Monday, February 15, 2010

Picking Up Worldwake: Admonition Angel

Originally published at by Yuuta Takahashi

Hello, it's Yuuta Takahashi!

Worldwake has finally been released! It is around now that everyone is surely looking at the card-list, thinking about what kinds of decks to build. After a new set out is, after all, when a Magic player starts to want to play with a variety of cards. Magic also has a side of fantasy and, in summoning and attacking with angels, dragons, and demons, it is just like an RPG.

Today I will introduce a newly released angel.

Collectors of angels will be unlikely to help themselves, due to the beautiful illustration. In the upper-left hand corner you can slightly see an image of the Game Day promo version of Emeria Angel. It used to be that a great many angels (such as Warrior Angel and Seraph) were made only for collectors but, after ten years, these creatures are no longer just beautiful, they have amazing stats as well!

Six mana 6/6 flier that Oblivion Rings with landfall. Although it has reached the point where a white 6/6 flying creature for six is balanced, this is given a further removal ability. Doesn't it seem that recent power creep on creatures has reached the poing where creatures with the same mana cost gain an extra ability each year?

Obviously in limited, but even in constructed, this card is powerful enough that with just one copy you can come back from an inferior board position. Admonition Angel's 6/6 body is perfectly suited to standard, as its power and toughness is bigger than Baneslayer Angel, Sphinx of Jwar Isle, and Broodmate Dragon.

The only thing I'm worried about is its lack of resistance to removal. Because in most situations removal is cheap, Admonition Angel is expensive to the point that we must examine this weakness. Although creatures have gotten a lot stronger, removal (Path to Exile, Terminate, Maelstrom Pulse, etc) has getting better as well.

Creatures that have been seeing play in recent tournaments are:

1. Creatures that are effecient to the poing that you will win the game if they aren't removed: Baneslayer Angel, Master of the Wild Hunt, etc.

2. Creatures that give you an advantage, even if they're removed: Sprouting Thrinax, Bloodbraid Elf, etc.

3. Creatures with Shroud: Wall of Denial, Sphinx of Jwar Isle, etc.


When it comes time to build your deck you should decide which of these standards you will use.

Although Admonition Angel isn't resistant to removal, if it survives it will end the game in two turns - basically a category on creature. If you think that Banseslayer Angel is all the rage in standard, this card has the potential to control the game as much or more so than Baneslayer.

When you try tot hink of ways to get the most practical use out of Admonition Angel, one's mind instantly goes to the fetchlands from Zendikar. If as many as two of your opponent's permanents are exiled, you will gain immediate board advantage. Even with a top-heavy curve, with green mana acceleration it is possible to play it during the early turns of the game. With that in mind, let's try to make a deck.

12 Angels.dec

5 Plains
4 Marsh Flats
4 Arid Mesa
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Stirring Wildwood
4 Wildfield Borderpost

4 Steppe Lynx
4 Lotus Cobra
4 Knight of the White Orchid
4 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Emeria Angel
4 Baneslayer Angel
4 Admonition Angel
4 Path to Exile
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 Eldrazi Monument

3 Oblivion Ring
4 Devout Lightcaster
3 Day of Judgment
4 Kor Firewalker
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Twelve angels, all strong, all beautiful.

As Admonition Angel is the center of the deck, the entire thing includes synergies based around the landfall theme. The three types of angels in the deck are all of the sort of creature that ensure that you'll win the game if they're not removed, and you can power them out through Lotus Cobra. Since we've invested in a the full complement of fetch-lands, Steppe Lynx will be an enormous attacker in the early stages of the game. Knight of the Reliquary has good compatibility with the entire deck, as its ability will allow you to continue hitting landfall, and since it also searches for Stirring Wildwood it can prevent you from losing steam in the late game, as these decks are wont to do.

Due to the number of man-lands in Worldwake, mana-bases have gotten stronger, and it's become easier to add a color to an otherwise monochromatic deck. In the beginning, 12 Angels was a mono-white deck with 16 angels, but I added green for Lotus Cobra and Knight of the Reliquary and the landfall benefits that they give. Wildfield Borderpost's downside is also canceled out by Knight of the White Orchid.

In regards to what I was saying before about being resistant to removal, in the current standard (with its excellent suite of creature-kill), it is possible to reach the stage where the opponent doesn't have enough removal if you include several creatures high on the power curve. By including so many creatures that fall under the rule of "if this survives you'll win," we can cover Admonition Angel's weakness to removal. Basically, by adding targets for your opponent's removal spells you can keep the creature you want to survive around longer.

For this deck, those creatures are:

Lotus Cobra: With the fetch-lands you get an explosive early game.

Knight of the Reliquary: From the midgame on, it keeps up with the deck's landfall theme.

Emeria Angel: The white Meloku. Even if it's quickly removed it can leave behind a token.

Baneslayer Angel: 5/5 flying, first strike, lifelink. Better at controlling the board than any other 5-mana creature in history.

So, basically a deck full of creatures that must be killed. Even if Emeria Angel and Baneslayer nger are removed...they still have to deal with Admonition Angel! If "the amount of removal in your opponents deck" is greater than the number of strong creatures is this deck, at least one will live. Which brings us back to the first condition regarding creatures seeing play: if this survives you will win. And as said many times, Admonition Angel is that creature.


When you make a deck centering around such Worldwake cards as Jace, Mind Sculptor or Abyssal Prosecutor, from the first card on remember this decklist. As long as the cards work in a group, it can be a good deck, and build as you please!

Note: As I'm still just a student, I'm aware that some of my translations might not be exact or, in some cases, could be completely wrong. If you know Japanese and notice a mistake or two, please let me know and I will edit it as soon as possible!