@Capt. Nick, I've experienced the same thing with Smallpox. In almost every circumstance, I wished it were Abrupt Decay or something else. Seeing as we're a pseudo combo-control deck, we need lots of mana to operate as opposed to, say, an aggro or midrange deck that can get by on two or three lands. I'm going to try a quasi-creatureless list with some number of Eternal Witnesses (two maybe?) and Commune with the Gods in place of Smallpox. That should allow us to find Seismic Assault more easily as well as recur mass removal or dredged Liliana of the Veils. Maybe something like this:
I haven't built a sideboard yet because I'm considering a transformational, creature-based one, hence the Kessig Wolf Run. I figure all the graveyard hate comes in and all the spot removal comes out, so I may want to try a dude plan to increase our game 2 and 3 odds. There probably isn't enough sideboard space to do that, but it could be effective. The question is how many creatures to bring in and which ones. Kitchen Finks comes to mind, as it's outstanding against Zoo. Perhaps a miser's Thrun, the Last Troll against UWR, but that matchup is already pretty favorable. Maybe we splash white for Knight of the Reliquary(?).
mykatdied, is there a reason you play Misty Rainforests over Scalding Tarns? All green fetches in a predominantly BR deck seems counterintuitive to me. And I would think being able to fetch for red sources to cast Seismic Assault would help.
Friends, sadly I've decided to hang up the Reanimator package. I went 1-2 in my LGS Modern tournament tonight, losing to Goryo's Vengeance combo and Naya Zoo and beating UWR Midrange. I was competitive in all my matches, but today exposed the problem that typifies the deck: lack of focus. Trying to assemble either the Seismic Assault win OR the Reanimator win is just not the way to go. And Path to Exile is just too easy an answer to my primary win conditions. Against Zoo, for instance, I couldn't dillydally and play a Raven's Crime game because I would just die, so I had to try to reanimate quickly. Of course, I let my opponent keep too many cards in his hand, one of them being PtE. So I think I'm crossing over to creatureless Jund. Time to put away my Unburial Rites and sleeve up some Smallpoxes!
Creatureless Jund players, how do you feel about a couple maindeck Firespout and/or Anger of the Gods? And is there any other new tech you've been exploring with the new metagame?
Ya know, now that you mention it, going down to 2 Borborygmos Enraged in favor of another fatty might be a good idea. There have been numerous instances where I could reanimate B.E. but didn't have lands in hand. A second Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite could be good in this new meta of X/1s and Wild Nacatls. I've always been hung up on Sun Titan; some games it's a straight-up "do nothing," while occasionally I get to chain Liliana of the Veils or bring back a milled Seismic Assault. If you decide to test it, I'm curious about your opinion. Did you try Griselbrand at all? I've found the lifelink to be very relevant, and drawing seven cards ain't too shabby either. And I may try to rework my list to incorporate Lingering Souls, especially if playing the second Elesh Norn turns out to be better. I may not, though, because I want to play maindeck sweepers.
rayo, that's why I play two Seismic Assaults in my list - to diversify our win conditions and give us more access to land-chucking. I also noticed that you don't play Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, a card I've found to be invaluable in the Reanimator strategy. You could also use ways to put your fatties in the graveyard like Lightning Axe and Liliana of the Veil. A couple maindeck sweepers could probably help give you more game against aggro strategies.
Also, if you're gonna play Knight of the Reliquary, (which I like,) I might suggest running more than five lands with type "Plains" and "Forest." I might be wrong, but I have a hunch.
Lingering Souls worked for you, eh? I've always found them to be awkward, especially because of the way my mana develops in the first three turns; most often I want to either play Liliana, sweep with Anger of the Gods or set up a T4 combo. And they frequently chump-blocked, so I'd rather just play a removal spell to deal with that threat or something to abet the graveyard plan. Yeah, they were occasionally ridiculous with Elesh Norn, but those games were rare. If someone can find a configuration that makes Souls awesome, I'm all ears because I want them to be good!
The way I see the deck is more of a control shell with inevitability as opposed to something like Splinter Twin or Goryo's Vengeance that wants to rush it out there.
From my testing, I'd only play Eternal Witness if I'm also playing Sun Titan (which is almost always getting reanimated). I just want to blank opposing removal as much as possible, and I'm starting to lean towards T3 sweeper (Anger of the Gods), Seismic Assault or a Faithless Looting/Life from the Loam turn. Plus, GG on T3 is pretty hard to come by because I want lots of B and R and want to have W available the turn before I combo off so my opponent can't, say, respond to a fetchland trigger on my combo turn if they let me get to my main phase. But if you sleeve this thing up and find a configuration that makes E-Dub work, let me know!
Owen Turtenwald and Travis Woo messed with the idea, which is where I got it from, but I play much more removal than them to give us a little more versatility and make us less all-in on the combo. Their lists, for example, played zero Seismic Assaults, and Woo played four Stinkweed Imps. There's an argument to be made for a third Assault (and Liliana of the Veil), but since I'm binning so many cards, I don't want to play TOO many cards that don't do anything while in the graveyard. I view Assault more as an insurance policy. I messed around with one Sun Titan to bring back Assaults and Lilianas, and I may go back to that eventually if it proves to be better. But most often I wished Titan was any other idiot because Assault or Liliana aren't always in the graveyard; we can just draw into the combo with Griselbrand, for instance. I'd like to hear other opinions, though.
This deck is less of a glass cannon than the Goryo's builds, as it can win from the graveyard or the battlefield. I've won games where we exchanged resources, then Life from the Loam got Extirpated, and I swung four times with Raging Ravine, for example.
It would be wonderful to have someone else working on a Reanimator list - I'm calling it "Loam-borygmos." There are some slots in the 75 I'm unsure about still, and there are probably angles I haven't even thought of yet. The more minds on the case, the better. SnackCakes(GM), you with me?
It's really fun to play. The deck can play a game of attrition or combo off quickly. I still run 2 maindeck Seismic Assaults to diversify my win conditions. I typically don't see too much anti-synergy, as I want to win by chucking lands with either Assault or Borborygmos Enraged. Here's my list right now:
I'm still unsure about the Stinkweed Imp. It turns on our opponents' Lightning Bolts/Lightning Helixes, and now that Zoo with all that burn will be a thing again, I'm not sure Imp is where I want to be. But dredging five cards can be (and has been) really strong sometimes. It might be better as another sweeper or another Drown in Filth, I dunno. I also used to play 1 Sun Titan, but I found that you don't always get to live the dream and recycle Liliana of the Veil. Most often, I wished it were any other creature.
It would be great to have someone else working on a Reanimator list!
@SnackCakes(GM), I was thinking the same thing about Inquisition of Kozilek. I run the Reanimator build, and I've been trying 2 maindeck IoKs and 2 sideboard Thoughtseizes. So far I've liked that configuration. I run 3 maindeck Raven's Crimes and 2 (but sometimes 3) Liliana of the Veil as well, so the IoKs are more of a game 1 insurance policy/hedge. Then again, I'm trying to put most of my deck into my graveyard and combo off with Unburial Rites. Plus, targeted discard is generally a poor topdeck if the game goes long, as I will have probably been extensively Crime-ing already. I'm curious what others think about the targeted discard package.
Regarding land count, I've found 26 or 27 to be a good number. Right now, I'm playing 26 lands (7 fetchlands) and 1 Mulch:
Looking at your mana base, six filter lands seems like a lot. I'd be worried about the 2-filter openers that would normally be keeps but end up as mulligans. How have they treated you so far? I also play a second Ghost Quarter and (sometimes) a Bojuka Bog in the sideboard.
- I went down to two Liliana of the Veils, thinking that there will be an influx of swarm decks and a decline in midrange decks like Jund. Zoo will pack lots of burn, so they can efficiently deal with her. Is this thinking right?
- I think my deck wants a sweeper maindeck, so I'm running with Anger of the Gods. It's a turn faster than Damnation and kills Wild Nacatl and Merfolk strategies.
- Stinkweed Imp might be my loosest card, but it's a strong dredger/combo enabler and can eat attackers. Then again, it just dies to Lightning Bolt or Lightning Helix. What do y'all think? Should I just play another Drown in Filth or Mulch in its place? something else?
- The sideboard is where I have the most questions. I assume Pod decks are gonna be REALLY strong in the new meta, so I think Pithing Needles are a must. They're also good against Relic of Progenitus. That said, should I include a card like Extirpate to nail a Persist creature/combo piece? Might be good against Twin, too.
- Path to Exile is for Tron and Twin. I don't think Tron is gonna be as prevalent, so I'm only running one Path now instead of two.
- Two Volcanic Fallouts ... how prevalent does everyone think Faeries are gonna be? Fallout doesn't kill Wild Nacatl and a post-Lord Merfolk, which is why I'm considering running just one and either a Damnation or another Anger of the Gods in its place.
Anyone care enough about Bitterblossom that we consider Illness in the Ranks or Night of Souls' Betrayal or anything like that? I don't think BB will be devastating against me, as I'm more combo-centric and can potentially win before the Faerie onslaught. Those Volcanic Fallouts are lookin' better already. What does concern me, though, is Zoo running me over before I get a chance to set up. I've struggled with the Merfolk matchup sometimes, and I think Zoo will be a more efficient beatdown strategy than that. Anyone's decks adjusting at all for this new meta?
Getting back one or two creatures off of a Living End won't really stop the horde that they'll bring back. Griselbrand might be enough to hold them off but it won't be a certain thing. Also, Street Wraith has Swampwalk. Which is mildly relevant.
I run sideboard Volcanic Fallout for the UWR Geist of St Win type decks. Keeps them from countering it and kills off the Geist. It's also an instant, which is more relevant for my RUG list but I've liked it more than Pyroclasm. Unless you really need something that costs 2 mana, I'd recommend that.
I haven't tried Volcanic Fallout, but it looks really powerful. It can even be good against Pestermite. My mana base is kinda painful, though, so do you think the life loss is worth the effect in my build? I think three sweepers feels correct in my 75. Maybe a maindeck Damnation and two Fallouts in the side? I dunno. Is Pyroclasm insane against Affinity? I don't have much experience against the deck, as I've never drawn my Clasms in my few games against it.
Lots o' talk about Living End, wow! I was saying that the matchup is probably good for me (although I haven't tested against it) because the creatures I'd bring back trump my opponent's. What graveyard hate do they play, Faerie Macabre?
@mykatdied, thanks for confirming my suspicion about Pyroclasm. I feel like they're good when they're good but horrible every other time. I like the idea of having instant-speed removal against Twin, so I may keep the Lightning Axes in and swap out one Flame Jab for another Drown in Filth. Like you said, I don't think I need a ton of Jabs because of my diversity of land-pitchers, but having access to one would probably be nice just in case things go south.
What if I played one or two Zombie Infestations as an alternative way to utilize my resources? Some of the Goryo's Vengeance deckbuilders have talked about including Infestation, and I'm starting to think it would be better than Jab because I now have my sweepers in the sideboard. Then again, if I'm gonna go the creature route, I might as well play Lingering Souls, which I never really loved in the deck.