UW Reveillark

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UW Reveillark
IMAGE(http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee215/Hodoku/WU.gif)

IMAGE(http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/5634/reveillarkblink700zy3.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee215/Hodoku/WU.gif)



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What is UW Reveillark?
UW Reveillark is a post-Morningtide control deck that utilizes the power of Reveillark and Momentary Blink to recur the comes-into-play effects of creatures like Riftwing Cloudskate, Aven Riftwatcher, Sower of Temptation and Mulldrifter. These effects are intended to create tempo or card advantage or simply to obtain enough board control to win. With the addition of Mirror Entity and Body Double, the deck features a nigh infinite combo as explained below.

In general, UW Reveillark attempts to keep the opponent off the board using cards like Wrath of God, Riftwing Cloudskate and Venser, Shaper Savant. Alternatively, it can also steal an opponent's creature to swing the board in its favor using Sower of Temptation. Cards like Mulldrifter and Careful Consideration are used to build up more card advantage. And finally, Reveillark and Body Double are used to recur all the previously mentioned creatures. Almost every card in the deck has two-for-one potential, or sometimes an even more ridiculous ratio.

Just imagine evoking Reveillark with Mulldrifter and Sower of Temptation in the graveyard. For a single card at 6cc, you get two 2/2 flyers, one of your opponent's creatures and two cards in hand.
Combo explained
The combo absuses the synergy between Reveillark and Body Double. If Body Double is copying a Reveillark, when that Body Double is destroyed, it can be returned to play again. This is possible because, while in the graveyard, Body Double has power 0. In addition, you can return another creature with power 2 or less to play also.

To re-use this synergy, you need a way to send Body Double to the graveyard repeatedly. It is possible to do this in a number of ways. The most common trick is to use the activated ability of Mirror Entity with x=0. Unfortunately, this will also kill the Mirror Entity. However, you can simply play his activated ability again in response to the first activation. In fact, you can activate the ability as often as you like before any of those activations resolve.

Let's take it step by step.

1. You need Mirror Entity in play, as well as Reveillark or a copy of it. Body Double can be either in play or in the graveyard. Also, to do anything useful, you'll want another creature in play or in the graveyard that can be returned with Reveillark, let's say Riftwing Cloudskate.
2. You activate the Mirror Entity's ability with x=0 as often as you like, say 100 times. The activations are placed on the stack and will resolve in last in first out order.
3. When the 100th activation resolves, all your creatures are destroyed. This will trigger Reveillark's ability.
4. When the triggered ability resolves, you choose to return Body Double and Riftwing Cloudskate to play. You choose to let Body Double become a copy of Reveillark again.
5. When Riftwing Cloudskate comes into play, use its triggered ability to return any permanent to your opponent's hand.
6. After all triggered abilities have come off the stack, the 99th activation of Mirror Entity's ability will resolve. Repeat the loop from step 3 until the stack is empty.

It is safe to pick any large number. Since Reveillark allows you to choose how many creatures you return from your graveyard, you can simply choose to return only Body Double for any excess activations. You don't have to return 100 permanents to any player's hand. ;)

The combo is also explained in detail here.
So isn't this a combo deck?
You could play it as a combo deck, sure. In fact, there a many decklists out there that emphasize the combo and try to incorporate alternate combo enablers. However, as a rule of thumb, when increasing the weight of the combo in the deck, you'll be adding cards that are not very good outside the combo. Mirror Entity is an example of a card that does not do much for you when you don't have the other pieces in place. Early versions included cards like Merrow Witsniper to allow you to mill your opponent during the combo, but it's easy to see that Merrow Witsniper is otherwise quite useless.

There are ways to disrupt the combo using cards that are commonly found in sideboards, like Tormod's Crypt or Extirpate. When a deck is as prominent as UW Reveillark, it's safe to assume a good opponent does have that an answer in his sideboard for it. While this need not stop you from winning, if you rely on the combo, it will mean you need to answer that hate.

The general consensus is that the combo is not essential to the deck and serves mostly as an added threat that can come out in long games. They typically include a minimal number of some combo pieces. Specifically Mirror Entity is often played only as a singleton, because it is rarely important outside the combo. Reveillark, Body Double and Riftwing Cloudskate are excellent cards as is, and can win you the game without the combo just as well.
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Cards to use



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Creatures
Aven Riftwatcher : A cheap and effective blocker that gives you a good amount of lifegain to boot. Combined with Momentary Blink, this can put you out of reach of even the most ardent burn decks.

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Mirror Entity : Part of the combo. Can also provide you with an alternate win condition if you use it to pump your flyers. A few creatures and a handful of mana is all it takes. It is not recommended that you run more than 1 or 2, because you'll never want to have more than one.

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Sower of Temptation : While she is fragile, if you do get her to stick, you'll get your choice of your opponent's biggest creatures. She can win games on her own, especially when protected by countermagic or Momentary Blink and makes for an excellent creature to return with Reveillark. Run 2 or 3.

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Venser, Shaper Savant : He allows for many interesting plays that Riftwing Cloudskate cannot offer. On the downside, he is legendary, so you don't want him as a 4-of.

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Body Double : Can be used to copy any creature in a graveyard. With evoked Mulldrifter and some digging like Careful Consideration, you'll usually have some choice when playing this. When combined with Reveillark, it becomes an automatically recurring creature.

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Mulldrifter : One of the best and most flexible card draw tricks in T2. It will keep your hand filled up, and plays well together with Reveillark, Momentary Blink and Body Double. Run 4!

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Reveillark : The namesake of the archetype and probably the most influential card in T2. Often resolving this will be enough to catapult you ahead of your opponent miles. When backed up by some effective creatures in your graveyard, it creates a creature that your opponent can't afford to kill. Don't even think about running less than 4!

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Riftwing Cloudskate : Another very flexible trick creature. When resolved, it creates a good tempo swing in your advantage. Suspend allows you to get it cheap, time it to resolve right after Wrath of God and avoid countermagic. Run 4!
Spells
Pact of Negation : Against control decks, specifically Faeries, this can be a good trick to push that one vital card through the counterscreen.

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Condemn : This takes out any one attacker very cheaply. Good card to play against aggro.

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Coldsteel Heart, Mind Stone, Prismatic Lens : With the heavy manacost of many of the cards played, these artifacts are the acceleration of choice, allowing you to get those 4cc & 5cc cards out one turn earlier. Each has its advantages, and your choice depends mostly on whether you feel you need the color fixing more or less urgently.

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, Momentary Blink : In the days before Reveillark, this was the namesake card of its own archetype. It still is an excellent way to get more mileage out of any creature with a comes-into-play or leaves-play effect. Momentary Blink can swing the board in your favor very easily.

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Rune Snag : A cheap counterspell that can be used to prevent an opponent from taking an early lead, while still useful in late game. Know your opponent's deck, so you'll know when to keep two mana open. Run 4!

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Careful Consideration : This will dig into your deck, and place some interesting cards in your graveyard and in your hand. It comes at a good point in the mana curve to set up your graveyard before playing Reveillark.

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Wrath of God : You need this to reset the board and punish aggro decks that overexpand early on.
Lands
() Adarkar Wastes : Quick and easy colored mana, although you don't want to have to rely on it for long, lest it costs you too much life.

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Calciform Pools : In control matchups, you can use this to save up mana and play multiple spells in one turn to punch through the counterscreen. Alternately, if you have no early spells to play, it can be used to accelerate into a 5cc or 6cc spell.

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Desert : Nice against decks with many 1 toughness creatures, such as Rogues or Faeries, but fairly useless otherwise.

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Faerie Conclave : One of the two manlands commonly played. This has the advantages of producing colored mana and becoming an evasive creature, but the drawback of coming into play tapped.

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Mutavault : The other manland, and often preferred because it does not come into play tapped.

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() Nimbus Maze : For many players, this is the dual land of choice for the deck. Although it requires you to play mostly basic lands, the fact that it comes into play untapped is often worth it, and at no other penalty.

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() Terramorphic Expanse : Budget mana fixing card that has some nice synergy with Nimbus Maze.

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() Wanderwine Hub : Dual land that comes into play tapped, although you can occassionally play it untapped if you have a Mirror Entity to reveal.
Sideboard

Pithing Needle : Can stop effective use of any number of cards. Often used to turn manlands into simply lands.

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Porphyry Nodes : A cheap and potentially effective trick against any creature-based deck, but often slow. It doesn't start killing until your next turn, and sometimes your opponent can forego playing a creature for a turn to get rid of it.

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Pull from Eternity : Mostly a trick against popular sideboard cards that target our graveyard, such as Tormod's Crypt and Extirpate. This can get back one of the removed cards at instant speed.

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Flashfreeze : Hard counter against red and green spells. Useful against Mana Ramp, Elves or Red Deck Wins.

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Remove Soul : Hard counter against creature spells. There are few decks against which you will not get to use this, although it may not help you against some of the bigger threats like Bitterblossom and Obsidian Battle-Axe.

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Stonecloaker : Mostly against the mirror match. This can remove a specific card from your opponent's graveyard at instant speed and can be replayed as often as you have the mana for it.

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Wispmare : Specifically sideboarded against Bitterblossom.

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Teferi's Moat : Stops many aggro decks dead in their tracks. If they didn't sideboard in enchantment removal, they'll be forced to scoop.

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Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir : Although the triple blue mana is hard to cough up, once resolved, he will allow you to play most of your deck at instant speed and with no fear of counterspells. This is an alternate way of making sure Crovax, Ascendant Hero resolves.

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Crovax, Ascendant Hero : At present, this is the most effective hate against Faeries. While expensive and hard to resolve, when it does land on the table, it's almost always smooth sailing from there on. Pact of Negation will help you land it, or you can save up mana with Calciform Pools and use other counterspells to cover it.
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Sample decklists



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3rd Grand Prix Shizouka 2008 - Kenji Tsumura
[deck=Sideboard]1* Aven Riftwatcher
2* Crovax, Ascendant Hero
2* Pact of Negation
3* Remove Soul
1* Sower of Temptation
3* Teferi's Moat
3* Wispmare[/deck]
5th Grand Prix Shizouka 2008 - Kazuya Mitamura
[deck=Mainboard]Creatures - 16
3* Venser, Shaper Savant
3* Sower of Temptation
2* Riftwing Cloudskate
4* Reveillark
4* Mulldrifter
.
Spells - 21
3* Wrath of God
4* Rune Snag
2* Pact of Negation
3* Momentary Blink
2* Mind Stone
4* Coldsteel Heart
3* Careful Consideration
.
Lands - 23
5* Snow-Covered Plains
7* Snow-Covered Island
3* Nimbus Maze
4* Mutavault
4* Adarkar Wastes[/deck][deck=Sideboard]1* Ajani Goldmane
4* Aven Riftwatcher
2* Body Double
3* Condemn
3* Crovax, Ascendant Hero
1* Pact of Negation
1* Sower of Temptation[/deck]
8th Grand Prix Shizouka 2008 - Akira Asahara
[deck=Mainboard]Creatures - 25
3* Aven Riftwatcher
3* Body Double
2* Mirror Entity
4* Mulldrifter
4* Reveillark
3* Riftwing Cloudskate
3* Sower of Temptation
3* Venser, Shaper Savant
.
Spells - 13
2* Careful Consideration
4* Mind Stone
3* Momentary Blink
4* Rune Snag
.
Lands - 23
4* Adarkar Wastes
8* Island
4* Nimbus Maze
7* Plains[/deck][deck=Sideboard]2* Arbiter of Knollridge
1* Aven Riftwatcher
3* Crovax, Ascendant Hero
2* Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
3* Wall of Shards
4* Wrath of God[/deck]
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IMAGE(http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee215/Hodoku/WU.gif)

Matchups



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Faeries
Faeries is a draw-go deck that carries an impressive arsenal of counterspells to block the opponent, while laying down a swarm of small flyers to beat you down. Like us, they play mostly creatures that can go two-for-one, like Spellstutter Sprite, Mistbind Clique and Scion of Oona.

Watch out for:

Because almost the entire Faerie arsenal can be played at instant speed, they'll usually hold out playing anything until you move first. This means they'll have countermana open to deal with anything we play in our turn. Rune Snag, Cryptic Command and Spellstutter Sprite can and will take out any threat you try to resolve. Since UW Reveillark has a rather high mana curve, they have a few turns to fill up their hand with counterspells before they need them.

Mistbind Clique can deny you your mana for a turn. If you have a mana artifact in play and play any blue land that turn, you'll at least have enough mana for Rune Snag.

If they lay down Bitterblossom on turn 2, you'll be faced with an ever-growing swarm of 1/1 flyers that may eventually overwhelm you. Unless you can get an answer resolved, from that point on they have inevitability. All they have to do is counter anything you throw at them.

Scion of Oona can be used to counter any effect that targets one of the Faeries, such as your Riftwing Cloudskate and Sower of Temptation.

And finally, Ancestral Vision allows them to fill up their hand again. Fortunately for us, if they topdeck one later in the game, it usually won't do much for them. But as a first turn play, it can provide them with an additional set of counters just as the initial batch dries up.

Your MVP:

Crovax, Ascendant Hero, while very difficult to land, will kill all Faeries instantly, except Mistbind Clique and double Scion of Oona, as well any future Faeries. You'll need to draw as much countermagic from their hand before playing it and/or play Pact of Negation to cover it. Alternately, you can get back in the game if you manage to resolve an evoked Reveillark with some worthwhile cards in the graveyard.

Aven Riftwatcher buys you a turn by life gain, and can also block the smaller Faeries quite deftly until he vanishes.

You'd do well to bring your own countermagic to the table, either to block their early plays or to provide cover for your own midgame plays. Rune Snag and Remove Soul are the weapons of choice here. Careful Consideration is nice, because it can be played at instant speed at the end of their turn, should you not have needed your countermana.

Specifically to get rid off Bitterblossom, some players board in Wispmare. In addition to destroying the enchantment, you can also get a good blocker out of the deal.
Red Deck Wins
RDW uses cheap high-power creatures to get your life total low enough so that they can kill you with burn. They get off the bat very quickly, and even if you do manage to stop their early assault, midgame burn provides them with amazing reach. In this matchup, they are the beatdown. You need to stem the onslaught at key points to survive the early game, then try to wrap it up without too much delay.

Watch out for:

Greater Gargadon can be a strong finisher. They'll spend all their mana on burn spells to bring you down and kill any blockers, then sacrifice everything they have to bring Greater Gargadon into play hasted and ready to attack. Keep track of when they could execute this play and make sure you have an answer for it, either a counterspell to take out Greater Gargadon or Momentary Blink to save your creatures.

Countryside Crusher filters what cards they draw, which will pretty much guarantee that everything they draw afterwards can hurt you. He is easy enough to bounce, wrath or counter, though.

When you get low on life, be careful that you don't get hit by a few burn spells. You'll want to keep countermana open.

Threaten can steal one of your creatures for a turn, which means you'll be down a blocker and they'll have another attacker, probably with 2 power. They may even feed your creature to Greater Gargadon. Of itself, Threaten is not one of the bigger threats, but it can be used to great effect to remove blockers, allowing them to push through some serious damage.

After sideboarding, they may include Cryoclasm and Magus of the Moon to attack your manabase.

Your MVP:

Easily our best tool against them is Aven Riftwatcher. The life-gain puts us out of reach for at least another turn, and so does the chumpblock it provides. If you recur him one or two times, you'll almost surely be in a safe enough place to win on your own clock.

RDW usually doesn't play much land, so you'll get good mileage out of Rune Snag. Many of their important threats are creatures, making Remove Soul another worthwhile answer. Also, Momentary Blink can save one of your creatures from burn and from Threaten.

Wrath of God can take out their creatures, and even if they do sacrifice them to Greater Gargadon, it's usually enough to stall them for another turn or two. Some of their threats can be bounced to great effect, specifically Greater Gargadon and Countryside Crusher. Also, Condemn can get good value for mana against any of their threats.
Elves
They run a very creature heavy game, and many of their creatures can fill their side of the board singlehandedly or become huge threats. There is a lot of variety in Elves decks, so you'll have to look carefully at what and how they play to determine what is in store for you. Usually they either focus on the Elf theme, or on the Warrior theme. The latter tends to be more explosive.

Watch out for:

One of the core strengths of Elves are their mana creatures. Llanowar Elves and Boreal Druid allow for some troublesome turn 2 plays. You probably can't do much about it, but on the play you can keep mana open to counter whatever it is they try to power out on the second turn. It's almost always worth your counter. The good news is that you destroy these creatures with your first Wrath of God.

With three mana on turn 2, Elves can throw down Imperious Perfect and start building an army, or if they have it, Obsidian Battle-Axe. The latter is a bigger threat than it might appear, as it allows them to recover from Wrath of God more quickly, and basically gives them an extra attacker on any turn they play a new creature.

Elves have no form of evasion, so they rely on trample to bring the damage to you. Here they have three options, but only one of them can come as a surprise to you. Garruk Wildspeaker must be on the table for a turn before they can use its third ability, Bramblewood Paragon only gives trample to creatures with +1/+1 counters, and only Overrun can come at you out of the blue.

Chameleon Colossus can win games alone, but he truly shines when combined with the overrun ability of Garruk Wildspeaker. You can see this coming for miles, though. He is easily bounced or captured with Sower of Temptation.

If they carry black, they'll probably have a small arsenal of removal. None of that need bother you much, except that it does mean you'll need to provide cover for Sower of Temptation if you play it.

After sideboard, they might bring in Cloudtresher, which will kill most of your creatures. It might be wise to board out Sower of Temptation, because it's risky to run against much removal. Also, Prowess of the Fair could make a post-board appearance to protect their army from Wrath of God.

Your MVP:

Wrath of God is needed to wipe the board any time it gets too crowded. There really is no substitute. Without the threat of Wrath of God, Elves are free to play all their creatures and you'll soon be faced by a massive army. If you don't have Wrath of God, bluff that you do! If you do have it, see if you can entice them to lay down as many creatures as you can.

Sower of Temptation can steal any of their creatures. Your best targets are Chameleon Colossus, Wren's Run Vanquisher and any token producers they have. If she made an appearance in game 1, it can be wise to board her out, as your opponent will probably play additional removal.

You always want to have counterspells for this matchup, specifically Rune Snag, Remove Soul and Flashfreeze. They are never dead here. In early turns, you may want to sit back and let them try to make the first move. With a Wrath of God in hand, you don't need to counter most creatures. Keep an eye out for Garruk Wildspeaker and Obsidian Battle-Axe as your preferred counter targets.

The dynamic duo Reveillark and Body Double will give you an unkillable blocker. Try to get them online and you'll have a lot more breathing space.

Momentary Blink is amazing in this matchup on pretty much any creature you can blink. Just be careful that they don't destroy the creature you're blinking while Momentary Blink is on the stack.

Finally, Teferi's Moat can stop them dead. A good Elves player will see it coming and board in enchantment removal. If they didn't, there is usually precious little they can do to win after Teferi's Moat has resolved. They may have a few black creatures in the deck, and they may have Profane Command, so keep an eye out nonetheless.
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Previous threads
There have been two threads on this archetype in the past, but both are no longer updated:
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=979854
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=983868
Thanks
I would like to thank:
  • Hodoku, for the graphic dividers;
  • IvyFanboy, for first posting this archetype on this forum;
  • All the regulars of this and the previous threads who have helped shape the archetype.
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I have found that momentary blink has been very useful in the main deck. Also, i would run Some O Rings, for cards like Bitterblossom
I have brought the thread to the attentions of the appropriate people... It should get moved to the DtB section pending the convenience of the nearest person with the power to do so. (I can only start new threads there, not move stuff in)

I have found that momentary blink has been very useful in the main deck. Also, i would run Some O Rings, for cards like Bitterblossom

Not sure what you're referring to here. All the T8 lists from Shizuoka were playing a minimum of 2 MD blinks, and they were, for the most part running wispmare and crovax in the board to deal with bitterblossom.

I don't really think putting O-Ring in the MD to deal with bitterblossom is necessarily the right call. It's never a bad removal spell, but im not sure it's what is needed, although it probably isn't a bad idea to MD some kind of hate for the dreaded faeries matchup in any meta where you see it frequently.
I have brought the thread to the attentions of the appropriate people... It should get moved to the DtB section pending the convenience of the nearest person with the power to do so. (I can only start new threads there, not move stuff in)

Appreciate it. I also notified Atmapalazzo. I didn't know you were able to post there. Is that what the "scribe" thing means?

I don't really think putting O-Ring in the MD to deal with bitterblossom is necessarily the right call. It's never a bad removal spell, but im not sure it's what is needed, although it probably isn't a bad idea to MD some kind of hate for the dreaded faeries matchup in any meta where you see it frequently.

@ V3ndettaX : While Oblivion Ring is an excellent card by any standard, I don't think it's the ideal trick against Faeries, if there even is such a thing. Wispmare has the advantage of doubling up as a good Faerie-blocker. So if it's specifically for the Bitterblossom problem, it's a better solution. You can also evoke it turn 2, whereas you could not respond to a turn 2 Bitterblossom if you are on the draw with an Oblivion Ring before they have countermana up.

Oblivion Ring is much more flexible, yes.
Nice work on the new post Haploid. You covered all the possible cards that could be used, and I liked your comments on Calciform Pools. Nice choice of decklists as well.

I have 2 points of feedback. Firstly, I think Aven Riftwatcher deserves to be mentioned in the "What is UW Reveillark" section. Many people are undervaluing Aven Riftwatcher, and overvaluing Sower of Temptation. I'd much rather have a riftwatcher than a sower in most matchups, and you'll notice that Kenji is running 3 riftwatchers but only 2 sowers. 2 maindeck sowers is reasonable, but in my opinion they are not as essential as riftwatcher. Infinite life is still an auto-win, whereas sower is not.

Secondly, I can understand the pros cutting down on Mirror Entity to make room for more control, but I don't think Mirror Entity deserves the label of "useless outside of the combo" that is mentioned more than once in the post. I am still running him as a 3-of, and have never found it useless. My playstyle doesn't focus on dumping things to the grave and trying to combo off at all costs (I have never run Bonded Fetch unlike many others when the deck first showed up), but the combo is so powerful that I still like to have enough of a chance to get all the pieces. As far as Mirror Entity's uses outside of the combo, I've won many games when my larks have been extirpated, or I don't draw one, but I am attacking with a pumped Mirror Entity and a Riftwing each turn. It is also an interesting weapon against a faerie or counter deck. Usually they will not see the entity as a threat without the other combo pieces, and will allow it to resolve. Then every turn, while they keep mana open to counter your spells, you can choose not to walk right into their counters, and instead spend the mana pumping the entity for an attack. This applies pressure, meanwhile you are building up your mana for a big turn to force threats through the counterwall.

Anyway, just some thoughts I wanted to share. I'm currently prepping for the city champs finals in Toronto, and am debating the following issues (mainly how to make more room in the deck):

1. Can I afford to drop down to 3 maindeck Wraths, to make more room for Venser and/or Sowers?
2. Is Vanish Into Memory a viable replacement for Careful Consideration? It can be used defensively to remove an attacker, works great on an opponent's manland, and is amazing with the lark, however its a bit slow, and is dependent on there being a creature in play.
3. Can I cut the Careful/Vanish slots, and use them for more blinks, counters, or venser/sowers?
4. What does everyone think of maindeck Pact of Negation?
Nice work on the new post Haploid. You covered all the possible cards that could be used, and I liked your comments on Calciform Pools. Nice choice of decklists as well.

I have 2 points of feedback. Firstly, I think Aven Riftwatcher deserves to be mentioned in the "What is UW Reveillark" section. Many people are undervaluing Aven Riftwatcher, and overvaluing Sower of Temptation. I'd much rather have a riftwatcher than a sower in most matchups, and you'll notice that Kenji is running 3 riftwatchers but only 2 sowers. 2 maindeck sowers is reasonable, but in my opinion they are not as essential as riftwatcher. Infinite life is still an auto-win, whereas sower is not.

Secondly, I can understand the pros cutting down on Mirror Entity to make room for more control, but I don't think Mirror Entity deserves the label of "useless outside of the combo" that is mentioned more than once in the post. I am still running him as a 3-of, and have never found it useless. My playstyle doesn't focus on dumping things to the grave and trying to combo off at all costs (I have never run Bonded Fetch unlike many others when the deck first showed up), but the combo is so powerful that I still like to have enough of a chance to get all the pieces. As far as Mirror Entity's uses outside of the combo, I've won many games when my larks have been extirpated, or I don't draw one, but I am attacking with a pumped Mirror Entity and a Riftwing each turn. It is also an interesting weapon against a faerie or counter deck. Usually they will not see the entity as a threat without the other combo pieces, and will allow it to resolve. Then every turn, while they keep mana open to counter your spells, you can choose not to walk right into their counters, and instead spend the mana pumping the entity for an attack. This applies pressure, meanwhile you are building up your mana for a big turn to force threats through the counterwall.

Anyway, just some thoughts I wanted to share. I'm currently prepping for the city champs finals in Toronto, and am debating the following issues (mainly how to make more room in the deck):

1. Can I afford to drop down to 3 maindeck Wraths, to make more room for Venser and/or Sowers?
2. Is Vanish Into Memory a viable replacement for Careful Consideration? It can be used defensively to remove an attacker, works great on an opponent's manland, and is amazing with the lark, however its a bit slow, and is dependent on there being a creature in play.
3. Can I cut the Careful/Vanish slots, and use them for more blinks, counters, or venser/sowers?
4. What does everyone think of maindeck Pact of Negation?

1. No. I would stay at Four Wraths.
2. I think Vanish would be a great replacement for Consideration, but I personally don't run either.
3. I would do this.
4. I run 2 in the main deck, they are fantastic against Control and Faeries. You can side them out against aggro.
Thanks, aboveusonlysky, much appreciated.

I do agree with you that Aven Riftwatcher is enough of a key card that it deserves to be mentioned in the opening, and I'll add it shortly. However, I view him in a different light than you do, I guess. For me, Aven Riftwatcher is a decent blocker against some decks with just enough life gain to stretch the game out a turn or 2 (more with Momentary Blink support), allowing me to seize board control by other means. In the Shizouka GP meta, I'd hesitate to say which would be the better choice, Aven Riftwatcher or Sower of Temptation, as both cards can do well against Faeries. I'd say that is why Kenji & Akira play both.

Mirror Entity has been a primary win condition often for me too, but I'd say that is not entirely its own achievement. Rather, it's card like Venser, Shaper Savant and Sower of Temptation that clear the board and allow Mirror Entity to ravage the opponent. Still, since there are often somewhat casual decks in my meta, I run two additional Mirror Entity in my sideboard to take advantage of the opportunities.

Against Faeries, well, most of the Faerie players in my meta tend to mulligan until they have Bitterblossom in hand (or so it seems ;)). That pretty much negates the threat of Mirror Entity, with free chumpblockers on their side.

After dinner, I'll give you my views on your questions. ;)
I'd like to see some mention of splashing for Red. Avalanche Riders alone make it worthwhile.

Heres what I'm currently running. It focuses more on control and tempo then some other variations, and I have no interest in the combo, but any input would be appreciated



4 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Reveillark" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Reveillark">Reveillark</a>
4 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Mulldrifter+" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Mulldrifter+">Mulldrifter </a>
4 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=+Riftwing+Cloudskate" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=+Riftwing+Cloudskate"> Riftwing Cloudskate</a>
2 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=+Sower+of+Temptation" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=+Sower+of+Temptation"> Sower of Temptation</a>
3 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=+Aven+Riftwatcher" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=+Aven+Riftwatcher"> Aven Riftwatcher</a>
3 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=+Avalanche+Riders" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=+Avalanche+Riders"> Avalanche Riders</a>
2 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Teferi%2C+Mage+of+Zhalfir" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Teferi%2C+Mage+of+Zhalfir">Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir</a>


4 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Wrath+of+God" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Wrath+of+God">Wrath of God</a>
4 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Rune+Snag" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Rune+Snag">Rune Snag</a>
3 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Momentary+Blink" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Momentary+Blink">Momentary Blink</a>
3 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Cryptic+Command" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Cryptic+Command">Cryptic Command</a>


4 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Wanderwine+Hub" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Wanderwine+Hub">Wanderwine Hub</a>
4 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Nimbus+Maze" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Nimbus+Maze">Nimbus Maze</a>
3 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Shivan+Reef" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Shivan+Reef">Shivan Reef</a>
3 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Battlefield+Forge" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Battlefield+Forge">Battlefield Forge</a>
6 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Snow-Covered+Island" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Snow-Covered+Island">Snow-Covered Island</a>
4 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Snow-Covered+Plains" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Snow-Covered+Plains">Snow-Covered Plains</a>


2 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Pact+of+Negation" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Pact+of+Negation">Pact of Negation</a>
3 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Magus+of+the+Moat" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Magus+of+the+Moat">Magus of the Moat</a>
2 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Teferi%27s+Moat" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Teferi%27s+Moat">Teferi's Moat</a>
2 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Rule+of+Law" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Rule+of+Law">Rule of Law</a>
1 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Crovax%2C+Ascendant+Hero" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Crovax%2C+Ascendant+Hero">Crovax, Ascendant Hero</a>
3 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Remove+Soul" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Remove+Soul">Remove Soul</a>
2 x <a href="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Desert" class="autocard-link" data-image-url="http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&amp;name=Desert">Desert</a>
1. Can I afford to drop down to 3 maindeck Wraths, to make more room for Venser and/or Sowers?
2. Is Vanish Into Memory a viable replacement for Careful Consideration? It can be used defensively to remove an attacker, works great on an opponent's manland, and is amazing with the lark, however its a bit slow, and is dependent on there being a creature in play.
3. Can I cut the Careful/Vanish slots, and use them for more blinks, counters, or venser/sowers?
4. What does everyone think of maindeck Pact of Negation?

1. I run 3x Wrath of God and I can tell you there are plenty of times I do sideboard in the fourth. I guess it depends, again, on what decks you expect to play against. For most aggro decks, Wrath of God is the single most effective card we can bring to the table. In Shizouka, I reckon less were played because they expected to play more against control, specifically other Reveillark decks, where it is not as useful.
2. I haven't tried Vanish into Memory yet. I've seen people post scenarios where it is good to great, but I have a nagging feeling that it'll turn out to be a dead card from time to time when there is no good target on the board. At least Careful Consideration is reliable.
3. With 4x Mulldrifter, you'll have a solid foundation of card draw. I'd prefer a little more, but I suppose Momentary Blink can provide card advantage in its own way.
4. I love Pact of Negation in the control matchup. Against aggro, it can be useful at times, and dead at other times. Again, it depends on what you expect to play against most.

You are right about Mirror Entity not being "useless". It wasn't the word I intended to write, but the closest I could find at the time. The best would probably be "supoptimal".
Thanks for the feedback avenged_sixfold and haploid. As I will be playing in an unknown meta, I think it might be safer to stay with 4 Wraths. I am going to do some more testing with Vanish into Memory, and if it doesn't seem like it is working I may use those slots to try to help fit in vensers and/or sowers, or I may try 2 maindeck pacts.

If I come up with any useful insight I will let you know. I might post my list too after a bit more tweaking.
Why is it only me who has no trouble with Bitterblossom?

Seriously, I never have an issue with that card. In 90% of cases I win against a Bitterblossom deck (and it's more often than not), Faeries or no, I will have killed them with their own Bitterblossom. The Faeries matchup, for me, is problematic because of counterspells (although noone ever makes the counter-bounce play, because they're all whackjobs). Bitterblossom is either irrelevant or superfluous.
I played an incomplete reveillark deck last fnm, and because my careful considerations hadn't arrived with the mail, I bought a pair of Vanish From Memory and tried them.

But honestly, I didn't get 1 good play of them. Most of the time it was dead, and the rest of the time I sideboarded it out for remove soul. Now THATS a good card in many matchups!

When I was playtesting with careful consideration proxys, the times I resolved it, it feeled a bit like overkill, because my 4 mind stones and 4 mull drifters gave me enough cards (not to mention that most of the cards are kinda recurring with reveillark and momentary blink).
SO, I'm definatly going to try and take out the considerations for a pair of either: remove soul, pact of negation, oblivion ring or even cancel. Have been thinking about cryptic command too, and then adding calciform pools to my mana base to coop with the UUU.

Pumping up the counterspells, makes it a better MD matchup vs faeries, and an especially agains the mirror (which there are quite alot of in my meta).

What do you think is the best replacement for careful consideration ?

Oh, I took 2nd place, with 3-0-1 :D
Why is it only me who has no trouble with Bitterblossom?

Seriously, I never have an issue with that card. In 90% of cases I win against a Bitterblossom deck (and it's more often than not), Faeries or no, I will have killed them with their own Bitterblossom. The Faeries matchup, for me, is problematic because of counterspells (although noone ever makes the counter-bounce play, because they're all whackjobs). Bitterblossom is either irrelevant or superfluous.

BUt only half their counters that don't cost 4 mana or only relevant if they have the tokens produced by bitterblossom on the table.

And it also makes their counter strategy relevant by putting a clock down that doesn't use mana past turn 2.
I'd like to see some mention of splashing for Red. Avalanche Riders alone make it worthwhile.

I'm afraid I haven't quite made up my mind about alternate color builds, so I wouldn't know what to write. All I can think of really is that you're stretching your mana base, possibly to the point where it becomes too unreliable. Although I am very intrigued by adding or splashing red. It adds a little explosiveness to the mixture.

What matchups would be improved by adding Avalanche Riders? Obviously the mirror won't like seeing land destruction against it. How about other matchups?

And it also makes their counter strategy relevant by putting a clock down that doesn't use mana past turn 2.

You describe the exact scenario I played a few days ago. My opponent resolved a turn 2 Bitterblossom, and just rode it to victory whilst countering every single card I attempted to play. Well, except for a single Mindstone on the turn directly after his Bitterblossom. ;)
If you could keep them at 2ish lands, the RDW matchup would be even easier. The Faerie matchup would be so much better assuming you could actually kill their lands. They wouldn't have enough land to play and counter.

To the other guy, 3 wraths should be ok. Thats how many I run and it sems to work ok.
LD might cripple midrange something fierce, but 'Lark is a beast in the midrange anyway.

Anyway, new thread, so this is my current build. I'm foregoing the combo completely in favour of more control. I've also dropped the Mind Stones, since in my meta there isn't so much of the blistering-speed aggro where not being able to wrath on turn three means instant death - usually a Riftwatcher is enough to staunch any problems before wiping the board, and there's the options of playing the Riftwatcher after Wrath with a Blink in hand. I'm also not sure to do with a few of the sideboard slots, so there's some wiggle room (read: old tech) there. I want to bring attention to Dawn Charm, though, as a highly flexible card against The Rock, Rogues, and other aggro-control - it can stop their lethal swing, save one of your men, and counter lethal Profanes.

My decks comes in two sizes: 40 and 100.
You describe the exact scenario I played a few days ago. My opponent resolved a turn 2 Bitterblossom, and just rode it to victory whilst countering every single card I attempted to play. Well, except for a single Mindstone on the turn directly after his Bitterblossom. ;)

Yes. They can sit their and trade 1-1 with their counters all day for all I care. The only problem comes is if they can keep up that til i'm dead. And if they aren't dropping enough faeries to make spellstutter sprite relevant against that evoked mulldrifter, they have no game.

Bitterblossom is the most dangerous card in their deck, and sorry Indigo, but if you don't realise this, you obviously haven't tested the matchup nearly enough. Before Morningtide, the faerie deck could be annoying, but they had no way to kill you while hiding behind a counter wall. That's what morningtide gave them, and that's why we're struggling to beat them now.
Siege-Gang Commander seems like an absolute beast with Lark. I'm testing out UWr Lark for him and Riders. So far it's pretty good, but I haven't tested it out that much. I report match-ups after more testing...
just wanna ask if 2-of on the blink really works? i find it really helpful and go always 4-of without a single one being a dead card
Well, SGC is good, no doubt about it. But, he's a bit too aggro for me. I am more about stealing tempo gains. Plus, he costs two red, so he would seem to dictate a bit more of a splash then I am willing to commit. As far as reliability goes, I have thusfar found that 6 painlands (3 red/white, 3 red/blue) are sufficient to be able to cast riders anytime I've wanted.

I've been testing it extensively against my fiancee's rather brutal Doran Rock deck. This tends to be a rather difficult match up for me, due to really big early threats, hard to remove creatures and massive disruption.(Stupor is teh suck )
The riders can make such a massive difference. Take this example:

Turn 1, hub CIPT.
Turn 2, suspend cloudskate.
Turn 3, Riftwatcher, use to block doran.
Turn 4, wrath.
Turn 5, Cloudskate comes in and bounces her garruk, attack for 2, play riders, destroy her bosk and thereby, her ability to recast garruk.
Turn 6, don't pay echo. attack with cloudskate, play lark.

Now, if nothing else has hit my GY, I have the ability to gain life and destroy one of her lands for 2 mana by blinking lark. By this point you can easily have them down to 1 or 2 lands.

???
Profit! :P

They're also phenomenal against big mana, destroying their fertile ground enchanted lands and setting them back 2 turns. Great against faeries and manlands in general.

Anything with a tight mana curve (any current aggro deck really) gets really set back by a single land destruction, much less 2, or 3, or 4, etc.

Possibly even greater, the mental effect of this really impacts them game 2, making them severely question what hands to keep. A hand that would have otherwise been very playable is now extremely risky. The bottom line is, they really add to the already overwhelming amount of tempo swing the deck has.
just wanna ask if 2-of on the blink really works? i find it really helpful and go always 4-of without a single one being a dead card

I would really like to add more, and if I were to cut my Mirror Entities then I would probably go to four.

I am playing 2 right now in the main.
I like Blink as a 3-of, personally. It's not a card that I always want to draw in multiples early on, but I want to have a few around eventually. 3 just feels right in my experience with the deck.
I've been playing with reveillark deck for a while now and I really would not want add an additional color (yet). The fast aggro decks in the format would love you to run extra pain lands and the addtion of riders really won't make that big of different in other match ups.

Against feariers they just counter it and prolly the rev that trys to bring it back, big mana decks don't run fertile ground (good lists anyways) so the it would only be one land and being a former Tooth'n'nail player, decks with that kind of land searching generally laugh at only 1 ld spell. That all being said I can see how the LD would hurt the Doran decks greatly, but despite the fact there was one in the GP Top8 they don't see much play.

I just don't see it being worth it in the current environment to hurt a manabase by adding a third color, especially one that will is an enemy color of the two main ones.

In closing, assuming red is splashable, how would a card like pyroclasm affect the faeries match? That's the match I'm concerned with most since that deck appears to be everywheres and is very draw/player dependent
I've been running the non-combo version of late (I usually run the combo) and I've been taking it to my advantage. People are expecting combo and are modifying their game for it, holding cards for specific moments that will never happen.
I just don't see it being worth it in the current environment to hurt a manabase by adding a third color, especially one that will is an enemy color of the two main ones.

In closing, assuming red is splashable, how would a card like pyroclasm affect the faeries match? That's the match I'm concerned with most since that deck appears to be everywheres and is very draw/player dependent

This is my view on the splash - if it were Green or Black coming in I might be on the fence and say wait until Shadowmoor comes out to see what extra duals it gives, but Red the enemy colour makes it too difficult. Pyroclasm is a good card against Faeries (4th turn Pyroclasm backed by Rune Snag looks a lot more attractive than Wrath in the Fae matchup) but I think in the end it may be far too dofficult to splash.

Green has Hurricane - that can be Wrath that excludes Venser and 'Lark, and Horizon Canopy fits the deck, maybe it's an option?
My decks comes in two sizes: 40 and 100.
BUt only half their counters that don't cost 4 mana or only relevant if they have the tokens produced by bitterblossom on the table.

And it also makes their counter strategy relevant by putting a clock down that doesn't use mana past turn 2.

The builds I see all pack 4 Rune Snags, and a few other low cost counters. I find that they can usually keep countering my key plays, Flashing in guys when I don't make anything relevant that turn, and eventually take me out with them.
I was thinking of splashing green for eyes of wisent or red for pyro and sulf blast. Any thoughts?
If there is a splash, eventually, it should be green.

Two allied color pairs (important for Shadowmoor) in UW and GW, Saffi Eriksdotter, and Cloudthresher are all open for us. I'm not convinced it's really worth splashing for yet, though.

Eyes of the Wisent is not worth the splash.
Also, there's the possibility of Glittering Wish.
Also, there's the possibility of Glittering Wish.

*seppuku for forgetting about Glittering Wish*

Although, I did hear somewhere there might be a change in the pipeline that says hybrid =/= multicolored - that's bogus, right?
My decks comes in two sizes: 40 and 100.
Hybrid = multicoloured.

EDIT: A card can't actually be 'hybrid'. 'Hybrid' is a term that applies only to mana symbols. 'multicolour', or equivalently 'gold' simply means that card has more than one colour, and hybrid-cost cards are of this category.
The builds I see all pack 4 Rune Snags, and a few other low cost counters. I find that they can usually keep countering my key plays, Flashing in guys when I don't make anything relevant that turn, and eventually take me out with them.

4 Rune Snag, 4 Spellstutter Sprite, 2-4 Cryptic Command.

Without bitterblossom, they cannot touch a relevant play this deck will make with spellstutter.

So, you play around/through the rune snags and you win. Easy as that.

What happens when they go turn 2 bitterblossom on the play is that they can then counter all your stuff with sprites -or- rune snag, so you can't play through them... either you sit there and empty your hand at them, or they flash in a few guys at EoT and then kill you with them.

It's the same game plan, but it's about twice as good with bitterblossom on the table.
How would Familiar's Ruse fit in the reveillark deck?

I'm playing 3 Aven Riftwatcher maindeck, so I like the idea about counterspelling, and then returning one of these riftwatchers when they are low on fading counters :D

Or simply returning a reveillark! Oh, so you wanna profane command me to death? well, how bout we hardcounter that, and bring 2 187-creatures into the game
Aye, that does seem look an appealing scenario. But resolving an Aven Riftwatcher in itself can be tricky against Faeries, although not undoable. It would be really sweet against burn decks, though. Still, I think the fact that Familiar's Ruse does absolutely nothing if you don't have a creature in play is a crippling drawback. And usually, it's when you haven't resolved a creature yet that the counterspell would be most needed.
ay... you're probably right. It wouldn't be a nice scenario sitting with the Familiar's Ruse and no creatures on the board.

Is this scenario possible though?

you: evoke a mulldrifter
him: counter the mulldrifter
you: counter the counter with Familiar's Ruse, draw 2 cards and return the mulldrifter.

it probably isen't... I guess I'm better off with Pact of Negation or Remove soul (which actually counters 4 of the faeries "counterspell"-faeries, so it would help you through a counterwall)
Wouldnt work. Mulldrifter is on the stack, ie if were already in play it would be too late to counter it.
Familiar's Ruse is a really good concept, but it's barely mentioned in decks that plan to lay out a lot of cheap creatures quickly (Faeries, Merfolk) - it's unfortunately not going to be of any use in a deck that won't have creatures on the board until turn three and even then only sometimes, especially when almost of them are 5cc.
My decks comes in two sizes: 40 and 100.
I added a section on the matchup with RDW. I'd appreciate everyone's feedback on it. I have played this matchup a few times, but almost always against the same opponent, so my insights may be a bit one-sided. ;)

RDW is one of my favorite decks to play against. It's easy to know the deck, but still you're often faced with hard decisions and character assesments.
The section looks good.

It's probably worth noting that a build able to combo out consistently (2-3 Mirror Entities) is best against RDW, since they have no way to stop the combo beyond Crypting you.

It's probably obvious advice, but against RDW, you want to stop them from killing you early by any means available, and then finish the game early. They have burn spells, as you mentioned, so RDW can pretty comfortably kill you before you can do anything if you ever get below about 10 life.
4 Rune Snag, 4 Spellstutter Sprite, 2-4 Cryptic Command.

Without bitterblossom, they cannot touch a relevant play this deck will make with spellstutter.

So, you play around/through the rune snags and you win. Easy as that.

What happens when they go turn 2 bitterblossom on the play is that they can then counter all your stuff with sprites -or- rune snag, so you can't play through them... either you sit there and empty your hand at them, or they flash in a few guys at EoT and then kill you with them.

It's the same game plan, but it's about twice as good with bitterblossom on the table.

Been testing against Fairies with 4 x mana tithe main with rune snags, and the results are about 60/40 pre-board so far...
Been testing against Fairies with 4 x mana tithe main with rune snags, and the results are about 60/40 pre-board so far...

What are you doing without by running the Tithes?