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Angels, Soldiers, and Dragons, Oh My!


Hello everyone. Some people enjoy playing the same deck, week after week. Others, like me, enjoy playing a deck for a little while, figuring out what makes it tick, and then move on to the next deck. That's what makes writing this column such a joy to do. This week, I have a few themed decks for you to try out, whether that be on Magic Arena or in person against your friends or at a local event. Let's get started.

Mardu Angels

We'll get started with a deck built around one of Magic's most popular creature types, Angels. Let's take a look at the deck.

Giada, Font of Hope
Ever since Giada, Font of Hope was printed in Streets of New Capenna, Angels have found renewed popularity in Standard. Giada provides a +1/+1 counter for each Angel you currently have in play to any new Angel that enters the battlefield under your control. That allows your Angels to become larger threats than normal, and your opponent will likely need a removal spell that destroys or exiles your creatures since dealing damage usually won't get the job done. To top things off, Giada can also be tapped to provide additional White mana to cast your Angel spells.

Since this deck is focused on Angels, there are a lot of great Angels in this deck. Inspiring Overseer offers you a little bit of extra life in addition to drawing a card when it enters the battlefield. Archangel of Wrath has lifelink, helping to increase your life total even further, plus it can deal some direct damage to any target if it is kicked. Liesa, Forgotten Archangel can make things very tough for your opponent if they aren't able to exile your threats. Finally, Steel Seraph can be cast at various times throughout the game, and provides three important keyword abilities you can take advantage of.

As the only non-Angel creature in this deck, Sheoldred, the Apocalypse feels a little out of place, but her power level is great enough to allow you to overlook this inconsistency. By forcing your opponent to lose two points of life when they draw a card, you'll be able to close out games very quickly. She will also provide you with some additional life whenever you draw a card. Pairing Sheoldred with the +1/+1 counters from The Wandering Emperor's +1 loyalty ability or from Gix's Command can turn her into a terrifying threat, especially when she can gain flying, vigilance, or lifelink from Steel Seraph.

Mono White Soldiers

Next, I have a deck featuring Soldiers that can dominate on the battlefield. Let's take a look at the deck.

Valiant Veteran
Recruitment Officer is a great creature to begin the game with. While you probably won't want to attack with it unless the coast is clear, it has an ability that can be quite helpful. For four mana, you can look at the top four cards of your library and put a creature that has a mana value of three or less into your hand, with the rest of the cards going to the bottom of your library. This ability will almost never fail, as over half of this deck is composed of creatures that cost three mana or less.

Valiant Veteran provides a +1/+1 bonus to all of your other Soldiers while it is on the battlefield. Since it's not legendary, you can have multiple copies of this Kor Soldier in play at the same time. This will certainly make Valiant Veteran a target for your opponent's removal spells. Luckily, Valiant Veteran has an ability that can be used while it is in your graveyard, exiling it in the process to put a +1/+1 counter on each Soldier you control.

To make it more difficult for your opponent to interact with you, this deck has a couple of great Soldiers. First is Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, who makes all noncreature spells cost one additional mana to cast. You also have Myrel, Shield of Argive, who takes away the ability for your opponent to cast spells or activate the abilities of artifact, creatures, or enchantments while it is your turn. Each of these creatures individually are a nuisance, and together they can be backbreaking.

Jund Dragons

The final deck I have for you this week features another fan favorite tribe, Dragons. Let's check it out.

Ziatora, the Incinerator
If you're looking for powerful creatures, you've come to the right place. Ziatora, the Incinerator is the biggest Dragon in this deck, coming in with 6/6 stats. This Demon Dragon also allows you to sacrifice another creature at the beginning of your end step to deal direct damage to any target, plus you'll create three Treasure tokens. Those Treasure tokens can be used to bring out other creatures to sacrifice on future turns.

There are a couple of great Dragons in this deck that can be sacrificed for extra value. When Junji, the Midnight Sky dies, you can choose to have your opponent lose two points of life and discard two cards, or to lose two points of your life to put a non-Dragon creature from any graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. You'll most often choose the second option, unless the first would win you the game. Atsushi, the Blazing Sky can also be sacrificed for value, either giving you additional cards that you can play until the end of your next turn, or providing you with three Treasure tokens.

All the Dragons I've mentioned are great, but they are expensive to cast. For that reason, there are a couple of creatures included in this deck that can help provide you with additional mana. While Rivaz of the Claw might look like a Dragon, it is, in fact, a Viashino. With Rivaz in play, you can tap it to add two mana of any color to cast Dragon creature spells. You can also cast Dragons from your graveyard, giving them an additional use. There's also Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea, who can be tapped for two mana of any color that can be used to cast creature spells or activate creature abilities. Even though these two creatures aren't Dragons, they are very important members of this team.

Wrapping Up

I have a soft spot for creature-type themed decks, simply because they are so much fun to play. The synergy that exists between each card in the deck can't be matched in other decks. I plan to try out each of these on Magic Arena to see which is my favorite.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, feel free to share this article with your friends anywhere on social media. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!

-Mike Likes

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