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By: Flippers_Giraffe, Simon Smith
Sep 10 2010 9:54am
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Welcome back to the world of angels it's been a few weeks since they graced your screens but they are back in full force this week. This week was going to be the last in the series covering the angels from Mirrodin to the present, but as ever work gets in the way.

Unless you're living in a shed at the moment (which isn't always a bad thing) you will also have seen that it's preview week for Scars of Mirrodin and its looking really nice so far here are a few spoilers of cards I'm looking forward to playing with.

There's quite a few angels to show you this week along with some interesting deck lists as well, so I'm going to immerse you in angelic goodness from the very start.

The History of Angels - Part 1

The History of Angels - Part 2

Let's continue on our path to Mirrodin the world of Artifact's which we will be going back to in the next set in October with Scars of Mirrodin. Let's have a look at the goddess's of the sky. Well first up is Luminous Angel her art is poor to match her ability and outrageous casting cost, she has had her art re-done by Jason Chan and she now looks so much better even enough to consider using. Next is Platinum Angel which has been the bane of many players life in the casual room. If you have no artifact or creature removal then you may as well say "Good Game" then and there. Platinum Angel has also been reprinted in M10 and M11 at Mythic status which I think is right for her ability. The last angel comes from the Darksteel subset and is Pristine Angel and oh is she so hot. I must admit she has a rather high mana cost and weird antennas but that's all forgiven due to her protection from all colours while she's untapped ability.  



Now this brings us to the first deck of the article which uses Pristine Angel as I said above if she's untapped she has protection from all colours and artifacts as well. So to make sure she doesn't become tapped I added in Serra's Blessing which gives all our creatures Vigilance. I included a few other angels in the deck the first is a new one from M10 that's not used much it's Guardian Seraph she's not the best angel in the book she cost's    2WhiteWhite for a 3/4 but her ability is the interesting part which reads.

"If a source an opponent controls would deal damage to you, prevent 1 of that damage."

Not great you may be saying but when you combine it with Forcefield it suddenly becomes very powerful as you only need to pay a mana and you take no combat damage from any given source.  I wanted the deck to be quite hard hitting so included some creatures you don't see very often the first is an old school card which has recently been re-printed Juggernaut and the second is a card I've not had the chance to use much myself so I thought I'd take it out for a spin Torchling. To round out the creatures I added another angel Linvala, Keeper of Silence, I did say in past articles that she was a great card and now she's come into the lime light and is currently going for $10 each.

On the mana ramp front I added a few Boros Signet's and slid in a last minute Sol Ring before I started play testing the deck. If you are wondering is it worth getting then the answer is yes as you will play it in every single casual classic deck that you have all bar a few like elves as they don't use colourless mana very often. In this deck it means I can play Juggernaut on turn two and Pristine Angel on turn four and that's without using the Signet's.

The removal went the standard way when playing  of Lightning Helix, Lightning Bolt and Oblivion Ring, I did add something else to be different which is Shunt so I can redirect spells from my other angels onto Pristine Angel nullifying them.

Here's the deck in all its glory.        

May the force be with you
by Flippers_Giraffe
4 Guardian Seraph
3 Juggernaut
2 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
4 Pristine Angel
2 Torchling
15 cards

Other Spells
2 Boros Signet
3 Forcefield
3 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
3 Oblivion Ring
3 Serra's Blessing
3 Shunt
1 Sol Ring
21 cards
4 Arid Mesa
1 Karakas
5 Mountain
5 Plains
4 Plateau
4 Sacred Foundry
23 cards


Does it play well you ask, well the answer is yes it does all the combos work as expected and Pristine Angel and Serra's Blessing had me a few concessions so it must be going in the right direction. In all the games I played I didn't once draw Torchling so I'll have to find another deck for him in a future article.

Next up is Kamigawa Block which is a big slap into the face of any angel players out there well in fact it's a slap into the face of most people as the set isn't the best and that's being kind.

So moving swiftly on we come into the city of guilds known as Ravnica and here we do indeed find signs of angels.

The first two angels are a lined to the Boros guild which is the same colours as the deck we've just seen . They are so hot that they are on fire Firemane Angel and Razia, Boros Archangel. I'm not a fan of Razia to be honest as I don't find her ability's very useful not with a power/toughness of 6/3, it just screams bolt me now. Firemane Angel may have the same toughness but she's two mana less and can be brought back from the grave. She also gives you a point of life each turn if she's in play or the graveyard. The last Angel in the block is from Dissension and is a favourite angel among casual players as she's a Vindicate when she hit's the table, yes it's the Angel of Despair.

I decided to build around Firemane Angel so it's another  deck I'm afraid this time round. I built the deck around her life gain ability and Searing Meditation it's an old combo but not one I've tried. So in go the Lightning Helix's. To further push the ability from Searing Meditation I added three Baneslayer Angel's if you don't have them Exalted Angel is just as good. Also on the same line of thinking I added Ajani Vengeant as well as he's a top cat and can be picked up at a bargain price now days.

Now to take the deck down its second path I included Boros Swiftblade as he's a great creature when he on the attack in the early game and even better if he's equipped, so I had a look through the possible equipment I could use and came across Sword of Vengeance which adds another angel theme to the deck by including Akroma's sword. Now there is another card which is similar to the Swiftblade that I wanted to include which is Kor Duelist. Together they make a great pair and to put the icing on the cake I included Stoneforge Mystic to turn my three swords into the potential of five.

Sword of Vengeance

The removal is near enough the same as the last deck so I won't go over it again the new card I tried with this deck is a card I picked up in the Coalition League Captain's Maneuver, it's such a great combat trick and wins a lot of games in that last turn when your opponents sure they have you dead to rights.                     

Vengeance shall be mine
by Flippers_Giraffe
3 Baneslayer Angel
4 Boros Swiftblade
4 Firemane Angel
3 Kor Duelist
2 Stoneforge Mystic
16 cards

Other Spells
3 Ajani Vengeant
2 Captain's Maneuver
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Searing Meditation
1 Sol Ring
3 Sword of Vengeance
20 cards
4 Arid Mesa
5 Mountain
6 Plains
4 Plateau
4 Sacred Foundry
23 cards
Sword of Vengeance


The decks really fun to play although I'm sure I get a few faces when I play Baneslayer Angel or Ajani but they are near enough down to the level of budget cards now so people better get used to seeing them around a lot more. There's going to be a lot of powerful cards dropping in price when Shard's rotates which will have a big effect on what people see across the table from them. I've already seen a great increase in the number of Ravnica duals since Extended changed.

Moving on through time we now come to Time Spiral block, there are a number of reprints which I won't be looking at as they have been covered in past articles these are Lightning Angel and Akroma, Angel of Wrath.

New to this set are Serra Avenger which has been played in a number of top decks through its time in Std and Extended. I haven't seen her much in the current extended format and she doesn't have long left. Next up we look at Planar Chaos for Akroma, Angel of Wrath's alter ego Akroma, Angel of Fury and she lives up to her name. She's not easy to cast normally but then if you can ramp up to her she can't be countered, she also has morph so you can risk playing her in the same vein as you would Exalted Angel. She can also be pumped like the good old Shivan Dragon but this lady also comes with trample, protection from white and from blue, so you really don't want to mess with her. The other angel in Planar Chaos isn't very good and is a male angel which are few and far between. He's an uncommon angel Malach of the Dawn and as you might have guessed he's not really worth bothering with. The last angel in this block is from Futuresight and is Angel of Salvation but I wouldn't feel happy having her by my side as she's not very good to say the least and has an outrageous mana cost to help her be even more looked down upon.

I'm not going to bring you a deck for this block as Serra Avenger has been used in a lot of the decks from the previous two articles, instead we move on to the next block which has a whole load of angels but then again if you look really close you may notice that all is not as it seems as the block has no angels to call its own but it does have lots of impersonators in the form of the changelings. The block of course is Lorwyn.

After Lorwyn we hit gold on our search for angelic beings in the Shards of Alara block. Now we are going to be running decks in Std so things might end up a bit more competitive.

Let's have a look at the Angels in the block. First we have Battlegrace Angel who has seen lots of play in both competitive and casual decks, although she did drop from grace when Baneslayer Angel hit the scene on the competitive side but she's the casual players best friend. Next is our first Mythic angel if I have my time line correct which is Empyrial Archangel she's usually seen in re-animation decks as a sideboard card. Her mana cost is very high but she has a nice body to show for it. The third angel in Shards of Alara is Stoic Angel which is the card I'll be using in the next deck. A point to note is that the art work for the angel was done by Volkan Baga who also done the new Mox Diamond art notice the use of background characters in both pieces of art. 

I also found another nice angel picture on his site which hasn't been published yet which is entitled Arlaim, could this be a possible planeswalker of the future? If you want to visit his site its www.volkanbaga.de 


Moving on in the next set Conflux we only have one angel but she holds the Mythic status, the fair lady of the sky is Maelstrom Archangel if you are playing five colours then she is a blast to play, she was one of my favourite cards when the Kaleidoscope format was popular. The last set in the block Alara Reborn is home to two more angels. Filigree Angel who is great with artifact decks it's a shame she has to rotate before Scars comes online. The other angel is Jenara, Asura of War who will also be appearing in the following deck.

You may have guessed the colour of the deck by the two angels I want to include yes it's going to be  the colours of Bant.  

So we have are angels now to make a deck round them, Bant decks are usually quite easy to make as the ingredients are pretty self explanatory it's kind of like baking a cake.

You start off with your base of Seaside Citadel's and Noble Hierarch's, then put your ingredients into a bowl and give them a good stir to make the mixture which in our case is a few grams of Bant Sureblade's along with your Rhox War Monk's to strengthen the mixture. To give it that extra bit of texture as mine is still a bit runny at this moment in time I like to add a few Garruk Wildspeaker's to the mix which gives the desired effect. 

I then exiled the cake in the oven for a few hours while I weaved my Bant Charm. A few hours later I took the cake out and it was pretty stunning like my Stoic Angels. I whipped up some icing and placed it on top of my cake with a few  Smarties to give it that added Bant effect. 

After that I Braved the Elements and went into the Wildwood to eat my cake with Rafiq and believe me this guy lives up to his name (Rafiq of the Many) for each piece of cake I had he must have had three, I did find that I left the cake in the oven for a bit too long as we did have to use the Behemoth Sledge to brake it down to smaller pieces before it could be consumed. All in all it wasn't a bad cake it fared even better as a magic deck though but that's what you expect from the ladies of Bant.

If you're wondering what happened with the Misty Rainforest well that's mine and Jenara's secret...which we won't be telling any time soon. 


Now this was going to be the last in the angel series this week but as you may have guessed I still have another block and the angels in the recent core sets to go over so my task is not yet complete. As this article is getting pretty long and my spare time has run out for this week I will bring you the fourth deck that was going to be in this article next week and will build a few more so you don't feel left out. Then it will be my rare drafter article the week after as it's that time of month again. The budget decks will follow that all being well but you know how quickly things change.

Flippers out


 My PureMTGO Archive / The Rare Drafter - August / The Coalition League  


Twilight shepherd wants a by AJ_Impy at Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:02
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Twilight Shepherd wants a word with you about Shadowmoor. Aside from that, nicely comprehensive.

Oh dear she wont be happy by Flippers_Giraffe at Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:08
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Oh dear she wont be happy with me.

I really like this series. by Leviathan at Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:15
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I really like this series. After you finish the angels are you thinking of another iconic creature type? Dragons might all be too similar but I'm sure there is something else out there.

To be honest I'm open to by Flippers_Giraffe at Fri, 09/10/2010 - 18:45
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To be honest I'm open to ideas It doesnt even have to be creatures. I had thought of Dragons and it is possible.

I was waiting to see if someone suggested anything.

Red - Dragons Black - by Leviathan at Sat, 09/11/2010 - 14:11
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Red - Dragons
Black - Demons
Blue - some sort of flyer. Djinn? Sphinx? Not a lot to work with there.
Green - always kind of screwed with the iconic creatures. Too many beasts. Wurm? That's a tough one.

blue would be sphinxes at by ShardFenix at Sat, 09/11/2010 - 17:35
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blue would be sphinxes at least nowadays. I seem to remember someone mentioning in an article on the mothership that sphinxes were taking over as blue's iconic creature type.
And green is sort of screwed, but I guess it would be wurms.

I think they need to refocus by Scartore at Sat, 09/11/2010 - 19:10
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I think they need to refocus on developing an iconic big critter for green. They've really pushed Sphinxes for blue, I see no reason why we couldn't see a similar push for the green fatty. They have printed some nice Wurms lately.

Elementals seem to be a very by Paul Leicht at Sat, 09/11/2010 - 20:56
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Elementals seem to be a very green iconic creature.

Yeah, but can you really say by Scartore at Sun, 09/12/2010 - 08:33
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Yeah, but can you really say the "best" Elementals are green anymore? Not since Lorwin...

Is black Demons or Vampires? by Flippers_Giraffe at Sat, 09/11/2010 - 17:56
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Is black Demons or Vampires?

They have been going hand in hand since Alpha.

There are 38 demons online by Leviathan at Sat, 09/11/2010 - 18:23
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There are 38 demons online right now. Demons lost out for a few years when they were replaced by horrors.
There are 50 vampires onling right now. A good chunk of them are from Zendikar. So it could go either way. But personally I would choose demons. Much more interesting to build around.

Looking at the wurms that are online right now, they aren't all horrible. I think the originally intended iconic green creature was supposed to be Force of Nature, but there are so many elementals out there they've kind of diluted them.

yeah vampires arent really by ShardFenix at Sat, 09/11/2010 - 20:49
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yeah vampires arent really iconic anymore. they have been relegated to one of blacks tribes.

Hi Flippers, I have a by Lord Erman at Sun, 09/12/2010 - 03:33
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Hi Flippers, I have a suggestion if I may:

These articles about angels were nice but I don't think I would read a new one about dragons or demons or any other creature. Angels are by far my favorite creature type in Magic and therefore these series caught my attention.

But I have an idea for a new series: How about "The History of Colors, Part I White"? Tell us everything about that color of the week, how it started back in Alpha, tell us about iconic cards, iconic decks etc...

When speaking about white for example, tell us about Armageddon, Wrath of God, Swords to Plowshares as well as Baneslayer Angel and Elspeth, Knight-Errant.

What is that color good for? How did it start and what did change in time? For example the white mana symbol changed in time (slightly that is) and you can mention that. I don't think that many of the new players know that.

Show us a few Plains and let us vote the "Best Plains of all times" for example.

Tell us about the "rise & fall" of that color. During which blocks was it the best color and during which blocks was it the worst one and why? Tell us about its relationship with other colors.

And in that article, you can also tell us about its iconic creatures.

Just a suggestion.


PS: Oh and speaking of Green's most iconic creature type... uhm... what happened to the elves?

LE I think you have the by Flippers_Giraffe at Sun, 09/12/2010 - 04:04
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LE I think you have the answer to my problem as I have noticed the general decline in readers as the series has progressed so much so that a 4th angel article may not even be warranted.

I do agree that Green's iconic creature is Elves as well.

I think elves tend to be by Paul Leicht at Sun, 09/12/2010 - 06:02
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I think elves tend to be ignored because they are so ubiquitous that those of us who are tired of seeing them try to pretend they don't exist. Not that there aren't great examples of them but they have really been done to death, and then some.

elves ARE NOT green's iconic by ShardFenix at Sun, 09/12/2010 - 13:47
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elves ARE NOT green's iconic creature. Otherwise whites would be something lame like soldiers and blacks zombies and red goblins etc...

Iconic Magic Creature

1. You show up only a few times per set (and many times only once).
2. You are almost exclusively rare or mythic rare.
3. You show up on splashy cards.

Characteristic Magic Creature

1. You show up many times per set.
2. You show up in all rarities, especially at common.
3. You appear on many mundane, basic cards (such as vanilla and French vanilla creatures—R&D-speak for creatures with no rules text or just simple creature keyword abilities.)

iconic creatures are what fatties the color is known for like angels, dragons, demons, wurms, and sphinxes...

ANH HYDRAS!!!! thats it...WotC is trying to make hydras greens icon...

You could be onto something by Flippers_Giraffe at Sun, 09/12/2010 - 15:35
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You could be onto something there Shard with the Hydras

I totally agree except for by Paul Leicht at Sun, 09/12/2010 - 17:43
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I totally agree except for the (french) vanilla part since we do have Goliath Sphinx and Angel of Mercy etc.