Of the 5 clans of the United Sanctuary, the Angel Feather clan is the only one that doesn’t have much hopes of getting a trial deck (Royal Paladins have one, Gold Paladins are going to get a second, the Oracle Think Tank one will be released in a few weeks, and there have been unconfirmed whisperings about the possibility of a Shadow Paladin trial deck in the distant future). However, don’t think for a moment that Angel Feathers are the unwanted stepchild of the United Sanctuary. They’ve got their share of unique mechanics, adorable card-art, and powerful units that makes them worth building a deck for.
Angel Feather decks are the only decks (so far) that are able to heal damage without the usage of a trigger. ‘Cosmo Healer, Ergodiel’ is a unit that can Persona Blast upon landing an attack to heal a damage, while ‘Mobile Hospital, Feather Palace’ can Mega Blast upon landing an attack to heal damage up to the number of Rear Guards that they possess (you can heal all 5 of your damage if you have a full field!). It’s a powerful mechanic, but so far is only a feature of these two units.
The more well-known mechanic of the Angel Feather clan is referred to as ‘damage swapping’. In just about every other deck, if you lose an important card to a damage check, you have no way of getting it back. However, many Angel Feather units have the ability to remove a card from your damage zone, and replace it with another card. With this functionality, your damage zone becomes an easily-accessible second hand, that you can take advantage of to maximize the shield in your hand, or play a wider range of Rear Guard units, or grab that Grade 3 unit that you want to ride the next turn. Not only does an opponent have to fear trigger units ending up in the damage zone, but they now have reason to fear every single card that ends up there, as staying at 5 damage grants you 5 extra cards at your disposal.
If this wasn’t enough to digest, Angel Feather units themselves can benefit from cards entering the damage zone. Units like ‘Thousand Ray Pegasus’, ‘Million Ray Pegasus’, and ‘Chief Nurse, Shamsiel’ (the focus of this deck) each receive a 2k power boost each time a card enters your damage zone, for the remainder of that turn. Thousand Ray Pegasus is a Grade 1, 7k power unit. So, if you can perform a ‘damage swap’ before you attack, it becomes a 9k booster. Two of those swaps will make it an 11k booster. That’s not the only benefit of this ability, though. It also functions on your opponent’s turn. So, if you have Thousand Ray Pegasus as your Vanguard, and you take one damage, then it jumps up to 9k for the rest of the turn. One damage on that turn would make it practically untouchable by any other units for the rest of the turn, making this a fantastic defensive ability as well.
‘Chief Nurse, Shamsiel’ is the key unit of this deck. She is a Grade 3, 10k power unit with a Limit Break ability that allows you to perform a ‘Damage Swap’ whenever it attacks the opponent’s Vanguard. Also, each time a Damage Swap is performed, she also gains +2k power for the rest of the turn. With the ability to swing for 12k alone as a worst-case under Limit Break, she’s a fairly good offensive unit. But, on the defensive end, she can quickly become untouchable. After taking just 2 damage for a turn, she’ll be sitting at 14k power: higher than any other Vanguard unit in the game. A single point of damage making it through will put her at 12k: enough to completely mess with decks that aim for 21k columns.
So, without further ado, let’s see how a deck involving these ideas could look:
Decklist: Sham-Wow! (Okay, that’s a terrible name)
- 1x Thermometer Angel
- 4x Critical Hit Angel (Crit)
- 4x Sunny Smile Angel (Heal)
- 4x Happy Bell, Nociel (Stand)
- 4x Bouquet Toss Messenger (Draw)
- 3x Burst Shot, Bethnael
- 4x Thousand Ray Pegasus
- 4x Pure Keeper, Requiel (Perfect Guard)
- 2x Doctroid Micros
- 2x Clutch Rifle Angel
- 4x Iron Heart, Mastema
- 4x Love Machine Gun, Nociel
- 4x Million Ray Pegasus
- 4x Chief Nurse, Shamsiel
- 2x The Phoenix, Calamity Flame
Now, you’re probably thinking a few key things right now. First of all, the trigger distribution is… bizarre, to say the least. 4/4/4/4 wouldn’t be a recommended distribution in practically any build. Especially the inclusion of 4 Stand triggers. However, I displayed that here for a reason.
Angel Feathers have 2 Criticals, 2 Stands, 1 Draw, and 1 Heal trigger(s) available for them to use. Now, the Heal trigger is an unarguable inclusion. Not only is it a heal trigger, but it also has an effect that lets you recycle it back into the deck. So, you could potentially use it to boost a unit, throw it back in your deck, damage check it later, yank it back out of your damage zone, boost with it again, and recycle it ad infinitum. The inclusion of a Draw trigger is optional, but highly preferable. One of the big issues of Angel Feather decks is quickly losing resources, and being unable to refill the field. So, once we get more Draw triggers, running a draw-heavy deck would likely work quite well.
So, why Stand Triggers? I’ll tell you right now, they’re not magically any more useful in this deck than in any other deck. It’s the effect of ‘Happy Bell, Nociel’ that we’re focusing on here. You can Soulcharge it from your Rearguard to perform a ‘Damage Swap’, without any other requirements. It’s a fantastic effect, and a shame that it didn’t end up on a Draw Trigger instead. So, if you want to forgo this effect to run a more ‘traditional’ distribution, then by all means, feel free to do so. It’s just a viable option to consider.
Next up, the choice of starting Vanguard. The two big options here are ‘Thermometer Angel’ (CB1, Soulcharge it from RG to check top 5 cards of deck, add a G3 to your hand) and ‘Hope Child, Turiel’ (CB1, Soulcharge it from RG to perform a Damage Swap). Now, both options are excellent ones. Turiel’s is often chosen over Thermometer’s, as it’s a guaranteed way to perform a damage swap (boosting your units, getting back cards that you want, getting rid of cards that you don’t want). However, running Thermometer allows you to get away with running fewer Grade 3 units, and thus, more units that are usable early/mid game.