Sephara, Sky's Blade

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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
Vintage Legal

Sephara, Sky's Blade

Legendary Creature — Angel

You may pay and tap four untapped creatures you control with flying rather than pay this spell's mana cost.

Flying, lifelink

Other creatures you control with flying have indestructible. (Damage and effects that say "destroy" don't destroy them.)

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

1 month ago

As I continue to ponder the Breathkeeper Seraph/Pyre of Heroes combo, I think I am leaning towards putting it in the deck. This change would almost certainly accompany swapping Steelshaper's Gift for Enlightened Tutor, though I'll probably wait till the latter is reprinted in order to do that. While the combo itself is what draws a lot of people, this deck works very well without it, and it would be a mistake to build the deck around it. That being said, the utility offered by both pieces even on their own is worthwhile. The pyre is just a great utility tutor in its own, and one of the few ways we can grab any angel in the deck we want, including the seraph if we have a five drop. It can be really helpful in grabbing our hate pieces, including Linvala, Keeper of Silence and Angel of Jubilation (even though the latter shuts the pyre off, we'll still be glad to have her against lifepay and sacrifice shenanigans). We can sacrifice the seraph to it to grab Sephara, Sky's Blade, and then can pair it to seraph when she returns in order to give us a really mean indestructible board state that will be difficult to get around. We could use it to get Brisela, Voice of Nightmares  Meld  Meld out, and can even sacrifice the seraph to get Bruna, the Fading Light  Meld, bonding it to Brisela when it returns. We could also sac a three-drop to get Serra Paragon, and the immediately get back said three drop with paragon's ability, and then can keep the same thing with other one, two, and three drop angels, getting focused "card draw" out of the equation. We can do the same thing by sacrificing the seraph to get out Emeria Shepherd which we can then use to get it back immediately if we have a plains in hand. Even on its own the seraph can protect Giada, Brisela, Sephara, or any other angel that is critical to our gameplan.

Needless to say, I think it would be a mistake to not include this combo, though I also think it would be a mistake to get too excited about it and build around it as it could compromise our main plan which is goldfishing and killing the table. This combo gives us some resilience and allows us to potentially leverage our angel library as a resource. It's great, but it's not essential. As such, a surgical approach would work best. I think I am likely to cut Darksteel Mutation and Starnheim Unleashed to put it in. I'll add Kabira Takedown  Flip into the mana base to keep my removal at parity, and cut the worst removal piece, which is mutation. Starnheim Unleashed is an awesome card in the deck and I am reticent to cut it, but this combo is just better. I'd still recommend playing it for anyone who has room in their list.

Including the pyre also raises the question of other pieces that could be included. Inspiring Overseer is one I've had my eye on for awhile, and it is great here as we can sac it to get four drops and then get it back when paired with the seraph. It was already good with Sword of Hearth and Home for getting a draw engine going, and will be great with Serra Paragon and Emeria Shepherd as well. It's not essential by any means and we have to consider the floor of the card which is that it is an over-costed, one-off angelic version of Elvish Visionary, but at the three drop slot it gets some consideration at any rate because of the times where it can be really good.

The other card that should be considered now is Archangel of Tithes. This wasn't high priority before because we rarely needed either of its abilities since we usually have enough huge blockers to deter attacking and our flyers don't often have issues with blockers. Nonetheless, it is a great toolbox piece against infinite attack step/attacker combos like Godo/Helm Kiki-Jiki/Village Bell Ringer, etc. These combos still kill us because they can generate enough attackers to get around and eventually kill our defenders, but with the archangel they'll never be able to pay for it, making it a helpful hate piece much like Linvala and Jubilation are.

I currently don't have slots to add these, but will be keeping an eye on things to potentially cut to potentially add them.

Delphen7 on Squadron Hawk in Modern?

1 month ago

This may just be wistful fancy, but I really want to get Squadron Hawk to work in modern.

I can't find a shell though. I come up with Solitude and March of Otherworldly Light, plus maybe Sunscour, and then I get stuck.

I'm just going to run though my thoughts on the list I'm trying to craft and hope someone sees something I haven't.


Direction of the List

  • I ultimately want something that utilizes the usefulness of the search effect of the hawks, while ideally being mono white.
  • At one point I ended up with a list similar to Death and Taxes at one point, but I didn't like the dilution that Hawk caused in that list as Hawk's not a prison piece.
  • Brought Back is a card I keep looking at, but it wants lots of etbs/fetch effects, and that doesn't seem to feed overall into the controlly plan I have thus far with Solitude/March

Pros of the Hawks:

One hawk leads to

  • 3 white cards in hand
  • 3 creatures in hand
  • 3 flyers in hand
  • 3 cards with the same name in hand

Same Name

  • I couldn't find anything good in modern that cares about shared names or naming a specific card (Aside from Mirror Box, but that requires different setup), so I scrapped this one pretty quickly.

Flying

  • This feels promising, as Sephara, Sky's Blade looks like an interesting payoff. However she requires a lot of flyers, and she likes the cheaper ones better. Although now I think about it an Aether Vial shell with her would be interesting...

White Cards Matter

  • Solitude, March, and Sunscour are the only good cards I could find in modern that cared about white cards in hand. And honestly, Solitude and March will probably make the list regardless

Creature Cards

  • I didn't find anything in mono white that really cared about having creatures in hand, but I haven't dived too deep into this one yet.

And that brings me here. Is there a potential home for Squadron Hawk, or is it just a meme at this point? All suggestions/thoughts welcome :)

(Disclaimer: I know Hawks are bad. I just want a functioning list)

KBK7101 on Heavenly Saint

1 month ago

I know that this is a WIP, but there are a few issues. Archangel Avacyn  Flip technically has a color identity and isn't legal in this deck. Same problem with Sigarda, Bruna, Razia and a handful of others. There are also some cards that are included twice.

If you want this deck to be playable, Giada, Font of Hope is probably your best bet for the commander. Sephara, Sky's Blade is another option. Morophon, the Boundless is a five color option, though that means the manabase will get pretty expensive. If you don't care about this deck being terribly competitive, and your playgroup is cool with it, then you could change the format of this deck to Commander: Rule 0 and run Serra the Benevolent anyway. If anyone isn't okay with that, then just swap her for Giada or Avacyn or someone. Easy. Just be sure to ask beforehand. The only issue with Serra as commander is her ultimate ability being immune to interaction. Promise not to use it and most people should be fine with it.

You'll probably want to look at cards like War Room, Bonders' Enclave and Vanquisher's Banner as sources of card draw, as well. Other cards that work really well with the angels tribal theme are Bishop of Wings, Rally of Wings, Resplendent Angel if you focus on a lifegain theme, and Harsh Mercy as a "board wipe but not for me".

Art wise, Angel of Flight Alabaster, Linvala, Keeper of Silence and Lyra Dawnbringer (who's getting a new full art treatment in Dominaria Remastered!) are some of my favorites.

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

1 month ago

Guerric

Was able to squeeze in a 4-pod game after Brother's War Game Day today and had some interesting interactions with the new cards:

Opponents:

Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver Zombies, Koma, Cosmos Serpent Simic Goodstuff, Krenko, Mob Boss Goblins

Starting Hand:

Ancient Tomb, Mutavault, Cavern of Souls, Snow-Covered Plains, Enlightened Tutor, Sephara, Sky's Blade, Bishop of Wings

I didn't have a draw in hand but with the tutor could've gotten one. First card I drew though was Smuggler's Share so it went something like:

T1 - Snow-Covered Plains for Enlightened Tutor for Pearl Medallion

T2 - Ancient Tomb into Smuggler's Share *

*I know I broke the carnal rule of not playing Giada turn 2 but I was fully expecting the Koma player to begin ramping as Simic typically does

T3 - Cavern of Souls into Pearl Medallion & Giada, Font of Hope

T4 - Snow-Covered Plains (drew into) to play Bishop of Wings and then I had to replay Giada for 3 because the Krenko player had PTSD from the angel swarm I played against him last time and blew up my Giada

My first angel to drop after Giada was actually Breathkeeper Seraph who I soulbonded to Giada. My Bishop of Wings was also blown up by Krenko but when they took out Giada, I just got her back on my next upkeep and re-soulbonded her.

I was able to get out Sephara, Sky's Blade hardcasted with an Angelic Page for 1 and had a nasty board state. Since nobody was playing white, they didn't have many exile effects, only destroy effects. Even if they were able to take out Sephara, they'd need to follow up with a board wipe before my upkeep or I'd just get her back. Wilhelt played Drag to the Bottom which only ended up helping me since my angels were so large.

In the end I closed out the game with a couple swings and a well timed Sigarda's Vanguard not that it mattered much since they couldn't touch my board. One play I enjoyed was using Oblation on Koma before their turn as they never ended up ramping and could never get their commander back out. I had misgivings about this card but it ended up being useful and I don't always have a Path or Swords in hand to deal with threats. Smuggler's Share was yet another whiff this game as I only got a single treasure out of it and it lasted the whole game. I think the lesson here is that I should always use Enlightened Tutor on a draw spell, rather than a ramp spell. On the other hand, if no player is ramping or drawing then we're essentially just keeping pace with them.

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

2 months ago

kirbysan

Thanks for all the playtesting and updates! I probably will try out Pyre of Heroes after I play the deck in its current draft a bit. I had been thinking about just some of the interactions you mentioned, namely sacc'ing three drops for Paragon. Not sure if I'd cut Eye or something else for it, but the upside of a tribal tutor engine is pretty good. It is worth mentioning that even in a four player game it's not a given that they remove the Pyre, since the Pyre itself will start producing things they'll want to remove more. The Pyre does have costs associated with it as well, so its not like we are getting free stuff, we're just able to use our library as a toolbox which is useful for us, bit not necessarily threatening to any given opponent. If and when I do add Pyre I will probably also find a place for Breathkeeper Seraph because sac'ing the Seraph for Sephara, Sky's Blade is something that needs to happen. Inspiring Overseer is also a nice little card that I have but haven't been able to figure out how to replace yet. That's also a great interaction with Together Forever. It's easy to forget that while you can't regenerate or stop a sac'ced creature from dying that you can certainly get it back with effects just like Together Forever provides! I think Luminarch Ascension might be worse in multi-player where there are more people to target it. I'd expect it to be better in 1v1 where you could be against an opponent in colors that are bad at removing enchantments. In my case I know my group will insta-kill it, so if I am going for a mana sink Starnheim Unleashed is more likely to get the job done if I play it when it is likely to resolve. And personally I'm just really not into The Ozolith, though I could always be wrong and am open to hearing about how it performs. Thanks again for everything! Those are some great interactions and that is super helpful!

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

2 months ago

kirbysan

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.

Eldrazi13 on Would two copies of Sephara, …

2 months ago

If I were to create a copy of Sephara, Sky's Blade either while Mirror Gallery is on the field or through Helm of the Host would the second one's Indestructible effect work on the first and vice versa or would that not work?

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