Published on 10/18/2021

Angels Fan: A Remembrance

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This was one of Rob's Commanders

A long time friend of mine who played Magic recently passed away. He was a big fan of Angels and collecting Angels. So in his memory, I thought I would do only questions involving Angel cards for today's article.

If you'd like us to answer a question, please send it to us via email at or tweet it to us @CranialTweet. We do our best to answer every question we get, and your question may even show up in a future article!

Q: My opponent cast Angel of Serenity targeting 3 of my creatures on the battlefield. But before the ability resolved, he sacrificed the angel to Fallen Angel. My opponent claims I never get any of those targeting creature back to my hand, is he correct?

A: He is correct. This is often called the Oblivion Ring trick. Because the ability is split into two separate abilities (like the original Oblivion Ring), if the Angel dies before its enters the battlefield ability resolves, its dies trigger will resolve first. When the dies trigger resolves it attempts to put back into players hands all cards it already removed, however it hasn't removed anything yet, so nothing happens. It then removes the 3 creatures, but there is no longer a way for those cards to come back.

There are newer cards like Angel of Sanctions which combine the two abilities into one. Attempting this same trick with these doesn't function, in fact because the duration ends before its starts, you never exile the cards they target at all.

Q: I control a Guiding Spirit. My opponent uses Glimpse the Unthinkable to mill me 10 cards. The first card milled is Akroma, Angel of Wrath the next 9 are not creatures. Can I have the Akroma be the top card, so Guiding Spirit can put her on top of my library?

A: Yes you can, but its important to note, any format you can play Guiding Spirit in you can't re-order your graveyard. However, this is not re-ordering your graveyard. Anytime multiple cards would be placed into your graveyard at the same time, you choose the order they end up in.

Q: I attack my opponent with a 5/5 trample beast and a 1/1 deathtouch snake. My opponent block both with the same Guardian of the Gateless. Do I trample over for no damage, 1 damage, or 5 damage?

A: So this is actually completely up to you. You can choose any amount as low as zero and as high as five. In most cases you will want to choose 5, as the Trample beast can see lethal damage will be dealt by the snake. You have the option to over assign damage with trample creatures. Possibly you don't want the trampler to die to an effect like No Mercy or you want to guarantee the blocker dies, but your afraid of a damage prevention effect like Samite Healer

Q: I control Glimmering Angel and the only untapped land I have is an Island. My opponent casts Terror targeting my angel. I respond by activating it's ability to give it shroud. My opponent then responds to that by casting a 2nd Terror targeting the Angel again. Can she do that?

A: She can. You angel will unfortunately be taking a dirt nap. However, if you had happen to have a 2nd untapped island, you could have responded to the 2nd Terror to save the angel, but alas you were out of mana.

Rob had defiantly beat me a few times with this one.

Q: My opponent has Gabriel Angelfire and has chosen to give it Rampage 3. What in the world is Rampage 3?

A: Rampage X, is an old ability that has seen very few cards in the last 20 years. When a creature with Rampage X becomes blocked, it get +X/+X until end of turn for each creature beyond the first that blocked it. If Gabriel gets blocked by 4 creatures, it gets +9/+9 until end of turn.

Q: I control Emeria Shepherd if I play a Scrubland can I put the Deathless Angel from my graveyard onto the battlefield?

A: Yes, you can. Scrubland has the type plains, and the shepherd is looking for a land with that type, not a land with that name.

Q: I have a Desolation Angel in my graveyard and my opponent casts Living Death. Can I pay the kicker cost on my Angel so I'm not the only person who loses their lands?

A: So I have some bad news, you can't pay the kicker cost on a card that wasn't cast. You will be the only player losing their lands.

Q: In a game of commander, I cast Legion Angel and go to grab another copy from my binder. My opponent stops me and says I can't. Is he right?

A: Under normal commander rules you can not. Cards that grab other cards from outside the game do not function in Commander. However, the commander rules are a suggestion on how to play the game. If your local group want to add sideboards you can do so (which would allow Legion Angel to function), just be aware that when you play outside your group others will likely expect you to follow the normal rules.

Q: It's currently my turn 3 and I control a Aether Vial with 2 charge counters on it. If I activate Aether Vial can I put Serra Avenger onto the battlefield with it?

A: You can. Avenger's limiting ability only limits casting it, Aether Vial doesn't cast the card, so you're good.

Q: I just cast Serra's Emissary and I chose artifacts for its ability. My opponent says not only do all of my equipment fall off my creatures, but I can't put them back on, is she right?

A: She is. Protection from artifacts, essentially gives 4 abilities.
  • Prevent all damage from Artifacts
  • Can't have Artifacts attached to it
  • Can't be blocked by Artifacts
  • Can't be targeted by Artifacts

That 2nd ability makes the equipment fall off as all equipment are also artifacts. The last ability means you can't even attempt to re-equip as the equip ability targets. As long as you control Emissary you won't have any equipment attached to your creatures.

Q: I control only Sublime Archangel and Noble Hierarch. If I attack with just the angel, how much damage will it do if unblocked?

A: It will deal 7 damage. The Angel will get +1/+1 from its own exalted trigger, but will get +1/+1 twice from the Hierarch. Hierarch has its own natural exalted, but gains a 2nd copy of the ability from the Angel and this ability stacks!

Q: I cast Sunblast Angel, but before it's trigger resolves my opponent cast Twiddle to tap the angel. Does the angel now kill itself?

A: Yes, it sadly falls into its own blast.

Q: I'm currently at 20 life and control two Righteous Valkyrie. If I cast Starnheim Unleashed (which was foretold on a earlier turn) for a X of 3, how much life will I have at the end of turn?

A: 60 life. That seems like a lot more life than it should be, so lets do the math slowly. Three 4/4 angels enter the battlefield triggering each Valkyrie 3 times (for a total of 6 triggers that each will gain you life). Each trigger resolves one at a time, and checks the toughness of said angel as the ability resolves. The first trigger to resolve will gain you 4 life (up to 24 total life). The 2nd will also gain 4 life (up to 28 total life). This turns on the +2/+2 ability of each Valkyrie, making all the token angels 8/8. The third trigger resolves, gaining 8 life (up to 36), the 4th 8 life (up to 44), the 5th 8 life (up to 52) and the 6th and final 8 more life (for a total of 60 life).

Here's my favorite Angel.

Q: I control a Isochron Scepter with a Brainstorm imprinted on it. I use it to play a Brainstorm, can I then cast Illusory Angel from my hand?

A: You can. Isochron makes a copy of Brainstorm and then casts it. Many other abilities and cards copy a spell and the copies are not cast (such as Storm), but Isochron casts the copy of the card.

Q: If I cast Magister of Worth in a two player game, does my opponent's vote even matter?

A: Depends on what you vote for. If you vote condemnation, then no matter what the opponent votes, everything goes boom boom. If you vote grace, then the opponent gets to choose the outcome.

Q: If I control Requiem Angel and a Conspiracy naming Angels, did I just create an infinite sacrifice outlet for my Fallen Angel?

A: You did! Conspiracy changes the creature types of all your creatures to just Angel. So when any creature of yours dies, you make a spirit token, but Conspiracy over writes the token into being an angel, so if that token dies you get another spirit token, which in turn looks like an angel.

Q: My opponent controls Selenia, Dark Angel, and I'm currently controlling their turn because of a Mindslaver I activated last turn. Can I just make them kill themselves?

A: Possibly. Depend if the opponent has an even or odd amount of health. If even, you can activate Selenia's pay 2 life ability as many times as need be until the opponent is dead. If the opponent's life total is odd, you can do the same thing until their life total is 1. You can't activate the ability anymore once the opponent is at 1 life.

Q: My opponent's Seraph of the Scales died in combat, if I exile it from the graveyard as soon as I possibly can with Rotten Reunion can I prevent the opponent from getting the spirit tokens?

A: You can try this, but it won't stop them from getting the spirit tokens. As long as the Seraph hits the graveyard, the opponent will get the tokens. You need something like Leyline of the Void to prevent the tokens from being made.

Q: I attack my opponent with a 3/3 beast token. She blocks with a Serra Advocate. After blocks she attempts to tap it, to pump itself. Does this work?

A: This does indeed work (so long as its not summoning sick). You can activate tap abilities on creature after they block, and since the angel is now a blocking creature, its a legal target for its ability.

Q: I control a Savage Thallid that has both a -1/-1 counter and a spore counter on it and Atraxa, Praetors' Voice. When I go to the end of my turn and get to proliferate with Atraxa's ability, can I choose the Thallid to increase its spore counter but not the -1/-1 counter?

A: You can not. When you proliferate a permanent (or player), you must increase each counter type it has by one. This is a change, where before you increased only one counter type of your choice, now you are forced to increase all types by one.

Rob was a good reliable friend. He will be missed. Remember to forgive and let things that don't matter go, you never know how long you have left with those you care about.

- Justin Hovdenes AKA Hovey
Level 2 Magic Judge
Rapid City, SD


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