I’ve spent a lot of time working on reanimator variants in Modern and have come to the following conclusions about the archetype:
- There are lots of reasonable ways to build the archetype. There’s Esper with Ephemerate and evoke Incarnations, grindier with Yorion and Wandering Mind, mono-black with Cabal Coffers and Urborg, hyper interactive with Smallpox and more. All of these versions have different strengths and weaknesses and if you want to master the archetype, you need to familiarize yourself with all the variants.
- While all the different variants have their strengths and weaknesses, they are of course a poor choice when graveyard hate is popular. You can of course play cards like Prismatic Ending, Wear // Tear and Stony Silence as ways to hedge against hate, but the best way to take down a tournament with a reanimator deck is to wait for a metagame shift.
Thankfully for reanimator players, there has been a big metagame shift recently with the banning of Lurrus. It was always a huge problem for graveyard decks that Lurrus players would be able to recur a Nihil Spellbomb or Soul-Guide Lantern in the late game. This was an especially big issue for Reanimator decks as the Lurrus deck also played a lot of premium interaction like Thoughtseize and Drown in the Loch that were already tricky to navigate around.
It’s also true that with Hammer Time and Titan are picking up in popularity, and some players are forgoing graveyard hate all together. These factors have made me interested in working in reanimator variants, and Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty has brought some interesting new tools for reanimator to the table.