Reanimator in Commander?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Jan. 9, 2017, 10:27 p.m. by god_dammit_nappa

So, I dunno if I'm posting in the right thread, but I do need help.

I'm totally new to the archetype of "Reanimator." For whatever reason, I just haven't built an EDH deck around Reanimator. Sure, I have goofy Alesha deck lists here and there on my profile, but I really don't know what I'm doing.

I have found some TappedOut users have been kind enough to provide the community with some "templates" to build certain types of decks. For example, I know a really good "template" that was created to help other users build Tribal EDH decks. The Bones To Build Your Tribal Deck

Is there like a "basic reanimator package" that is typically found in every graveyard-using EDH Deck? Like, what are my 15 "must haves" cards for reanimator if I want the deck to operate consistently?

brokendwarf says... #2

Your must have color will be black. Black covers the majority of good reanimation spells, such as:

If you want consistency, you'll basically be running numerous copies of graveyard filling cards, and reanimation cards.

As for the commander, you'll want someone who can use the graveyard efficiently. The best ones are probably 3 colors:

January 9, 2017 11:25 p.m.

chirz2792 says... #3

Pretty much what brokendwarf said, however I'd like to add Necromancy, Ever After, Chainer, Dementia Master, Entomb, and Buried Alive.

January 9, 2017 11:27 p.m.

Opifex says... #4

Diabolic Servitude, Champion of Stray Souls, Liliana, Heretical Healer  Flip.

I have a mono black animator, unlisted.

January 9, 2017 11:52 p.m.

freakman13 says... #5

Demonic Legion is my Reanimator deck and pretty consistently has a scary dude on board by turn 2, so often in fact that I had to removeIt That Betrays from the deck so that I could be fair to my playgroup. You should run it though.

January 10, 2017 12:34 a.m.

Wizno says... #6

All of the above are solid suggestions. The big reanimator spell you could look at is Rise of the Dark Realms. If you go with a more tribal theme, zombies are pretty much the best bet with Gisa and Geralf at the helm. Meren of Clan Nel Toth is quite good as is Sidisi, Brood Tyrant.

January 10, 2017 12:35 a.m.

A couple of the classic golgari generals are also pretty solid options - Meren's already been mentioned, but Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord and Savra, Queen of the Golgari are both also fantastic options.

January 10, 2017 2:12 a.m.

freakman13 says... #8

I highly recommend having white in your color identity if you can. It opens up some great reanimation.

January 10, 2017 4:39 a.m.

SaberTech says... #9

Something to remember is that the aim of reanimation strategies in EDH is a little different than it would be in a 60 card format.

The typical idea of 60 card reanimator decks is to get a huge creature out as quick as you can to close out a game. Unfortunately, that doesn't work well in EDH because of the format having a starting life total of 40 and typically being centered around games of 3+ people. Even a massive creature on Turn 1 is still likely to die before it can take out a single person.

So in EDH you typically see reanimator working in two ways; it can help speed up creature-based combos by getting high-cost utility creatures onto the battlefield quickly and cheaply (leaving mana available for counter magic to protect the combo), or it aims to set up reanimation engines that help you grind out card advantage as the game goes on. There are only a handful of core creature packages that EDH Reanimator decks use in tournament level environments, but there's a lot of fun and variety to be found in more casual metas.

January 10, 2017 6:08 a.m.

landofMordor says... #10

SaberTech's comment is gold. I want to reiterate -- if you're just trying to win, there's a pretty stock set of cards you should use. But if you want to experiment and have fun, the list grows significantly. Check out decklists of some of the commanders listed in this thread to get you started.

January 10, 2017 7 a.m.

landofMordor says... #11

Orzhov also has some solid options. Athreos, God of Passage and Ravos, Soultender are both solid options.

The thing is, each color combo has its own "flavor" and reanimator staples, so your choices for cards depend on your commander choice.

January 10, 2017 7:08 a.m.

MagicalHacker says... #12

I would look up the best of the best mentioned on to find your preferred commander and other ideas for the deck.

January 10, 2017 7:54 a.m.

If it helps the discussion, I should mention the deck that I want to reanimate with is a 5 color big dumb artifact dudes deck with General Tazri as the commander.

Much like Breya, Etherium Sculptor isn't an artifact recursion engine herself like Meren is, Breya's deck lists still continue to include many cards that bring her artifacts and creatures back.

My reasoning was that since my creatures are also artifacts, this should open the doors to even more recursion and reanimator cards.

January 10, 2017 10:21 a.m.

The easiest way to build re-animator once you pick you commander is to make sure most to all of your creatures have ETB abilities. That way way you get benefits every time they come back.

Also Spore Frog if you are playing green becomes rather annoying for your opponents in re-animator decks.

January 10, 2017 10:29 a.m.

K34 says... #15


January 10, 2017 11:10 a.m.

K34 says... #16

You'll need some self mill of some sort, you gotta fill your graveyard. You can't rely on your 1 copy each of entomb and buried alive. You can do like Mulch type stuff in green, Grisly Salvage in golgari, (don't forget Jarad's Orders if you're doing ), Tireless Tribe in white, Dark Deal in black, so on and so forth, however, blue has the best self mill power. Breakthrough is my favorite, but there are a bunch of blue options like Windfall or even Careful Study.

For what it's worth, each color other than black can reanimate something, even if it's clumsy and not as good: Breath of Life, Resurrection, Refurbish, Argivian Restoration, Reincarnation, Feldon of the Third Path, Mimic Vat (there are many, less popular options)

January 10, 2017 11:10 a.m.

Pikarus says... #17

If I am playing edh reanimator, the Skullclamp is an autoinclude for me, because as previously mentioned, with 40 life it's hard to win with one dude, so playing a reanimator engine for shenanigans is a really good way to go. Try things like Grim Haruspex,Apprentice Necromancer,Gift of Immortality,Sun Titan,Panharmonicon,Eternal Witness,Unearth,Adarkar Valkyrie,Golgari Germination,Dictate of Erebos,Ashnod's Altar,Phyrexian Altar,Abyssal Gatekeeper,Sepulchral Primordial,Champion of Stray Souls,Nath of the Gilt-Leaf,Sadistic Hypnotist,Tortured Existence,Sylvan Safekeeper,Dryad Arbor,Demon of Dark SchemesThe list goes on, but even just with these you are hitting infinite Mana, discard, creature tokens, opponent sacrifice, card draw not to mention the fact even before you add more cards this list will be quite resilient to disruption. I would add another 50 cards to this list but I think you see where I am going with it already.

January 18, 2017 1:11 p.m.

Schuesseled says... #18

Living Death, Living End and Scrap Mastery (for artifact creatures) are great in EDH

January 21, 2017 11:34 a.m.

Schuesseled says... #19

Karmic Guide and Reveillark are good options for white.

January 21, 2017 11:36 a.m.

Schuesseled says... #20

P.S MagicalHacker has done the hard work for you with: MagicalHacker - List of All Recursion Cards

January 21, 2017 12:29 p.m.

MasqureMan says... #21

Sheoldred the Whispering One used to be my monoblack reanimation commander, and she's a very good one.

This was the guide I used back when I first started doing reanimator in EDH, goes over different reanimation focused black commanders and their pros/cons. Very recommended:

January 21, 2017 3:37 p.m.

This discussion has been closed