Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Card Spotlight: Adanto Vanguard
I didn't know exactly where to place this on initial reviews as it has a lot going for it but is also very awkward. It is also somewhat of a filler dork akin to a Porcelain Legionnaire, Loyal Cathar or Daring Skyjek! There are lots of such cards and you just use them to pad out your deck with suitable cheap spells. Vanguard is all sorts of awkward in that he offers no human synergy, is a lame crewman for vehicles and a lame blocker for much the same reasons. He is also yet another one toughness dork that increases your vulnerability to -X/-X effects and to some degree ping effects as well. I was a little concerned that this inconveniences would stop this filler level card getting much play. Turns out however that you really don't care. This is all about being an indestructible two drop that attacks in a relevant way. I initially thought you would need to be heavily aggressive to really play this as well as four life is uncomfortable in slower decks and the card is generally a lot worse on the defensive. Wrong again! While this certainly isn't a control card I am very happy running it in a number of places other than very aggressive white decks.
I think my average life paid with this card is around ten per game in which I play it. It has been oppressive in much the same way as True Name Nemesis is. Obviously you can block this and you can interact with it much more with spells, that mostly just makes it better designed! Technically you don't have infinite life to pay to keep this indestructible either. In practice I have found that you are pulling so far ahead on the board every time you use the ability that games are won before you can do yourself critical damage. I had a situation where I was just an aggressive white deck and I had this beating down with a Declaration in Stone in Hand. My opponent just made a Flesh Carver which for most other dorks in play would have been enough to bait the Declaration so that I might keep up the pressure. I reasoned I was better off in the situation allowing him to chump and conserve my other non-life resources. While allowing him to save 6 life is a much bigger deal than paying 8 myself it not only saved my removal but more critically my mana. This let me further develop my board. Slightly later in the game my opponent made what appeared to be a big swing with a fully cast Lingering Souls. It probably would have won the game had I not been able to remove them all for two mana and continue the aggression with my developed board.