AKH Spoiler – Aven Mindcensor (R)

Everyone’s favorite Bird is back! Okay – well, not my favorite bird. (don’t worry Birds of Paradise!)

This is a key reprint to include in Amonkhet, and I’m happy at the decision. It does have some subtle but powerful interactions in Standard. It has the potential to provide¬†many archetypes a tool to combat value driven decklists, and can already combat any list utilizing Traverse the Ulvenwald. That’s barely scratching the surface too – Aven Mindcensor is a cost efficient threat and will always be in the discussion during deckbuilding.

Not to mention it can provide players to unforeseen answers in future blocks, and might be telegraphing future mechanics or even future reprints. Not to get anyone’s hopes up for Standard Fetchland reprints, but, nothing is ever out of the question. I’m really excited at what it can already provide an answer against – and can’t wait to use this as an efficient threat. Let’s see some of the various cards it can stop:

Traverse the Ulvenwald
Attune with Aether
Whir of Invention
Nahiri, the Harbinger

The list continues – even if it’s not entirely practical. What is practical is how many archetypes in this Standard metagame really rely on Attune with Aether. The percentage is staggering. At the same time, when it comes to powering Aetherworks Marvel – the extra land¬†is moot sometimes. That doesn’t mean Aven Mindcensor doesn’t have less upside, because it can certainly ruin the game plans of 4c-Saheeli, and Dynavolt Tower archetypes if they’re behind.

Another side effect of this reprinting is the original value of the card. With a printing in Amonkhet, it will lower the barrier of acquiring these for play. While it wasn’t a significant value, it was still enough to warrant a reduction. I personally enjoy the new printing of this card, some may enjoy the old printing. Whichever version players end up liking, I do think all the desire to acquire these will be satisfied. A most welcome card to see printed, and I’m glad it will be in Standard for the time being.

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Chaz V

Chaz V

Started playing during Invasion block at the age of 13. Always a competitive person by nature, he continues playing to this day. Got into the financial aspect of the game as a method to pay for the hobby and now writes, Podcasts, and covers all aspects of the game, always trying to contribute to the community and create great content for readers and listeners.

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  1. Patrick Brosnan says

    This does very little to combat Attune With Aether. As long as I am able to grab the land I need with it on Turn 1, I am almost always set for the game, and later in the game, I use it to generate energy (which Mindcensor does not stop).

    I consider its value to be significant as a $6 uncommon, since many people who have been doing this a long time have a ton of these stored away, ready to be dug out of collections. This is likely a $2 card now, tops, and I do not think this is an exaggeration when Scrapheap Scrounger, a defining card in 2 out of the 3 most powerful decks in Standard, is a $3 card.

    • Chaz VChaz V says

      All valid points. I do agree that Mindcensor in current Standard won’t directly shut down successful lists – so we have to see if they end up banning additional cards.

      You’re right, most of the time Attune will be played under a Mindcensor. I just wanted to point out that sometimes it will punish the player if they somehow fall behind, and that’s basically win more.

      I agree it’s probably a $2 card going forward (maybe even lower) and you gave a really good example with Scrounger as to why it would have that ceiling.

      • Patrick Brosnan says

        I think lower than $2 is likely given that Toolcraft Exemplar is only sitting at $1 despite being a 4-of in Standard’s most dominant deck and a 4-of in any aggressive white strategy, but Mindcensor has a decent following in Commander to help its price.

        To say the least, I unloaded all of mine the day it was spoiled, and there is still time to do so given how slowly the market is reacting to it.

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