Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Reanimating the reanimated re-animator By Geoffrey Sheldon-Anderson

Kye has thrown down the gauntlet. So here I am the worst possible person to write an article picking it up and slapping him back in the face with it. That will teach him for throwing down a chain mail glove Any way I thought about what kind of article I should write and I decided to do one of those deck primer articles, with a difference. So anyway enough of me babbling on in the boring and inane intro, time for the boring and inane primer.

The evil ones mono black re-animator

(Who didn’t see that coming?)

Well lets start of with the deck list shall we or maybe not, maybe you should just guess the deck list and try and figure out what I run and you know what it would just be easier to post the deck list.

12 Swamp
4 Tainted Field
2 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Peat Bog
1 Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

21 Land

2 Undead Gladiator
1 Akroma, Angle of Wrath
1 Angel of Despair
1 Bogardan Hellkite
1 Bringer of the Black Dawn
1 Laquatas' Champion
1 Razia, Boros Archangel
1 Simic Sky Swallower
1 Visara the Dreadful

10 Creatures

4 Buried Alive
4 Dark Ritual
4 Diabolic Edict
4 Exhume
4 Zombify
3 Dimir Machinations
3 Funeral Charm
3 Shred Memory

29 Other spells

Now I guess its time to explain the card choices. I warn you all now this is very in depth stuff.


See told you I was going in depth. Anyway swamp taps for black enough said.


Ahh, the first questionable card choice. Well if you don’t see the synergy with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth then get your seeing eye dog to lead you to it. Also helpful for those stalled games were a stupid leyline of the void is in play. How you ask? Well it allows me to play some of my big bombs like Akroma and AoD.


Hmmm why would I have this in a mono coloured deck? Could it be used to thin the deck out, I think it might just do that.


This was in here since the first build and I just can’t think of anything I would rather have in that land slot.


Fear on Akroma, need I say more?


It’s got Yawgmoth in the name so you know it’s good. Also allows expanses to tap for mana which is always good



What can’t this glass cannon do? He beats for 3 draws me cards and is a discard outlet to boot. He just screams draw more cards then your opponent whilst filling your graveyard.


Flying, First Strike, Trample, Haste, Protection from Red, Protection from Black, Attacking does not cause Akroma, Angel of Wrath to tap. 6/6. There needs be no more said on the topic.


A 5/5 flyer that vindicates when it hits the board hell yeah!


A 5/5 flyer that shoots 5 damage into the face of something or someone. Seems like a good choice to me.


I am starting to get a little tired of the ground pounder. Even with the vampiric tutor every upkeep, it’s starting to feel a little tired.


6/3 regenerator that says When I enter play kill me instantly or you lose.


Another 6/3 but this one happens to have haste, vigilance, flying, and a nice little redirection ability to throw off the opponents combat math.


6/6 flying trampling Sean Connery from the untouchables. Only massive firepower can drop him.


Another 5/5 flyer, this time we are looking at a continuous creature killing machine.



Deck Thinning I hear can be good; it allows me to have a better chance of drawing something good. Not to mention putting 3 big beaters into the graveyard is a good thing in this deck.


Lets do the math here B = BBB. Anyone who did maths in primary school knows that doesn’t work. But I'm not going to be telling wizards that there math skills need improvement.


Target player SACRIFICES a creature. Very important for those annoying times when somehow, just somehow there is a darksteel colossus on the other side of the board.


2 mana for a completely unbalanced reanimation spell for both people. Assuming they have a creature in the yard in the first place.


Yeah it sucks and needs to be replaced with necromancy.


3 CC + Transmute = Tutor for Buried Alive and Necromancy (when I get them)


This is actually an interesting card in my book. 1 mana for instant speed discard is good not to mention the fact that it also works as a kill spell or a pump spell or as a way of giving evasion.


2 CC transmuter so I can get exhume and edict also comes in handy when dealing with another deck that likes the yard or if you just had to go and put a decent creature in the yard.


Ok so now that we have covered the card choices maybe we should do some more primer type things like match breakdowns or something.

Actually no we won’t. Instead of telling you why you would play this I will instead tell you when to play this.

Re-animator is the kind of deck that can be good in the right hands and environment. It needs a player who knows how to exploit the interactions in the deck to his advantage. Not to mention this won’t be winning any major tournaments any time soon. This is the kind of deck you take to place where most of the power cards in legacy are owned by only one or two people. Where the chances of facing them in the first 2 or 3 rounds is small. Against an environment where everyone is running Force of Will and other powerful cards forget this and run something with more bite. This is just a fun deck that happens to have won most of the tourneys it’s been played in.

One thing about re-animator that you need to know is what makes a keepable hand. 2 land minimum and a reanimation spell is keepable. Don’t bother with any other hand unless it has 4 Dark Ritual, 2 land, Shred Memory and Dimir Machinations. Even then I would not keep that hand. And seeing as how that is 8 cards I don’t see anyone getting that opening hand anyway.

Now once you have your opening hand this is how the deck works. Bury Akroma, Razia and Hellkite first. Then reanimate Akroma and smash. If they kill her then bring out Razia. If they don’t bring back Hellkite and deal that last bit of damage without having to enter combat. I have actually had a couple of games where I have managed to kill 3rd turn beause of an awesome opening hand. Some of them have been first turn Akroma 3rd turn Hellkite and some have been 2nd turn Akroma and Razia. That’s not to say that will happen every game but it does occasionally happen.

Now at this point I bet you are all thinking why should we care? Well my eternal rating is probably higher then yours (1711). At least if you live in NSW (6th). Now why is it higher then yours? Well Re-animator and knowing where to play it. Now I should probably give a run down on match ups but guess what, legacy is a format where the top decks make up less of the meta at your average tourney then actual food content in Maccas. So instead I shall know tell you about some of the most memorable matches I have had with re-animator.

Last Round SGC Dual Force tournament

Vs Petr Joura

This is one of the most memorable for not only being the second round that re-animator would win but also for the laid back way that we flipped a coin before each match to see if we could predict the winner. The coin flipped in my favour 2-1 and that’s how it went down. Although I would not go doing this at a tourney again as it could be seen as randomly determining the winner but we did play the games to the best of our ability, and besides we weren’t exactly in contention for top 8. Petr came away with the coveted wooden spoon.

Legacy tournament Dubbo 07/01/07

Round 1

Vs Josh Ronan

This is one of my more memorable matches. As the funniest thing to ever happen to me in a game happened it was quite frustrating at the time. I mulliganed to 4 and kept the same non land hand I had been getting all along. The funny bit is that neither I nor my opponent really got to do anything for quite a few turns. I managed to stock my hand and start to fill my graveyard before getting my first land. In the end he won that match when he top decked his final combo piece and just went off. Although he did this at the last possible moment as he was dead on my next turn. I got my revenge by winning the round.

Round 2

Vs Daniel Micallef

Me and Daniel have been mates since yr 5 or 6 so we go way back. This was the first time he had shown up to a magic tournament in quite some time so we both had fun facing each other. Anyway the best part of this match was that he managed to knock me down to 2 life on his first turn. I came back with a first turn Akroma and he couldn’t get a trampler or any burn to deal those last two points to me

Round 5

Vs Mr D.

Easily the funniest start to a round ever. As usual did the small talk and asked how Mr D had gone today. Found out he was playing up as I was undefeated at this point and he had lost a round. So I turn to Angus our TO, better known around here as Dubbo_mtg, and ask him who else is undefeated at this point? Turns out no one, I can safely ID into first. I of course offer it to Mr D and he says nah he wants to play. I found out why within seconds. As he had built his deck specifically to defeat me, and beat me it did. But in the end after tie breakers I still ended the day in 1st place

Dubbo Vintage 20/05/07

Tourney 2 Round 2

Vs Josh Ronan

Hey Dubbo has vintage tournaments. It only took about 4 months of me begging Angus for it so I could use Yawgmoth’s Bargain, Vampiric Tutor, Necropotence, Mana Vault, and Channel. Lo and behold I end up 2nd in the first tourney. He ran a second tournament and what was easily the most overpowered first turn play all day cost me the match. Swamp, Dark Ritual, Mana Vault, Lotus Petal, Yawgmoth’s Bargain. 15 cards later I have almost all my land and a few other cards that aren’t going to help. Although I did finish 3rd this time.