Dralnu, Lich Lord - Control Reanimator

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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

Dralnu, Lich Lord - Control and Reanimation
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"I bless the living with a song of death." —Lord Dralnu,
here



Intro and Deck History
So I've played Magic for some years, and EDH for about 4, with nary a look back at leaving standard behind. When I build a deck, I like to build with a theme in mind, or a mechanism to synergise. Not necessarily competitive but fun, and I like to build around generals with reasonably bizarre abilities. Needless to say, when I saw Dralnu, Lich Lord, I was in. Being more or less the only Dimir spellslinger, and with the first ability as a definite soft spot, I enjoy being challenged. Since building, the deck has been through a lot of variation, and is now at a point where it can be remarkably strong. It's not necessarily a combo deck, but it can look like it when things go well, and it's a lot of fun to pilot.

For an excellent in-depth primer of Dralnu, I'd strongly suggest looking at jenncertainty's list here. While this deck draws much from the primer, there are some differences. Mostly power level, and while I have drawn a lot of inspiration from the primer thread, there are some choices here I've made to make this a slightly different build. Nonetheless, this deck is built along the same premises, because it's fun and because it works well. I've always loved reanimation, and I love some of the splashier control spells in the deck.


The Commander

Dralnu is an interesting commander in may ways: Not hugely thought of as prominent in the lore, not always thought of as a strong general at first glance. I recommend him regularly as a great control general, and the amount of people who don't look past his first ability is astounding. Let me just say that I've absolutely never had it become an issue for me at all. Not even once. The amount of people who run burn spells is pretty small in EDH, and there are very few reasons Dralnu would ever need to be involved in combat. Even if he were forced into it, we have instant speed sacrifice outlets to cut our losses and recast him rather than risk devastation. We even have the neat trick of giving Dralnu away for a turn in case a Blasphemous Act resolves. Sac 13 permanents? How about you do it instead? These contingencies are built in to the deck to some extent, but nonetheless I'll repeat once more for the people in the back:

Dralnu's first ability isn't that bad, so stop being a baby.



Besides, people give you mad respect for running such a double-edged sword in the command zone, so just roll with it and be the best you you can be!


Strategy

"I confer with Death itself. What could you possibly do to injure me?" - Lord Dralnu, here
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What people don't understand about Dralnu is that his second ability allows you a TREMENDOUS degree of versatility. You're able to double up on spells you've already cast, sure. That's great in itself. The true beauty of Dralnu is that you're able to really take advantage of looting mechanics. These allow you to draw into the cards and land you want in hand, and pitch an answer for a future situation and later use. Essentially, your graveyard becomes a second, much bigger hand.

This allows you to screw with your opponents a little. Most of the time, when you actively pitch something from your hand, your opponents will not bother to look further at what it is. Even if they do, it forces them to play more cautiously as they know you have answers as well as what you've drawn into. It causes uncertainty and invites misplays. There is, of course, a risk of graveyard exile with things like Bojuka Bog and Rest in Peace - this really is a meta dependent phenomenon, and will just have to be played around in most cases. We're not without answers for this with our counters and removal, but this can cause troubles for us. That being said, we can always say no.

Effectively, you're giving yourself access to more answers than your opponents can shake a stick at. This works remarkably well, and allows you to play permission for the board in many cases. Granted, you're not bulletproof; this iteration is creature low, and you do still need a way to close out the game, as well as providing some measure of protection for Dralnu in lieu of his first ability being activated. Still, the situations this deck doesn't have an answer for are fairly rare.
"Image"
Phases of the Game
Early game, the plan is to push out some mana rocks, fill our graveyard and keep some threats off the table. We want a way to draw and loot, and we're going to keep fairly quiet, playing some permission, at the same time filling our graveyard appropriately and giving Dralnu some fodder. We probably don't want to be casting Dralnu yet, unless we can get ourselves a nice early reanimation target in play to stall out the table or outpace them. Void Winnower, Consecrated Sphinx or Nezahal, Primal Tide are all ideal.

Mid to late game, we're a bit more flush with mana, hopefully have a grip with some splashy board-changing spells, and a way to protect Dralnu. Once Dralnu is on the field, we're recycling bomb spells for value, reanimating creatures to choke our opponents, put ourselves ahead or devastate the board while pulling ahead.

There's a couple of really good options here for control mid game to put the pinch on. Void Winnower we all know about, as well as Jin-Gitaxias, Core-Augur. They will both be targets when they land, so make them count. The other options here are Archfiend of Ifnir and Night of Souls' Betrayal. The first is stunningly, aggressively good with any sort of loot strategy or Windfall variant[/card]. It will wipe the board for you. The latter is more for token strategies, which can be a meta thing, but it really does hold a ton of value for .

Late game, we're looking to land some of our finishing permanents and spells. There's lots here to give us some explosive advantage, with our storm spells, total wipes, our spells in Exsanguinate and Torment of Hailfire. We don't specifically go infinite with any of these, but we don't overly need to either.

With the overnight 8/7/19 banning of Paradox Engine this build will have one less arrow in its quiver. It's sad, but I can understand why. I've got a couple of options for supplementing, but we will inevitably lose some of the explosive acceleration that the Engine offered. Nonetheless, I will welcome the challenge. Engine was great for putting the game on 'easy mode' - this will give me a little more impetus to make sure my lines of play are strong and I'm earning my wins.




The Decklist





Further Developments

"Do not fear death. I shall release you from the eternal bonds and bring you glory" - Lord Dralnu, here
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Presently, I'm really happy with the deck as it exists. There's really not much that my budget can justify adding, short of a premium land base and staples like Cryptic Command. That being said, there's a few non-budget options that exist that would definitely help this build, or any others who look to emulate this:


I'm always interested in input; this deck is one I've had for a while now, and it has performed well enough to justify a place as mainstay in one of my top three decks alongside Bruna and Nissa. Therefore if you do have any suggestions or questions feel free to post, I'm always happy to discuss.


Credit & Thanks

Firstly I should thank jenncertainty for an inspiring, concise and well presented primer. Without seeing it I'd never have fallen in love with our Metathran zombie overlord. benjameenbear, Kelzam, Weebo (Socorro Tortoise here on nexus) have all offered really excellent advice too.




Enjoy!

Toc
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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

So overnight the RC has taken one of the stronger tools away from this deck. Paradox Engine is gone from the format. I.....honestly can see why. It's not broken, doesn't go infinite, but it's damn strong and ends games with alacrity and decisiveness. I'll miss it here, but we will make do without it.

For now, I'm slotting in Turnabout in place of Paradox Engine. It's able to double down on modes with God-Eternal Kefnet's ability or Dralnu's ability, and gives me options for either permission or big mana. I'll playtest it and decide on keeping it or not, but for now I'm happy enough.

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Post by benjameenbear » 5 months ago

Indeed, there was much mourning in the land as Paradox Engine was ban-hammered away. I too see and agree the rationale for banning it, so I can't say I'm too upset.

That said, have you considered the other Rituals? Dark Ritual seems particularly awesome for both flavor and acceleration with Dralnu.

Also, the new Vilis, Broker of Blood should DEFINITELY find a home in your build. I'm acquiring a copy for my Bolas Reanimator and Kaalia decks and I expect it to overperform. That card draw trigger is massively powerful and I think too many people are sleeping on the card.
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Post by TearsOfTomorrow » 5 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
5 months ago
Also, the new Vilis, Broker of Blood should DEFINITELY find a home in your build. I'm acquiring a copy for my Bolas Reanimator and Kaalia decks and I expect it to overperform. That card draw trigger is massively powerful and I think too many people are sleeping on the card.
I concur to this. And I'm glad the opening of the new forum is giving me an opportunity to check out your Dralnu deck, after hearing so much about it: I'll test some things out myself, and see if there's anything I can contribute to this idea going forward.

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Post by benjameenbear » 5 months ago

@TearsOfTomorrow
Good to see you're making the switch to MTGNexus! Toc's Dralnu deck is a close approximation of how I would want to build a Reanimator deck, so I fully support it.

Also, I LOVE the idea of your custom Planeswalkers and the project you're doing. I think there will be a subforum created for this kind of content, so please feel free to develop your project here on Nexus!
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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
5 months ago
Indeed, there was much mourning in the land as Paradox Engine was ban-hammered away. I too see and agree the rationale for banning it, so I can't say I'm too upset.

That said, have you considered the other Rituals? Dark Ritual seems particularly awesome for both flavor and acceleration with Dralnu.

Also, the new Vilis, Broker of Blood should DEFINITELY find a home in your build. I'm acquiring a copy for my Bolas Reanimator and Kaalia decks and I expect it to overperform. That card draw trigger is massively powerful and I think too many people are sleeping on the card.
Oh yeah, I'm definitely not sleeping on Vilis. He's nuts - kind of like a fairer Griselbrand, but still super strong. I'm not 100% on him having a slot here, but I'm tossing up whether he could fit in a Yawgmoth build, he seems great there.

As far as the rituals go - yeah, maybe? Personally the allure of something like High Tide or Bubbling Muck is preferable purely for being able to scale to board state more easily. Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual are decent burst mana, but their utility (to my mind, at least) probably falls off mid to late game somewhat.
TearsOfTomorrow wrote:
5 months ago
I concur to this. And I'm glad the opening of the new forum is giving me an opportunity to check out your Dralnu deck, after hearing so much about it: I'll test some things out myself, and see if there's anything I can contribute to this idea going forward.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts! This is one of my builds I'm most fond of, so I'm keen to keep conversation up about it.

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Post by TearsOfTomorrow » 5 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
5 months ago
Also, I LOVE the idea of your custom Planeswalkers and the project you're doing. I think there will be a subforum created for this kind of content, so please feel free to develop your project here on Nexus!
Teehee, thanks a lot. If you want to stop by and leave some constructive criticism, that's always welcome :)
toctheyounger wrote:
5 months ago
I look forward to hearing your thoughts! This is one of my builds I'm most fond of, so I'm keen to keep conversation up about it.
Ok so, I combined your basic mentality, my own Johnny tendencies and @benjameenbear 's suggestions concerning rituals and big mana, and I came up with this list. As usual, all the 35 missing cards are supposed to be lands.
The basic philosophy is similar to yours, but I reduced the creature count, focusing more on support/utility creatures and less on big bad curve toppers (highest CMC is Tidespout Tyrant, but Vilis could easily replace that when he comes out): this is because I wanted to focus more on the spellslinger aspect. There are two infinite combos that are possible to pull off here:

Phyrexian Altar + Gravecrawler + Dralnu = infinite casts, allowing you to follow up with a Storm spell.

Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal + mana rocks = almost as good as Paradox Engine and yes, this is precisely why Engine was banned: because it could do BY ITSELF what you otherwise need 2 or 3 cards in order to pull off. Anyway, the idea is to keep tapping and untapping so as to make infinite mana: if Dralnu is on the field as you do that, he too will keep tapping and untapping, allowing you to give flashback to literally all spells in your grave, and then you can cast them with all that mana you produced. And infinite mana is also handy for closing the game with Torment of Hailfire.

So yeah, this is what I got. I know you don't share my fixation with tutors and combos and all that jazz, but still.

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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

Looks fun. Personally I'm not sure if it's the right place for an Altar/Gravecrawler combo, purely because those components don't do anything else outside of going off together, so having one or the other alone leaves you with not much to do.

No Consecrated Sphinx? I know it's expensive, but it's one of those cards that has definitely earned its price tag. Especially if you're running Windfall and it's variants. If you did go for uber-draw, I wonder what your thoughts are on Laboratory Maniac as a win con? It's pretty common for a Dralnu win con, would be pretty easy to set up.

Command the Dreadhorde is cool and all for scaling, but given you don't have any walkers, I'd chop it for something a little lower on the CMC scale. Stitch Together has been super good for me, as threshold is almost always on, or you could go for Bond of Revival if you want an immediately usable creature. Or Beacon of Unrest for some flexibility and reusability - with the amount of draw you can get going with Dralnu you'd be surprised how often that shuffle clause comes in handy!

I also wonder if Living Death is going to give you enough value to justify inclusion: I usually use it in a deck where I can abuse some ETB triggers and/or have a horde of critters to swarm the board with. I feel like using it here you'd often find yourself outnumbered on resolution. I could be wrong, but my initial thoughts are that it probably isn't the right place for it here.

Just my initial thoughts, feel free to disagree or debate :)

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Post by TearsOfTomorrow » 5 months ago

Well, the way I see it you're running the other altar (Ashnod) for the sake of having a sac outlet should Dralnu be targeted for damage: I figured I'd do the same, but with this altar so that it can double as a combo option to close games.
I can see myself removing Tidespout for Consecrated Sphinx: again, I really want to be light on creatures, and Tidespout seems kind of a win more card in a deck like this. Stitch Together over Command seems a very good idea, and as for Living Death... Well, it's a card I'm particularly fond of because it doubles as a board wipe, That said, I do see it not being at its best in a deck like this: I'll replace it with Beacon and se how it goes :)

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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

TearsOfTomorrow wrote:
5 months ago
Well, the way I see it you're running the other altar (Ashnod) for the sake of having a sac outlet should Dralnu be targeted for damage: I figured I'd do the same, but with this altar so that it can double as a combo option to close games.
Whoops, I'd totally forgotten about that :p makes sense!
TearsOfTomorrow wrote:
5 months ago
I can see myself removing Tidespout for Consecrated Sphinx: again, I really want to be light on creatures, and Tidespout seems kind of a win more card in a deck like this.
Fair enough. I've found both very good in their own right, for different reasons. I keep Tidespout as a control piece, it just keeps the board a little more manageable (likewise with Winnower, Leviathan, blue praetor). Sphinx is definitely more suitable for a combo deck though, the gas it draws is undeniable.
TearsOfTomorrow wrote:
5 months ago
Stitch Together over Command seems a very good idea, and as for Living Death... Well, it's a card I'm particularly fond of because it doubles as a board wipe, That said, I do see it not being at its best in a deck like this: I'll replace it with Beacon and se how it goes
Yeah don't get me wrong. I love Living Death. Put it this way - here's my top 3 cards of all time list: I just think it's probably not the right place for it here. If you're after more wipes, I wonder if something like Massacre Girl would be cool here. I've tossed up adding Kagemaro, First to Suffer before too. I'm imaging some magical christmas land scenario where I have an enormous grip, Entomb Kagemaro, Bond of Revival it, swing with it to finish someone off then sac it to blow the board up in totality. Even outside of this, my Dralnu deck often has an enormous hand. Like, regularly double figures. Kagemaro could be awesome here.

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Post by TearsOfTomorrow » 5 months ago

Massacre Girl has a hilariously worded effect which I've been wanting to use for a while now. And yeah, Kagemaro looks like he could do a lot of work in this deck. The issue, however, is what to remove in order to make room for them,

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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

I ran her in Glissa, the Traitor briefly. She's undoubtedly devastating for any big board. The issue I had was that Glissa was regularly dying before any of the bigger creatures, so she wouldn't hit as many triggers as I'd have liked. Still, in a build where only clearing the board matters she's a good option. Kagemaro probably fits better in this build though.

Finding space - Yeah, that's a good point. I'd give the deck a spin in it's current configuration and see how it plays for now. See if you need the removal at all. You may not. At least giving it a whirl will give you an idea of what cards you want to play and what stays in your hand not doing anything.

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Post by TearsOfTomorrow » 4 months ago

So, I was rummaging through my collection of cards to make some adjustments to my Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, and what did I happen to find by mere chance? A copy of Dralnu! I legitimately didn't know I actually owned him o.O

So yeah, I tried rethinking my earlier deck idea for him, in light of some additional combos/interactions/utility options I came up with by looking at the cards I own which could do well with him: here is the result.

Two cards in particular I wanted to bring to your attention:

Primal Amulet: a second copy of Baral in its default face, when it flips it becomes an absolute monster of a land. Like casting each spell twice? How about casting it FOUR TIMES?

Bolas's Citadel: this card is AWESOME in a deck that wants to play Storm cards. The only reason why people are not aware of this is because most such decks don't play black. But we do, so this card is exceptional for us, and if we have Aetherflux Reservoir out we can pull off some ridiculous things with it, especially with Dralnu online. Sensei's Divining Top helps with that, to avoid the rare situation where we'd have 2/3 lands in a row on top.

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Post by SocorroTortoise » 4 months ago

It's probably about time for me to rebuild Dralnu again. I haven't played with him in a while.

How have God-Eternal Kefnet and Liliana, Death's Majesty been treating you? I can see the appeal of Lili, but she does seem a little on the pricey side and difficult to reuse, unlike most of the rest of the deck. Kefnet obviously doesn't seem bad - it's more a question of whether it's living up to expectations, because I still haven't seen it actually hit the board in any deck.
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Post by toctheyounger » 4 months ago

SocorroTortoise wrote:
4 months ago
It's probably about time for me to rebuild Dralnu again. I haven't played with him in a while.

How have God-Eternal Kefnet and Liliana, Death's Majesty been treating you? I can see the appeal of Lili, but she does seem a little on the pricey side and difficult to reuse, unlike most of the rest of the deck. Kefnet obviously doesn't seem bad - it's more a question of whether it's living up to expectations, because I still haven't seen it actually hit the board in any deck.
It’s strange, as much as I’m tempted to try a Sultai graveyard brew at some point I can’t seem to bring myself to pull this deck apart, it just works well and it’s a lot of fun to play, win or lose.

Liliana, Death’s Majesty - she’s been pretty good, although in all honesty she doesn’t often last long in play. She’s sort of a Jill of all trades, mistress of none - all of her abilities are relevant, but all could potentially be replaced by another piece. I guess the main reason to play her is her reanimation, and I could easily replace that with something like Dread Return without missing anything crucial.

God-Eternal Kefnet - it’s been good so far, although being absolutely honest I haven’t had a ton of time to play recently so I’ve only had a game or two where it’s cropped up. It’s sort of similar to Paradox Engine in the way of being best suited to a fairly established board, at least where the spell copying ability applies anyway; it’s best leveraged with a few rocks out to make sure you can double down on whatever you reveal. The other side though is being a well costed evading beater with some recursion. If I have to turn sideways I can, and it offers a measure of protection in being pretty hard to get rid of. As I say I haven’t had a chance to REALLY put it through it’s paces yet due to RL/work and porting threads to nexus, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far. The dream at some point is to topdeck High Tide, play it again, Narset’s Reversal it and play it again for a huge X-spell blowout or a gross Tendrils/Desire storm. A fella can dream right?

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Post by toctheyounger » 4 months ago

Small update - tortoise's Lili comments have got me thinking, and I've decided to try out Kagemaro, First to Suffer. CMC's are the same, but I can reuse Kagemaro for removal or beating face if needed, so it seems like it should be a reasonable switch.

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Post by benjameenbear » 4 months ago

Any updates here, toc? I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Dralnu and like to keep track of your thread.
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Post by toctheyounger » 4 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
4 months ago
Any updates here, toc? I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Dralnu and like to keep track of your thread.
Thanks man. Nothing to tell at present, although I am keeping my eye on spoilers coming through with the flashback theme. It's been a while since I picked up the deck to be fair, it games a little harder than most folk are keen for, so I only bust it out when I'm keen to really make the table suffer under a t2 Jin or something equally awful.

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Post by toctheyounger » 3 months ago

Took Dralnu out for a spin this afternoon, the first after losing the Engine....T_T....

It's working nicely, quickly and still has some firepower. Have yet to see Turnabout make an entrance - it's not going to be the same as Engine, but it's still good to have assurance the deck hasn't lost its speed.

I had the most hilarious 5 come up from Fact or Fiction too - Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, Consecrated Sphinx, Clever Impersonator, Reins of Power, Dig Through Time. My draw for the turn was Reanimate, too :cool:

I lost, but I lost to targeted heat from Eldrazi and a Persistent Petitioners deck. It was kind of a neat finish actually, a group hug sans white deck resolved Hive Mind then threw Glorious End on it, so I couldn't resolve any of my spells first, and I was on 10 with 10 cards in deck, so there just weren't any worth casting. Basically meant that with all 4 players left in the game whoever won was going to have to king hit everyone, or lose to the group hug guy.

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Post by GloriousGoose » 2 months ago

After realizing my Nicol Bolas, the Ravager control deck was just a bad Kess, Dissident Mage control deck, I decided to give ol' Dralnu another look. My last list was a dedicated combo deck centered around our dearly departed friend, Paradox Engine, but playing it always felt hollow. I'm just not a combo player anymore. However, I am a reanimator and control player at heart, so I'm going to give Dralnu reanimator another shot and use your base list for inspiration.

Here's a few thoughts and questions about your list.

Glacial Chasm is really, really good. It basically reads, "Aggro players can't win the game." It gives you time to stabilize, control the board, and bring back some more big fatties. When you're ready to win, you just don't pay the cumulative upkeep and go to town. Pairing it with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to allow it to tap for mana seems good. I'm not a fan of Propaganda at all and would gladly cut it for the Chasm, but that's just me.

Careful Study seems playable. It's card disadvantage up front, sure, but it's yet another way to get reanimation targets into the graveyard and with Dralnu, your graveyard is a sort of second hand. It's Frantic Search number two.

Did you ever play with Thran Dynamo? It can help you play your fatties easier without having to rely on reanimation spells and lends itself to big mana plays like Torment of Hailfire.

Do you find yourself without reanimation targets sometimes? Obviously most of your reanimation spells can also target creatures in opposing graveyards, but with so few targets it seems as though you might not be able to go aggro should you need to quickly eliminate an opponent.

Here's my rough draft list. It needs improvement but I think it would work as a decent beginning base. It's a little more control-y than your list and lacks a storm alternate path to victory, but that's how I like it.
Dralnu's Crusade

Commander:


1 Dralnu, Lich Lord

Enchantments: 2


1 Animate Dead
1 Necromancy
Approximate Total Cost:


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Post by toctheyounger » 2 months ago

GloriousGoose wrote:
2 months ago
After realizing my Nicol Bolas, the Ravager control deck was just a bad Kess, Dissident Mage control deck, I decided to give ol' Dralnu another look. My last list was a dedicated combo deck centered around our dearly departed friend, Paradox Engine, but playing it always felt hollow. I'm just not a combo player anymore. However, I am a reanimator and control player at heart, so I'm going to give Dralnu reanimator another shot and use your base list for inspiration.
Honestly, I'm still a bit sad about it. I get it. The card was nuts in so many builds, it was probably only a matter of time. But yeah, this deck loses a ton of firepower with Engine gone. It's still got a lot to win with, but...yeah. Appreciate the attention though :) although I should mention my list is derived heavily from another player's, jenncertainty over on salvation here. She's pretty busy, so I don't know how active the list is these days, but she definitely has a more extensive collection to throw at this, so her deck is more pimped, especially in the land base.
Glacial Chasm is really, really good. It basically reads, "Aggro players can't win the game." It gives you time to stabilize, control the board, and bring back some more big fatties. When you're ready to win, you just don't pay the cumulative upkeep and go to town. Pairing it with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to allow it to tap for mana seems good. I'm not a fan of Propaganda at all and would gladly cut it for the Chasm, but that's just me.
It is really good. I have a copy in my Nissa build, and being able to recur it with Titania, Protector of Argoth in play makes an incremental army and keeps the age counters low. Here, yeah, it could do strong things. I'm not about to pull my only copy from Nissa, purely because being able to bring it back there is nuts. Still, it's something worth considering here. I don't run it here more or less because it's a surprisingly hard card to get hold of. It's not even expensive, it's just....scarce. The land sac is concerning too, but I guess it's not the end of the world. Propaganda I get the concern, it's....ok. I can't think of a perfect replacement for it myself, but I'd consider moving it out into the future. It's less protection and more stalling, if anything.
Careful Study seems playable. It's card disadvantage up front, sure, but it's yet another way to get reanimation targets into the graveyard and with Dralnu, your graveyard is a sort of second hand. It's Frantic Search number two.
Could be good, although I've grown really fond of Notion Rain and Read the Bones here. It's nice to be able to have a modicum of control over what hits your hand, although you can't argue with the casting cost of Careful Study.
Did you ever play with Thran Dynamo? It can help you play your fatties easier without having to rely on reanimation spells and lends itself to big mana plays like Torment of Hailfire.
For some reason I thought I had it in here, but don't. There's a definite justification for having it in the list, so I really should pick another copy up.
Do you find yourself without reanimation targets sometimes? Obviously most of your reanimation spells can also target creatures in opposing graveyards, but with so few targets it seems as though you might not be able to go aggro should you need to quickly eliminate an opponent.
I haven't really noticed a lack of targets. There's probably room for one or two more if the right creature comes up. I think there's a line between 'beater' and 'control card' that it's quite important to make sure reanimation targets hit. From Eldraine there's not a ton I'm keen on for that. Maybe Rankle, Master of Pranks? Could be fun or could be a flop. Given there's so few here, it's probably important that it either control, generate advantage, or end the game and that can be a hard mark to hit. Other than that, Doom Whisperer looks cool on paper. Feedback I've heard is that it's good, not great. But hey, it's a beater too, so that's not nothing.

List looks good! You've obviously got a lot of resource to throw at this, I actually can't really see anywhere to suggest improvements overly. Let me know how it plays out and hopefully if there's any speed bumps I can help tweak things a little. The storm inclusions I can see why you avoid, but don't write them off altogether. They're not as broken as they seem here, at least not without the Engine. Neither one will end a game outright, they kind of just get you a little closer to the finish line. Especially Mind's Desire - it's unpredictable enough that sometimes it won't achieve a ton, and that's why I have it here. It's about as fair as storm gets.

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Post by SocorroTortoise » 2 months ago

I don't know how much time you've spent on ELD spoilers, but here's a potentially hot take. I think there's a real chance that Into the Story is a better card than Fact or Fiction, even in a GY centric deck. Most EDH games are going to have someone with 7 cards in the GY to enable the cost reduction by the time you're trying to reload at which point it's a 4 CMC draw 4 at instant speed, which is a ridiculously good one shot draw spell.

In reality I would probably just run both. FoF is an excellent card and I'm a sucker for card draw.
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Post by toctheyounger » 2 months ago

SocorroTortoise wrote:
2 months ago
I don't know how much time you've spent on ELD spoilers, but here's a potentially hot take. I think there's a real chance that Into the Story is a better card than Fact or Fiction, even in a GY centric deck. Most EDH games are going to have someone with 7 cards in the GY to enable the cost reduction by the time you're trying to reload at which point it's a 4 CMC draw 4 at instant speed, which is a ridiculously good one shot draw spell.

In reality I would probably just run both. FoF is an excellent card and I'm a sucker for card draw.
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That's a spicy take. I'll be honest, I hadn't looked too hard at options for Dralnu this release, or specifically at this card. That being said, I get where you're coming from and I don't necessarily disagree. I think there's the dilemma of 'oh god this is cool but what do I cut?' but yeah, running both is a fairly reasonable thing to do.

As far as other considerations, there's not a ton. There's a case for Lochmere Serpent, although it's a bit of a glass cannon. I really like Rankle, Master of Pranks as a control tool. Mystic Sanctuary seems like an easy add too, and maybe Castle Vantress. although that's a tentative consideration. We'll see how it goes when I grab the boxes my wife ordered. She's...a sucker for flavour, so we're all in for this set.

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Post by toctheyounger » 2 months ago

So based on this last comment, I'm going to try out Into the Story. I agree that it merits investigation. That being said, again, I struggled to pick a cut.

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The homunculus is cute and all, but I often find it just underwhelming. It was between this and Propaganda as they both fulfill a similar purpose in terms of stalling early game attack so I can establish presence. I feel like it's the right choice.

The concept of adding another reanimation target still exists, although there's nothing stunning I've seen from recent releases that would justify addition. Other than that, I also grabbed copies of Mystic Sanctuary and Castle Vantress, which are cool. I wasn't overly certain I want them here though; they both do cool things with God-Eternal Kefnet, but that's one card, and my instants and sorceries are just fine in the yard, so they both seem a little redundant to be honest.

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 month ago

A couple of functional changes for the deck:

I had thought about the mention of adding another reanimation target, and being honest I couldn't think of anything stupendous to add. Sower of Temptation seems fair in that its nothing that an opponent can get grumpy at me for swinging with. I had thought about Glen Elendra Archmage too, but it seems slightly redundant here, so here we are - if there's a decent reanimation target I've missed I'd be interested to hear about it. Glacial Chasm is a great card which hopefully will be a nice addition, and Mystic Sanctuary should be excellent. Tidespout Tyrant loves it, so I can get some great mileage from it.

Dreadship Reef and Mystifying Maze both suffered from being too slow and ungainly, so they're easy cuts. Swiftfoot Boots is redundancy, which is nice, but ultimately probably not absolutely necessary.

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