UW Reveillark *PTQ 2nd*

Last weekend I went to Portland for a PTQ and ended up coming in second playing UW lark. Since Stan is doing a tournament report for me I will go ahead and talk about the deck. For reference the list I played is below

4 Glacial Fortress
4 Gargoyle Castle
4 Mystic Gate
8 Island
6 Plains

4 Meddling Mage
4 Mulldrifter
4 Sower of Temptation
4 Kitchen Finks
3 Reveillark
2 Glen Elendra Archmage
2 Baneslayer Angel
1 Mistmeadow Witch

3 Jace Beleren
3 Path to Exile
2 Harm’s Way
2 Cryptic Command

SB
4 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Hallowed Burial
1 Reveillark
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
3 Negate
3 Stillmoon Cavalier

During the tournmament my overall record was 8-1-2 (my only loss was in the finals). I played against 5CC, Elf Combo, Jund 5cc (twice), Naya Aggro, Kithkin, RG Elf Beatdown, UBr Fae, and RB Blightning.

On to the deck, some of the stuff is pretty regular like Mulldrifters. Other choices are not so obvious such as Harm’s Way and Jace Beleren.

Jace Beleren- The main problem that lark decks in the past have had is a lack of card draw outside of Mulldrifter. After having played Lark for a bit there is a clear difference in games where you draw Mulldrifter and don’t. It is one of the cards that has a role that doesn’t seem very important when in reality it is. Jace alleviates this problem by giving the deck another cheap way to draw cards. Other builds of the deck have Ponder in this slot but Jace’s ability to just flat draw cards is better. The best comparison would probably be looking at Faeries. Ponder had a home in Faeries for a little while when Ancestral Vision rotated out. Most thought it would serve as a decent replacement. Now, months later, Ponder is nowhere to be seen in Fae lists. Instead Jace Beleren is a mainstay as a 1-3 of. Ponder is arguably better in Fae too because it finds the most devastating T2 play of the format, Bitterblossom. Still, you don’t see Ponder in winning Fae lists, you see Jace Beleren. Very simply put, the extra points to find drifter are not worth it. Furthermore, Jace is at its best in a deck like this because of the abundance of creatures to defend Jace with.

Harm’s Way- During the podcast reviewing M10 I said that this card was just an Agony Warp. In reality it is miles better than Agony Warp. It is very easy to keep one white up even to bluff. Harm’s Way can also generate a debilitating blowout to decks that run Volcanic Fallout. That’s not getting into the dumb things you can do by redirecting Boggart Ram Gang wither damage to Finks or Putrid Leech.

Glen Elendra Archmage- Very good card against control but not so hot against Aggro. The problem that Archmage created was that it made the deck less focused. Sometimes it gave me the feeling of needing to draw the right part of the deck against aggro. After some testing the Burials and Archmages were swapped.

Baneslayer Angel- I put this and Archmage together because they are getting moved to the SB simultaneiously. Angel was good in the main before in part because Archmage could protect it. Now that it is not in the MD defending Angel gets more difficult which means that numbers in the main can probably be cut back. The important thing to remember when playing Baneslayer is that it should be the last threat. The deck has other creatures that draw removal like Sower which allows Baneslayer to be crushing if they have used all their removal.

Mistmeadow Witch- To me it is much the same argument as Cruel Ultimatum. It is certainly not as powerful but still tremendously good. If it just gets instantly killed on turn two, what more can you ask of a two drop? In a deck that plays Sower of Temptation, I am more than willing to play a 1/1 that acts as a magnet for removal. If it does live, it can do some absurd things like allow you to attack and block with Kitchen Finks or Astral Slide Mulldrifter, which is always nice. The last boon for this card is that if it is brought back by Lark along with a Mulldrifter, you are almost always untapped when it happens, allowing you to abuse it.

Meddling Mage- Mage deserves its own section not because it is a fringe inclusion but because in order to play the deck properly you need to know how to play it. The biggest thing about Mage is figuring out what is your plan and naming accordingly. If your hand is full of Sowers then Lightning Bolt or Path to Exile are good names. If you need to force through larks against 5CC then Cryptic Command is the right call. Against decks like Jund if you have a slow hand then Ram Gang or Bloodbraid Elf are good. The other strategy with Mage is naming their best card. As I said before though, make sure that you know what your plan is for the game and name accordingly.

Gargoyle Castle- Many people have asked about how good this is and every time I say that it has been stellar. I has skeptical of running four at first but after playing the deck more it is definitely right. The deck is very stable on mana and Castle allows you to control flood and give you options if you don’t want to tap out. Instant speed threats like Castle make battling 5CC and Fae easier too.

Cryptic Command- This is probably the source of most controversy in this list and needs the most explanation. Originally there were none in the deck because the deck tends to tap out frequently. As I played the deck more though I wanted to have access to it because there were times that I wanted its utility. For the PTQ I went up to two but since then after talking to Gavin Verhey and doing further testing I beleive four is the right number.

The sideboard is fairly self explanatory. The Canonist are for Elves, Negates and Archmages for control, Stillmoons for White aggro and Fae, and the singletons round out the numbers in the 75. Below is the list I would run at a PTQ if it were tomorow.

4 Glacial Fortress
4 Gargoyle Castle
4 Mystic Gate
8 Island
6 Plains

4 Meddling Mage
4 Mulldrifter
4 Sower of Temptation
4 Kitchen Finks
3 Reveillark
1 Mistmeadow Witch

3 Jace Beleren
3 Path to Exile
2 Harm’s Way
2 Hallowed Burial
4 Cryptic Command

SB
4 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Reveillark
3 Baneslayer Angel
3 Glen Elendra Archmage
3 Negate
1 Hallowed Burial

On matchups, generally speaking you beat most of the aggro decks before SBing and crush control after SB. Traditionally Fae is the unfavorable matchup and that still hasn’t changed. There are two camps on how to deal with the Fae matchup: hate or no hate. I am firmly in the no hate camp for two reasons. First, last year for regionals we build a Lark deck and built a 15 card sideboard to beat Fae and still couldn’t win. Simply put, there are no good targeted hate spells to deal with Bitterblossom, the deck’s greatest threat. The decks that traditionally are good against it win by applying pressure. I would much rather plan on winning by beatdown. This means Stillmoon or Baneslayer Angel. Unfortunately a bad Fae matchup is a reality for Lark players.

Here are my SBing plans

5CC
+3 Negate
+3 Glen Elendra Archmage
+1 Reveillark
-2 Hallowed Burial
-4 Sower of Temptation
-1 Path to Exile

Elf Combo
+4 Ethersworn Canonist
+3 Glen Elendra Archmage
+1 Hallowed Burial
-3 Reveillark
-4 Cryptic Command
-1 Mistmeadow Witch

Brian Robinson Jund
+3 Baneslayer Angel
+3 Glen Elendra Archmage
+1 Reveillark
+1 HallowedBurial
-3 Jace Beleren
-1 Mistmeadow Witch
-4 Cryptic Command

Fae
+3 Negate
+3 Glen Elendra Archmage
+1 Baneslayer Angel (I would bring in more if you know they don’t have Sower)
-3 Reveillark
-2 Harm’s Way
-2 Hallowed Burial

Kithkin
+1 Hallowed Burial
-1 Cryptic Command (You are already pre-boarded for this matchup)

RB Blightning

+3 Baneslayer Angel
+3 Glen ElendraArchmage
-4 Cryptic Command
-2 Hallowed Burial

The deck overall is very good and very resiliant. The key when playing the deck is to keep from going on autopilot. This is especially true of Meddling Mage. If you are going to the PTQ in Seattle I would love to hear from you. I will very likely be wearing an orange Power9Pro.com shirt so I should be easy to spot. Good luck in whatever case!!!

Pedro “Ender” Rodriguez

3 thoughts on “UW Reveillark *PTQ 2nd*”

  1. wow dude that was beast! thanks alot!… the detail in the breakdown was great… I also really appreciated you showing how you would SB for the different match-ups because, as a relatively new player, trying to get competitive, I’m always struggling with trying to SB the right cards, so thanks again!
    by the way, what was the deck you lost to in the finals? fae?…

  2. Thanks, it is more gratifying than you think to hear from readers/viewers/listeners. I did lose to Fae in the final but nonetheless am playing the same deck this weekend at the Seattle PTQ. Check out the new article.

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