How to Play Sublime Archangel (Magic 2013 Preview Card)
June 12, 2012 | Posted by Dee
Yesterday, Wizards spoiled a really powerful four mana Angel. This creature takes the exalted mechanic to the next level. She has exalted and she gives each of your creatures exalted.
She definitely adds a new dimension to decks that can flood the board with a bunch of creatures. Check out Sublime Archangel below.
The first deck I thought of for Sublime Archangel was Black/White (BW) Tokens. Lingering Souls is an excellent card to play with this Angel because it gives you four creatures.
With just these two cards, you get four 1/1 Spirit tokens and 4/3 flyer that becomes a 9/8 creature if she attacks by herself! The tokens all get exalted and Sublime Archangel has exalted herself so she gets a +5/+5 exalted buff. That’s insane, plus you have four untapped creatures ready to chump block next turn if you need them to.
When you add other token cards, you can attack with huge creatures early in the game. For example, check out this sequence of plays:
Turn 2: Gather the Townsfolk
Turn 3: Lingering Souls, attack for 2
Turn 4: Sublime Archangel, attack with a Spirit token, it becomes a 6/6 with all the exalted abilities
Turn 5: Flashback Lingering Souls, attack with Sublime Archangel, it becomes an 11/10!
Sublime Archangel adds a lot of value to any creature, even ones with 0 power. What if we added her to a Green/White/Black (GWB), or Junk, tokens deck? You would gain access to Birds of Paradise to play her earlier. Consider this series of plays:
Turn 1: Birds of Paradise
Turn 2: Lingering Souls
Turn 3: Sublime Archangel, attack with a 5/5 Spirit token
Turn 4: Flashback Lingering Souls, attack with a 10/9 Sublime Archangel
On turn four, swinging with 10/9 flyer is definitely pretty sick.
There are so many options in Standard right now for building a token deck with Sublime Archangel. Here are some other cards to try out: Midnight Haunting, Increasing Devotion, Hero of Bladehold, and Geist-Honored Monk. If you want to add another angle of attack, you can include planeswalkers that generate token creatures (like Garruk Relentless, Elspeth Tirel, and Sorin, Lord of Innistrad).
Naya Pod is another deck where Sublime Archangel can shine. The deck can make a lot of creatures with Blade Splicer and Huntmaster of the Fells. Plus, you can search for her with Birthing Pod. I like the play of sacrificing Blade Splicer to get Sublime Archangel and then attacking with a 5/5 Golem.
Sublime Archangel is not just good with a bunch of creatures on the battlefield. She’s actually pretty awesome without any help. If your opponent has a board sweeper like Day of Judgment to kill your team, you can get right back in the game by casting Sublime Archangel.
By herself, she attacks for five in the air. That’s very good for only four mana. And any creature you topdeck makes her a bigger threat. You could topdeck a measly Avacyn’s Pilgrim and she would swing for six. A 6/5 flyer is no joke.
She’s Not a Legend
Sublime Archangel is not a legendary creature so you can have multiples of her on the battlefield. Exalted abilities stack so having two or more Sublime Archangels on the board adds up damage really fast.
Here’s the reminder text on the card:
If a creature has multiple instances of exalted, each triggers separately.
Therefore, creatures can definitely have multiple exalted abilities. Let’s look at some examples to see how this works.
If you have two Archangels on the board, they both gain an additional exalted ability. Whenever you attack with just one of them, she grows to an 8/7 creature.
If you have three Archangels on the board, they all gain two additional exalted abilities. When only one of them attacks, she becomes a 13/12 fatty. Wow. And these two examples didn’t even include non-Archangel creatures.
Let’s add a lowly Birds of Paradise to the first example. With one Birds and two Archangels on the battlefield, you have access to six exalted abilities. Each of the creatures will have two exalted abilities. You can then attack with a 10/9 Archangel or if you need two 4/3 flying blockers next turn, you can send in the Birds instead. It will attack as a 6/7 fatty lol.
Let’s throw in four 1/1 Spirit tokens from Lingering Souls just for fun. With four Spirit tokens, one Birds, and two Archangels, you get a whopping 14 exalted triggers. Swing with one Archangel and your opponent will have to deal with a 18/17 flyer.
As you can see, Sublime Archangel is definitely a sweet card. I fully expect her to see a lot of play in post Magic 2013 Standard.