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It’s no secret that angels are awesome. Take their aesthetic into consideration, for starters. They can look gorgeous, ominous, or adorable – any image you can come up with, an angel can have.

Then there’s the history behind the concept. Angels have been deeply entrenched in various cultures for centuries.

It’s far from a miracle, then, that these winged arbiters of judgment have appeared in fantasy worlds and franchises for decades. Magic: the Gathering jumped on that bandwagon a long time ago, as angels have been appearing on cards since the beginning.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best MTG sets for angels. That way, if you’re looking to add a bunch to your collection, you’ll know where to start.

Angels 101

Serra Angel

Angels have been a staple to the game since it was first created in 1993. Serra Angel is one of the earliest examples of angels in the game, and a good representation of their power level. 

We’ve included a picture of it above for reference. Serra Angel really set the tone for what was to follow in the game. 

It introduced the concept of winged and divine humanoid beings. Just like their portrayal in life, angels in MTG lore are sacred spirits. They’re also generally powerful in the game.

You can expect most angels to be high in mana cost. However, this is counterbalanced with a range of powerful abilities, such as vigilance and flying. 

Generally speaking, their high cost makes it difficult to get a lot of them out on the field. Furthermore, up until Lyra Dawnbringer was introduced, angels as a tribe weren’t really cohesive for decks.

But once you do get some of them out on the battlefield, you can expect your opponents to break a nervous sweat. This tribe is fantastic for putting pressure on other players.

Read Next: Best MTG Sets for Elves

Best MTG Sets for Angels

Iconic Masters

One of the best things about any masters set – and something you’ll see us say a lot – is that they’re usually great for having a higher than average power level. Iconic Masters is no different. It takes some of the best cards from a range of sets and reprints them in one spot.

It doesn’t hurt that it has a decent number of angels (nine of them, to be precise). Another thing it did that benefited the average player was downgrading a few cards from higher tiers of rarity to lower ones. While this might sound like a bad thing, this actually made those cards more easily available to players.


  • Cards were downgraded in rarity, which makes them easier to obtain for casual players.
  • The set has a higher overall power level simply due to being a masters set.
  • Includes both the Praetors and spirit dragons in the same set, which makes it a pretty fun set.
  • Has nine angels to potentially draw.


  • Masters sets like this one tend to be on the expensive side.
  • These kinds of sets also contain fewer booster packs than the average box (24, as opposed to 36).

Most Notable Angel: Avacyn, Angel of Hope


This set brought a surprising amount to the game, especially if you’re a fan of the Commander format. That’s due to the fact that there’s an abundance of legendary creatures (which angels tend to be) in Dominaria. 

We also saw the introduction of sagas, a new type of enchantment, in this set. Unlike other enchantments, which remain on the battlefield until removed, sagas unfold in three stages over the course of three turns. It was an interesting addition to the game that was quite popular at the time.

When discussing Dominaria through the angelic lens, it’s also impossible not to mention Lyra Dawnbringer. She’s an amazing card for angel tribal, as she gives all your other angels +1/+1 and lifelink. We’ve personally used her in an angel tribal deck and think she’s fantastic.


  • Has lots of legendary creatures, which makes it a wonderful set for Commander.
  • Introduced sagas, a new type of enchantment.
  • Includes four angels, one of which was Lyra Dawnbringer, who made angel tribal viable.


  • Its value over time has been inconsistent.
  • May not have as good a replay value as others, because decks built from this set are limited to linear themes.

Most Notable Angel: Lyra Dawnbringer

Shadows over Innistrad

You can imagine Shadows over Innistrad as being something like the child of the ever popular Innistrad set. Just like it says in the name, Shadows over Innistrad makes a grisly return to the horror-themed plane of Innistrad.

The setting gives the set an interesting gothic flair. However, it has more to offer you than just a horror backdrop. For instance, it brought back transform cards in a head nod to the original Innistrad set. 

It also featured triskaidekaphobia, which is an alternative way of making your opponents lose the game. 


  • Has a compelling horror theme.
  • Pays homage to the original Innistrad set.
  • Includes six angels.


  • Due to having a lower power level than some other sets, it hasn’t held value like others have.
  • Some of the cards that were once considered powerful in this set have grown weaker with time as newer and stronger cards have been released.

Most Notable Angel: Archangel Avacyn


Sets like Gatecrash, which feature the dual colored guilds, are almost always a fun time. Gatecrash in particular includes five of the ten two-colored guilds: Boros, Dimir, Gruul, Orzhov, and Simic. 

Naturally, this means it has a lot of support for multi-colored decks. Perhaps even better, you have the possibility of pulling rare and powerful shock lands from any booster pack you open in this set. 


  • Lots of support for multi-colored decks.
  • Has five angels.
  • Includes Enter the Infinite, which lets you draw your entire library at once and pairs well with Omniscience. 
  • Possibility of pulling a valuable shock land from booster packs.


  • It doesn’t include all the guilds, so you’re restricted in which guilds you can choose while drafting.
  • Aside from its shock lands, this set hasn’t held as much value over the years.
  • It can be difficult to ensure you get the colors you need in drafts if you commit to one of the guilds.

Most Notable Angel: Aurelia, the Warleader

Ultimate Masters

If you love drafting and want a set with a great overall power level, Ultimate Masters could be the set for you. It’s comprised from cards scattered across MTG’s history, many of which are powerful.

That alone wouldn’t make it good for drafting. What makes it fun to draft is the fact it was designed specifically for the format.  

Additionally, each box in this set comes with a box topper card. These box toppers are a rare series of forty different foil promotional cards. It’s just a nice extra bonus to complement your box, should you choose to get one.


  • Each box includes a foil promo card.
  • Contains strong cards from across Magic’s history.
  • An overall strong set.
  • Designed to be drafted.
  • Has five angels.


  • Masters sets tend to be costlier than other sets.
  • It was announced that this would be the last masters set, and then less than a year later, another masters set was announced. It gave this set a disingenuous feel.

Most Notable Angel: Sigarda, Host of Herons


Generally, core sets like M20 tend to be basic and a little on the boring side. They’re usually an introduction to the current trends of the game, which is why we tend to recommend them for beginners.

What M20 did that was unique for a core set was touching on multi-colored cards and legendary creatures. These aren’t your typical themes in core sets, which makes it particularly intriguing.

Interestingly, they also brought out Bag of Holding, which is a card that references an object of the same name from Dungeons & Dragons. If you’re a fan of the classic tabletop RPG, it’s a nice little homage.


  • At the time of writing this, M20 is a very recent set, which makes it pretty inexpensive.
  • Dips into multi-colored and legendary cards, which is unusual for a core set.
  • Good introduction to the game for beginners.
  • Includes seven angels.


  • Since its release, it has not held value as well as some other sets.
  • Has temple land cards, which many Magic players are getting tired of.

Most Notable Angel: Sephara, Sky’s Blade


M19 is another core set, which means it’s ideal for those just learning the ropes when it comes to Magic: the Gathering. However, this set also brought us some awesome new cards that have earned well-deserved popularity.

For example, this set included Nicol Bolas, the Ravager, which is a four-cost flippable Bolas card that’s incredibly strong. Although this article is more geared towards a discussion on angels, we couldn’t resist mentioning him.

Other elder dragons featured in this set contributed to its popularity. For that reason, it’s also a great choice if you happen to be a fan of dragons.


  • As a core set, M19 is a great introduction to the game for beginners.
  • In addition to having four angels, this set included a few great elder dragon cards.
  • Can be less expensive than alternative options.


  • Had Nexus of Fate, a card which was popular but difficult to get because it was only included in buy-a-box promos. 
  • Not as many angels as other sets on this list.

Most Notable Angel: Resplendent Angel

Modern Masters 2015 Edition

Some of the most desirable cards in all of Magic: the Gathering’s history saw reprint in Modern Masters 2015. (Just to give you an idea, those reprints include cards such as Mox Opal, Dark Confidant, and the well-known Tamagoyf.)

Because you have the chance of drawing such amazing cards whenever you open a booster pack from this set, Modern Masters 2015 is really fun. Experienced Magic players will definitely feel a rush of adrenaline whenever they open one of these booster packs.

Of course, we wouldn’t have mentioned it if it wasn’t good when it comes to angels. This set boasts the presence of Iona, Shield of Emeria, a card that had to be banned from Commander because it’s so good at shutting down your opponents.


  • Has reprints of a few of the best cards in recent MTG history.
  • Great for sealed or draft games.
  • Overall power level is high. 


  • As a Masters set, you can anticipate a loftier price for it.
  • Only has three angels.

Most Notable Angel: Iona, Shield of Emeria

Avacyn Restored

We’ll assume if you’ve come across this list, then you’re probably a fan of angels. In that case, you’ll love Avacyn Restored, because it has the greatest number of angels in one set on this list (which is thirteen, to be exact). 

Angels aside, it’s a great set in and of itself. It was designed in such a way that it pushed the bounds of Magic: the Gathering with cards like Cavern of Souls, which makes it impossible to counter creature spells. 

Thematically, it’s an attractive option, as well. Like Innistrad and Shadows over Innistrad, it has a dark and gothic tone that makes it beloved by fans.



  • Some felt that this set has a lot of cards that were weak because they were only useful in certain specific situations.
  • Others have said that some cards in this set, such as Temporal Mastery, were too powerful for standard construction.

Most Notable Angel: Gisela, Blade of Goldnight


Honestly, this was just a wonderful core set. M11 had the strong Titan cards for every single color, to begin with. The Titan cards still see play to this day in Commander decks because they’re just that good.

On top of that, this set had the Leyline cards, which are cards you can play for free if you have them in your opening hand. As if that weren’t enough, consider the fact that this set had Birds of Paradise in it, which is a popular card for gaining a little extra mana each turn.

It has angels, too, which is why we thought to include it here. Some of them, such as Archangel of Thune, are great additions to an angel-themed deck.


  • Very strong for a core set.
  • Although it has few angels, the ones it does have are extremely useful.
  • Since it’s a core set, it’s a good introductory point for newbies.


  • Only has four angels.
  • Despite having a number of powerful cards, the set overall may not be as strong as others.

Most Notable Angel: Platinum Angel

Honorable Mentions

Magic: the Gathering has such a broad and detailed history. If we were to stop and mention every notable thing having to do with angels in it, this article could be its own lengthy treatise.

However, we couldn’t end without mentioning one extra thing: the Divine vs Demonic duel decks. Take a look at them below.

Duel Decks: Divine vs Demonic

Duel decks are sets that consist of two opposing sets designed to be played against each other in one match. Because they include two pre-built decks, they make a wonderful choice for anyone who isn’t comfortable building a deck of their own just yet.

As you might have guessed from the name, Divine vs Demonic pits two legendary tribes against each other: demons and angels. This holy and unholy theme made it a coveted set, as it included a few great angels and demons in one convenient location. 

The two decks in this set are very well-matched. Some of the cards even include alternate art on them, such as Demonic Tutor and Akroma, Angel of Wrath.


  • Full of both powerful angels and demons.
  • Some of the cards have rare alternate art on them.
  • Includes two pre-built decks.
  • The decks in it are evenly matched.


  • Really, the only drawback here is that this box set is so hard to find these days.

Most Notable Angel: Akroma, Angel of Wrath

Wrap Up

At the end of the day, angels make up one interesting and lore-rich tribe in Magic: the Gathering. They’ve been around since the very beginning of the game, and they’ve continued to be an overwhelming force to be reckoned with.

If you asked us to suggest one set above the others in terms of angels, we’d point you towards Avacyn Restored. It has the greatest number of angels in it, and even more cards are inspired by angels. With chance of pulling a mythic angel from this set, there’s a possibility of reaching your own heavenly cloud nine here.

Now, what about the best set on this list overall? That’s a tougher choice. 

At Renegade Outplayed, we’re total suckers for history, power level, and financial value. For that reason, we’d pick Ultimate Masters, because it checks all those boxes.

Interested in learning more about other tribes in Magic: the Gathering? Try taking a look at our list of best MTG sets for knights.

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