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Removal Tension with Savior of Ollenbock from Crimson Vow

When looking at today’s previews, Savior of Ollenbock appears to be a very interesting card to me. I had to read it a couple times through to get a decent feel for how the card would actually play in practice.

 

 

First, we have the training mechanic. This is a bit similar to mentor, but in reverse. The creature needs to attack with a creature with greater power in order to train. Once Savior of Ollenbock trains, it generates one of two very powerful effects.

If you opt to, you can simple exile a creature from play on the opponent’s side. But what I find particularly interesting about this card is that you can also exile a creature from your own graveyard. As you can see, if Savior of Ollenbock is removed, the cards under it go back onto the battlefield. This includes creatures that have been exiled from play as well as the graveyard.

 

Angel of Serenity

I like the fact that if you do something like exile one creature from your graveyard and one from your opponent’s battlefield, it actually can create this natural tension. Your opponent may not want you to get even more value from Savior of Ollenbock, but further they may want their creature back. There’s seemingly some interesting calculus in determining whether to remove it based on what you exile from your graveyard compared to what’s been exiled from your opponent’s side. The Blood mechanic, which is on a few cards that have been previewed so far, could potentially give you a way to easily loot away large creatures in the early game, giving you a prime target to put under Savior of Ollenbeck, in a way “protecting it” from opposing removal. 

 

Luminarch Aspirant

Another interesting consideration is how many times you can realistically trigger Savior of Ollenbock in a game. The first two seem relatively easy to accomplish, and maybe even the third. Perhaps if you have something like Luminarch Aspirant, the theoretical ceiling gets higher, but I’d be surprised if activating it more than two or three times was commonplace. This means that sometimes you may even want to sandbag an attack until you have a better use for the next level of training. All of these things make Savior of Ollenbock seem like a very interesting and powerful card.

 

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