t the latest StarCityGames Invitational, Pro Tour heartthrob Reid Duke rode a pair of Archangel of Thunes to 10th place. On the same weekend, Farand Lee was piloting a similar-looking Naya deck in the Magic Online Championship. Both players recognized the power of the Archangel, especially in a format where RW Burn is starting to make a name for itself.
The Archangel of Thune pairs well with green cards, particularly Scavenging Ooze and Courser of Kruphix. The incidental lifegain is also great with Underworld Connections, allowing Duke's deck to have more lifegain than Mono-Black Devotion and its Gray Merchant of Asphodels. Lifegain is also an important aspect for lessening the impact your Ravnica shocklands would have on your life total.
Other than that, Duke's deck is a perfectly reasonable midrange deck—some removal, some big creatures to finish your opponent, and some Planeswalkers for going over the top of people who are trying to do similar things. It's not groundbreaking deck building, but Duke is exploiting various synergies while playing some of the most powerful cards in the format, a formula he's used to great success in the past.
Gerry Thompson is a former professional Magic player and strategy writer, whose career highlights includes a Top 8 at Pro Tour Gatecrash and two Grand Prix wins in Denver and Nashville. He's currently a development intern for Wizards of the Coast.