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He's a tricky card to play, because he's rather fragile and his final ability makes him a threat that needs to be answered. While his lightning Helix isn't bad, I usually end up using his +1 ability to keep an opponent's land tapped more often than anything else. Like Pwnsaw said, getting him out on turn 3 can be particularly hard on your opponent, especially if they're running multiple colors.

I've never actually managed to pull off his ultimate, though the closest time I came to doing it was when I had both Ajani and Elspeth, Knight-Errant out at the same time. With her creating blockers and Ajani keeping things tapped, I managed to build them both up until my opponent had to choose which one would have to eat a lightning bolt.

Between having all your lands destroyed and all of your opponent's permanents being indestructible, he decided to bolt Ajani.
Posted By: Asmodi0000 (2/5/2011 8:54:55 AM)
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@darkfury

how is his -2 black?

he's a red / white planeswalker.
lightning bolt - Red - 3 damage to target creature or player
healing salve - White - gain 3 life

2 cards, 2 mana, 2 counters.

Sounds right to me.
Posted By: Kurhan (1/21/2010 11:47:45 PM)
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It seems interesting to me that every planeswalker has a 50/50 number of comments for pro and con. Everyone either loves, or hates the planeswalkers. Ajani vengeant is perfectly good, and everything it does is helpful. The card that really needs a reprint in my opinion is jace beleren. I love blue, but jace just gives repetitive card draw, which can be done in other ways (thought reflection, sensei's top, ocular halo). A one card draw per turn is a lack luster ability compared to doing damage and gaining life, tapping a permanent for an extra turn, or destroying all lands. Even jace's mill ability, while a nice touch, wont win you the game by any standard. Personally, I hope they reprint a new jace with a time walk like ability, or maybe gain control of all opponents creatures, (in the same way they reprinted chandra) in the next world wake set.
Posted By: Donovan_Fabian (10/24/2009 11:45:40 PM)
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@BenKHS

WAIT.... "the only plain that focuses on attacking with the only creature they've got is in fact NAYA! Bant has an army of attacking creatures..."

You have those two mixed up. I'm pretty sure THIS is Bant's theme...

@Donovan_Fabian

so DO you like the reprinted Jace in the Worldwake set?
Posted By: phyrexiantrygon (1/9/2012 8:06:31 PM)
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Beware the young, angry version of Ajani. At first glance, he may not look like much on paper, but is an absolute house in play.

The great thing about Ajani is that all 3 of his abilities are useful and powerful. (Most planeswalkers can't say the same.) His +1 is a perpetual Icy Manipulator, either locking down an opponent's biggest, baddest creature, or locking out a crucial colour splash from a land. His -2 is a flexible removal ability for a reasonable cost (compare with Chandra Nalaar's -X ability) that ups your life total at the same time. His ultimate speaks for itself - if it goes off, the game is very well in hand.

Versatility is Ajani's strongest suit. In the worst case scenario, you're losing the game, and plop down Ajani as an expensive Lightning Helix before he gets attacked and dies. Even in this worst case, it's an even one-for-one trade. In a neutral or winning scenario, you'll likely use Ajani's +1 ability sever... (see all)
Posted By: PlaytpusPlatoon (12/11/2008 1:18:45 PM)
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He is a Johnny, vengeant.
Posted By: Axelle (5/19/2011 10:08:46 PM)
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Despite the only weakness bieng 3 loyalty counters, Ajani Vengeant is a powerhouse, His first two abilities do wonders for keeping himself alive. Afterall Planeswalkers need to be in play in order for you to win with them. The Icy manipulator ability locks your opponents down, so you can have one less blocker than your opponents have potential attackers, and still make sure Ajani doesnt take anything. The Lightning Helix ability is equally as good seeing how you can kill off a creatue, and gain life too. Of course first turn hes in play it might be a tough decision to helix and drop him down to 1 loyalty, but thats why its fun to drop another one once he dies. I dont think i need to explain why a one sided armaggedon is good. plus there is alot of fun white and red removal in standard to support him including: o ring, lightning bolt, path to exile, hallowed burial, volcanic fallout, lash out, incinerate, and the list goes on and on. My biggest regret in the game of magic is trading 2 o... (see all)
Posted By: Brenius (7/31/2009 11:45:35 AM)
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Most of the posters here have entirely missed what this card is good at. Primarily, Ajani Vengeant is a control card, because it is two things at the same time: a threat and an answer. Luckily, these are the two things that control decks need.

I use Ajani in my Cascade Control deck, and he works wonders. His best possible use is played in the early game to keep an attacker tapped down, then hiding behind Wall of Denial and Kathari Remnant, along with killing most other threats. Once Ajani has built up a critical mass of loyalty counters, you can either set off his ultimate or start Helixing your opponent's creatures. If you're ahead on the board, just use the -7 because there's absolutely no way your opponent can come back from that without getting about 17 amazing topdecks in a row. If you're struggling on the board, it's best to start killing your opponent's guys.

I mean, the worst case scenario for this guy is an expensive Lightning Helix, and that certainly isn't terrible. The be... (see all)
Posted By: Vorthosian (6/22/2009 11:36:39 PM)
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Ajani is an Isochron Scepter with a complementary Lightning Helix, and considering the fact his abilities don't cost any mana, it would have been overpowered to let him start with four or more loyalty counters for only 2RedWhite. He is a house, and three loyalty counters is fair because it means you need to wait three turns for your second Lightning Helix, and six turns for the third and so on.

Ajani's other great ability is the Icy Manipulator / Amber Prison ability, which since it has a +1 cost, you can use it every turn. This means you can still be productive while you are waiting for your Lightning Helixes.

I don't like Ajani's third ability. It is powerful, and I think seven is plenty fair, but most games you really don't need it. It takes a minimum of five turns to go off, and you are just asking for an Oblivion Ring to hit Ajani dur... (see all)
Posted By: LordZogar (7/27/2009 8:20:38 AM)
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oh, a green mana rampage deck? oh dear. Ajani Vengeant plus some white damage protection spells. What happened to your mass of lands? adorable
Posted By: Ninjazilla (5/19/2011 7:18:25 PM)
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