Last updated on May 23, 2023
Ixhel, Scion of Atraxa | Illustration by Campbell White
MTG has angels as its characteristic white rare creatures. That’s been true since the beginning, with iconic cards like Serra Angel and Archangel. The iconic rare that’s been the face of competitive Magic for a long time has now been downgraded into a Draft uncommon, but much more powerful legendary angels like Avacyn and Aurelia took its place.
Iconic and powerful cards are a natural fit for EDH, and there’s been a ton of legendary angel cards printed in MTG along the way. Today I’m ranking all 50 angel commanders.
Which ones are the best? Let’s find out!
What Are Angel Commanders in MTG?
Giada, Font of Hope | Illustration by Eric Deschamps
Angel commanders are legendary creatures that are also angels, and thus fit to be commanders in EDH. Angels in MTG have themes like protection, bringing creatures back from graveyards, and flying. Most angels are mono-white and have more combat-related abilities like vigilance, lifelink, and first strike.
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Iona, Shield of Emeria is powerful enough that the Commander Rules Committee has opted to ban it, so you can’t have Iona as your commander. Iona doesn’t let players cast spells of the chosen color, and that goes against the “let’s have fun while playing Commander” idea.
Tiana, Angelic Mechanic
Tiana, Angelic Mechanic is a legendary angel from Alchemy: Dominaria, so it’s only playable on MTG Arena. But you can play Tiana as a commander in Brawl! It cares about vehicles, giving perpetually +1/+0 to a vehicle if it’s crewed by Tiana or another legendary creature.
Lulu, Forgetful Hollyphant
As the only legendary angel creature with specialize, Lulu, Forgetful Hollyphant deserves a place here. Note that specialize creatures can be of any color pair, so the Brawl rules say that if you want a specialize creature to be your commander, you must choose two colors. Lulu is a white creature, but it can specialize into , , , and so on. This card is a flying matters commander, so it cares about attacking with fliers and giving flying to other creatures. A good color pair to start with is green because making beefy green flyers is a nice route to victory.
Best White Angel Commanders
#17. Radiant, Archangel
Apart from nostalgia, there aren’t many reasons to include Radiant, Archangel as your commander. The card can be nice in an EDH flier tribal deck with Sephara, Sky's Blade or Errant and Giada as commanders or a deck with many flying tokens.
#16. Reya Dawnbringer
Reya Dawnbringer brings a nice ability to the table, and that’s to resurrect a creature every turn. That said, Reya’s just a 4/6 with no relevant abilities besides flying, it costs 9 mana in mono-white, and you need to reach your next untap step just to get the ability. It would be much better if the ability was something like an ETB trigger.
#15. Akroma, Angel of Wrath
Eight mana in white these days gets you Zetalpa, Primal Dawn or some very strong threat like Wakening Sun's Avatar. Akroma, Angel of Wrath was very powerful when it was released in the 2000’s, and many people still play it out of nostalgia. That said, you’ll probably not play it as a commander.
#14. Radiant, Serra Archangel
Radiant, Serra Archangel decks at least have a plan. You’ll attack with a 6/4 flying, usually with relevant protection, and beat up on a player. Giving it a buff and double strike is almost enough to one-shot opponents. It has the downside of costing 7 mana though, so it would be nice to partner it with a red commander to have easier access to haste and double strike.
#13. Gisela, the Broken Blade
Gisela, the Broken Blade is a fine creature by itself and a good card to have beside Bruna, the Fading Light. It’s a good card for its mana cost and can be a fine commander in angel tribal decks or aggressive decks, but that’s it. I’d rather play this card in a Bruna, the Fading Light deck.
#12. Avacyn, Guardian Angel
Avacyn, Guardian Angel has nice things going for it. Being able to prevent damage to your creatures is good, and it’s even better when your commander has mana sinks built into them. You can mess with combat in a big way, protect creatures from deathtouch or red removal, and even prevent a big chunk of damage dealt to you. Avacyn, Guardian Angel can even help raise your white devotion count to get the most out of cards that need devotion like Heliod, Sun-Crowned.
#11. Linvala, the Preserver
Linvala, the Preserver was designed to be a midrange/control creature that stabilizes the board more than a commander. Depending on if an opponent is ahead on creatures or life, Linvala can give you some of each when it ETBs. In a blink deck, you can get nice value from this version of Linvala, and you can build a deck to take advantage of the tokens or the lifegain. Linvala is a solid creature, but not that nice of a commander to build around.
#10. Zamriel, Seraph of Steel
Zamriel, Seraph of Steel is a legendary angel that gives all your equipped creatures indestructible, including itself. That’s usually nice for a Voltron commander, and you can pair Zamriel with lots of equipment, auras, or both. The white theme of “number of equipment and auras matter” is especially nice with this commander, too.
#9. Regna, the Redeemer
Regna, the Redeemer is a mono-white commander with partner, and it cares about lifegain. Each turn you gain life, you make two 1/1 tokens. It’s limited to once per turn, so the ability isn’t that powerful. You can play it in a deck with its partner, which is a black creature (Krav, the Unredeemed) that gives you more of an aristocrats deck configuration. I’d be more inclined to play Regna, the Redeemer as a creature in a lifegain deck that also wants creatures, like with Soul Warden-type cards.
#8. Lulu, Loyal Hollyphant
Lulu, Loyal Hollyphant is a go-wide commander that can put a +1/+1 counter on each tapped creature you control and untap them. This ability naturally goes well with convoke spells and mana dorks. Since Lulu has the “choose a background” ability, it’s possible to add extra colors and abilities.
#7. Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Linvala, Keeper of Silence works as a nice stax piece coming straight from the command zone. Taking off your opponent creatures’ activated abilities is strong, and it can fit a prison plan well by disabling lots of commanders and game plans. There’s probably a stronger option nowadays in Drana and Linvala, though.
#6. Avacyn, Angel of Hope
Avacyn, Angel of Hope isn’t cheap; the 8-mana investment in a mono-white commander is tough to pull off. But hey, it’s an 8/8 indestructible angel that makes all your other creatures indestructible.
#5. Bruna, the Fading Light
Want to do a cool thing in Commander? Bruna, the Fading Light is on this list because you can meld it into Gisela, the Broken Blade and form Brisela, the Broken Nightmare. Plus, it’s a neat reanimate spell for humans and angels, and this reanimate effect can return real threats like Avacyn, Angel of Hope and Angel of Serenity.
#4. Sephara, Sky’s Blade
Sephara, Sky's Blade is more of a flying matters commander. The 7/7 body is massive and can be cast simply by paying and tapping another four fliers (plus commander tax, if any). It makes your other fliers indestructible and is a massive payoff for having other fliers.
#3. Lyra Dawnbringer
Combining two popular themes of lifelink matters and angel tribal, Lyra Dawnbringer. Lyra is a powerful angel lord, giving lifelink to all your angels is huge, and you can use that together with your other good angels that care about lifegain like Archangel of Thune, Resplendent Angel, and Righteous Valkyrie.
#2. Akroma, Vision of Ixidor
Akroma, Vision of Ixidor is one of those cards like Odric, Lunarch Marshal that benefits you for having multiple keywords on creature cards, which occurs naturally on a bunch of white cards (Baneslayer Angel, Zetalpa, Primal Dawn). White alone only gets you so far, so MTG designers gave this card partner to open new possibilities with different color combinations. One interesting combination is with Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh since it alone adds menace and trample to the mix of abilities. Building this commander is a creative test of how many different and crazy new abilities I can add to a certain creature.
#1. Giada, Font of Hope
Giada, Font of Hope is one of the easiest ways to build angel tribal decks in EDH. It ramps your angels and spreads +1/+1 counters around, and most angels are white anyway. If Giada dies, it’s cheap to recast. Also, it’s got vigilance and flying, so you’ll start attacking people as early as turn 3.
Best Red Angel Commander
#1. Akroma, Angel of Fury
Akroma, Angel of Fury is the only red angel of the list, and it costs a whopping 8 mana like the white Akroma. But at least it’s got the morph ability to reduce its cost! A good way to use red Akroma effectively is to take advantage of its power-enhancing ability and go crazy with double strike effects, effects that double damage dealt, or even more combat steps.
Best Multicolored Angel Commanders
#32. Angelic Harold
I’m ranking Angelic Harold here because it’s an Unfinity card that cares about stickers, and many people don’t like to play with these silver-bordered cards. The Harold isn’t that powerful as a commander either, being at best a generic lord that gives +1/+1 to all creatures.
#31. Gabriel Angelfire
Ah, old Legend cards. Gabriel Angelfire is a 4/4 that can get a different ability every turn, including rampage 3. Yep, it’s legendary, and it can be your commander, but you’re probably not including it. For the same mana cost you can get something like Ghalta and Mavren.
#30. Selenia, Dark Angel
Selenia, Dark Angel is almost unkillable in the sense that if you’d lose it, you pay two mana to get it back to your hand and avoid commander tax. That said, Selenia doesn’t do that much by itself, being a 3/3 flier for five mana. I can see this card being played in low-powered Cubes or Limited environments.
#29. Razia, Boros Archangel
For 8 mana, you get a 6/3 creature with flying, vigilance, and haste. It isn’t the worst, but it’s bad by today’s standards. Razia, Boros Archangel is an old card, but people sometimes play it because they like the original Ravnica character.
#28. Basandra, Battle Seraph
Basandra, Battle Seraph isn’t a very good commander, but at least it has a cool ability. Forcing creatures to attack is fun. Like the goad ability, with the exception that they can also attack you. I can get behind a commander that defends and forces people to attack and probably lose their creatures here and there. But yeah, I’m probably putting Basandra in a Boros or Mardu deck or a dedicated goad deck.
#27. Jenara, Asura of War
Jenara, Asura of War is a fine creature, being a 3/3 flier for three mana that can pump itself. It’s got synergies with +1/+1 counters, and you can dump excess mana into it. At best, Jenara is a good beater, and you can orient your deck to have bonuses like exalted, double strike, and unblockable to get the best out of it.
#26. Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice works well with gold/hybrid red and white creature cards since they get both bonuses from it. You can build this Aurelia as a go-wide commander, but I feel that it’s usually a better inclusion in the 99 of a given deck, like Boros angel commanders like Gisela, Blade of Goldnight and Aurelia, the Warleader.
#25. Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate
Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate is one of the few party commanders. The party mechanic incentivizes you to have rogues, wizards, clerics, and warriors, and Linvala itself is a cleric. Cards like Spoils of Adventure or Squad Commander are good party incentives, but they’re few and far between. One nice thing to do with this commander is to try and go bird tribal, flying tribal, or something like this with enough flying rogues, bird warriors, or shapeshifters to get the party bonus incidentally.
#24. Firja, Judge of Valor
Firja, Judge of Valor is a very flexible commander that provides card selection and card advantage while also putting cards in graveyards. That makes it a nice leader in combo-related decks and reanimator decks. Also, it gains life and is a fine body, so a bit of flying tribal or angel tribal doesn’t hurt.
#22. Sigarda, Heron’s Grace
Sigarda, Heron's Grace gives you and humans you control hexproof, and that can be exploited in human tribal decks. It’s hard to remove your human lords and better threats, and you can also abuse good auras in . The second ability relates directly to good humans like Champion of the Parish and Thalia's Lieutenant since you can create human tokens at instant speed.
#22. Sigarda, Champion of Light
Sigarda, Champion of Light is a nice-sized angel that’s also a human lord. What’s more, if it attacks with active coven, you can add more humans to your hand.
#21. Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker
Tiana, Ship's Caretaker helps you to efficiently play auras and equipment because its abilities allow you to return them back to your hand from the graveyard. Good cards to play with it are auras that cantrip and equipment matter cards. It’s usually overshadowed as a commander by the popularity of Feather, the Redeemed since they play similar roles.
#20. Anya, Merciless Angel
With Anya, Merciless Angel, you’ll want any opponent to have 20 or less life. Just having Anya as a 7/7 indestructible is good, and from there you’ll have a nice threat. Anya’s base rate is okay but not great, so you’ll want an aggressive deck that beats on someone quickly to extract the most value.
#19. Bruna, Light of Alabaster
Bruna, Light of Alabaster brings aura synergies to the table, with the holy grail probably being Eldrazi Conscription, the Colossus Hammer of auras. The nice thing about Bruna is that it mitigates the risk of playing auras and getting your enchanted creatures removed, aside from something very specific like Farewell. It’s not wise to attack into Bruna because its ability also triggers on blocks.
#18. Tariel, Reckoner of Souls
Tariel offers you a free reanimation spell each turn. The best scenario is when your opponent only has a good creature in their deck, so you need a mix of milling them and exiling what’s bad. The best part is that you don’t even need lots of win conditions, so if you like to foil your opponent’s plans and use their pieces against them, you might want to look at Tariel, Reckoner of Souls.
#17. Shalai, Voice of Plenty
Shalai, Voice of Plenty is insurance for your whole team, which can be all angels in a heavy angel tribal deck. Never mind the activated ability; the real deal here is the hexproof granted by Shalai to everyone else. Suddenly, that Baneslayer Angel wearing an aura or equipment has become much more menacing because your opponents have to spend a removal spell on your commander first.
#16. Sigarda, Host of Herons
Let’s talk about Sigarda, Host of Herons, an enchantment/Voltron commander. What do you do when your commander has flying and hexproof? Slap on a bunch of auras like Armadillo Cloak or powerful equipment and hit your opponents until they’re dead. You can go the enchantress route and draw some cards while putting auras on Sigarda too.
#15. Archangel Avacyn / Avacyn, the Purifier
Archangel Avacyn is a protection spell on ETB, and that works very nicely with blink effects. Avacyn can help protect your host of creatures from certain doom with just a Cloudshift (or Restoration Angel). Another great application of this commander is to sacrifice some creature, turn it into Avacyn the Purifier, and apply a little 3-damage wrath that hopefully won’t kill anyone on your side while beating down with a 6/5.
#14. Rodolf Duskbringer
Rodolf Duskbringer is a big Vampire Nighthawk that wants to gain life and reanimate creatures. The more life gained, the merrier, so you’re looking for an Orzhov deck centered around lifegain, self-mill, and reanimate. Just giving Rodolf first strike or double strike is strong because it’s going to be indestructible before receiving combat damage. If it gains 8 life all by itself with double strike, the reanimator aspect gets really powerful.
#13. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is a fun combat-oriented commander. You’ll double your sources of damage while halving your opponents’. It’s a one-hit combo with Heartless Hidetsugu, like all decks that double damage. It’s also very mean with extra-combat steps, which angels like Aurelia, the Warleader provide.
#12. Feather, the Redeemed
If you’re looking to win via commander damage, Feather the Redeemed is one of the better options. It’s also one of the most popular Boros commanders. Feather is a mix of Voltron commander and spellslinger commander, and that’s because of its unique ability. It’s an accessible deck to build because the bulk of the deck can be combat tricks, which are mostly Limited commons and uncommons.
#11. Aurelia, the Warleader
Aurelia, the Warleader’s specialty is war, so to say. The leader of the Boros Legion grants you an extra attack step each turn. Forget the angel theme; just do something very Boros-like that rewards you for dealing tons of damage, because hey, you can do it again and again. Aurelia works well with cards that increase the amount of damage you deal, like the new City on Fire or Furnace of Rath since you’re the one with extra attacks.
#10. Liesa, Forgotten Archangel
Liesa, Forgotten Archangel is a Baneslayer Angel type card that favors themes like aristocrats and graveyard recursion. Creatures that have ETB and death triggers are super good with Liesa. Each time you cast a card like Plaguecrafter or Fleshbag Marauder, it returns to your hand so that you can play it again next turn (provided that your commander is still alive, of course). You can sacrifice Selfless Spirit over and over to give indestructible to your creatures, and so on.
#9. Liesa, Shroud of Dusk
Liesa, Shroud of Dusk has a few things going its way. The first is that likeSheoldred, the Apocalypse, it’s a threat just by staying there. A 5/5 flying lifelink is huge and gains you a bunch of life. If your commander dies, you can pay life instead of Commander tax, so recasting it isn’t a big deal. It’ll slow combo players with infinite interactions because they usually won’t have infinite life to pay for the spells, making Liesa a nice commander to have in a more defensive/tax playstyle.
#8. Kasla, the Broken Halo
The first and only Jeskai legendary angel is a convoke matters angel. Kasla, the Broken Halo has convoke and makes all the convoke spells better by adding the scry 2 + draw a card effect. Convoke works better the more creatures you have, so you’ll want a token production subtheme since it’ll ramp your commander and power your convoke spells even further.
#7. Rienne, Angel of Rebirth
Rienne, Angel of Rebirth brings something new to the mix, and that’s multicolor matters. There are already some cards that care about multicolor creatures like General Ferrous Rokiric and Hero of Precinct One. Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard is a nice interaction with Rienne because you’ll sacrifice Hajar and get it back.
#6. Atraxa, Grand Unifier
Atraxa, Grand Unifier is a giant body with stats and strong abilities that draw you a bunch of cards when it ETBs. That’s it. The real beauty comes when you consider the right mix of different cards you want in an Atraxa deck (planeswalkers, instants, sorceries, battles, and more) to ensure that your Atraxa is drawing at least three to four cards consistently. You’ll want a blink shell to get the most value from your commander’s ETB effect and mix it with other blink staples like Mulldrifter and Soulherder. The big likelink body is a stabilizer and win condition, so you have all the foundations of a nice value-based control Commander deck.
#5. Errant and Giada
Three mana is a low investment for a commander, and the ability to cast spells from the top of your library is a huge one, giving you lots of card advantage. A deck with Errant and Giada as a commander requires lots of spells with flash or flying, but that’s not that hard to do in Azorius colors. If you play angels or flying tribal in EDH, this commander can give you a constant stream of creatures.
#4. Shalai and Hallar
Shalai and Hallar gives another dimension to a +1/+1 counter deck, and that’s converting to direct damage. With the sheer number of infinite combos involving creatures and mechanics like persist, it’s not hard to combo people off and win. But I’m thinking about the fun aspect. I’ve always loved the interaction between proliferate triggers, Cathars' Crusade, and cards that make lots of creature tokens, with something like Hardened Scales in the mix.
#3. Ixhel, Scion of Atraxa
Ixhel, Scion of Atraxa is the first Abzan angel commander, and the only one so far related to poison counters. Ixhel is in the best toxic colors and has the corrupted mechanic, so a deck with Ixhel is very interested in playing effects like Ichor Rats or Phyresis Outbreak and proliferate. It’s a more controlling commander in the sense that once one or more opponents are corrupted, you’ll get a steady flow of card advantage.
#2. Drana and Linvala
Drana and Linvala took a nice mono-white commander, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, and added black. Not only do you have more options in deck building, but Drana and Linvala also has the activated abilities of creatures they control. This commander seems to be a competent leader of a stax deck like Linvala. With access to black, you can play more of a bleeder deck with lifegain synergies.
#1. Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice
Atraxa, Praetors' Voice has been at the top of the charts for Commander popularity for some time. The combination of excellent colors for the Commander format, a body with so many good abilities, and the free proliferate effect is tough to beat. You can build an Atraxa deck in so many ways, from proliferating planeswalkers to poison counters.
Best Angel Commander Payoffs
Like dragons and demons, good angel cards are present in almost any MTG set. It’s not hard to put the new rare or mythic rare angel into your angel tribal deck, and the last few sets have given us Sanctuary Warden, Serra Paragon, and Archangel of Wrath, just to name a few.
Lifelink is a huge theme in angel commander decks. Most angels have lifelink, and there are nice payoffs for gaining life, whether incrementally or in huge chunks. In white you have cards like Angelic Accord, and in black there are cards like Sanguine Bond.
Reanimation and recursion are also common themes. You’ll either use your angels to save small creatures or to reanimate a larger one. You can also make chains, like casting Bruna, the Fading Light to bring back Sun Titan, which in turn gets a smaller creature.
Changelings are also angels and a way to reduce the mana curve of the deck, considering that many angels cost 4+ mana. Although there aren’t many options in mono-white, there are artifacts like Metallic Mimic and Adaptive Automaton which will get the job done.
Equipment makes a lot of sense for big flying creatures with lots of good abilities. Sunforger is a big fit since it’s in Boros colors and slots into Aurelia, the Warleader or Gisela, Blade of Goldnight decks, among others.
Shalai, Voice of Plenty | Illustration by Victor Adame Minguez
Angels are very well represented in MTG at the legendary scale and make for very interesting commanders or Commander cards. You’ve got a lot of options across all colors if you want to play angel decks. There are Voltron synergies, tokens, lifegain, and more. Angels are popular and resonant so WotC will always print them, meaning angel tribal will always look better than it did the year before.
Which angels interested you the most? Any pet Commander deck of yours? Let me know in the comments below, or join the discussion over in Draftsim’s Discord.
Stay safe folks, and may your journeys be guarded by mighty angels!
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