch Parties (October 3/4/5). This unique alternate-art promomotional card is printed with the date the set goes on sale.
Ajani Vengeant {2}{R}{W} / Shards of Alara
Planeswalker - Ajani
+1 : Target permanent doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
-2 : Ajani Vengeant deals 3 damage to target creature or player and you gain 3 life.
-7 : Destroy all lands target player controls.
Comes into play with 3 loyalty counters.
Artist - Jason Chan, *154/249

First, lets have a quick look at the previous Ajani Planeswalker . . .
Ajani Goldmane {2}{W}{W} / Lorwyn
Planeswalker - Ajani
+1 : You gain 2 life.
-1 : Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Those creature gain vigilance until end of turn.
-6 : Put a white Avatar creature token into play with "this creature's power and toughness are each equal to your life total."
Comes into play with 4 loyalty counters.
Artist - Aleksi Bricolt, 1/301

Now, a few comments / opinions on the new Ajani . . .

For those players who may be thinking of having both the Lorwyn and Alara Ajani in play together - you are out of luck. The Planewalker rules state that if two or more planeswalkers that share a subtype are in play, they're all put into their owners' graveyards as a state-based effect.

- First Ability -
This may allow you to bog down one your opponent's creatures and provide an additional counter to strenthen Ajani. Typically, this is the point where many Planeswalkers

are the weakest. Ensure you have blockers available for Ajani or an instant which may protect from a 'Timmy'.

- Second Ability -
This ability is akin to the card Lightning Helix from Ravinica. This may be used if you are in a bind during the turn Ajani is played but is not reccommend. Unfortunately, with starting loyalty counters, you would need to wait every 3 turns to use this.

- Third Ability -
This could be rather devastating for your opponent - if only Ajani could survive this long. This ability is somewhat similar to the old Armageddon card but in this case only destroys your opponents lands - very nice.

Comparatively, Ajani Goldmane comes into play with 4 loyalty counters as opposed to Ajani Vengeant's 3. For this reason, some players may be hesitant to consider Vengeant for deck inclusion. The abilities between the two may arguably be similarily scaled but may again leave some players wondering if Vengeant is a bit on the expensive side.

The initial feelings of some in the community is that Vengeant may be a good card within the set but when compared to the other Ajani, Goldmane wins hands down.
In other news . . .
Folks around the forums have been using new Alara banners courtesy of the very talented Mr. Stuff. These look fantastic . . .
Until next time, Happy & Safe Gaming.

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