When I first saw Feather, something about the card made me feel different. For some reason, it reminded me of Boros Reckoner, which gave me some success while it was Standard legal. Of course, the mana cost was the first similarity I noticed, but the second was that it was a creature that’s hard to attack into and if you protect it against removal, it snowballs.
In the format where Boros Reckoner was legal, most removal was damage-based, so whenever you protected him with something that gave him indestructible, he killed something or dealt damage to your opponent. Feather, however, gives you the protection spell back! If someone tries to get rid of it with some kind of removal spell and Feather gets protected in the end of a war over it, it will be really hard to ever get rid of again.
Think of it as a counter war. I play a spell. My opponent tries to counter it. I counter back, they counter that spell, and in the end I get the last word with my last counterspell. But now, every counterspell I resolved against my opponent gets returned to my hand. Your opponent will never get to resolve anything ever again!
So Feather seems cool and all, but what spells could go with it?
Cards in Feather’s colors are much easier to include since her mana cost is restrictive and I don’t expect to be able to play more than three colors—red, white, and a splashed third color at most. Instants and sorceries that are cheap are also a lot easier to cast because it becomes easier to get value off the the turn Feather enters the battlefield instead of having to pray that it survives until you untap.
With that being said, Sheltering Light seems to be a prime example of a way to protect Feather on the cheap. Dive Down is also cheap, and it helps you protect it against Vraska’s Contempt—but not Kaya’s Wrath. More importantly, however, it’s blue, which doesn’t really have much else to offer in the creature, instant, or sorcery department. Another perfect card that falls within these lines is Reckless Rage. It gives you never-ending removal spells to make the awkward drawback an advantage.
Then there’s a number of interesting cards, but they all take more to work, and whether or not they will depends on what kind of deck you build. If you splash green, making the deck slightly slower, you have the option to play Collision // Colossus, Thrash // Threat, and Assure // Assemble. These would let you include more instants to interact with your creatures, since you’d wind up with a clear board and a hand full of cards you can’t cast less often. You could also play black if you’re interested in powerful creatures to pair your pump and protective spells with, like Dreadhorde Butcher. That’d give you the option to have Skulduggery or Tenth District Legionnaire in the sideboard. As tempting as that is, adding black feels similar to blue—it doesn’t give you enough to be worth it.
The third and maybe most obvious option is to go straight W/R. If you do that, the best way to exploit Feather is to be as proactive as possible with a great curve. That way, if you pressure your opponents so that they have to interact with your early creatures, it is easier to keep Feather around and get the most value out of her.
There are two creatures besides Feather that are worth including in every Feather build as long as it’s proactive: Tenth District Legionnaire and Dreadhorde Arcanist. Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin is also interesting, so I’ll include him at first, as he works wonders with Samut’s Sprint or Maximize Velocity.
Krenko and Tenth District Legionnaire need no explanation, but Dreadhorde Arcanist is extra awesome. Not only does it work well when you make it larger and you get additional effects out of each pump spell, but it actually has an interesting interaction with Feather. Instead of removing the spells you return with Feather, you can choose the Feather replacement effect to return that card to your hand at the end of the turn instead. That way, you can keep returning cards from your graveyard and net advantage every turn!
4 Temple Garden 4 Stomping Ground 4 Sacred Foundry 4 Clifftop Retreat 4 Sunpetal Grove 1 Rootbound Crag 2 Plains 1 Mountain 4 Dreadhorde Arcanist 4 Tenth District Legionnaire 3 Tithe Taker 4 Feather, the Redeemed 4 Gruul Spellbreaker 1 Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin 2 Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice 3 Reckless Rage 4 Sheltering Light 3 Collision/Colussus 1 Assure/Assemble 1 Maximize Velocity 2 Thrash/Threat
9 Plains 6 Mountain 4 Sacred Foundry 4 Clifftop Retreat 4 Legion's Landing/Adanto, the First Fort 2 Skymarcher Aspirant 4 Dreadhorde Arcanist 4 Tenth District Legionnaire 2 Tithe Taker 4 Feather, the Redeemed 4 Dauntless Bodyguard 2 Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin 3 Heroic Reinforcements 3 Reckless Rage 3 Sheltering Light 2 Gird for Battle