Pioneer Selesnya Angels: Deck Tech and Sideboard Guide

Magic: the Gathering

Deck tech

Pioneer Selesnya Angels: Deck Tech and Sideboard Guide

01/19/23 Comment regular icon0 comments

We'll discuss in detail the perfect Midrange to face the format's Aggro decks. We count with strong flying creatures and at the same time we gain a lot of health.

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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About the Deck

In today's article, we'll discuss Selesnya Angels, a deck that can be at the same time aggressive and gain a lot of health while it fills the battlefield with its angels.

The synergy between Bishop of Wings, Righteous Valkyrie and Resplendent Angel allows you to get excellent threats with flying and also gain health, so you don't have to worry with being attacked.

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But as the deck counts with many 3 mana value creatures, it has ways of placing them on board in a faster way with Collected Company and more recently it got the addition of Kayla's Reconstruction, which is a version with a higher mana value than Company, but which late game can refill your game very well, being able to bring 3 or even 4 angels with one single card.

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Thanks to recent creatures such as Giada, Font of Hope, the deck can have very explosive initial turns, being able to make one single Collected Company be enough to place two creatures with at least two +1/+1 markers on the battlefield.

Another relevant strategy is for those who play Magic Online (MTGO). As the deck has a lot of health gain, using time in your favor might guarantee you victories. For that, remember to always have more time than your opponents, as it might not be so easy and fast to remove 50 health points, even if the game is already controlled by your opponent.

Mulligan and Game Style

The decklist we'll use today is from the player Rastaf, who got first place in Pioneer Challenge on January 7th, 2023.

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This deck's game plan tends to be very linear, specially in game 1 when we have a slight advantage against the format's main Aggros. The deck tries to have initial turns with Giada, Font of Hope, which speeds up the deck's aggressive plan, or Bishop of Wings, which counts our opponent's clock.

In game 1, we usually want to use our Collected Company in their turn to allow us to resolve Resplendent Angel's ability by getting 5 more health and creating more angels in the battlefield.

Something that must be considered with this decklist is the little interaction with our opponent's permanents. For that, use Skyclave Apparition wisely, removing key pieces from the opponent's decks.

Gameplay and Alternative Versions

A viable alternative is a decklist that has more interaction against the meta decks.

In this decklist, we have Anointed Peacekeeper and Reidane, God of the Worthy // Valkmira, Protector's Shield in the maindeck to improve some matchups.

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Sideboard Guide

Azorius Control

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This is a complex match, as Azorius can interact with your units a lot and their initial game plan doesn't involve eliminating our health points as quickly as possible.

Game 1 we must prioritize our Righteous Valkyrie, which can make our creatures get +2/+2 and make any simple creature a threat.

When playing this match, be careful with your Collected Company, and try to use it after a Supreme Verdict or at our opponent's last phase. Remember that your opponent has The Wandering Emperor, therefore in a few moments it is best not to attack with key-creatures such as Righteous Valkyrie or Resplendent Angel.

As our opponent doesn't have many permanents to be destroyed, we took out a few Skyclave Apparition, leaving only 2 to remove key pieces such as The Wandering Emperor or Temporary Lockdown, which has shown up in a few lists.

Our sideboard key card is Reidane, God of the Worthy, which delays our opponent's main global removals and planeswalkers, getting the time we need to finish the game. During game 2, move away from slow hands that only become magical after turn 3, as we want to change the game plan to be as aggressive as possible.

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Mono-Green Ramp

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In this match, we must prevent our opponent's game plan, as it will be difficult to finish the game quickly before turn 4. As a result, interactive hands are the best options, and we count with Skyclave Apparition which interacts with Old-Growth Troll, Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner and Karn, the Great Creator very well, preventing our opponent from advancing their devotion or getting a lot of value on the battlefield. We must use our Collected Company and Kayla's Reconstruction to look for our Skyclave Apparition during game 1.

Post-side we are putting a lot of non creature cards, so we must lower the number of Collected Company and Kayla's Reconstruction, this last one being great to look for our Pithing Needle naming Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner or Karn, the Great Creator.

Another essential card is Reidane, God of the Worthy // Valkmira, which increases our opponents' key cards costs, such as Storm the Festival and Karn, the Great Creator, as well as many of the artifacts they might bring from the sideboard. As our opponent's deck isn't aggressive in the initial turns, it is easy to play an Ajani, Strength of the Pride exiling each of their artifact and creature.

Rakdos Midrange

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For this match, we must prioritize our 2 costs that avoid Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp; therefore it is nice to start the game with Bishop of Wings or Youthful Valkyrie, making our opponents spend their Fatal Push on them and this way we can develop our battlefield with more important creatures such as Righteous Valkyrie and Resplendent Angel. As the game tends to drag on, try to use Collected Company initially, and use Kayla's Reconstruction with only 3 Magic Symbol x or more.

Post-side, we increase our value plays with Shapers' Sanctuary, which makes almost all our trades 2-to-1 with spot removals.

As our deck can gain a lot of health, the opponent's aggressive plan is easily contained, which favors our air attacks. Remember that, post-side, our opponents might have global removals such as Extinction Event or even Ritual of Soot - so take advantage of the instant speed Collected Company!

Gruul Midrange

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As Gruul Midrange is an aggressive deck and our deck can gain a lot of health, here we have a favorable match. We must only take care with a few of our opponents' plays which might give them tempo enough to win.

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In the initial turns, always prioritize the initial entry of Bishop of Wings, which besides being a good blocker, makes our Angels have 4 health.

Keep your Skyclaves to The Akroan War which might steal possible blockers or even Reckless Stormseeker // Storm-Charged Slasher, as its source of haste really optimizes your game plan.

Collected Company before the combat is the best way out to try and play a Resplendent Angel and another creature getting 5 health, creating one more angel and getting even more health.

Post-side, our plan will probably not change much, but now we must remember that our opponent can deal with our x/4 creatures very well as many lists use Obliterating Bolt.

For those, we must make them spend these cards in less important creatures, leaving Resplendent Angel and Righteous Valkyrie last to be cast. Reidane, God of the Worthy // Valkmira, Protector's Shield comes to delay our opponents' vehicles well, such as The Akroan War, and Ajani, Strength of the Pride comes, so it can give us more health or remove our opponent's creatures.

Mono White Aggro

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This is a good matchup, as we have evasive creatures and gain a lot of health. Game 1, use Skyclave Apparition to take out Brutal Cathar // Moonrage Brute, which is one of the main threats against us, as we can go around other plays, or even their Thalia, Guardian of Thraben which delays our Collected Company and Kayla's Reconstruction which are cards that get us way ahead of our opponents.

Post-side, we add more interaction and ways of getting more health, which enhances our plan even more. Portable Hole has a fixed target in Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, leaving Skyclave Apparitions to remove Brutal Cathar // Moonrage Brutes.

Righteous Valkyrie and Bishop of Wings are cards that get us a lot of health in this match, being our main cards.

Final Thoughts

This is my cue! In case you have any questions, I'm available in the comment section. See you next time!

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Raphael Martinez

I'm Martinez! Math teacher and in my spare time I do missplays live or on YouTube. Lover of our card game called Magic!

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