ro Tour–Amsterdam is right around the corner. Unfortunately, I failed to win a Pro Tour Qualifier this time around. I just can't help myself, though. I've been spending a good amount of time brewing up new decks.
I have always enjoyed working on new decks in a new format in the midst of many other talented players with the same goal. For example, the next couple of weeks will be an amazing time to play Extended on Magic Online. The format is very ripe. Every pro in the world is looking for the latest and greatest strategy. This is a time where every little bit of innovation goes a long way.
There's something about Reveillark that really gets me excited. The advantage gained when a Reveillark successfully enters the battlefield on your side of the table is back breaking in virtually every match. A four-power flyer is a respectable threat. It gains an exceptional amount of value when killing it results in one of the most busted "leaves the battlefield" triggers of all time. (Not quite Illusions of Grandeur, but draining 20 is usually the best effect when it's on a list.)
I'd like to show off a number of Reveillark variants I've been working on over the next couple of weeks and explain the value of each incarnation.
First off is Larkfolk. Five-color Merfolk decks emerged late in the Lorwyn Block Constructed season and proved themselves to be one of the most powerful archetypes available. Merrow Reejerey makes your deck into an offensive powerhouse. Silvergill Adept is the poster boy for efficiency. The deck has insane nuts draws and has the longevity to beat most strategies in a long game.
Stonybrook Banneret allows you to "combo" out your hand in many games. Anyone familiar with the Lorwyn block or 2008 Standard Merfolk decks remembers this type of opening.
Turn two: Stonybrook Banneret
Turn three: Stonybrook Banneret, Merrow Reejerey, Merrow Reejerey, untap a land, Silvergill Adept, untap two lands, Lord of Atlantis, untap two lands, etc ...
These are the games when the deck is completely degenerate. I like playing a mid-range aggro deck that has the capability to kill with combo-like efficiency.
Silvergill Adept is an automatic four-of here. He's a two-power creature that gets pumped by all twelve lords. He replaces himself, so you don't have to be afraid to cast him. He makes the deck less vulnerable to Day of Judgment effects while not slowing down the clock.
The twelve lords are insane. Lord of Atlantis makes your team unblockable against a huge portion of decks. "Oh, you chose to play with blue spells? How convenient." Merrow Reejerey lets you combo out in the early game and in the later stages of the game it makes race situations very difficult for your opponent. An opponent can't profitably leave back a blocker when you have a Reejerey on the battlefield; you simply cast a Merfolk and tap down the blocker in question. Coralhelm Commander is the latest addition to this star-studded cast. The commander is a formidable threat all by itself, but its true power is unlocked when it's played in a deck with a high Merfolk count.
Wake Thrasher hasn't ever gotten its due. The size of this thing is very scary. Think about it for a second. Okay, now remind yourself that mana burn doesn't exist anymore. Now remind yourself that you're playing with twelve lords. Make sense? Good.
Mulldrifter and Glen Elendra Archmage are simply too good with the Reveillark for me not to play with them. Archmage can lock up games entirely by itself. Its cost is reduced by our Banneret, so we can play it on turn three with a blue open and not have much of an issue.
If you're lucky enough to still own some Mutavaults then I strongly suggest adding them to this list. Here's the final budget version of the deck.
The deck is very easy to piece together on Magic Online. All the commons and uncommons can be easily acquired, and Coralhelm Commander, Lord of Atlantis, Wake Thrasher, Glen Elendra Archmage, and Wanderwine Hub can all be picked up with little effort. Even Reveillark is an easy trade.
I played a bunch of games with the deck and I'd like to share a few of them here.
I won the roll and kept Wanderwine Hub, Island, Island, Cursecatcher, Glen Elendra Archmage, Silvergill Adept, Wake Thrasher. I played my Wanderwine Hub, revealed Cursecatcher, cast it, and passed the turn. My opponent played an Island and turned it into a Fieldmist Borderpost before passing the turn. I drew Stonybrook Banneret, attacked for 1, played an Island, cast Stonybrook Banneret, and passed the turn. My opponent played a Mystic Gate and cast Knight of the White Orchid, he found a Plains and passed the turn. I drew an Island, cast Silvergill Adept, revealing Wake Thrasher, cast Wake Thrasher, and passed the turn. My opponent played an Island, evoked a Mulldrifter, and passed the turn with his Borderpost open.
I drew a Reveillark, attacked with my Wake Thrasher and Stonybrook Banneret, cast Glen Elendra Archmage with one blue open, and passed the turn. My opponent cast a Baneslayer Angel and passed the turn. I added a blue on his end step. On my turn I untapped four lands and two creatures to make my Wake Thrasher a 7/7. I drew Merrow Reejerey, cast it for two, cast Lord of Atlantis, tapping the Baneslayer Angel, and attacked for lethal with my team.
This game demonstrates how strong islandwalk can be. I still had a fully charged Glen Elendra Archmage and a Reveillark in my hand in case things went south. These types of decks should be easy match-ups.
I won the roll again and kept Island, Island, Stonybrook Banneret, Silvergill Adept, Merrow Reejerey, Coralhelm Commander, Glen Elendra Archmage. I played an Island and passed the turn. My opponent played a Secluded Glen, showed me a Bitterblossom, cast Thoughtseize, which took my Merrow Reejerey, and passed the turn. I drew a Silvergill Adept, cast Coralhelm Commander, and passed the turn. My opponent played an Island and cast Bitterblossom. I drew an Island and first thing, I cast Stonybrook Banneret. Then I cast Silvergill Adept, revealed the other Adept, and drew a Mulldrifter. I attacked for 2 then passed the turn. My opponent went down to 17 on his upkeep and made a Faerie token. He played a Faerie Conclave and passed the turn.
I drew Merrow Reejerey, and attacked with my team. My opponent blocked the Adept with his token and went to 14. I cast Silvergill Adept for one, drew a Wanderwine Hub, played the Wanderwine Hub, attempted to cast my Merrow Reejerey for two. My opponent hit it with a Mana Leak and I passed the turn. (I waited until after combat so my Reejerey could not be countered by Spellstutter Sprite.) My opponent went to 13 and got another Faerie token, he played another Faerie Conclave and passed the turn. I drew an Island, played it, leveled my Coralhelm Commander four times, and attacked with my team. My opponent cast a Vendilion Clique targeting me and took my Archmage. I drew into a Lord of Atlantis. My opponent double blocked my Coralhelm Commander and took 5 damage, going to 8. My opponent untapped, went to 7, and passed the turn. My opponent cast a Mistbind Clique during my upkeep and exiled his Bitterblossom. I drew another Mulldrifter, attacked for 1 with my Banneret, and passed the turn. My opponent drew for his turn, attacked for 5, and passed the turn.
I entered combat and my opponent cast a Cryptic Command tapping down my team and drawing a card. I cast Lord of Atlantis, evoked a Mulldrifter, drawing a Reveillark and an Ancient Ziggurat, and passed the turn. My opponent untapped, attacked me for another 5, and passed the turn. I drew Glen Elendra Archmage, entered combat and my opponent had another Cryptic Command to tap down my team. I cast a Glen Elendra Archmage, and passed the turn. My opponent attacked me for another 5 and I went down to 5. On my next turn I drew another Lord of Atlantis, cast it, and attacked for lethal. My opponent showed me the third Cryptic Command. Archmage is really good.
I lost the roll and kept Wanderwine Hub, Island, Island, Ancient Ziggurat, Silvergill Adept, Wake Thrasher, Reveillark. My opponent played a Vivid Crag and passed the turn. I drew a Mulldrifter, played my Wanderwine Hub, and passed the turn. My opponent played another Vivid land and passed the turn. I drew another Island, played it, cast Silvergill Adept, revealing Wake Thrasher, drew Lord of Atlantis, and passed the turn. My opponent played a filter land, evoked a Mulldrifter, and passed the turn. I drew another Mulldrifter, attacked for 2, cast Wake Thrasher, and passed the turn. My opponent played a land and cast Firespout destroying my board. I untapped, drew a Cursecatcher, evoked a Mulldrifter, drew a pair of Glen Elendra Archmages, cast Cursecatcher, and passed the turn.
My opponent missed his fifth land drop and passed the turn. I played my fifth land, and attempted to cast a Glen Elendra Archmage, my opponent was ready with a Mana Leak. I attacked for 1 and passed the turn. My opponent played a Vivid land and passed the turn. I drew an Island, played it, attacked for 1, attempted to cast another Glen Elendra Archmage, my opponent tanked for a long time and probably over-thought the situation. He cast a Cryptic Command countering the Archmage and drawing a card. I simply sacrificed my Cursecatcher to counter the Command. My opponent untapped played a sixth land, and passed the turn. I drew another Island, played it, cast Mulldrifter, drew a Wake Thrasher and a Reveillark, attacked for 2, and passed the turn. My opponent attemped to draw some cards with Esper Charm on my end step, I let it resolve. My opponent played his seventh land and cast a Broodmate Dragon. I had no choice but to let it resolve.
I drew another Island, played it, cast Reveillark, and passed the turn. My opponent simply passed the turn back. I drew another Reveillark and attacked with my first one—my opponent took the hit. I then cast the second one and passed the turn. My opponent decided to attack with his dragons and I blocked one with my Reveillark, I returned Glen Elendra Archmage and Wake Thrasher back to the battlefield. My opponent tried for a Firespout, but I countered it with my Archmage. He attempted a Day of Judgment, but I had the second go-around with the Archmage. I tapped all my lands on his end step, untapped for a huge Wake Thrasher, and bashed my opponent for lethal.
It's entertaining to see how much the five-color variant struggles to beat a single resolved copy of Glen Elendra Archmage.
The deck seems to perform very well against decks that don't have the Punishing Fire / Grove of the Burnwillows combo. I imagine those cards could pose a problem when our plan is attacking with our folk, but I can also think of many different ways to interact with those types of decks after sideboarding. Spreading Seas may seem a bit slow for Extended, but Extended doesn't have the speed that it used to. It happens to be exceptional against the Jund variants and it can easily turn off an opponent's Grove of the Burnwillows. Also, we have islandwalkers, and they will have Islands. Seems pretty tight. War Priest of Thune seems like another great sideboard option. Lastly, I would like to recommend you play a full play set of Relic of Progenitus in your deck after sideboarding. The Living End deck seems to be gaining some popularity as of late and their strategy is quite strong against decks like this.
I wish the best of luck to all of my readers that are currently testing for Pro Tour–Amsterdam. I look forward to hearing about your latest Reveillark based creations.