From around 2015 to 2018, WoTC produced Planeswalkers in a somewhat cookie-cutter mold. They tended to cost between 4 and 5 mana, they had a plus ability that was worth nearly a card in random value, a minus ability that was worth a card (usually expressed through removal, or perhaps some kind of creature token), and an ultimate ability that was pretty strong but rarely achieved. These Planeswalkers were value engines. 

Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants fits that mold, and as a result, it's a bit ho-hum. Sure, this deck will want to play creatures and especially some 2-drops, but when isn't that true of a White deck? 

That said, there is one thing that's very special about this Ajani: the descriptor. "Adversary of Tyrants"? With a name like that, Ajani should be THE hero of Magic Lore! Who doesn't want their top character to be an Adversary of Tyrants? It's very possibly my favorite title of any Planeswalker. For the purposes of a Planeswalke Duel Deck, the question is this: flavorfully, what White creatures are 'adversaries of tyrants'? 

Why, Rebels, of course:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants by Andy Hurst

'Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Andy Hurst

Event:

Rank:

Freeform (Casual)

Market Price: $29.04

Cards

Defiant Falcon

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7145_200w.jpg

Flying
{4}, {T}: Search your library for a Rebel permanent card with converted mana cost 3 or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

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Divine Congregation

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14203_200w.jpg

You gain 2 life for each creature target player controls.
Suspend 5—{1}{W} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay {1}{W} and exile it with five time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost.)

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Changeling Hero

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.35

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Changeling (This card is every creature type.)
Champion a creature (When this enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you exile another creature you control. When this leaves the battlefield, that card returns to the battlefield.)
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)

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Avian Changeling

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.22

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Changeling (This card is every creature type.)
Flying

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Crib Swap

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/219508_200w.jpg

Changeling (This card is every creature type.)
Exile target creature. Its controller creates a 1/1 colorless Shapeshifter creature token with changeling.

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Amorphous Axe

Market Price: $0.01

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Equipped creature gets +3/+0 and is every creature type.
Equip {3} ({3}: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

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Bond of Discipline

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.04

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Tap all creatures your opponents control. Creatures you control gain lifelink until end of turn.

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Knight of the Holy Nimbus

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.09

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Flanking (Whenever a creature without flanking blocks this creature, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.)
If Knight of the Holy Nimbus would be destroyed, regenerate it.
{2}: Knight of the Holy Nimbus can't be regenerated this turn. Only your opponents may activate this ability.

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Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.61

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{X}, {T}: Search your library for a Rebel permanent card with converted mana cost X or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.
{3}: Put target Rebel card from your graveyard on the bottom of your library.

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Nomad Stadium

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.30

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{T}: Add {W}. Nomad Stadium deals 1 damage to you.
Threshold — {W}, {T}, Sacrifice Nomad Stadium: You gain 4 life. Activate this ability only if seven or more cards are in your graveyard.

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Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $5.13

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+1: Put a +1/+1 counter on each of up to two target creatures.
−2: Return target creature card with converted mana cost 2 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.
−7: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of your end step, create three 1/1 white Cat creature tokens with lifelink."

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Whipcorder

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10322_200w.jpg

{W}, {T}: Tap target creature.
Morph {W} (You may cast this card face down as a 2/2 creature for {3}. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

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Outrider en-Kor

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

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Flanking (Whenever a creature without flanking blocks this creature, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.)
{0}: The next 1 damage that would be dealt to Outrider en-Kor this turn is dealt to target creature you control instead.

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Mirror Entity

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $5.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132093_200w.jpg

Changeling (This card is every creature type.)
{X}: Until end of turn, creatures you control have base power and toughness X/X and gain all creature types.

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Remote Farm

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.25

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Remote Farm enters the battlefield tapped with two depletion counters on it.
{T}, Remove a depletion counter from Remote Farm: Add {W}{W}. If there are no depletion counters on Remote Farm, sacrifice it.

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Amrou Seekers

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.07

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Amrou Seekers can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or white creatures.

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Valiant Changeling

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.04

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This spell costs {1} less to cast for each creature type among creatures you control. This effect can't reduce the amount of mana this spell costs by more than {5}.
Changeling (This card is every creature type.)
Double strike

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Stirring Address

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191716_200w.jpg

Target creature you control gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
Overload {5}{W} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")

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Bound in Silence

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233454_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235540_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Reconnaissance

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $7.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/4385_200w.jpg

{0}: Remove target attacking creature you control from combat and untap it.

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Coordinated Barrage

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/17964_200w.jpg

Choose a creature type. Coordinated Barrage deals damage to target attacking or blocking creature equal to the number of permanents you control of the chosen type.

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Saltfield Recluse

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233389_200w.jpg

{T}: Target creature gets -2/-0 until end of turn.

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Karoo

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94474_200w.jpg

Karoo enters the battlefield tapped.
When Karoo enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you return an untapped Plains you control to its owner's hand.
{T}: Add {C}{W}.

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Ramosian Revivalist

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14964_200w.jpg

{6}, {T}: Return target Rebel permanent card with converted mana cost 5 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.

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Weight of Conscience

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/18092_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature can't attack.
Tap two untapped creatures you control that share a creature type: Exile enchanted creature.

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Force of Virtue

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190991_200w.jpg

If it's not your turn, you may exile a white card from your hand rather than pay this spell's mana cost.
Flash
Creatures you control get +1/+1.

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Steadfast Guard

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15339_200w.jpg

Vigilance (Attacking doesn't cause this creature to tap.)

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Saltblast

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233508_200w.jpg

Destroy target nonwhite permanent.

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Sejiri Steppe

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/46808_200w.jpg

Sejiri Steppe enters the battlefield tapped.
When Sejiri Steppe enters the battlefield, target creature you control gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn.
{T}: Add {W}.

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Defiant Vanguard

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14577_200w.jpg

When Defiant Vanguard blocks, at end of combat, destroy it and all creatures it blocked this turn.
{5}, {T}: Search your library for a Rebel permanent card with converted mana cost 4 or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

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Improvised Armor

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10433_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+5.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Endure

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/27109_200w.jpg

Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and permanents you control this turn.

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Amrou Scout

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233392_200w.jpg

{4}, {T}: Search your library for a Rebel permanent card with converted mana cost 3 or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

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Ballista Squad

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15048_200w.jpg

{X}{W}, {T}: Ballista Squad deals X damage to target attacking or blocking creature.

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Jhovall Queen

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6579_200w.jpg

Vigilance

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Irregular Cohort

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191689_200w.jpg

Changeling (This card is every creature type.)
When Irregular Cohort enters the battlefield, create a 2/2 colorless Shapeshifter creature token with changeling.

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Tempest of Light

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/32741_200w.jpg

Destroy all enchantments.

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The Game Plan

We're mostly looking to establish the Rebel Alliance and then use superior numbers and some back-breaking late game spells to put the opponent away. It's easy, although occasionally slow, to get ahead on the board with Rebel recruiters. Irregular Cohort makes up for that lack of speed by providing multiple bodies, and there are some real combat ruiners like Saltfield Recluse, Whipcorder, and Ballista Squad. Reconnaissance totally avoids unfavorable attacks, and an overloaded Stirring Address or Bonds of Discipline can bat cleanup. 

The removal is pretty weird, but the ability to tutor up Bound in Silence at instant-speed is great. Other than that, look for some favorable situations with Coordinated Barrage or Saltblast. Remember that Crib Swap gives the owner of the exiled creature a token, not you! There may be some situations where you want to swap your own guy, but it's likely greedy. 

The Rares

There aren't too many cards in these decks that have been banned before, and Ms. Sivvi definitely represents a past era of Magic. In her heyday, Rebels were pretty much the best thing to play, since they could establish an early board presence to slip under countermagic, develop the board at instant speed, and hold up defensive countermagic for opposing mass removal. The old Legend Rule was in place, so if you landed your Sivvi before your opponent did in a mirror match, sucks to be them. That's not fun at all! 

I've heard that Sivvi's dominance in Standard and Block Constructed was a big factor in changing the Legend Rule a few years later, and honestly, I'm not surprised, just relieved. Regardless of her historical impact, if you're playing Rebels, there's not one you'd want more than the Boss Lady here. She recruits more guys at any price range and brings back (albeit slowly) the fallen for another crack at the cause. 

Stat-wise, most of our rebels are pretty mopey. Mirror Entity wonders, "but what if they weren't?" Most of the time, the answer is that your opponent is, well, dead.

The biggest natural Rebel. I don't think this card has seen any play in decades, and when I delved into the ol' bulk box for this project, it seemed too cool not to include! I'm sure there are better cards to play, but how many of them are mutant tiger rebel queens? That's what I thought. 

If you're using Rebels for recruiting more forces to the Battlefield, the odds are strong that you're going to have cards clogging up your hand, since you're spending your mana on activated abilities instead of casting your spells. Force of Virtue puts those dead cards to work, and also helps solve that Mopey Creature Syndrome! Flash opens the door for combat blowouts—just remember that you can't pay the alternate cost on your own turn. 

Unsung Hero

Bound in Silence asked a brand new question when it came out in Future Sight: what if spells had creature types? For many of you out there, you'll know about Tribal spells from the reminder text on Tarmogoyf, but Bound in Silence (and numerous Tribal spells in Lorwyn Block the following year) represented a pretty neat tweak on tribal interactions before being shelved due to complexity fears. 

Remember, Rebel activations can search for any Rebel permanent, so you can tutor up a Bound in Silence at instant speed and pacify your opponent's best threats. Thanks to similar wording on Lin Sivvi and Ramosian Revivalist, if the Bound creature meets its end, you can either recycle the Tribal Aura for future recruitment or bring it right back from the yard for more pacification. 

I've always thought Rebels were cool, even if the recruitment angle was repetitive and limited design space. Time Spiral did a great job with providing some fun, diverse payoffs and I hope that WotC pulls a Ramosian Revivalist and brings rebels back someday, even if they do so in a slightly different way. In the meantime, the rebels we've got oppose tyranny with zeal and fervor. It's never felt so good to be rebel scum.