Serra Paragon

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Alchemy Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Brawl 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
Pre-release Legal
Standard Legal
Vintage Legal

Serra Paragon

Creature — Angel

Flying

Once during each of your turns, you may play a land from your graveyard or cast a permanent spell with converted mana cost/mana value 3 or less from your graveyard. If you do, it gains "When this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, exile it and you gain 2 life."

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

2 weeks ago

First game of the year. I'll probably be playing Giada less now as I think the list is pretty optimized at this point.

Opponents: Arvinox, the Mind Flail, Sigarda, Host of Herons, Gisa and Geralf

Starting Hand: Plains, Plains, The Ozolith, Court of Grace, Bishop of Wings, Serra Paragon, Mangara, the Diplomat

Starting hand wasn't great as I would need to draw a land to curve out but I had 2 draw cards in hand so I figured it was worth it. Luckily the table was playing pretty slow and I drew into some ramp.

I started with a T1 Ozolith and drew into an Enlightened Tutor which got me Pearl Medallion so I could play my Court of Grace.

Arvinox played 3 separate sacrifice cards where I sacced my Angel tokens and dumped the +1/+1 counters onto The Ozolith to pump up my next swings. They were able to get a Bolas's Citadel out quite early but due to the constant beatdown from my Angels couldn't explode like normal.

Sigarda tried to get through my Angel wall but I always chumped blocked to protect my Monarch token. Late in the game they used a Day of Judgment but at that time I had Breathkeeper Seraph soulbonded to Giada and a bunch of Angel tokens so I let it resolve. I had a foretold Cosmic Intervention since the early game but I was maintaining so much threat with my tokens and Ozolith that I never needed to use it.

Unfortunately Gisa durdled the whole game as they were also hit by Arvinox's sacrifice cards and Sigarda's board wipe so could never really get off the ground.

I ended the game with 89 life and Giada as a 40/40 with 36 +1/+1 counters and 2 anthems.

The Ozolith like most of our 1-drops, can change the makeup of the game quite heavily from the start if we drop it T1. I've had it in a few games before but usually only drew into it mid to late game where its impact is not as great.

Court of Grace I think was in your deck before as it was mine but ended up getting pulled in favor of other cards. Now that I've had a few more games with it I think it's provides too much synergy to leave out.

I think the lifegain strategy as whole is niche and our payoffs aren't really worth it to build an entire package around. I still got to 89 life this game due to just 2 cards - Bishop of Wings and a late game Pyre of Heroes on Serra Paragon for a Lyra Dawnbringer that was essentially a win-more move rather than strategic. I know you love your soul sisters but I think in your next few games you might want to take another look at their performance. Well of Lost Dreams was kind of on your chopping block before and I think it's time to revisit that card as well.

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

3 weeks ago

Guerric

Last game of the year! Sorry I've taken over your comment board, hope all these gameplay interactions help!

Opponents: Koma, Cosmos Serpent, Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools / Armix, Filigree Thrasher

Starting Hand: Marsh Flats, Plains, Sol Ring, Serra Ascendant, Serra Avenger, Court of Grace, Breathkeeper Seraph

T1 - Marsh Flats into Plains into Serra Ascendant

T2 - Plains into Sol Ring and Luminarch Ascension (drew into), swung in for 6 damage

T3 - Plains into Court of Grace, drew on endstep, swung in for another 6 damage

T4 - +1 Angel on upkeep, Plains into Giada, Font of Hope and held up mana to make 2 Angels, drew on endstep, swung in for another 6 damage

T5 - created 2 Angels (6 power & 7 power) on opponents end step, +1 Angel (8 power) on upkeep. Cast a Tome of Legends getting ready for the boardwipe. Swung in for 21 damage, drew on endstep.

T6 - nobody at the table had the boardwipe so I cleaned up next turn with Sigarda's Vanguard knocking out each other player simultaneously. I think this was the fastest this deck has ever performed in a 4-man pod and all the damage was dealt by me.

Opponents: Koma, Cosmos Serpent, Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools / Armix, Filigree Thrasher, O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami

Starting Hand: Windswept Heath, Arid Mesa, Plains, Bonders' Enclave, Serra Paragon, Gisela, the Broken Blade  Meld, Archangel of Thune

Thought about not including this one either as it was a slow hand and a fast game. Muldrotha comboed out turn 4 making 2 million squirrels and nobody had any interaction so we were dead on turn 5.

Opponents: Koma, Cosmos Serpent, Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools / Armix, Filigree Thrasher, O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami

Starting Hand: Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Plains, Plains, Pyre of Heroes, Gisela, the Broken Blade  Meld, Battle Angels of Tyr, Angelic Curator

I had played Battle Angels of Tyr but it was quickly removed by Tevesh before I could swing with it, which is fair given a 5-man pod.

Instead I went for the slower play with Giada, Font of Hope, Angelic Curator and Angelic Sleuth on the field. I held Pyre of Heroes in hand thinking I would go for the Inspiring Overseer / Serra Paragon line to draw into some cards and get some clues.

However, Muldrotha again was a huge problem turn 5. They had Scute Swarm and cracked some fetches and played green ramp spells bringing up their total to the low 100s but they only had 32 they could attack with. They decided to swing all of them at me as I was the only one with any sort of board presence. O-Kagachi let the table know they had a fog effect but we elected to use it on the next turn.

At this point I had Giada, Font of Hope, Angelic Sleuth, Righteous Valkyrie and Pyre of Heroes on the battlefield. Once Muldrotha had started producing massive amounts of Scutes I knew they were coming at me. Also I had drawn into Archangel of Thune which I played and swung in bringing me back up to the low 20's.

On turn 6 O-Kagachi used the fog and Muldrotha just set themselves up better for the next round. They cast a Sandwurm Convergence to stop me from knocking them out.

Tevesh decided this was the best time to go off so they tapped out for a Peer into the Abyss. A lot of artifact shenanigans happened and they ended up at 4 life due to Bolas's Citadel, nearly wiped the board with Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and killed Muldrotha with an artifact creature with Cranial Plating and Lightning Greaves. Unfortunately they didn't see that O-Kagachi was out and only -5 for Ugin so they were dead to the dragon on their turn.

I was able to build back relatively quickly as I drew into a Thorough Investigation and cracked some clues. O-Kagachi became the new archenemy as they had their commander out and a Fist of Suns so they were casting high-costed cards with the limited mana they had. Koma used Kiora, the Crashing Wave to negate the damage of O-Kagachi's commander. They also countered a Conflux which could've ended the game.

I tried to swing in once but was stopped by a fog. I also made another misplay with Oblation targeting their Myojin of Seeing Winds as I misheard thinking it was a 10/10 flying indestructible when it was a 3/3 that didn't even fly. They removed the divinity counter drawing 12 and drew another 2 off Oblation. Next turn they cast a Morophon, the Boundless and dropped all the spirits they drew off those 14 cards. If I had held up my Oblation for their fist of the suns instead they would have had no mana for anything else and I could've swung in for the win.

Luminarch Ascension finally popped off! When unanswered it just ends games. Even with a boardwipe it can refill the board with mana. With Giada out it adds lethal threats quickly. I understand that it may not have the surprise factor but I think the resiliency is more important here. As you've mentioned before, not a lot of people run enchantment removal as creature removal is preferable which means this has staying power.

Court of Grace was also amazing here. While 1 card a turn is not the best for 4 mana, 1 card and 1 angel for 4 is amazing. Obviously the Sol Ring did work in getting it out early but against slower decks they had no way to attack me regardless.

Pyre of Heroes was actually useful this time! Pitching the 2/2 body of Angelic Curator into a Righteous Valkyrie is a strong move. I was only able to use it once before the Ugin exile but it helped keep me in the game. Without it, I would've been dead right after Tevesh finished off Muldrotha, perhaps even in the same turn.

Sigarda's Vanguard was also great again. However if I'm not planning out dropping my angels out in the correct turn order then I'm not always getting the full benefit from her. Akroma's Will would save us the headache of counting and planning while also providing the evasion to get through flying creatures. I think I'll still stick the Vanguard as the light recursion package allows us to bring her back on another turn for additional value whereas Will would just languish in the graveyard.

We had a turn 0 discussion before games 2 and 3 and agreed on playing more mid-tier decks as I only brought Giada. The Muldrotha player typically durdles with nothing to do and decided to add in some spicy cards not knowing how they'd perform. Tevesh doesn't always go off like this but Peer into the Abyss is usually a card that gets countered. The table let it resolve due to needing to knock out Muldrotha first.

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

3 weeks ago

Guerric

Got another couple games in today:

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

Crashing Drawbridge for Lightning Greaves

Smuggler's Share for Esper Sentinel

Search for Glory for Steelshaper's Gift

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T1 - Plains into Steelshaper's Gift tutoring Lightning Greaves

T2 - Plains (drew) into Pearl Medallion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T1 - Secluded Steppe tapped

T2 - Plains into Pearl Medallion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hootsnag on Athreos White Black Undying Evil

1 month ago

I had Grasp of Fate in this deck at one point then decided to cut it for more permanent removal. Serra Paragon wouldn't be good for this deck at all since I need my creatures to not be exiled. Luminous Broodmoth is interesting but I probably wouldn't use it. Pillow fort strategies aren't really needed in this deck. Just removal and creatures that keep coming back. Thanks for the feedback!

Last_Laugh on Athreos White Black Undying Evil

1 month ago

Grasp of Fate is a solid piece of removal in these colors. Serra Paragon and Luminous Broodmoth are 2 newer cards that're powerful and fit the theme. Also, I'm loving all the old cards, have you tried any pillowfort elements like Ghostly Prison/Koskun Falls?

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.

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

1 month ago

Guerric

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*

1 month ago
Here are my most recent updates, with some brief justifications. I've telegraphed most of my thoughts on these before, so I'll try to go for a briefer treatment.

1) Harsh Mercy OUT Darksteel Mutation IN

Harsh Mercy seemed like it would be amazing, but I find I don't often need to wipe the board in this deck, and usually when I considered using Mercy it was to deal with one or two problematic creatures. Unfortunately, they get to pick what they keep and can always keep something, so this turns out to be not as good as we'd think, particularly as we don't really need it to clear blockers since we fly. More targeted removal seems to be what the doctor ordered, and Darksteel Mutation can sideline problematic combo commanders. I may switch this to Fateful Absence eventually, but for now we'll go for the more durable if less flexible answer.

2) Serra Paragon IN Baneslayer Angel OUT

It should be fairly clear why this card belongs in, as it is amazing and adds on the recursion in the deck for the low cost of 4 mana. We can get her going as early as turn three! Baneslayer is iconic and fun to play, but it is higher on our curve and has never been too synergistic, so it gets the axe.

3) Karmic Guide OUT Emeria Angel IN

I was always nervous about the cmc on the latter, but others have assured me it works great, and this update is lowering my curve across the board so I can afford to raise it two for a far superior version of Guide. Emeria Angel lets us get back whatever we want turn after turn, and is a must answer value piece that can do work in the late game.

4) Angel of Invention OUT Steel Seraph IN

This change is more experimental, but the latter costs three when we cast it here, which lowers our curve by two. Its ability is really relevant and synergistic, and allows us to have lifelink the turn we cast this. I do like what I can cutting though as anthems are good here, so there is a chance I go back or re-add it down the road, but for now we are cutting the curve.

5) Sigarda's Splendor OUT Smuggler's Share IN

Smuggler's Share will no doubt be good in this deck and we need to cut a draw piece for it. I agonized on what to cut as Splendor is better in the early game and less likely to be removed, but is bad late game when it won't give us value. Vanquisher's Banner is amazing in the late game but is a bit more of a high risk, high reward sort of card here. I opted to keep banner because I feel like we need more of the latter category than the former. We'll see how it goes, though others have assured me that banner works well in the late game, and it has indeed done that where I've used it in other decks.

6) Ghost Quarter OUT Mutavault IN

While I like having the extra answer to lands, we can't afford too many colorless lands in this deck and I think this is the least needed as we also have Generous Gift. Mutavault is great obviously for the combo with The Book of Exalted Deeds, but it is also a great way to upper our counters with spare mana. If we activate it on our turn before casting any angels we'll get extra counters on said angels when they ETB. This utility can definitely make a difference over the course of the game even without making it into a Platinum Angel land, and the latter is amazing.

7) Eerie Interlude OUT Guardian of Faith IN

Interlude was always bad because you lose all of your counters on the blink since Giada would re-enter at the same time as them. Guardian is awesome because by phasing out they never leave the battlefield and thus keep all of their counters. Of course if you have Teferi's Protection do feel free to play that in place of either this or Cosmic Intervention

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