Angels have long been a popular tribe in Magic the Gathering. With the release of early spoilers for the Kaldheim set, plenty of new Angels were revealed, along with plenty of support cards for the tribe. One of these Angel support cards is an Enchantment called Rampage of the Valkyries.
This Enchantment costs 5 mana (3 generic, 1 White, and 1 Black) to cast. When it comes into play, you create a 4/4 flying Angel creature token with vigilance. The second effect is where this card becomes powerful. Each time an Angel you control dies, each opponent sacrifices a creature.
Two Angels released in the Kaldheim set made this Rampage of the Valkyries card even more interesting. The first is a two-drop called Youthful Valkyrie, a 1 / 3 flyer that gets a +1/+1 counter whenever another Angel enters the battlefield under your control. The second is a 3-drop called Starnheim Aspirant, which makes Angel spells you cast cost two less colorless mana.
With the Black Angel Cleaving Reaper already looking like a playable Angel, alongside others available in Standard, there was plenty of food for Rampage of the Valkyries to force opponents to sacrifice creatures.
How Good was Rampage of the Valkyries in Standard?
With Angel Tribal appearing to be a possible competitive deck in Kaldheim Standard, Rampage of the Valkyries seemed like a must play. After all, Enchantments which can stack triggers with multiple copies in play tend to fare well, while those which have a static ability that can’t stack don’t. With Rampage, not only do you get the 4/4 Angel, but anytime an Angel dies it forces an additional sacrifice for your opponents.
It seemed that Yorion, Sky Nomad would have a ball with this Enchantment, as we already saw how powerful that Ikoria Companion was becoming. Being able to “blink” Rampage to get another Angel token is sweet value. The fact that the Angels don’t tap when they attack makes them even better.
Could we see a new version of Esper Control deck emerge with Angels at the core around already powerful Enchantments like Doom Foretold and the aforementioned Yorion? Actually, there were builds of the Esper Doom Foretold deck that did play a single copy of Rampage of the Valkyries. The only Angels in the deck were those created by itself, the Saga Firja’s Retribution, and those from Starheim Unleashed. But thanks to Yorion’s presence, it was almost worth playing just for itself.
But, Doom Foretold decks would eventually end up cutting the Angel Tribal cards. Fortunately, Orzhov (White/Black) Aggro did become a deck that would make some noise for a couple of years. These decks would play a fair number of Angels, including Baneslayer Angel, Legion Angel, and Youthful Valkyrie. These Angel-heavy Orzhov Aggro decks could play as many as three copies of Rampage of the Valkyries.
After disappearing from top tournament tables in late 2021, a new version of Orzhov Aggro, appropriately called Orzhov Angels, emerged thanks to the printing of Giada, Font of Hope in the Streets of New Capenna set. Most Orzhov Angels decks played a single copy of Rampage of the Valkyries, but some builds ran three copies of Rampage alongside three Firja’s Retribution. Various Angels decks running at least one copy of Rampage of the Valkyries saw Standard play until Kaldheim left the format in September 2022.
How Good is Rampage of the Valkyries in Commander?
With its rotation from Standard, Rampage of the Valkyries became ticketed for Commander-only status. Still, as a powerful Enchantment in a popular tribe, it appeared primed to become a staple in those Angel Tribal decks that could play it. Somewhat predictably, many Angel Commander decks did make room for this Enchantment, including Firja, Judge of Valor and Tariel, Reckoner of Souls, among others.
But, Rampage’s best applications may not even be in Angel Tribal decks, since the options for Angels in Black are limited. The best deck for Rampage of the Valkyries is actually a deck that features Changelings, who are every creature type at once. It’s notable that the Kaldheim set itself featured many Shapeshifter creatures, who are also Changelings, so it seems this interaction was entirely intentional.
With Changelings in play, Rampage of the Valkyries makes basically any of your Changeling creatures dying force opponents to sacrifice. This can be an absolute game-changer in a multiplayer game. Strangely enough, “Tribal Tribal” Commander decks as they’ve come to be called have often overlooked this Enchantment, and they probably should give this Rampage of the Valkyries card a second look.
Of all the early Kaldheim spoilers, it seemed like Rampage of the Valkyries got a massive amount of attention. My experience is that generally Angels get a ton of attention during spoiler season; this time, they would indeed have a huge impact as a Tribe in competitive play as they never had before. Individual Angels have made big waves before, but gaining threats even at low points on the mana curve finally made Angels a competitive top-tier deck in Standard!
Sadly, Rampage of the Valkyries has found itself becoming underused even in Angel Tribal decks. Hopefully some future Angel Legendary Creature brings this strong Enchantment with a competitive pedigree back into the spotlight sooner or later.
How would you play Rampage of the Valkyries?
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