Originally from the days of Alara Reborn, Filigree Angel has found herself useful enough in Commander that she’s been reprinted in Magic the Gathering Commander decks on two separate occasions. When Filigree Angel enters the battlefield, you gain 3 life for each artifact you control, including itself. A 4/4 flyer that gains you at the very least 3 life for 8 mana doesn’t sound incredibly cost-effective.
But, in Commander, 5WWU is a much less restrictive casting cost. It’s especially worth casting by turn 8, as well, since the life-gain that one would get from Filigree’s effect by that point will be substantial. With artifact cards like Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, Swiftfoot Boots, Lightning Greaves, and Fellwar Stone a part of many Commander decks, you’re talking about double-digit life gains whenever this Angel card hits the board.
Also, while a 4/4 flyer doesn’t seem impressive on the surface, it’s important to point out that her enter the battlefield ability is the primary reason you would play Filigree Angel. There are so many ways to recur artifacts, such as Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge and Trash for Treasure, that Filigree Angel gives you a consistent way to gain enough life to stay in the game.
While Filigree Angel is far from a staple in any particular deck, she does appear enough in the format to be reprinted in one each of the Commander 2013 and Commander 2016 decks. For years, the popular Breya, Etherium Shaper played Filigree Angel more often than not. Unfortunately, as more powerful artifacts have been printed in years since, Filigree Angel’s usage has fallen off dramatically. In 2022, only Sharuum the Hegemon, long a fan of the artifact Angel, includes her in more than 25 percent of decks listed on EDHREC.
While hardly one of the best artifact creatures around, Filigree Angel has her uses, especially in an artifact deck that can benefit from the lifegain. Quite a few Commander decks out there revolve around artifacts, so what better way to keep yourself in the game than double-digit life gain? The problem is that despite being a useful card, her lifegain alone isn’t going to win you games. Still, if you play any artifact-centric Commander deck in White & Blue, and you’re on a budget, Filigree Angel is far from the worst you could slot into your deck.