Feather the Redeemed - Legions of a Feather Flicker Together

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darrenhabib
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Post by darrenhabib » 2 years ago

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Feather, the Redeemed - Boros Blink

Commander


Cantrips Recoverable (7)


1 Heal

Creature ETB Draw


Creature Steal


Creature ETB Removal


Creature Multiple Targets


Creature Mana


Enchantments


Sacrifice outlets


Artifact other


Approximate Total Cost:

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As one of those who have been trying to play Boros in commander for years, my go to red and white deck had been Firesong and Sunspeaker. And although it has been one of my favorite casual decks to play, the 4rw mana cost of the commander itself has always been a bit of a sticking point for any true competitive play.

But now we have Feather and the dynamics have changed for Boros to be able to come out early with commander synergy.

If you've ever played or played against a commander that gets some sort of trigger on each players turn, whether that's upkeep, end step or other, then there is a particular play style to gaining advantages.
Commanders like Marchesa, the Black Rose, Regna, the Redeemer, Ephara, God of the Polis, Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker, Mairsil, the Pretender.
Feather is the same in that you're looking to gain advantages once per players turn.
With this in mind, you're normally casting instants just before the end step, so waiting for priority on the second main phase, as to get the most information about a turn.
In a four player game you can recover an instant or sorcery four times. You also have to cast it four times, so how much mana do you have?

I've been helping in the let's brew thread, so it only made sense for me to create a deck, and my hot take is a blink build, based on efficiency of mana to impact you can get in the game.

Flicker / Blink

For me personally I think the exile and return to the battlefield cards are the most potent cards that can be recovered for multiple use.
You can use it on creatures that have enter the battlefield triggers for value AND they serve to protect your creatures against removal as well.
Cloudshift, Ephemerate, Justiciar's Portal, Liberate, Long Road Home, Otherworldly Journey, Acrobatic Maneuver, Eerie Interlude.
Mass Flicker / Blink

The best of them potentially being Eerie Interlude as you can blink out all your creatures to get value from each of their ETB or LTB triggers.

To increase this virtual number of mass flicker we have a few other tricks. We can use Lumbering Battlement to target your creatures and then use one of the single exile cards to do this for us.


There is also Zada, Hedron Grinder and Mirrorwing Dragon that will allow targeting all our creatures with a flicker ability or a draw ability.
Mana Management

How you manage to get enough mana to continuously keep casting your spells is going to be one of the most important aspect of any Feather, the Redeemed deck.
Sure you can have 10 cantrip draw cards, but if you are recovering even one of them, then in theory the other 9 will for the most part become redundant, as it's mana resources that become the bottleneck. It's just a case of how much mana you have to keep recasting the cards you recover.

With this in mind, you really want to focus on card quality and not quantity of "instants and sorcery that target your creatures". You want to make sure you have some at your disposal and a variety to handle different situations, but as you'll have renewable access to them, you want to balance out your deck so that you have the opportunity to cast them multiple times with a healthy focus on additional mana sources.
The realty is that you are only going to have a limited number of times you can cast your spells when you get to recover your spells.

Artifact mana sources and untapping
Unwinding Clock allows you to keep untapping artifact mana source(s) each players turn, to keep casting some recoverable spell(s).

Walking Atlas can be used with this to put lands into play as well.

ETB land ramp
Kor Cartographer and Solemn Simulacrum will also set you up for subsequent turns when you get to untap. You can get 4 additional lands into play each turn round (in a 4 player game) with appropriate flicker spells.

Dockside Extortionist is one of the best cards in the deck for producing mana with exile effects.

Sneak Attack can be used to put creatures into play for r and then can be flickered so that they stay in play permanently. This is one of the best cards in the deck.

Token Creature Generators

We also have token creature generators in Akroan Crusader, Young Pyromancer, Vanguard of Brimaz, Monastery Mentor, which allows us to potentially get more value out of spells like Path to Exile, Oblation, Chaos Warp, if we target our own stuff.

One of the main uses out of your creature tokens is to use them with Phyrexian Altar or Thermopod to create mana to cast another flicker or cantrip card.
With a token generator, each time you cast a spell you'll create a token that can be sacrificed to pay for at least a one casting cost recoverable spell, which means you can keep this up for as many times as you recover your spells.

Token creatures are interesting with Zada, Hedron Grinder and Mirrorwing Dragon as they will end up targeting your creature tokens as well if you use them.
This is great for card draw cards like Bandage, Defiant Strike, Niveous Wisps, Crimson Wisps, Expedite, Panic, as you'll get to draw a card for each creature you control.
Unfortunately with flicker effects this is a nonbo, as it'll end up removing your tokens from the game.
But the power of each ability is sufficient that you have to take this downside with all the incredible upsides.

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is another way of getting multiple uses out of ETB creatures, creates tokens and also goes infinite with Zealous Conscripts or Felidar Guardian.
A really nice interaction is Lumbering Battlement with Kiki-Jiki. You can make a token of Lumbering Battlement which can exile your creatures along with Kiki-Jiki. At the end of the turn they'll return to play untapped, which means that you can do exactly the same thing every players turn. This means that you can get the mass exile effects without needing to cast spells.

Additional Enter the Battlefield Creatures

The ETB creatures have a variety of effects, including draw, removal, searching your deck for other cards, graveyard reanimation, and some others as well.
Wall of Omens and Skyscanner let's you draw a card.

Duergar Hedge-Mage is a nice catch-all for removing opponents artifacts or enchantments.

Recruiter of the Guard and Imperial Recruiter will give you access to a lot of the creatures in your deck, and with flickering each round, you'll stack your hand.
Further Protection

It must be noted that Felidar Guardian can protect any of your permanents, not just creatures, by using some of the exile cards that return to play immediately.
If an opponent goes to remove your Sunforger, you can respond for example by using Cloudshift on Felidar Guardian, and with the ETB you target the Sunforger. Once it comes back into play, it'll not be targeted by the original removal spell.

Some people will play a number of color protection spells in their Feather decks, but these will always be inferior to the exile cards (as actual protection against removal), unless you are using them maybe aggressively for combat damage.

The exile and return at end of turn can save you from things like Wrath of God, Oblivion Stone, Austere Command, etc.
Steal Opponents Creatures

With opponents creatures we have a couple of steal creatures in Zealous Conscripts and Akroan Conscriptor. With Akroan Conscriptor herioc, you can target him with exile, cantrips or copy effects to steal creatures. Zealous Conscripts can of course be flickered out.
Then one of our best play is to use Path to Exile or Swords to Plowshares on them, and as they'll be creatures that we control, the spells will be recoverable.
Another is to use Cloudshift as it specifically returns the creature under your control, rather than owners control which the rest of the exile effects do.
We can just keep doing this as many times as we recover our spells. Path to Exile will end up being a mass land ramp spell for us, as well as removal.

Phyrexian Altar and Thermopod can also be used to sacrifice opponents creatures before you hand them back.

Sunforger

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Sunforger is a great way to gain long-term advantages. I have a lot of experience designing around this card and never has there been a better commander in Feather to get the maximum value out of it.
It does require investing mana into it, but once you get an engine going with casting a card per turn, you'll set yourself for the ultimate toolbox.

There is Stoneforge Mystic that can search for it. Then it must be noted that Recruiter of the Guard and Imperial Recruiter can search for Stoneforge Mystic, so you have a lot of avenues to find this card. It's more of case of setting up a mana base first to be ready for equipping and spending the mana on it, rather than rushing to find it and just play it straight out. So perfect for later stages of the game.

There is a suite of spells that Sunforger can be used to search up for in response to opponents plays, including removal and even a counterspell (Lapse of Certainty). Very importantly Sunforger can be used to search and cast your exile creature spells, if you haven't drawn one, with Eerie Interlude being the best of the options.

It gives us access to the various spells we want to abuse, like Path to Exile for example when we are stealing creatures. With Feather ability to recover them, it means that we have unlimited access to the spells after we use the Sunforger, rather than once off effects.

Note that Mistveil Plains can be used to put the non-recoverable Feather spells back into your library to keep recasting with Sunforger.

Timing of Flickering Creatures

There are two timings of flicker cards. Ones that exile and return to play immediately; Cloudshift, Justiciar's Portal, Acrobatic Maneuver.
Then there are those that exile and return at beginning of the next end step; Liberate, Long Road Home, Otherworldly Journey, Eerie Interlude.

There are subtle differences that need to be taken into consideration. The ones that return to play immediately, mean that you can get the value straight away. Maybe you are responding to an opponents actions, and need to remove something with Duergar Hedge-Mage for example. If you only have 'return at beginning of the next end step' then this is a delayed effect, and maybe too late.
But 'return at beginning of the next end step' also has the advantage of hiding your creatures through maybe mass removal, responding to a wrath type effect. One that return to play immediately will not save you from these. So it's important to have both effects eventually to help you mold how you exile your creatures.
Stages of the Game

Feather is a deck of increments. You are not bursting through with large mana or massive draw during the early and mid game. It's not like a Simic or Izzet deck where you just get massive amounts of mana and play a single big draw card to get ahead.

The way you're winning the game is by gaining incremental card advantage, whether that is draw, removing permanents, or putting additional lands into play.

A lot of commander decks are looking to do degenerate big plays given lots of mana, and lots of draw, casting multiples spells each turn.
To compete in Boros colors we are eventually locking down opponents to minimal plays with cards like Ethersworn Canonist, Spirit of the Labyrinth.
Because you are probably only looking to cast one or two recoverable spells each turn, you can really work around these restrictions perfectly.
Also with so much creature protection you can make sure that key creatures stick around for the entirety of the game.
You can use return at end of turn exile cards to mitigate mass creature removal effects, like Wrath of God, etc.

As I've already pointed out most of the permanents besides lands are creature based, so you can protect your board with your flicker effects.

You have some infinite combos with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Zealous Conscripts or Felidar Guardian, so there is inevitability.

Early Game

Should you play out Feather as soon as you can?
Basically yes. If you have an exile effect and want to wait for protection first, then that's fine, but honestly she opponents are not immediately threatened by her, so often avoids direct removal. You need to build up to advantages, and it's once you have setups then she might get opponents attention, and by then you've probably got mana up to protect her.

Just get as many ETB creatures into play at this stage. These are the three mana or less creatures.
Dockside Extortionist, Wall of Omens, Skyscanner, Duergar Hedge-Mage, Stoneforge Mystic, Recruiter of the Guard, Imperial Recruiter.
-or-
If you have creature token generators, then it's pretty great to get these setup as well, as the payoffs are good;
Akroan Crusader, Young Pyromancer, Vanguard of Brimaz, Monastery Mentor.

If you have a Three drop creature in hand and are wondering if to cast this or Feather first, I normally go for the Three drop in hand, as you're not going to have mana up to gain any advantages anyway.
That way when you cast Feather you're probably going to have a mana up to at least cast a one mana card advantage spell to gain value in the face of removal.

If you're casting Recruiter of the Guard or Imperial Recruiter in the early game, I'll often get Solemn Simulacrum or Kor Cartographer, as you really need to setup a mana base first before you can get deep into an engine.

Mid Game

Mana is always going to be the bottleneck.
Let's say it's Turn 5. You have Feather out and an ETB creature with a flicker effect.
This means that you can either spend a turn round exiling the creature for the ETB effect -OR- cast out another setup card for the turn.
This is where you have to decide how to invest for future turns, as for example you might have something like Paradox Engine in hand, which will setup you up much better on subsequent turns.
It's always a risk because you might just run into a board wipe and then gain no advantages for the turn.

So I'm pretty careful about not over-extending and tapping out if you have a card in hand that can save yourself from removal, like a flicker effect.

There is a lot of disruption in the deck, but you can't take on a total control role until later into the game. You're saving it for stopping opponents game winning plays, so don't take too many turns off just to slow down opponents, when you could have been investing in mana or card draw, as you'll just get too far behind yourself in multi-player. Sure you might have stopped an opponent from winning in hind-sight, but it's the sort of risk you have to take.

Late Game

This is where you should have the setup that you want. You will probably have..
  • Mana to cast a flicker card and/or a draw card for each turn. Meaning both your turn, and each of your opponents turns.
  • Creature token generator. These can be used in a variety of ways, not least protecting your life total.
  • Mana available for additional instant speed disruption as a fail safe against opponents outright winning. This could easily be Sunforger at the ready.
The way that you close out the games is really by demonstrating that they can't really commit anything to the board without it being removed.

The stealing and sacrificing of creatures keeps a handle on opponents creatures.

Orim's Thunder can be kicked to target one of your creatures (just make it a token if killing) and you get to recover it each turn.
Duergar Hedge-Mage is perfect for removing all the threatening artifacts and enchantments with flicker effects.

Finally if you have a window of opportunity you can go for the Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Zealous Conscripts or Felidar Guardian win.
Note I have gone for this early before as I wasn't on enough life to survive many rounds.
With Imperial Recruiter you can get Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. Then you can use Kiki-Jiki on Recruiter again to get Felidar Guardian. It gives away what you're trying to do, but forces opponents to at least have it.

You can setup massive plays with Zada, Hedron Grinder or Mirrorwing Dragon, with lots of creatures, especially tokens and then use one of the target creature draw cards to draw a bunch of cards.
So you can setup degenerate plays like this.

Do you kill opponents with the creatures and tokens by attacking?
Besides the infinite, honestly not really. Like they will represent an eventual way to actually close out the game, but it's the way you control the game that really seals it. Opponents will scoop before you have to get into the red zone in a meaningful manner.

Feather, the Redeemed herself with Sunforger equipped can swing in for 7 damage hits, so represnts a three turn clock for one opponent.

Last edited by darrenhabib 6 months ago, edited 11 times in total.

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Darkaxel1990
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Post by Darkaxel1990 » 2 years ago

Thank you so much for this spectacular primer!
I would suggest a small combo for the "Steal Opponents Creatures" section: if we target a stolen creature with anyone of our blink effect, that creature returns onto the battlefield under it's owner control.
But Cloudshift is a very weird exception: if we target a stolen creature with Cloudshift, the creature now it's our forever.
I don't know why, but it works!

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Post by darrenhabib » 2 years ago

Darkaxel1990 wrote:
2 years ago
Thank you so much for this spectacular primer!
I would suggest a small combo for the "Steal Opponents Creatures" section: if we target a stolen creature with anyone of our blink effect, that creature returns onto the battlefield under it's owner control.
But Cloudshift is a very weird exception: if we target a stolen creature with Cloudshift, the creature now it's our forever.
I don't know why, but it works!
A very good point and actually something that I hadn't ever noticed. I've added a sentence to highlight this, thanks!

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Post by darrenhabib » 1 year ago

Just a few changes recently.
Decided that I spent too many games not casting the hate-bear creatures.
I absolutely love interactive recoverable cards in the deck so Impact Resonance and Soul's Fire can be aces in the hole once you are setup.


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Post by Rumpy5897 » 1 year ago

I'm gonna be honest, I never understood why you ran those, so good cut choice. I don't see a lot of pump in your spell suite, so are the new damage spells going to do enough?
 
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Post by darrenhabib » 1 year ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
1 year ago
I'm gonna be honest, I never understood why you ran those, so good cut choice. I don't see a lot of pump in your spell suite, so are the new damage spells going to do enough?
They are definitely poor mans cousins to Reckless Rage, but Rage is the best card in the deck..so I just can't pass them up. Spending 2r each turn on Soul's Fire is not where you want to be at, but there can be a holding pattern where opponents don't want to cast their better creatures/commanders onto the board knowing that you have one in hand. Opponents casting an Oracle of Mul Daya when you've already cast Soul's Fire seems like a fool-hardy maneuver, and so you can get way more mileage out of removal than actually having to cast it multiple times.
But 3 or 4 damage off Feather is going to be good enough to effect a lot of what opponents want to do. Also Lumbering Battlement can be buffed up to any necessary size for the big threats that hit the table.
Impact Resonance a different dynamic as you can use opponents big attacks to your advantage. This has it's own holding pattern as well as once you've used it opponents can't really attack without expecting repercussions. But again you can use Feather evasive flying to distribute damage so can be used proactively as well.
For sure they both are not as good as Reckless Rage, but I've been really impressed at using Feather as a way to control the game, and happy to have these as part of that plan.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 1 year ago

You bring up a valid point. Seeing how there's no getting around the fact Feather is not liked in my playgroup, I should add Reckless Rage as another component to my "cat and mouse" setup. I don't really need to tiptoe around the group's dislike of removal, seeing how the deck fails to clear other hurdles too :P
 
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Post by darrenhabib » 1 year ago

Just a small change with a slightly cheaper exile effect in Flicker of Fate. Can also protect an important enchantment in a pinch as well.

I was thinking about Heliod's Intervention as it's possible to target one of your own artifact/enchantment creatures to get it back. But the deck only has Solemn Simulacrum, Skyscanner, Walking Atlas to do this. Can't be used with Sunforger either, so not quite right for the deck yet.


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Post by MeowZeDung » 1 year ago

Phalanx Tactics might be worth a look since you're running Zada/Mirrorwing.
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Post by darrenhabib » 1 year ago

I haven't made any changes to Feather since Theros: Beyond Deaths. Nothing grabbed my attention enough to slot into what is quite a focused deck.
Angelic Ascension from Core 2021 seemed interesting in that you can convert your own token 1/1's into 4/4 flyers AND it could be used as removal on an opponents creature or planeswalker.
Terror of the Peaks from Core 2021 would be a bomb if it hits the battlefield and you are flickering a creature each turn, Feather having 3 power at a minimum.
But those were the only cards that perked my interest and ultimately I just never added.

Zendikar Rising however has some shoe ins.
Shatterskull Smashing // Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass is the red land that can come into play untapped and it has a relevant ability with Feather as you can divide the damage so that you target at least 1 of your own creatures to get it back to hand at end of turn. The cost of putting it into the deck is just replacing another land, which I've chosen Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep as I actually might not have ever used it for the First Strike.

Skyclave Apparition is a perfect flicker target for removing a threat each turn once the engine is setup. Wow, any 4 cmc or less nonland permanent is just so versatile and back breaking for opponents trying to assemble any type of on-board advantages.



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Post by BeneTleilax » 9 months ago

Taking out Conscripts?
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Post by Darkaxel1990 » 8 months ago

I don't know, has Shepherd of the Cosmos enough targets to justify its presence in the deck? It seems situational at best, to me. But correct me if i'm wrong, please.

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Post by BeneTleilax » 8 months ago

Are you running Sun Titan? Shepard seems like Sun Titan no. 2, so running it without titan strikes me as odd.
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Post by darrenhabib » 8 months ago

Darkaxel1990 wrote:
8 months ago
I don't know, has Shepherd of the Cosmos enough targets to justify its presence in the deck? It seems situational at best, to me. But correct me if i'm wrong, please.
BeneTleilax wrote:
8 months ago
Are you running Sun Titan? Shepard seems like Sun Titan no. 2, so running it without titan strikes me as odd.
The difference is that you can cast Shepherd of the Cosmos on turn 4, but yeah it is very limited in scope, you really need a fetchland to make use of it.
It'll probably get cut, but got to try these things.

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Post by Natesroom » 6 months ago

I have all these cards except Imperial Recruiter and Enlightened Tutor. What would you replace these two cards with?

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Post by darrenhabib » 6 months ago

Natesroom wrote:
6 months ago
I have all these cards except Imperial Recruiter and Enlightened Tutor. What would you replace these two cards with?
I'm adding Storm-Kiln Artist and Semester's End to the deck anyway so you might as well just add these.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 6 months ago

How about Mavinda? You're also recursion light, like me, but this seems like a very solid piece that I'm pondering including.
 
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Post by darrenhabib » 6 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
6 months ago
How about Mavinda? You're also recursion light, like me, but this seems like a very solid piece that I'm pondering including.
Yeah at first I was like auto include, but then I thought about it and I can't really remember that many times that my spells fail and go to the graveyard. The other thing is that most games I have Feather in play as it's just so hard to remove her with all the tricks, so even having Mavinda as a "back up" commander I don't think is needed.
If you could get some cool mill strategy going on yourself then you could design around Mavinda more.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 6 months ago

Yeah, that's similar to my findings. If combined with swarm, Mavinda enables repeatable Path/Swords for removal use (as once binned, you just poof a token and get it back). I'm not sure that's enough to tip the scales in her favour.
 
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Post by Natesroom » 6 months ago

i was thinking it was an auto include also, lol

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Post by Natesroom » 6 months ago

i am thinking about picking up these in the long run anyways.

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