Creature Class critique #2: Angels.
Being the good citizen I am, I want to make an Angel deck. Too bad Angel decks bite the big one.
Without an expansion feeding them, Demons and Devils can take over the game almost as badly as Undead can. Angels, by contrast, are left in the dust.
There are only nine angels: Angel, Trumpeter, Cherub, Archangel Magnus, Archangel Odessa, Holy Avenger, Angel of Death, Guardian Angel and Angel of Righteousness. Plus there's the Cleric (who is a Wizard) and Paladin (who is a Knight).
If they worked together, nine would be enough, but their limits are crippling.
My first complaint is about the creature Angel: it can't accept channeling without a Power Lunch, yet lowly Clerics can. This, in my opinion, is one of the greatest mistakes of the game and the thing that cripples Angels as a class the most.
My second complaint is about their bonuses:
Archangel Magnus gets +9 against Demons and Devils. Astounding. Until you realize that a little Cherub gets +6, which *triples* its Vitality. On top of that, the biggest angel of the bunch can't beat either Bealzebub or Old Nick if all the creatures channel. (Magnus takes Nick, however, if no channeling is allowed.)
Archangel Odessa : On the plus side, I love the artwork. But her ability? She channels to Clerics and Angels. "Cleric" is a particular creature. "Angel" is both a creature and a creature class. We can assume that the text applies to the class because the creature "Angel" cannot accept channeling. But to compound this problem, she cannot channel to *all* Angels, only to the ones that normally receive channeling. And on top of that, the channel receivers are all Uncommon or Rare! Ugh!
And that doesn't even address the issue of channeling to the Paladin, who is a holy fighter. (At least he can receive power from a Valkyrie Spirit, though that seems almost "pagan". No offense to anyone, best word I could find.)
Final complaint: off-color bonuses
True, there are a lot of Demons and Devils, so there's a good chance you can get a healthy bonus if you fight a deck built with them. Unfortunately, the Angels don't have anything else going for them. Most have OCB of 0 or 1, so they can't even fight back against Undead very well. If the game is ever re-released, I wouldn't mind seeing their OCB bumped up a couple of points to give them an added usefulness.
Okay. Complaining is easy, let's get to the good stuff.
All angels fly, which is a good thing, except that only three of three would survive an Ice Storm, so watch out. Most have Vitality bonueses, but only against Demons & Devils. The Angel of Righteousness have a bonus based on bribery icons and most D&D have at least one plus, it works nicely on other creatures.
The Trumpeter is cool. For a 2-pt. command card, you can find out if your opponent is about to spring a Lawyer on you. And against a D&D deck, you might force your opponent to reveal his entire hand.
The Guardian Angel is a reusable, but expensive, Holy Grail. Ironically, the best card to team with this one is Sacrificial Altar. Get rid of the dead wood so that you can keep the good ones alive.
And one other way to get stones is to call on that Angel of Death. He'll give you stones, but not many. After all, he's taking up nearly half the shield as it is, but you should be able to win at least one more battle.
So what's a good primary class?
Naturally, Knights come to mind. Why? Because of the Holy Avenger/Paladin connection. Because of the Cleric heals Mortals connection. Because of the Knight/St. Ballentine's Evocation connection (okay, that one has nothing to do with Angels, but it sounds "holy", doesn't it?). Knight provide a nice OCB against Elementals, so they're effective D&D killers themselves. There is also one flying Knight.
Pirates have a couple of good elemental bashers, and provide some ranged attacks, which Angels lack. But they are highly bribable. Still, it's interesting psychologically to see the two teamed in a Guardians version of St. Elmo's Fire.
Sermon on the Mount?
Nice name, but will it work? Two good primary classes with some bonuses in Mountains are Giants and Ogres. There are more Giants than Ogres and their range of Vitality is greater, but is heavier, naturally, on the higher end. Most Angels are lower Vitality, so they could round out a Shield. Angels could compliment Ogres so the same reason.
I won't get into too much detail on Giants and Ogres because they each merit a "Critter critique" of their own (as it is, I chopped out a few paragraphs from *this* post because they were getting off track.
Summary: Angels are good (naturally), but they're not good enough. They make a nice supporting class, but couldn't survive as the main thrust of the deck. They're nice to have for defeating nuisance cards like the Lawyer, but they're too narrowly defined for general use.
C. J. Burke, Keeper of the Flame
Avenging Angel: Same as "Angel" card, all stats and artwork, except that it accepts channeling.