Pearl Medallion

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Premodern Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vintage Legal

Pearl Medallion

Artifact

White spells you play cost (1) less to play.

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven: A Giada Guide

1 day 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.

SufferFromEDHD on The Lion of Jamuraa

1 month ago

Always wanted to build one of the spellshapers but never got around to it. They were all kind of lackluster but you made the most out of it. You have built an awesome list.

I can't help but think flash would add insult to injury after Mageta.

Deep Gnome Terramancer ramp is crucial and you already have a mini landfall going on.

Archivist of Oghma and Alms Collector high quality card draw.

Gerrard's Hourglass Pendant colorless mass recursion with anti extra turns as the cherry on top.

Flawless Maneuver one sided Wrath.

Cosmic Intervention neat tech.

Soul of New Phyrexia great on theme discard fodder.

Gideon Blackblade seems really strong in this strategy.

Elspeth, Knight-Errant Planeswalker version of Avacyn, Angel of Hope

Pearl Medallion continuous mana rock.

Field of Ruin or Ghost Quarter could be upgraded to Dust Bowl. 21 plains to utilize in the late game.

TheOfficialCreator on Heliods army

3 months ago

Alright!

Aegis Angel is a good card, don't get me wrong, but currently given the low number of Angels in the deck as a whole and with no Angel tribal, it might be worth looking into Avacyn, Angel of Hope or, some more budget options, Indestructibility, Gift of Immortality, Kindred Boon, Shielded by Faith, Spirit Bonds, or Timely Ward. All of these grant a single creature indestructible for a lower cost, albeit they are not attached to a big flier.

Nothing for Ajani's Pridemate. It's just a good card. If you're interested in other similar cards, Light of Promise, Archangel of Thune, Gideon's Company, Cleric Class, Heliod, Sun-Crowned, Cradle of Vitality, Celestial Unicorn, and Nykthos Paragon are some good ones.

Archetype of Courage seems a bit weak to me personally. Enchantment creature cards with the same mana value that are white and better for your deck (at least from my POV) include Eidolon of Countless Battles and Heliod, Sun-Crowned.

Banisher Priest is good.

Blinding Souleater could easily be replaced by Law-Rune Enforcer, or, if you'd prefer an artifact creature, Burnished Hart is just better in general.

Captain of the Watch and Cataclysmic Gearhulk are both good cards, though the latter doesn't seem to work too awfully well with your deck. I would consider putting in another destroy boardwipe such as Wrath of God or Fumigate.

Chardalyn Dragon is pretty bad, even for an artifact flier. Other fliers with the same mana value include Adarkar Valkyrie, Admonition Angel, Ancestor Dragon, Angelic Skirmisher, Archon of Coronation, Aven Brigadier, Empyrial Storm, et cetera... white is ton of amazing fliers! Put 'em to good use! XD If you specifically want an artifact creature to replace it, Wurmcoil Engine is a good one.

Consul's Shieldguard... see the Aegis Angel comments.

Court Street Denizen... see the Blinding Souleater comments, though this one is better so it's definitely worth keeping around if you want.

Drillworks Mole is a cool card. Basri Ket, Felidar Retreat, and Cathars' Crusade are good too.

Eldrazi Devastator is actually a card I used to run in my decks as a finisher. I would recommend something like Finale of Glory as an alternative that you can really sink your mana into.

Felidar Cub is nice, but War Priest of Thune is strictly better.

Glint-Sleeve Artisan is interesting, and I see how it plays into a bit of your artifact synergies, but if you want that, just use an artifact creature like Adaptive Automaton, Cloudsteel Kirin, or Etched Champion.

Heliod's Pilgrim has a good effect and it's flavorful, just keep in mind you only have two Auras in the deck.

Inspiring Overseer and Knight of the White Orchid are good.

Kozilek's Channeler is a decent card, but given you like small creatures I'm not sure that paying extra for a big body is a great benefit. Worn Powerstone, Thran Dynamo, Arcane Signet, and if you want to splurge Pearl Medallion are all good ramp in white.

Lagonna-Band Elder can be replaced by one of the cards I told you about in my previous comment.

From there, all your cards are great until Soulmender, which again can be replaced by one of the cards in my previous comment, or even Fountain of Renewal. Same with Stone Haven Medic and Sungrace Pegasus.

Toolcraft Exemplar is a really cool card that I have NEVER seen before. If it's working well for you, you should try out Serra Ascendant as well. It runs in a similar vein.

Welcoming Vampire is good too.

Celestial Flare could be replaced by Silence.

Dauntless Onslaught could be replaced by Charge, Bastion Protector, Benalish Marshal, Ethereal Guidance, Glorious Anthem, Guardians' Pledge, or Path of Bravery.

Divine Verdict could just be replaced by plain removal, like Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Journey to Nowhere, Cast Out, Conclave Tribunal, or Oblivion Ring.

Feat of Resistance is nice.

Gideon's Reproach - see Divine Verdict's feedback.

Gods Willing is good.

Kill Shot - see Divine Verdict's feedback. Actually, for the rest of these cards see that and Dauntless Onslaught's feedback.

Aligned Hedron Network is good.

Cloak of the Bat and Hero's Blade - see Dauntless Onslaught's feedback, but also Commander's Plate.

Spidersilk Net doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If you want another 0-mana artifact, look no further than Mishra's Bauble.

Font of Vigor - see previous comment

Siegecraft - Eldrazi Conscription is one of the best auras in the game, but Battle Mastery is nice too

Not Forgotten - Rest in Peace, Ashnod's Altar

Sunlance - any other removal that I've mentioned

Also consider Sphere of Safety.

I hope all this helps! ^^" it took a bit to write up but I think it'll help introduce you to some staples and ways about thinking about deckbuilding and power level. I sent you a friend request so that we can keep in touch and so that I can see and help you with your future decks!

legendofa on

3 months ago

As a few miscellaneous thoughts, would Wall of Denial fit in here as another bulky blocker? Maybe some "flying tribal" cards like Favorable Winds?

Since you have so many higher-cost cards, something like Oketra's Monument or Pearl Medallion, if you're willing to spend the money, could help you reach the upper end.

Vivipotence on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven: A Giada Guide

5 months ago

Hey Guerric, thank you for all you extensive primers, they are fun to read. I read most of them multiple times - the way they are structured really helps me to analyze the mechanics of my own decks.

A have a couple of cards that I can recommend, depending on your meta and budget. You will be familiar with them but maybe some of your readers aren't.

I had a Shadowspear lying around so I put it in. It does a good job as it gives your largest beater the important livelink feat and can be tutored with Steelshaper's Gift. In many case the swords will be higher priority targets Steelshaper but still I found Shadowspear to be beneficial to the consistency of this part of the deck's mechanic. It's low CMC and while it's activated ability is just the icing it sometimes can be tremendously helpful. I killed a voltron player the other night with it. It can even be used politically. Angel tribal wins largely by simply turning things sideways. Apart from the nice Brisela almost-wincon I'd like to add one or two additional surprises for our opponents.

Akroma's Will is amazing in this deck as it will make our heavy hitters unblockable and provide them with a bouquet of great other features. Giving all our 5/5s, 6/6s and 7/7s double strike and lifelink can often make this a real wincon and the fact that it's instant speed can even save our hides if we're being attacked by a seemingly overwhelming opponent.

Now I never got my hands on the beauty that is Avacyn, Angel of Hope. However, I drew a candidate for the 8CMC slot that I find even more fun and fitting. Legion Loyalty is absolutely bonkers with this commander. If you have a couple of angels including Giada out and maybe still two or three opponents online, this card will immediately make such an impact that the expression "explosive turn" doesn't even begin to describe it. Way over 100 damage in a single attack can easily be achieved with four angels and three opponents. Also enjoy 10 minutes of fun counting all the tokens and counters that are being generated during your attack phase. Now of course this is an enchantment and will not benefit from (tribal) cost reducing effects (apart from Pearl Medallion). It thus would be a completely meta dependent decision to include this in this deck. If most of your friends despise blue and you can be reasonably sure that you'll be able to successfully hardcast an 8CMC enchantment this will lead to some very memorable wins. Also Avacyn, Angel of Hope straight-up does nothing the round you cast it. It makes your board state more robust (not against Cyclonic Rift and Toxic Deluge, though) but mono W needs the additional aggressiveness more than another protection piece imho.

Last but not least: In one of your gameplay reports you mention being killed by a combo. In my playgroup there also is always at least one player who tries to kill you with an infinite damage combo. I regularily encounter Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose, Purphoros, God of the Forge, Toralf, God of Fury  Flip, Gray Merchant of Asphodel and so on. This is one of the reasons I put a Blessed Sanctuary in. At 5CMC it's on the more expensive side manawise, sure. However, this deck is quite robust when it comes to fending off attacking creatures and not so much when it comes to defending itself against the various forms of direct damage that red and black (combo) decks employ. Blessed Sanctuary completely shuts those wincons off. Also it steadily provides you with 2/2s you can use as additional blockers. They do not synergize with angels, sadly, but they have another amazing quality: They are frickin unicorns! When your board is filled with pompous angels and cuddly unicorns while the other decks on the table seem to take themselves too seriously with all the grim art you can't help but chuckle a bit. It just looks so over the top cheesy and dreamy

Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven: A Giada Guide

6 months ago
The first major update to the deck has been completed, the major theme being more draw. All of my initial testing showed that this deck goldfishes very quickly, but is hungry for resources, and that just drawing one extra card per turn, which it was consistently able to do, wasn't enough to feel like we had options and could easily rebuild after a blow out. Burst card draw pieces like Well of Lost Dreams and Thorough Investigation (which builds up tokens to be used as burst draw later) have been the powerhouse pieces. As such, the idea with this update is to add either more of those, or more one card per turn pieces so that it is likely we can have two of them out most games. Below are the lists of cuts and adds with justification.

1) Burnished Hart OUT Pearl Medallion IN

Hart is a great card, and research suggests it's one of the winningest cards in EDH, so naturally in a monowhite deck that a land ramp piece like this would seem to be great. I think the issue for it here is it just isn't fast enough for the deck. Giada doesn't need to ramp a lot to be relevant, and in testing I've found that we often have something more urgent to do cast it initially or sac it to get the lands. It's still a great card, but likely better suited to more controlling decks. What is amazing in this deck, however, are cards that discount creature spells like Herald's Horn, as we can use them to more easily put out multiple pieces in a turn at discount. Making your four drops three drops is incredible acceleration that suits our gameplan just fine. And Medallion does this not just for our creature spells, but any spell in white. It's fabulous!

2) Cosmos Elixir OUT Vanquisher's Banner IN

Elixir is theoretically a good card in this deck as it can draw cards off life-gain or gain life. The problem is it never does both, it draws one extra card per turn at most, and costs 4 mana for the privilege. It's equivalent card would be Sigarda's Splendor, but that always gains us life, and is simply based on not having lost life from the last noted turn, which is more reliable. Banner costs more, but its floor is replacing every angel we cast with a card, and its ceiling is drawing several cards in a turn, so it's better all around. The anthem is just gravy.

3) Welcoming Vampire OUT Mask of Memory IN

While a fabulous card, Giada's ability ensures that we won't draw cards with angels off of vampire. It will definitely find a home in a new deck. Mask of Memory, however, is great. It costs two and equips for one, meaning an easy early line of play would be to cast it turn three, attack it to Giada, and get an engine going. We get to draw two cards and then discard the one in our hand we need least, which allows us to be up a card while moving through the deck to what we need. Sometimes we might even discard a good card only to recur it with another later, so there are lots of nice little possibilities with this one.

4) Mirror Entity OUT Sanctuary Warden IN

So far we've replaced subpar draw with better draw, but no we are upping our count. I've never like entity, but I thought it might be better here since Giada gives it counters that make it more resilient when not being pumped. Still though, like all changelings, its an angel that doesn't fly, which is wicked annoying. Moreover, while its ability is a powerhouse with 1/1 tokens which can be turned to 4 power with 4 mana, it's not so great when the average power of an angel is already 3/3 or 4/4. It will weaken some of your angels, and where it improve them it takes a monstrous amount of mana to do so. Finally, while one might be tempted to add Reveillark to complete the combo with entity and Karmic Guide, we have to remember that Giada shuts entity off from killing the board, effectively shutting down the combo. It's just bad, trust me. This is where a lot of online deck tech's fail. They just throw it in because its an "angel" and a generically good card without thinking through the consequences! Meanwhile, while costly Sanctuary Warden is an absolute powerhouse. It immediately replaces itself, and can draw cards more cards this way for free by being blinked with Sword of Hearth and Home. It's an engine that draws us cards every turn, and we can use our plentiful supply of +1/+1 counters to power it, leaving the shield counters to protect it from most removal and board wipes. It's an all-star card.

5) Plains OUT Tome of Legends IN

I'm hoping I don't regret going down to 35 lands, but I think the deck can sustain it, especially when we are upping the draw. Tome is an amazingly good and underrated card. It can net us an extra card the turn we cast it, and can draw one every turn as long as we attack with out commmander, something that isn't too hard to do here. Keep in mind, Giada has vigilance, so even if we want to tap her to cast an angel we can always do so on our second main phase! The best part of this card is that it costs only two mana, allowing us often to ramp it out turn three with another angel or put it out early with another two drop. It's been great in other decks and I expect no less here!

6) Archaeomancer's Map OUT Eye of Vecna IN

This might be a more controversial cut, but I don't think I need the ramp map theoretically provides, and it can be a tricky card to play here. Ideally you'd want to get this down turn three, in order to ramp lands based upon your opponent's turns, but you'll have to discard if you do unless you played a one drop turn one. It's not as great late game, and the ramp is conditional based on having the extra land in hand and not missing a land drop, which can happen without enough draw. Eye immediately replaces itself and draws one card every turn for the low cost of 2 life, which we aren't worried about at all here. The only downside is that Angel of Jubilation shuts it down, but that is a narrow enough case that it isn't worth not playing a 2cmc draw spell over.

7) Disenchant OUT Together Forever IN

We have plenty of removal and I think we can afford to cut our least relevant piece. Together Forever is amazing, cheap, efficient protection for our entire board, including Giada. It can save our stuff from being destroyed by removal or damage, and has value as repeatable single-target protection and board wipe protection. I expect this to be an all-star piece.

8) Desert of the True and Drifting Meadow OUT War Room and Bonders' Enclave IN

I hated these cycling lands in early testing because they are just not worth having the lands come into play tapped. War Room and Enclave actually draw us cards, and come into play untapped. Sure, 4 mana is a lot for a single card, but there are times we will be happy for it, and in a monocolored deck the colorless nature isn't too much of a drawback.

9) 2x Plains OUT Emergence Zone and Seraph Sanctuary IN

Why not attack lifegain to a land? Sanctuary is just an obvious card for this build that I somehow missed the first time around. Zone is a deeply underrated card that allows you once in a game to get the jump on your opponents by becoming a one turn Vedalken Orrery. The element of surprise is what often wins you games in aggressive decks, and this card allows for that!

So that's the first update! I'll have updates to the primer coming later today or tomorrow. Hope this helps all of you as you build and play the deck!

aholder7 on I want them to hate …

6 months ago

how much do you want them to actually hate you? like do you want to be able to play the deck again? because in terms of hate, i am seeing zero copies of Armageddon.

also as a note you seem to have a number of etbs along side your Hushbringer effects. might want to be careful with those.

If you want a fun interaction with Oketra you can always include Whitemane Lion and have it return itself. you now have a repeatable "1W: create 4/4 with vigilance". With Oketra's Monument or Pearl Medallion it gets even more efficient.

AstroAA on Maya Angels

7 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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