Good evening Duelers! And welcome back to another Evening Review. Tonight we are taking a look at Highlander Reva and I gotta say this deck is pretty sexy. Jay handed me this list the other night and talked me up on some of the finer points. Really I think he wanted me to not look like a scrub so he pointed me in the right direction. Whatever his motivations I am grateful because this deck was fun to pilot.
What was good and should be core
Unlike our Lilithe Highlander list from yesterday this deck doesn’t have a dichotomous performance. There are enough cards with duplicate functionality that the deck is going to play out roughly the same way each time, which is very well. The deck does a great job of keeping the board clean, and can take advantage of a board state quickly if you enter a turn already ahead. One of the great things Jay has working in this list is Azure Horn Shaman, which you should consider core, the deck can take a non-empty board state and turn it into a nearly guaranteed win. Jay talked it up for me originally and I don’t think I lost a game where I came back to my turn with either azure horn triggered for me by my opponent or with it still alive. Other cards you should consider core are: Juxtaposition, Mist dragon seal, Maw, Killing edge, Onyx bear seal, Thunderhorn, Dancing blades, Grandmaster Zendo, and of course Mythron Wanderer. I would start to say that all of the small ping for damage dudes are core, but at some point you have to say, “okay, we don’t need to list the whole deck.” As you might expect from any of Jay’s lists it is already pretty well tuned/thought out. YerBoiJosh mentioned that deathstrike seal might be a good edition. I ended up not trying deathstrike because I couldn’t find something I was comfortable substituting at the time, but that could be a very good edition if you can find space. Overall the deck is well designed and flows well from the Start of the match to mana 7.
What wasn’t good
The deck had a lot of trouble dealing with fat butts. It was sort of the anti-rapper in that regard. This is where the aforementioned comment about trying to find space for deathstrike seal comes from. If your opponent manages to lay a well placed thunderhorn or even a good dancing blades can be difficult to deal with. In one game I was forced into OBSing a Spelljammer. Naturally this isn’t an issue if you get ranged minions rolling because they can ping stuff down for you, but your game plan should not be “I’m going to establish my board” because that doesn’t happen a lot in the current meta. Your ability to produce 2/2 ranged minions post 6 mana is more of an endgame plan if things go badly, and as an endgame plan it is one of the better ones right now. But(could you feel the “but” coming?)… But, that means that your endgame plan can be a little vulnerable to the early game cards people are already packing. What this means is that your end game plan is fantastic if you are even a little ahead (which you often are), it is one of the better if you are even, but it isn’t going to completely turn the tide if you are behind. It doesn’t have the Aymara Healer effect of being good both offensively and defensively.
Bottom line is that the deck went 8-2 in a quick ten game set, and because I was having fun I played it for several more rounds finishing at 12-6. Jay claims(believably) to have went 39-11 while climbing with this deck, and that seems like a pretty reasonable record given his skill level and what I saw while testing. The deck is a tier one list for sure. It is something of a challenge to pilot, so newbros beware! This deck is like the friend that punches you in the face if you offend them; a little difficult to love but definitely the guy you want if you get in a back alley brawl.
Shameless link to a video on my twitch channel of me playing the list:
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Love you guys and see you again tomorrow evening,