An ability since Alpha and a Keyword since Champions of Kamigawa (9th Edition), Vigilance has been a staple in MTG for quite a while. And rightly so. The ability to attack on your turn and block on your opponents next turn simply changes the face of the game and both forces your opponent to rethink many of his actions and allow you to attack without as much fear of your life title being unguarded.
Vigilance runs primarily in white but also in green; making it a great ally of lifegain, counters, tokens, power ramps and Trample. Now, we here at the Magic Tavern are not about to insult you by trying to explain all the ends and outs. There has been multitudes of others who have done so with a great deal of depth. No, we are a part of a great community of brewers and players who have as much or more insight to share than we do, I dare say. So what follows is a few decks using Vigilance in various ways on Arena and, therefore in Standard. Later, down the road, we will do the same with Commander and/or Historic on Arena.
As always, if you have input, we welcome it. You are as much a part of the brew system in The Magic Tavern as we are. We are here for the same reason you are: To find what works best and grow in our knowledge of all aspects of brewing MTG decks. Thank you for being here.
Earlier this year when I was just a novice on Arena, I fell in love the BRONZEHIDE LION. I’m not sure what it was at first, it’s ability to protect itself with indestructible or the fact that, when it died, it became an enchantment immediately and enchanted another creature on the board, but I have, then and now, grown to appreciate the card. At the same time, I was building a straight up VIGILANCE deck. So, it became a simple process to merge the two ideas.
I didn’t like the fact that Bronzehide Lion didn’t have vigilance, but there were cards like Sentinel’s Eyes and Keensight Mentor that could remedy this situation. Two other cards that are useful here are Taranika, Akroan Veteran and Gideon Blackblade. One gives indestructible to one creature attacking with Taranika and the Gideon planeswalker can give vigilance, lifegain or indestructible to one creature till end of turn.
Lifegain has become a hobby of sorts with me. Not that Magic the Gathering isn’t enough, but the mechanics of Lifegain intrigue me while so many others pass it as not competitive. Not sure if it’s the sure challenge of the thing or just that I really like it, but I’ve pushed into Diamond and close to Mythic with pure lifegain.
So merging lifegain with vigilance in a deck became a passion of mine. Ajani’s Pridemate ramped with Light of Hope, Majestic Auricorn and the sort becomes the heart of this deck. Linden will show up in all three of these decks, but, in this one, she is essential. Gideon Blackblade also brings a plus with giving lifelink along with Adjani, the Great Hearted, giving life per turn.
Taking one more level in Selynsia, Counters comes next. This one is not so much a vigilance deck as it is a counter’s ramp with a bit of mutate.
Raise the Alarm,Sworn Companions, Cubwarden and planeswalkers like Nissa who shakes the World and Vivien, Monster’s Advocate, all create non-human tokens that can be mutated onto. Also small tokens attacking with Taranika (mentioned before) ramp to a 4/4 indestructible creature.
Here’s a list of those cards that I used in these three decks that are going out of standard when Zendikar Rising debuts around October:
Raise the Alarm
Ajani, the Greathearted
God Eternal Rhonas
Nissa who shakes the world
Show us your Vigilance builds. What cards would you use? As always, you are a major part of the Brewery down in the Magic Tavern. I look forward to seeing what you bring to the table!