How to Play Restoration Angel (Avacyn Restored Preview Card)
April 8, 2012 | Posted by Dee
Wizards spoiled a few cards this weekend. One of them is a rare white flying Angel with decent stats and two strong abilities. I think this card can shake up Standard because you can use her in many different game situations.
Check out Restoration Angel below.
This angel looks like a great card for Pod decks. She resets undying creatures like Strangleroot Geist once they get a +1/+1 counter. She reuses enters-the-battlefield (ETB) triggered abilities of creatures like Blade Splicer, Huntmaster of the Fells, Acidic Slime, and Inferno Titan.
She’s got flash so you can do all these tricks at instant speed. For example, they cast Slagstorm to kill a Strangleroot Geist with a +1/+1 counter. You can respond by casting Restoration Angel and targeting Strangleroot Geist. It will come back without the +1/+1 counter and survive the board wipe spell.
I like how she plays with Phyrexian Metamorph. By targeting this artifact, you can copy something else like Grave Titan or Geist of Saint Traft equipped with Sword of War and Peace. The Geist of Saint Traft would die because of the legend rule.
Of course, Pod decks are not the only decks with ETB creatures. There are new Venser, the Sojourner decks popping up that try to lock up the combat phase by blinking Stonehorn Dignitary. Restoration Angel would fit that deck well.
She could be pretty good in a Heartless Summoning deck. Her mana cost and body combos well with the black enchantment and the deck plays ETB creatures like Solemn Simulacrum and Rune-Scarred Demon. Playing her at instant speed for only 1W is pretty sweet.
Her flash ability gives you many good options for outplaying your opponent. Let’s say he attacks with a bunch of creatures. You flash in Restoration Angel during the declare attackers step (right before the declare blockers step) and target Blade Splicer. This play gives you two surprise blockers, a 3/4 flyer and another 3/3 Golem token.
You can blank removal. If he tries to kill one of your creatures with Doom Blade, you can play Restoration Angel to save your creature. The ruling is whenever a creature is exiled and then returns to the battlefield, it’s a new creature. Therefore, it won’t be targeted by the Doom Blade.
You can protect attacking creatures. For instance, you attack with Hero of Bladehold to get the 1/1 tokens and battle cry ability. Your opponent has a 4/4 creature to block. You can cast Restoration Angel before the combat damage step to exile Hero of Bladehold. This play removes it from combat so it won’t take any damage. Then, you can attack with it next turn to get more tokens and buff up your team again.
Restoration Angel’s “blinking ability” returns the target creature to the battlefield untapped. This allows you to give a creature pseudo vigilance and make them a surprise blocker. Let’s say you have Mirran Crusader on the board versus Zombies. You attack to get in four damage. He thinks the coast is clear so he attacks back. You surprise him with Restoration Angel. She untaps Mirran Crusader so now you’ve got a pro-black creature to block with along with a 3/4 flyer.
Because of flash, Restoration Angel can avoid mass removal. If you suspect your opponent has mass removal, you can wait until he casts it. Then, after it resolves, you just flash in Restoration Angel at the end of his turn. This play keeps the pressure up. Even though he wiped your board, you’ll still have a 3/4 attacker ready to go on your turn.
If you want a funky combo, check out Act of Treason or Act of Aggression. After you steal a creature with either of these cards, you can blink it with Restoration Angel and gain control of it permanently.
Her interaction with Gideon Jura is another funky combo. You can attack with Gideon and then blink it with Restoration Angel. It will return as a new Gideon so you can activate his +2 ability. Basically, you get two activations from Gideon in one turn.
I like that Restoration Angel is splashable because she only costs one white mana for her colored mana requirement. This means you can try her out in a variety of decks without having to drastically change the manabase.
Her 3/4 body and flying is great because she can block Delver of Secrets. She survives Slagstorm and Incinerate and she wins combat battles versus Hellrider, 3/3 Golem tokens, and Strangleroot Geist.