Angels are those that are looked to for inspiration, power, and hope. When those angels turn against you all is lost, especially hope. When Nahiri and Emrakul got ahold of these Angels, the worst came of it. They turned against the ones that looked for inspiration and hope, and struck them down.

I attempted to take my two favorite things in magic and put them together in my standard deck, Mardu and angels. The goal of this deck is to win early game through removal and win mid game with Angels, and take it late if necessary. The angels in the deck can take care of most problems that will arise in standard, but there is also a strong presence of burn in the deck. There are five cards in the deck that can tick down the opponent by 3 damage here and there within play.

The creatures in this deck are mainly Angels with a splash of creatures that are utility and help me stabilize in dire situations. Thraben Inspector gets me an early game body as well as card draw and fuel for Unlicensed Disintegration. Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim is a terrific two mana costed creature in this deck. It's toughness of 3 stops most aggro and with deathtouch I can trade her into larger creatures. Her mana abilities also help fuel the deck allowing me to sacrifice a creature that will be killed for health and assurance it's in grave instead of exile and if I get enough life it can exile nonland permanents for the cost of creatures. Combustible Gearhulk is a tank in this deck drawing me 3 cards or burning them for life. Now with the Angels, Gisela, the Broken Blade is an amazing Angel for 4 mana giving me flying defense and lifelink. Archangel Avacyn  Flip is a pro in tough situations, protecting my board and providing me with a 4/4 vigilance that flips in the event my creature dies giving her more power and a 3 damage burn. For another strong enter the battlefield option I have Linvala, the Preserver for possible 5 life and another 3/3 body. Finally, Bruna, the Fading Light is a tough Angel on her own but her cast trigger brings back my Angels and melds with Gisela for the all powerful Eldrazi Horror Angel, Brisela, Voice of Nightmares.

There is a fair amount of removal spells in this deck to help me through what I need to get accomplished. With the instant speed I have Unlicensed Disintegration and Grasp of Darkness. Shock is a great addition adding in some burn damage or use during combat to take out a larger creature.

Implement of Improvement does multiple things for me in this deck. It has card draw, revolt trigger, and it is an artifact that gives a trigger to both Unlicensed Disintegration and Spire of Industry.

Finally the walkers in this deck are key. Liliana, the Last Hope is an essential piece to slow and render creatures useless early game and return creatures from my grave to hand to keep the Angels coming. Nahiri, the Harbinger is a terrific add to this deck allowing for card cycle to find what I need, a minus ability that takes care of tapped threats, and finally, an ultimate that lets me get my dangerous enter the battlefield effects on the field. Finally, the last walker is Sorin, Grim Nemesis who allows for lifegain, card draw and burn, and an ultimate that swarms the enemy while gaining life.

There's great options in these colors for a strong sideboard for each different encounter. Generally I would sideboard like this, but it is up to how my opponent is playing their specific deck.

Against the more aggressive matchups I would sideboard 1 Combustible Gearhulk, 1 Bruna, the Fading Light, 1 Linvala, the Preserver, and 3 Fiery Tempers. After taking out these cards I would sideboard in 2 Thalia, Heretic Cathars, 1 Stasis Snare and 3 Radiant Flames.

For the more controlling matchups I have great options as well. In most matchups I would sideboard out 3 Fatal Pushes, 3 Ayli, Eternal Pilgrims, 1 Gisela, the Broken Blade, 1 Shock, and 1 Implement of Improvement. Taking out these cards would make room to sideboard in 2 Anguished Unmakings, 2 Ruinous Paths, 3 Lost Legacys, and 2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghets.


After play testing and having the new Aether Revolt cards come out, I changed the deck just a little to make it more consistent and a little more powerful.

With the new land, Spire of Industry, I decided that I needed to add it in for mana fixing, but I needed more artifacts than just the clue that was created by Thraben Inspector. The best card that I could find to exchange into the deck to keep the dynamic the same was Implement of Improvement. It keeps the same amount of draw, gives a revolt trigger and allows more triggers for Unlicensed Disintegration and Spire of Industry. Implement of Improvement took the spot of Tormenting Voice in the deck for the new standard.

There were two cards that really stuck out to me in the new set, but one couldn't fit in the deck as well as I wanted it to. The one that fit in the deck was Fatal Push. There are many ways to trigger the revolt trigger. A card being bounced back by Nahiri, the Harbinger's ultimate, cracking an Evolving Wilds, cracking a clue token, or sacrificing a creature of mine with Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim's first mana ability. Push took the spot of Grasp of Darkness in the deck because it took double the loyalty to black, and I needed early game protection. I also replaced Fiery Temper with Shock because it is easier to cast and there isnt much discard in the deck. The card that I wish would fit was Yahenni's Expertise because it is a power house of a card. Sadly it didn't fit well because it threw my curve off because turn 4 is mainly for Gisela, the Broken Blade or Nahiri, the Harbinger and it also killed many of my creatures because of the 3 damage.


mintyfreshmana says... #1

Killer deck, and I appreciate the time you put to recording your gameplay. My ONLY question is, does Unlicensed Disintegration pull its weight? It doesn't seem like its worth its full value (the 3 damage trigger). Would it be better replaced with a utility like Stasis Snare or the like?


November 6, 2016 12:11 p.m.

ABellGargoyle says... #2

mintyfreshmana, the Unlicensed Disintegration is in there as a replacement for Murder because the reliance on double colors sometimes caused an issue and didn't let me cast multiple things late game. Alos, if I have gearhulk it is just a better murder. I see your point, but it does the same as Murder, it's filler, and more.

November 6, 2016 1:12 p.m.

This is a crazy good deck. I playtested it against my friend's deck, and I controlled the board from the beginning. Love the deck.

November 26, 2016 2:02 p.m.

ABellGargoyle says... #4

Aldarin_Twice_Fallen thank you very much!! I've been working on it for two months and it feels great to hear that it works for others!!

November 26, 2016 10:24 p.m.

Why Tormenting Voice over Painful Truths? Is it just for the Fiery Temper?

November 26, 2016 10:33 p.m.

ABellGargoyle says... #6

happygilmore511, there are a few reasons that I use Tormenting Voice over the other draw spells in standard right now. The black draw spells, such as Painful Truths and Succumb to Temptation, have life loss associated with them and the life loss in standard right now is too relevant early game to get more cards because games are faster. Also, Painful Truths can be targeted with Spell Queller and when you get the card back, the X is 0 so it's a wasted spell all together. Finally, with Tormenting Voice I can strategically put cards in my grave for later game to get back with Liliana, the Last Hope or Bruna, the Fading Light.

November 26, 2016 10:58 p.m.

I really like your deck. If I had the Avacyns gearhulks and lilis I'd hop right on your unholy express. +1. Another question though, why side in Kalitas for the control matchups? Doesn't he suffer from the lack of opposing creatures?

November 26, 2016 11:18 p.m.

ABellGargoyle says... #8

happygilmore511, as for Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, he's there for the creature heavy decks that are controlling, which run rampant in my meta at my LGS. Mainly my deck's main board is suited for all metas, but the side is different per section you're in. I have many Bant and GW decks that are creature heavy as well as UB flash.

November 26, 2016 11:36 p.m.

Cool build and great description. +1

December 6, 2016 10:39 p.m.

JosiahXIII says... #10

Would Cathartic Reunion work instead of Tormenting Voice, or is that just too much discard?

December 7, 2016 11:17 a.m.

ABellGargoyle says... #11

JosiahXIII, I believe that the reunion is too much discard. There's not too much that I want to discard in the deck so I would rather only discard one through Tormenting Voice.

December 7, 2016 noon

Quadsimotto says... #12

This looks sweet. Sorin is a killer.Love how the thraben inspector drops a nice little artifact for unlicensed disintegrations little added bonus.

December 8, 2016 3:48 p.m.

Wel5 says... #13

what a monster deck, thumbs up!

December 10, 2016 6:14 a.m.

gabrjaws says... #14

Declaration in Stone matches the Angel's descend into madness flavor, it will also be good in the sideboard to slow down token decks and decks using amalgam's.

December 14, 2016 1:34 p.m.

swingstyle says... #15

ok so question. If you had to replace Nahiri, what would you replace her for? She is the only card I am missing from building this deck

December 29, 2016 1:38 p.m.

ABellGargoyle says... #16

swingstyle, sorry for the late reply as I have been out of the country for the past 10 days. As for answering your question there are a few cards that fit the deck other than Nahiri. You could use Thalia, Heretic Cathar to slow their creatures or any other removal spells you could add in, the most effective being either Declaration in Stone or Murder to get rid of bigger threats. You just want to ensure board control over the opponent with the replacement cards.

January 2, 2017 1:55 p.m.

CRuD3L1S says... #17

My goodness the power. +1Great description as well.

January 5, 2017 12:40 p.m.

lords2001 says... #18

I like it - I think you could also do well by adding a copy or two of Chandra, Flamecaller as she can act as a wipe, as a way to push out a win and as a way to filter your hand or enable madness.

Also Spire of Industry and to a lesser extent Key to the City really isn't designed for this deck - you aren't running nearly enough artifacts early enough to matter when you start with only 1 or 2 colours in your opening hand. And I don't think you are running enough stuff with madness to require the discard. I'd either add more single or dual lands, and find a replacement for Key. Heck even Cryptolith Fragment  Flip can be a way to get the mana colours you need and turn late game into another winner for you in the air.

January 26, 2017 11:01 a.m.

Geo67 says... #19

Is it possible to run this greatness w/out Liliana, the Last Hope? Authority of the Consuls to slow down stuff? I don't own her, and sure can't afford her.

I really want to run this deck, it's cool, and not something you see at every other table!

February 11, 2017 12:43 p.m.

ABellGargoyle says... #20

@Geo67 yes of course there are other ways. You could use Thalia, Heretic Cathar, Authority of the Consuls, or any controlling kill spells such as Declaration in Stone or Radiant Flames.

February 11, 2017 1:01 p.m.

Paper_Tiger4 says... #21

Wow This deck is nuts +1 for me Good job

February 15, 2017 2:41 p.m.

I like your deck a lot!!

February 16, 2017 1:38 p.m.

FullmetalWes says... #23

All these planeswalkers and no Heart of Kiran? Looks pretty sweet! Keep updating us on results. Good luck!

February 16, 2017 1:58 p.m.

prodigy77 says... #24

Tried this out on FNM, ended up 3-1, lost to a Green/Black Marvel deck, I did switch out the 3 Implement of Improvement for 3 Heart of Kiran, that worked out really well, also switched out 1 Evolving Wilds for a 4rth Shambling Vent. Also switched out the 3 Shock for 3 Fiery Temper, that also worked out really well due to having nahiri almost always out, melded Bruna and Gisela multiple times.

February 18, 2017 8:28 p.m.

ABellGargoyle says... #25

@prodigy77 im ecstatic to hear that it worked so well for you! So the Fiery Temper was never a dead card in hand? I used to use it in correlation with Tormenting Voice but changed to shock worrying Nahiri was not enough for discard.

As for the heart of kiran, I stand by hating vehicles with a passion so I wanted to make a deck that didn't use them, but I understand the power it brings to the table.

February 19, 2017 5:42 p.m.

What would you play if you didn't have Avacyn

February 19, 2017 7:42 p.m.

ABellGargoyle says... #27

February 19, 2017 8:06 p.m.

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Revision 23 (4 days ago)

-3 Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim main
-1 Sorin, Grim Nemesis main
+1 Sorin, Grim Nemesis main
+3 Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim main
+1 Combustible Gearhulk main
-2 Mountain main
-1 Combustible Gearhulk main
-3 Swamp main
+2 Mountain main
+3 Fiery Temper main
+3 Swamp main
-3 Plains main
-4 Evolving Wilds main
+4 Evolving Wilds main
+3 Plains main
+2 Anguished Unmaking side
-2 Anguished Unmaking side

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