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Angelic Army - Brian Baker (6/4/2011)

Angels are one of the most evocative creatures in Magic, due in no small part to what they mean for us in real life. Angels are key figures in several religions, representing the power and will of the creator or the supreme good. Angels illustrate hope, light, and salvation.

In Magic, though, they mostly represent flying beatsticks of doom.

While some Magic angels have support roles or abilities, the majority of them are simply efficient vehicles of destruction. Angels are actually most like dragons, their oft-red counterparts in the sky. Both armies generally take to arms for between four and seven mana, and both can require only a single creature to present a “kill this or die” situation to the opponent.

Only with Angels, however, can you recruit an unlimited number of threats with a two-mana enchantment. That’s right, boys and girls, it’s time to talk about Luminarch Ascension
Luminarch Ascension
Luminarch AscensionSet: Zendikar
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
25
Artist:
Michael Komarck
Text:
At the beginning of each opponent's end step, if you didn't lose life this turn, you may put a quest counter on Luminarch Ascension. (Damage causes loss of life.) {1}{W}: Put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying onto the battlefield. Activate this ability only if Luminarch Ascension has four or more quest counters on it.
.

Since Zendikar, the Ascension cycle has seen various amounts of play in constructed formats. Luminarch sees play mostly as a sideboard card, brought in against control decks too slow to inflict damage before four counters can be collected. With the recent rise of Caw-Blade even the control decks are capable of punching through with early damage, so the Ascension has fallen off the radar. That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad card, and with the release of New Phyrexia, it’s worth another look.

We’ll begin by building a sample deck around the card intended for duels, going point-to-point and card-to-card. Although I’m not doing this to make a tier 1 deck capable of winning a Grand Prix or SCG Open, I’ll limit the card pool to Standard, but feel free to experiment with larger pools. I’ll post the deck list in its entirety, and we will finish with looking at multiplayer options.

Let’s go.


4x Luminarch Ascension
Luminarch Ascension
Luminarch AscensionSet: Zendikar
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
25
Artist:
Michael Komarck
Text:
At the beginning of each opponent's end step, if you didn't lose life this turn, you may put a quest counter on Luminarch Ascension. (Damage causes loss of life.) {1}{W}: Put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying onto the battlefield. Activate this ability only if Luminarch Ascension has four or more quest counters on it.



The engine for the deck is, of course, the Ascension. A deck that doesn’t expect it or answer it will lose to it, guaranteed. This will give us our army, if we can bring it online. It’s that last part, needing to get it up and running, that’s the trick. Any opponent capable of reading the card will immediately do anything necessary to avoid the Ascension from getting four counters. The question becomes, how do we beat them to the punch?

Luckily, protecting the Ascension largely means protecting ourselves, which we have a vested interest in anyway. Assuming that we can get at least one counter on the Ascension, proliferate then helps both speed up the process and still get counters on if we get hurt. Let’s look at proliferate first, since it’s a bit narrower than the broad concept of protection.

Only 14 cards have proliferate, and none of them are white. Contagion Clasp
Contagion Clasp
Contagion ClaspSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
144
Artist:
Anthony Palumbo
Text:
When Contagion Clasp enters the battlefield, put a -1/-1 counter on target creature. {4}, {T}: Proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
and Contagion Engine
Contagion Engine
Contagion EngineSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
145
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
When Contagion Engine enters the battlefield, put a -1/-1 counter on each creature target player controls. {4}, {T}: Proliferate, then proliferate again. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there. Then do it again.)
are both colorless, and both double as creature kill. If we’re looking at a heavy artifact theme, Throne of Geth
Throne of Geth
Throne of GethSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
211
Artist:
Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss
Text:
{T}, Sacrifice an artifact: Proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
can also be an option. The Throne is especially interesting since most proliferate effect are heavy on the mana. From there, it’s a question of whether or not to go into secondary colors. Black offers more creature kill with Grim Affliction
Grim Affliction
Grim AfflictionSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Erica Yang
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature, then proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
and Spread the Sickness
Spread the Sickness
Spread the SicknessSet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Jaime Jones
Text:
Destroy target creature, then proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
, while red just does burn with Volt Charge
Volt Charge
Volt ChargeSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
100
Artist:
Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss
Text:
Volt Charge deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
. Blue gives 6 proliferate cards, with effects ranging from flyers to card draw to countering to straight-up plain proliferate, so it’s the least limiting option.

Be careful about going into too many colors! There is a definite temptation there, but the more colors you have, the harder it is to make sure you can pump out lots of angels. I was strongly considering going WUB, but for consistency I’m sticking with WB. I think that there’s a lot to be said for blue proliferate, but this is a bit more off the beaten path, and black’s creature kill is always good to have regardless of our Ascension status.


4x Contagion Clasp
Contagion Clasp
Contagion ClaspSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
144
Artist:
Anthony Palumbo
Text:
When Contagion Clasp enters the battlefield, put a -1/-1 counter on target creature. {4}, {T}: Proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)


2x Throne of Geth
Throne of Geth
Throne of GethSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
211
Artist:
Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss
Text:
{T}, Sacrifice an artifact: Proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)


2x Contagion Engine
Contagion Engine
Contagion EngineSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
145
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
When Contagion Engine enters the battlefield, put a -1/-1 counter on each creature target player controls. {4}, {T}: Proliferate, then proliferate again. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there. Then do it again.)


4x Grim Affliction
Grim Affliction
Grim AfflictionSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Erica Yang
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature, then proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)



That’s 16 cards including the Ascensions, for those keeping track at home. We’ve got our Ascension and we can power it up. Now, we need to work on our protection plan. It’s vital to get the first counter on the Ascension before proliferate can do its magic (pun somewhat intended). Dealing with creatures is a good plan anyway, and we’re well on the way thanks to the Contagion
Contagion
ContagionSet: Alliances
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
You may pay 1 life and remove a black card in your hand from the game instead of paying Contagion's casting cost. Effects that prevent or redirect damage cannot be used to counter this loss of life. Put two -2/-1 counters, distributed any way you choose, on any number of target creatures.
twins and Grim Affliction
Grim Affliction
Grim AfflictionSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Erica Yang
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature, then proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
. What else do we have?

Being in black gives us the pick of the litter in removal spells. Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.
and Go for the Throat
Go for the Throat
Go for the ThroatSet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Destroy target nonartifact creature.
are simply some of the best you can get, and I don’t know of any reason not to run them. Having both means that at least one will be good except against an extremely narrow set of cards (looking at you, Thrun and Vault Skirge
Vault Skirge
Vault SkirgeSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Imp
Rarity:
C
Number:
76
Artist:
Brad Rigney
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
({(b/p)} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.) Flying Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
!), so in they go. NPH gives us some oomph in Geth’s Verdict as well, which actually helps take care of those problems, but we’re looking pretty removal-heavy already, so I’m leaving it on the bench. Don’t forget about it if you’re considering your own build. Oh, and white has this nifty spell that will take care of all of the opponent’s creatures at once. You may have heard of Day of Judgment
Day of Judgment
Day of JudgmentSet: Zendikar
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
9
Artist:
Vincent Proce
Text:
Destroy all creatures.
? Day is especially nice here since we grow our own creatures off the enchantment.


3x Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.


3x Go for the Throat
Go for the Throat
Go for the ThroatSet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Destroy target nonartifact creature.


3x Day of Judgment
Day of Judgment
Day of JudgmentSet: Zendikar
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
9
Artist:
Vincent Proce
Text:
Destroy all creatures.



We’ve got 25 cards so far. What else can we do to protect ourselves? Damage prevention is better here than simple life gain, since the Ascension doesn’t care if you’re at 50 life but cries if you take a single damage. Reinforced Bulwark
Reinforced Bulwark
Reinforced BulwarkSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Number:
223
Artist:
Ryan Pancoast
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
Defender {T}: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to you this turn.
sits in the way of attackers, prevents damage, and is an artifact to sac to a Throne when necessary. Norn’s Annex
Annex
AnnexSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
You control enchanted land.
can slow down or prevent attackers entirely, and paying the life to get it out early is fine, since the Ascension only cares about life loss during opponents’ turns anyway. Gideon Jura
Gideon Jura
Gideon JuraSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Gideon
Rarity:
M
Number:
21
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+2: During target opponent's next turn, creatures that player controls attack Gideon Jura if able. -2: Destroy target tapped creature. 0: Until end of turn, Gideon Jura becomes a 6/6 Human Soldier creature that's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.
is decidedly not for the budget-minded, but is a powerful tool for keeping attacks turned away from you and serves as an alternate win condition with a proven track record. Speaking of big dudes to put the game away, Vengeful Archon
Vengeful Archon
Vengeful ArchonSet: Magic 2011
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Archon
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Flying {X}: Prevent the next X damage that would be dealt to you this turn. If damage is prevented this way, Vengeful Archon deals that much damage to target player.
fits the bill to a T. If you untap with an Archon, who even needs the Ascension? Still, if you’re following Plan A, the Archon basically says that they can’t stop you from getting more counters. At seven mana it’s the top of the curve for this deck.


3x Reinforced Bulwark
Reinforced Bulwark
Reinforced BulwarkSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Number:
223
Artist:
Ryan Pancoast
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
Defender {T}: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to you this turn.


2x Norn’s Annex
Annex
AnnexSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
You control enchanted land.


2x Gideon Jura
Gideon Jura
Gideon JuraSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Gideon
Rarity:
M
Number:
21
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+2: During target opponent's next turn, creatures that player controls attack Gideon Jura if able. -2: Destroy target tapped creature. 0: Until end of turn, Gideon Jura becomes a 6/6 Human Soldier creature that's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.


1x Vengeful Archon
Vengeful Archon
Vengeful ArchonSet: Magic 2011
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Archon
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Flying {X}: Prevent the next X damage that would be dealt to you this turn. If damage is prevented this way, Vengeful Archon deals that much damage to target player.



33 cards. What’s left? Well, that part really is up to you. I think that every deck should have some wiggle room for consideration of what’s missing. That, in turn, is usually a very subjective question. Are you someone who can’t play a deck without answers to non-creature permanents? Look to Revoke Existence
Revoke Existence
Revoke ExistenceSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Allen Williams
Text:
Exile target artifact or enchantment.
or Exclusion Ritual
Exclusion Ritual
Exclusion RitualSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
10
Artist:
Daniel Ljunggren
Text:
Imprint — When Exclusion Ritual enters the battlefield, exile target nonland permanent. Players can't cast spells with the same name as the exiled card.
. Want more creatures? Emeria Angel
Emeria Angel
Emeria AngelSet: Zendikar
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
11
Artist:
Jim Murray
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a 1/1 white Bird creature token with flying onto the battlefield.
fits the theme and is a powerhouse in her own right. Looking for more targets for proliferate? Consider Ajani Goldmane
Ajani Goldmane
Ajani GoldmaneSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Ajani
Rarity:
R
Number:
1
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+1: You gain 2 life. -1: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Those creatures gain vigilance until end of turn. -6: Put a white Avatar creature token into play with "This creature's power and toughness are each equal to your life total."
, Sorin Markov
Sorin Markov
Sorin MarkovSet: Zendikar
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Sorin
Rarity:
M
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Komarck
Text:
+2: Sorin Markov deals 2 damage to target creature or player and you gain 2 life. -3: Target opponent's life total becomes 10. -7: You control target player's next turn.
, or Tumble Magnet
Tumble Magnet
Tumble MagnetSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
218
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Tumble Magnet enters the battlefield with three charge counters on it. {T}, Remove a charge counter from Tumble Magnet: Tap target artifact or creature.
. Opponent’s removal got you down? Go straight to Eldrazi Monument
Eldrazi Monument
Eldrazi MonumentSet: Zendikar
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
M
Number:
199
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Creatures you control get +1/+1, have flying, and are indestructible. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice a creature. If you can't, sacrifice Eldrazi Monument.
. It wouldn’t be very productive of me to get us this far and not complete the deck, so I’m going with two Magnets and a singleton Sorin, for no other reason than just loving the planeswalker card (and wanting to have another way to win never hurts).


2x Tumble Magnet
Tumble Magnet
Tumble MagnetSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
218
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Tumble Magnet enters the battlefield with three charge counters on it. {T}, Remove a charge counter from Tumble Magnet: Tap target artifact or creature.


1x Sorin Markov
Sorin Markov
Sorin MarkovSet: Zendikar
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Sorin
Rarity:
M
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Komarck
Text:
+2: Sorin Markov deals 2 damage to target creature or player and you gain 2 life. -3: Target opponent's life total becomes 10. -7: You control target player's next turn.



The mana base isn’t too complicated. We’re looking at mostly white with enough black to manage the splash. Considering our options in Standard, we’ve got Marsh Flats
Marsh Flats
Marsh FlatsSet: Zendikar
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
219
Artist:
Izzy
Text:
{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Marsh Flats: Search your library for a Plains or Swamp card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.
and Terramorphic Expanse
Terramorphic Expanse
Terramorphic ExpanseSet: Time Spiral
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
279
Artist:
Dan Scott
Text:
T, Sacrifice Terramorphic Expanse: Search your library for a basic land card and put it into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.
AKA Evolving Wilds
Evolving Wilds
Evolving WildsSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
228
Artist:
Steven Belledin
Text:
{T}, Sacrifice Evolving Wilds: Search your library for a basic land card and put it onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.
. This should suffice:


3x Marsh Flats
Marsh Flats
Marsh FlatsSet: Zendikar
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
219
Artist:
Izzy
Text:
{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Marsh Flats: Search your library for a Plains or Swamp card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.


2x Terramorphic Expanse
Terramorphic Expanse
Terramorphic ExpanseSet: Time Spiral
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
279
Artist:
Dan Scott
Text:
T, Sacrifice Terramorphic Expanse: Search your library for a basic land card and put it into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.


2x Evolving Wilds
Evolving Wilds
Evolving WildsSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
228
Artist:
Steven Belledin
Text:
{T}, Sacrifice Evolving Wilds: Search your library for a basic land card and put it onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.


2x Phyrexia’s Core

11x Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.


4x Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.



So, there we are. The deck is very much geared toward getting out an Ascension, but there are a few ways to finish the game even in the event of an untimely Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
. It’s actually fairly open-ended, with enough powerful removal and some impressive planeswalkers to hold off or break open all but the sturdiest of assaults. Here’s the deck, in its entirety:


Lands (24):
3x Marsh Flats
Marsh Flats
Marsh FlatsSet: Zendikar
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
219
Artist:
Izzy
Text:
{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Marsh Flats: Search your library for a Plains or Swamp card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

2x Terramorphic Expanse
Terramorphic Expanse
Terramorphic ExpanseSet: Time Spiral
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
279
Artist:
Dan Scott
Text:
T, Sacrifice Terramorphic Expanse: Search your library for a basic land card and put it into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.

2x Evolving Wilds
Evolving Wilds
Evolving WildsSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
228
Artist:
Steven Belledin
Text:
{T}, Sacrifice Evolving Wilds: Search your library for a basic land card and put it onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.

2x Phyrexia’s Core
11x Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

4x Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.


Creatures (4):
3x Reinforced Bulwark
Reinforced Bulwark
Reinforced BulwarkSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
C
Number:
223
Artist:
Ryan Pancoast
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
Defender {T}: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to you this turn.

1x Vengeful Archon
Vengeful Archon
Vengeful ArchonSet: Magic 2011
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Archon
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Flying {X}: Prevent the next X damage that would be dealt to you this turn. If damage is prevented this way, Vengeful Archon deals that much damage to target player.


Non-Creature Spells (32):
3x Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.

3x Go for the Throat
Go for the Throat
Go for the ThroatSet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Destroy target nonartifact creature.

4x Grim Affliction
Grim Affliction
Grim AfflictionSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Erica Yang
Text:
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature, then proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)

1x Sorin Markov
Sorin Markov
Sorin MarkovSet: Zendikar
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Sorin
Rarity:
M
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Komarck
Text:
+2: Sorin Markov deals 2 damage to target creature or player and you gain 2 life. -3: Target opponent's life total becomes 10. -7: You control target player's next turn.

4x Luminarch Ascension
Luminarch Ascension
Luminarch AscensionSet: Zendikar
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
25
Artist:
Michael Komarck
Text:
At the beginning of each opponent's end step, if you didn't lose life this turn, you may put a quest counter on Luminarch Ascension. (Damage causes loss of life.) {1}{W}: Put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying onto the battlefield. Activate this ability only if Luminarch Ascension has four or more quest counters on it.

3x Day of Judgment
Day of Judgment
Day of JudgmentSet: Zendikar
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
9
Artist:
Vincent Proce
Text:
Destroy all creatures.

2x Norn’s Annex
Annex
AnnexSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
You control enchanted land.

2x Gideon Jura
Gideon Jura
Gideon JuraSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Gideon
Rarity:
M
Number:
21
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+2: During target opponent's next turn, creatures that player controls attack Gideon Jura if able. -2: Destroy target tapped creature. 0: Until end of turn, Gideon Jura becomes a 6/6 Human Soldier creature that's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.

4x Contagion Clasp
Contagion Clasp
Contagion ClaspSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
144
Artist:
Anthony Palumbo
Text:
When Contagion Clasp enters the battlefield, put a -1/-1 counter on target creature. {4}, {T}: Proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)

2x Throne of Geth
Throne of Geth
Throne of GethSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
211
Artist:
Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss
Text:
{T}, Sacrifice an artifact: Proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)

2x Tumble Magnet
Tumble Magnet
Tumble MagnetSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
218
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Tumble Magnet enters the battlefield with three charge counters on it. {T}, Remove a charge counter from Tumble Magnet: Tap target artifact or creature.

2x Contagion Engine
Contagion Engine
Contagion EngineSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
6
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
145
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
When Contagion Engine enters the battlefield, put a -1/-1 counter on each creature target player controls. {4}, {T}: Proliferate, then proliferate again. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there. Then do it again.)



So, there you go. Now, say you wanted to take on more than one opponent. Multiplayer is, and always will be, my favorite format. Usually any deck that’s geared toward duels needs a fair amount of work to translate to multiplayer. More opponents means, of course, more answers to your threats and exponentially more life to attack. The Luminarch Ascension
Luminarch Ascension
Luminarch AscensionSet: Zendikar
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
25
Artist:
Michael Komarck
Text:
At the beginning of each opponent's end step, if you didn't lose life this turn, you may put a quest counter on Luminarch Ascension. (Damage causes loss of life.) {1}{W}: Put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying onto the battlefield. Activate this ability only if Luminarch Ascension has four or more quest counters on it.
, then, is rather unique because of its inherent strength in multiplayer. If played on the second turn, the Ascension can be fully powered by the time your turn comes around. If not, it either will be soon after, or you’ll be dead.

That is one thing to keep in mind, actually. Playing an Ascension is just about the most literal target you can paint on yourself. Opponents won’t need an excuse to attack you (just the opposite). Also, there’s a greatly increased chance that your Ascensions will themselves be destroyed, so consider increasing your win conditions.

For multiplayer, I think that replacing the black with blue is the way to go. You’re not going to be as concerned with 1-for-1 removal, and the options that blue gives you (especially Viral Drake
Viral Drake
Viral DrakeSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
U
Number:
49
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.) {3}{U}: Proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
) serve multiple purposes. You can also tighten up your manabase with Celestial Colonnade
Celestial Colonnade
Celestial ColonnadeSet: Worldwake
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
133
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
Celestial Colonnade enters the battlefield tapped. {T}: Add {W} or {U} to your mana pool. {3}{W}{U}: Until end of turn, Celestial Colonnade becomes a 4/4 white and blue Elemental creature with flying and vigilance. It's still a land.
s, Glacial Fortress
Glacial Fortress
Glacial FortressSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
Glacial Fortress enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Plains or an Island.{T}: Add {W} or {U} to your mana pool.
es, and the like.

There you go. Until text time, have fun bashing your opponents with heaven’s powerhouses!


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