Righteous Valkyrie is an Angel Cleric creature from Magic the Gathering’s Kaldheim set. Playing into both Angel and Cleric strategies, the Valkyrie can allow some decks to easily overpower others, even opposing aggressive strategies. As a big fan of Cleric Tribal decks, it was clear to me that Righteous Valkyrie is a tricky creature that opponents need to deal with quickly before it gets out of hand.
Being a 2/4 flyer for 3 mana already makes this a strong creature, as much damage based removal deals only 2 or 3 damage. Then, whenever another Angel or Cleric creature enters the battlefield under your control, you gain life equal to that creature’s toughness. If lifegain strategies weren’t already pushed to the maximum in Magic’s 2021 Core Set, they certainly are now! Best of all, that’s not all there is to this Valkyrie. Once your life total is 7 higher than your starting life total (in most cases this number will be 27), creatures you control gain +2/+2.
Notably, this +2/+2 boost does not say “other creatures,” meaning that Righteous Valkyrie is a 4/6 as soon as you reach 27 life in most Constructed formats. That’s not all that hard to do in a Cleric deck and there are Angels that will easily get you to such a life total. Angel of Destiny will be a best friend to Righteous Valkyrie, a double-striking Angel who can knock players out of the game just by dealing combat damage to a player once your life total is 15 higher than your starting total. Angel of Destiny has 6 toughness to begin with, so she and the Righteous Valkyrie will work well together.
While lifegain strategies, such as Soul Sisters, have been potentially competitive in the past, Angel of Destiny decks needed a lot of things to go right in order to win. Righteous Valkyrie appears to be that missing piece. It doesn’t hurt that you can play multiple copies of the Valkyrie, doubling the lifegain effect and potentially that Anthem effect. It also helps that if you’re not going the Cleric route, the Valkyrie gives Angels staying power by keeping the Angel Tribal player’s life total high.
As someone who’s fallen in love with Orah, Skyclave Hierophant in Brawl and Commander, Righteous Valkyrie is going to be a huge part of my Orah decks and other Cleric tribal brews going forward. Yes, the Valkyrie is tied to two specific creature types, but they are fortunately very popular ones. Many Angel and Cleric decks in Commander are happy to have the Valkyrie. As far as competitive play is concerned, Righteous Valkyrie has made Cleric strategies a highly competitive, if not a top-tier deck. Because of its competitive pedigree, the Valkyrie will forever be one of the most impactful cards on tournament play from Kaldheim.
How would you play Righteous Valkyrie?
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