Extended Reanimator




The Creatures
Reanimation targets generally fall into two important categories: Big Creatures and Utility.
Big Creatures: The big creatures are the most important reanimation targets, since they are the ones that win you the game. As a general rule, you want creatures with a high power, and some sort of evasion (such as Rorix Bladewing's flying). Trample is an acceptable substitute for evasion if there is a compelling enough ability or reason to use the creature (Phantom Nishoba) Haste is a very good bonus, giving you a clock that is a full turn faster. However, without a doubt the best reanimation target is a high power hasted, flying, trampling creature with a few other abilities on the side (Akroma, Angel of Wrath).

Utility: It is unusual to find utility reanimation targets worth using. Typically they have a big fat body with a powerful ability (Verdant Force). Occasionally a small (power/toughness) creature with a potentially gamebreaking ablity (Arcanis the Omnipotent) will see play, however since the banning of Entomb this practice has become quite rare.


Get it in the Graveyard
Typically, to reanimate your big creature, you must first get it into the graveyard. Fortunately, there are several methods of doing this. Putrid Imp provides the most mana-efficient method, getting rid of anything you have in your hand. Careful Study is also good, replacing the discarded cards with fresh ones from your library. Cabal Therapy can be used in an emergency, and works on your opponent as well.


Reanimate It
There are several reanimation spells in the format. However, very few of them are any good. The cheaper your spell the better, and it is preferable to not use cards like Stitch Together that add an extra condition to your reanimation. The most expensive "reanimation" spell that is playable is Show and Tell because it works even with nothing in the graveyard. Here's a few sample decklists from PT columbus for you to chew on.

Gadiel Szleifer --- top 8 pt Columbus
DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Mana
4 Underground River
4 Polluted Delta
6 Swamp
2 Island
4 Chrome Mox

Reanimation Targets
4 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
3 Rorix Bladewing

Discard Outlets
4 Putrid Imp
4 Careful Study
1 Sickening Dreams
4 Cabal Therapy

Reanimation
4 Reanimate
4 Exhume
1 Show And Tell

Other
4 Vampiric Tutor
3 Duress
4 Brainstorm



Jeff Garza --- top 16 pt Columbus

DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Mana
4 Underground River
4 Polluted Delta
2 City of Brass
4 Swamp
2 Island
4 Chrome Mox

Reanimation Targets
4 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
3 Phantom Nishoba
1 Visara the Dreadful
1 Petradon

Discard Outlets
4 Putrid Imp
1 Sickening Dreams
4 Careful Study
4 Cabal Therapy

Reanimation
4 Reanimate
4 Exhume

Other
4 Brainstorm
2 Duress
4 Vampric Tutor


Matchups
Red Deck Wins: The metagame is very diverse at the moment. However, RDW seems to have the best overall win percentage. Phantom Nishoba and Akroma are both VERY useful in this matchup. The former essentially negates the effectiveness of opposing burn by gaining large quantities of life. The latter is a massive 3-4 turn clock (depending on self-inflicted fetchland pain) that between vigilance, pro-red, and first strike essentially freezes your opponent’s beatdown options.

The important thing to remember when sideboarding here is that your opponent may (or may not) be using Ensnaring Bridge. It is highly advisable that you have some method of dealing with that, such as Echoing Truth or Molder Slug. Overall, the matchup favors you. But be wary; your opponent is quite adept at punishing bad draws or slow starts.

Ravager Affinity:
In the wake of PT Columbus, Ravager has seen a dramatic increase in popularity. While Disciple + Ravager can outrace even the gutsiest of draws, the real hoser in this matchup is actually Meddling Mage. A turn 2 Mage naming Exhume reduces by 50% the available reanimation spells. While sitting around and waiting to draw a Reanimate might be fine against a slow deck, Ravager has been known to beat a turn 1 Akroma! Game 1 is all about speed. Aggressively mulliganing slow hands is critical to beating Ravager.

Game 2 is a different matter, as Smother and Show and Tell help to eliminate problems with the Meddling Mages, while Energy Flux creates all around problems for your opponent. Some versions of Ravager have been playing Seal of Removal or Gilded Drake, both of which cause you significant problems, but there’s not much to be done about them.

Life:
Like most other matchups that you face, Life is all about speed. You cannot win once your opponent goes off, so you have to make him dead before that happens. Your 6 power hasted fliers are the best here, because your life total is of little relevance, and he’s got plenty of small dudes to chump a ground pounder. There’s not much sideboarding on either side for game 2. I’d bring in Smother if you’ve got ‘em, and any other evasive creatures you might have in the sideboard. False Cure is an oft used, but rarely effective trick for you. Your opponent may or may not have Morningtide or Honor the Fallen in his board, but it’s a good idea to hold your creatures for as long as possible just in case. This is another matchup where you have to mulligan aggressively to win quickly.

Mirror: The mirror match is a very curious battle. The important thing to remember here is that both players have access to Reanimate, so be cautious about what you let into your graveyard. On the other hand, Exhume hits both players, so if your opponent has an Akroma in his yard, you may wish to discard your own as well so that the Legend rule makes reanimating them ill advised.

Your best and most effective SB strategy here is to bring in Gilded Drakes and bounce. Gilded Drakes are fast and a very good answer to an opponent’s quick hand. Bounce (especially stuff like Seal of Removal that sits in play safe from discard spells) is useful, both for returning your Drakes to steal again, and for busting up strong opponent draws. Instant speed graveyard hate such as Coffin Purge is also quite handy. They can remove Reanimate targets and occasionally can even prevent a successful Exhume as well.

Rock:
Rock is one of your easier matchups. Essentially the only reliable way to kill your large creatures is Diabolic Edict (or similar effects) since you are too lard to hit with Pernicious Deed. However the edict is quite poor with a Putrid Imp in play, and downright horrible vs Verdant Force. There are people who dispute this matchup, however I've found they are generally either playing a version of rock specifically geared against reanimator, or a bad reanimator deck (or both).

The best SB options available for your opponent are Coffin Purge and Planar Void, cards which aim to quickly shut down your graveyard for business. To get around the graveyard hate, Show and Tell is quite useful, as are your discard spells. Zach Maples has suggested boarding out your creatures and reanimation entirely in favor of Phyrexian Negator, Gilded Drake, and Smother, however I have yet to test the soundess of this theory.
UG Madness:
Here we have your WORST matchup. If your opponent drops a turn 1 Waterfront Bouncer in game 1, you might as well scoop on the spot. Bounce in general is very bad for you, and given the aggro heavy metagame, most UG players are using it.

There really isn’t much to do about the bounce. I’ve tried using Plated Slagwurm to hose the bounce, but he’s just an 8/8 with no trample or evasion, making him easy to chump for long periods of time. Iridescent Angel proved somewhat better in that department, as the pro-colors and flying essentially makes her unblockable. However the Iridescent also has to swing a whopping 5 times to deal 20 damage, and without haste that’s a looooong time till you win the game.

Notes on the Sideboard
There are a few important things to keep in mind while preparing your sideboard. For example, if Red Deck Wins players aren't using Ensnaring Bridge then you have no need for Echoing Truth. Plated Slagwurm is probably your best bet vs. Madness, and is quite strong against many control decks where the lack of evasion is less important.

Show and Tell should see at least 3 total slots between maindeck and sideboard, as it effectively dodges hate, and is quite powerful. Phyrexian Negator is an undercosted hunk of meat against control, and is suprisingly good in the mirror. Smother comes in vs. most of the aggro matchups (typically replacing Duress). Gilded Drake is the last of the popular SB cards. It is highly effective in the mirror, and is quite good vs. any deck playing big creatures.

Reanimator is a strong choice heading into this year's Extended season, since it has the speed and power to handle any deck in the format. The drawing and tutors make it consistent enough for tournament play, and there’s no denying the fun factor of playing massive 8-mana creatures in a deck with only 15 lands!

Good Luck, and Happy Hunting

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