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Goldfish Gladiators: Mono-White Angels (Arena)

Welcome to Goldfish Gladiators, a new series with a twist: rather than taking place on Magic Online, Goldfish Gladiator is focused on Magic Arena. From a meta perspective, most Magic decks fall into one of two groups: decks based on synergy that look to gain an advantage based on how their cards interact with each other, and decks based on power that are mostly hoping to win by playing better cards than the opponent. Today's deck—Mono-White Angels—is certainly one of the latter. The plan is simple: to cast an extremely powerful card every turn, starting on Turn 2, and trust that we'll overwhelm our opponent with sheer power.

Basically, our deck is sort of this weird mashup of Knights and Angels, with the Knights filling out the early part of our curve and the Angels coming down later to shut the door on our opponent's chances. Then, we back up our creatures with some good removal along with Karn, Scion of Urza and Treasure Map to make sure we don't run out of cards. Can the addition of Resplendent Angel from Core Set 2019 make Angel tribal a real thing in Standard? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Goldfish Gladiators: Mono-White Angels

The Deck

  • Let's start with the good news: Mono-White Angels was pretty insane. We cruised through our quick constructed to hit the seven-win mark fairly easily. The combination of a good curve, extremely powerful cards, and enough card advantage to keep up with control and midrange seems like an easy recipe for success. 
  • Against aggro, apart from solid early-game blockers in Knight of Grace and History of Benalia, we've got Lyra Dawnbringer—which is essentially a cheat card against Mono-Red, especially with Shalai, Voice of Plenty protecting it from whatever answers our opponent might have. Plus, Resplendent Angel can beat aggro all by itself in the late game thanks to its lifelink ability, giving us another absurd topdeck.
  • Meanwhile, we can keep up with control thanks to Karn, Scion of Urza and Treasure Map. Without these cards, there would be a real risk that our opponent could simply kill our threats, stick a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, and beat us with card advantage, but having a card-draw engine of our own helps to make sure that we can keep up with slower, more controlling decks in terms of cards in hand. 
  • Resplendent Angel is basically the white version of Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. It's a fine creature just on stats alone, and then if you happen to get in even one activation, it typically wins the game by itself. This makes it a must-kill threat. Add in Lyra Dawnbringer and Shalai, Voice of Plenty, and our Angels are really good at taxing our opponent's removal. If our opponent ever lets one of these creatures stick for just a few turns, we typically pull far ahead. 
  • The other interesting aspect of Resplendent Angel is that it actually makes the Angel lord text on Lyra Dawnbringer relevant. If we have a Benalish Marshal and Lyra Dawnbringer on the battlefield, a single Resplendent Angel attack will gain us enough life to make a 4/4 Angel token without even activating Resplendent Angel's ability. 
  • Unfortunately, the deck comes with one pretty big downside: it's expensive. 12 mythics is on the high end for Standard decks, and 16 rares is a ton, especially considering that as a mono-colored deck, we aren't spending a ton of wildcards on dual lands.
  • This being said, there is a bit of good news: the deck is essentially rotation-proof (with the two Cast Outs and one Angel of Sanctions being the only non-land cards to rotate), and the cards are good. Even if Mono-White Angels isn't a thing post-rotation (and it very well might be), you'll find someplace to use cards like Karn, Treasure Map, Resplendent Angel, and Lyra Dawnbringer. They are simply too powerful not to have a place in Standard. All this is to say that while the upfront wildcard cost is high, at least you're getting cards you can play for the next year and not just for the next couple of months. 


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

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