MTG Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander

Grave of Legends - Legendary Reanimator
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Author:  Segrus [ 2019-Feb-03 3:46 am ]
Post subject:  Grave of Legends - Legendary Reanimator


Commanders: 2
Tymna the Weaver
Ravos, Soultender

Creatures: 29
1x Avatar of Woe
1x Bloodghast
1x Brood of Cockroaches
1x Doomed Necromancer
1x Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
1x Drana, Liberator of Malakir
1x Golgari Thug
1x Hell's Caretaker
1x Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
1x Karmic Guide
1x Kothophed, Soul Hoarder
1x Kuro, Pitlord
1x Liliana, Heretical Healer
1x Luminate Primordial
1x Mangara of Corondor
1x Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
1x Necropolis Regent
1x Nezumi Graverobber
1x Ob Nixilis, Unshackled
1x Odric, Lunarch Marshal
1x Patron of the Nezumi
1x Phyrexian Obliterator
1x Reassembling Skeleton
1x Reya Dawnbringer
1x Sanitarium Skeleton
1x Sheoldred, Whispering One
1x Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle
1x Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts
1x Whisper, Blood Liturgist

Planeswalkers: 2
1x Kaya, Ghost Assassin
1x Liliana Vess

Artifacts: 8
1x Darksteel Ingot
1x Desecrated Tomb
1x Geth's Grimoire
1x Mind Stone
1x Orzhov Signet
1x Swiftfoot Boots
1x Tormod's Crypt
1x Whip of Erebos

Enchantments: 7
1x Call the Bloodline
1x Dawn of the Dead
1x Leyline of Sanctity
1x Smothering Tithe
1x Strands of Night
1x Tortured Existence
1x Vampiric Rites

Instants: 2
1x Disenchant
1x Tragic Slip

Sorceries: 11
1x Beacon of Unrest
1x Buried Alive
1x Day of Judgment
1x Deadly Tempest
1x Demonic Collusion
1x Ill-Gotten Gains
1x Morbid Curiosity
1x Planar Cleansing
1x Primevals' Glorious Rebirth
1x Profane Command
1x Sickening Dreams

Lands: 39
1x Bojuka Bog
1x Caves of Koilos
1x Concealed Courtyard
1x Encroaching Wastes
1x Evolving Wilds
1x Phyrexian Tower
10x Plains
19x Swamp
1x Tainted Field
1x Terramorphic Expanse
1x Westvale Abbey
1x Windbrisk Heights

I've been fighting with the Orzhov color combination for quite some time now--trying to figure out a legendary creatures I'd actually want to build around, trying to escape the very well-worn token combos or bleeding-them-dry-1-point-at-a-time control--and I think I've found something I want to play. It came to me when I came across Arvad the Cursed this past week while looking at legendary creatures I've missed out on. What if I built an Orzhov deck stuffed to the brim with legendary creatures and relied on Reanimator cards to get them out? I've always had a soft spot for Reanimator decks, because I love giant creatures, I love cheating them into play, and I may--may--have a preoccupation with death (or, perhaps, maybe tragedy has a preoccupation with me).

Overall my deck building problems with this deck comes down to solving this problem: the best Reanimator targets in Commander are generally not legendary creatures--so there's a major chance that by insisting on playing a large number of legendary creatures the deck won't function properly and/or play poorly. If we look at Legacy Reanimator, the primary targets are Griselbrand (banned), Jin-Gitaxias (not in my colors), and Iona (everybody will hate me). So those are all out. Ashen Rider and Angel of Despair are excellent, but aren't legendary. So I've tried to avoid them. There are still a few of these in the deck though: Luminate Primordial, Necropolis Regent, Phyrexian Obliterator, and Avatar of Woe (excluding small self-recurring creatures and a few small reanimation creatures). I consider Avatar and Obliterator to be close enough to a legendary as to count, and the other two have pretty huge board-changing effects to count more or less--I'll probably try out Vish Kal in the Primordial's place when I find a copy.

I'm happy to hear out people's opinion on the deck and if there are any suggestions on substitutions and such. As before, the primary focus is retaining a sort of legendary tribal vibe; Reanimator comes secondary. Over time I'll try to organize my thoughts on individual cards (for example, the Kaya planeswalker is intended to offset exile clauses on some of the cards), but I'm kinda excited to have finished building the deck for now. I did a short test of it which seemed to work out okay.

Author:  Kemev [ 2019-Feb-03 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Grave of Legends - Legendary Reanimator

I really like the idea! I've also had a lot of trouble finding a good Orzhov build (I think vampires was the best I've tried), so I might end up stealing this.

Minor efficiency tweak: I don't really like Hell's Caretaker and similar tap-reanimate guys. I'd rather have Sun Titan, Necromancy, and Animate Dead. It's probably worth a pass through the historic cards too; Urza's Ruinous Blast and Yawgmoths equivalent something or other are probably both good fits.

Sucks that Loyal Retainers is still a chunk of $

Author:  Segrus [ 2019-Feb-03 12:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Grave of Legends - Legendary Reanimator

Yeah? I'm really happy to hear that. Honestly the whole time I was putting the original post together it just seemed like it'll end up being too casual and won't work out. So please, steal it if you like and let me know if you find stuff that ends up working better!

Picking reanimation spells took a lot longer than I had initially planned. Here is the list of all the ones I took out of my collection while deckbuilding in order to figure out what to play:

I know there's more of them than this, this is just what I currently could find in my stuff. I knocked out most of the instant/sorcery ones just based on how they'll be less effective in this deck compared to classic Reanimation decks. Enduring Renewal needs a lot of prep to be good and Debtors' Knell is just too expensive with my low ramp count. So I was left the low-cost, generally one-use enchantments or the tap creatures.

Ultimately I went with the tap creatures since Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle can bring back Doomed Necromancer. It's...a little flimsy, I'll admit. Sun Titan is the obviously stronger way to go.

Oh, I should definitely take another look at those historic cards. I looked at them quite some time ago and didn't think about going through them again. Thank you! And yeah, I think my only copy of Loyal Retainers is already being used.

Author:  Segrus [ 2019-Feb-06 8:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Grave of Legends - Legendary Reanimator

Okay, so I don't normally do this, but I currently have on order a Loyal Retainer for the deck so that I can see how it performs (undoubtedly will be great). I'm going to hold off on switching over to the Sun Titan plan though. I want to keep going down the path I've got laid out first and see whether I enjoy it or not.

I'm also kinda curious about finding room for Day of Destiny and/or Arvad the Cursed. There's a Geier Reach Sanitarium coming down the pipeline for me, since I'll definitely have use for that, but the other two seemed like they could really find a place somehow (Arvad maybe slightly moreso). And finally, I'll be weighing whether to take out Planar Cleansing or Deadly Tempest for Urza's Ruinous Blast.

Author:  Kemev [ 2019-Feb-07 7:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Grave of Legends - Legendary Reanimator

If you want an anthem effect, Elesh Norn's your best option.

and I forgot to mention it with board wipes, but I get a lot of mileage out of Kagemaro, First to Suffer

Author:  Segrus [ 2019-Feb-08 2:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Grave of Legends - Legendary Reanimator

Kemev wrote:
If you want an anthem effect, Elesh Norn's your best option.

and I forgot to mention it with board wipes, but I get a lot of mileage out of Kagemaro, First to Suffer

If only I had a copy of Elesh Norn to push around in different spots. I've already gotten Loyal Retainers in the mail, so these are the changes I'm looking at:

Hell's Caretaker --> Loyal Retainers This seems like a pretty straightforward improvement.

Strands of Night --> Day of Destiny My thought here is that there's a lot of reanimation in the deck already, and I'm not exactly desperate for more effects--specifically effects which kill my lands. Day of Destiny will help make each creature that much more threatening.

Deadly Tempest --> Urza's Ruinous Blast One mana less and will rock your world(s).

Drana, Liberator of Malakir --> Arvad the Cursed Costs one mana more, but probably provides a more stable boost. I won't feel bad taking this out for Elesh Norn one day.

Tragic Slip --> Yawgmoth's Vile Offering Okay, one of the few I'm not entirely sure about. The mana cost increase is bloody huge. Quite quite. But Tragic Slip didn't really fit the theme and would absolutely be better as the STPS I don't currently have available. I'm still not sure. Since this isn't a super competitive build, the increase might be okay.

Land --> Geier Reach Sanitarium I like card draw and discard and it's a legendary land.

During this little buy I also bought a cheap Corpse Dance I probably should find a place for, but I may have to start thinking about whether I have enough sac effects to properly use this.

Author:  Coco [ 2019-Feb-09 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Grave of Legends - Legendary Reanimator

Don't forget Shizo, Death's Storehouse and Eiganjo Castle. Don't even know how many times I have been blow out by Eiganjo against legendary decks, it tends to get forgotten until it really matters.

Also I would consider adding some of the legends who are sac outlets to help hedge against exile based removal and Dawn of the Dead and Corpse Dance. Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim and Yahenni, Undying Partisan are good ones.

Why is Kaya, Ghost Assassin in this deck? There are almost no targets that are good to blink. Also I don't see how Geth's Grimoire works in this deck (Except with the planeswalkers, but I don't think you can plan on having both out at the same time).

Author:  Segrus [ 2019-Feb-09 8:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Grave of Legends - Legendary Reanimator

I looked at both those lands when I was ordering Loyal Retainers and ended up passing on them for now due to monetary price (they're both around $10). Unfortunately, they'll just have to join Elesh Norn on my mental list of cards to get for the deck at some point.

Corpse Dance isn't actually in the deck yet, I just mentioned it as something I have access to right now. But it's funny you should mention Kaya, since I talked about using her blink ability to offset exile clauses on reanimation effects and such. She's not really in the deck for...traditional blink. I am taking those exile clauses into consideration though.

Geth's Grimoire probably should become a proper card draw effect though. It's inclusion is likely an artifact of other cards I considered including while constructing the deck, but ended up leaving out for one reason or another. Unfortunately, I didn't really leave enough discard effects in the deck to take advantage of the Grimoire.

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