Feature: Angels Everywhere

Posted in Event Coverage on May 12, 2012

By Josh Bennett

The Helvault was smashed, as angels poured out into the world, and apparently they all wound up in Barcelona. Unfortunately for Avacyn, Angel of Hope, she hasn't shown up in person. Instead her host has been battling in her stead.

Restoration Angel

Restoration Angels have flickered their way into many of the best constructed decks this weekend.

The most ubiquitous (and filling the "Medium Creature" slot on your Fantasy Pro Tour roster) is Restoration Angel. I talked to Pro Tour Philadelphia Champ Samuele Estratti about her, and her role in the White-Red-Green Aggro deck he and his teammates are playing.

"You have so many combos. Borderland Ranger. Huntmaster of the Fells for extra wolves. Re-bonding Wolfir Silverheart. It makes all your best cards even better."

Hall of Famer Frank Karsten was also singing her praises.

"I mean, a 3/4 flash flier for four is already a good deal. There are plenty of little ways to get value out of it with creatures you're already wanting to play. It lets you dodge removal, of course. One other really important thing is it gives you a way to flip your werewolves without getting behind on the board."

Just remember that Angel of Restoration only flickers non-Angels. More than one player this weekend has tried to ambush incoming attackers by flickering Sigarda, Host of Herons and wound up disappointed.

Sigarda, Host of Herons

Sigarda is still very good, but there are a few problems with her in the format, as many players have noted. She doesn't stop Wolfir Silverheart, and she also can't be flickered out with Restoration Angel.

On the more massive side of things, you have Angel of Glory's Rise, the centerpiece of Elie Pichon's deck. His deck stocks the graveyard with Humans, and then gets them all back in one fell swoop. The Canadians are refusing to settle for the help of a single Angel by casting Entreat the Angels for as many as their mana will permit. Last but certainly not least, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is showing up as a finisher in all the control decks that can support her. The combination of blunting your opponent's attack and turning on a 10-damage clock is simply too powerful to ignore.

David Sharfman even enlisted the power of the angels as a transformation sideboard plan for his Griselbrand Reanimator deck "Raisin' 'Brand" which already ran Gisela in the main. "The problem was that every color has something they can bring in to disrupt the reanimation plan. Even worse, you have cards like Zealous Conscripts. Getting your Gisela stolen is just about the biggest possible beating. So instead you take out all that and put in quality creatures. How are they supposed to match up against a Sigarda they aren't expecting?"

So far the answer to that question has been "not well". The expected Sigarda, on the other hand, has been merely acceptable, said Estratti. "She's good. The problem is Wolfir Silverheart. If they have that, she's no help at all."

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