Are you struggling to battle against the ‘Red Menace’ that is Chainwhirler Aggro? Worried about battling it at your next FNM of PPTQ? Get the feeling that if you can’t beat them you should join them? Well fear not, for today I bring you a deck that is effective, strong against Mono-Red and Rakdos Aggro, and flavourfully tribal. So, if you’re in the mood for something new to build for your next foray into Standard read on and experience the radiant glory that is Angel Tribal.
So around two months ago I held a twitter poll to ask you what tribal deck I should build next for Standard, with the choices been Angels, Sphinxes and Dragons. Well as you can see below, Angel claimed the top slot with a whopping 43% of the votes. So, I set out to build a fun and funky brew to share with you on the website.
— James 'The Owl' Wise #TeamMoM (@MTGTengu) May 1, 2018
Unfortunately, life conspired to get in the way. With Grand Prix Birmingham and Battlebond taking up a lot of our time in terms of content creation I had to put the deck on the back burner. However, after the Pro Tour I found myself with a few moments spare and decided to see if I could finish what I started. The end result was a deck that not only worked well in testing, but works as a great answer to the larger number of aggressive Red decks in the format right now.
We start with the centre piece of the deck, a playset of Lyra Dawnbringer. This Baneslayer Angel/Angel Lord has already proven its mettle in high level tournament play, but no deck has really made use of her anthem and life gain gifting effect. We aim to change that. First of all, we include two copies of Angel of Condemnation and Angel of Sanctions.
Both these flyers can be used as removal spells for problematic Hazorets and Phoenixes, but the Angel of Condemnation can also work double duty, flickering our own creatures should they be targeted by a Vraska’s Contempt or Fight with Fire. But that’s not the only way we can protect our force of winged protectors. Shalai, Voice of Plenty grants Hexproof to our self and our other creatures, stone walling most forms of removal. She is also surprising resilient to red based removal, what with her having four toughness and all.
And that about does it for creatures. But what goes in the rest of the deck I here you ask? O-rings, lots and lots of O-rings. The fact of the matter is that we have no early game creatures with which to block our opponent’s aggression, but we can run a surprising amount of spot removal in the form of Enchantments. And since both Red and Black have few to no answers for these spells, they make for great answers to early game plays.
In total we run sixteen Enchantment based removal spell in the forms of Baffling End, Seal Away, Thopter Arrest, Cast Out and Ixalan’s Binding. Baffling End is great for none hasty creatures like Goblin Chainwhirler and Kari Zev, Skyship Raider, while Seal Away takes care of Bomat Courier and Ahn-Crop Crasher. We even run a couple of Authority of the Consuls to slow down these early plays and give us some incidental life gain. Thopter Arrest works wonders against Heart of Kirans and other vehicles, while Cast Out and Ixalan’s Binding handle literally anything else.
The final two playset of spells we run are Treasure Map to allow us some card filtering and late game ramp, and Settle the Wreckage just encase our removal package is found to be lacking. Our mana base is very simple, with Sunpetal Grove and Scattered Groves to give us access to Shalai, Voice of Plenty ability, and finishing off with sixteen Plains.
Now our deck is great against aggro, but what happens if we run in to control? Well that’s where our sideboard comes in. we simply take out our irrelevant removal and replace it with a White Weenie package. Adanto Vanguard, Adorned Pouncer and Glory-Bound Initiate turn our almost control based angel deck into a midrange beatdown brew, espesally when they are backed you with three Benalish Marshals.
2 Shalai, Voice of Plenty
2 Angel of Condemnation
4 Lyra Dawnbringer
2 Angel of Sanctions
4 Settle the Wreckage
4 Treasure Map
2 Authority of the Consuls
2 Baffling End
4 Seal Away
2 Thopter Arrest
4 Cast Out
4 Ixalan’s Binding
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Scattered Groves
4 Adanto Vanguard
4 Adorned Pouncer
4 Glory-Bound Initiate
3 Benalish Marshal
And that people is Angel Control for Standard. The deck is a ton of fun to play and is a solid answer to Cainwhirler decks. I’ve been doing a lot of home testing against my own B/R build and the results have been very promising. But what do you think? Is this the kind of deck you want to play in Standard? Or have you already found your answer to Red current dominance? Why not tell us about it in the comments down below. If you have enjoyed todays article why not like and share, it is a great way for you to help support and growth the site. But until next time remember Good Luck and Have Fun.