FEATHER, THE REDEEMED
Gods Willing Save the Queen!
Overview of the Deck
Feather is a midrange deck that uses the unique abilities of Feather, the Redeemed and [/card]Lurrus of the Dream-Den[/card] to create a board state your opponent cannot interact with effectively, creating a pseudo-lock. The redundancy and overlap of Feather and Lurrus create a consistent deck that has several unique modes of attack.
Feather plus Gods Willing or Fight as One can single handily grind a game to halt. Add in the Reckless Rage and it can make life Hell for any deck looking to play fair magic. Lurrus plus Alseid of Life's Bounty provide protection each turn via recurring the Alseid, while also providing the ability to regrow most of your creatures. Also due to Feather, the deck is able to play out multiple instants each turn, making it one of the best decks at utilizing Young Pyromancer.
This is the perfect deck for midrange players who want to do something a bit different or people who enjoy taking control of the board. Be forewarned though, this deck is one of those decks you need to play a ton to actually be good with, as it has a ton of little and sometimes unusual decisions.
Below is what I consider the stock list and what I currently play.
Sample Feather Lurrus
Sample Feather, The Redeemed
4 Soul-Scar Mage
1 Dreadhorde Arcanist
4 Tenth-District Legionnaire
4 Young Pyromancer
4 Feather, the Redeemed
2 Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Approximate Total Cost:
As a general rule you should be looking to have the following number of each category of card in your deck:
- Lands: 21-24 – At least 20 of which produce white mana. Also this is a very mana-intensive deck, so don't play anymore than one land that can't produce white or red mana.
- Creatures: 18-21 – At least ten that can be brough back by Lurrus and ten that have effective toughness 3+ for Reckless Rage
- Targeting Instants: 16-20 – Most of these should be one or two mana spells that can be looped with Feather.
- Other: 0-6 – Pre-sideboard this number should be more in the 0-3 line, while post sideboard, depending on matchup, this could be as high as six.
- Sideboard: 15 – You could run less than 15 sideboard cards. I wouldn't recommend it, but to each there own.
- Plains (Run 6+): This deck leans more heavily on white.
- Mountain (Run 2+): Always run at least two basic mountains.
- Sacred Foundry (Run 4): A great dual land for the deck since it comes into play untapped.
- Clifftop Retreat (Run 4): Another great dual land since it usually comes into play untapped.
- Fabled Passage (Run 0-4): I prefer this over Temple of Triumph as the land comes into play untapped after three lands, which is very relevant.
- Temple of Triumph (Run 0-4): The scry is really nice for this deck, but unless played on turn 1, Fabled Passage is better for the most part. I would play this in a slower meta however.
- Ghost Quarter/Field of Ruin (Run 0-1): Great answer to Field of the Dead, but really rough on our mana. I would only run one if Field decks take up a large chunk of the meta.
- Castle Ardenvale (Run 0-2): A better sideboard card than maindeck, as it is really only useful against full on control decks in this deck. The deck doesn't usually have five mana lying around to activate it. And there is always the low risk of it coming into play tapped.
- Castle Embereth[/card] (Run 0-1): Given Young Pyromancer, Castle Embereth has better synergy with the deck than Castle Ardenvale. At the same time though, the deck is more white heavy than red, and as such is harder to have come into play untapped.
- Feather, the Redeemed (Run 4): The namesake of the deck. The Queen. Feather is a card unlike any other. Her plus a Gods Willing or Fight as One makes her very hard to remove. Her plus Reckless Rage can make it hard for your opponent to keep any creatures on the board. Her plus Defiant Strike is an insane draw engine.
- Tenth-District Legionnaire (Run 4): Feather's partner in crime. She was literally made for this deck. No other creature in this deck makes better use of Feather's unique ability to "regrow" instants, with her getting a +1/+1 counter and a scry every time she is targeted by a spell you control. The combination of +1/+1 counters and haste can mean late game, a top-decked Tenth-District Legionnaire can kill your opponent even if they are at what they believe is a comfortable life total.
- Young Pyromancer (Run 3-4): Young Pyromancer wants to be in a deck that plays a lot of instants and sorceries. Feather just happens to make it so that you should have plenty of instants to play each turn. A match made in heaven.
- Dreadhoarde Arcanist (Run 0-3): Dreadhoarde Arcanist is sort of in a weird spot in the deck and probably has the highest variance of any creature on this list. If you don't have Feather, he can allow you to double up on your instants. He also has a cool interaction with Feather where if you cast a spell with his trigger and Feather is out, you get to choose the replacement effect (hint: always choose Feather's replacement effect). Other times, if you have Feather out and no instants in your graveyard, he is little more than a 1/3 with trample that you can point Reckless Rage at.
- Lurrus of the Dream-Den (Run 0-3): While she can't regrow Feather, she can regrow just about every other creature in the deck. And she can do a decent Feather/Gods Willing impression with Alseid of Life's Bounty. Also the fact she has lifelink is often relevant.
- Alseid of Life's Bounty (Run 0-3): Only run if you are running Lurrus. Basically Lurrus' version of Gods Willing. Also it can protect enchantments, which is sometimes relevant out of the sideboard with Leyline of Sancitity.
- Soul-Scar Mage (Run 0-4): Great turn one play. Turns all of your Reckless Rage's into giving opponent's creatures four -1/-1 counters. Also giving the number of instants the deck plays in a turn once Feather is out it can get pretty big, pretty fast. Biggest demerit is the fact that the deck can't play a ton of untapped red sources (at least not until Inspiring Vantage joins Historic).
- Tajic, Legion Edge (Run 0-3): A strong, hasty threat that can grow your other creatures. Most importantly though is the fact that he prevents all non-combat damage to your creatures, which prevents damage not only from opponents, but from your own sources as well.
- Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice (Run 0-2): The best back-up win condition. Being four mana dodges Ritual of Soot. Having five toughness dodges Languish and most red based removal. It's ability to give vigilance and trample means it is great on defense and offense. It even has mentor. The only problem with her is that she is a bit expense at four mana.
- Raptor Hatchling (Run 0-3): Great against any aggressive deck or deck running damage based removal. With Lurrus and Fight as One it is pretty easy to get multiple 3/3's with trample out of a single Hatchling.
- Boros Challenger (Run 0-3): An above curve two-drop that can survive Reckless Rage, mentor other creatures, and has built in pump. There are better options, but it is a decent Jack-of-All-Trades two drop.
- Adanto Vanguard (Run 0-4): The classic two-drop when Feather was a force in standard. Unfortunately, the Vanguard is extremely meta dependent in Historic. Against aggressive red decks, Vanguard's ability to pay life is a liability. And most other decks have ways to interact with him, be it exiling or bouncing him.
- Tocatli Honor Guard (Run 0-4): Better as a sideboard card than maindeck with so many Uros running about. But in a meta with a lot of ETB creatures, she is one of the best creatures in the deck. Not only does she survive Reckless Rage, but the deck plays no creatures with ETB's.
- Kiln Fiend (Run 0-4): There are better Kiln Fiend decks out there, but Kiln Fiend offers an unique effect that can win the game out of nowhere. And unique other Kiln Fiend decks, the massive pumpage can be repeated each turn.
- Heartfire Immolator (Run 0-4): Prowess that can act as repeatable removal via Lurrus.
3. Targeting Instants
- Reckless Rage (Run 4): Deals 4 damage to target creature an opponent controls while also dealing 2 damage to target creature you control. That at first glance seems like a drawback, but really that 2 damage to your own creature really says "Scry 1 and put a +1/+1 counter on target creature. Return Reckless Rage to your hand at the beginning of your end step." Playing Reckless Rage with Feather out makes it hard for your opponent to build any sort of board presence.
- Defiant Strike (Run 4): With Feather this card is a better card drawing engine than just about anything blue can muster. Who says white is bad at drawing cards.
- Gods Willing (Run 3-4): Scrys and gives protection. Makes it very hard for your opponent to interact with your creatures once Feather is out with it. Also if you have trouble remembering what protection prevents, remember DEBT (Damage, Enchanting, Blocking, and Targeting).
- Fight as One (Run 3-4): Sexy new hotness. While not as versatile as Gods Willing, it more makes up for it with raw power. It prevents wraths from destroying your board, pumps, and if you have a human and non-human, targets two creatures.
- Light of Hope (Run 0-2): More of a sideboard card, but I have enjoyed running at as one of, especially in best of one. Not very powerful, but it makes up for it with its extreme versatility.
- Samut's Sprint (Run 0-2): While powerful and cute, there are a lot of better options and none of our creatures are that much better with haste. Possible to run with Kiln Fiend.
- Arrester's Zeal (Run 0-1): Best way to give evasion outside of Gods Willing.
- Moment of Triumph (Run 0-2): Run mostly if the meta demands that you have repeatable life gain.
- Justice Strike (Run 0-3): Strong complimentary removal to Reckless Rage. It can kill most things that Reckless Rage can't.
- Scorching Dragonfire (Run 0-3): Removal that can target planeswalkers and exiles the target when they die. Meta-dependent.
- Lightning Strike (Run 0-3): Ultimate in versatile removal. Doesn't come with the added bells and whistles that some other removal does, but makes up for it with versatility by being able to go face.
- Shock (Run 0-4): Versatile, but meta-dependent. Only run if you need to either kill something on turn one or there are a lot of good targets that can be dealt with two damage.
- Fire Prophecy (Run 0-3): The least versatile removal spell, but comes with the upside of being able to do a pseudo-rummage. And can be pointed at Feather if you need to do pseudo-rummage repeatedly.
- Banishing Light (Run 0-3): Expensive, answerable, and can't be looped, but extremely versatile and able to answer just about anything you need.
- Prison Realm (Run 0-3): Pretty much the same as Banishing Light, except you are trading the ability to hit artifacts and enchantments for a scry.
- Go for Blood (Run 0-3): Repeatable as it targets a creature you control. Good as an additional Reckless Rage effect. Not an instant. Also outside of Tenth-District Legionnaire most creatures you control have three or less power.
- card]Thrash // Threat[/card] (Run 0-3): Repeatable, instant pseudo-fight that can deal with planeswalkers. Two red is very color intensive though and almost impossible to grow back via Dreadhoarde Champion.
- Soul-Guide Lantern (Run 0-4): Great graveyard answer. Can be looped with Lurrus to also draw cards.
- Leyline of Sanctity (Run 0-4): Helps protect against this deck's greatest weaknesses: Discard, sacrifice effects, and to the face burn.
- Shalai, Voice of Plenty: Pretty much a Leyline of Sanctity on a body. Gives you an added bonus of giving hexproof to your other creatures. Slower and more easily answered than Leyline.
- Deafening Clarion (Run 2-3): Great against aggressive decks and burn decks as it can clear out the rabble, while giving your creatures lifelink. Plus with so many ways to protect our creatures, the wrath is usually pretty one-sided.
- Flame Sweep (Run 2-3): Great at sweeping a bunch of small creatures. Being an instant is also a big plus against some decks.
- Sorcerous Spyglass (Run 2-4): Best sideboard answer to planeswalkers and other cards with activated abilities.
- Seismic Shift (Run 0-4): The decks best answer to Field of the Dead, Wilderness Reclamation and ramp in general. Can target your own creatures with it's can't block, so it can be looped each turn with Feather.
- Embereth Shieldbreaker (Run 0-2): Artifact removal that is also a creature.
- Topple the Statue (Run 0-2): Expensive artifact removal that can also be looped with Feather as a draw spell if needed.
- Reckless Air Strike (Run 0-2): Easy to recur artifact removal with Feather and a Dreadhoarde Arcanist out.
- Tibalt, Rakish Instigator (Run 0-2): Good against Soul Sisters as he cannot only prevent lifegain, but pop out ping devils that can kill their stuff.
- Weave of Lightning (Run 0-3): An absolute beast against any deck that has a bunch of 1 or 2 toughness creasture.
Guide to Playing the Deck
The deck itself is both macro and micro intensive in its decision making. Every little thing could probably fill a book. And a lot of your decisions will come down to the match-up and how your opponent is playing. Personally I think the best way to learn this deck is to play it a ton. You will most likely lose a lot at first, but as you put in the reps you will get better. And you will find this is a very rewarding deck to play that will make you feel smart as you use arcane timing rules and replacement effects to grind every little advantage you can.
That may sound intimidating, and at first it is, but luckily, at its core, this is a very simple deck. You play Feather and you protect her. If you can do that effectively your chances of winning increases dramatically.
- Usually you want to play Feather out, not on curve, but when you can leave up some sort of protection, like a Gods Willing. The number one goal is to protect the queen after all. But there are some match-ups, like Gruul, where they have trouble dealing with a resolved Feather, and is fine to play on curve, without protection.
- Like Feather, you usually want to play Lurrus of the Dream-Den only when you can protect her or get a card back right away.
- Put a stop on the end of your opponent's second main phase. Play any spell you want to play like Reckless Rage or Defiant Strike then, as they will return to your hand at the beginning of the end step. If you play them at end of turn you won't get them back until the beginning of the next turn's end step.
- Does your opponent have a creature with more than four toughness? If you have Feather, you can play Reckless Rage before the end step and then play Reckless Rage again during the end step to deal eight damage to that creature.
- If two replacement triggers you control happen at the same time, you choose which one to apply. For example, if you control both Feather, the Redeemed and Dreadhorde Arcanist and have a Defiant Strike in the graveyard, if you cast Defiant Strike using Dreadhorde Arcanist's ability targeting a creature you control, you can and should choose Feather's replacement ability, so that Defiant Strike is returned to your hand at end of turn instead of exiled forever.
- If you control Dreadhorde Arcanist and Feather, the Redeemed and you have a Justice Strike in your graveyard for example, if you can give your Arcanist two power you can return Justice Strike to your hand by targeting a creature you control. It's a good way to repeatably regrow cards like Justice Strike or Lightning Strike.
- While you can't cast Gods Willing once Teferi, Time Raveler is on the battlefield, you can do it in response to it being cast to protect something from being bounced.
- Tenth District Legionnaire scrys and gets a the +1/+1 counter before the spell targeting it resolves. This means you can target one that has two toughness with Reckless Rage and she will survive. It also means you get to scry before drawing when you target her with Defiant Strike.
- Cards with a red eye on them are known info to your opponent. If you have multiple copies of the same card in hand you want to play the one with the red eye before you play other copies.
- If you suspect your opponent has a Stomp or Shock and you don't have something like Gods Willing, it is sometimes the correct play to Reckless Rage an elemental token or some other creature that will die from it rather than risk Feather.
- Protection counters spells and abilities that target a creature, while Indestructible does not. So given a choice you want to Gods Willing a Stomp over Fight as One it.
- Questing Beast stops combat damage from being prevented, so Gods Willing will not prevent any combat damage while Questing Beast is out.
- With Feather out you can "hide" spells from discard by casting them and putting them into exile with her.
- Even if you don't have a protection spell or reckless rage it is sometimes a good idea to bluff that you do rather than using your mana "efficiently".
- Don't be afraid to mulligan aggressively with the deck. The deck rewards hands that either has Feather or a good mix of creatures plus instants to support them.
The decks best match-up. Their only way game one to kill a Feather is two stomps so it usually safe to play her on curve. They focus mostly on killing through combat damage, so as long as you are able to deal with Embercleave and Questing Beast it is very hard for them to push through damage. Having Feather on board with Reckless Rage in hand is usually good game for Gruul.
A hard match-up pre-sideboard. You are really hoping that they don't have a turn 4 kill and that you have a Lurrus plus some protection. Post-sideboard the match-up becomes much better as you get to bring in Leyline of Sanctity and Deafening Clarion. Aggressively mulligan to a Leyline if you can.
Ramp & Field of the Dead
Different decks, but same game plan against both. You need to be really aggressive game one, because as soon as they ramp into anything or get Field of the Dead going it is hard to win. Out of the board Seismic Shift, Deafening Clarion & Sorcerous Spyglass are your friends. If you can get Seismic Shift plus Feather, the Redeemed going early it is almost impossible for them to win.
Similar to ramp, but you want Leyline of Sanctity over Deafening Clarion so they can't kill you with Expansion // Explosion. Also Light of Hope does work in this match-up. Also remember Alseid of Life's Bounty can protect your leyline.
Pretty good match-up, but it really depends on how much hand disruption they have and how fast you can get Feather + Reckless Rage online. Also save your Justice Strike for as long as you can. If you use Justice Strike on a Phyrexian Obliterator it deals the 5 damage to itself, so not only does it die, but your opponent also has to sac five permanents, which often just wins the game on the spot.
Probably the toughest match-up game one as they just have a ton of things that are good against you in the form of discard, sacrifice effects, counters, and sometimes Narset, Parter of Veils. Post sideboard the match-up gets better since you can take out dead cards for Leyline of Sanctity and [/card]Sorcerous Spyglass[/card]. But make sure to keep at least three Reckless Rage as they sometimes bring in more creatures from the sideboard.
Whether it is bant, azorius, or esper, all of these decks pretty much play the same way: overload the board with Teferis and win from there. The match-up is really dependent on how well they can stick a planeswalker. Haste threats are really good against this deck since they can take out a planeswalker who thought it was safe to downtick. The biggest issue is knowing when to attack planeswalkers and when you can ignore, and I still haven't figured out the best answer. Overall the match-up is tough, but I feel should be pretty winnable with more experience. An interesting card to bring in against them is Seismic Shift[card] as the games that aren't ended fast usually grind to a halt. Even if you can't recur it with Feather it can take out their important lands like [card]Castle Vantress
This entire match-up is how fast can you get Feather and Reckless Rage looping. Being able to keep them low on the number of creatures is key, even more than keeping their life total below their various thresholds. The deck can pretty easily block on big threat forever. It can't deal with a ton of big threats however. Justice Strike is another key card as it can deal with almost all of their creatures no matter how big they get.
Mardu Feather by quizz0
Link to List
Mardu Feather by quizz0
4 Clifftop Retreat
1 Dragonskull Summit
4 Godless Shrine
1 Isolated Chapel
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Savai Triome
4 Dreadhorde Arcanist
4 Feather, the Redeemed
4 Soul-Scar Mage
4 Tenth District Legionnaire
Approximate Total Cost: