I'm currently trying out Moxfield for deck storage, so this list may be out of date. See the latest version of my Animar list and primer here.

Introduction and Resources

Here I provide an uncompromising, highly-tuned Animar list designed to compete in any meta including full-powered cEDH.

The key factor to bear in mind when reviewing this list is that Animar is not a "big-creatures" deck nor a "big-mana" deck. It's a creature-based storm deck designed with the aim of casting one or more cheap creatures as many times as possible for as little mana as possible, with Animar himself acting as a vastly more powerful Helm of Awakening effect.

For more detailed info and great discussion, you can also have a look at the Discord server.

Strategy

Animar primarily relies on Ancestral Statue to win games, but we actually have access to several other powerful combos worth considering, some of which have a long history with the deck. The list below is ordered roughly by how likely I would be to include them in my build. Note that the "Premium" combos are typically ones that can be accessed starting from a single card like Imperial Recruiter and which don't force the deck to include mediocre cards.

Premium Wincons

Viable Wincons

Nonviable Wincons

  • Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Pestermite / Deceiver Exarch = infinite copies of the chosen untapper. I currently consider this a viable alternate wincon for the deck when Animar is the frequent target of removal, but the fact that it takes up 3+ slots in the deck, can be expensive to cast and forces our manabase into more Red than is desirable makes it a suboptimal choice. The introduction of the Dockside and Kiri lines in particular leave Kiki largely outdated.

  • Animar + Cloudstone Curio + any two nonartifact colorless or Morph creatures = infinite ETBs and infinite Animar counters. This combo will win games with many of the same outlets as the Statue line, but has a few drawbacks. Cloudstone itself is difficult to tutor and expensive to cast, and having two colorless creatures available is often more work than simply tutoring Ancestral Statue.

  • Earthcraft + Man-o'-War / Dream Stalker / Shrieking Drake + a basic Island = infinite ETBs. This combo can actually win a game without Animar on board as long as you use the Drake and any outlet other than Walking Ballista. It suffers from the same drawbacks as the Cloudstone combo, however, in that Earthcraft itself is inaccessible to most of our tutors, and the combo requires 3+ pieces not counting an outlet.

  • Aluren + Man-o'-War / Dream Stalker / Shrieking Drake = infinite ETBs. This combo works without Animar as well, but can also be used to make infinite Animar counters and win by combat. As with so many Animar wincons though, Aluren itself doesn't work well with the deck's suite of tutors, and at 4CMC, can be awkward to cast.

  • Animar + Palinchron = infinite ETBs and sometimes infinite mana. Once Animar reaches 4 counters Palinchron has the ability to bounce and recast himself, winning the game with most of the same outlets as the Statue combo. Problematically, this combo requires at least 6 lands on board for Palinchon to be mana-neutral, or 7 to generate infinite mana. The deck plays as few lands as possible, however, making this line only viable late in the game.

Conclusion

Animar is a great deck to play. As with any good cEDH deck, it consistently rewards research, practice, tight play and a little creativity.

Please use this space to discuss all aspects the deck. I always learn a lot by chatting with other talented pilots on here!

Budget Versions

Here are some rough sketches of budget builds at two different price points. I haven't playtested these too much, but they should be a solid starting point for someone interested in testing the deck out at a less inflated price. If you're curious about how to optimize the deck for your personal budget and card pool, feel free to drop a comment and we'll figure something out!

Updated April 2020 for Ikoria & Commander 2020.

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Top Ranked
Date added 4 years
Last updated 4 months
Exclude colors WB
Splash colors R
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

11 - 0 Mythic Rares

58 - 0 Rares

11 - 0 Uncommons

18 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.96
Tokens 2/2 Bird, Treasure, 2/2 Morph, 1/1 Spirit
Folders Interesting Brews, Others' Commanders, best of edh, cutthroat canon, Animar EDH, Animar, Soul of Elements, Animar EDH, T1 Competitive, JMCraig's Decks, cEDH, See all 111
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