Plug & Play – Goryo’s Angels

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ManaDeprived.com’s Plug & Play series is a collection of short articles that will give you a quick rundown of a given archetype, so that you can go out and try the deck right away!

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Here is one of the variants of a spicy brew I’ve been playing recently on Magic Online with some success. The deck is a combination of a midrange deck and a combo deck, and you need to be aware of both game plans. Between, discard, removal, Lingering Souls, and Liliana, you have a great fair game plan, and being able to turn 2 Obzedat or turn 5 make infinite Restoration Angels, you also have a great way to win on the spot.

Recently we’ve removed a few of the Inquisition of Kozileks for Thoughtseizes to hit bigger targets as well as target ourselves if needed. As a result, we changed Painful Truths to Wall of Omens as the life loss is relevant in an aggressive metagame.

When starting, you have a few options. Turn 1 Faithless Looting into Turn 2 Goryo’s Vengeance on Obzedat can be a very strong play. Since you can stack the triggers, you get to exile Obzedat to his own ability before the Goryo’s Vengeance trigger comes up. As a result, you get to keep your obzedat and he comes back next turn. Not to mention Goryo’s Vengeance gives haste so you can get a quick five damage in. If you think that your opponent might be able to stop this plan, we have a few other options.

Faithless Looting will let us sculpt our draws. Discard spells are great early interaction and can clear the way for our threats. We can also Bolt any early pesky creatures or simply develop our mana. Wall of Omens, Liliana of the Veil, and Lingering Souls all progress our midrange plan while also having incidental value along the way. Liliana is our discard outlet 5-8 and discarding Souls never hurts too much. Wall blocks very efficiently and gives us a Restoration Angel target. I think it is definitely worth testing more Walls as they smooth out our draws.

Path to Exile is our removal spell of choice for a variety of reasons. The main one is that in our combo-ish deck, having a 1-mana answer to almost all creatures helps in a pinch. If you think it might be a dead card, it is also often correct to Path your own wall or a Lingering Souls token to act as a Rampant Growth. Lightning Bolt acts as our early game removal spell so we can Path the bigger threats later.

Later in the game, Restoration Angel is a solid creature that has less value than most other decks that play her but she’s a key component to one of our game-ending combos. On turn 5 you can either hard-cast Kiki-Jiki to make infinite angel tokens OR if you miss your fifth land-drop, you could do something like Faithless Looting discard Kiki, Thoughtseize to make sure the way is clear and then Goryo’s Vengeance him back. The combo still works and your opponent dies all the same.

For this reason, you can discard early Kiki’s and Obzedats and see that late game Goryo’s draws aren’t always dead. The best part about this deck however is that compared to the other Goryo’s Vengeance deck in the format, Obzedat and Kiki-Jiki are far easier to hard-cast than Griselbrand or Worldspine Wurm. You also have a stronger fair game-plan as it’s not unlikely to simply run your opponent out of cards and kill them with one spirit token which is the most satisfying way to win.

A few neat tricks with this deck: Passing turn 1 on the draw lets you discard an Obzedat to bring back on turn 3 if you don’t have a discard outlet. Restoration Angel has obvious synergy with Wall of Omens and Kiki-Jiki but it also combos with Obzedat as well as blanking spells like Lightning Helix on a spirit token. Liliana of the Veil – as silly as it sounds she can often just win a game on her own. Don’t be afraid to disregard your combo plans if you can time a nice Liliana Ultimate. Sacrificing half of their permanents is often times all you need to win the game.

There is room to play around with the deck and find the numbers you like. I would stick to the core midrange plan and play around with the numbers a little bit. With your sideboard, you are playing the hateful colors. Most of your sideboard should be linear hate for your expected meta. I expected a lot of creature aggro decks while brewing this as well as some bigger mana decks like Tron. The meta should shift in regards to our new Eldrazi friends. Pack your hate and don’t worry about decks trying to stop you as much. With your gameplan you won’t be hosed by cards like Rest in Peace or Linvala as much as some of the other combo decks.

I hope you’ll try this list and tweak it as I think there is definitely some potential to be a rogue deck that could take down an event or two. If it’s not spicy enough for you, you can always add Akroma, Angel of Fury as another combo of sorts with Restoration Angel and Goryo’s Vengeance. Let me know your suggestions and I’ll be sure to try them out!

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