The Miracle Deck
4 Serra Avenger
1 Aurelia, the Warleader
4 Azorius Charm
2 Izzet Charm
4 Temporal Mastery
1 Bonfire of the Damned
4 Entreat the Angels
1 Chandra, the Firebrand
2 Jace, Architect of Thought
1 Ral Zarek
1 Tamiyo, the Moonsage
4 Scroll of Avacyn
2 Azorius Cluestone
2 Boros Cluestone
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Steam Vents
4 Clifftop Retreat
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Desolate Lighthouse
2 Seraph Sanctuary
I've been working on different version of a standard miracle deck ever since Alexander Hayne won Pro Tour Avacyn Restored with his miracle deck. They were all never really any good and even though there still is no good library manipulation in standard, with the release of Dragon's Maze, I finally feel this deck performs fairly well:
- There are only 5 Dragon's Maze cards in the deck and they really make the deck run much smoother. The 4 cluestones are essential for ramping so that you can hard cast miracles from your hand and they can also be cashed in for additional instant speed miracle draws. The singleton Ral Zarek is everything in a planeswalker that this deck wants. It controls the board, it ramps into expensive miracles, and it (rarely) gives you more turns. (Ral Zarek used to be Gideon in this list.)
- There are 15 cards in the deck capable of giving you instant speed draws to activate miracle on your opponent's turn. In long games you can often get instant draws on just about every single turn, maximizing the miracles.
- Serra Avenger - Great blocker & attacker at a cheap cost. Kind of a brick wall that protects your planeswalkers. The cheap cost matters when you're always using your extra mana to try and miracle. And the power matters too because the angels tend to peck away at your opponent's life total as soon as they hit the battlefield. They're mainly in the deck to be efficient blockers and turn on angel tribal stuff, but with vigilance, they also turn into free attacks. (They do it all.)
- Aurelia, the Warleader - An alternate win condition that your opponent may not see coming, especially with things like Temporal Mastery.
- Scroll of Avacyn - Believe it or not, Scroll of Avacyn might be one of the strongest cards in the deck. It activates miracles, it nets you life, and with a casting & activation cost of , it fills that perfect slot to use your mana efficiently every turn. Cluestone into scroll is a common play and it keeps the deck moving. Activate cost of means you can leave 3 mana open, activate it for and have enough mana left over for Terminus or Temporal Mastery. It also means maximum Entreat the Angels tokens. (I'm not saying it's the post powerful card, but its kind of like the glue of the deck that holds it together.)
- Azorius Charm & Izzet Charm - Early control spells that buy time for miracles and planeswalkers to kick in and both charms happen to have "instant draw" as one of their modes. Izzet Charm in particular lets you get rid of miracles in your opening hand that aren't doing too much. (Izzet Charm also represents your only counter spell in the main.)
- Seraph Sanctuary - Together with Scroll of Avacyn, every point of life helps as you try and extend the game. In the late game, with a pair of these on the battlefield and a miracle entreat for 5 is 10 extra life at no cost.
- Entreat the Angels - Your main win condition.
- Terminus & Bonfire of the Damned - I went for a 3-1 split for the board sweepers because there are many times when you choose not to pay for its miracle cost. Bonfire is almost always miracles and Terminus isn't.
- Temporal Mastery - Double swings for all your angels and double activations for all your planeswalkers (including surprise ultimates). It's also possible to pull offa neat little trick where you miracle on turn 3, going immediately to turn 4, allowing you to cast any Serra Avengers from your hand a turn earlier. Of course this is decided purely on luck, but it's just a nice little interaction the deck has.
(The Geists of Saint Traft would be in the sideboard to be used against decks that I might be able to sneak in a free win against. They may not be angels themselves, but ut they create angel tokens and can still net you a little life.)