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I find this deck very fun to play, although I place a higher priority on playing fat and sassy creatures and putting out some hurt than actually winning.
For more consistency, I would suggest adding more ramp and some tutors.
Still working out kinks, but this list is the deck I currently own and am playing with.
If you want to put out more creatures to replace non-creatures you could put in Ogre Battledriver
and a few ramp creatures instead of artifact mana (Wood Elves
, Pilgrim's Eye
, Burnished Hart
etc. lands are harder to kill than critters and we know how Animar loves critters so every artifact replaced is a counter).
Maelstrom Wanderer is great fun; cascading is exciting and since you "cast" the card, Animar gets his counters.
Some other nifty (and inexpen$ive) timmy creatures: Akroma, Angel of Fury , Balefire Dragon , Ancient Ooze , Colossal Whale , Utvara Hellkite , Verdant Force , Gaea's Revenge , Knollspine Dragon , Panglacial Wurm , Penumbra Wurm , Plated Slagwurm , Tyrant of Discord , Gigantomancer (works beautifully with the Hydras and Animar, since it only sets the base power/toughness), Sekki, Seasons' Guide , and, er, Greater Morphling ...
Those are some neat suggestions! You make a very good point about cascade, I'll seriously consider adding Maelstrom Wanderer .
Generally, I try to stay away from 3 or more colored mana in the casting cost, though you will definitely find a few exceptions to that in my current decklist.
Also, I'm more likely to consider creatures with lower CMC at this point. This deck obviously struggles with boardwipes, and I have spent enough games desperately trying to get some momentum back that with future edits, I'm gonna try to add some more creatures in the 3-5 CMC range.
Mitotic Slime weathers board wipes well. Seedguide Ash helps you recast Animar afterwards. Gamekeeper actually likes board wipes. Vengevine ($) bounces back when you recover. Glen Elendra Archmage can prevent a lot of them.
At four or five mana you can get some decent beaters. Wolfir Silverheart is an 8/8 for five mana. Malignus tends to be large in EDH. Spellbound Dragon , Thragtusk , Hystrodon , Ant Queen , Arc-Slogger , Kalonian Hydra ($), Kumano, Master Yamabushi , Metamorphic Wurm , Tephraderm , Territorial Baloth , Stormbreath Dragon ($), Urabrask the Hidden , Thrun, the Last Troll
Vesuvan Shapeshifter is interesting (Animar's ability plays well with morph). So are things like Sower of Temptation , Forgotten Ancient , Bloodbraid Elf , Flametongue Kavu , Wickerbough Elder , Fathom Mage , Cryptic Annelid , Mercurial Chemister , Elvish Piper , Aura Thief ...