On Saturday of Grand Prix Las Vegas, I ran into a nice guy who had a pretty decent 7-1 record in the Modern. He talked to me about my article series and asked what I thought about Pauper B/R Reanimator. This wasn’t an archetype I knew anything about, but he told me about how sweet and successful it was. He actually joined Twitter just to send me the link! Fast forward 24 hours later, and that same guy by the name of Paul Peterson is completing a 13-2 record with Naya Burn, making Top 8 of the GP, and locking up his PT invite!
Ulamog’s Crusher is no joke. It’s a massive body and the annihilator mechanic means chump blocking is not a fruitful proposition. This was a top pick Rise of Eldrazi common, and when I first got introduced to Pauper, the Crusher was what people were using their Tron lands to accelerate into. With a Reanimator strategy, you can get a Crusher into play for a cheap investment, ready to annihilate your opponent.
When 4 Crushers isn’t enough, or when you need trample to get the job done, Eldrazi Devastator acts as giant creature number 5 and 6. An 8-power trampler is sure to end the game in a hurry against just about anything.
Considering that I just got done playing this card in Legacy, I know the power of Exhume. You’re getting your Eldrazi out of the graveyard for just 2 mana, and unlike many other reanimation spells, you don’t lose 8 life or lose your creature if it’s targeted. Exhume is a nice, clean way to let the Eldrazi out to play.
Faithless Looting and Tormenting Voice set up your Reanimator combos. Not only do they let you discard your biggest creature, but you get to do it for value by digging deeper into your deck. Both cards let you see multiple cards deeper, so you’re greatly increasing your odds of finding exactly what you need. This would still be powerful if you were solely looking to discard Eldrazi, but you actually have lots of other things you can discard for value.
Dragon Breath is another card you want in the graveyard. Once you have them there, putting an Eldrazi into play will trigger the Breath to give your huge monster haste. Nobody wants to get annihilated, and doing it a turn faster is a big advantage.
Stinkweed Imp is a great blocker in the skies, but can also dredge to help set up your combo. If you already have access to Exhume, dredging gives you more looks at hitting Dragon Breath and Eldrazi. It also opens up the possibility of putting flashback spells, such as Faithless Looting, into your graveyard for value.
With so many cards going to the graveyard early and often, Gurmag Angler is another cheap threat that you can reanimate or cast for a single mana.
Shred Memory is a cool way to stop opposing Reanimator strategies, as well as making sure your Exhumes don’t give the opponent anything too good. That’s not it’s main role, however, as transmute gives you additional access to Exhume (or Chainer’s Edict, Dragon Breath, and Tormenting Voice in a pinch).
B/R Reanimator looks like a super sweet way to attack the format, and to attack any opponents for 8 damage (and annihilate their entire board) as early as turn 2!