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RB Reanimator report

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Went for a change of deck for this month's legacy event ( should probably decide what to play at the GP fairly soon, also whether or not I'm definitely going to the GP)

This time was Reanimator, with this list:

4 Dark Ritual

4 Entomb

4 Reanimate

4 Thoughtseize

4 Exhume

4 Animate Dead

4 Unmask

4 Faithless Looting

4 Lotus Petal 

1 Chrome Mox

3 Griselbrand

4 Chancellor of the Annex

1 Sire of Insanity

1 Elesh Norn

1 Tidespout Tyrant

2 Badlands

1 Bayou

2 Swamp

4 Marsh Flats

4 Bloodstained Mire


Sideboard (extremely sparingly used, I basically had no idea what I was doing with sideboarding things out)

2 Pithing Needles

2 Abrupt Decay

2 Stronghold Gambit

3 Reverent Silence

3 Collective Brutality

1 Iona, Shield of Emeria

1 Archetype of Endurance

1 Inkwell Leviathan


Round 1 (vs Belcher)

Possibly the shortest 3 game match I've ever played. Game 1 on the play, hand was reasonable, including a Chancellor to reveal to slow my opponent down, plus Entomb to put it in the yard and an Animate Dead .Unfortunately he had a Gitaxian Probe to burn the Chancellor trigger, then played Mox Opal, Lotus Petal x2, LED, Seething Song, Belcher and hit me for about 40 with the Belcher activation for the turn 1 kill.

I sided in an Iona for a Griselbrand, turn 1 Unmask myself to discard a Griselbrand then Lotus Petal, Exhume the Griselbrand. My opponent's only play before conceding 2 turns later was another probe

Game 3 went similarly, opponent reluctantly kept 6 after a mulligan, turn 1 Faithless Looting, Unmask him to take a Land Grant, turn 2 Reanimate a Griselbrand onto an empty board, Unmask again to take Burning Wish. Griselbrand wins handily vs absolute nothing to take it 2-1


Round 2 (vs Lands)

The exact opposite of Round 1, finishing in a dishonourable 1-1 draw after going to turns (not typical for RB Reanimator). Game 1 my deck morphed into a weird prison deck as I managed to keep stocking the yard through Entomb and Faithless looting, eventually getting to have 3 Chancellors keeping the turn 2 Griselbrand company on the board. Glacial Chasm meant Griselbrand didn't actually do a single point of damage, but 12 points of cumulative upkeep life loss plus a fetch left him at 7 life, the Chasm had to go and then there was no answer to my flying force.

Game 2, I again sided Iona in, this time for Elesh Norn. I had it in my opener plus 1 of the 2 Pithing Needles that had come in for a Thoughtseize and an Unmask, got her into the yard off Faithless looting, then Reanimate to cut off his green spells. Unmask took a Crop Rotation and left a hand of Misty Rainforest, Windswept Heath, Life from the Loam. His board was Rishadan Port, 2 Taiga, Mox Diamond. I played Needle naming WIndswept Heath and swung with Iona. Opponent played Tabernacle to tie down my mana. I drew something meaningless and swung for another 7 to put my opponent to 6. He then drew Gamble, I rolled a die to randomly pick the Misty Rainforest out of his hand. I was expecting to see a Wasteland come down so my only land would get killed and with it Iona, but instead Maze of Ith showed up to achieve a similar result. A few turns of bad draws later, he got the Dark Depths/Thespian Stage combo down and it was time to enter scoop phase.

Game 3 was really bizarre. I was feeling good with an early Griselbrand in play, but Crop Rotation got a Maze of Ith after just one hit and Griselbrand was neutered. Opponent had a Port and a couple of Wastelands to keep my mana in check, then cast Crop rotation to take my graveyard with another Griselbrand and a Tidespout Tyrant before I drew another reanimation spell I could actually cast. During the midgame I drew 2 Unmasks and used them both to take copies of Sphere of Resistance. We reached a long stalemate after I played Pithing Needle on Thespian Stage to go with Griselbrand and Swamp vs his Bog, Maze, Port, Taiga, Mox Diamond but no threat whatsoever. I drew another land (which got Wastelanded, then a Lotus Petal, then another Needle to doubly lock out Stage. I had Dark Ritual, Animate Dead, Faithless Looting, but no creatures in the yard and my only land getting tapped every turn. Faithless Looting off the Petal didn't get the second creature I needed to overload the Maze. Opponent got a Dark Depths, tried to get the counters off the hard way but got down to 2 counters before the clock best us both.

Round 3 (vs Manaless Dredge)

Back to the usual quick games here. I almost punted Game 1 after a fast start with turn 1 fetch, Badlands, Looting, discard Griselbrand and a Ritual, opponent turn 1 discard Phantasmagorian, pass. Turn 2 I cast Animate Dead on Griselbrand, drew 7, played Petal, looting, discard Chancellor and Sire of Insanity, then Unmask to take away a Gitaxian Probe. Turn 2 my opponent again did nothing, then I made the potentially fatal error, casting Reanimate and choosing Sire instead of Chancellor, valuing the higher power with the aim to get the game over as quickly as possible. My opponent looked delighted to throw his hand into the yard, dredged a Stinkweed Imp but didn't find anything too meaningful, a Narcomoeba coming into play to hold of Griselbrand next turn. Despite the choice of Sire for his 6 power, my next attack still left him at 8 life, plus Narcomoeba became a a zombie as he had a Bridge from Below in his yard, so he got another couple of dredges to get out of his trouble but luckily found a Narcomoeba but nothing else of much use. 1/1 fliers that become 2/2 zombies can't hold off Griselbrand and Sire for long, but I drew Reanimate and corrected my error from earlier by getting Chancellor to join the fun and the scoop duly followed

Game 2 I unknowingly played around the sideboard Mindbreak Trap he had in hand and managed to get turn 2 Elesh Norn into play through Faithless looting then Reanimate. My draw was otherwise not great but luckily Elesh Norn is pretty much game against Dredge and their potential army of 2/2 zombies and 1/1 Narcomoebas. Over the next 4 turns my opponent gamely activated some Phantasmagorians, did some dredging, a couple of times flipped over Narcomoeba to die then trigger Bridge to get a very short lived zombie but the praetor took the whole game on his own

2-0-1 going into the final round

Round 4 (mirror)

All about the die roll, which I won, had Chancellor and 2 Griselbrand in the opener with Unmask, Entomb, Exhume and a fetchland, revealed Chancellor to get what proved a crucial trigger. Turn 1 Unmask myself exiling 1 Griselbrand to discard the other. Opponent plays Badlands and passes. Turn 2 I drew Animate Dead and again nearly made a terrible mistake, I got very excited thinking I could get way ahead with Griselbrand, cast Exhume then thought I'd foolishly played into an Entomb from my opponent, then we both realised the Chancellor reveal trigger had saved me. Opponent took one more draw then scooped.

Game 2 I sided in Iona for Sire, plus 2 Abrupt Decay for a Thoughtseize and an Exhume (it's one way to minimise my risk of mistakes). I kept a slightly sketchy hand with Lotus Petal as the only mana source, plus a Looting and a Ritual, Tidespout Tyrant as the only creature but also an Exhume and a discard effect (Unmask I think). My opponent led with a Badlands and passed. I went for the gamble, cast the Looting off the Petal and found a land and another black card (luck skill victory etc.), discarding the Tyrant and Ritual. I then Unmasked my opponent, who then cast Entomb in response to put Iona into his yard. Iona on black is effectively an autowin in the mirror so I took his Reanimate leaving him with Dark Ritual, Chancellor, Faerie Macabre, Chrome Mox and Thoughtseize. He used a Faerie Macabre to take Tidespout Tyrant and leave me with no creatures in the graveyard then cast Dark Ritual, Thoughtseize targeting himself, discarding Chancellor and then realised he no longer had any way to reanimate his angel. I immediately top-decked an Animate Dead and my choice of his Iona as the target got the scoop

3-0-1, 1st place despite a couple of misplays. Over the course of the night I definitely had more luck than my occasionally terrible play deserved but it was mostly a blast to play (the long almost draw-go game 3 with lands not included, although even that did just become funny as the rest of the room were standing around watching us both draw terribly)


Can Reanimator do well often enough to be a good choice for a Legacy GP? Maybe, maybe not. Realistically I'm not exactly going there expecting to make top 8 or anything crazy anyway so it probably doesn't matter. It would be good to test it out a bit more against some of the Delver variants that are likely to make up a lot of the field, rather than being very thin on the ground locally, before I decide if I should run this in Birmingham or not

Lasraik and ChuckWagonMTG like this

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If you do play reanimator, you'll face a lot of lands decks.  For those matchups, I like going for a fast Inkwell and racing the Marit Lage, or Tidespout Tyrant and holding up an instant to bounce any 20/20s. Turn 1 Sire of Insanity on the play also wrecks them pretty hard, since they lose all their ramp pieces and disruption in one go.

rainman likes this

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On 26/02/2018 at 7:44 PM, Molimo said:

If you do play reanimator, you'll face a lot of lands decks.  For those matchups, I like going for a fast Inkwell and racing the Marit Lage, or Tidespout Tyrant and holding up an instant to bounce any 20/20s. Turn 1 Sire of Insanity on the play also wrecks them pretty hard, since they lose all their ramp pieces and disruption in one go.

Game 3 I ended up with I think 1 land and 2 pithing needles in play and just couldn't get anything going on my side. This deck is definitely not designed to go long, turn 1 sire is definitely a good plan (as it is against most decks). Shane the only match I managed to get sire into play as against dredge, where it is the worst creature in the deck

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On 26/02/2018 at 8:58 PM, Lasraik said:

That deck sounds like fun!  Seeing the deck list I was a fan right away seeing Sire of Insanity.  

Did you decide if you'll be playing at the GP?

Registration just opened, I think I will go if I can get the Friday off work (it's a double GP so legacy starts Friday morning)

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