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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Search for Glory
Search your library for a snow permanent card, a legendary card, or a Saga card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library, You gain 1 life for each spent to cast this spell. ([[symbol:Snow is mana from a snow source.)
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
2 months ago
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.
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.
Game 2 (5-man Pod vs. Tevesh/Armix Artifacts, Firkraag Goad Precon, Isshin Attacks, Muldrotha Counters)
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.
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.
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.
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*
3 months ago
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
3 months ago
I wasn't able to play a multiplayer game this weekend but ran 9 games of 1v1. I won 7/9 games as unblocked angels seems to be consistently good. 6 games were against Necron Precron, 2 games against Faldorn Exiles & 1 game against Aesi Landfall. Made a couple swaps to give Pyre of Heroes a shot. Didn't touch the lifegain package but messed with the protection one. Since all 9 games were duels, some of the changes weren't great.
Eye of Vecna for Pyre of Heroes
Cosmic Intervention for The Ozolith
Angel of Condemnation for Karmic Guide
Angel of Jubilation for Inspiring Overseer
Starnheim Unleashed for Luminarch Ascension
Search for Glory for Enlightened Tutor
I notably left in Together Forever and didn't put in Breathkeeper Seraph because I wanted to see if there were synergies between Together Forever and Pyre of Heroes.
Lost 1 game against Necron Precon due to a combination of things. I missed 2 land drops early in the game and was forced to use Enlightened Tutor for a Sol Ring so I could play my hand. Later in the game Ioverplayed the hand and got hit by Shard of the Nightbringer followed by Their Name is Death on the next turn. I was definitely kicking myself at the end because I had Emeria Shepherd and played it when I should've held it. Necrons actually did pretty well against this deck overall as they had fliers which stopped some early attacks. In the end though, as with most precons, they ran out of gas while Angels could keep chugging along and beefing up.
Lost 1 game against Faldorn Exiles due to Food Chain & Eternal Scourge with Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald producing a million wolves on turn 4. With no answers in hand, it was a quick and clear loss.
I was able to get Pyre of Heroes out in several games. One of my favorite combinations was using it on Inspiring Overseer to drop in Serra Paragon and then recasting Inspiring Overseer for the extra life and draw. On the following turn I sacrificed it again to grab Battle Angels of Tyr and hit for even more draw.
During the final game against Aesi Landfall I wanted to see how much value I could get out of Pyre of Heroes so I kept an obviously risky hand. My starting hand consisted of Arid Mesa, Plains, Fabled Passage, Emergence Zone, Mutavault, Pyre of Heroes, and Path to Exile. Aesi had a pretty slow start without much ramp but dropped Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait turn 5 which I promptly pathed. The only Angel I drew was Angelic Curator which I pyred into Inspiring Overseer. I also had Together Forever on the board so when I pyred Inspiring Overseer into Serra Paragon I was able to bounce it back to hand and recast Angelic Curator on the same turn. Next turn I cast Inspiring Overseer and pyred that into Thraben Watcher and started swinging for lots of damage.
In a multiplayer game other players would've had more answers for our board and Pyre of Heroes may not stick around. However, I don't think it seems threatening on its own and most times it's just a value engine. I think there may be a case for swapping it out for Eye of Vecna. They cost the same for 2 colorless. Their activations are also the same at 2 colorless. The differences are the 2 damage we take for Vecna and also that the draw occurs on upkeep before our draw phase and we have to pay the 2 and life if we want the card. If we drop Vecna early game and we're looking for something key, usually a land or a low cost angel and there's no guarantee that we'll get it. So if we're on turn 4, we've expended 2/3 available mana on drawing either a land or a 2cmc angel because we can't play anyting else. If we aren't dropping Vecna early and instead on turn 6-7 then it's pretty slow compared to its counterparts. Yes it replaces itself but nothing else we do will give us cards the turn we need it. All the other draw cards play into our strategy of either playing angels, attacking or gaining life. Also, the ones we pay into can be done on opponents turn when we're holding up answers, so there's no "wasted mana".
Out of the current swaps The Ozolith and Luminarch Ascension were very mediocre. This is likely due to the duel format and will need more testplaying in a 4-man setting. I was able to get The Ozolith up to 18 counters one game but it didn't matter since I was dead the next turn.
I think just based on this trial run that Pyre of Heroes deserves a strong consideration especially with Inspiring Overseer. Let me know your thoughts!
Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
3 months ago
Thanks for the input! I think I'll probably cut Sigarda's Splendor after all. I haven't seen Vanquisher's Banner be bad yet, so I'll keep monitoring things but it's probably better to go for the high ceiling low floor type cards when we get above 3 cmc. As for Darksteel Mutation, the key is simply having a removal place to take the spot of Harsh Mercy. I've found that several times when I had it in hand I didn't need a board wipe but did want a targeted removal. That card wasn't good for that since each player gets to pick a creature type to keep, so it went. Mutation is nice since it can sideline a commander at least temporarily, though there are ways around it. Another good option is Fateful Absence, which simply destroys a creature or planeswalker, but which can be done at instant speed. Either way, it doesn't have to be integral, we just want to up the efficient removal with this slot.
As for other cards, my thoughts are as follows. Linvala, Keeper of Silence is the easiest because this card has saved my bacon more times than I can recount, and has been a true all star for me. I expected her to be fine but she's been a real star. Angel of Jubilation is also solid. We're always happy to have the anthem and when her second ability comes into play we'll be very glad we have her as she shuts down some of the more degenerate shenanigans in the format. Search for Glory is another easy one, and is a very underrated card. We have a lot of amazing legends here, and she can tutor all of them. One which I have used multiple times is tutoring Sephara, Sky's Blade and then immediately playing her for .
Together Forever is a board protection piece and the theory on it is good. I haven't seen it as often as other cards, but when I have I've played it, used it, and been glad to have it. It doesn't stop our pieces from being destroyed per se, but it does preserve the cards themselves for the cheap cost of per card. The biggest danger in this deck is getting blown out with an empty hand, and this ensures that we can at least have a hand if we play carefully. It is also good in less dramatic situations though. When I've enjoyed it most is when I've used it to save Sephara, Sky's Blade only to immediately replay her for the next turn, something that vexed my opponents greatly. Now if I were putting Avacyn in I could consider cutting this card since it is in the same category (sort of), but I've found it to be good and plan on keeping it for the time being. Starnheim Unleashed in this deck is the sort of token splashy card that allows for a big play that can put us over the top. It's not critical to the function of the deck, but where it is good it is generally pretty great. The ceiling is to play it with Crashing Drawbridge on the board or to flash it out on the end step right before our turn with Emergence Zone, where the element of surprise can take over the game. That being said, if you wanted to slot Luminarch Ascension in, something I have thought about doing, it could go in place of this as it has a similar function in terms of being able to pump out a massive amount of angel tokens. Luminarch Ascension has added value as a permanent since it can generate angels repeatedly for small mana. It'd downside is that there is no element of surprise. Our opponents will instantly know the threat it poses and will likely work to remove it as quickly as they can, possibly before we get to activate it at all. I think both cards are good and can justify a place in the deck, though I wouldn't say either is essential.
Angel of Condemnation is a card that I have pondered cutting and haven't really used too much in my playtesting so far, though it's certainly not bad and the theory on it is good. It's one of those cards with a lot of utility. On the one hand it is a removal piece, and a think we can use extra mana on at instant speed to repeatedly disrupt our opponents. Often we shouldn't need to exert him. Just blinking our opponents degenerate piece on their upkeep will generally keep them from exploiting it during their turn. Of course if we do exert him we can sideline a piece until an opponent removes him, and usually only the opponent who owns the degenerate piece will be willing to do so. This card can also be useful on our own stuff. We'll be happy to blink Sanctuary Warden for an extra card sometimes, or maybe blink any of our creatures to gain life off of Bishop of Wings and make an angel token off of Resplendent Angel or put some counters on stuff with Archangel of Thune. I've played enough blink decks to know that we tend to find all sorts of synergies like this if we have a card like this one in the deck and are looking for them.
Needless to say I am pretty happy with the list in general, and most of the cards I haven't liked I've cut. This doesn't mean we can't cut these or any other cards, but the threshold of a new card needs to be high for me to consider it.
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
3 months ago
I was able to use Darksteel Mutation twice last week and at first it seemed amazing. However, both players I used it against were able to use copy effects to get their commander "back" and keep going. I don't think it's integral to deck performance yet.
I personally removed Sigarda's Splendor for my trial run last week. While it does fit thematically with the deck I didn't get sufficient lifegain out of it and drawing the card on next turn and only once per turn didn't provide enough value over the course of the game. If we cast it turn 4 we should start slow playing turn 5+ since we're expecting a board wipe. That means we're holding up cards in hand and playing cards for value or leaving mana up for answers. We're not really storming off with a bunch of white weenies to gain a bunch of life so the lifegain is incremental. That means if someone else is playing big creatures and swings at us and we don't want to chump with an angel, then we lose the card draw. I put it in the same category as Court of Grace which at least gives us the card at end of turn and provides us with a 4/4 body on upkeep rather than the card. Even if we lose monarch, we still get 1/1 bodies that can play into our favor with sufficient anthems. Furthermore, when an opponent has monarch they usually get targeted so another opponent can steal it.
I was initially against Thorough Investigation as it just seemed so slow. But when we're in mid-game and holding mana up for answers, it's nice to use the spare mana to crack clues if we don't use our answers. One time, after a board wipe and I was only holding angels to rebuild I cracked 3 clues on opponent's end step which just gave me so much more gas. The scry from Dungeon of the Mad Mage was highly useful as we don't have that ability otherwise. I even finished the dungeon one game but only got a Youthful Valkyrie off it. Being able to crack these clues convinced me that Luminarch Ascension needs to be slotted in. We could use spare 2 mana to dump out a 4/4 Angel on end steps after a board wipe and just start swinging.
Mangara, the Diplomat was pretty useful the 2 games I got it out. In game 2, I drew 4 for 4 mana and another game drew 2 before a board wipe. It also doesn't draw out the single target removal as our angels are usually the bigger target.
Vanquisher's Banner was also pretty useful the 2 games I got it out. In game 2, I drew 5 for 5 mana and another game drew 3 before the game ended.
Well of Lost Dreams was never played in the 10 games I played. It definitely has a place as it has a high ceiling but it's a dead card in hand without any lifegain on board.
While we're on the topic of replacements I was wondering how the following cards have been working for you:
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
3 months ago
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!
1x Snow-Covered Plains for Cavern of Souls
1x Snow-Covered Plains for Mutavault
1x Snow-Covered Plains for Crucible of Worlds
1x Snow-Covered Plains for Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1x Snow-Covered Plains for Path of Ancestry
Rogue's Gloves for Sword of Fire and Ice
Karmic Guide for Emeria Shepherd
Baneslayer Angel for Serra Paragon
Angel of Invention for Steel Seraph
Sigarda's Splendor for Smuggler's Share
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Seraph Sanctuary & a bunch of other lands
Angel of Vitality w/ 3 +1/+1 counters
Angelic Field Marshal w/ 4 +1/+1 Counters
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.
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:
Angel of Jubilation - just an anthem and would've shut down my fetches but I played it late game
Linvala, Keeper of Silence - didn't stop anything on my opponent's board because they were all triggered abilities
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
4 months ago
I love your deck and have been using it as a template as my regular deck for random pub games. While it performed pretty well without any upgrades, I found it ran out of steam mid to late game after I get blown out by a board wipe. After a game or 2, players would usually exile Giada the moment it hits the board, slowing down our ramp signifcantly. Also, if we miss a land drop mid-game, we're basically stuck waiting for a good draw. I realized that building an early oppressive board state begs for a board wipe when everyone else is still building but it sets us back significantly. With that in mind, I cut a lot of the lower CMC angels and built more towards value/recursion. Based on your comments it seems that this deck is more budget focused but since I'm making this my main, I've decided on pulling the best cards from other decks for some spicy upgrades. Let me know what you think below (sorry for the wall of text):
Mox Amber - With Giada on our board turn 2, this is like an additional land drop.
Mox Opal - I'm currently running 19 artifacts so hitting metalcraft isn't hard.
Archaeomancer's Map - This one isn't as good as Land Tax but it can help us keep pace with Green ramp and drop the tapped lands on opponent's turns when we can't use them efficiently.
Smothering Tithe - I've played this card in 2 other decks and it's always been great. It usually pays for itself by the time it comes back to you and if not removed can add plenty of mana over the course of the game.
Smuggler's Share - I have mixed feelings about this card. The smarter opponents will play around it, but should still give us some card advantage overall.
Scroll Rack - Wheeling away a mediocre hand for 1 is strong. Particularly good with Land Tax or Windbrisk Heights.
Flagstones of Trokair - Comboes with Lotus Field.
Thespian's Stage - Copy Lotus Field or Lost Vale.
Vesuva - Copy Lost Vale or Flagstones of Trokair or Myriad Landscape.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx - Value with a strong board presence.
Ancient Tomb - Helps with the artifacts and equip costs, life loss is not a concern in this deck.
Cavern of Souls - I hate when blue counters our big angels, so this stops it.
All the fetch lands - Arid Mesa, Fabled Passage, Flooded Strand, Marsh Flats, Prismatic Vista, Windswept Heath. This reduces our number of basic Plains to 11-12 but I haven't had issues with it yet so far as long as we have access to colored mana in my starting hand.
Stoneforge Mystic - Amazing with Sword of Hearth and Home. Keep blinking it and grab the rest of your equipment package for free. Second target would usually be Lightning Greaves just to get some protection on the board or make some hasty angels.
Weathered Wayfarer - Comboes well with the newly added lands. Fetching Lotus Field helps guarantee activation while keeping pace with the ramp.
Recruiter of the Guard - Prime targets would be Stoneforge or Wayfarer but can also hit Starnheim Aspirant or Karmic Guide. Also gets the cost reduction from Herald of War which is nice.
Pyre of Heroes - While Search for Glory can fetch some of our legendary creatures, I prefer getting them straight onto the battlefield. I wouldn't use it on the lower cmc Angels, which I mostly pulled out, but on the higher cost ones to cheat out big angels. The dream is to target the one-off 5 cost angels like Karmic Guide or Sigarda's Vanguard to pull Sanctuary Warden for the card draw into Emeria Shepherd for the recursion or Bruna, the Fading Light Meld to bring out Brisela, Voice of Nightmares Meld Meld
Sword of Fire and Ice - I haven't added this one in yet but I think it's a strict upgrade over Rogue's Gloves. Getting the pro blue/red and pinging things off the board is just so much more value for the extra 1 cost.
Lightning Greaves - Short of board wipes, single target removal is the bane of this deck. I usually voltron Giada with all my equips and let the other angels synergize the board.
Emeria Shepherd - Especially strong recursion with fetches. Dropping this on the right turn with a fetch in hand can be game ending.
Serra Paragon - Doubles as a Crucible of Worlds and can grab our swords back when destroyed, and it's an angel to boot. Definitely an auto-include.
Steel Seraph - Haven't playtested this one yet but I like that it's a 3 drop with relevant abilities. The dream is to cheat out Emeria Shepherd with Pyre of Heroes as a turn 3-4 play.
5 months ago
I almost forgot, but Search for Glory is a potential alternative to Thalia's Lancers.
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