This deck was born out of a couple of good pulls from Eldritch Moon: I first pulled Gisela, the Broken Blade and later Bruna, the Fading Light. I had considered using Gisela as general, but she offers less (to my mind at least) in terms of overall synergy. Truth be told, I'm also a sucker for reanimation. It's a strong effect, and having it available on a general is very helpful.
This has led me to build what ostensibly appears to be a reasonably tribal build; Angels and Humans. This is purely for synergy, as Bruna will not reanimate anything else. However it has it's benefits, as there is a lot of utility stapled to these tribes. We will talk later on about this, but it should be fairly evident to anyone who's spent time in this game that humans and angels are both known for some degree of board control, so I generally don't consider this a tribal build, I consider it a control build. Mono white needs it to be, and so it is.
As far as tribes go, Angels are among the most iconic in the game. They've been around since the dawn of the game in iconic cards like Serra Angel|LEA, and have seen plenty of legendary iterations too. There's plenty of options in terms of Angel tribal, and plenty of mono-white legendary options too. So why play Bruna?
Bruna is by no means the strongest commander of all time. She needs support to really run as a cohesive deck. And mono-white is not a popular colour to play on it's own - traditionally it's known to struggle for draw and ramp, which can be concerning when your commander costs . These are points I'm well aware of, and it's something I've accounted for in building.
- Avacyn, Angel of Hope - Clearly, the biggest and baddest angel to date. A reasonable target on her back, but she is a beater and you could lock a board up pretty good around her with her third ability.
- Gisela, the Broken Blade - Bruna's little sister, she's lean, mean, and probably works better around a lifelink/midrange strategy than what we're doing.
- Reya Dawnbringer - The closest comparison to Bruna in that she is both an angel and has reanimation, but otherwise, I'd think a deck built around her would both look very different, and play very slowly. is enormous amounts to pay, and tapping to use her ability takes her out of combat. That's tough, and is a good reason I've never used her in this list, let alone any others.
- Lyra Dawnbringer - Dominaria's latest legendary angel, she's clearly a strong, well costed angel with tribal impact. She's a different deck, I feel she'd run better as a tempo/aggro commander with lifelink synergy. Excellent general, but what keeps me with Bruna is her resurrection ability.
- Kaalia of the Vast - classic angel tribal commander. She does come complete with a bullseye and a simultaneous roll of the eyes from your opponents, so be prepared for some salty feelings.
- Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle - Another strong reanimator commander in mono white. I'd say it would be a very different list - lower to the ground for sure, definitely less tribal, and from what I've heard there's at least some combo options too. That isn't me, but it might be you.
Ultimately, there's three things we want to see in our starting hand: lands, ramp and draw. If you've got a hand full of big body angels, you can more or less mulligan with confidence. If we get the right pieces in hand, you can more or less guarantee we'll actually outpace the rest of the table for mana and draw in the early stages. Strange to say it of a mono white deck, but it's generally true.
Ultimately, our early game is very much dedicated to ramping first and foremost, while keeping a full grip; we want an opening hand with some land drops, but we can make do without too many so long as we have a way to get more. My favourite early plays are things like Gift of Estates, Sword of the Animist on a weenie or a Resplendent Angel, and Endless Atlas. We want these in play and active early - if we can ramp from library to play we have the potential to see a ton more of the deck than ordinary, and that allows us to thin the deck and draw up some quality pieces to curve into.
Once we have some advantage in mana, we're wanting to establish some board control. This can be covert or overt, but ultimately this is something that your opponents will help inform on. You should have an idea of who is likely to be the biggest threat, in general, and specific to your deck, and you should keep an eye out through early turns for those you think could pull away and become problematic. Once you're aware of where the power lies, you want to then apply some pressure. Are you playing Krenko, Mob Boss or Selvala, Heart of the Wilds? Find yourself a Magus of the Tabernacle, Magus of the Moat or Eye of Singularity. Are you facing the potential of Eldrazi in your face? Find a Magus of the Moat. Are you worried about the spellslinger or control deck? Find a Grand Abolisher or Return to Dust for that Death Star.
Once you've dropped some appropriate control into the mix, you want to start your proactive plans. Ideally you want to make sure one of two things happens - either you appear like the table lawmaker, the master of equilibrium, or you have the boardstate to back up your control. Now that you've hit some of your land drops, got your rocks down, got some critters on field, here's where you want to start a degree of expansion. Resplendent Angel is an army in a can and Emeria Shepherd is gorgeously good value (and thanks to darrenhabib for pointing out the combo with Emeria Shepherd, Altar of Dementia and Solemn Simulacrum to grab all of your basics into play, mill a ton and draw a ton).
Don't be afraid to just swing, this deck is almost flying tribal, and it's surprising how often that can make a difference. But in a tight game it's important to know who you're attacking and why. This is where table politics comes in, and it's gonna be different every time, so there's no real guide to it. It's a learned thing, but ultimately what you're wanting to do is wear the rest of the table down while still holding something back for the endgame. This can look like contributing to taking out an archenemy, not swinging and reactively answering threats, or just spreading out damage advantageously towards threats as they appear. In most cases this deck will struggle with being an archenemy though, so it's probably wise not to gun too hard or look too threatening. The great thing is that we're mono white anyway - no one really expects much from us anyway, so play into that if it works.
At this point you pretty much should have a good idea of where you're going. We're looking at this point for haymakers to close the deal. Archangel of Thune, Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Kozilek, the Great Distortion. We don't have a 'win con' other than beating face, so anything will do in this deck. There's a couple of neat tricks we can use to punch through though. Once you have a solid board state to swing with True Conviction is really rough going; it gets targeted though, so build your forces first. Everyone forgets about Rogue's Passage too.
If things have got out of hand and your control is gone or a player is threatening too much advantage, you shouldn't for a second hesitate to blow the board up. Tragic Arrogance will allow you to shape the board as you see fit, Hour of Revelation comes down just about as early as you'd like and resets, and Routs can happen any time you like. We're spoilt for options in how this looks, and as I say, don't think twice about doing it. We can generally rebuild a LOT faster than other decks, so fire away. Teferi's Protection can help too, although it's best used in the right place. It's not a 'survival against all odds' card, it's more to avoid an alpha strike or an Expropriate until you can strike back. If you use it to avoid that last couple of points damage before a loss you're probably unlikely to claw back into the game.
Post wipe, usually I want to make sure I've got something in my graveyard worth reanimating. There's something super awesome about blowing the board up, then coming my turn casting Bruna, the Fading Light to resurrect Karmic Guide, resurrecting Emeria Shepherd, dropping a plains to hit landfall, bringing back Solemn Simulacrum, hitting another land, bringing back Sun Titan then using it to bring back a Serra Ascendant or a Swiftfoot Boots, equipping it to Titan and grabbing something else again. You can also re-establish control pieces this way, or very easily assemble Brisela, Voice of Nightmares. That's the great thing about this deck; there's plenty of ways it bounce back and change tack post wipe.
The how of melding her is easy enough - find Gisela, the Broken Blade and cast her while Bruna is in play. I run one piece that can find her, Thalia's Lancers. Piece of cake. You could also discard her from hand with Mask of Memory's trigger or likewise, and reanimate her with Bruna or something else. Even easier. All you need to ensure is that both pieces last until the end of your turn. The thing is, it's not always the right choice to do so. It's worth knowing that as soon as you do it, all eyes are on you. Make it count. Don't do it unless you can maximise the threat it presents, and use it to hurt the table or keep your opponents down. Often the better choice is going to be reanimating something else for a different species of control, some removal, or a chain of creatures to refill your board, but every now and then locking the board out is the right plan, and you'll have the space to make it the right choice. As an aside, there's a ton of people out there who will just let it happen to see the monster brought to life, which is always hilarious!
There's certain decks it'll turn off altogether. Lots of spellslinger/combo decks are absolutely out of the game with her on the field, she shuts down playing mana rocks and some of the more efficient spot removal in the game. She'll do wonderful things for specific archetypes - cantrip decks like Shu Yun, Feather, and Zada, Krenko Goblins, Edric weenies, and elfball are all stuck for casting anything until she's dealt with. It's a strong ability, it's just a case of making sure it's the right environment for her to be the control element you need.
She also makes a pretty excellent voltron commander with little effort. We've got a couple of ways to give her Double Strike, a couple of ways to make her indestructible, and we have plenty of ways to pump her, or make sure she connects.
It's important to know what happens once she bites removal, too. If or when she's removed, her component pieces essentially hit whatever zone the horror would hit. If she's killed, both Bruna and Gisela hit the yard as two (at which point you can send Bruna to the command zone if you so wish). Likewise with exile, and with returning to hand. For example, say she gets Path to Exiled: Bruna and Gisela both hit exile, and you can then choose to replace Bruna's exile with returning her to the command zone.
It's also important to know; Brisela does commander damage. I've had arguments about this before, and fair enough, it's a weird unique case. The idea is that any creature that 'contains' a commander (in this case Bruna) shares that 'Commanderness', and shares the property of being able to end the game with 21 commander damage. This counts for her entire power, not just what Bruna contributes. It's weird, but it's part of what makes her a cool commander, in that it's something entirely unique.
- Serra Ascendant - It's a one-drop flying lifelinker that can be recurred by Bruna. It's on curve, and will most likely keep us in the game nicely. Late game its variable, but ultimately is usually reliable.
- Weathered Wayfarer - One drop that retrieves any land we want. It'll keep your land drops in for sure, but mostly we use it to pick up something like Kor Haven or Emeria, the Sky Ruin.
- Bounty Agent - Low to the ground, flexible removal on a body. New to the list, but there's a promising degree of utility here.
- Bishop of Wings - the newest addition, her role is to help keep our board relevant and keep our life totals high. Early days yet, but the price is right at and she's on tribe.
- Knight of the White Orchid - Decent white ramp on a reasonable body for 2 mana. Mostly he will just smooth your curve early and chump block, which is good enough.
- Drannith Magistrate - Dirty, nasty control. This comes down early enough to just give us breathing space to get our commander in play, so in a way it's here to bait removal. It's not going to be popular.
- Grand Abolisher - An excellent, cheap control piece. Great if there's another control deck at the table.
- Stoneforge Mystic - Modern's favourite Kor Cleric. She's an early drop, grabs an equipment of our choice, and puts it onto the battlefield. That last, in this list, won't save us any mana, but I guess if counters are in your meta it helps your spell dodge removal. She's here to smooth draw, ramp and give an early body to carry equipment into combat.
- Wall of Omens - A 2 drop with additional draw. Not a tribal option, but we can bring it back with Emeria, the Sky Ruin, Karmic Guide or Emeria Shepherd.
- Bastion Protector - Pretty obvious why this one is here. Puts Bruna on a 2 swing clock, Brisela on a 2 swing clock.
- Recruiter of the Guard - An early drop utility fetcher. This can get us a Solemn Simulacrum, Thalia, Heretic Cathar, Serra Ascendant, Silverblade Paladin, Palace Jailer, Karmic Guide, or Weathered Wayfarer. Excellent utility.
- Resplendent Angel - Well costed angel that helps keep bodies in the air. Conditional on lifegain, but we can do that easily.
- Ranger-Captain of Eos - A great early drop that gets us either an excellent beater or our specialty land fixer. Otherwise, repeatable spell control with reanimation.
- Silverblade Paladin - Well costed beater with a great effect. Mostly the target of soulbond will be our general, but often it'll just be whatever flies and swings. Does what it says on the can, and does it well.
- Stonecloaker - Graveyard hate, creature saver, instant chump blocker. This guy is seriously versatile. In good times we use him to abuse ETB triggers, in a pinch we get rid of something nasty and let him take the heat.
- Thalia, Heretic Cathar - Slows down a lot of decks. A ton of them. Well costed for 3 mana, she's a great early drop.
- Angel of Condemnation - Well costed, but her abilities are really valuable. She can help us abuse ETB abilities, save Mangara of Corondor from herself, remove threats from the field, and still be relevant in combat.
- Gisela, the Broken Blade - Makes our commander bigger and meaner, but generally is a bit of a beast herself. She's well costed, keeps our life total up and curves well.
- Linvala, Keeper of Silence - Well costed, decent stats, does an absolute ton for its cost. It won't always be the right play to drop, but it does what it does VERY well. Bare minimum it carries a sword very well.
- Magus of the Moat - A control piece, obviously. Recurrable, too. Turns off aggro decks, green decks, really good value. A ton cheaper than its namesake, too.
- Magus of the Tabernacle - See above - turns off swarm decks, keeps the board clear. Applies to us too, so there's times he will be the wrong choice, but given we can sac him to himself and bring him back whenever we like it's not a huge deal.
- Palace Jailer - Oblivion Ring on a creature, but with incremental draw too. This suits us very, very well. We can match the board in most cases for combat, so taking monarch away from us is going to be tough, especially considering this fella can take the biggest threat off the board.
- Solemn Simulacrum - The best robot there ever was. Here for the abilities, mostly. We can recur him with some pieces, so he's not just a one shot.
- Archangel of Thune - Just a very strong combat piece that helps us really solidify our board state. Very much a threat, her trigger does not need to happen too many times before we find ourselves in a favourable position.
- Blinding Angel - Another strong control piece, puts in some great work. Keeps swarms and aggro decks at bay.
- Karmic Guide - So we don't go infinite with Reveillark, but we can still use it to chain some ETB effects together, or just fill our board a little more.
- Lyra Dawnbringer - Tribal angel buff at a superb cost. Really strong card that just keeps us up as a threat, and keeps our life total solid.
- Thalia's Lancers - This is an ETB trigger we can abuse. Obviously it can help us meld, but it can also get us The Immortal Sun, Lyra Dawnbringer, Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Kozilek, the Great Distortion, Kor Haven, Sword of the Animist, Azor's Gateway. Well costed creature, and versatile search.
- Angelic Skirmisher - Excellent utility in combat. This gives you one of three combat keywords for the turn each combat. So you can have your army be vigilant on your turn and swing, choose first strike or lifelink for the rest of the turn cycle and either be too strong to attack or just get incrementally further away from zero life as the turns tick up.
- Protector of the Crown - Monarch is a strong mechanic, and suits white, and particularly this deck, very well. We can defend ourselves really quite well to hold monarch or to get it back, and this guy helps up keep it in cases of superior firepower. Not stoked that he isn't a human or angel, but otherwise he's good value.
- Sun Titan - Neither human nor angel, he's a recursion engine on his own - as well as this he can get pieces back that Bruna can't. Being able to get back lands, enchantments and artifacts makes him very valuable.
- Valkyrie Harbinger - It creates it's own tokens. Normally I'm a little hesitant to rely on lifegain for synergy here because that isn't this deck, but the fact that this has innate lifelink is reassuring.
- Sunblast Angel - Great reanimation target, a repeatable wipe on a creature. It's a selective wipe, sure, but that's fine.
- Angel of Glory's Rise - A great option in many cases, although a little expensive given that it's removal is a little corner case and it doesn't play with any of the other angels well. It's decent, but I ended up cutting it for options that had more synergy ultimately.
- Angel of Serenity - She removes key pieces from the field and graveyard. Strong ability, and if/when she dies the cards return to hand, which we can use to get key pieces back if we need them.
- Emeria Shepherd - This is one of the strongest angels in the deck. Most of our mana is land based, so she really just gets great value even from non-plains land drops. An absolute bomb for the cost, she rewards us for playing land, and rewards it well.
- Sephara, Sky's Blade - Protection for our biggest pieces. Expensive to cast but worth it either way you can manage it.
- Avacyn, Angel of Hope - I mean, we all know what she does. Truly strong at the end of the curve, and makes us a solid, resilient threat.
- Parhelion II - It swings for more than its CMC, it gives us bodies, and it's something to do with our little pieces that we don't actually want to swing with so much.
- Kozilek, the Great Distortion - Big body with combat evasion, great cast effect, and decent control. Because we never really commit all of our pieces to board, there's a pretty good chance we can use him to stop strong spells being cast. Besides, if we're tossing a creature there's a really good chance we can reanimate it anyway.
- Skullclamp - We're not worried about our critters dying, so this is gravy. And we're in white, so artifact draw is good draw.
- Sol Ring - Turn one 3 mana is always nice. There's not much to say about the tenth card in the power 9 that hasn't already been said.
- Soul-Guide Lantern - It's the little grave-hate that could, and it comes with draw. There's really no reason not to run it.
- Wayfarer's Bauble - Hits our land drops early. We can get it back with Emeria Shepherd, too.
- Altar of Dementia - If we have a full board and can't break through we can shred libraries for free. Plus it's a sac outlet if we need it for Solemn Simulacrum or Skullclamp.
- Azor's Gateway - So, honestly, we're really in this for the filtering, not the flip. And it's early filtering, so it's really helpful. I have flipped it before, and it's obviously strong. But that's a cherry on top.
- Dowsing Dagger - The plants from this are so neglible for us it doesn't even matter. We can drop it and equip it early, flip it and get some great mana coming through. The flip is a may, so we don't need to transform it if we don't want to.
- Endless Atlas - This is such a great card. I can't stress how well it performs, it's so easy to turn on, is a great mana sink, keeps our land drops coming and our grip full.
- Mask of Memory - I was hesitant to add this, but it's performed admirably. Another form of filtering, it works really well to keep land drops coming and give us fodder to reanimate.
- Mind Stone - Early ramp, early draw, recurrable with Emeria Shepherd. Great utility.
- Scroll Rack - It's synergy with Land Tax is well known. I've found with the deck there's a tendency to hold resources for 'just in case', and to some degree it would be nice to have some filtering, purely to keep momentum up when I'm building or aiming for a win. There's very little better in terms of filtering, and we have pieces to make sure this stays in play too.
- Swiftfoot Boots - We all know why this is in here. Protection and speed are great assets.
- Sword of the Animist - Another great ramp option. We can get it on a critter pretty early, and it doesn't need to connect either. Has a buff so if we need to hit 21 commander damage, that's an option too.
- Tome of Legends - This is just really low opportunity cost draw. Our commander has a cast trigger, so we are going to do that when we can, and we are going to attack with her as she is vigilant anyway. Easy incremental draw, and we get a freebie to start us off early game if needed.
- Golden Guardian - DFC that's easy to flip for 2 mana, or as a mana sink to fill the board. Decent value.
- Hedron Archive - Mind Stone 2.0. The ramp is nice, but being able to sacrifice it for draw is great too, being as we can recur it with Emeria Shepherd.
- Thran Dynamo - Big mana, and we can drop it pretty early.
- Batterskull - Strong equipment, brings our life up, makes our commander damage clock a damn sight shorter.
- Mind's Eye - Really solid draw engine, has been a great addition.
- Staff of Nin - Extra draw and extra damage.
- The Immortal Sun - A Swiss Army knife for . Extra draw, cheaper spells, bigger creatures, redundant planeswalkers. It does so much.
- Deafening Silence - A new solid control piece. We're going to have to be careful when we drop this, but it's one we can play around quite easily, and it'll stop certain other decks in their tracks.
- Land Tax - Goes great with Scroll Rack, and even without this is still the best ramp that white has. Keeps land drops up from turn one.
- Dawn of Hope - Gives us board presence early, gains us some life, draws us some cards. Decent mana sink.
- Aura of Silence - It hits us, but we're not entirely hamstrung by it. Other decks can be, and it's instant speed removal of something that just needs to be gone.
- Ghostly Prison - We're not too committed to taxing the attack, because we don't generally need to be. I mostly don't care if people attack me, but this stops swarms, and if someone wants to swing at me, I can make sure they do less with their turn otherwise.
- Court of Grace - Monarch is very good for this deck, as we can defend our life total very well. This is recurrable, gives us presence onboard to defend itself and take down life totals, and is on theme.
- Eye of Singularity - I have ISBpathfinder to thank for this one. It's been really great thus far. Shuts off swarms, but also doubles up as removal for ubiquitous cards (Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Cabal Coffers, etc etc). It means sometimes our things will bite it, but we can rebuild pretty easily.
- True Conviction - This does double duty as something that gets us closer to a win, and further from defeat. Really strong add.
- Sword to Plowshares - Immediate, final removal. None better.
- Unexpectedly Absent - Temporary removal for anything that needs to go right now. Often this will clear the way long enough for us to sweep in for a win.
- Hallowed Moonlight - Cheap, quick, cantripping board control. Great to kill off rival reanimators or burst tokens like Avenger of Zendikar.
- Generous Gift - On behalf of white mages everywhere, thank you Modern Horizons. Instant speed anything removal is excellent.
- Teferi's Protection - If you need a turn cycle's breathing space, this gives it to you. It won't win games, but it will stop you losing them.
- Crush Contraband - Removal of key pieces of tech. Does double duty, is instant speed.
- Akroma's Will - This is a super versatile card. It'll either give you an alpha strike, spread your attack further, or give you enough to weather a savage attack or board wipe and survive.
- Faith's Reward - One of my favourite pieces of tech. 4 can be a lot to hold up, but this will save literally everything that goes to your graveyard. Lands, Artifacts, Enchantments, the kitchen sink.
- Return to Dust - More tech removal, more double duty, more instant speed.
- True Love's Kiss - Similar to the above, but a sure thing for card advantage. For those times when there aren't two artifacts/enchanments to exile, or you just want a full grip.
- Steelshaper's Gift - A turn one equipment tutor, is no laughing matter. The deck can make or break based on some of the equipment we use, so being able to get it more easily is very helpful.
- Open the Armory - Gets us a beater, a ramper, a draw filter, or protection.
- Gift of Estates - Seems lame, but this card is decent. Early turns, drop this prior to your land drop for a full grip of your next 3 land drops. Goes nicely with Emeria Shepherd, too.
- Search For Glory - It's just a very versatile tutor. Not too pushed, and fetches a variety of options for us.
- Divine Reckoning - We're mostly ok with having one creature on board, and being able to cut out any strategies other than voltron builds is nice. Flashback gives us a surprise from the graveyard if we lose control of the board at any point, too.
- Cleansing Nova - Has thus far been really great, both modes are useful.
- Rout - The option of instant speed makes this really useful.
- Tragic Arrogance - For when you have indestructible things to remove or want to switch to Voltron mode. The great thing with this one is you make all the choices.
- Akroma's Vengeance - Total board wipe or cycling, you choose.
- Austere Command - Specific, modal removal. The flexibility built into this card is simply excellent, there's always a way you come out on top casting it.
- Hour of Revelation - This turns on stupidly easily. Almost every time this will be a really cheap board wipe.
- Arch of Orazca - Colourless and draw. Really solid mana sink when needed.
- Bonders' Enclave - Relatively cheap draw on a vanilla land; there aren't going to be many instances we can't activate this.
- Command Beacon - Avoiding Commander tax is really helpful when your commander costs
- Encroaching Wastes - Land destruction for key pieces, but fair as it can be.
- Emeria, the Sky Ruin - Takes a little while to turn on, but it's decent once it does. No restrictions on the reanimated creature, it'll bring anything back.
- Fabled Passage - Somewhere between a cheap fetch and an expensive Fetch, it straddles the gap nicely without breaking the bank. Something we can abuse with Sun Titan, which is nice.
- Field of Ruin - Fair land destruction again. Ramps everyone an untapped land, too. No one could be mad with that.
- Flagstones of Trokair - We can get it with Weathered Wayfarer or Thalia's Lancers, we don't mind sacrificing it to Lotus Field, in other ways it's purely a plains.
- High Market - Enters untapped, sacrifices creatures for free. Great card.
- Homeward Path - Just makes sure our stuff remains ours. When you need it, you need it.
- Kor Haven - Searchable with Thalia's Lancers, keeps some damage away from us. Or other people if you're interested in making friends.
- Lotus Field - This is kind of great for us in terms of abilities on things like Land Tax, Weathered Wayfarer, Knight of the White Orchid and such. The upside of this is that with Sun Titan we can grab our lands back easily, and Mistveil Plains can throw them back in the library.
- Mistveil Plains - Pseudo-recursion for anything I can't pull back with reanimation. There's some cute interactions here in that I can use Thalia's Lancers to bring back things like Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, and I can use this to make instants and sorceries come through again. Although a shuffle is probably required before they'll come back up again with any reliability.
- Mystifying Maze - A poor man's Maze of Ith, it's not without some plus sides. Because it exiles, it can remove tokens, auras, equipment. And it taps for mana.
- Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx - Our big mana producer. Does what it does really, really well.
- Opal Palace - Usually a throwaway from the precon decks, we cast Bruna a lot. I've cast her for 15 before, so if we can make her bigger, why wouldn't we?
- Rogue's Passage - Helps us connect, obviously. Handy in voltron mode, and for Mask of Memory.
- Sanctum of Eternity - Our commander costs a lot. Anything we can do to reduce commander tax is good, as I've had games where she's cost up to and that just really makes it hard to do enough in a turn. It's a shame this can only be done during your turn, but it's great utility nonetheless.
- Tectonic Edge - Fair land destruction number 3. It should be noted, we can always use these on ourselves to find plains in order to turn Emeria, the Sky Ruin on or trigger Emeria Shepherd.
- Thespian's Stage - Copies the best stuff on the field. Or gives us a second Emeria, the Sky Ruin.
[*]Tyrite Sanctum - This gives us a mana sink for spare resource we can't spend otherwise. It's also nice to be able to protect stuff, but mostly with combat as our primary win condition it's important to be able to make it count for more.
- Angel of Finality - This one is a real meta consideration. It could totally fit in the deck if I saw more graveyard decks in my meta, so if that's you, feel free to throw it in.
- Odric, Lunarch Marshal - I guess it's possible he could fit, but he's not what I want my humans to do. I want control, I want griefiness. He makes my angels keyworded for days, but most of them are pretty competent in combat anyway, so he seems surplus to requirements.
- Enlightened Tutor - I'd totally add this if I had a spare copy, it's a strong fixer.
- Settle the Wreckage - It's been strong in standard, but I don't feel like it translates well to EDH. Dropping that many lands on an opponent's field seems like a bad idea.
- Endless Horizons - It could totally do some good work. It thins the deck, ensures land drops. I personally see it as a risk not worth taking, but it could be great in the right place.
- Serra, the Benevolent - I'd love to say she fits, but honestly, she really just doesn't do enough. All abilities are at least a little relevant, but literally none of them do enough to justify a place.
- Stoneforge Mystic - I'd add this if I had a spare.
- Swords of X and Y - White handles equipment well, and these are undoubtedly strong. They're not here purely because they are out of my budget, but something like Sword of Feast and Famine would fit really nicely.
- Cost reducers and mana doublers - Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Urza's Incubator et al - These are worth considering in one respect because angels are expensive and you can expect to cast Bruna at least twice. The reason I don't run them is that I'm not often paying to play my creatures, and I have no relevant or powerful mana sinks in the deck. I'd probably want at least 3-4 before I saw adding these as more relevant than reliable land drops to thin the deck.
- Maze of Ith - I actually prefer Kor Haven here because it can produce mana.
- Ancient Tomb - Budget restraint is why it isn't here, pretty much.
With the help of the contributors to this thread, I feel like this deck is now at a level I'm happy with - it's strong, resilient and has varied ways to control the game and win. There is still a want list however:
Tithe - Reserved list prices are pretty savage.
Umezawa's Jitte - Another utility equipment I'd really like a copy of here. I have my eye on a copy at my LGS, and it may well get a place eventually.
Loyal Retainers - Cash restraint again.
Baneslayer Angel - Well costed beater with lifelink. I'd grab a copy if my LGS had one.
Moat - Anyone got a spare $1500 NZD?
A lot of this is ported over from the deck's earlier history on mtgsalvation. It's come a long way and had a lot of fiddling, so there's a ton of jank I've tried here and there.
Sun Titan > Mastery of the Unseen
Sacred Mesa > Mastery of the Unseen
Dictate of Heliod >Weathered Wayfarer
Restore Balance > Mentor of the Meek
Sunblast Angel> Tamiyo's Journal
Mirror Entity > Staff of Nin
Plains > Angel of Jubilation
Retreat to Emeria > Intrepid Hero
Unexpectedly Absent > Tragic Arrogance
Elite Inquisitor > Ranger of Eos
Wayfarer's Bauble > Wing Shards
Phyrexian Rebirth > Mangara of Corondor
Mask of Avacyn > Trading Post
Marshal's Anthem > Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Angelic Skirmisher > Restoration Angel
Sublime Archangel > Karmic Guide
Devoted Crop-Mate > Ghostly Prison
Thunderstaff > Masako the Humorless
Mastery of the Unseen > Magus of the Moat
Guardian of the Gateless > Grand Abolisher
Archetype of Courage > Sublime Archangel
Pilgrim's Eye > Mass Calcify
Banisher Priest > Fiend Hunter
Hallowed Moonlight > Equipoise
5 Plains > High Market, Tectonic Edge, Encroaching Wastes, Wayfarer's Bauble, Caged Sun
Urza's Incubator > Ashnod's Altar
Mass Calcify > Prison Term
Planar Cleansing > Dawn Charm
Burnished Hart > Mana Tithe
Explorer's Scope > Selfless Squire
Always Watching > Aura of Silence
Reaper of Flight Moonsilver > Breath of Life
Crib Swap - Teferi's Protection
Glacial Chasm > Field of Ruin
2 Plains> Myriad Landscape, Opal Palace
Eternal Dragon > Mask of Memory
Frontline Medic > Dowsing Dagger
Breath of Life > Angel of Condemnation
Dawn Charm > Damping Sphere
Wing Shards > Baird, Steward of Argive
Ashnod's Altar > Urza's Ruinous Blast
Prison Term > Fall of the Thran
Plains > Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Damping Sphere > Sword of the Animist
Blind Obedience > Magus of the Tabernacle
Fall of the Thran > Blinding Angel
Chancellor of the Annex > Hour of Revelation
Twilight Shepherd > Bastion Protector
Mother of Runes > Thran Dynamo
Urza's Ruinous Blast > False Prophet
Trading Post > Open the Armory
Haunted Fengraf > Rogue's Passage
Ranger of Eos > Mind Stone
Oreskos Explorer > Infiltration Lens
Baird, Steward of Argive > Prison Term
Weathered Bodyguards > Eidolon of Rhetoric
Caged Sun > The Immortal Sun
Strionic Resonator > Ashnod's Altar
Selfless Squire > Angel's Trumpet
Herald of War > True Conviction
Equipoise > Mind's Eye
Tamiyo's Journal> Silent Arbiter
Infiltration Lens > Azor's Gateway
Angel's Trumpet > Null Brooch
Secluded Steppe > Arch of Orazca
Drifting Meadow > Kor Haven
Ashnod's Altar > Altar of Dementia
Prison Term > Eldrazi Displacer
Fiend Hunter > Unexpectedly Absent
False Prophet > Return to Dust
Masako the Humorless > Akroma's Vengeance
Eldrazi Displacer > Eye of Singularity
Mana Tithe > Land Tax
Intrepid Hero > Endless Atlas
Silent Arbiter > Boreas Charger
Crawlspace > Avacyn, Angel of Hope
Archangel of Tithes > Kozilek, the Great Distortion
Karoo > Isolated Watchtower
Kor Cartographer > Solemn Simulacrum
Myriad Landscape > Homeward Path
Boreas Charger > Loyal Unicorn
Loyal Unicorn > Wall of Omens
Isolated Watchtower > Thespian's Stage
Eidolon of Rhetoric > Dawn of Hope
Angel of Jubilation > Smothering Tithe
Sublime Archangel > Crush Contraband
Null Brooch > Cleansing Nova
Vengeful Dreams > Batterskull
Restoration Angel > Lyra Dawnbringer
Mentor of the Meek > Resplendent Angel
Adarkar Valkyrie > Divine Reckoning
Mangara of Corondor > Sun Titan
Faith's Reward > Serra Ascendant
Divine Reckoning > Golden Guardian
Smothering Tithe > Hedron Archive
Angel of Glory's Rise > Parhelion II
Golden Guardian > Archangel of Thune
Plains> Mistveil Plains
Ghostly Prison > Generous Gift
Wayfarer's Bauble > Scroll Rack
Open the Armory > Bishop of Wings
Opal Palace > Lotus Field
Mystifying Maze > Flagstones of Trokair
Plains 2 > Evolving Wilds, Terramorphic Expanse
Ranger-Captain of Eos
Throne of the High City
Bishop of Wings
Knight of the White Orchid
Angel of Serenity
Arch of Orazca
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Open the Armory
Recruiter of the Guard
Protector of the Crown
Tome of Legends
Sanctum of Eternity
Angel of Condemnation
Staff of Nin
Swords to Plowshares
Magus of the Balance
Sephara, Sky's Blade
The Immortal Sun
Search for Glory
Court of Grace
Archangel of Thune
Protector of the Crown
Sanctum of Eternity
There's at least a few people who deserve some praise for their help with tech and building a reasonable list here - JDviant, ISBPathfinder, weltkrieg and Sinis have all been stalwart with reasoned critique and suggestions where and when needed. My thanks goes to them and to anyone else who contributes to the thread.
As always, feel free to contribute, suggest, critique feed back or otherwise enjoy!