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Avacyn, the Protector

When I first saw Avacyn, Angel of Hope, I was not really into her because of the way to make her strong was to go for a destructive strategy full of board wipes and mass land destruction. Then came out the glorious one. The version of her that makes her more “human”. We saw her not only protect her world but also slay what she felt was her enemies. She is, in my opinion, the ULTIMATE angel. She dedicated her life to save the world, Innistrad and the human race. She did that until she was betrayed by Sorin and died to her creator.

She is Avacyn. She is to protect!

The fundamental challenge in building around Avacyn is that her white side requires you to play a large number of creatures in order to benefit from her indestructibility, but her red side will almost certainly kill them all.

She has, however, established herself as a formidable Voltron commander. Neither Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas, nor Aurelia, the Warleader, are attached to a board wipe that clears the air before a swing. Her red side is one power away from a three-hit death, but she loses vigilance in the process.

There aren't many legendary creatures that compare to Avacyn in terms of total damage output. Cards like Basilisk Collar, which give Avacyn deathtouch or lifelink, are extremely valuable because they wipe the board (leaving no blockers so Avacyn can swing in for a lot of damage) and give you a massive advantage in life totals.

  • The deck goes under the radar
  • Avacyn can surprise your opponent by protecting your other creatures with indestructible
  • Avacyn is a board wipe on its own
  • The multiple combat phases are surprisingly good
  • The deck can be really surprising by getting the creatures of our opponent and by killing them with many combat phases
  • Avacyn can be controlled, destroyed or exiled before the indestructible
  • Since the deck is Boros, we can get an empty hand real fast
This deck plays as a mix of aggro and voltron, allowing it to adapt to both strategies while also overcoming many of the archetypes' restrictions.

And if an opponent's board has too many creatures, We can make Avacyn Flip to deal 3 damage to each of their creatures

While we build our board, we also want to slow down our opponents to give us enough time to kill them all.

When in aggro mode, cards like Serra Ascendant, for example, have the potential to completely dominate the game, especially when combined with the benefits of equipment like swords.

And, because Avacyn may be played during an opponent's, giving her pseudo haste, We can equip her with additional equipment to increase her damage. Since she has Flying, we don’t need to worry about her going throught our opponents defense at all. She will deal damage. In the case there would be some flying blockers, they will most likely be weak and die to Avacyn’s attack or to her damage when she will flip. Any other creatures can replace Avacyn if she gets controled by any effects.

What links both of the voltron and aggro strategy is the fact that both of them need equipment to be effective. The most effective way to get those are with tutors like Stoneforge Mystic that can cheat an equipment into play without casting it.

You must, however, manage when your creatures die in order to control the transition between these two "modes." As a result, a large number of utility creatures sacrifice themselves to flip Avacyn.

We can also try to bluff our opponents using Avacyn. If any non-angel creatures die on our side of the field, she flips, killing everything that stands in her way. This is one of the reasons our opponents will often decide not to block our small and tiny creatures allowing us to build a horde to destroy our opponents.

The most reliable removal of the deck is of course Avacyn herself. Three damage to every creatures will most likely kill everyone of them, token, creatures and even the small flyers. To assure Avacyn flips, we need creatures to sacrifice like Remorseful Cleric wich can exile an opponent’s graveyard or Selfless Spirit who gives indestructible to our creatures or Benevolent Bodyguard who gives protection from a color to a single creature. All of them can be fetched with Recruiter of the Guard, Imperial Recruiter and can be brought back to the battlefield with Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle.

Sometimes, even three damage is just not enough. In that case, here is what can be done :

Basilisk Collar + Avacyn, the Purifier : It gives deathtouch and Lifelink to Avacyn. So when she triggers and transforms, she is going to kill every creatures that was dealt damage by her. We will also gain 3 life per creature she touched and each player. We will often get a lot of life off of this combo

Red Elemental Blast : It allows us to remove any blue commander such as Thrasios, Triton Hero, Urza, Lord High Artificer, Kess, Dissident Mage or any other blue permanents that could either help the opponents or harm us.

Blasphemous Act + Archangel Avacyn   : the cost of Blasphemous Act being reduced for each creatures on the field makes it so cheap that we can cast Avacyn as a response to the cast of Blasphemous Act. By doing that, all our creatures are indestructible and allows us to board wipe all of our enemies. In the earlier version of the deck, there was also Repercussion that allowed us to win on the spot. Isn’t it fun to see all the hopes of our enemies disapear purified into despair?

One of the biggest flaws of Boros is the inability to draw cards. We can anyhow kinda mitigates that

Sword of Fire and Ice + any creatures : This gives the deck consistent draw, in addition to the relevant protection. Two cards per turn should accelerate us enough to stay on par with our opponents.

Scroll Rack + Land Tax : One of the oldest combo in the history of magic that is a staple in any white decks. Imagine drawing 3 cards in white, Imagine!

Mask of Memory allows us to filter the cards in our hand by drawing one card and discarding one card.

There is also Wheel of Fortune that gives a major advantage when this deck frequently empties its hand by turn 4.

Winter Orb / Static Orb + Sword of Feast and Famine : The two orbs of oppresions that will make every hopes your opponents has melt each turn it stays on the field. Any of those orbs paired with Sword of Feast and Famine allows us to almost always have the upper hand be subpar with the lock. Our opponents are going to have a real hard time when this combo resolves.
Having a 5 CMC commander makes it pretty hard to be able to compete against high powered decks and cEDH decks. Aside the mana rocks staples, there are some ways and combos that can accelerate the speed of our deck up to a competitive level.

Thanks to Avacyn having flash, we can attack with a creature equiped Sword of Feast and Famine, then cast Avacyn in two "steps" (ie tap two, untap, then tap 3 to cast her before the mana fizzles). This is fast and unexpected. That allows us to cast her on turn three relatively easily with a good hand.

When one slap is not enough, we have :

Sword of Feast and Famine + Aggravated Assault + 5 mana throught lands: It basically gives us infinite combat step meaning purification through the sword of the purifier herself!

The deck has 8 tutors, and using them intelligently is one of the most important steps to mastering this deck. While the correct choice is heavily dependent on the boardstate and your hand, here is some general advice: ..................................................

Category 1: Equipment Tutors (Steelshaper's Gift and Stoneforge Mystic)

These tutors are the heart of the deck. There are twelve possible targets, but there’s no one clear choice among them. If you are in a high-removal environment, Champion's Helm is a good choice. If you have many cheap threats in your hand, or if you control a Winter Orb / Static Orb , your best choice is Sword of Feast and Famine. Conversely, if you find yourself with a mostly empty hand, or plan to wipe the board with Blasphemous Act, Sword of Fire and Ice is the best option. You can grab Umezawa's Jitte to keep their board under control. Et cetera.


Category 2: Creature Tutors ( Ranger-Captain of Eos, Imperial Recruiter and Recruiter of the Guard )

Ranger of Eos can grab Serra Ascendant, Giver of Runes, Benevolent Bodyguard or Mother of Runes. The choice here depends on several factors: board state, your opponents, and what point in the game you find yourself at. Serra Ascendant is the most common choice, as long as you still have more than 30 life. Mother of Runes, Giver of Runes and Benevolent Bodyguard give protection to your creatures ( Mother of Runes and Giver of Runes are repeatable, but suffers from summoning sickness). Three of the creatures can also flip Avacyn when needed.

Recruiter of the Guard and Imperial Recruiter grab almost every utility creature in the deck, 16 targets in total for Recruiter of the Guard and 18 for Imperial Recruiter. They have proven themself invaluable. The most common choices are Serra Ascendant (for early, fast aggro), or Stoneforge Mystic (if you need to find equipment). And of course she can grab anything that Ranger of Eos can, or the Ranger himself.


Category 3: Other Tutors ( Land Tax, and Sunforger )

With Land Tax, you generally want to tutor whenever possible. It’s sometimes even worth skipping a land drop to activate Land Tax. The one exception to the “always tutor” rule is when you’ve used something like Enlightened Tutor, and you want to draw the card on top of your library.

Sunforger may be expensive to cast and equip, but make no mistake, it can end the game on its own. It can tutor for removal ( Swords to Plowshares is handy), or Protection (Boros Charm to dodge kill spells and mass removal or, Brave the Elements, Flawless Maneuver)

MLD stands for Mass Land Destruction with cards like Cataclysm, Ruination and Armageddon. In some playgroups, where that kind of cards, those are the ones we would want in the deck.

Cataclysm would allow us to still stay ahead of our opponents while keeping Avacyn as a beater and a sword on her to untap our lands in the future or draw more cards

Ruination would allow us to set far back any decks with non-basic lands. The only thing we would need to do would be to change our whole mana base to be sure to not be ruined by our own spell too.

Armageddon would just destroy every lands on the field making it the weakest MLD we could add.

Weathered Wayfarer : Would give us another way to get lands into play and ramp

Tragic Arrogance : Would give us a powerful boardwipe where we can choose which permanents our opponents would keep and which one would be destroyed. The only down side is the 5 CMC that is a little bit too high.

Wheel of Misfortune : One of the biggest flaws of Boros is the card advantage. Wheel of Misfortune would give us another wheel effect to help us refill our hand.

Quicksmith Rebel : Would help us to be subpar with our stax effects like Winter Orb and Static Orb

The deck is sadly quite expensive. It’s a great and fun deck to pilot but its price should not be a problem to be able to play it.
The first thing to cut would be the cards over 100$ : Wheel of Fortune, Plateau and Mana Crypt.

Wheel of Fortune can be replaced with Wheel of Misfortune, Plateau by Inspiring Vantage and Mana Crypt by Mana Vault

Then thing to cut would the cards over 50$ :

Dockside Extortionist would be replaced by Oswald Fiddlebender. Nothing can replace dockside’s effect. The least we can do is trying to get something else almost as powerful. Oswald would allow us to get an equipment on the field.

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer can be replaced by Silverblade Paladin. Giving double strike to another creature is pretty good

Stoneforge Mystic is a great card but is hard to replace. Our best choice would be Relic Seeker. Even if Relic Seeker does not completely replace Stoneforge Mystic, it does a part of his job.

Mana Vault can be replaced by Worn Powerstone. A two mana rock is good. Only downside : it enters tapped.

Sword of Feast and Famine and Sword of Fire and Ice : two of the best pieces of the deck. I would not recommend not to include them because they are the bread and butter of the deck with Avacyn. As a replacement, I would add Argentum Armor and Lightning Greaves. Those don’t do the same job, but Argentum Armor allows us to destroy any permanent on the field, even planeswalkers and lands. Also, that +6 / +6 is brutal on Avacyn! Lightning Greaves gives us the protection we need against any single target spell : Shroud. It also allows us to attack right away with our creatures giving them haste.

Recruiter of the Guard need to go too. We can replace him with Kami of False Hope. He allows us to add an effect to flip Avacyn while preventing all combat damage that could be dealt to us.

Steelshaper's Gift can be replaced with Open the Armory. Almost the same effect but for 1 more mana. Not bad at all.

Deflecting Swat is very hard to replace because it’s a “free” protection. Since we can’t replace that kind of effect at all, we will replace it with something that will make us go all-in faster with Puresteel Paladin. A “draw” engine and our equipment cost reduced to zero is pretty good.

Enlightened Tutor is in the same position : very hard to replace. We will replace it with something that will make ushit twice harder : Inquisitor's Flail. The only downside is that every damage dealt to the equipped creature is also doubled. It’s not that big of a deal if we can swing our opponent with Avacyn for letal !

Mox Opal can be replaced with Talisman of Conviction.

Umezawa's Jitte does a lot of things! As hard to replace as the swords! So we will replace it with Loxodon Warhammer to give Avacyn more power and trample. The lifelink here would just be a bonus to the card.

Land Tax can be replaced with Stonehewer Giant. To tutor and attach any equipment is really really good in this deck. The downside of this card is the 5 CMC.

Smothering Tithe it’s impossible to replace its effect. So we can instead replace it with Temur Battle Rage. Giving double strike and trample to Avacyn is pretty strong and might be deadly.

Ancient Tomb, Arid Mesa, Bloodstained Mire, City of Brass, Flooded Strand, Mana Confluence, Prismatic Vista, Sacred Foundry, Sunbaked Canyon, Urza's Saga, Windswept Heath and Wooded Foothills can all be replaced with cheaper/slower lands like Boros Guildgate, Wind-Scarred Crag, Ancient Amphitheater, Needle Spires, Stone Quarry, Temple of Triumph, Alpine Meadow, Furycalm Snarl, Needleverge Pathway // Pillarverge Pathway, Lorehold Campus, Rustvale Bridge and Scabland. They could also be replaced by basic lands.

With all that, the deck cost is sub 500$ which is pretty good considering the starting amount of 2174$ !

The original idea of this deck was when I first saw the card. I liked it so much that I wanted to build a whole deck around her. I then started to do some research on EDHREC and on tappedout. Then I saw a list I REALLY like and the whole primer project started with this deck from Daedalus19876.


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82% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 3 months
Last updated 1 dia

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

18 - 0 Mythic Rares

55 - 0 Rares

9 - 0 Uncommons

6 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.52
Tokens Construct 0/0 C, Elephant 3-3 G, Phyrexian Germ 0/0 B, 0/2 G Token Creature Plant, Treasure, Treasure, Treasure
Folders Uncategorized, EDH, Commander/EDH, Stuff, DecksToPlay, EDH
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