This set is an amazing deal for $35 at MSRP. But considering the value of what’s in here, it will probably never be that low. You’d be lucky to find a set at $80 right now. There’s good reason for this, as soon as we get into the cards.
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll just go in alphabetical order and I’ll grade their inclusions in the set.
We knew that Angel of Fury and Angel of Wrath would be in this set very early on due to the spoiling of the gorgeous art (as always) by Terese Nielsen. Neither sees competitive play anymore, but both Angels are players in Commander and are definitely casual favorites. These alternate art foils will be awesome investments for a long time.
Grade: B (A on Art, C on playability)
Previously a Commander exclusive, this Archangel really sees little play outside of Kaalia of the Vast and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight decks. (Gisela is a notable non-inclusion in this set, though Kaalia’s absence is more explainable, being a Commander’s Arsenal foil before.)
While the effect is kind of cool, she’s not really going to be very sought after, although the foil will be nice for serious Angel collectors.
Grade: C (not often played, but the foil goodness means something)
The Gatecrash Legendary’s foils have been creeping up for a long time (to about $20) and being the force that she is in Commander, she’s an excellent inclusion here. She was actually relevant in Standard for a time, but is a bit high on the curve to be relevant in Modern. Most of her value comes from Commander, where she’s a solid general and even better as one of the 99.
Grade: A (she was a must-include)
One of the iconic white cards in Commander, making all your stuff indestructible is just pure awesome sauce. She was the card that just had to be in the set, the Angel to top all other Angels. Here she is in foiled glory. Considering how expensive set foils of Avacyn are, this is a good way to get a shiny copy - albeit not quite the same as a set foil, but still good.
Once one of the best cards in Standard, the Baneslayer was once $100 a copy. While not nearly the force in Modern or other formats that she once was, the Baneslayer is super playable in Commander. Still a $15 card in non-foil, despite having two core set printings, this foil will be one of the more valuable cards in the set.
Grade: A- (This printing hurts set foils, but is such an awesome Angel card, that it was an auto-include. Even with only Commander play today, it’s still a strong card.)
A super-sweet Miracle card, this is a Legacy staple in the highly competitive Miracles deck. It also slots into about a billion Commander decks. This was a card a lot of people hoped would be in here. Set foils are about $35 (as of this writing), so this is certainly one of the more valuable cards in the set
Grade: A (Legacy and Commander staple)
This is one of the more peculiar inclusions in this From the Vault. The new art is gorgeous, although I love the original classic art, too. This is this Angel’s first printing in a modern border, yet the wording on her was not changed to simply read Lifelink. This is because her ability uses the stack, whereas Lifelink does not. This means if you also give her lifelink, you gain double the life.
The fact that she’s a Morph creature is kind of cool. This isn’t one of the more popular casual Angels, but she was good back in the Onslaught days. In fact, she was part of a World Championship deck! She has a sweet DCI judge promo printing, too. Since this has different art from her previous printings, this is a nice collectible card.
Grade: B- (Included for historical purposes and has that sweet new art)
OK, we probably didn’t need another Iona printing so soon after Modern Masters 2015, but this alternate art is simply sick. She is, of course, one of the most devastating Angels of all time, shutting off an entire color for your opponents. She was an auto-include because when you think of Angels, you think of Avacyn and Iona.
Grade: A+ (That art is sick, and she’s a competitive card in Modern and absolutely horrifying to deal with in Commander)
I prefer the classic art of this card, but the new art is gorgeous in its own way. But this isn’t an Angel you’ll see very much outside of casual Angel decks. Being a 4/4 with flying and protection from all colors seems pretty sweet, but at 7 mana, what are you going to do with her? Sure you could load her up with colorless equipment and go to town, but there are better beaters out here. This is one of the weaker inclusions in the set
Grade: C- (The art is really nice, but she’s not super exciting)
Jenara is such an awesome Commander and Wizards hit the nail on the head knowing that players wanted this gal. Her decks tend to be basically Bant “Good Stuff” playing all the best cards in White, Blue, and Green. She has also played second fiddle to Rafiq of the Many, one of the most aggressive commanders of all time. But Jenara is a great Angel that many newer players probably don’t know about and they’ll be happy to take her for a spin.
Grade: A (Not relevant in competitive formats, but is a Commander all-star)
While the colorless angel probably didn’t need yet another printing (it’s been in 4 sets before now), you’re looking at a Modern and Legacy staple that already an affordable foil printing (about $15). That being said, this is an iconic Angel that also has plenty of casual appeal and is played in a wide variety of Commander decks.
Grade: A- (Didn’t really need another foil printing, but people will still want this, of course.)
This is probably one of my favorite picks of all in this From the Vault. A very good Commander that has only seen one printing, Tariel was due for a foil treatment (besides the oversized foil, of course). The random nature of her reanimation ability makes her a lot of fun in a multiplayer environment. Being in Red, Black, and White is awesome, too, since those colors are fairly underrepresented in Commander. Like Jenara, Commander players are jumping for joy at this inclusion, and it’s hard to say what foils of this Angel will become.
Grade: A (Needed a foil printing eventually and now it’s going to be in a lot more hands)
This inclusion probably makes some people groan, but you can’t have a From the Vault: Angels without Serra Angel. Not only is she an iconic card, but she was once one of the best creatures in the entire game early on. In every Core Set she’s appeared in, she’s always done work in Limited. And in Commander, Angel tribal decks always include her. A vigilant 4/4 flyer for 5 mana is still perfectly fine. The classic looking art is awesome, and while you won’t see her outside of casual Angel Tribal decks, the demand is there for her, even if she’s only a $5 foil.
Grade: B (Had to be in here for historical purposes, and the art is excellent)
If this set is going to be selling for about $80-100, that seems fair. Avacyn and Iona will make up most of that value. Entreat the Angels and Platinum Angel are actively played competitively, so while not the money that the other two are, they’ll help sell the set. Since a lot of these cards are alternate art, that will help keep up the value of these newer foils.
Personally, I think this set is a win. How do you feel about it? Are there are other cards you would’ve liked to see in the set?