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Cavern of Souls from 'Avacyn Restored' may lead to a rise in combo decks

Cavern of Souls is a paradigm changing rare land card from Wizards of the Coast's expert "Magic: The Gathering" expansion set "Avacyn Restored" that can bring control players to their knees in despair.

Cavern of Souls from "Avacyn Restored."
Wizards of the Coast
Cavern of Souls art
Wizards of the Coast

Cavern of Souls
Land (Rare)
As Cavern of Souls enters the battlefield, choose a creature type.
Tap: Add 1 to your mana pool.
Tap: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast a creature spell of the chosen type, and that spell can't be countered.

Counterspell. Mana Leak. Force of Will. Those are three of "Magic: The Gathering's" greatest counters, and invaluable deck building tools to every blue mage. All rendered useless in an opponent's hand thanks to Cavern of Souls. While that's good for the aggro player, those who favor a more controlling strategy must find ways of coping with threats that would normally be countered.

The problem isn't that Cavern of Souls is a hate card. Recent cards like Thrun, the Last Troll have been fantastic for aggro players to run in their main decks. The problem is just how strong Cavern of Souls is, providing a fantastic effect at little to no drawback. To complicate matters even more, as a land Cavern of Souls can come down on turn one and can't be countered.

With the absence of Stone Rain from Standard and Tectonic Rift as the go-to land destruction spell in "M12," there just aren't that many competitive answers to Cavern of Souls.

To combat this, blue mages will be forced to run a full contingent of Ghost Quarter or Wasteland (depending on their format) just because a single Cavern of Souls could thwart their plans. Losing a land early leads to a huge loss in tempo for mana hungry control decks.

Cavern of Souls is already seeing play at the top competitive level of "Magic," such as in Joshua Cho's naya deck at "Pro Tour Avacyn Restored" in Barcelona, Spain. In fact, there were a total of 17 copies of Cavern of Souls among the top eight decks from the event.

So what is the solution? "Magic: The Gathering" is an ever changing game and control decks must evolve if they want to remain tier one.

Alexander Hayne's winning performance at "Pro Tour Avacyn Restored" with a white-blue miracle deck packing a full set of Devastation Tide, Terminus, and Tamiyo the Moon Sage suggests that control players don't need to rely on counterspells to win. You'll notice there's only a lone Dissipate in the main deck.

This may be fine for Standard, however what about older eternal formats like Legacy and Vintage? Cavern of Souls distorts the rock/paper/scissors of aggro/combo/control decks that "Magic" archetypes fall into. If aggro decks rise to dominance because of control's inability to combat Cavern of Souls then combo decks may ultimately become the top dogs of the format.

The answer? Perhaps by playing a Cavern of Souls based combo deck running counterspells.

How will you use Cavern of Souls from "Avacyn Restored?"

Catch up on "Magic's" latest set "Avacyn Restored":
"Avacyn Restored" card lists:
White, blue, black, red, green, gold, artifact, and land.
"Avacyn Restored" Intro Pack and Event Decks

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