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Crimson Vow Limited Set Review: White and Blue

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Welcome to our Crimson Vow Limited set review!

Personally, I think Innistrad: Midnight Hunt was not a fun format to play. The game play was good, and the mechanics were fun, but it was far too repetitive. Drastic color imbalances made it hard for me to enjoy it for long. Hopefully moving into Crimson Vow we will see a wider range of playable archetypes. Let's get started!

This article is the first of four, and in it I will be evaluating every White and Blue card - scoring them on a scale of 1-5. These ratings are purely based on Limited formats and have no bearing on Constructed play. I would also like to note these ratings are based on how I believe the card will perform in an AVERAGE Sealed or Draft deck. Often this means a lower score for cards with great potential in a highly synergistic deck.

Rating - Explanation

1- Ideally not making the cut in any of my Limited decks.

2- Not good, but a necessity for curve filling and smoothing out draws.

3- Value cards I am happy to fill my deck with.

4- Cards to get excited about and Premium Removal.

5- Reserved for cards that will win the game if left unanswered.

White

Adamant Will
Adamant Will - 2.5 - This reprint is always a welcome addition to my Draft decks. Giving indestructible makes this a versatile combat trick for aggressive decks and helps keep pressure high on the board.
Angelic Quartermaster
Angelic Quartermaster - 3 - Unlike Gavony Silversmith, Angelic Quartermaster cannot put its +1/+1 counters on itself. This makes it hard to get full value for the ETB effect, but White is designed to have a higher creature count and will likely find at least one target. The creature itself is still strong and worth playing.
Arm the Cathars
Arm the Cathars - 2 - Sorcery speed pump spells are always tough to play. Typically, these spells are unplayable, but with Training in the format, this will likely see some play. It is also important to note that this is a possible +6/+6 across three bodies. That's a lot...
Bride's Gown
Bride's Gown - 2 - This is a reasonable 23rd card if the deck has room for it. The equip cost is not outrageous and it makes creature-heavy decks harder to deal with. The payoff for having both Bride's Gown and Groom's Finery is minor and not worth forcing extra copies of both into the deck. If the deck happens to be White / Black I am happy to run one set.
By Invitation Only
By Invitation Only - 4.5 - This is the board clear White has always wanted! Having a strategic board clear allows White to do what it does best (go wide) and not be punished for it. Often White will develop a 5+ creature board and be bricked by a vanilla 4/4. This allows you to clear everything when needed while also being flexible to just remove the opponents' creatures while keeping your best ones on the board. I am very high on this card in all formats.
Cemetery Protector
Cemetery Protector - 4 - Getting to flash this card in makes it great value. 4 mana for a card that can surprise block, create more bodies, and remove a relevant card from an opponent's graveyard is a lot! It does not end the game immediately, but the value is there.
Circle of Confinement
Circle of Confinement - 3 - Restrictive Oblivion Rings are good in Limited. This is cheap enough that it doesn't need to hit every target to be valuable. These do get worse in multiples so look for other types of removal as well.
Dawnhart Geist
Dawnhart Geist - 2 - 2-mana 1/3 creatures are always playable when light on early creatures. They always have some minor ability that is helpful, but never exciting. This one is an enabler for the life gain deck that exists in the format and will see a lot of play in that deck. Always pick these up for the sideboard against more aggressive decks.
Distracting Geist // Clever Distraction
Distracting Geist // Clever Distraction - 1.5 / 3 - This geist has an amazing ability for any aggressive deck. The mana cost is a bit steep and likely not great in slower, more controlling decks. Getting to cast this for the disturb cost means it can go onto a more evasive creature which gives this a nice bonus late in the game.
Drogskol Infantry // Drogskol Armaments
Drogskol Infantry // Drogskol Armaments - 2.5 - The bear gives a nice bonus when being cast for its disturb cost. Typically, low impact auras are not great, but if they are free cards, I am always happy to play them.
Estwald Shieldbasher
Estwald Shieldbasher - 3 - Wow. 1 mana is not a lot to pay for to give a 4-power creature indestructible! This is a great creature in the aggressive decks and will make an opponent's life really difficult if they are short on removal.
Faithbound Judge // Sinner's Judgment
Faithbound Judge // Sinner's Judgment - 5 - Not going to lie... I had to read the back of this card three times to make sure I was reading it right. This is a huge threat attached to an alternate win condition. This will be a really fun way to kill someone in Limited.
Fierce Retribution
Fierce Retribution - 4 - This type of removal in White is very common. The restrictions vary, but it is always playable. The Cleave cost is a nice bonus, but it is worth playing without it.
Fleeting Spirit
Fleeting Spirit - 2.5 - Two-mana 3/1's are playable for any deck looking to be aggressive. This particular creature has some nice upside and synergizes well with the graveyard and disturb mechanic in the format. This will be worth playing.
Gryff Rider
Gryff Rider - 3 - I love Gryff Rider. 3 mana for a 2-power flier is on rate and this has the potential to become a real threat if left on the board. This creature can close out games very quickly and is only common.
Gryffwing Cavalry
Gryffwing Cavalry - 3.5 - For only one extra mana this Wind Drake comes with two really relevant bonus abilities! Getting to make other creatures fly is a great way to end games quickly, and making larger creatures fly will also make Gryffwing Cavalry a bigger threat. I love this card and look forward to playing it.
Hallowed Haunting
Hallowed Haunting - 1 - This is not Limited playable. I often like silly cards like this as challenges, but this is too far gone.
Heron of Hope
Heron of Hope - 2.5 - This evasive threat is a great enabler for the lifegain deck, and even though Heron of Hope is a bit expensive it will still be played in any White deck.
Heron-Blessed Geist
Heron-Blessed Geist - 3 - The value of getting two more creatures after this dies is very appealing. There are a few payoff cards for Spirits as well, so this can be a great addition to any White deck.
Hopeful Initiate
Hopeful Initiate - 3.5 - This 1-drop is very impactful. This is great for any aggressive deck and offers a ton of value by removing all those pesky disturb card auras.
Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr // Katilda's Rising Dawn
Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr // Katilda's Rising Dawn - 2 / 4 - Wow, the ceiling on this card is really high. It is possible this card will be very underwhelming in some decks, but it is a major payoff for a highly supported archetype in the format.
Kindly Ancestor // Ancestor's Embrace
Kindly Ancestor // Ancestor's Embrace - 2.5 - The front side of Kindly Ancestor is slightly above rate on its own. This will see a fair amount of play and can go into any White deck. The ceiling is a bit higher in any life-gain deck.
Lantern Flare
Lantern Flare - 3.5 - Without Red mana this is a reasonable removal spell, but with it, it's great! There is a lot of upside with Lantern Flare and 3.5 is only the average rating.
Militia Rallier
Militia Rallier - 2.5 - Three-mana 3/3s are not something While typically has access to. Getting to be a bit more aggressive in the format is great. Even if the deck misses its 2-drop this can still block, and that makes it a solid creature in the early game.
Nebelgast Beguiler
Nebelgast Beguiler - 2.5 - The creature itself is overpriced, but the ability to tap is very reasonable. This is playable when access to other top end cards is Limited. This can also be a good sideboard card against more aggressive decks and fliers.
Nurturing Presence
Nurturing Presence - 1.5 - There is a Spirit / Aura deck that will want to have access to this card, possibly even in multiples. The value on Nurturing Presence is there, but it is low impact and will likely not make the cut for most decks.
Ollenbock Escort
Ollenbock Escort - 1.5 - This 1-drop leaves no lasting effect on the board. Some extremely aggressive decks might play this just to have access to a 1-drop, but this will likely see very little play.
Panicked Bystander // Cackling Culprit
Panicked Bystander // Cackling Culprit - 2.5 - Without other life gain synergies, Panicked Bystander is not likely to transform. This is going to be a curve filler in most decks and provide some protection against more aggressive decks, but in the life gain deck this will have a much higher ceiling.
Parish-Blade Trainee
Parish-Blade Trainee - 3 - This 2-drop actually does a lot. Attacking immediately turns this into a 2/3 for 2 mana, and that is a great rate. It also leaves counters on the board when it dies making this a great aggressive card for any White deck.
Piercing Light
Piercing Light - 2.5 - The creatures in the format are not huge, so 2 damage will come in handy during combat. These do get worse in multiples so playing only one or two seems correct. Pick up a few extra for the sideboard when possible.
Radiant Grace // Radiant Restraints
Radiant Grace // Radiant Restraints - 2.5 - Even though this card has minimal impact on the board it is still worth playing when the deck can fit it. Lots of things in White care about the Aura count, and the disturb side of this will be more annoying for an opponent than you might think.
Resistance Squad
Resistance Squad - 3 - This creature is a great addition for any White deck. Three-mana 3/2s are playable with far worse abilities than this. Humans will not be hard to find and are included in every color pair. Getting to draw cards in White is rare and should be cherished. I expect this to play a lot like Search Party Captain.
Sanctify
Sanctify - 1 - Definitely a card worth picking up for the sideboard. With the importance of Auras in the format this will be worth picking up when possible.
Savior of Ollenbock
Savior of Ollenbock - 3.5 - The power on this card is going to fluctuate a ton in each game, and the deck itself will also determine how good this can be. The ability is great. It allows you to remove threats and return things from your graveyard to the battlefield later in the game. The biggest issue is going to be training consistently and not already being behind on board when this hits the field.
Sigarda's Imprisonment
Sigarda's Imprisonment - 3.5 - After the sad performance of Candletrap, I am glad to see that White aura removal is back in the game. There is a lot of bounce and exploit in the format, so make sure to exile the creature this is on as soon as you can.
Sigarda's Summons
Sigarda's Summons - 1 - This card will not likely see much play in Limited. It is going to be a really cool win condition in training decks - Do you accept this challenge?
Supernatural Rescue
Supernatural Rescue - 1.5 - The mana cost on this Aura is far too high for very little impact. There is a very specific Aura deck that will want to run this card, but this isn't likely to see much play outside of that.
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben - 3.5 - Thalia has more implications in Constructed than in Limited, but it is still a great creature and will see a lot of play. Having first strike makes this a great 2-drop with an ability that will make life difficult for your opponent.
Traveling Minister
Traveling Minister - 2 - The +1/+0 part of this ability is a little underwhelming at sorcery speed, but it does help enable training. The Traveling Minister will not make the cut in some decks. The gain 1 life portion of the card will work well with cards like Voice of the Blessed and will make this worth considering.
Twinblade Geist // Twinblade Invocation
Twinblade Geist // Twinblade Invocation - 2.5 - Typically, a two-mana double strike creature would not be worth running without other synergies, but this one works extremely well in one of the major archetypes in the format. Even when not playing the Aura deck this will be worth playing.
Unholy Officiant
Unholy Officiant - 2 - This 1-drop has a decent late game mana sink, but it is relatively low impact. If the deck has any payoffs for having Vampires this might be worth playing, but it will likely be cut from most decks.
Valorous Stance
Valorous Stance - 3 - Both modes of Valorous Stance are worth having access to. The removal will be great in any game, and when needed it can protect a valuable creature against removal or a combat trick. This is not the type of removal I would splash for, but it is worth playing in any White deck.
Vampire Slayer
Vampire Slayer - 2.5 - This is a "bear" with a decent upside in the format. There are better 2-drops in the format and this will likely be cut in any deck with a good curve, but this is always decent and gets better in the side board.
Voice of the Blessed
Voice of the Blessed - 4 - With the number of gain life triggers in the format this Ajani's Pridemate++ is going to be a huge pay off. With only a few triggers this will become incredibly hard to deal with. Dawnhart Geist is an easy enabler to find after picking this up.
Wedding Announcement
Wedding Announcement - 3.5 - This enchantment offers a lot of value over time. Getting to draw cards and create creatures before turning into an anthem takes away any of the downside of actually adding anthems to the deck. The rating on this card goes up drastically the more creatures are in the deck.

Top 3 White Commons

  1. Fierce Retribution
  2. Sigarda's Imprisonment
  3. Gryff Rider

Blue

Alchemist's Retrieval
Alchemist's Retrieval - 3 - This bounce spell would be playable if it was always cast for its cleave cost. Two-mana instant speed bounce spells are good in any format. They are helpful when protecting stronger creatures against removal as well as great during combat against combat tricks and large blocks.
Binding Geist // Spectral Binding
Binding Geist // Spectral Binding - 2.5 - This is an interesting ability attached to a creature. Getting to do this each turn allows you to be much more aggressive with attacking than a Blue deck typically gets to be. The creature is expensive for the stats, but getting to use it as minor removal after it is dead makes it worth playing.
Biolume Egg // Biolume Serpent
Biolume Egg // Biolume Serpent - 1 / 2.5 - Biolume Egg has a split rating because it needs to be sacrificed to get any value. This will be a great addition to any extort deck. Having a free extort while still being a decent sized threat on its own is a lot of value.
Cemetery Illuminator
Cemetery Illuminator - 4.5 - This is likely the strongest of the cards in the cemetery cycle. The stats alone on this creature are great for the cost, but the ability offers so much long-term value it's insane. If left on the board this will definitely win games.
Chill of the Grave
Chill of the Grave - 2 - Casting this is basically a fancy cycle. Playing this is never awful. When looking to cut cards this will often be 1st on the chopping block.
Cobbled Lancer
Cobbled Lancer - 2.5 - This is a great card in aggressive decks. Not getting to cast this on turn one is not a huge loss. This will be great on turn three or four after making aggressive early trades. Then later in the game it replaces itself - that's great!
Consuming Tide
Consuming Tide - 3.5 - The power of this card is extremely situational. It is always going to be playable, but similar to any board wipe, it will often come too late or just simply be a dead card. This is worth picking up but not a great 1st pick.
Cradle of Safety
Cradle of Safety - 3 - Yes please! This is a new version of Starlit Mantle and I am very excited about it. Getting to protect creatures against removal is so important. Cards like Snakeskin Veil and Starlit Mantle are always worth playing.
Cruel Witness
Cruel Witness - 3 - The creature itself is a decent sized threat that can sometimes give you free disturb cards or remove unwanted mana from the top of your deck. Over all, this is a decent creature.
Diver Skaab
Diver Skaab - 2.5 - Creature heavy decks will love Diver Skaab. As long as there are smaller creatures in the deck this will be a decent addition to any deck. It also has a relevant creature type so keep an eye out for those synergies.
Dreadlight Monstrosity
Dreadlight Monstrosity - 2.5 - Any disturb card will eventually make it into exile, so the ability's condition isn't too bad, but it is still really expensive. This will see some play if you have no better top end creatures.
Dreamshackle Geist
Dreamshackle Geist - 4 - This creature is a good rate without the ability. Getting to lock down an opponent's creature each turn will give fliers the ability to race the much larger ground decks. This is a great card in any Blue deck.
Fear of Death
Fear of Death - 2 - This is borderline playable removal if the deck cannot find anything better. With some reasonable graveyard synergy this will be worth considering.
Geistlight Snare
Geistlight Snare - 2.5 - Getting to cast this at a discount is nice, but not necessary to make it playable. This counterspell is decent and has a fair amount of upside.
Geralf, Visionary Stitcher
Geralf, Visionary Stitcher - 3.5 - NICE! This card is a great win condition for any deck. Don't have zombies? NO PROBLEM! You can also sacrifice at instant speed making this really difficult to deal with.
Gutter Skulker // Gutter Shortcut
Gutter Skulker // Gutter Shortcut - 3 - People underestimate how strong "Can't be blocked" abilities can be. Blue decks are not known for going wide, and with exploit in the format it is likely you will have fewer creatures than normal on the field, so this will likely just get in each turn while letting you hold back blockers and cast noncreature spells.
Hullbreaker Horror
Hullbreaker Horror - 4 - "7 mana is a lot". I DON'T CARE! Play this card and make people cry. All of your bounce spells and removal become counterspells as a bonus...This is just nuts.
Inspired Idea
Inspired Idea - 3 - When compared to cards like Divination this card has a higher ceiling and a lower floor. Reducing the maximum hand size means you cannot cast it early to help with hand smoothing or land draws. Getting to cast it late means you get more cards and don't care about only getting to have 4 cards in hand because most Limited hands are hellbent by this point anyway. Decent spell overall.
Jacob Hauken, Inspector // Hauken's Insight
Jacob Hauken, Inspector // Hauken's Insight- 3.5 - I love that this card allows you to dig for things like lands early but will still give a card advantage later in the game. My biggest fear is the creature being removed after exiling some of the late game cards. There is no doubt that this will win games if it gets to transform.
Lantern Bearer // Lanterns' Lift
Lantern Bearer // Lanterns' Lift - 3 - Unlike disturb cards from Midnight Hunt, the value of these are on the back. Getting to give a creature +1/+1 and flying late in the game is a huge bonus. This is also the type of thing an opponent will forget is in the graveyard and just die to it.
Lunar Rejection
Lunar Rejection - 3 - I'm going to play a 4 mana bounce spell that replaces itself. If I ever get to cast it for 2 it is a nice bonus.
Mirrorhall Mimic // Ghastly Mimicry
Mirrorhall Mimic // Ghastly Mimicry - 4.5 - Holy smokes this card is amazing! This card is likely a 5 and will win an insane amount of games, but I gave it a 4.5 because it is best when cast for the disturb cost and is vulnerable to removal. The neat thing about this aura is getting to cast it on an opponent's creature. If they want to kill it they have to 2 for 1 themselves in addition to whatever killed it in the first place. This card is super cool!
Mischievous Catgeist // Catlike Curiosity
Mischievous Catgeist - 2.5 - Getting to connect with a player as a 1/1 is going to be tough, but getting to put this on a flying creature later in the game is going to be great value. Cards like Gutter Skulker // Gutter Shortcut are also looking for this type of ability.
Necroduality
Necroduality - 1 - There will be a cute zombie build-around deck in the format. Sadly, it does say non-token, so it won't be much good even in that deck.
Overcharged Amalgam
Overcharged Amalgam - 4 - With some cheap creatures to sacrifice this is going to be a strong creature. Even if you decide not to counter a spell you are still getting a decent rate with this 3/3 flash flier for 4. We just paid 5 mana for that last set and were fine with it!
Patchwork Crawler
Patchwork Crawler - 2 - This is an interesting creature. This is more playable in Constructed than in Limited, but it is a decent late mana sink with a relevant creature type. If the deck has even one activated ability this will be good enough to consider.
Repository Skaab
Repository Skaab - 3 - The power level of this is going to depend on the spells in the deck. If you have good removal or other spells worth getting back this goes way up in value. This will be decent in any deck, but great in some.
Scattered Thoughts
Scattered Thoughts - 3.5 - I love everything about this draw spell. Digging 4 cards deep is great, and getting to put disturb cards into the graveyard is a lot of value. Getting to cast it at instant speed is a huge bonus.
Screaming Swarm
Screaming Swarm - 3.5 - Getting to mill your own cards is neat. I doubt milling the opponent will be worth doing seeing how this is a 4/4 flier and if it attacks that many times they will be dead way before they run out of cards.
Selhoff Entomber
Selhoff Entomber - 2 - Getting a rummage card rather than a loot in Blue is odd. It makes sense because Blue wants to work with its graveyard, and that makes this a great enabler for the decks that need this ability.
Serpentine Ambush
Serpentine Ambush - 2 - Sideboard card against burn spells or aggressive decks. I rarely play these types of effects.
Skywarp Skaab
Skywarp Skaab - 3 - Any creature that says "draw a card" is worth playing in Limited. So many games are determined by how much cardboard you have.
Soulcipher Board // Cipherbound Spirit
Soulcipher Board // Cipherbound Spirit - 3.5 - Getting to put disturb cards into the graveyard is like drawing cards. The artifact synergizes well with what Blue is trying to do and offers a long term card advantage attached to an evasive threat. I think this card will see a fair amount of play.
Steelclad Spirit
Steelclad Spirit - 1.5 - Even though this is a decent early blocker I would still want a decent amount of spirits in the deck to consider playing this. It will be a good sideboard card against more aggressive decks.
Stitched Assistant
Stitched Assistant - 2.5 - Sacrificing a creature for card draw is not always worth doing, so this will often be a three-mana 3/2. This will shine against any Pacifism effect or with some token generation.
Stormchaser Drake
Stormchaser Drake - 3.5 - I might like this a bit more than I should. It is a good early creature that offers decent card advantage. Typically, this ability would not be good in Blue, but with disturb in the format you can likely target this a fair amount.
Syncopate
Syncopate - 2.5 - Syncopate is one of the counterspells that have a large fluctuation in power based on the set around them. The overall mana cost of the set seems to be fairly low so this will be a little underwhelming but still playable.
Syphon Essence
Syphon Essence - 3 - Another decent counterspell. I don't mind that it is restricted to creatures only because it will still always find a target. The Blood token is a nice bonus too even without any special synergy for it.
Thirst for Discovery
Thirst for Discovery - 3.5 - Late in the game land is the last thing I want, so getting to draw three to increase the amount of spells drawn seems like a great bonus. It is also important to note this is an instant, so it makes all of your counterspells better as well.
Wanderlight Spirit
Wanderlight Spirit - 3 - This flier is a great rate and will block all those 1/1 Spirit tokens generated in the set. This is a great 3-drop at common.
Wash Away
Wash Away - 3 - This is a Cancel with some upside. You won't get to cast it for 1-mana often, but it will be nice to have the option.
Whispering Wizard
Whispering Wizard - 3.5 - This is an uncommon bomb. A few 1/1 fliers can make a big difference and end the game quickly. It's also not expensive considering the ability is on a decently sized creature.
Winged Portent
Winged Portent - 2 - Meh. I gave this a 2 because card draw is always good. If you are in a creature-heavy Simic deck go ahead and play this. Honestly there is better card draw at common and uncommon.
Witness the Future
Witness the Future - 1.5 - This is a cute way to put all the best cards played back in your deck. It is also cute to mention that playing two of these means you can never lose to running out of cards. I would consider playing this with 2+ game winning bombs worth digging for.
Wretched Throng
Wretched Throng - 1.5 - This was created for Constructed where you can always have 4 copies of it, but it will be a great card to pick up late for the exploit deck. There is a Blue / Black deck that will love to have 4+ of these so keep an eye out for it.

Top 3 Blue Commons

  1. Scattered Thoughts
  2. Cradle of Safety
  3. Repository Skaab

Thanks for reading and I will see you tomorrow!

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