[Placeholder] Primer - Reanimator

SrStompy
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Post by SrStompy » 1 year ago

BR Reanimator Primer

Black-Red Reanimator is an explosive Legacy combo deck. It utilizes Entomb, Faithless Looting, and Collective Brutality to stock its graveyard with reanimation targets, and Reanimate, Animate Dead, and Exhume to bring those cards back. Griselbrand is the primary reanimation target, though Sire of Insanity is another spicy choice that can eliminate the opponent's entire hand after dumping your own to set up reanimation. Chancellor of the Annex is another card that is frequently utilized, as it stutter's the opponent's early game or disruption while providing a capable target that continues to vex the opponent. Other targets include Tidespout Tyrant, Ashen Rider, Elesh Norn, and Iona, Shield of Emeria. Discard spells like Collective Brutality, Thoughtseize, Unmask, and Cabal Therapy clear the opponent out of answers and can also be pointed at yourself to bin your reanimation targets. Dark Ritual and Lotus Petal help accelerate the gameplan, frequently leading to turn one reanimations.

This is one of the few combo decks not running blue, which means there's not much hand sculpting or digging for pieces. This is overcome through redundancy. Loaded with 12 reanimation spells, 12 "discard spells" and 4 entomb, it's very likely any given hand will have multiple copies of the combo. This is necessary to both assemble the combo, but also play through counter-magic and hate.
Reanimator, 8th Place SCG Classic Pittsburgh
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Sideboard Options

Sideboard Options
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There are two additional colors that really fill in the weaknesses of black/red and address much of the hate other decks bring in. Some of the common hate includes Surgical Extraction, Containment Priest, Scavenging Ooze, Grafdigger's Cage, Leyline of the Void, karakas and Chalice of the void. Both white and Green offer flexible answers to most of these cards. The abundant number of answers makes game 2 and 3 a bit harder guessing, and combating all the various forms of hate.

White:
Wear / Tear
Serenity
Green:
Abrupt Decay
Assassin's Trophy
Reverent Silence

Red:
Shenanigans
Abrade
Black:
Coffin purge
Faerie Macabre

Other considerations are towards a different game plan. There has been success with cards like Pack Rat, Bitterblossom, and more recently Rotting Regisaur. The rat and dinosaur provide an aggro plan, along with assisting in the overall discard to reanimation game plan. This approach has merit, as oftentimes opponents mulligan very aggressively towards hate, keeping otherwise weak hands.

Others have tried running a couple extra lands including Lake of the dead, in addition to a couple extra grave titan's. With the additional mana from Lake of the Dead, Grave Titan, and even Griesldaddy can be hard casted.

Reanimation Targets

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Main Deck:
G-Daddy - The most common target. If a 7/7 Flying lifelinker isn't enough to win, sure drawing 7 cards, and bringing back another will do the trick.
Chancellor Of the Annex - This guy can win the game, but appearing in the opening hand oftentimes ensures a successful first reanimation. The tax on cantrips and everything else, often provides enough time to reanimate a second creature, or swing in for 20.
Tidespout Tyrant , Ashen Rider - Game 1 flexible answers to problem cards including Ensnaring Bridge, Jace, The Mind Sculptor, and Merit Lage
Grave Titan - A non legendary beefstick capable of singlehandedly winning games. The tokens provide reuse of cabal therapys to strip oppenents hand, and provides the fastest clock among the other targets. Can often out aggro tempo decks and even Death and Taxes.
Sideboard:
Archetype of Endurance - Answer to targeted removal and bounce.
Inkwell Leviathan - Shrouded beat stick that can race most other decks with it's 7/11 trampling body.
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite - Provides a win condition, as well as a board wipe.
Iona, Shield of Emeria - Completely crushing card against mono colored decks. It also provides hate to things like storm, requiring that she first be removed from the field of play before they can win.
Sire Of Insanity - This was a popular option for awhile. Getting this bad boy out on turn 1 almost always spell game over. It's also a strong choice against decks like Show And Tell, or Storm as they usually require multiple pieces in their hand to win the game. Overtime it seems this may be a win-more card, and less valuable the later it hits the battlefield.

Piloting

Piloting
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Game 1 is generally favorable due to the redundancy and explosiveness of the deck. It is generally favorable to mulligan aggressively due to the limited card selection we have. Game's 2 and 3 tend to be much harder due to the diversity of hate available.

While listening to a mtg podcast, Eric Landon (one of the decks most successful pilots) mentioned his approach to the deck. He played it more akin to storm. On turn 1, if you have it, you might just have to go for it. But he also noted the merit to playing a little slower, and capitalizing on your opponents mana and situation. Making sure to lead with discard then comboing off with better information.
Last edited by SrStompy 1 year ago, edited 2 times in total.

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The Fluff
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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

looking forward to seeing this section get filled up. :)
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Post by Iso » 1 year ago

I've been playing BR/BU Reanimator for a bit, and Faithless Looting just...feels bad. It can't be a T1 play in addition to a Reanimate spell unless you cast it off of a Petal, and more often than not, you want to be doing something other than drawing and discarding T1. The problem is the same with BU, as it uses Careful Study instead of Faithless Looting, but enables access to cantrips and counterspells. That said, again, it has never felt like that's what the deck wants to be doing.

I think mono-B Reanimator is the future of this deck.

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Post by wildfire393 » 1 year ago

Iso wrote:
1 year ago
I've been playing BR/BU Reanimator for a bit, and Faithless Looting just...feels bad. It can't be a T1 play in addition to a Reanimate spell unless you cast it off of a Petal, and more often than not, you want to be doing something other than drawing and discarding T1. The problem is the same with BU, as it uses Careful Study instead of Faithless Looting, but enables access to cantrips and counterspells. That said, again, it has never felt like that's what the deck wants to be doing.

I think mono-B Reanimator is the future of this deck.
I think Faithless Looting is a quite powerful component of the deck. Sure, you're not going to have a turn one reanimate off of it that often, though Petal Looting Reanimate is certainly a possibility, but it gives the deck a much better chance of connecting a reanimation spell with a target in the yard on turn two or three. And the fact that you can flash it back gives you a lot of much-needed gas for the mid to late game if your first reanimation spell gets countered. Red also gives you access to cards like Sneak Attack, Through the Breach, and/or Stronghold Gambit out of the board, giving you ways to fight against graveyard hate. Mono-Black reanimator is reliant on Lake of the Dead for its mid to late game and gravehate avoidance, which adds a huge vulnerability to Wasteland, as well as requiring you to run a lower quality of reanimation targets to ensure that more of them are castable off of Lake. You're also seeing fewer cards than RB because you don't have the Faithless Lootings, making it harder to connect all of your pieces.

Blue/Black Reanimator is an entirely different animal, playing more like Sneak Show than RB or monoblack Reanimator. It's definitely fallen out of vogue too.

Monoblack Reanimator has its appeal, certainly, but I do think you're underestimating Faithless Looting. Without Faithless, your options for binning your own reanimation targets are limited to Entomb, Collective Brutality (which also requires a three card specific of Brutality Ritual Reanimate to go off first turn, plus your reanimation target, and you see two fewer cards than Looting in the process), or targeting yourself with a Thoughtseize or Unmask.

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Post by Iso » 1 year ago

SrStompy has requested ownership of this primer. I have transferred the OP to him.

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Post by SrStompy » 1 year ago

Bump.

First update to the primer. If anyone feels any information is missing and/or incorrect please let me know. Open to any suggestions to try and make it as complete/correct as it can be.

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Post by SrStompy » 1 year ago

Iso wrote:
1 year ago
I've been playing BR/BU Reanimator for a bit, and Faithless Looting just...feels bad. It can't be a T1 play in addition to a Reanimate spell unless you cast it off of a Petal, and more often than not, you want to be doing something other than drawing and discarding T1. The problem is the same with BU, as it uses Careful Study instead of Faithless Looting, but enables access to cantrips and counterspells. That said, again, it has never felt like that's what the deck wants to be doing.

I think mono-B Reanimator is the future of this deck.
I've experimented with some various mono black lists. I was definitely a fan of better game 2 and 3's due to the ability to hard cast grave titans. I found though even in those lists, I wanted faithless looting. Having 0 card selection is so painful. Having also played with the Blue based lists, Faithless Looting having flashback over Careful Study often proves to be advantageous.

The balance I've struggled most with is taking away power from the deck to have alternative game plans for games 2 and 3. I have yet to try the new dinosaur, but have had a lot of success playing a 15th land and 4x pack rat in the board.

I've also had some mild success with grixis splashing blue for Echoing Truth, and Arcane Artisan and Pack Rat.
List linked below.
https://www.tcdecks.net/deck.php?id=28362&iddeck=231937

I've also tried to experiment with Search For Azcanta/Azcanta, The Sunken ruin. Although feeling generally bad game 1, felt better in games 2 and 3.

Mono black to me leaves too many gaps for my liking without some really strong clear benefits. To me I'm looking to solve that we have a very linear game plan with a lot of flexibility in hate against it. But, like other combo decks, game 1 is ours to win, and I don't want to sacrifice too much of the consistent wins in game 1.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

nice primer. :)

I think looting adds a lot to this deck, the flashback is relevant.
It was just recently banned in modern for turning modern into a gy format.
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Post by motleyslayer » 7 months ago

thanks for the primer. Sneak and show player in paper but wanted to try this deck. Now that I decided to give renting decks a go on MTGO, I decided to try it.

is there a lot of good content on the deck on youtube or anything similar?

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