Constructed Epic: Avenging Angel Control

Epic Box

Foreword

I have frequently heard people say Avenging Angel is overpowered. So, I made a deck focusing on it.

First Shot Deck List

Avenging Angel Control Deck

Good (37)

Slow (11)
3x Avenging Angel
3x High King
3x Palace Guard
2x Thundarus

Fast (16)
3x Angel of Mercy
3x Banishment
1x Inner Peace
3x Noble Unicorn
3x Resurrection
3x Vital Mission

0-Cost (10)
1x Brave Squire
3x Priest of Kalnor
3x Priestess of Angeline
3x White Dragon

Sage (22)

Slow (0)

Fast (15)
3x Lying in Wait
3x Psionic Assault
3x Thought Plucker
3x Transform
3x Wave of Transformation

0-Cost (7)
3x Forcemage Apprentice
2x Keeper of Secrets
2x Muse

Wild (1)

Slow (0)

Fast (1)
1x Lightning Storm

0-Cost (0)

First Shot Explanation

This is a control deck. The goal of the deck is to grind through your opponent. I brought no bounce, I focused on banishing removal, and I included discarding. Ideally, I want to slowly cripple my opponent so they are unable to deal with my Avenging Angel and/or Thundarus. Angel of Mercy, Resurrection, Priest of Kalnor, and Brave Squire are all included to help protect Avenging Angel as well.

With regards to Avenging Angel, I generally do not like it because it can be removed by so many cards. If your opponent is unable to remove Avenging Angel, a 6/6, airborne, blitz, righteous, you-can’t-be-attacked-while-expended body is enormous. If I can control the game and get ahead, I would then play Avenging Angel to stay ahead.

A singleton Inner Peace is included because I can see myself running a bit low on cards. In this deck, I believe I would generally try to play a card for its primary effect every turn, when possible.

A singleton Lightning Storm is included for a couple reasons. Recurring 6 divisible damage is a nice way to deal with a decent amount of threats and do some damage. 6 recurring damage to the face is also an excellent finisher.

Forcemage Apprentices are largely included to deal with tokens, since the deck has trouble dealing with them otherwise, I assume. They are also a nice reliable way to deal damage to the face.

Almost always you want to use Banishment on your turn so you can draw the card.

Vital Mission can be used on Thundarus to gain 10 health and draw 2 cards. Since Thundarus is also unbanishable, it stays in play. (Yes, that is how that works.)

I would recommend not playing this deck against newer players. Control decks are literally designed to be incredibly frustrating to play against.

3/11/16 Playtest Notes

This deck seems solid. I feel like it has answers to most of the decks that scare me currently. The only archetype I feel it is currently weak to is token decks.

Tyrants Initial Rework Decklist (3/29/16)

Avenging Angel Control 2

Good (29)

Slow (9)
3x Avenging Angel
3x High King
3x Markus, Watch Captain

Fast (11)
3x Angel of Mercy
3x Noble Unicorn
3x Resurrection
2x Royal Escort

0-Cost (9)
3x Paros, Rebel Leader
2x Priest of Kalnor
2x Priestess of Angeline
2x White Dragon

Sage (30)

Slow (6)
3x Elara, the Lycomancer
3x Knight of Shadows

Fast (15)
3x Lying in Wait
3x Psionic Assault
3x Temporal Shift
3x Thought Plucker
3x Wave of Transformation

0-Cost (9)
3x Forcemage Apprentice
3x Keeper of Secrets
3x Muse

Wild (1)

Slow (0)

Fast (1)
1x Lightning Storm

0-Cost (0)

Tyrants Initial Rework Explanation (3/29/16)

Removed: Palace Guard, Thundarus, Banishment, Inner Peace, Vital Mission, Brave Squire, and Transform

Avenging Angel Control 2 Remove

Added: Markus, Watch Captain, Royal Escort, Paros, Rebel Leader, Elara, the Lycomancer, Knight of Shadows, and Temporal Shift

Avenging Angel Control 2 Add

Temporal Shift replaces Transform since it essentially does the same thing for this deck, but it draws a card for me and doesn’t leave a wolf. It removes a champion and banishes a card.

Elara, the Lycomancer functions as a second reusable banishment champion that needs to be answered by my opponent.

Knight of Shadows is a second win condition and more forced discard for my opponent.

Paros, Rebel Leader is another threat that needs to be dealt with at 0-cost. If nothing else, it will give me more chump blockers and can block/break non-demon tokens.

Royal Escort is included specifically to protect my Avenging Angel and my reusable banishment champions. It also has some health gain.

Markus, Watch Captain is included because I think this deck is a bit vulnerable to tokens. If nothing else, it is a 10/10 loyalty 2 -> draw a card. As an added perk, it helps against forced discard.

Overall, I removed a net 6 removal cards, but I am hoping the deck will be more solid and consistent now.

Derik M 3/31/16 Adjustment

These changes are based on Derik M’s comment below, posted on 3/31/16. See comments for further discussion. I really enjoy seeing comments and discussion. Feel free to jump in below with thoughts or questions.

Reductions: -3 Temporal Shift, -1 Royal Escort, and -1 Paros, Rebel Leader

AAControlDerikMRemove

Additions: +3 Transform, +2 Palace Guard

AAControlDerikMAdd

After reading Derik M’s comment and thinking it through. I now currently agree that Temporal Shift is not strong enough for this deck, generically. It is being replaced by Transform. I do not think this deck needs to worry about drawing 1 more card, returning a threat to hand isn’t ideal for a control deck, and the wolf probably isn’t a big enough issue to worry about.

In addition, I am cutting 1 of each of my support Paros, Rebel Leader and Royal Escort to make room for 2 Palace Guards.

I really, really wanted to use Temporal Shift, and I personally still think it has its place. But, I currently agree with Derik M that it isn’t right for this deck, generically.

Based on the meta, I might change my mind and try to cut some more cards to make room for it. For instance, if Thundarus is dominating, I could cut one or both of the Palace Guards. Temporal Shifts can lock a player down while giving me time to draw into my Transforms, Wave of Transformations, or Elara, the Lycomancers…I do like the idea of getting someone to continually replay a no Tribute or Loyalty champion while I draw a card and they banish a card from hand each turn…I am going to have to do some more playtesting.

5/26/16 Rework v3 Decklist

AAControl3

Evil (9)

Slow (0)

Fast (6)
3x Plague
3x Zombie Apocalypse

0-Cost (3)
3x Guilt Demon

Good (27)

Slow (11)
2x Avenging Angel
3x High King
3x Markus, Watch Captain
3x Palace Guard

Fast (10)
2x Angel of Light
3x Angel of Mercy
3x Noble Unicorn
2x Vital Mission

0-Cost (6)
3x Blind Faith
3x White Dragon

Sage (24)

Slow (6)
3x Knight of Shadows
3x Mist Guide Herald

Fast (10)
3x Psionic Assault
1x Temporal Shift
3x Thought Plucker
3x Wave of Transformation

0-Cost (8)
2x Arcane Research
3x Amnesia
3x Muse

Wild (0)

5/26/16 Rework v3 Explanation

Removed: 1 Avenging Angel, 3 Resurrection, 1 Royal Escort, 2 Paros, Rebel Leader, 2 Priest of Kalnor, 2 Priestess of Angeline, 3 Elara, the Lycomancer, 3 Lying in Wait, 3 Transform, 3 Forcemage Apprentice, 3 Keeper of Secrets, 1 Lightning Storm

AAControl3Remove

Added: 3 Plague, 3 Zombie Apocalypse, 3 Guilt Demon, 1 Palace Guard, 2 Angel of Light, 2 Vital Mission, 3 Blind Faith, 1 White Dragon, 3 Mist Guide Herald, 1 Temporal Shift, 2 Arcane Research, 3 Amnesia

AAControl3Add

I reworked this decklist, again, primarily because the 0-cost cards were not working for it.

The Priest of Kalnors, Paros Rebel Leaders, and Forcemage Apprentices were the biggest problems. Since none of these recycle or let you draw 2 cards instead, they contributed significantly to the deck’s insufficient draw. Further, since the deck was weak on draw, I couldn’t afford to have multiple of these cards filling my ever-diminishing hand.

To fix this issue, I added 7 0-cost recycle cards, the Amnesias, Blind Faiths, and 1 more White Dragon. Amnesia is an incredibly strong control card since the discard pile is very important, even if your opponent is just using it to recycle. Blind Faith is an absolutely incredible card in so many situations. White Dragon is one of the best cards in Good. Since I switched to these 0-cost cards, I wasn’t forced into bringing much more draw, but the deck still became much more consistent.

Guilt Demon was added for more discard pile hate.

Arcane Research, as discussed in the comments, is excellent because at best it can find exactly what you need and at worst it replaces itself. About to die to burn, Arcane Research for Angel of Light. Draka comes blitzing at your face, Arcane Research for Wave of Transformation. In addition, for the cost of showing your opponent 1 card (not totally insignificant), you can always just banish itself to draw a replacement for it. Arcane Research is just an excellent card for constructed overall.

The other reason I reworked this deck was to make it more resilient to human token swarms. Plague and Zombie Apocalypse can break a swarm, and Blind Faith can strip unbreakable or even just blitz if needed. (Blind Faith would not remove the attack buff from effects like Courageous Soul, but it would remove Standard Bearer‘s buff.) Zombie Apocalypse also works nicely with my Wave of Transformations for non-targeting off-turn removal. (Markus afterwards on my turn is a satisfying follow up.)

Angel of Light was added for a bit of extra help against aggressive decks like burn, and it works nicely with Angel of Mercy. Elara was removed specifically because it does not work with Angel of Mercy.

Mist Guide Herald is nice primarily because I have so many strong champions I want to hit already.

Vital Mission is included almost exclusively for off-turn removal. It is still possible that I replace them for other removal, potentially adding the Lying in Waits or Transforms back into the deck. I’m still experimenting with Temporal Shift since I am still a little worried about card draw.

Overall the deck has been working much better for me. I’m still not sold on everything, but the 0-cost shift has made a noticeable improvement.

8 thoughts on “Constructed Epic: Avenging Angel Control”

  1. Not sure I’m sold on Temporal Shift…

    – You are trading a Coin card for (presumably) a Coin creature. Check.

    – You are trading 1 card of removal for a random card from deck. Meanwhile you are trading their best creature (presumably the one you can’t deal with) for [essentially] the same creature. So now next turn… they still have their creature that you can’t beat… but now you don’t have a removal.

    – If the creature has a Tribute or Loyalty ability (or triggers Ally abilities) this is giving them even more value.

    – They banish a card from their hand; this is technically pure value.

    SO best case scenario is that they have no cards in hand AND then you cast temporal shift.. in which case it’s a total blow-out. But I feel like you are almost never out of cards in Epic. Instead most of the time you are essentially trading an entire turn for their entire turn…. and you gain a Banish 1 Card..BUT.. if they had any ETB effects than you are the loser in that exchange.

    I actually feel that with 3x Rez and 3x Angel of Mercy in the deck you are better off still running Palace Guard. A 6/8 body is nothing to sneeze at; and I’d rather banish a card all day than give my opponent a free re-play.

    1. All of your points are correct. If you are spending your gold on your turn, Palace Guard is better than Temporal Shift, usually. The reason I included Temporal Shift over Palace Guard here is because I can use it on their turn. If they play a non-ambush champion without a tribute or loyalty ability, this card wastes their turn, nets them -1 card in hand/in play, and costs me no cards. I do get a random card as a replacement. There are a lot of cards I would not want to use this on at certain points: Raging T-Rex if they have 3 or 4 cards in hand (and I don’t have Psionic Assault in hand), Tribute->Draw a card champions if they are low on cards in hand, Necromancer Lord if they have 3+ cards in hand, etc. It does get around unbanishable champions though.

      This deck previously ran 3 transforms to fill a similar role. Both cards remove a champion without breaking it and essentially banish 1 card. Transform banishes it gone so you are guaranteed to be rid of the threat, but it leaves a wolf for them. Temporal Shift lets your opponent banish their weakest card, which does let them potentially replay the same card, but it draws you a card too. Both of these can also be used on your turn if needed. If your opponent ambushes in a blocker in front of Avenging Angel or Markus for example. You generally only want to use it on your turn if you are already ahead and you need instant-speed removal. Otherwise, you can hopefully use High King or Elara for removal instead.

      I do also agree that you almost never run out of cards, but this deck is an exception. It can deplete a hand. Thought Plucker is a monster if unanswered, especially if you ambush it in after they spent
      their gold, then resurrect it if they break it on their turn. Knight of Shadows is similar, and Psionic Assualt is nasty. Unless your deck is specifically geared to knock out your opponent’s hand, or your opponent is going heavy burn/0-cost aggro, your opponent won’t care about banishing 1 card in hand.

      So, you have basically convinced me that I need to replace it with Transform again. (It was a very difficult cut in the first palce.) Drawing a card and not leaving a wolf token isn’t seeming
      like enough of an advantage any more. The wolf token is especially not a huge issue since only Markus and Noble Unicorn (if I dare attack with it), could be blocked if I use it to deal with an ambushed in blocker. Tokens do worry me with this deck, hence Markus, but 1 to 3 wolves probably won’t kill me.

      I am also going to squeeze back in some Palace Guards.

      Temporal Shift could really shine in a certain type of deck, but you may be right that this is not that deck. At this point, I see it as primarily a meta change for this deck…or maybe not. There is something disturbingly satisfying about the idea of continually returning hope to my opponent’s hand as I slowly extinguish all other hope in their hand and on their board. And then, eventually, transforming that last, built-up hope too. Good ol’ control decks.

      Updated the post with the changes.

  2. Tom,

    This deck (and it’s variants) still seem to be performing best for me and my local group of dedicated Epic players.

    One card that I’ve been having a lot of success with is Arcane Research. As a control deck; sometimes you need to find the best answer (such as a Wave of Transformation, or an Avenging Angel) and this card does a great job of helping you sift through cards to find the one right answer you need.

    It also means you can play more singletons and/or less of certain other cards which are not good in multiples (board wipes come to mind; as does inner peace) since you are likely to find it when you need it.

    Burn has become a problem in our meta; especially our contender to this deck which we call DinoStorm (essentially just the big butt dinos with burn and damage based board wipes)… and this has me wanting more maindeck lifegain.. but I’m not really all that interested in playing it.

  3. Interesting, I haven’t had as much opportunity to play recently as I would like (especially against burn), but my working assumption was that discard would be a strong way to deal with burn (and life gain of course). I would be interested in seeing the DinoStorm list, and you would be more than welcome to write a guest post about it on here. Or, if you just want to send a picture and/or deck list, I’d be happy to write something about it. (It would be interesting to analyze a deck list, discuss first thoughts, and then discuss with someone who has played with and against it.) I know WWG likes having guest posts as well.

    Arcane Research intrigues me. It works well for me in my combo deck, but I haven’t experimented with it much outside of that. How many copies do you like to run?

  4. Actually 3.. because it’s a completly free re-draw…

    Essentially Arcane Research lets you play (at worst) a 57 card deck (which all things being equal is better than 60) since you have a higher ratio of your best spells.

    It Banishes itself + X; so yeah it’s easily the most simple 3 of to splash in the game. Even if X is 0 you are still getting a free draw.

    Actually come to think of it. is has no downside other than forcing you to play a minimum of 6 1G Blue spells… which really isn’t much of a cost anyways.

  5. All solid points, the only problems are it can push out other 0-cost Sage cards/force a greater 1-cost Sage investment, information, weaker if your opponent banishes cards in your discard pile, and weaker if you use your discard pile for effects like recycle, Angel of Mercy, Zombie Apocalypse, Unquenchable Thirst etc.

    Admittedly, I wasn’t really thinking of it as vapor for constructed (a card that essentially just makes your deck smaller, not sure if this term is in wide usage since I can’t find it anywhere online). I was thinking of it more for digging (which it can still do). I can definitely see me including it in more decks now though. Especially since I frequently use Surprise Attack as vapor/ambush/1-cost Wild already.

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