|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (19)|
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11/14/18 - Subbed 2x Mentor of the Meek for 1x Sword-point Diplomacy, 1x Seal Away. While Mentor can offer impactful draw, against most lists he runs either too slow or is too susceptible to removal. The amount of pressure Sword-point Diplomacy offers in terms of card advantage and potential damage has been too significant to pass up. Seal Away added to help with aggro matchups and to help with first games against deckst that run lower cost legendaries (Boros Angels, Grixis Control, etc).
11/10/18 - Subbed 2x Moment of Craving, 2x Ritual of Rejuvenation, 1x Mentor of the Meek, 1x Vraska's Contempt for 2x Cast Down, 2x Sword-point Diplomacy, 1x Ixalan's Binding, 1x Swamp. I found that the manabase was just slightly off (I had to mulligan a little more than I wanted) so adding one more land was a goal. While [[Ritual of Rejuvenation]] was easy enough to cast in this list, I rarely got it to combo with Resplendent Angel and felt it less impactful than just having some more removal. Mainboarded Ixalan's Binding because of the amount of Izzet drake I've encountered.
As with the Golgari midrange deck seeing tons of play in standard, the name of this deck is value. Every permanent in the deck gains value the longer it stays on the field. This deck emerged after attempting to construst a midrange Abzan token/sacrifice deck centered around the upside of [[divine visitation]]. The difficulty of maintaining the Abzan manabase while keeping in the powerful cards that intrigued me led me to simplify, and the deck has taken into account the recent Angel Factory list that has been incredibly popular.
Unlike Angel Factory, howerver, this deck is a fully midrange deck just as capable of winning off timely [[History of Benalia]]'s and 5-drop fliers as by playing [[Divine Visitation]]. [[Seekers' Squire]] provides the early game card cycler while [[Legion's Landing]] both gives us a turn one lifelinker, a deeper mana pool, and a recurring engine for Divine Visitation later on. History of Benalia is essential, as it both applies heavy early game pressure to the opponent while also giving us 2 Serra Angels for 3 mana late. I also find having more token generation and being less reliant on [[Dawn of Hope]], which takes way too long to get going in a non-control list, makes the games feel more consistent and less contingent on combo setup.
I generally keep any hand with 2+ lands (at least 1 black) that has a Seekers' Squire in it, bonus points if you get a History of Benalia as well. Your objective is to play aggressive early, so look for hands that let you do something on the board turns 1-3.
[[Sword-point Diplomacy]] offers us a lot. It can be insane card draw (up to 3 cards for 3 mana), but it also tends to lower our opponent's life total, something that helps our early and midrange pressure push us over the top more consistently. An incredibly powerful card--I am more likely to cut the Mentor's for sideboard options than these at this point.
[[Resplendent Angel]] is not a major engine in this deck; rather, it is an impactful 3-drop that puts pressure on our opponents and is terrifying when on the board with [[Lyra Dawnbringer]]. She can also serve as an alternate win-condition if our opponent runs out of removal. If you are considering how to budget this list, cut the Resplendent Angel for an aggressive, non-mythic 3-drop creature.
[[Rite of Belzenlok]] is a sleeper on this list, giving us 5 Serra Angels over 3 turns for 4 mana when Divine Visitation is in play, but it can also serve as a finisher if our early pressure was strong enough or as a a field of blockers (though beware Izzet's [[fiery cannonade]] or Boros' [[Deafening Clarion]]).
[[Leonin Warleader]] provides heavy midgame pressure as well as an angel engine. Flex on them.
[[Lyra Dawnbringer]] is pure value in any white deck. With our angel engines, she's filthy. I only run 2 copies to keep opening hands lean and because the deck is less about big finishers and more about sustained pressure.
[[Doom Whisperer]] has a surprising amount of utility for us, but is the card to sideboard first when subbing in more expensive cards. Powerful finisher and threat, but don't underestimate how useful its surveil effect can be in helping find combos.
[[The Immortal Sun]] wins games. Praise be.
[[Memorial to Glory]] is essential--because the deck runs midrange, it often deals enough early damage where only couple of timely Serra Angels for cheap are needed to finish an opponent off. Always pop it during an opponent's end step unless you pop it to make surprise blockers during combat.
[[Cast Down]] and [[Vraska's Contempt]] give us instant-speed removal of creatures and planeswalkers.
[[Duress]] classic tech for all control variants as well as against Izzet and Mono-red lists.
-Sub 2x Cast Down, 1x Mentor of the Meek or Resplendent Angel against control
-Sub for high cost cards you won't have time to play against Aggro
While [[Cast Down]] is extremely useful against Golgari lists (for [[Wildgrowth Walker]]s and [[Jadelight Ranger]]s) and Izzet drakes, depending on the matchup you might find an improvement in [[Seal Away]] (Has some upside agaisnt Boros Angels, which runs numerous legendary creatures, but isn't perfect because of their vigilance effects). Against heavy aggro run both forms of cheap removal. Consider running additional Cast Downs in this slot if you are encountering more golgari (to dodge [[Assassin's Trophy]]).
-You can sub out 1-2 Cast Down if you feel Seal Away works better. Against Control decks that run low health creatures consider pulling out 1x Mentor of the Meek, 1x Resplendent Angel, or 1x Leonin Warleader
-Sub 2x Vraska's Contempt, 1x The Immortal Sun against heavy aggro
[[Ixalan's Binding]] is incredibly strong right now, and particularly effective against the combo and control lists that only rely on a few threats. It's only really susceptible to [[Assassin's Trophy]]. If it weren't for Vraska's Contempt's flexibility, I would mainboard some of these. I would argue it is the most important card on the sideboard, and the one I find myself using most often. Use on [[Teferi, Hero of Dominaria]], both kinds of Izzet Drakes, [[Ravenous Chupacabra]], [[The Eldest Reborn]], or other big threats. Also especially important tech against [[Conclave Tribunal]], as it can shut down white's removal easily.
-Subbing this one in is tricky, I usually look to cut either some Vraska's Contempts, Doom Whisperers, a Leonin Warleader, or some 3 cost creatures. It varies from opponent to opponent, but always have some against Izzet, Jeskai, and Esper lists.
[[Cleansing Nova]] is vital against any list that will overwhelm the board. Can also be teched in against any deck that relies on enchants (mostly white) or artifacts (haven't seen many of these post-rotation).
-Always run both against Selesyna Token, consider subbing your Cast Downs, 3 cost creatures, a Leonin Warleader, or a Doom Whisperer, depending on if the list is more aggro-heavy or midrange
[[The Eldest Reborn]] techs in against control lists and Izzet lists that rely on only having a few board threats out.
-Sub 1x Resplendent Angel against control
-Sub 1x Vraska's Contempt against Izzet
Flappy Dino ([[Zetalpa, Primal Dawn]]) looks and feels like a meme, but it works against Golgari lists that rely heavily on destroy effects for removal. Just keep a lilttle dude up so that it doesn't get hit by a [[Plaguecrafter]] or, worse, an Eldest Reborn. Flappy Dino is perhaps even more impactful against Izzet drake lists, as they have absolutely no effective removal agaisnt it.
-Sub 1x Doom Whisperer or 1x Resplendent Angel
[[Sentinel Totem]] is here agaisnt Izzet Drakes and some Golgari variants.