We’re on day 7 of the War of the Spark spoilers and there is a definite theme today of aerial combat be it a big flying angel like Feather, the Redeemed or a card that simply shows angels blowing stuff up (as is the case with Demolish). Let’s start off with some instants and sorceries:

DemolishForced LandingSteady AimSolar BlazeRally of Wings

All three of the instant cards have a 2 mana cost and are pretty good:

  • Forced Landing looks like a poor man’s Plummet bearing in mind it is the same rarity and mana cost but only puts the card at the bottom of the library rather than destroying it. However this could definitely be useful against Golgari decks where they can use undergrowth to improve cards based on the number of creatures in their graveyard or they could just bring it back; in certain situations, having the card go to the bottom of the opponent’s library is actually preferable over outright destruction.

  • Steady Aim is a cheap combat trick that lets you untap, get a +1/+4, and get reach until end of turn. That is obviously useful when it comes to blocking on your opponent’s turn as you can easily pick off a flier and probably keep your guy alive at the same time. Even a Llanowar Elves could survive killing a flying Steeple Creeper with this instant. That “+1/+4” is also a really weird combination with this being only the second card in Magic history to use it1.

  • Rally of Wings is another untap instant but this time it untaps all creatures; your creatures with flying get a +2/+2 until end of turn. I always term cards like this pseudovigilance as they allow you to attack with everything on your turn but then untap everything for blocking (preferably at the point your opponent declares attackers). There are only two cards that can do this at the moment2 so this could well be an unexpected trick during your first drafts. That your fliers also get a +2/+2 until end of turn makes this very good in my opinion, especially if your deck is mainly comprised of fliers.

The two sorceries both have a 4 mana cost and are interesting if not the most playable:

  • Demolish is a simple destroy artifact or land and is a reprint from the Ixalan set. There are several ways to destroy artifacts in the current meta, nearly all of them cheaper than this, so that is useful only as a way of giving added choice to this card3. Destroying lands is far rarer but there are other cards with the same mana cost that confer an extra benefit such as Rubble Reading letting you scry 2 or Seismic Shift allowing two of your creatures to be unblockable until end of turn.

  • Solar Blaze is effectively Justice Strike on steroids targeting every creature – including yours! – rather than just a single creature. If you’re running a deck where most of your creatures have greater toughness than power then this could work for you but that seems unlikely in these colours4.

Eternal SkylordSunblade AngelFeather, the Redeemed

I’ve said numerous times already that zombie tokens are shaping up to be pretty nasty as there are several cards giving them buffs. Today we got to see another one with Eternal Skylord providing flying to all zombie tokens. This obviously includes any armies you amass which is handy as it does an amass 2 on entry into the battlefield. 5 CMC for a 2/2 flier and a 3/3 wizard seems pretty good to me especially if it is making other zombie tokens you may have fly as well.

Sunblade Angel, on the other hand, appears to have been covered in glue whilst the design team threw keywords at it; flying, first strike, vigilance, lifelink. This is a very expensive card but that combination of keywords is particularly nasty, especially if you manage to buff up the 3/3 stats with something like Lyra Dawnbringer. It may not be particularly playable in standard but it is a decent enough bomb in limited.

One of the biggest reveals of the day was for Feather, the Redeemed, a 3/4 legendary flying angel that allows you to return any instants or sorceries that you cast on your creatures back to your hand at the start of your endstep. That is a fairly crazy ability that hasn’t been seen before and gives you effective card advantage when using combat tricks. For example, I could slot this into a RedWhite dinosaur deck and keep bringing back Rile; I could play that every turn to trigger enrage on something like Needletooth Raptor and draw an extra card. That is going to be a lot of fun to work on! Bearing in mind it was revealed by the guys at The Command Zone and that there are a lot of complaints about Boros cards in Commander, it feels a safe bet that this has been designed for Commander rather than Standard play.

The final two cards I want to look at today are a rare vehicle and a mythic rare creature:

Parhelion IIRoalesk, Apex Hybrid

The Parhelion II is a very expensive vehicle but it comes with flying, first strike, and vigilance and it gives you two 4/4 angel tokens with flying and vigilance that are attacking every time it attacks. It is a 5/5 vehicle that only costs 4 to crew so you can very likely cast this, crew it, and swing in for 13 flying damage. That is very likely game ending, especially if it survives for another attack giving you another two angels. I’m not a big vehicle fan and this is very expensive but I could definitely see myself using this in the right deck or in the limited environment.

Roalesk, Apex Hybrid is a 4/5 legendary creature with flample5 that puts two +1/+1 counters on another creature when it enters the battlefield; when it dies, you get to proliferate twice. Proliferate is a huge deal in Simic decks so giving you a creature that can do it twice is nuts, especially on a mid-game card like this where it is likely to grow a lot of creatures and planeswalkers. Beyond the double proliferate, a 4/5 flying trampling creature that gives something else a +2/+2 is exceptionally good for a 5 mana investment. I get the feeling this could be one of the most expensive cards in the set once it is released; I’ll definitely be hoping to find a few for my Simic decks.

That’s all the cards I’m going to cover today but if you really wanted me to talk about Shriekdiver, Turret Ogre, Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor, Kasmina’s Transmutation, or the destructive artwork on the new land cards, just let me know in the comments or join my Discord community. I’ll be back tomorrow with all the latest spoilers!

  1. The first is Gavony Ironwright from 2012’s Dark Ascension. ↩︎

  2. Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage and Join Shields, both of which cost a hell of a lot more than Rally of Wings↩︎

  3. This is especially useful in best-of-one games such as on MTG Arena as you don’t need to sideboard in a basic destroy artifact spell; you can have this as you can use it if you need it but use the second half if not. ↩︎

  4. There are currently 76 creatures in red, white, or colourless that would survive Solar Blaze whilst there are 233 creatures that wouldn’t. ↩︎

  5. Flying and Trample. I prefer Flample. ↩︎