There’s a new exciting vehicle on Streets of New Capenna Standard – RW Reanimator!
Velomachus Lorehold is well positioned in the Standard metagame. Being a multicolored creature and having vigilance are both excellent against Vanishing Verse and The Wandering Emperor, respectively. Just recently, Magic Online Player xlpertxt finished in fifth place at a recent Standard Challenge with this list.
Standard RW Reanimator by xlpertxt
I have been a fan of Naya Reanimator due to Velomachus being well positioned in the current meta, but the Naya version struggles against counterspells and is easier to attack with good interactive pieces like Duress, Go Blank and Infernal Grasp.
The Boros version, on the other hand, is much better in playing a fair game and through interaction. The Restoration of Eiganjo and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker help the Reanimator plan while providing the deck with two good midrange threats. The Wandering Emperor gives Boros an entirely different angle of offense and defense and while Sanctuary Warden might not be as strong as Titan of Industry, it’s much easier to hardcast and just like Titan of Industry, it’s a great target to copy with Reflection of Kiki-Jiki.
I quickly fell in love with the deck and started working on the list. This is the deck list that I’m using to great success in high mythic ranks.
Standard RW Reanimator by Arne Huschenbeth
It’s an absolute treat to cast Invoke Justice on Velomachus Lorehold to then find a Emeria’s Call with the Dragon’s attack trigger and turn any board state in your favor. My Game 1 win rate with this deck is through the roof. I haven’t had this many turn four and five concessions in a while. Most decks are completely unprepared against Invoke Justice on Velomachus and against decks with counterspells, which should be a major weak spot for this archetype, Boros has a lot of great tools.
Compared to Naya Reanimator, Boros plays less cards that are outright bad against countermagic like Unexpected Windfall and Big Score. Additionally, Sanctuary Warden is much easier to cast than Titan of Industry and relaxes the mana base. Being just Boros allows us to play Furycalm Snarl with nine lands that can be revealed to make it come into play untapped. Nine isn’t high enough to make it consistently good – you’d rather have 15 lands with basic types – but the Snarl is certainly better than Boros Guildgate and necessary to be able to cast Invoke Justice on time. Not playing any one-drops will mean that we can deploy Furycalm Snarl as a tapped land on Turn one.
Playing with the original list, I was very much unimpressed by The Restoration of Eiganjo. The card is decent against slower decks, providing you with a Plains, potentially ramping you and giving you a decent body later on. The issue is that Restoration has zero initial board impact. Casting a three-drop that does nothing in fast matchups is a recipe to lose. The second chapter doesn’t even set you up to cast Invoke Justice on turn four and if you want to discard one of your eight creatures with the ability, you likely won’t be able to get a land out of your graveyard into play.
All things considered, Seize the Spoils is the superior choice. Seize the Spoils enables the most broken draws the deck is capable of by discarding Velomachus Lorehold and reanimating it on turn four. Especially in Game 1 when your opponent is running low on interaction, it’s all about getting Velomachus onto the battlefield as soon as possible. Having this mana bump and discard outlet in one card is excellent.
I added a 26th land to the deck. You need to hit all your land drops until turn five and in the case of flooding you have 12 ways to “rummage” lands away. A crucial addition that has been stealing lots of games is Burn Down the House. Anyone who follows my takes on Standard knows how much I love this card in the current environment. Not only is the red five-drop a great sweeper, dealing with almost any board state, it also works fantastically with Velomachus Lorehold and Sanctuary Warden. Sanctuary Warden just loses a shield counter to the sweeper. Invoke Justice on Velomachus means that the 9/9 Dragon can find Burn Down the House and sweep the board. In case you’re hardcasting Velomachus later on, you can find Burn Down the House and choose to make three Devils too.
Having a sweeper in the main deck will seriously damage your aggro opponents who want to apply the utmost pressure to kill you before you get to your powerful late game. If they play around the sweeper, they just lose to Boros gaining the time to deploy the endgame or find Invoke Justice.
The Wandering Emperor adds to this uncomfortable dynamic. Your opponent can usually not afford to not attack into the white planeswalker. If they play around it, they lose by giving you time. If they play into it, they lose their creature – a lose/lose situation.
In addition to that, against blue control, The Wandering Emperor provides you with a powerful flash threat to draw out a counter. If they counter the planeswalker, you might just get to resolve one of your powerful white spells.
Two of my losses on the ladder were against Izzet Hullbreaker Horror Control. A couple timely counterspells into Hullbreaker Horror were enough to beat Boros. In all my losses, I had plenty of cards in hand while my Izzet opponent was running out of gas, but the Kraken made short order of me before I could deploy my hand. I added two copies of Fateful Absence to the main deck to deal with this particular threat. Normally I’m not a fan of Fateful Absence, as giving your opponent a Clue is not trivial, but in this deck, you usually win by such an insurmountable amount that one Clue doesn’t make the difference.
Fable of the Mirror-Breaker is perhaps the best card in Standard. Not only is it incredibly good in any fair game of Magic in the case of Boros Reanimator, it gives us the much wanted ramp via Treasures and a discard outlet to enable Invoke Justice on top of that. I’m not even mentioning the great synergy of Reflection of Kiki-Jiki with Sanctuary Warden. The card is incredibly good in this deck.
I’m having a blast playing this deck and I can highly recommend it. The metagame might adapt to it, but so far it hasn’t. The Boros version is less “all-In” than Naya and therefore better at fighting through hate. The deck should be great for Best-of-One as well, when less players are packing graveyard hate or countermagic.
The four Reckoner Bankbuster in the sideboard give the deck an entirely different angle of attack. They’re great against discard spells and countermagic. If you play against an opponent who doesn’t curve out aggressively on you, consider bringing in all four.
- On turns two and three, it is often correct to discard all the creatures you have in hand. The more the game progresses, it might be correct to not discard the creatures so you can hardcast them. This deck can win by just playing a fair game – it doesn’t need Invoke Justice.
- If you have the option, it’s almost always correct to reanimate Velomachus instead of Sanctuary Warden. If you expect your opponent to have something like an Infernal Grasp, go for Sanctuary Warden over Velomachus.
- If you play against Esper Midrange and they pass the turn with four mana up, I would jam my best card. If they have a counter, they won’t be able to deploy The Wandering Emperor.
- You can Invoke Justice back The Wandering Emperor or Fable of the Mirror-Breaker.
- You can put counters on Reckoner Bankbuster (without it being crewed) with Invoke Justice.
- Sanctuary Warden can use up any counter to draw a card and make a Citizen.
- Getting Velomachus up to seven power is crucial so you can find Emeria’s Call with the trigger.