Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Angel Decks in Magic
Generally found in Magic's white faction, angels require several mana but reward players with powerful stats and effects, many defensive in nature. Their flying trait only allows creatures with flying or reach to block them, further demonstrating their divine might.
With a surge of support from the Core 2020 set, angels are stronger than ever—which reign supreme? These are the 50 best angels in Magic: The Gathering!
50. Archangel of Thune
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 5
Thune's stats are a mediocre 3/4 for her price, but flying and lifelink help compensate. Plus, whenever you gain life (whether through her lifelink or other means), Thune places a +1/+1 counter on all creatures you control, including herself. This rewards white's numerous life-based effects and pressures foes to quickly find a removal.
49. Tariel, Reckoner of Souls
Tariel needs three colors, several mana, and only has 4/7 power and toughness considering. However, she has flying (like every card on the list, so I'll stop mentioning it) plus vigilance, letting her attack without tapping. She can also tap to play a random creature from an opponent's graveyard to your field, a chaotic yet powerful revival.
48. Emeria Angel
Emeria's stats are a meager 3/3, but her landfall effect creates a flying 1/1 bird token whenever a land enters your field. Sure, these tokens aren't individually strong, but gradually become a big threat if Emeria isn't eliminated. They also empower flying-based effects, some of which we'll see later.
47. Razia, Boros Archangel
Razia's 6/3 stats are pitifully low for her price, but vigilance and haste help. More than that, Razia's tap effect prevents the next three damage that would be dealt to a creature you control that turn (possibly herself), instead dealing the damage to any other creature. Use this to shield allies while destroying weaker enemies.
46. Angel of Jubilation
Jubilation's numerous white mana symbols make her unwieldy outside mono-white, and like Emeria, her stats are only a decent 3/3. However, she boosts your other non-black creatures by +1/+1 and prevents players from paying life or sacrificing creatures to cast spells or activate abilities.
These restrictions affect you too, but you'll presumably be using a deck without such tricks while foes (especially black decks) will find themselves locked out of several plays.
45. Heavenly Blademaster
3/6 stats look poor until you consider Blademaster's coveted double strike trait, hitting twice with each attack. Plus, when she enters the field, you can attach any number of auras/equipments you control to her, and your other creatures get +1/+1 for aura and equipment she has.
44. Bruna, Light of Alabaster
Bruna bears respectable 5/5 stats alongside vigilance, and whenever she attacks or blocks, you can attach any number of auras from the field or from your hand/graveyard to her—for free! This strengthens her right in time for battle and can even steal opposing auras.
43. Aurelia, the Warleader
Aurelia carries lackluster 3/4 stats but offers vigilance and haste. More than that, when she attacks for the first time each turn, she untaps all creatures you control (whether they attacked or not) and gives you an extra combat phase, ravaging foes with consecutive attacks.
42. Sigarda, Heron's Grace
Sigarda grants both you and your human creatures hexproof, preventing opponents from targeting them with spells or abilities. She also has impressive 4/5 stats and can spend two mana to exile a card from your graveyard and create a 1/1 human token.
41. Sigarda, Host of Herons
In her Host of Herons form, Sigarda herself has hexproof plus superior 5/5 stats. She also prevents opposing spells and abilities from causing you to sacrifice permanents, a powerful defense against many black spells and the eldrazi annihilator trait.
40. Radiant, Archangel
Radiant starts weak at 3/3 but gets +1/+1 for every other creature with flying on the field, regardless of who owns it. Run her in flying-focused decks for massive battle scores with vigilance as a bonus.
39. Regna, the Redeemer
Regna's stats fall flat at 4/4, but she partners with "Krav, the Unredeemed", letting you add him from your deck to your hand when Regna enters the field. From there, Regna's creates two 1/1 warrior tokens during any end step where you gained life that turn.
This works well with Krav's life-gaining ability, provides creature fodder for him to sacrifice, and can even trigger during opposing end steps. A staple in my black/white commander decks, Regna costs less than two dollars!
38. Shalai, Voice of Plenty
This legendary angel has solid 3/4 stats, a flexible mana cost, and grants you, your planeswalkers, and your other creatures hexproof, only leaving herself unprotected. She can also spend six mana (including at least two green) to offer all creatures you control a +1/+1 counter, a handy outlet for leftover resources.
37. Rienne, Angel of Rebirth
Designed for multi-color decks, Rienne carries powerful 5/4 stats and grants your other multi-colored creatures +1/+0. Better yet, when another multi-color creature you control dies, Rienne returns it to hand at the next end step, letting you eventually recast fallen troops.
36. Angel of Vitality
One of the cheapest angels in the game, Vitality only requires three mana and begins at 2/2, but gains +2/+2 as long as you have at least 25 life. Use her in commander format (where you start with 40 instead of 20) for a cheap yet potent beatstick.
Plus, whether her boost is active or not, Vitality gives you an extra health whenever you gain any life, helping keep her threshold active. An easy pick for my own white decks, Vitality also costs less than a single dollar!
35. Anya, Merciless Angel
Anya's decent 4/4 stats increase by +3/+3 for each opponent whose life is less than half their starting life, devastating against weakened opponents. Plus, while any opponent has less than half their starting life, Anya gains indestructible, making her especially tricky to defeat.
34. Angelic Field Marshal
Another staple in commander, Field Marshal's lieutenant effect increases her 3/3 stats increase by +2/+2 while you control your commander. Additionally, with your commander out, she also gives your creatures (including herself) vigilance, letting you swing while maintaining blockers during opposing turns.
33. Magister of Worth
For her price, Worth is just a 4/4, but activates a powerful effect on arrival. All players (starting with you) vote for grace or condemnation; if grace wins, all creatures return from the graveyard to the field, but if condemnation wins or the vote is tied, Worth destroys all creatures except herself.
You're either getting a mass revival or field wipe with this ability, and in games with more than two players, you can use diplomacy to buy votes and get the effect you want.
32. Sunblast Angel
Sunblast offers another board wipe/creature combo, this time needing only one color and bearing better 4/5 stats. When she joins the arena, you destroy all tapped creatures, punishing foes who attacked or used tap effects since their last upkeep.
Your own units can be destroyed too, but this is easily avoided by simply casting Sunblast before your combat step (when your creatures should still be untapped).
31. Seraph of the Scales
At base, Scales is a 4/3 with nothing beyond flying. But she can gain vigilance for the turn by spending a white mana and deathtouch by spending a black, adapting to fit your situation.
Additionally, her afterlife 2 keyword creates two 1/1 spirit tokens with flying when she dies, a handy exit effect that protects you even if she falls.
30. Exquisite Archangel
Archangel demands several mana and has lukewarm 5/5 stats for her price. However, if you would lose the game, Archangel instead exiles herself and resets your life to its starting value. Definitely a prime defense, but remember it only protects against life-based losses; deck-out, poison counters, and commander damage can still break through.
29. Sephara, Sky's Blade
You can either cast Sephara by paying her seven mana cost or by tapping four untapped creatures you control and spending one white mana. Either way, she's a menacing 7/7 with lifelink who grants your other flying creatures indestructible.
If you manage to control multiple copies of Sephara (using cards that bypass the legend rule like "Helm of the Host"), they'll give each other indestructible and construct a formidable barrier.
28. Angel of Despair
Despair needs two colors and only has average 5/5 stats, but destroys any permanent on arrival. That's a versatile removal that can target lands, planeswalkers, or any other card type, and it stacks beautifully with blinking effects (which remove and return creatures to the field, reactivating entrance effects).
27. Sublime Archangel
One of the game's best exalted cards, Archangel bears sturdy 4/3 stats, and her exalted trait gives any of your creatures +1/+1 for the turn when they attack alone. She also grants your other creatures exalted, dramatically boosting your solo attackers.
26. Angel of Serenity
Serenity bears decent 5/6 stats and her arrival exiles up to three creatures from the field or graveyard; when she leaves the field, the exiled cards are returned to their owner's hand. The obvious use is to banish opposing threats, but you can also target creatures in your graveyard to get them back in hand (eventually).
25. Guardian Seraph
Seraph enjoys respectable 3/4 stats and reduces any damage you take from opposing sources by one. This includes both combat and non-combat damage, and multiple Seraphs will stack, forming a unique and potent shield.
24. Desolation Angel
Desolation has impressive 5/4 stats, but destroys your own lands on arrival. However, if you pay her extra kicker cost of two white mana, she instead destroys all lands à la "Armageddon". Either way, you're losing your own terrain, but this can easily signal game over when you have the advantage in board state.
23. Angel of the Dire Hour
Dire Hour's stats are just 5/4 for her price, but her flash trait lets you cast her at instant speed. Wait until an opponents swings; on arrival, Dire exiles all attacking creatures! This can really turn the tide of a duel and even indestructible foes will vanish.
22. Resplendent Angel
Resplendent offers a rather inexpensive angel with handy 3/3 stats, and at the end of any turn where you gained five or more life, she creates a 4/4 angel token with flying and vigilance.
White has many tools to trigger this effect, and Resplendent can do it herself by spending six mana to receive +2/+2 and lifelink for the turn, gaining you five life when she attacks or blocks that round.
21. Feather, the Redeemed
Feather has specific color requirements, but wields impressive 3/4 stats for her low price. Her powerful ability exiles any instant or sorcery you cast that targets your own creature, returning that spell to your hand at the end step.
This lets you continuously reuse creature-empowering one-offs, and you still recover the card even if Feather dies before it returns.
20. Akroma, Angel of Fury
Akroma bears a pricey cost but can't be countered and offers a 6/6 with flying, trample, and protection from white and from blue. She can also spend a red mana to gain +1/+0 for the turn (which can win with infinite mana), and her morph lets you divide her cost over multiple turns by casting her face-down for three, then turning her face-up for six.
19. Baneslayer Angel
Unusually strong for a non-lengendary, Baneslayer wields 5/5 stats plus first strike, lifelink, and protection from demons and dragons. This makes her especially deadly against black and red decks, but she's strong enough to warrant usage anywhere.
18. Reya Dawnbringer
Reya demands a whopping amount of mana, so try to gimmick her into play with free-creatures effects. Her stats are only 4/6 considering, but she lets you return a creature from your graveyard to the field at the start of your upkeep, continuously reviving fallen allies.
17. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
Seven isn't bad for a 5/5 with first strike, but Gisela's abilities can make or break your game: any of your sources (including Gisela herself) deal double damage to opponents and opposing permanents; opposing sources deal half damage to you and yours. The damage prevented against you even rounds up, making your army incredibly resistant while massacring enemy forces.
16. Bruna, the Fading Light
Bruna enjoys solid 5/7 stats, vigilance, and the ability to return any angel or human from your graveyard to the field on arrival. She also melds with "Gisela, the Broken Blade", meaning if you control both during your end step, they combine into the deadly "Brisela, Voice of Nightmares".
Brisela has incredible 9/10 stats, flying, vigilance, lifelink, first strike, and prevents opponents from casting spells of cost three or less, ensnaring foes with a huge net. But speaking of Gisela...
15. Gisela, the Broken Blade
Gisela can transform alongside Bruna to form Brisela, but she's formidable on her own, offering a 4/3 with first strike and lifelink. If she dies before melding, you can simply use Bruna's entrance effect to later revive her and summon Brisela.
14. Akroma, Angel of Wrath
In her Wrath mode, Akroma enjoys 6/6 stats plus first strike, vigilance, trample, haste, and protection from both black and red. Quite the amalgam of traits, and it's interesting that her white Wrath form has haste while her red Anger mode doesn't.
13. Adarkar Valkyrie
Valkyrie has average 4/5 stats but vigilance and the rare snow type. More than that, she can tap to return any other creature to the field under your control when it dies during the turn. Many see Valkyrie as the angel version of "Sun Titan", but note that her effect can even steal opposing units that die.
12. Serra Avenger
For just two mana, Avenger bestows a mighty 3/3 with vigilance. The catch is that you can't cast her on your first, second, or third turns, but she's still a powerful and inexpensive beatstick. She also works well in EDH, where chances are you won't draw her until later in the match anyway.
11. Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
Aurelia's mediocre 2/5 stats become much better with her effect, which lets you choose any creature (possibly herself) at the start of your combat; it gets +2/+0 for the turn plus trample if red and vigilance if white (both with each color).
If used on herself, you've got a monstrous 4/5 with vigilance, trample, and the rare mentor effect, granting a weaker ally that's also attacking a +1/+1 counter.
10. Pristine Angel
Angel's 4/4 stats are poor but as long as she's untapped, she has protection from artifacts and all colors, making her one of the sturdiest creatures in the game. Additionally, you can untap her whenever you cast a spell, keeping her shields active and maintaining a near-invincible blocker on opposing turns.
9. Karmic Guide
At first, Guide doesn't look great, being a weak 2/2 with the undesirable echo trait, sacrificing herself on your next turn unless you repay her five mana cost. However, Guide has several positive traits: protection from black, the spirit subtype on top of angel, and the ability to return any creature from your graveyard to the field on arrival.
Thus useful trait can even form infinite combos with multiple copies and an "Ashnod's Altar".
8. Restoration Angel
A flexible cost, 3/4 stats, and flash all contribute to Restoration's rating. Moreover, on entrance, she can exile a non-angel creature you control, then return it to the field. Use this to save a blocker from death, dodge a removal, remove negative -1/-1 counters, or untap an attacker after dealing damage—the choice is yours.
6. Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Linvala is a solid 3/4 with a brutal net, preventing opposing creatures from using activated abilities. This doesn't stop triggered or static abilities, just activated ones (written with a colon or tap symbol); still, nearly every deck in existence uses some form of them, making Linvala a constant nuisance for opponents (but not you).
6. Archangel Avacyn/Avacyn, the Purifier
Avacyn offers a competitive 4/4 with flash and vigilance, and when she enters the field, your creatures (including herself) gain indestructible for the turn. That's an excellent response to board wipes, and Avacyn transforms into her Purifier form when a non-angel you control dies.
Here, she loses vigilance but her stats increase to 6/5 and she hits all other creatures and opponents for three immediate damage. And Avacyn also excels as...
5. Avacyn, Angel of Hope
While mana-taxing, Avacyn serves as a gargantuan 8/8 with vigilance and indestructible. More than that, she grants all your permanents—creatures, lands, and anything else—indestructible as well. While not invincible (cards can still be exiled or returned to hand), that's simply one of the game's best defensive abilities.
4. Lyra Dawnbringer
Lyra works similarly to Baneslayer but with added tribal support, carrying 5/5 stats plus first strike and lifelink. More than that, she gives your other angels +1/+1 and lifelink, an enormous increase in angel-centered themes.
3. Platinum Angel
Platinum Angel needs seven mana and only has 4/4 stats, but her colorless nature accepts any mana types. More than that, her incredible power prevents opponents from winning and you from losing. This simply can't be ignored, absolutely forcing opponents to remove her before even having a chance at victory.
2. Atraxa, Praetors' Voice
Atraxa's color requirements and added horror subtype distinguish her from most angels, but she's easily one of the game's best commanders. Not only does she enjoys 4/4 stats plus vigilance, lifelink, and deathtouch, but also the ability to proliferate each turn.
Whether multiplying enemy poison counters or your own planeswalker loyalty and creatures +1/+1s, this reusable effect quickly overwhelms foes.
1. Iona, Shield of Emeria
Iona's massive mana fee makes her another candidate for free-creature effects, but she's more than worth it. Her 7/7 stats are fair, and when she enters, you pick a color; opponents can't cast spells of that color.
This absolutely demolishes mono-color decks, and even multi-color ones will struggle since any spell with that color becomes inaccessible. Colorless spells can still be cast, but most of those are artifacts and won't be able to eliminate Iona.
Supporting Angels in Magic
In addition to today's spells, remember that many human creatures empower your angels—"Bishop of Wings" and "Kaalia of the Vast" being prime examples. Since angels require several mana, you don't want to lose them—try using white's numerous aura and equipment synergy to shield them with various defenses.
But for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next set of angelic warriors, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill