With the release of Aether Revolt comes Exquisite Archangel, a creature that many who enjoy the format are divided on-some think this to be an auto-include in their decks, while others believe it should be struck with the almighty ban-hammer. But why?
At first, Exquisite Archangel looks bland-a 5/5 flyer for a total converted mana cost of 7 isn't all that exciting. The controversy comes from the small wall of text:
"If you would lose the game, instead exile Exquisite Archangel and your life total becomes your starting life total."
Put into layman's terms, if this card is on a player's field and they take lethal damage, they simply remove this card from the game and start with a new buffer of life. In formats like standard, modern, etc. this may be concerning-after battling and slinging spells to eliminate your opponent from the lofty amount of twenty life, they simple reset to the start with all the board advantage intact. For commander players, however, this card is a much greater issue, as the format has a starting life total of forty. So what are the arguments for and against banning this card?
Why Exquisite Archangel should be banned in Commander
1) It negates all of a player's hard work in eliminating a single opponent
2) It is a single card that can change the outcome of an entire game
3) It can be splashed in any deck with white
Why Exquisite Archangel shouldn't be banned in Commander
1) It dies easily to removal
2) Higher mana cost
3) Exiles, meaning it cannot be reused multiple times
4) One-of in a 99-card deck
These arguments echo similar sentiment over the years, of cards players want banned from the game due to their degenerative nature. More often than not, however, cards become banned only after they have been tried in the format, and found guilty of warping the game around themselves (we're looking at you, Primeval Titan).
What are your thoughts on Exquisite Archangel? Should it be banned, or allowed to stay in the format?