Humans has given me the opportunity to share my Reva list. I am relatively new to Songhai and first started playing Reva seriously during the Race to S-rank with a midrange, spell-heavy deck. I felt it was powerful, rewarded good play, and was decent in the meta, though the Lyonar matchups could be difficult. However, Rise of the Bloodborn changed everything: several powerful new cards were added across the factions. Songhai didn’t receive the same support as the other factions, but it did benefit in one way: the meta shifted.
We are now in a very fast meta. Punish can deal with big threats efficiently, Magmar can burn you out, and Lilithe can quickly summon an army of furious wraithlings. However, Songhai can still dish out damage with the best of them, especially when it doesn’t have to deal with the slower Lyonar provokes. And what if I told you that Rise of the Bloodborn introduced a damage spell more efficient than both Killing Edge and Phoenix Fire? To take advantage of the new powerful spell, and to adjust to the shifted metagame I had to reinvent my list:
For a more budget option I recommend replacing the Tusk Boars with a Kaido Assassin and another Ethereal Blades.
Ethereal Blades is the expansion’s gift to Songhai. It has the potential to do 4 face damage for 2 mana, but also make it much easier to keep the board clear early. The +2 attack also pairs well with the 1 power minions (Katara, Sojourner, and Heartseeker for Inner Focus shenanigans).
So, how do you play this list?
Ideally, you don’t want more than one 4-drop in hand. As player1 having a first and second turn minion is ideal. As player2 a 3-drop and Katara is the best opener. I normally mulligan my Chakri Avatars as player2, though in some matchups Chakri + Phoenix Fire is decent. It is also nice to have a way to interact with the board, either with Phoenix Fire or Etheral Blades. Juxtiposition and Mist Dragon Seal are underwhelming, unless you have a Spelljammer to refill you hand, or a Katara to abuse.
Early Turns (1-2)
Play minions and control the centre of the board. You want minions on the board for your buffs. Ideally you get to deploy a second minion and Killing Edge a Lantern Fox, Sojourner, or Katara, to pressure your opponent. These are all good targets as they all generate you a card even if the unit is dealt with.
Middle Game (Turns 3-4)
This part of the game is about sculpting your hand for the finish. Four Winds Magi and Spelljammer are good here, but Chakri Avatar and Katara lose some effectiveness(though paired with Inner Focus can often be part of the finish). The goal at this point is to maintain board control while filling your hands with spells. Trading general damage is often advantageous. Keep an eye on how much burst you have for the finish.
The Finish (Turns 5-6)
Most of the games will end by emptying your hand on one of these turns for lethal. Even with no minions and 6 mana, Bloodrage Mask, Heartseeker, Inner Focus, Etheral Blades, Phonenix Fire is 14 damage including your general attack. The damage adds up even faster with more board presence or cheap spells.
The Late Game(Turns 7+)
Against Cassyva and Zir’an it’s not unusual for the game to go late. This is normally due to an extended middle game. Both of these generals are capable of large amounts of healing, so ensure your big turns end in lethal.
Sometimes things don’t go your way and you find yourself here. Don’t play cards just because you can, but think of a set of cards that will give you lethal and try to replace towards it. You can often delay by running to a corner and blockading with Sojourners, Lantern Foxes, or Spelljammers. Sometimes in clearing a path your opponent will give you enough extra cards for a surprise lethal. They don’t all have to be pretty.
Argeon: You often avoid attacking Argeon as you are moving around the battlefield so that both Reva and her minions can’t be hit by Holy Immolation. Keep the board clear to minimize their threats. Juxtaposition can be very powerful.
Zir’an: This is a slow grindy game, but in your favour. Avoid Sunbloom and Holy Immolation hitting multiple targets. Keep your hand full and be patient.
Lilithe: Keep the board as clear as possible. If it looks like they are setting up for a Variax, plan to kill them within 2 turns. It shouldn’t be tough as they are taking two turns off.
Cassyva: These games often go to 7-8 mana. Save Killing Edge + Inner Focus for Kelaino, or at the very least try and keep the board clear to limit their healing. Make using their BBS awkward (i.e. On their 7 mana turn so they have to choose between it and Spectral Revenant). Deploying Lantern Fox on a creep tile is a great way to generate an advantage.
Starhorn: Watch your life total and clear their board. They don’t have enough burn to kill you without minions and you have the faster clock. (especially when they give you cards).
Vaath: Spread your minions to avoid Makantor and don’t play into Plasma Storm. A Katara or Heartseeker hiding in the back provide good protection to Natural Selection. Don’t trade general damage if they have more than 3 attack. They have difficulty dealing with ranged units and artifacts.
Reva and Kaleos: Keep the board clear. Don’t offer up your Four Winds Magi to a Heartseeker + Killing edge unless you get a lot of value first. Try to hold a way to deal with ranged units.
Kara: Apply pressure, keep the board clear. They after often light on removal, so don’t be as afraid to buff units or play Four Winds Magi early.
Faie: Keep board control. Don’t go all in on units with buffs. Keep your health high. You can burst them as they often have little healing, but they can burst too. Concealing Shroud can be annoying, but doesn’t do a lot if you keep their board clear.
Sajj: Bloodrage Mask is very powerful, save it to destroy their artifacts. Play around Falcius and blast.
Zirix: Last, and for once, not least. Structure Zirix can actually be a bad matchup, especially if they keep up pressure with Dunecasters. This is the one matchup I will give up the centre, if you can’t clear the obelisks, keep away. Make a congo-line to play around Star’s Fury and try to abuse your ranged units. Don’t just equip your Bloodrage Mask as they can destroy it with Rasha’s curse.
Reva is still a very strong laddering choice. She rewards tight play, proper sequencing, and knowledge of the metagame. The deck can play a short or long game, which allows it to adjust to the matchup. While the play style can take time to master, it is extremely powerful in the hands of an experienced pilot. Feel free to add me in game if you’d like to watch replays or ask questions.
Thanks for reading,
Minmaxer(S#3) / Maxminer(S#2)