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Empyrial Herald

Firstly, Bant week wraps up on Wizards. We were treated to a lovely Shards of Alara wallpaper featuring Stoic Angel . . . Not only is this a great card providing a solid measure of control and a great fit in any Bant Exalted deck, the artwork by Volkan Baga is exceptional.

Last week, fellow Blogger Norm over at Casual Magic had a good write-up on the Shards of Alara fetch creatures known as Heralds. Prior to this, I did not spend much time evaluating the Herald cycle of cards. It was then that I had re-evaluated the usefullness of these ucommon one-drop critters. Today's article on Wizards by Mike Turian also made me pause to reflect how to include any of these Heralds into your deck to pull off a great bluff. Here is what Mike writes,

"The Herald's bluff is simple. Put a Herald into your appropriately colored Draft deck when you don't have the mythic rare to fetch! Your opponent may very well be fooled into wasting a removal spell on the poor little Herald so that you aren't able to fetch out your non-existent mythic rare. It may not be the best strategy in the world to run this bluff, but the first time it works you will be satisfied knowing your little 1/1 bluffed them."

Here is the skinny on Angel's Herald;

Angel's Herald, {W}
Creature - Human Cleric, Uncommon
2{W}, {T}, Sacrifice a green creature, a white creature, and a blue creature: Search your library for a card named Empyrial Archangel and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.

The Rules :
1) To play the ability, you must sacrifice three different creatures. You can't sacrifice just one three-colored creature, for example.
2) You may sacrifice multicolored creatures as part of the cost of the search ability. For example, you may sacrifice a red-green creature, a green-white-blue creature, and a blue creature to pay for Angel's Herald's ability. If you sacrifice a multicolored creature this way, specify which part of the cost that creature is satisfying.
3) You may sacrifice the Herald itself to help pay for the cost of its ability.

It is doubtful that I or any other casual Magic Player I know will actually own a deck set of these so the Herald is perfect to fetch out your one and only card. Rather more effecient and economical is having a deck set of the Herald itself.

Let's have a look at the mana cost to get Ms. Empyrial out on the board . . .
You are either going to have to dole out 8 mana for her or try to get a Wal-Mart price for it. The best you can possible do is sacrificing 3 one-drop critters (if you had them out) and then with an additional 3 mana to get the Herald to tap the Empyrial out your bill comes to a reasonable 6 mana. At the worst, you might be sacrificing 2 two-drop critters and the Herald which will work out to the same cost as Empyrial Arcangel herself, but hey, since you have only one in your deck, how is she ever going to get the invitation to the party ?

Green Creatures : Wild Nacatl {G}, Steward of Valeron {G}{W}
White Creatures : Angel's Herald {W}
Blue Creatures : Cathartic Adept {U}, Deft Duelist {W}{U}

Empyrial Archangel, 4{G}{W}{W}{U}
Creature - Angel, Mythic Rare
Flying, shroud
All damage that would be dealt to you is dealt to Empyrial Archangel instead.

If you are able to get Empyrial Arcangel out into play, you will most likely win the game. With her shroud and a very solid 8 toughness, chances are you are not going to succumb to combat damage. You can even swing with her and still be able to have her eat the take-out damage. Hopefully when you do send her out over the trenches alone, you will be able to pick up an exalted ability from somewhere on your field for a sweet 5+ swing.

Happy Thanksgiving y'awl !

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