Vengeant Reveillark

It’s a redux of Vengeant Reveillark aka the Brian Kowal Boat-Brew.

Our good friend Osyp Lebedowicz just scored Top 8 at the Star City Games $5,000 tournament in Philadelphia with Brian’s deck, which he considers one of the top two decks in Standard (alongside the Fae).

For those of you who haven’t seen the most recent list, here it is cut down to a manageable 60 cards:

Vengeant Reveillark aka Boat-Brew

4 Mind Stone

4 Ajani Vengeant
4 Figure Of Destiny
4 Kitchen Finks
3 Murderous Redcap

4 Mogg Fanatic
3 Siege-gang Commander

1 Burrenton Forge-tender
4 Knight of the White Orchid
4 Ranger Of Eos
3 Reveillark

4 Battlefield Forge
3 Mountain
4 Plains
3 Reflecting Pool
4 Rugged Prairie
4 Windbrisk Heights

4 Guttural Response
4 Stillmoon Cavalier
4 Voice Of All
3 Wrath Of God

The Boat-Brew is just chock full of great cards; Osyp was close to saying that Bantoine Ruel (Ranger of Eos) is his favorite card in Standard, but his final vote goes to powerhouse Planeswalker, Ajani Vengeant.

The deck is very robust against the majority of the Standard field, though there is a potential soft spot against Faeries. Faeries with four Sower of Temptation is very difficult to overcome, particularly because Sower of Temptation is just the scariest possible prospect when you are laying out 4/3 Reveillarks.

Osyp took the time to talk to me about some potential changes for the deck, along with justifications.

1) The deck already cut the first Murderous Redcap; Osyp wants to do away with the other three, plus one Kitchen Finks, and replace that quartet with Spectral Procession. Spectral Procession is a known quantity in Windbrisk Heights decks. It is also probably better against Red Decks than Kitchen Finks because the tokens can block a Demigod of Revenge while still getting damage in.

2) Swap the main deck Burrenton Forge-Tender for a Flamekin Harbinger. Flamekin Harbinger might seem like a strange choice for a deck with… What? Three elementals? But think about it like this: With Flamekin Harbinger, you can get Reveillark with Antoine Ruel, meaning Ranger of Eos gets better and better. If you can get your 1/1 killed (not hard) look to be able to set up more than one Reveillark. Osyp feels the Red Deck matchup is strong enough to justify this change, and the following video does nothing to change this opinion:

Thanks everybody for watching!


facebook comments:


#1 tartarsauce. on 12.09.08 at 1:47 am

A friend of mine has been testing this deck with me and intends to start playing it locally, so I just wanted to toss you a few questions.

I’m a Fae player (boooo I know), and I’ve been getting trounced repeatedly by this, however you say that Faeries is this deck’s softest matchup. How does Faeries beat you?

And also, sideboard. Would it be possible to get a vague (or clear would be even better) sideboard plan against the major archetypes for this deck? Personally, there is probably nothing in all of M:TG that I’m worse at than sideboarding creature heavy decks.

Great article, fantastic deck, thanks in advance.

#2 wobblesthegoose on 12.09.08 at 1:51 am

Seems awesome! Good video

#3 Gifts Ungiven on 12.09.08 at 4:23 am

When I played Matt Nass (second place at California States this year) a week after States in the Superstars $1K, he’d swapped in four Flamekin Harbingers (his original RW Lark list, sans Harbingers, is here — ). Even with no target other than the Larks, it’s incredibly powerful to have those Harbingers in there.

Play Harbinger, tutor up Lark. Harbinger dies randomly. Play Lark. Lark dies. Return Harbinger, tutor up Lark. Etc, etc. I still beat Matt at the $1K, but at least in game one, that was largely on the back of his never drawing one of his Ajanis to lock down my Battlegrace, which was negating all the damage he was cranking into my face.

(That’s round one here: )

It’s definitely a strong deck, and the Harbinger-Lark combo is an antagonizingly good component.

#4 enzoreal on 12.09.08 at 5:32 am

hey mike,what u think about this deck?

#5 enzoreal on 12.09.08 at 5:32 am

deck dont need burreton in sb?

#6 enzoreal on 12.09.08 at 5:33 am

i need know sb plans 😀

#7 enzoreal on 12.09.08 at 5:58 am

no wispmare or o rings in sb?

#8 enzoreal on 12.09.08 at 6:01 am

this deck can beat faeries?

#9 enzoreal on 12.09.08 at 6:07 am

are u sure about spectral procession in place of 3 redcap and 1 finks?

#10 admin on 12.09.08 at 6:45 am

@ tartarsauce
Yes you are a terrible person, but at least you win a lot.

The question is what kind of Fae deck are you? Do you play 3-4 main deck Sower of Temptation? The Vengeant Reveillark deck is robust and can beat any kind of deck; the same can be said for Fae. However Fae is the worst matchup for Vengeant Reveillark, particularly the kind with lots of Sowers. If you play Cliques instead it is much easier on the Boat-Brew.

Osyp barely sideboarded. Gutteral Response is for Fae and Reflecting Pool Control (obviously). Kowal sided Wrath of God against Kithkin but with the transformative sideboard I don’t think Osyp really ever brought those in — I will ask him.

@ wobblethegoose
Glad you liked it!

@ Gifts Ungiven
Thanks for the links. I was not aware of that event or the pre-existing Harbinger tech.

@ enzoreal
You sure have a lot of questions!

1) I like it a lot.
2) I would probably sideboard one still.
3) See the above… The deck doesn’t sideboard much.
4) As you can see… nope!
5) It can, but Fae is the roughest matchup.
6) I am not “sure” but Spectral Procession sure is a great card, especially against Fae. It is almost impossible to Spellstutter Sprite early, and if you draw two, they are in a lot of problems. Spectral Procession + Windbrisk Heights is just so strong v. decks like my beloved Blightning Beatdown.

Thanks for your comments everybody!


#11 bk on 12.09.08 at 1:33 pm

i am so good!

i’ve been thinking about spectral procession for a while too. it’s one of the best white cards and i’m not playing it. might make the deck worse against 5cc. i really liked the persisters against that deck and osyp’s plan involves removing 4 our of 7 of them. the deck was built along the idea of incremental advantage. i’m not so sure procession falls along that plan but it might just be so good that we’re dumb for not running it. finks i’ve always felt like were perfect for the deck. a great aggro creature vs. control and a great speed bump vs. aggro. the guy has midrange control written all over him. redcap is like ajani jr right. i thought he was awesome vs. opposing kitchen finks and most forms of aggro and you can double sack him to siege gang.

also considered the harbinger when i was putting the deck together, but i guess i just thought it would somehow make the deck less consistent. like you really never run out of action. you never want to draw that guy on the early turns. i told osyp that if you go the harbinger route you might want to cut a lark since one of the complaints about the deck has been too many 5 drops. i’m fine with a late game ranger into double figure if i’m sitting on high mana.

nobody really knows how good or bad the fae matchup is. osyp thinks the pro guys aren’t worth siding in against them. so he appears to think the deck is fairly potent against them.

cutting forge tender i’m not so sure about. i’ve had him on board against red allowing some pretty brave attacks with the firm belief that they could not possibly burn me out. also lets not forget that most of the sweep spells currently being played are red based damage. that said he might be unnecessary if we put the extra stopping power of spectral procession in the deck. SP helps us not at all vs. the sweep spells though. i would think you’d want the forge tender backup with that card.

#12 Thanatos6 on 12.10.08 at 3:50 am

I’ve been meaning to make this deck for a while, but now that there’s debate of adding spectral procession and harbinger I’m slightly confused as to what to go with. I think I’ll stick to the list you posted, though. I like how the redcaps interact with the commander.

I’m most concerned about sideboarding as well. I have no clue what to do. Specifically, I never know what exactly to take out. It seems like the only things you’d ever need to side out for is gutteral response for Fae and 5cc. However, what exactly do you side out? The redcaps and the forge-tender? Even though I suck at sideboarding, this deck seems alright if you don’t even sideboard at all which might help me heh. What’s a good way to learn sideboarding?

Also, thanks a lot. Your video reinforced how much I wanted to make this deck.

#13 Gifts Ungiven on 12.10.08 at 5:40 am

“What’s a good way to learn sideboarding?”

Although one need not build a sideboard strategy this way each time, I recommend learning via the approach of “building the deck for each matchup.” I’m sure this has been written up many times (probably including an article somewhere by our esteemed host here), but I can point you at this recent article by Zaiem Beg:

If you want to see my application of this approach with a pretty, colorized spreadsheet:

The benefit of thinking of sideboarding in this way is that it’s no longer an issue of staring at a core deck and not quite knowing what to do with it. Instead, you know what cards need to be switched around to make the /version/ of your deck that will work best for a given matchup.

#14 JrodtheTitan on 02.03.09 at 1:09 am

Hey Mike,

I just have a quick question for you about the Vengeant Reveillark deck.

Would you change anything since you posted it here? Especially with the new set hitting, Conflux, the only real card worthy of being put in would be Path to Exile. And in that case would you main deck it or throw it in the side board? Or would you even consider not using it at all?

It is such a great card for W to remove creature from game and give them a land. It even helps further the argument of Knight of the White Orchid. Just curious, I really want to run Path to Exile just don’t know whether it should be main decked.

I guess it was more then one question and for that I apologize =P

-Jarrod (Huge Cavs fan, Boobie Gibson is amazing)

#15 admin on 02.03.09 at 8:14 am

Hey Jarrod! I think Path to Exile might be a very good addition to the deck. Its worst opponent is Fae with four Sower of Temptation, and Path to Exile helps deal with that in a couple of different ways. I wouldn’t underrate the anti-Bitterblossom technology of Celestial Purge, which is practical against Figure of Destiny in Kithkin, Demigod of Revenge in the Red Deck, and Awesome Blossom everywhere. That said, I have not played any Standard to speak of since the Extended season began, and I have absolutely no games with the new set under my belt.

As for Boobie… Boy of my dreams that he may be, he needs to tighten up this year!

#16 JrodtheTitan on 02.03.09 at 4:48 pm

Wow it seems I overlooked Celestial Purge by a very big margin. It is definitely available to be put into the deck due to its many uses.

I also put in the Flamekin Harbinger for the Forge Tender and let me tell you, it’s pretty nice to Lark into a Lark numerous times. I am also trying to figure out how to either get a play set of Spectral Processions or Path to Exile or, now, Celestial Purge, in the deck. All seem viable options.

When I saw Path to Exile I said, that’s my answer to Sower. But at the same time Spectral Processions is the answer to faeries in general. Right now I figure I can deal with removing the rest of Redcaps, and a Finks. That leaves four spots open to be played around with.

I was wondering if you would consider putting up a video of you playing this deck against a faeries deck. I plan to find a bunch of faeries and play test my heart out against them as well but watching you would help make some decisions.

Thanks again Mike!

Oh and yea, Boobie needs to do something this year. It kind of stinks he is stuck playing behind a hot Mo Williams a lot this year.


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