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Much Abrew: Abzan Angels at Mythic in Standard


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. March of the Machine: Aftermath added some really powerful Angels to Standard with Metropolis Reformer being great against Invoke Despair and aggro decks like Mono-Red while Sigarda, Font of Blessings protects our angelic and generating card advantage. Is this enough to make the Angel tribe playable at mythic in best of one Standard on MTG Arena? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

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Much Abrew: Abzan Angels

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Discussion

  • First off, as far as the record, we went a total of 16-8 at mythic, giving us a sterling 67% match win percentage! At least in best of one Angels might actually be legit!
  • So you are probably wondering why best of one rather than the regular best of three? The answer is two-fold. First, the best of three meta is pretty stale at the moment as we wait for bannings and I simply didn't feel like playing against Rakdos and Atraxa Ramp two our of every three matches. Second, I tried Angels in best of three and while the tribe was okay, they honestly wren't great against the top two decks in the meta with Rakdos having endless removal to keep our Angels off the battlefield and Ramp going over the top of our big fliers. On the other hand, the tribe is uniquely situated to perform well in best of one which tends to have a lot more aggro in its meta. Angels absolutely crushes aggro decks thanks to our big creatures and endless lifegain. Across our 24 games with the deck we went 3-1 against Mono-Red, 2-0 against GW Auras and 3-1 against Mono-White Aggro (our one loss was the game where our opponent drew a bunch of Brutal Cathars and managed to tempo us out). Meanwhile, we managed to go 3-2 against Rakdos (which is apparently still popular in best of one, although not nearly as popular as in best of three) and 3-1 against Mono-Black. The end result is Angels are just a really strong best of one deck. We beat up on all the popular aggro decks and go 50/50 (or maybe a bit better, actually) against the popular midrange decks, which means unless we get unlucky and run into one of the rare control decks in the format we're likely to post a really solid record, even at MTG Arena's highest ranks. 
  • As far as the deck itself, the main reason we're playing it now is to test out the new Aftermath Angels, both of which were great. Metropolis Reformer is one of our best cards against aggro thanks to its "when I take damage gain that much life ability" while giving us hexproof also stops Invoke Despair, assuming we can keep it on the battlefield against black decks which isn't always easy. Meanwhile, Sigarda, Font of Blessings protects our board from removal and gives Angels something they typically lack in card advantage by letting us play Angels and Humans from the top of our deck. Since all 31 creatures in our deck are either Angels or Humans (but mostly Angels, we just have Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and a Loran of the Third Path for Humans) Sigarda, on average, draws us an extra card every other turn and occasionally we got lucky and chain together multiple tribe members from the top of our deck. The two cards also work really well together, with Sigarda's hexproof protecting Metropolis Reformer and Metropolis Reformer protecting our face.
  • Otherwise, we have a bunch of good Angels. Giada, Font of Hope is probably the most important since it give us a two-drop, ramps into our biggest threats and if it lives snowballs by giving our Angels +1/+1 counters. Archangel of Wrath, Inspiring Overseer and Steel Seraph make it almost impossible for aggro to beat us by gaining us tons of life while Sanctuary Warden is our big finisher (and also another source of card advantage). The only disappointing angel in the deck was Drana and Linvala, which is under-stated and its ability rarely does anything. This is more or less what I assumed when I put it in the deck, although I wanted to give it a try and see for myself. Next time I play the deck I plan to cut it for basically anything else. 
  • As you can see in the decklist there is a sideboard included which is the one I used playing best of three with the deck, although I will say again that I don't think Angels is great is best of three, at least right now. This might change after Monday's ban list update, but for the short term I would definitely recommend playing the deck is best of one where it feasts on all the aggro in the meta, rather than in best of three where grinding past Rakdos and Atraxa Ramp is tough.
  • So should you play Angels in Standard? In best of one I think the answer is clearly yes. A 67% win rate at mythic is great and slamming big, timmy Angels turn after turn is actually pretty fun. I think the tribe is a legit sleeper to be a top tier deck in best of one. As far as best of three, I would say to wait until after the ban list update on Monday. At this point the deck isn't great, but if the meta opens up post-bannings it could be worth giving Angels another shot there as well!

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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