Sideboard Cards are an integral part of Magic: the Gathering. They may not seem as exciting as the cards that main decks are comprised of. But they can win games.
As much as they are strategically important, sideboard cards are also important to buy. This is because the metagames of Magic‘s various formats are constantly shifting, and when new threats rise to prominence, innovative answers must be found to deal with them. When this happens, sideboard cards can spike in price.
This article will be looking at Lavinia, Azorius Renegade in the context of the Modern format and how it is a great solution against several free spells that were released in Modern Horizons 2.
To read more on the importance of sideboard cards you can find our official guide below.
Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
When Lavinia was first released, it was quickly relegated to the Vintage format as a way to answer opposing Moxes, like Mox Ruby. It was simply too narrow to be played in other formats. But recently, because of a massive shift in the Modern metagame, it has started popping up in Modern decks, and sometimes in the mainboard.
What Does Lavinia Do?
The Azorius Renegade does two things, both of which stop your opponent from “cheating” on their mana. It’s a good answer against specific ramp strategies and as a way of stopping your opponent from playing cards for free.
Why is it Good?
Modern Horizons 2 shook up everything, and the metagame is still settling from its release. Some very mana efficient spells were printed including this cycle of elementals:
The reason these elementals are so scary is that they can be cast for free. Free you say? Well, how can we stop them? That’s where Lavinia, Azorius Renegade comes in.
The Modern elemental deck is an excellent way to prey on small creature strategies like humans, and has been specifically good against the deck Hammer Time, as Solitude can exile their armored threats at instant speed. To adapt to the metagame, some Hammer Time players are actually splashing blue as a secondary color for one reason: for Lavinia Azorius Renegade.
But Lavina counters more strategies than just elementals. It prevents two other decks that rose in play since Modern Horizons 2. Those are Living End and Temur Crashcade, as Lavinia stops the both of them from casting their namesake spells, Living End and Crashing Footfalls. Lavinia is also a great way of fighting against Tron as it requires Tron players to actually play 8 lands to cast 8-mana spells like Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.
Will its Price Spike?
People are beginning to recognize Lavinia as a versatile answer to various different decks in the Modern metagame. If decks like Elementals, Living End, and Temur Crashcade continue to dominate, Lavinia will be a key way of stopping them, and its price could rise.
What Kind of Prices Can We Expect?
Lavinia has already had three printings (Ravnica Allegiance, Time Spiral Remastered, and its Game Day Promo), so I wouldn’t expect it to spike too high. But it is currently under $1.00, which is an absolute bargain. As Wizards of the Coast will inevitably print new ways to cheat on mana and cast spells for free, Lavinia will be a go-to answer to counteract those cards, and could eventually see prices in the $3.00-$4.00 range.