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Goldfish Gladiators: Mardu Angels (Standard, Magic Arena)


Welcome to Goldfish Gladiators! Angels have a lot of potential in Standard thanks to some absurdly powerful standalone tribe members and some sneaky tribal synergy, thanks to Lyra Dawnbringer's Angel-lord properties. Unlike some decks that are based around synergy and tempo, Mardu Angels is all about raw power. Rather than gaining small edges with cute interactions, the main plan of our deck is to simply slam a massive Angel each turn and trust that enough of them will stick on the battlefield to kill our opponent. How does Mardu Angels work in Ravnica Allegiance Standard? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Goldfish Gladiators: Mardu Angels

Discussion

  • Resplendent Angel tokens have vigilance. 
  • With that out of the way, we finished 2-2 in our traditional constructed event, although a massive punt cost us the win in our final round against Golgari Midrange. For some reason, I didn't realize that Resplendent Angel makes tokens with vigilance, so we left back a 4/4 on defense and ended up being exactly four damage short of killing our opponent. Then, we mulliganed into oblivion in game three, ending our chances of picking up another win.
  • While the punt was brutal, it's also a good lesson: make sure to read your cards! More importantly, after the punt, our opponent ran well, and we ran poorly, making it tempting to blame bad luck on the loss. Blaming luck rather than looking at our own mistakes is an easy trap to fall into and can be a big hindrance to improving. Our mulligan to five and our opponent's top decks never would have happened if we had just attacked with the Angel token.
  • Beyond punting, the deck actually felt pretty good. The Angels themselves are incredibly powerful—Resplendent Angel, Seraph of the Scales, Lyra Dawnbringer, and Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice are all good enough to win a game by themselves if they stick on the battlefield, and we have enough of these powerful threats that we can fight through some amount of removal by just playing threat after threat until our opponent runs out of answers. 
  • The one card I really disliked in the deck was Adanto Vanguard. While Adanto Vanguard is a fine Magic card, it's really poor on defense. Since our Angels are so good at closing out the game, we don't really need to get in incidental damage in the early game. Something like Tithe Taker to slow down our opponent in the early game by blocking twice is probably a better option, alongside Tocatli Honor Guard in the two-drop slot.
  • Apart from Adanto Vanguard, the deck feels really solid. It has enough lifegain to keep up with aggro and enough power to beat midrange and control. If it weren't for the Resplendent Angel, it's very possible we could have hit the five-win mark with the deck. 
  • All in all, Mardu Angels feels like a competitor in Standard. The only downside on Arena is that it's pretty expensive, since most of the Angels are mythics and we need a lot of shock lands and check lands for the mana base. Otherwise, the deck has a high enough power level that it should have some success on the ladder. If you like casting huge game-ending fliers or are a fan of Angels, give it a shot!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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