Angel of Vitality

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Pioneer Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vintage Legal

Angel of Vitality

Creature — Angel

Flying

If you would gain life, you gain that much life plus 1 instead.

Angel of Vitality get +2/+2 as long as you have 25 or more life.

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

3 weeks ago

Guerric

Got another couple games in today:

I made some swaps prior to today's match incluuding:

Crashing Drawbridge for Lightning Greaves

Smuggler's Share for Esper Sentinel

Search for Glory for Steelshaper's Gift

I think our decks are still functionally the same but I have a lot of the tech you were heavily considering already swapped in and will be focusing on their performance in multiplayer format.

Opponents: Arvinox, the Mind Flail, Firkraag, Cunning Instigator, Ryu, World Warrior

Starting Hand?: Prismatic Vista, Windswept Heath, Myriad Landscape, Soul's Attendant, Generous Gift, Lightning Greaves, Folk Hero

Forgot to snap a picture of my starting hand but I think it was something like that. Important play of the game was Firkraag playing an early Agitator Ant. By turn 3 I had Giada equipped with a Lightning Greaves and slowly played out my hand, focusing on dropping lands and playing removal. I constantly dumped the +1/+1 counters onto Giada and since she had the greaves equipped she was basically untouchable.

After bringing Arvinox and Ryu down to the low 20's with just Giada I began dumping the counters onto a Bishop of Wings that I drew into so I could start swinging at Firkraag. Ryu also got in 2 Hadokens against Firkraag's board to draw cards. I only got 1 swing into Firkraag before they boardwiped.

I was able to recast Giada and cast an Angelic Page drawing me a card off Folk Hero. I also cast a Pyre of Heroes excited to chain it off for some spicy tech. Unfortunately Ryu was at low life and killed shortly after the boardwipe. As the other 2 players had no board they scooped to end the game so we could start the next, giving me the win.

Opponents: Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools/Armix, Filigree Thrasher, Firkraag, Cunning Instigator, Isshin, Two Heavens as One, Muldrotha, the Gravetide

Starting Hand: Plains, Mutavault, Pearl Medallion, Righteous Valkyrie, Sigarda's Vanguard, Well of Lost Dreams, Steelshaper's Gift

T1 - Plains into Steelshaper's Gift tutoring Lightning Greaves

T2 - Plains (drew) into Pearl Medallion

T3 - Mutavault into Lightning Greaves & Giada (Sworded by Isshin)

This game had some intense interactions. Isshin had a turn 1 Authority of the Consuls. Tevesh nearly played a turn 2 Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools with a Jeweled Lotus but was countered by Muldrotha. Firkraag played a Pursued Whale giving us all Pirate tokens and forcing us to attack. Isshin played into that with a Combat Calligrapher. The entire table started swinging into each other with increasingly multiplying Inkling tokens. After Isshin's Combat Calligrapher was blown up and they took a bunch of damage from their own Inklings they decided to super wipe the board with a Ruinous Ultimatum but luckily their board was pretty sparse.

I lost Pearl Medallion, Well of Lost Dreams, Sword of the Animist, Lightning Greaves and Righteous Valkyrie. This set me back really far but luckily I had been ramping every turn with Sword of the Animist and kept some strong angels in hand.

I recast Giada, and played Archangel of Tithes, Angelic Field Marshal and Lyra Dawnbringer with Mutavault giving me the extra +1/+1 counter. At this point Isshin started going off and nearly killed me with a combination of Tectonic Giant, Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin, Isshin, Two Heavens as One, Aurelia, the Warleader but they tapped out for Dihada, Binder of Wills to give Krenko vigilance, lifelink and indestructible. When they tried to swing at me, they forgot about the tax for Tithes and instead knocked out Tevesh and Muldrotha. Muldrotha took out Aurelia, the Warleader as retribution.

On the final turn I was left with only Oblation and Breathkeeper Seraph in hand. I had the choice to use it on one of Isshin's creatures but they were in such a dominating position that giving them 2 cards was probably a bad idea. Instead I used it on a tapped Emergence Zone and drew into Thraben Watcher and Sigarda's Vanguard. With the combination of all the angels I brought Isshin down to 3 and Firkraag cleaned up but had nothing against my board so scooped.

Opponents: Alela, Artful Provacateur, Jared Carthalion, Gishath, Sun's Avatar

Starting Hand: Cavern of Souls, Flooded Strand, Windswept Heath, Esper Sentinel, Path to Exile, The Ozolith, Teferi's Protection

I debated even listing this game as it was over so fast. Alela burst out on turn 1 with an Island into Sol Ring into Arcane Signet. Turn 2 they played a Smothering Tithe. Turn 3 they played a Bolas's Citadel. In one of their turns they cast a Vendilion Clique bottoming my Teferi's Protection. Despite whiffing for 2 turns off the top of their library they were so ahead with ramp that they quickly overtook the game. I died by turn 5 to 35+ damage from a faerie army beefed up with Coat of Arms. The other 2 players scooped as they had no interaction with the Coat.

T1 Esper Sentinel did some amazing work here. I drew off every player at least 2-3 times so it netted me like 7-8 cards for just 1 mana.

I also attempted to attack with Battle Angels of Tyr but it was bounced to my hand by next turn.

The Ozolith ended up doing nothing this game but that's more due to having no boardstate. Together Forever wouldn't have done anything in this game either so its impact still hasn't been seen. Other players did comment that it could be a problem with a bigger board.

I did have a misplay here as I should have held up mana for removal spells which I had in my hand. My final hand was Vanquisher's Banner, Archangel of Thune, Angelic Accord, Serra Paragon, Valkyrie Harbinger, Path of Exile and Swords to Plowshares. I just didn't expect Alela to quintuple their damage in one turn.

Opponents: Phenax, God of Deception, Jared Carthalion, Gishath, Sun's Avatar

Starting Hand: Secluded Steppe, Emergence Zone, Plains, Pearl Medallion, Thorough Investigation, Angelic Field Marshal, Angel of Vitality

T1 - Secluded Steppe tapped

T2 - Plains into Pearl Medallion

T3 - Emergence Zone into Thorough Investigation and Giada, Font of Hope

I had several misplays this game as it had been a long day. The first was using my Clues too early instead of playing out my hand and refilling it later with the Clues.

Phenax became a huge threat towards mid-game as they had a Haunt of high tower on board along with their commander Phenax, God of Deception. They forced Ghisath to mill 40+ cards with 4 creatures. I had Kabira Takedown  Flip in hand but it wouldn't put a dent in the Haunt. Instead I opted for player removal and swung with everything knocking them out.

My second misplay here was not tapping Giada to cast Angelic Field Marshal which would've given all my creatures vigilance. I was so used to swinging with Giada first and then tapping her that I failed to see her as a mana dork. Since I had Archangel of Tithes out it would've prevented huge swings against me as well.

Since I was wide open Gishath took the advantage and swung at me dropping a good number of dinos on their board. However on their next turn when they tried to use Silverclad Ferocidons with Pyrohemia Jared saved the day by sacrificing Primeval Spawn into a Time Warp.

When I tried to rebuild I realized I had no clues left and no attackers to draw into answers. I also made my third misplay by wasting a Path to Exile on a random dinosaur thinking it would sacrifice Pyrohemia but then stupidly played Bishop of Wings so I could trigger my The Book of Exalted Deeds by replaying Giada.

I died on the next turn to due to lethal Gishath commander damage. If I had saved my Path I could've used it on Gishath and played out more angels for the lifegain.

Ended up winning 2/4 games and was the second biggest threat in the 2 games I lost. I think I would've had a chance in game 4 if I hadn't had so many misplays.

Lightning Greaves was amazing in the 2 games it was played. It was so great that Isshin focused Giada when it came back out. In fact I like it so much that I'm going to try and find a spot for Swiftfoot Boots so I can keep equipping without removing the protection.

Esper Sentinel was also great the 1 game I got it out. Drawing that many cards for 1 mana is just too good to pass up. If you haven't purchased Smuggler's Share yet I'd say go for Esper first.

Archangel of Tithes was SO GOOD. It saved me from lethal once and would've again a second time if I didn't misplay again. With vigilance it does double duty.

Well of Lost Dreams felt a little clunky in game 2. I want to like it, it has a high ceiling but it needs some prep work to start drawing. Either I drop it instead of a threat or I play it much later. I also need lifegain and the mana to draw from it. With the amount of work that goes into it to activate it, a board wipe usually turns it off. We have no other lifegain outside of creature based lifegain. So we would only draw with an established board presence and we're using mana to draw into threats rather than play them. It feels either like a win-more card or a hail mary to get something good. I'm actually debating its place in this deck and what may be a better card draw. Court of Grace at least replaces itself on our end step and provides either an Angel or Spirit on our upkeep. It also requires no additional maintenance to get it going.

Others at the table commented that Authority of the Consuls is a better option to the soul sisters. While I do like the tap mechanic of Authority, it doesn't trigger off my creatures. Also having it be an enchantment means that most people won't bother with it all game. Soul sisters typically get wiped with the rest of the board whereas opponents have to target Authority. I find that I don't usually hit the payoffs on opponents turn but on my own turn. However, I only hit the magic 4/5 life when Bishop of Wings or Righteous Valkyrie is out, not off a soul sister. I know that you really like the soul sisters but practically every game I've had a board wipe and the payoffs haven't been worth it.

Kabira Takedown  Flip has its uses but in terms of removal is pretty poor for the slot. After a boardwipe it's practically worthless.

Even though I STILL haven't pulled off Pyre of Heroes properly I'm once again debating Recruiter of the Guard and Weathered Wayfarer. Since they're both humans they can chain into our human sub-theme. Weathered Wayfarer can be sacrificed into Bishop of Wings to get our lifegain payoffs going. It also helps grab lands for Emeria Shepherd if we want to recur stuff from the graveyard. Recruiter of the Guard can tutor for Starnheim Aspirant, Esper Sentinel, Inspiring Overseer, Thraben Watcher and can be sacrificed into Mangara, the Diplomat.

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

1 month ago

Guerric

Buddies cancelled so I played 3 pub games instead:

Opponents: Esix, Fractal Bloom, Captain N'ghathrod, Sigarda, Host of Herons

Starting hand: Emeria, The Sky Ruin, Plains, Plains, Path to Exile, Angelic Page, Archangel of Tithes, Sanctuary Warden

As we played through the game it became clear that Esix was the big threat. The board was wiped twice, once with N'ghathrod's Hex and a second time with Sigarda's Day of Judgment. Archangel of Tithes helped get a few early attacks in against Esix as they usually tapped out to play some bigger spells.

I was able to keep Esix in check a few times by using Path to Exile on their commander when they were about to pop off. I also used Oblation again on Esix when they cast a Pest Infestation destroying my Crucible of Worlds and Vanquisher's Banner but netting 12 pests. Finally, I had a Kabira Takedown  Flip but only 2 creatures on the field so it couldn't deal with anything on Esix's board so I used it on Sigarda's Soul Warden.

At the final turn I had Sanctuary Warden equipped to Sword of Feast and Famine, Righteous Valkyrie and Angelic Field Marshal. In my hand I had Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Emeria Shepherd, Sword of Hearth and Home and a Seraph Sanctuary. Giada had been removed 3 times this game so she cost 8. Esix was at 6 but also had a Sublime Epiphany with open mana and a Craterhoof Behemoth in hand with 19 creatures, mostly 1/1 tokens on board.

As I'm writing this I realized I had the answer but didn't realize it at the time. If I had casted Sword of Hearth and Home Esix would have countered it and bounced my Sanctuary Warden forcing it out of their hand. I could then equip the Sword of Feast and Famine to another angel and swung for lethal since they had no flying blockers. I could have also moved to equip Sword of Feast and Famine to another angel which they could've countered once, but I had open mana to do it again. Despite losing this round let's count it as a win due to my misplay.

Opponents: Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools, Kraum, Ludevic's Opus, Captain N'ghathrod, Sigarda, Host of Herons

Starting hand: Windswept Heath, Sol Ring, Pearl Medallion, Angel of Vitality, Mangara, the Diplomat, Soul Warden

Perhaps this was a risky hand to keep but with the Sol Ring and Pearl Medallion I could literally play everything in my hand if not disrupted so I kept it.

Kraum also kept a risky hand but it paid off for them in the short term. They cast a Show and Tell which let me only drop Angel of Vitality but they dropped an Omniscience and proceeded to play out their hand giving themselves an immense board state on turn 3.

Kraum made a serious misplay here as they used a Cyclonic Rift on my Sol Ring and a bounce spell that returned all creatures with power less than 5. This was supposed to wipe the board but Angel of Vitality was a 5/5. They followed this up with a Wheel of Misfortune paying 35 life expecting us to bet high life totals so they wouldn't get the wheel. Unfortunately for them we bid pretty low numbers and Kraum took the full 35. With no flying blockers on board they were dead next turn.

With Kraum out of the game and a fresh 7 card hand I ended up dominating the board. Some nice synergies were using Sword of Hearth and Home on Sanctuary Warden to 2 cards a turn, one for ETB, one for swinging. Bishop of Wings with Resplendent Angel and Angelic Accord gave me double angels on my end steps. Finally, having Emeria, The Sky Ruin and 7 plains let me fill my boardstate quickly. While the game took longer I never hit another board wipe and closed it out with 64 life.

Opponents: Kykar, Wind's Fury, Atraxa, Praetors' Voice & Sigarda, Host of Herons

Starting Hand: Flooded Strand, Path of Ancestry, Soul Warden, Luminarch Ascension, Pyre of Heroes, Folk Hero, Angelic Curator

I was excited about this hand because it had 2 new cards that hadn't come up in the last couple games I played so I wanted to test it out. While it should have curved out pretty nicely, having only Folk Hero as the draw card with a single angel should've been a warning sign. My early board state included Giada, Font of Hope, Soul Warden and Luminarch Ascension. As predicted, Luminarch Ascension was able to get 3 counters on it after a single turn.

However I was hit by a board wipe early on and had to decide whether to use Luminarch's ability or recast Giada. I foolishly recast Giada only to have her removed again with Skysovereign, Consul Flagship. When Sigarda went to blow up Luminarch I produced 3 4/4 angels with 6 mana to give me some blockers. I had also drawn into The Ozolith but it was only able to add 1 counter on it.

For the rest of the game Kykar solely targeted me with their growing vehicle board state. Since Giada now cost 6 and Skysovereign was pinging for 3 every turn I couldn't waste the mana to recast her which turned off Folk Hero. I cast Angelic Curator just for a blocker since it would be hugely advantageous against vehicles but it was promptly removed with Dispatch by Kykar. I was also able to draw into a Mask of Memory but was stalled out since Kykar had Spirit token blockers, Atraxa had their commander and Sigarda also had their commander. I was the first to be knocked out and this was a definite loss. I did cast Pyre of Heroes but didn't draw into any angels until late game so it had no effect.

Archangel of Tithes is actually pretty great but probably more effective as a late game play when board states are bigger. Battlecruiser decks will typically tap out to get the edge and will not hold up mana for tax effects which will help in getting damage through.

Luminarch Ascension is a great card but also a lightning rod. In the third game it presented a threat early on and if Giada hadn't been removed twice so early it could've helped end the game. Not getting those +1/+1 counters on the angels hurt my game plan quite a lot.

The Ozolith saw play but had little impact. Again, if Giada hadn't been removed early I could've dumped all those counters onto it and preserved threats.

Pyre of Heroes also saw play but had little impact. The overall flow of the game meant I was essentially stuck. Eye of Vecna would've been more impactful here but since Kykar had such an oppressive board state I would need to play much bigger threats to make a difference.

While Giada may not always be necessary to our gameplan, not having her and being unable to cast her slows us up so much that opponents can just out ramp or out threaten us pretty quickly. Dodging an entire table's board wipes and single target removals is pretty tough and makes me consider Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots again.

LancerTheMagi on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

1 month ago

I finally received and got to play my upgrades to my Giada list: https://www.moxfield.com/decks/WwZ_AYnY2keV_lewDkoTsQ Overall it flowed well and I won several games, though I didn't do the in-depth analysis kirbysan has done. I was able to make a large board fairly quickly if unchecked by boardwipes, but even then if I hadn't overextended recovery was simple except for the one time I got mana screwed and had kept a bad hand.

On multiple occasions I had over 100 life from a combination of Authority of the Consuls, Angel of Vitality, and lifelink angels, which makes me wonder if adding in some alternate wincons like Aetherflux Reservoir and Test of Endurance would be a good idea, especially with Emergence Zone in the deck.

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

1 month ago

Guerric

Played another 4 games of 1v1 yesterday against my buddy's Yisan, the Wanderer Bard deck. This mono-green deck used to be the bane of my existence when I first started playing commander so it was fun seeing how Angels stacked up. Unfortunately I didn't get any Pyre of Heroes plays in these 4 games. TLDR - Giada won 3/4 games and I should've mulliganed the one I lost. Also Yisan was a bit rusty piloting his old deck so he didn't have the most optimal lines of tutor.

Starting hand: Windswept Heath, Arid Mesa, Snow-Covered Plains, Seraph Sanctuary, Well of Lost Dreams, Angelic Accord, Emeria Shepherd

While this hand technically has a draw card I had nothing below 4cmc. I did have a form of lifegain so I could potentially activate the Well. What I didn't expect was never drawing another angel for this entire game. I think it ended by turn 6 due to a Craterhoof Behemoth finisher and a bunch of mana dorks swinging in.

Starting hand: Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Scavenger Grounds, Snow-Covered Plains, Youthful Valkyrie, Angel of Vitality, Folk Hero, Enlightened Tutor

This hand had a perfect curve, an easy draw and a tutor so I obviously kept it. While I could've tutored for Pyre of Heroes I decided to go for the more efficient play and grabbed Pearl Medallion instead on turn 1. So on turn 3 after swinging in with Giada, I played Pearl Medallion for 2, Folk Hero for 1 and Youthful Valkyrie with Giada. I drew into Herald's Horn and played that next turn. That early game was so efficient that the game ended shortly after with no responses.

I also drew into Path of Ancestry which was just great when comboed with Folk Hero and Herald's Horn. If I had an Angel in hand then I would draw then scry and try and leave an Angel on top for the Horn. If I didn't have an Angel then I would scry then draw into an Angel to keep the value train going.

Starting hand: Cavern of Souls, Windswept Heath, Snow-Covered Plains, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, The Book of Exalted Deeds, Winds of Abandon, Oblation

I kept this hand because I had the perfect hate-bear for Yisan. Playing Linvala turn 3 essentially shut down Yisan's whole deck. They couldn't tutor or use their mana dorks so just had to slow play using their lands. Eventually on turn 6 they drew into a Beast Within to kill her but by that time I had gotten so far ahead in board presence that it was another easy win.

Starting hand: Snow-Covered Plains, Snow-Covered Plains, Sol Ring, Pearl Medallion, Battle Angels of Tyr, Luminarch Ascension, Angelic Field Marshal

T1 Sol Ring into a Pearl Medallion felt so great but if it wasn't for the Battle Angels of Tyr then I would've run out of gas quick. While I did get Luminarch Ascension out T2, I only added 3 quest counters on it before I closed out the game so I never saw it perform.

Folk Hero is obviously a good swap, I don't think anyone doubts its future potential for Giada.

Linvala, Keeper of Silence was amazing against Yisan. Any deck that involves activated abilities will be shut down hard with her on the field.

Enlightened Tutor is a strong early tutor, I think it might warrant replacing Steelshaper's Gift. I haven't had much success with Search for Glory the few times I used it but will probably swap it back in when I play multiplayer.

Luminarch Ascension still hasn't been great in 1v1 because the games finish so fast. If you play it turn 3 and you start first then you'll need to wait till turn 7 to start using it. All the games I played yesterday ended by turn 6 or so. I'll leave it in for multiplayer and post about it then.

Path of Ancestry was a nice bump. Obviously it's better with the draw on angel cast cards but on its own provides value. Even if we don't have an angel to play it still taps for white.

Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

1 month ago

I am hoping for some community feedback on something. My plan has been to cut Harsh Mercy for Darksteel Mutation, as I found the former didn't help much, and in situations where I wanted it more single target removal was what I wanted. Mutation can also sideline annoying combo commanders, and so I intend to add it. I also intended to add Smuggler's Share in place of another card draw piece, but have had trouble deciding which one. Currently Smuggler's Share is in in place of Harsh Mercy since those situations are set, but I need to go back and cut the draw piece so I can put Darksteel Mutation in. Here are the options as I see them-

1) Thorough Investigation

Critics of my earliest list didn't seem to care for this card, but I've found it to perform well. It is 3 cmc, which makes it a perfect turn three play, and it allows us to net clue tokens for free every turn since we are pretty much always attacking. Additionally, replacing this with Smuggler's Share wouldn't do anything to lower our curve, whereas cutting a pricier card would. While we do, of course, have to pay each time we want to sac one for a card, I've found that we can often do this and are often happy to do so. With our low curve we often may want to hold mana open for removal, Lapse of Certainty, board protection pieces like Cosmic Intervention, and even creatures with flash. If we don't need to do any I have often been glad to make use of it by drawing cards on my opponent's end step right before my turn. I've also found this card incredible in a blowout. When everything has been destroyed, it is great to be able to spend a bunch of mana and re-draw our hand to keep in the game. It has saved my game at least once. As such I think I am least inclined to cut this one, but I am putting it out there as it is still nowhere near the most superior tier of card draw, which in this deck would be Mask of Memory.

2) Mangara, the Diplomat

When playing with Mangara I have found him to be a powerful draw engine. His first ability rarely comes into play since I usually have big vigilant blockers that deter attacks. Still, it is there. His second ability has been amazing though. In my playgroup at least, most players are casting at least two spells per turn by the mid game, and I have got a lot of cards off of him. I've found his lifelink ability situationally good as well, since his toughness allows him to attack more often than one might think. The weaknesses of Mangara are that he costs four mana, which is more than we like to pay for an engine piece, and that as a creature he is arguably the most fragile permanent type. I haven't found in my experience that he gets hit with targeted removal too much since I usually have more threatening pieces on the board which draw that. He does die to board wipes though, which is not really true of most of our other draw pieces. That being said, when he dies to board wipes, I have usually already drawn several cards off of him, justifying the four cmc I put him on the board with. As with Thorough Investigation I am not inclined to cut him, but he is four cmc and thus deserves to be considered.

3) Vanquisher's Banner

Some might consider it a heresy of sorts that I even suggest cutting this card as it is a staple draw engine in most tribal decks. In my mono-green elf deck it is incredible and makes for one heck of a draw engine. It essentially turns every angel we cast into a cantrip- we draw a card to replace it. We'll usually draw at least one card during our turn off of it, and sometimes we'll draw two. There is also the anthem, which we always appreciate in an aggro deck even if we don't need it. That being said, it's nowhere near as good here as in my elf deck. There I have gratuitous amounts of mana, more creatures than lands, and very cheap creatures, allowing the card to take over the game if not answered. Here our resources are more limited, the 5cmc is felt more, and our ceiling isn't so high. We therefore have to more carefully consider the downsides. The most obvious is that at 5cmc this is our most expensive draw piece. Paired with that, it is a pretty fragile permanent type, as players tend to pack lots of artifact hate. Moreover, this is precisely the type of permanent players tend to remove, as it keeps our tank full of gas in the long run just by doing what our deck does. The floor for this card is that our opponents blow it up before we draw a single card off of it, putting us back a turn at a point we can't afford that. It would be worth it if we could play it and draw two cards off of it the first turn, but at 5 that this is highly unlikely, meaning it has to survive a turn or two before we can get a return on our investment. Also, this is just a personal consideration, but if I cut it I can put it in my Trynn and Silvar deck where I think it will do great work and draw less hate. This card as such is much higher on the cut list than the prior two.

4) Sigarda's Splendor

At the outset it is worth mentioning that this card has a bit of a symbiosis with the last card on the list. When I initially made this deck one focus was on using lifegain for card draw, but since then two of these life-draw pieces, Dawn of Hope and Cosmos Elixir have been cut. As such, cutting either of these last two cards would pretty much eliminate this theme. With that noted, onto the card. This card has almost always been on the chopping block as I revise the deck, but so far it has always made it through, and not for nothing. To begin with, as an enchantment it is a more resilient permanent type. People tend to pack less enchantment removal, and when they have it in hand they are wise to use it on truly game-winning enchantments. I always chuckle inwardly while playing my Teysa deck when someone blows a Disenchant effect on one of my mana rocks just before I play Necropotence or Bolas's Citadel. Needless to say, if they have it they probably aren't wasting it on this card, which will probably last the whole game. This card is essentially an Angel's Feather stapled to a Phyrexian Arena, albeit without the life loss and with a limitation on the draw instead. As such its ceiling is simply drawing a card every turn and gaining some life. It's floor, on the other hand, is just having an over-costed Angel's Feather on the field, which is still just fine. This card as such furthers two of our gameplans- life gain and card draw, and as we cast lots of white spells it will gain us quite a bit of life, especially if Angel of Vitality is on the field. I've found it almost always draws me the card as well. This card will almost never wow us, but Phyrexian Arena continues to be a staple card not because it wows us but because drawing an extra card per turn turns out to be pretty great. Another argument in favor of this card, and this has only to do with flavor, is that it belongs in an angels deck. We have both Bruna and Gisela in the deck, so if we can't have Sigarda herself we might as well have one of her spells. You can also pick up a beautiful, full art foil of this card for about a buck, making it a cosmetic delight. As such I am pretty reluctant to cut this, though I have always considered it.

5) Well of Lost Dreams

I have wanted to play this card forever, and this deck was the first commander deck where I had enough life gain to make it worthwhile. I think in considering this card, we need to do a ceiling-floor-middle analysis. The ceiling for this card is incredibly high. We swing in with a crazy amount of lifelink damage, and then dump our mana into drawing a ton of cards. The floor is like with Vanquisher's Banner- we play it turn four and it immediately gets blown up before we draw a single card. Even then, we spent four mana on it and not five. The middle though is really good though, as at per card we will draw lots of cards even with small lifelinkers, and this could arguably be called the most powerful draw piece in the deck for that reason. As an artifact, it is a pretty fragile permanent type and will likely be targeted for removal. That being said, the mid to late game comparison to Vanquisher's Banner is useful. Let's say I have eight mana available and a single big lifelinker in the air. I can play this for four, swing, and then immediately draw four cards off of it when I gain the life. This will usually have made the turn worth it even if the card gets blown up afterwards, and of course, of it does not get blown up, we'll probably win that game. Banner on the other hand would draw us one card if we could cast an angel after it, but wouldn't do much more than that. As such, given this card performs well at most levels, I think it's more likely than not that I keep it in, but it is on the list.

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

1 month ago

Guerric

My typical decks are Muldrotha, the Gravetide recursion, Teysa Karlov aristocrats and a Shorikai, Genesis Engine mechs. Those three usually have big flashy plays for instant wins so this deck definitely plays different. I looked over your whole primer and took your advice to heart to reduce the number of changes and focus only on your new additions and lands. I ran a few games using your methodology for mid-range aggro decks and listed how the deck performed. Let me know if this helps helm the host!

Opponents: Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain & Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow

Starting hand was very strong, I held a Youthful Valkyrie, Bishop of Wings, Righteous Valkyrie, Vanquisher's Banner as my draw card and 3 lands which included a fetch and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.

T1 - Fetch to Plains

T2 - Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx + Giada, Font of Hope

T3 - Plains + Bishop of Wings + Youthful Valkyrie

T4 - Plains + Using Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to cast Pearl Medallion & Mangara, the Diplomat which I had drawn into.

T5 - I drew 1 off Mangara, the Diplomat. Jhoira had played a Words of Wind forcing us to bounce Pearl Medallion. Yuriko saw our scary board state and hit us with a few unblockables but we still remained above 40 life.

Land + Pearl Medallion + Smuggler's Share (drew) + Starnheim Aspirant (drew) + Righteous Valkyrie.

T6 - I drew 1 off Smuggler's Share and 2 off Mangara, the Diplomat. Jhoira started building their boardstate with their commander out and a bunch of rocks. Yuriko had a few creatures out and was chipping away at our life totals.

At this point I could've slow played it further but with 2 draw engines out I felt comfortable in restocking my hand.

I played Vanquisher's Banner + Archangel of Thune + Valkyrie Harbinger drawing 2 and swung in for a bunch bringing both of them to their low 20's while I shot up to 60+ life.

I drew 1 off Smuggler's Share and 1 off Mangara, the Diplomat but Yuriko played a Toxic Deluge for 11 wiping our creatures and bringing their life total into the low 10s.

T7+ - At this point my memory is foggy, I replayed Giada and a few low cost angels with Vanquisher's Banner which refilled my hand a bit. But Yuriko miracled a Devastation Tide and played an overloaded Damn. Eventually Jhoira got knocked out by Yuriko after trying to rebuild their board state twice. By the end I had whittled Yuriko down to lethal and played Bruna, the Fading Light  Meld reanimating Gisela, the Broken Blade  Meld from the graveyard but never got to swing with it as Yuriko conceded.

Opponents: Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain & Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow

Starting hand was decent but I don't remember much of it since it got wheeled away with a turn 3 Windfall.

T1 - Fetch to Plains + Soul Warden

T2 - Seraph Sanctuary + Giada, Font of Hope

T3 - Plains + Crucible of Worlds

Lost 5 cards in hand to Windfall and drew a new 5. Jhoira played a Winter Orb and Yuriko played a Null Rod to shut down Jhoira's mana rocks. It also shut down my equipment in hand which was a Sword of the Animist and Mask of Memory. I stopped keeping track of the turns and cards played since the whole game slowed to a crawl. The one saving grace was that I never missed a land drop with the fetch land in the graveyard.

Yuriko kept playing Thieves' Guild Enforcer and changelings to try an alternate mill win strategy. I was hit with a board wipe and Giada was targeted twice. I overloaded Winds of Abandon which left the Jhoira open to be killed. I attempted to cast Emeria Shepherd which would've been perfect with my fetch land and 20+ cards in the graveyard but it was removed after it hit the board. Yuriko played 4 extra turns spells to try and whittle me down from high 30's to 8 but they ran out of answers and were dead on the crackback.

Opponents: Marneus Calgar, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger & Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald

I should've mulliganed this hand as it didn't have a draw spell but I didn't want to hold up the table and the curve looked good.

2x Plains, Teferi's Protection, Angel of Condemnation, Starnheim Unleashed, Resplendent Angel, Herald of War

I was able to build up a decent board state and there were no wipes all game. However, Faldron played a Wand of Wonder and began using my removal spells against my angels. Marneus dropped a Divine Visitation mid-game and started pumping out 4/4 Angels w/ Vigilance which stalled my attacks towards him signifcantly.

Towards the end of the game I was able to tap Starnheim Unleashed for 9 creating 4 Angels with Giada on the board pumping them to double digit beasts. Marneus had the scariest board state but only 4 Angels at the time so I figured I could swing wide and knock them out.

Unfortunately the Ulamog player attacked with a single unblockable voltroned Wurmcoil Engine against Marneus who cast an Entrapment Maneuver netting 10 4/4 Angels.

In the end Marneus had 16 Angels attacking me and I tried to buy time with a Teferi's Protection which got countered with a Dovin's Veto.

Opponents: Shorikai, Genesis Engine, Muldrotha, the Gravetide & Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait

Starting hand was great against these commanders:

4x Plains, Dowsing Dagger  Flip, Battle Angels of Tyr, Smuggler's Share

T1 - Plains

T2 - Plains + Giada, Font of Hope

T3 - Plains + Smuggler's Share

T4 - Plains + Dowsing Dagger  Flip & equipped, swing and flip to Lost Vale, cast Battle Angels of Tyr with Giada and Vale.

Mid-game Shorikai played an Organic Extinction doing a one-sided board wipe and started hitting for double digits with vehicles. I tried to rebuild with Emeria Shepherd but she was countered by Aesi. Fortunately, Shorikai ended up scooping to play Warhammer making it a 3-man pod and all our board states were pretty even. I had drawn a card on each of his turns due to their Shorikai ability. Aesi had provided me a couple treasures but wised up and started dropping lands on opponents turns with Burgeoning.

This game lasted quite awhile so there was plenty of back and forth and a lot of answers were used on my board. Both Muldrotha and Aesi had an Unnatural Growth and were staring down each other. I patiently waited until they were both tapped out and had no answers to pull off this sweet combo:

I had Bishop of Wings & Giada, Font of Hope on the battlefield and tons of mana. I cast Bruna, the Fading Light  Meld into Emeria Shepherd. Cracked a Myriad Landscape for 2 Plains bringing back Righteous Valkyrie & Gisela, the Broken Blade  Meld. Since they had no responses I was able to merge to Brisela, Voice of Nightmares  Meld  Meld. Due to all the Giada triggers and lifegain I shot up from 20 life to 62.

Aesi was hamstrung due to Brisela's static ability and their creatures weren't big enough to swing into my massive angels. Muldrotha on the other hand attempted to swing in for a massive 59 damage due to Unnatural Growth but I used Teferi's Protection and won the game on my turn.

Opponents: Isshin, Two Heavens as One, The Scarab God & Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait

Starting hand had no draw again but did have lifegain synergies so I decided to keep.

2x Plains, Cavern of Souls, Windswept Heath, The Book of Exalted Deeds, Archangel of Thune, Angelic Field Marshal.

I was only able to get one use out of The Book of Exalted Deeds trigger before Archangel of Thune was blown up and The Scarab God exiled it and copied it for their board. I actually drew a Mutavault and decided to do the combo of putting the Enlightened Counter on it. However when we got to the mid-game I felt like that was the wrong move to do so early.

Late game I had the following:

Giada, Font of Hope

Soul Warden

Seraph Sanctuary & a bunch of other lands

Angel of Vitality w/ 3 +1/+1 counters

Angelic Field Marshal w/ 4 +1/+1 Counters

Thorough Investigation

4x Clue Tokens

Between the Soul Warden, Angel of Vitality and Seraph Sanctuary I was gaining 2 life whenever they cast a creature and 3 whenever I cast an angel. If I'd let the book stay on the battlefield longer I could've had a free 3/3 angel on each of my turns. Instead I cracked clues rather than play out my hand to draw into more answers and win the game. The Enlightened Counter never came into play, but I reminded the table at the end that without any land destruction, I could've gone to negative life and still not lose.

Opponents: Lazav, the Multifarious, Delina, Wild Mage & Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald

Forgot to take a picture of my hand this game but I kept Smuggler's Share as my draw card which ended up doing nothing. The Faldron player had already played a few games against the Giada deck so purposely missed double land drops to not give me a treasure.

Faldron cast an Etali, Primal Storm turn 6 with no haste enablers so I blew it up my turn. However, Lazav decided to copy it and the board had no answers. Lazav began swinging and got 2 rounds of Etali triggers which was pretty brutal. Since Lazav became archenemy, we teamed up to take him down bringing his life total to 4.

Perhaps the most memorable moment this game was that Faldron had suspended a Wheel of Fate so the whole table was playing out their hands for 4 turns, completely expecting to draw 7. When he went to removing the last suspend counter, Lazav cast Notion Thief so instead of us each drawing 7, he drew 28 cards. Unfortunately for him, he didn't have any way to use those cards to stop the flood of salt from the table and was killed shortly after by a pissed angel.

I was able to clean up the table after a few rounds with this final board state:

Giada, Font of Hope

Angel of Jubilation - just an anthem and would've shut down my fetches but I played it late game

Serra Avenger

Angelic Skirmisher

Angelic Sleuth

Linvala, Keeper of Silence - didn't stop anything on my opponent's board because they were all triggered abilities

Smuggler's Share

Thorough Investigation

Opponents: Lazav, the Multifarious, Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder & Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait

Starting hand was top heavy but decided to keep:

Plains, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Pearl Medallion, Sword of Hearth and Home, Well of Lost Dreams, Sword of the Animist, Archangel of Thune

I figured with 2 ramp equipments and lifegain comboed with the well I'd be setup for mid-game pretty nicely. What I didn't plan for was missing land drops for 2 turns and having Giada blown up twice. By this time, the Aesi/Faldron player had figured out that Giada was consistently winning and decided to put a stop to it.

However, that let Ydris really take the game away. By the end I only had 4 lands, Archangel of Thune equipped with Sword of Hearth and Home and a Pearl Medallion. Aesi died to a single 30+ swing from Ydris leaving myself and Lazav to deal with the massive board state.

I thought I slowed him down by playing Darksteel Mutation on Ydris when he had no cards in hand but he topdecked Sakashima's Protege to copy Ydris and start the pain all over again. With Ydris having lethal on board next turn the only way to stop it would be to top deck the one board-wipe in the deck. But Lazav shot himself in the foot by playing Gyruda, Doom of Depths tossing my top 4 cards into the graveyard. The top card was Winds of Abandon and Lazav whiffed on the Gyruda trigger much to his chagrin.

Opponents: Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph & Roon of the Hidden Realm

Starting hand was decent: Plains, Plains, Thorough Investigation, Thraben Watcher, Search for Glory, Dowsing Dagger  Flip, Sword of Fire and Ice

T1 - Plains

T2 - Plains + Giada, Font of Hope

T3 - Plains + Thorough Investigation

T4 - Plains + Thraben Watcher

T5 - Nykthos + Dowsing Dagger  Flip & equipped, flipped to Lost Vale, Sword of Fire and Ice

On turn 6 I was able to knock out Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph with the sword setting him back a turn. He responded the next turn by blowing up my sword. After a 2 board wipes Ghyrson was back in a threatening position. I cast Darksteel Mutation on Ghyrson which completely shut down his strategy.

Closed out the game with an overloaded Winds of Abandon and swung lethal at Roon. I was also able to hardcast Sephara, Sky's Blade which would've stopped any board wipe coming from Ghyrson. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx was amazing yet again this game. I was able to tap it for 10 white using 8 to pay for the Winds and God-Pharaoh's Statue tax.

Opponents: Jared Carthalion & Isshin, Two Heavens as One

Starting hand was strong if a little slow: Fabled Passage, Windbrisk Heights, Eye of Vecna, Sanctuary Warden, Pearl Medallion, Battle Angels of Tyr, Serra Avenger

Ramp wasn't ideal and I saw the limitations of having too much colorless sources. The Plains, Windbrisk Heights and Giada, Font of Hope were the only 3 sources of white most of the game.

There were some pretty wild swings this game as Jared got all 5 colors turn 4 with some ramp and started dropping Kavu's. He played Knight of New Alara turning them into 8/8 tramplers and started swinging in for 24 damage each turn. Isshin dropped a Tectonic Giant, Fervent Charge & Aurelia, the Warleader to swing in with 21 damage each combat & an additional 6 to the face. With so much damage flying around, the loss life from Eye of Vecna was actually pretty annoying. I used it 4 times during the course of the game when I probably should've played the bigger threats since a board wipe seemed unlikely.

Battle Angels of Tyr was blown up immediately but I was able to drop a Angelic Skirmisher & Righteous Valkyrie mid-game. If I had attacked more early game with Skirmisher out I could've had this one but I made a huge misplay. Jared swung in with everything at me after pumping 2 Kavu's up to 13/13's. As I was only at 46 life, I didn't get the anthem off Righteous Valkyrie so I had to take 26 bringing me down to 20. Isshin swung in everything at Jared knocking them out and on second combat came at me when I was at 8. As Righteous Valkyrie was only a 6/7 blocking into their 7/8's I figured I could survive the turn with one unblocked and just gain the life back next turn. Isshin was tapped out but had 2 treasures that I forgot and used a Boros Charm to get lethal.

Opponents: Jared Carthalion, Isshin, Two Heavens as One & Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools partnered w/ Armix, Filigree Thrasher

Starting hand was ok, no draw engine but great lifegain:

Flooded Strand, Secluded Steppe, Emergence Zone, Soul Warden, Starnheim Aspirant, Angelic Skirmisher, Segovian Angel

T1 Soul Warden netted me a ton of life over the course of the game as Jared & Isshin did not play any board wipes. After playing Angelic Skirmisher as well and a couple angels, I was developing an oppressive board state.

Tevesh/Arminx drew a lot of hate early game because they played a strong ramp turn with a bunch of expensive mana rocks but then durdled for most of the game. Jared played a Two-Headed Hellkite that they pumped to 10/10 and just started swinging. Isshin tried going wide with Adeline, Resplendent Cathar and a few combat tricks but with Soul Warden on the field I ended up always being net positive after thier attacks.

Eventually the board grew massive and any one of us could've knocked out Tevesh/Arminx as they were wide open. I was sitting comfortably at 60+ life due to Soul Warden and Angelic Skirmisher. Tevesh/Arminx ended up playing Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and wiping all our creatures.

We all rebuilt our boards pretty quickly with Tevesh only having Armix, Filigree Thrasher and a couple equipments. Isshin tried going for the combo and knock out 2 of us with Godo, Bandit Warlord & Helm of the Host but misplayed and couldn't equip Godo.

Jared and I knocked out the Isshin player because of the obvious combo but Tevesh/Arminx equipped their commander with Commander's Plate, Cranial Plating, Skullclamp and swung 17 commander damage at Jared. I blew up their Cranial Plating with a Generous Gift and brought them down to lethal. The game ended next turn like dominoes, Arminx killed Jared and I killed Arminx.

Out of the 10 games played, I won 7 so those odds are pretty good and I'm happy with the result.

Game 3 loss was due to Marneus just having the better plays here. Even if I were able to prevent some of their bigger combos, they could've won off straight value. Removal and threat assessment by the other 2 were pretty light towards Marneus which definitely helped them win.

Game 7 loss was due to 2 players getting mana screwed. After not being able to curve out with Giada it was almost impossible to come back. Top-decking that Winds of Abandon may have helped but they were so far ahead it's doubtful.

Game 9 was a misplay. Playing against the Isshin deck I should've known that there would be combat tricks but I was used to slow battlecruiser decks and not 2 mid-range aggro decks.

Smuggler's Share has been hit or miss. If I'm playing against blue, I'll typically get the draw, if I'm playing against green, I'll get the treasures. However, if the opponents aren't playing either of those colors and/or play smart, they can often get around it and it's a dead enchantment on board. I'm still leaving it in because when it does work, it works very well.

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx has been great overall. Early game it may not do much but mid to late game it really shines. I usually leave 2 lands and Nykthos up after T5/6 fully expecting a board wipe and using it to activate abilities or crack clues. I'd highly recommend this land over a basic plains.

Crucible of Worlds was a powerhouse in Game 2. Unfortunately I only ever drew it in 1 other game and it was immediately blown up after I used it once. I think it's worth it because if left unchecked provides you tons of ramp and if it draws out a threat then our draw artifacts or equipments live.

Emeria Shepherd is a bomb. 2 games it was instantly blown up because of how big a threat it was. When it was left unanswered, it absolutely carried the game. I think it's a definite swap for Karmic Guide to get that last push end game.

Darksteel Mutation was great the 2 times I used it. I think there's a need for another one-sided board wipe against decks that go wide and have flyers. In game 3 Marneus out angeled the angel deck and we simply didn't have enough token generation to get through.

Folk Hero wasn't mentioned in the gameplay reviews but I did draw and play it a few games. Unfortunately it was played later in the game when I already had other draw engines on board so its impact was minimal. However, it's definitely an improvement over Dawn of Hope as I didn't have to pay mana for the few cards I did draw.

You've mentioned that Avacyn, Angel of Hope deserves a place in this deck and I wholeheartedly agree, mostly because I bought the new borderless version from double masters specifically for this deck. However, her close cousin Sephara, Sky's Blade almost accomplishes the same thing except she only protects creatures. I think the only reason to end up running Avacyn is to lean into the land destruction that she's known for.

sean360 on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

8 months ago

Guerric I only played a few games with it but it worked really nicely with the mana curve of the deck, having it it my opening hand was a boon and the combo of drawing a card and casting an angel turn 3 allowed me to keep up with the other three players who were ramping/drawing cards early in the game. Most of our other card draw is pretty slow so casting an angel and drawing a card for 3 mana felt good, even if you can't repeat the effect like you can with our other card draw. Having this and Sword of Hearth and Home out would be the dream.

The competition for three drops in this deck is tough, they're all strong. I swapped out Angel of Vitality becuase I would rather have card draw than life gain, even if it means a smaller body.

AstroAA on Maya Angels

9 months ago

So first things first - I see you swapped the commander to Atla Palani, Nest Tender, and I do think that she is stronger for cheating things into play as her plus her ability costs the same as a single Mayael the Anima activation, her ability triggers whenever an egg dies, and besides her you only have one egg producer in the deck - Nesting Dragon - and you aren't running any token doublers, I'd advise running something like Rings of Brighthearth or Illusionist's Bracers to copy her ability, allowing you to potentially cheat in multiple things a turn. However, her ability only triggers when something dies. I see you have Ashnod's Altar and Phyrexian Altar in the maybeboard, and they're definitely probably your best options to accomplish this as that mana can also be used to cast angels in your hand.

Also, your CMC is 4.03, which is ridiculously high. You also aren't running any mana ramp outside of artifacts, which while your commanders ability is based around cheating things into play - if you don't have access to your commander or sac outlets than you're screwed. Things like Cultivate, Kodama's Reach, Migration Path, or cards like Birds of Paradise, Avacyn's Pilgrim, Fyndhorn Elves, or even cost-reducer cards like Starnheim Aspirant, Pearl Medallion all can make a big impact. Or, even just swapping some of the higher CMC angels out for lower-costed ones, like Angel of Vitality, Angel of Jubilation, Resplendent Angel and Righteous Valkyrie can go a long way towards a smoother game.

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