Monday, 30 March 2009

Further thoughts on standard

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone

Having racked my brains for a couple hours solid i have finally decided that i will be playing, in one form or another, esperlark for the duration of this years regional season.


Well firstly i am familiar with the deck, having played it, with some degree of success, through the champs earlier in the year, and it is probably the last serious standard deck which i played extensively at larger events.

Secondly i decided to write a list of the cards i most wanted to play in standard right now, here's what i came up with

cryptic command
wrath of god
path to exile
volcanic fallout
tidehollow sculler
sower of temptation
vendilion clique
mistbind clique

So ci was writing out my list of cards that i would be happiest playing in standard, and about 4 or so in i knew i should play reveillark, and i had to stop myself before i wrote out an esperlark decklist.

I think the thing i like about reveillark right now is not just the ability to abuse an obviously overpowered creature, but the support of almost almost every one of the best cards in the format right now -

permission - cryptic command and sower of temptation
removal - path to exile
card draw - mulldrifter and esper charm
discard - tidehollow sculler and thoughtseize

Having built esperlark decks before i know that it is very hard to simply fit in all the creatures and spells that you want, because of course the choice to use the lark engine means that you are bound to a quite high creature count, especially of the x/2 variety, but obviously this leaves very little room for the other quality W/U/B spells out there.

After some number crunching and poring over other decklists out there, i have gotten to the point where i have a couple of cuts to make, but need some help, so i thought i would publish the deck so far anyway. This deck looks a bit different from most reveillark decks, but i can not ignore the power of vendilion clique or thoughtseize in the format right now, even though they are not often included in most esper lark decks.

Current Decklist

4 x tidehollow sculler
4 x mulldrifter
3 x stillmoon cavalier
3 x vendilion clique
3 x reveillark
2 x sower of temptation

4 x cryptic command
4 x path to exile
4 x esper charm
3 x thoughtseize
2 x wrath of god

25 land

Of course, the clever of you will have realised this is currently 61 cards, which is a shame, but i can not find any card that i would not like to have in the deck as it is right now. Also, i would love to include the 3rd wrath or 4th stillmoon cavalier against the current x/w decks out there, and i would really like to find room for a loxodon warhammer against any deck with spectral procession, which can sometimes stall this deck a little, and i think the lifelink is pretty key against dark bant and other weenie variants.

My current sideboard is

4 x burrenton forge-tender
2 x celestial purge
2 x sceptre of fugue
2 x wrath of god
2 x glen elendra archmage
1 x thoughtseize
1 x stillmoon cavalier
1 x sower of temptation

The most obvious card to take out for me is thoughtseize, simply because it isnt in any other lark decks, but its so good i wonder why not.

Anyway, im probably right off the mark with this one but hopefully your comments could help me out, otherwise i might just commit a cardinal sin and take the 61 to didnt do Nassif any hard did it?

As always, please feel free to comment on my shabby deck, or anything else related or unrelated to the article. If you would like to contribute to the TLM blog, please email the article, or idea for an article you would like to produce, or have produced to


  1. I'd swap that Thoughtseize in the side for a Scepter of Fugue, Fugue wars are all the rage in the control mirror game 2 & 3. Btw, is there any formatting of the layout for this blog? I'd prefer some abbreviation of the posts so you can click to read the whole thing as it's hard to look for older articles at the moment.

  2. Reveillark comes in two varieties, number one is the esper lark deck, similar to this one, number two is the red/white variety. In my opinion R/W Lark is stronger, simply because there are stronger cards you can fetch out, and it's also easier to find (think Flamekin Harbinger).
    I disagree with Rob on Scepter of Fugue. It's too expensive mana wise, and also Thoughseize exposes the entire hand, and prevents your opponent discarding Wilt-Leaf Liege, one of the strongest cards currently in the format. Just a thought there.
    Also I would consider 1 liliana vess, for tutoring purposes. Extremely handy in this format if you ask me...

  3. The Scepter is for the Control Mirror and is almost essential there.

  4. yeah i like the scepter in the control mirror, its obv not coming in for games with wilt lead liege because by nature decks that play it will not neccesitate it coming in. RE, formatting of old articles, the only thing is the archive, which lists each article monthly, i can however, make it split further to weekly if this is helpful?

  5. Yeah, that might work. At least for now - we have a high velocity in articles written.

  6. Ill change it for a few days, then tell me what you think. I would like it if the archive could split things into months, and then weeks - but sadly it cant. When it does it by weeks it just had the dates, anyways ill change it too weekly and see what you think, but i find it a bit annoying, maybe time will tell