Sorcery (3)

Enchantment (2)


U/B Reanimator for the upcoming XLN Format

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Credit to Tapped Out user Hyperalgialysis for:

3x Essence Extraction

This deck was built with the idea that Mono Red aggro and Temur Energy are both the best contending decks for the next format. Thus; several testing matches and changes have occurred. I'll try to break down some of the interesting card choices below:

(Note: Deck has been changed to deal with the current meta shift of Scarab God decks (Sultai Energy, Temur (4c) and the Mirror).

Hostage Taker:

Hostage Taker is exceptional in this deck as it gives UB pirates a tool to remove almost any on board creature threat. Ripjaw Raptor, Glorybringer, Rhonas, Hazoret, and sometimes even smaller threats are all great targets to grab and cast the following turn bringing a big tempo swing towards you. Hostage taker is not good on a board where there's no threats. Fathom Fleet captain is brought in to cover this weakness as a mana sink for when you want to hold on to hostage taker and still reliably pressure your opponent. Against mono red this is your best out to hazoret especially on the draw as it allows you to deal with it before you are too pressured to advance. On the play you are probably going to have up Lookout's Dispersal instead.

Scarab God:

Scarab God is a wind condition all on its own; being able to reoccur 4/4 flyers, hostage taker to remove opponent threats, and against mono red this card will keep the pressure way off you as you recur their hasty attackers as 4/4s.

Ruin Raider:

I have a love/hate relationship with this card simply because it will win you a lot of games but also lose you a lot of games. Drawing into this card with low life can be very dangerous if you draw into any high CMC cards. However, if you're on the play and sticking this t3 or you're against a slower deck this card will draw you right up to victory. For now ruin raider is replaced with Champion of wits to dig for cards on ETB and synergizes very well with Liliana and Scarab god

Gifted Aetherborn

This card really fills the spot for a durable 2 drop that just exceeds in every matchup. Gifted Aether born is potentially the best 2-drop in standard with the huge uprise in Scarab God presence; thus fathom fleet is currently cut until the meta shifts.


Over the weekend I was able to meetup with my testing group to go over the decks current weaknesses to the meta:

  1. A very clear weakness to removal on turns 1-4 from tapping out on curve
  2. Lack of Removal
  3. Lack of Lategame outside of Scarab God

Thus, large amounts of removal have been added; Fathom Fleet Captain has been dropped for Gifted Aetherborn as he is much more valuable/durable for the same mana; and since we are no longer likely to be tapping as close to the curve, spell pierce is in to deal with removal. For lategame champion of wits fills the 3-drop curve nicely and 2 Liliana allows for revival as well as grind.


Very well thought out. I don't really have any suggestions. Great deck!

September 23, 2017 8:26 p.m.

Cesium says... #2

Thanks for your thoughts!

September 24, 2017 12:04 a.m.

druncmonc says... #3

Very nice deck. Few quick questions though. You mention Deadeye Tournentor in your description but he looks like he's no longer in the deck, what did you replace him with and why? Second question, what about a 4th Aether Meltdown over the Fell Flagship, seems pretty inconsistent as a one of? Finally, how's it holding up against Ramunap Red and Temur Energy after your testing? Really like the deck and much more of the direction I'm thinking of taking it as well.

September 24, 2017 5:48 a.m.

Cesium says... #4

Thank you! And sorry in advance for the long response:

Right now all the 3 drop pirates have been droppped. Ruin Raider's effect is definitely better, but many times against red he would lose you the game just by existing on the board later on, and while tormenter was slightly better in that aspect. There are times where your 1 and 2 drops are just removed in succession, which makes you not want to drop tormenter on the board at all. So to replace the 3 drop curve Harvester does the job really well. If you have a siren or 2 drop on board the turn you drop it then you're pretty much stabilized. After your 3 ideal drop is where the deck (mono red) gets tricky to play against. Even with your ideal curve red on their ideal curve will still hit you down to 10 damage by turn 3 on play from bomat -> Khenra -> Ahn Crop. The benefit to this curve however is that their t4 hazoret won't be able to attack the turn it comes down, allowing you to meltdown on turn 4 and keep up 2 mana for dispersal, or even more ideal to drop a second Harvester and leave 1 mana up for fatal push or to resolve siren to protect any game ending from shock/ lightning strike. Another solution is instead of dropping Harvester on turn 3 wait until turn 4 and meltdown the ahn-crop crasher, this will also leave 1 mana up to siren its effect in your 2 drop which would stop you from blocking bomat; so from there you take out their secondary win condition. Followed up by hostage taker on t4 and Harvester + 2 mana up for dispersal/ another meltdown. If for some reason on turn 2 they shock + 1 drop or removal + a drop on turn 3 then the game is very hard for you after, since hazoret can swing as soon as he hits the ground, so if you see any removal before turn 4 then you want to keep meltdown open on turn 3.

On the play playing against red is much more simple since on t4 you'll have your Harvester setup already and you can just leave up the 2 mana on t4 for meltdown or lookouts dispersal.

I agree with you on tell flagship; I have been planning on removing it for awhile but I wasn't sure for what. Initially I tested removing it and 2 walk the plank for 3 die young as a pseudo-grasp. However it being a sorcery means you can really feel the strain.

Talking about how important Aether meltdown is in the red matchup made me realize that your idea for swapping it for a 4th meltdown is probably ideal unless something I missed pops up. So thank you very much for your suggestion!

Lastly, the Temur matchup is much more simple then red just because you're not likely to die by then 4-5. You mostly just need to predict bristling hydra on turn 3 so hold the mana open for meltdown or dispersal. If you can push the conduit that's helpful as well. Dealing with Glorybringer is as easy as holding mana on t4 for dispersal or for hostage taker/walk the plank afterwards. The real issue I can think of (but I haven't had it happen to me) is Carnage Tyrant on t6; since this deck has 0 main deck answers for it. You could also mainboard 1 doomfall in place of fell flagship if you expect a heavily dominated Temur meta over red.

If Temur can't out fleet fathom captain in the first 3-4 turns you've definitely run away with the game as well!

I hope my disjointed ramblings were ok to read through. My playtesting has been almost exclusively mono red and a splash of Temur. Hopefully I provided some insight from my experience!

Mono Red: 40-60 in Red's favor

Temur Eneegy: 70-30 in Pirates favor

September 24, 2017 9:44 a.m.

If you find you are having issues with rdw, Essence Extraction does a pretty good job of keeping you in the game and removing a threat. May not be the best card to main deck but a few in the side miht be worthwhile. Unless of course the meta shifts completely away from aggro.

September 24, 2017 10:54 a.m.

Cesium says... #6

I will definitely keep this card in mind when playtesting in the future. Thanks for your recommendation.

September 24, 2017 12:38 p.m.

SpoonFork says... #7

This deck looks really cool and also strong +1Might i ask why you play only 1 never/return?

October 1, 2017 5:29 a.m.

Cesium says... #8

Thank You!

The Never // Return is in there just as a removal if necessary for cards that fatal push or aether meltdown dont necessarily clean up. When playtesting against temur sometimes you fall behind quicker than you would against RDW just because you curve slower, so never // return really helps with you dealing with multiple threats in a turn. Late game being a mana sink is very helpful, since any turn after 5 you're relying on your sinks to keep up the pressure. It was originally a 4th Harvester, Metldown, and Siren's Ruse. But 3 of each seems to be the golden ratio thus far.

October 1, 2017 2:07 p.m.

kiochy says... #9


I'm not sold on lili and the gearhulk. Do you have a link for Saffron's list? it seems that it slipped under my radar.

you now have 11 pirates for lookout, out of 22 creatures. Is it enough?

Gifted aetherborn is a good replacement for fathom, but cost BB. it clash with siren and Opt that both cost U T1. have you tested it yet? how are you feelings about it?

Thanks for your list

October 3, 2017 5:28 a.m.

Cesium says... #10

Here you go!

I think it's certainly something that seems weird until you try it. I have been wanting to play Gifted awtherbkrn and trial of ambition for awhile now if you look through my earlier revisions; and while this does decrease your pirate count to 11, you'll find that the deck plays more reactively until later in the game where dispersal comes in as protection for Scarab God and Liliana. As for BB, you need 20 black sources to hit BB on turn 2 90% of the time. With t1 evolving wilds you have 19.

This could conflict with t1 stormtamer, but again the purpose of tamer fills a different role here. It's no longer expected to be played on T1, which is why you're ok with 6 U/B lands coming in tapped and evolving wilds. Since there's only 4 3-drops, you can easily fill the curve with a 2-drop and siren or a 2-drop and spell pierce since every deck is playing extremely close to their curve right now. Additionally, on the draw dropping tamer t3 with 2 mana up leaves dispersal for t4 problematic threats like hostage taker, raptor and bristiling hydra.

Overall, the cards added fill their primary roles Early on; but carry you much further in the lategame which is important since this deck doesn't have cards like rogue refiner to maintain hand advantage. You'll also be surprised at how well Champion of wits into Liliana can so easily fix your hand and let you play your big drops on curve.

I hope I was helpful!

October 3, 2017 10:07 a.m.

bewarekraken says... #11

Love the deck: +1'd

Check out mine if you don't mind: B/U Aggro

My only suggestion is to cut Yahenni's Expertise out of the side in place of Cartouche of Ambition. Your deck is weak to your own copies of expertise while the Cartouche is a rdw hoser as well as making your Trial of Ambitions that much better.

October 4, 2017 1:44 a.m.

Cesium says... #12

Thanks for the suggestion! I really like Cartouche of Ambition for the reasons you mentioned; right now I'm just sticking to Yahenni's due to a lack of testing with it. But most likely it's going to be coming out.

Your deck looks very well built! Can you tell me about your experience with supernatural stamina? What do you board it in against? I imagine it combos insanely well with Hostage Taker!

October 4, 2017 2:05 a.m.

Cesium says... #13

To add on my comment; I think lowering your 2-drop curve by swapping seeker's for Dread Wanderer might be something you want to test.

October 4, 2017 2:13 a.m.

bewarekraken says... #14

Supernatural stamina boards in against the mid-range decks as well as anything with wraths to save my biggest threat.

October 4, 2017 2:20 a.m.

Merkulon666 says... #15

I dig the list. But your sideboard is about 4 cards too big.

October 9, 2017 4:59 p.m.

Cesium says... #16


Thank you! I forgot to clean up the sideboard will testing through the list. I moved the cards that I am testing to the maybeboard to clarify. Thanks for the heads up!

October 9, 2017 5:24 p.m.

IzzetMtG says... #17

Its possible Harsh Scrutiny would be better in the sideboard or maybe 2 main and 2 side, but overall sweet deck. +1 from me!

October 11, 2017 2:28 p.m.

bewarekraken says... #18

Agreed 100% with IzzetMtG. Duress is always better in the main board than Harsh Scrutiny effect unless you know beyond a shadow of doubt you're going to be playing against nothing but mid-range stompy decks or some strange control deck running 8+ creatures. That being said, this is probably the best version of that card recently since you also get a scry for still 1cmc (excluding Thoughtseize in there's block).

I'd go 4 Harsh Scrutiny in the side, keep your Duress in the side as well since you're running freebooter in the main. To replace those spots, I'd fill out your Walk the Plank playset, pick up 1 Vraska's Contempt, maybe throw a bontus last in the main or some combination of those that feels right to you.

October 11, 2017 5:22 p.m.

Cesium says... #19



Harsh Scrutiny in the Mainboard is exceptional; and looks much better than it seems. aside from he meta being creature heavy; control is a great matchup after boarding and arguably the following creatures are the deck's hardest threats:

  1. Bristling Hydra
  2. Glorybringer
  3. Hostage Taker
  4. Hazoret
  5. Scarab God

With Creature Heavy Decks (Sultai, Temur, Red) Representing 54% of the meta, and Control (U/W, U/B) Representing only 16%, Harsh Scrutiny is a great form of proactive removal for what hits you hard. In an 8 round tournament, that's ~1-2 matches where I am likely to face control vs ~4-5 matches on creature decks. While this is all hypothetical, the further you go up the more likely you are to face the more represented meta picks. Thus, until there is a bigger representation for control; Scrutiny's use in the mainboard has been worth it. I definitely suggest playtesting it if you ruin black vs Red, Temur, and Sultai.

You'll also notice as a compensation for a large creature heavy focus in the mainboard; there are 8 cards dedicated to the control matchup in the sideboard.

Thank you both very much for your suggestions and Criticism!

October 11, 2017 9:42 p.m.

Merkulon666 says... #20

I really like this deck idea. I made something somewhat similar. Maybe you could take a look at it and let me know what you think and what I could change in it. Torrential God Taker

October 12, 2017 11:18 a.m.

IzzetMtG says... #21

Thoughts on Search for Azcanta  Flip as a nice mill/semi-scry engine and potentially God-Pharaoh's Gift as another recursive reanimation provider?

October 12, 2017 12:34 p.m.

Cesium says... #22


Azcanta is a very nice card. My initial suspicion is that it might not be useful after the flip since the deck usually doesn't need to dig; But I will definitely test it out and let you know!

October 12, 2017 10:51 p.m.

IzzetMtG says... #23

Cesium You never HAVE to flip it if you don't want, its a "may" trigger.

October 12, 2017 11:11 p.m.

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85% Casual


Compare to inventory
Date added 2 months
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.53
Tokens 2/2 Zombie
Folders Standard, pirates, Standard, Junds, standard ideas, Decks, Deck Ideas, Control, cool standard decks
Top rank #16 on 2017-10-03
Views 4037

Revision 15 See all

1 month ago)

-4 Supreme Will main
+4 Essence Scatter main