You are on the play. A turn one Kytheon shows your opponent what’s up, and she untaps and plays a Temple of Malady. Your turn, you play a land and pass, and your opponent plays a second tapland, to be met by your Raise the Alarm. Your opponent is in trouble now, but thankfully, she has a Hero’s Downfall that she kept on top the first turn. On your turn, you play a Vryn Wingmare.
Suddenly, that Downfall is not an immediate answer. When you play a second Wingmare the next turn, your opponent is as good as dead.
That, my friends, is the good news: We’re getting a flying, non-legendary Thalia. The bad news? She costs three instead of two. The question is, how much does that matter? What Thalia was good at in Standard was delaying that sweeper for a turn-and three mana to do that is still on time for the most part (works against End Hostilities, Crux of Fate, works on the play against Drown in Sorrow/Anger).
What Thalia did better was fight the cheaper interaction. Making an Ultimate Price cost three on turn two is worthwhile, making it cost three on turn three often means they’ve already played it.
Flying is obviously great, and often better than First Srike. Looking at the creatures that are played in Standard, a 2/1 flyer is most likely a lot better than a 2/1 First Strike, since there are not that many creatures it would fight through with those stats (great against MonoRed, but other than that? Beating up on a naked Seeker of the Way?). Not that a 2/1 Flyer survives many aerial fights, but flyers tend to not tussle very much and kind of just get in for damage.
In older formats, being a 2/1 flyer is fairly relevant just because it has the option of trading with one of the best creatures of all time: Delver of Secrets. Not being Legendary matters a bit too. I’m sure Death and Taxes would love to be able to play Thalia into Thalia, and now they have that option. I’d have to check with my local Death and Taxes representatives, but I could very well imagine them wanting to play 5-6 Thalias, but at the same time hating the 4th because she’s legendary. In that case, boy- do we have the solution for you! Who needs Trinisphere? Your Brainstorms now cost three while I’m hitting you for 4 each turn. GL;HF.
Of course, at three mana, we have actually already seen Glowrider as an option before. Glowrider has seen some fringe play in Legacy already, but that one did not have flying, and thus could not trade with Delver of Secrets, survive a Rough or fly over a Tarmogoyf.
Now, costing three is obviously a bit of a bummer in older formats, but it making spells cost twice as much is worth as much if not more than making a 3 cost spell cost 4. People often want to cast multiple spells in one turn in Modern and Legacy, and thus the effect is almost double as effective. That might be worth the third mana still. Death and Taxes and Maverick already play three drops, and if you can go Thalia into Vryn Wingmate, costing two or three is kind of irrelevant.
Unfortunately, there’s not much to discuss when it comes to Vryn Wingmare’s Limited applications because it is essentially a Wind Drake with potential upside. It’s frequently going to be solid, but can certainly reach stages of awesome if it gets cast early against a clunky deck with many non-creatures spells.
Magic Origins comes out on July 17th, 2015. We can hardly wait!