Tech Tuesday I: River's Rebuke

Posted: April 03, 2018

In the first week of Tech Tuesday, a Compleat weekly column written by Gravez, we will take a closer look at River’s Rebuke.

The story

River’s Rebuke is a sorcery card depicting a key moment in the lore of Ixalan. Recognising the potential threat of the invaders, Brazen Coalition led by Vraska, and sharing in their goal of finding the Golden City of Orazca, Kumena convinced Tishana to help him stop them. Together the two Merfolk leaders summoned the aid of the waters and crashed the pirate ships, destroying them in the process.

Why and where run it?

With sideboards currently unavailable, River’s Rebuke is an excellent tech choice in the current metagame. Not only is it included in our starter collection, with Blue being one of the most popular colors, it’s very easy to include one or two copies in almost any deck splashing it.
What River’s Rebuke brings to the table depends on the decks running it. The two that benefit the most from it are Merfolk and UW tokens. These are the two decks that often find their boards in a stalemate position, where attacking is either too risky or not at all possible. River’s Rebuke allows these decks to remove all the blockers and go in for the kill.

The tech choice is not limited to swarm decks. River’s Rebuke allows control decks to get a few additional turns to breathe while denying the opponent all the counter and token progress they might have accumulated (returning a token to hand removes it from the game permanently). That doesn’t only present an enormous loss for token based decks (Wg/Wu tokens, Vampires…), the tempo setback can be devastating to GR midrange decks and even UB control.

What could go wrong?

Unfortunately the card is not an auto-include for a reason. While it is an excellent addition against several of the most popular decks, the card is absolutely dead in others. The most popular deck in the last week has been RDW, where blue-based decks tend to have difficulties stabilizing with bad draws. River’s Rebuke is card that will only add to that problem, and should be mulliganed away. At 6CMC, Rebuke is also quite costly, and can either impair the mana curve or sub in for other, more important cards.


To put it short, River’s Rebuke is an excellent tech card for decks in blue that are facing a lot of swarm, token or ramp decks. Unless your matchups are predominantly against RDW and are already running blue, you should at least give it a try.


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