12 Best Ever Angels in Magic History, Complete with Deck Suggestions!

12 of the most powerful Angel creatures in Magic history

12 Best Ever Angels in Magic History, Complete with Deck Suggestions!

Ever since the birth of Magic in 1993, players have had a love affair with the Angel Creature type, owing much to the iconic art of Serra Angel by artist Douglas Shuler. At the time, Serra Angel was also considered a powerhouse 4/4 with Flying and Vigilance, and it wasn’t uncommon to see decks build around her.

Over the years, Angels have adopted the unwanted moniker of “cool but slow,” with almost no tier 1 decks revolving around an entire tribe of Angels. Let’s be clear: there are great Angels in the history of the game, many of which are used as a top-end game winner or a stabilising force. Out of 217 Angels, we pick out 12 of the best that you should definitely pay attention to!

Rank 12: Shalai, Voice of Hope

If Angels protect, then Shalai, Voice of Hope is the best at doing the job. It gives Hexproof to all your other Creatures, Planeswalkers, and even yourself! That means no more pesky burn or discard spells that are headed your way, nor can destroy your Planeswalkers with target spells.

Deck Suggestion: Commander deck focused on +1/+1 counters and token Creatures

As a 3/4 Flyer for 4 Mana, that’s a decent return on the cost, but Shalai has an additional powerful ability that only works if you can get some green Mana. For 6 Mana, she can add a +1/+1 counter to each Creature you control, and that includes Shalai herself.

Some decks run Shalai as their Commander, and with a green-white colour identity, often goes the route of token generation, creating a massive army and then pumping them up.

Rank 11: Archangel of Thune

Archangel of Thune also adds +1/+1 counters with impunity, but fits in the life gain theme that is found in many Angel decks. As long as you’re gaining life in some way (Soul Warden is a must have), you’ll soon find your Creatures growing very quickly.

Unlike Shalai, Voice of Plenty where you have to sink a ton of Mana, Archangel of Thune is a free triggered ability and it’s not difficult at all to get 2 or more triggers on your turn.

Her 3/4 stats for 5 Mana is on the lower end of the power scale compared to the other angels on this list, but it does its job better than anyone else.

Rank 10: Righteous Valkyrie

Costing only 3 Mana for a 2/4 Flyer, Righteous Valkyrie is a must have if you’re playing a pure Angel or Cleric tribal deck. Firstly you gain life whenever one of those Creature types come into play. And then when you’re 7 life more than your starting total (usually 47 in Commander, and 27 in other formats), all your Creatures get a +2/+2 buff.

The downside here is that the +2/+2 buff is contingent on Righteous Valkyrie staying in play. Once an opponent gets rid of Righteous Valkyrie, the house of cards starts falling down. It’s always great when you can have more than 1 on the board, especially since Valkyrie isn’t a Legendary Creature, unlike many other Angels on this list.

Righteous Valkyrie can be the early bedrock of full Angel tribal decks, so protect her at all costs!

Rank 9: Battle Angels of Tyr

Battle Angels of Tyr is a fine inclusion from the upcoming Commander Legends 2: Battle for Baldur’s Gate set. Specifically designed for the Commander format, these Battle Angels are capable of netting great value as long as you attack the right opponent.

You could potentially be drawing a card, creating a Treasure token, and gaining 3 life every time it deals damage to an opponent. Because the Battle Angels have the Myriad ability, it creates temporary copies that are attacking each opponent. So as long as you’re not in the absolute lead, there’s a good chance you’ll be benefiting from all of these bonuses.

Even if your opponents have blockers, at the very least, these Myriad copies are still formidable 4/4s and can trade with blockers.

Rank 8: Sanctuary Warden

Getting a 5/5 Flying Angel for 6 Mana doesn’t sound that enticing, but it’s her other abilities that can potentially tip the scales in power level. Firstly, Sanctuary Warden comes in with 2 Shield Counters. That means opponents will need to somehow damage or destroy the Warden twice because she can be killed. Exiling her also does the trick, but those effects are less common than Destroy effects.

Santuary Warden‘s 2nd ability is amazing. When it enters the Battlefield or attacks, you can remove any counter from a Creature or Planeswalker you control to draw a card and create a 1/1 Citizen. Yes, you don’t even have to remove the Shield counters, but any +1/+1 or Loyalty counter will suffice.

Rank 7: Resplendent Angel

Resplendent Angel fits into the life gain theme, and has the unique ability of generating more 4/4 Angels for free, as long as you’ve gained a certain amount of life. It’s very similar to another Angel – Valkyrie Harbinger – but with Resplendent Angel costing 3 Mana, half of the Harbinger, Resplendent Angel is so much better.

To complete the package, Resplendent Angel even has the ability give itself a +2/+2 boost and Lifelink, albeit at a high 6 Mana cost to activate. Once activated, it fulfils the criteria needed to create an Angel, and in a 1-v-1 game, can easily turn the tide to your favour.

Rank 6: Feather, The Redeemed

Our very first multi-coloured Angel on this list has such a unique ability that it leads the charge as Commander for many decks. Feather, the Redeemed only costs 3 Mana for a nice 3/4 and Flying stats.

But most importantly, it allows you to return any spell, that has targeted your Creatures, back to your hand at the end of the turn. In effect, you and use and reuse Instant and Sorcery cards each turn as long as you have Mana available and Feather is on the board.

Once you have the right spells to draw cards, pump Power and Toughness, and also protect Feather, the Redeemed, it’s pretty much game over as Feather can fly over enemy blockers and hit for Commander damage.

Rank 5: Sigarda, Host of Herons

Sigarda, Host of Herons is our second multi-coloured Angel on this best-of list, but is the only one that has a built-in Hexproof to provide a stabilising force that cannot be targeted for removal.

Other Angels here will become an instant target because of their high-powered abilities, and while Sigarda doesn’t have anything that is game-breaking, having a 5/5 Flyer that cannot be touch by spells and abilities is a god-send.

Her second ability is a nice counter to Sacrifice effects such as those from Soul Shatter and inadvertently is also a good way to keep Sigarda alive because many sacrifice spells don’t target the Creature but the player.

Rank 4: Platinum Angel

At a very high cost of 7 Mana, Platinum Angel is like your last ditch, hail-Mary throw, in a bid to survive. With it in play, you can neither lose, nor can your opponents win. This includes all forms of ‘winning,’ including alternative win conditions seen in Laboratory Maniac or Revel in Riches.

It has no way to protect itself, and a 4 Toughness is still relatively an easy target for opponents. However, if the opponent does not have an immediate answer, or even for the next few turns, this could be enough to either stabilise your defences or even attack in the air for the win.

If our research is correct, no other card, Creature or otherwise, offers such a game-stopping ability as Platinum Angel, hence it deserves every bit of its rank among the best of the best.

Rank 3: Giada, Font of Hope

After clamouring for the Angel tribal decks to get a boost, Wizards of the Coast listened, and in 2022 released Giada, Font of Hope that does a ton for only 2 Mana. Giada is a rare 2-Mana Angel that not only has Flying and Vigilance, but can even tap to produce white Mana for casting Angels. Seeing a Mana-producing ability in white is already almost never heard of, and this helps solve the problem that Angels are expensive and slow to cast.

Giada, Font of Hope is a new 2-Mana angel in 2022 that has given new life to angel tribal decks, and is one of the most powerful of all time.

Deck Suggestion: Giada, Font of Hope is a key component in this Standard Angels deck.

That’s not all. Her other ability is equally as back-breaking if you’re playing a full Angel tribal deck. Each other Angels enters the Battlefield with a +1/+1 counter for each Angel you already control. Left unchecked, your 2nd Angel gets +1/+1, the 3rd +2/+2, the 4th +3/+3 and so on and so forth.

The introduction of Giada, Font of Hope has made Angels decks in Standard format a real force and even borders on the “aggro” style usually reserved for white weenie decks. How long can Angels stay in the meta? A lot will be depend on how relevant Giada will be in the coming months.

Rank 2: Linvala, Keeper of Silence

Linvala, Keeper of Silence is a powerhouse in Commander because it stops all your opponents from using any Creature ability, while leaving you untouched and do as your please.

Because it doesn’t say “except Mana abilities,” this means even green Creatures like Llanowar Elves and Fyndhorn Elves cannot tap for Mana, significantly slowing down your opponents’ game plan.

It also completely halts various Commanders that rely on activated abilities. Thrasios, Triton Hero can no longer sift through the entire Library in an infinite combo, and the same goes for Urza, Lord High Artificer. Considering many of these are competitive-level Commanders, it’s no surprise that Linvala ranks as one of the most powerful Angels of all time.

Rank 1: Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice

The most powerful Angel should come as no surprise, as it’s been a central figure in the Commander scene ever since her introduction in 2016. Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice uses 4 different coloured Mana, which in Commander is actually a good thing because you’re able to use cards from all those colours. It misses out on red, but includes the powerful blue-green-black combination.

Deck suggestion: Atraxa Superfriends

For 4 Mana, you get a 4/4 with 4 key abilities – Flying, Vigilance, Deathtouch, and Lifelink. That’s already an absolute bargain. The combination of Vigilance and Lifelink means she can be used for both attack and defence, all the while gaining some extra life points for rainy days.

However what makes Atraxa rise to the throne of angels is none other than her Proliferate ability. At the end of each of your turns, you can add an additional counter to any Permanent or Player that already has one. You could effectively give opponents more Poison counters, add additional +1/+1 counter to your Creatures, or make all your Planeswalkers one step closer to activating their ultimate ability.

There are so many avenues that Commander players can take with Atraxa’s Proliferate ability, with Poison and Superfriends Planeswalkers very popular over the years. With even more reprints of Atraxa coming up, expect to keep seeing her on the table for many more years to come.

After playing from Tempest to Urza's Saga block, Ted took a 20 year break from the game before returning to the classic Plane of Dominaria in 2018. His favourite formats are Commander, Draft, and, grudgingly, Standard.

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