Magic: The Gathering Vanguard, Series 3 Pt. 1: Calm Before A Storm

Hello and welcome, all players, collectors, and other fans of Magic: The Gathering, the premier collectible trading card game by Wizards of the Coast! We have been delving into the Vanguard series of Magic cards for the past few weeks, evaluating the iconic character cards mechanically and financially. Last weekend we went over the second half of the second series, in which we got our first glimpse of a more expensive card. This week, things will be a bit easier on those sensibilities but still herald a bigger financial struggle to come. Are you ready for the storm? Let's dive in.

The full art for Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar, a card from Dominaria, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Ryan Yee.
The full art for Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar, a card from Dominaria, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Ryan Yee.

#17. Eladamri

It is notable that all of the cards from this series and Series 4 had to be acquired piecemeal, as opposed to the majority of the characters from Series 1 and 2. Eladamri was no exception. We nearly lost this bid on eBay, but we got there in the end.

Eladamri, a Vanguard character for Magic: The Gathering, a game by Wizards of the Coast.
Eladamri, a Vanguard character for Magic: The Gathering, a game by Wizards of the Coast.

At $12, Eladamri is a bona fide situational Vanguard character at best. 15 life isn't a huge jump in starting life totals, especially in Commander, and losing a card from your starting and max hand size only means you have one fewer answer to help you respond to redirecting damage from your creatures. However, such a high monetary cost for such a weak character does begin to raise questions to the discerning collector of fringe format supplements.

#18. Lyna

To be honest, we have no real idea who Lyna is, or her role in the Weatherlight Saga beyond what is written in the flavor text on her Vanguard. What we do know is that this is a great character, if you can protect yourself well enough to use her shadow-granting benefits to their fullest.

Lyna, a Vanguard character for Magic: The Gathering, a game by Wizards of the Coast.
Lyna, a Vanguard character for Magic: The Gathering, a game by Wizards of the Coast.

Even though Lyna has no role in the cards of the Weatherlight Saga, she gives a few extra cards while lowering your life total by just a smidge when using her. Not bad!

What might be tougher than the need to shield oneself using Lyna is her somewhat inhibiting $25 market price tag. However, this is only the start of a trend among these cards; there will be more cards with a higher tag coming soon. Just you wait…

#19. Multani

If there's any character in this half of the series that can make Lyna shake in her boots, it's Multani. A mighty Maro-Sorcerer and the Avatar of Yavimaya's wild overgrowth, Multani is a formidable Vanguard that can make many creatures very big, especially if built around via Spellbook-type effects.

Multani, a Vanguard character for Magic: The Gathering, a game by Wizards of the Coast.
Multani, a Vanguard character for Magic: The Gathering, a game by Wizards of the Coast.

Realistically, Multani wouldn't usually be seen as a positive card since it reduces your starting hand size to four cards, but giving your creatures an anthem-esque boost of +4/+0 at max is not too bad if you're able to keep your hand stocked. With a Spellbook or similar, that limit doesn't even matter past the start of the game, ideally. Shadow creatures be damned! Multani only seems to cost about $3 USD right now, so this is a decent pick-up for the initiated Vanguard collector.

#20. Oracle

Our last Vanguard for this Magic: The Gathering article is the Oracle en-Vec. At least, this is what we presume, as the card for the Oracle isn't exactly a legendary creature. Nevertheless, the Oracle character is one that can help you make some extremely safe decisions in combat.

Oracle, a Vanguard character for Magic: The Gathering, a game by Wizards of the Coast.
Oracle, a Vanguard character for Magic: The Gathering, a game by Wizards of the Coast.

With a Reconnaissance effect and a boost of +1 to your hand size, it doesn't even matter how much life Oracle gives or takes from the player piloting her. Is this good? Well, for a free ability from the command zone that might normally cost only one white mana and be prone to enchantment removal, we can say that Oracle seemingly justifies her approximately $29 market price tag if you are looking to use these cards often enough or collect a full set.

What do you think of these Vanguard characters in Magic: The Gathering? Should these cards be reprinted by Wizards of the Coast? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!

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About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.
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