I’ve been trying a lot of different Reanimator strategies in Modern over the last few weeks and I’ve come to the following conclusions:
- Curving Unmarked Grave into Persist and putting an Archon of Cruelty into play on turn three is one of the most powerful things to be doing in Modern, but there is a lack of other efficient enablers in the format to add consistency to your game plan.
- Because there’s a lack of efficient enablers, it’s better to think of the Reanimator plan as a package of cards that you can slot into a variety of archetypes.
- Four copies of Persist, four copies of Unmarked Grave, two copies of Archon of Cruelty and one copy of Unburial Rites is what I consider to be the stock reanimator package. If you’re playing a deck with lots of discard outlets, you should play four copies of Archon of Cruelty. Some variants will want to play some copies of Priest of Fell Rites, but I’ve found that card to be somewhat slow and fragile and I’ve been excluding it from most lists recently.
- There are lots of different archetypes that the reanimator package slots into. I’ve tried traditional control decks, Chalice of the Void control decks, Gifts Ungiven piles and Smallpox brews. I’ve seen other players play the reanimator package in Food decks, Titan decks and Polymorph decks.
It’s not clear which reanimator shell is the best one. Today, I’m writing about a new variant I’ve been working on, a Mardu midrange shell featuring Dragon’s Rage Channeler. This deck has been built from lessons that I’ve learned from all the other Reanimator variants I’ve tried. I currently believe it to be the best of all the different versions I’ve tried, but as metagames shift and as you playtest the archetype, I expect new versions to emerge.