Restoration Angel – Set
Date Reviewed: June 30, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.88
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Restoration Angel’s pedigree is certainly impressive, and she was a dominant part of the Standard during her run through the format. This partially may be because of Thragtusk being in there at the same time, and the two played perfectly together, but I digress.
Blink effects always have room to be subtly powerful, especially instant-speed ones that can be used as a reactive tool. Restoration Angel meant you could blink anything a kill spell was being aimed at to fizzle it out or to preserve a valuable creature through a combat step that wasn’t exactly going to plan. She was no slouch, either, thanks to a 3/4 body with flying. The “non-Angel” rider is not irrelevant, though the main use was to prevent a Restoration Angel loop and all the abuse avenues it might open up.
She’s a strong defensive tool with offensive utility, and bringing a nice body along for the ride meant Restoration Angel had plenty of room to spread her wings. She’s never had anywhere near the same influence in deeper formats, but she’ll make brief cameos here and there, including alongside Kiki-Jiki, as her combination of attributes are just enough to offer a unique role other creatures can’t readily fill.
Constructed: 4 (dominant in Standard a decade ago, but still playable enough in today’s Modern with the right shell)
Limited: 4.5 (even if she’s just a 3/4 with flying, that wins games, and one timely blink can swing a game wide open)
Commander [EDH]: 3.75 (not great in pure Angel tribal decks, but makes up for it by being pretty flexible for decks in other archetypes)
Back when Avacyn Restored first came out, Johannes Voss was still new to Magic art, and we had just an inkling of how popular he would become. Of course, that’s only part of the reason why Restoration Angel was such a big deal (though it is an important part for me!). Flickering effects are a staple in white, and they go with everything, particularly a certain 5/3 Beast that was in a core set near the Innistrad block; they also protect creatures, give you surprise blockers and pseudo-vigilance, and more besides. Flickering effects on creatures with flash are even better, but you don’t often see ones that can win the game on their own even without any help. She was insane with Thragtusk and in Avacyn Restored Standard in general, and is insane now in Commander; but she’d be good almost anywhere, in the right deck. I mean, you occasionally see her in Modern and Australian Highlander, and those are two of the hardest formats for cards to break into.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
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