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GRISELBRAND REBORN - Ultimate Reanimator

Legacy Aggro Combo Competitive Demons Discard Reanimator Suicide Black



Top Rank: #1 in Legacy (#3 on T/O) - thanks for reading!


This is my updated competitive reanimator build featuring Griselbrand . Once Big G hits the board, the blood begins to flow. If I sacrifice and reanimate Children of Korlis repeatedly, I can draw my entire deck with Big G, then annihilate the opponent with Tendrils of Agony . This is achievable as early as turn 1.


I alway reanimate Big G first. If I want the opponent to begin their next turn with no cards in hand, I next reanimate Sire Of Insanity , then on the following turn I use Big G to recharge my hand. If I need targeted removal, I choose Tidespout Tyrant . Together Big G, Sire, and Tyrant are the Trifecta of Doom. Sire discards everyone’s hands, Big G draws cards, and Tyrant returns permanents to the opponent’s hand to be discarded by Sire. Most decks can not overcome this lock.

Chancellor of the Annex provides important support because drawing one or more during my opening hand protects my first reanimation spell from a Force of Will or Force of Negation . The Chancellors also have flying bodies and serve as backup reanimation targets. Their mana tax is extra useful against storm decks.

Chrome Mox , Lotus Petal , and Dark Ritual ramp and reduce the need to run swamps.

Thoughtseize and Unmask disrupt the opponent’s plans and allow me to think ahead. Any unnecessary black cards can be consumed by Unmask , which is especially useful when I have drawn lots of cards with Big G.

I am testing Tendrils of Agony as an alternative win condition. Sacrificing Children of Korlis reverses life-loss, which enables me to use Big G’s power to draw 7 repeatedly, so I can draw as many cards as possible. I am very likely to draw at least 1 mana source and at least 1 reanimation spell, so I can reanimate the Children over and over and eventually draw my entire deck. A 10-card storm is necessary to achieve the insta-kill with Tendrils. This allows me to bypass combat altogether if necessary.


This deck requires aggressive mulligans to ensure Big G hits the board turn 1 or 2. The following are the optimal opening hands to achieve a turn 1 Tendrils of Agony :

Land / Dark Ritual / Entomb / Exhume or Animate Dead / Lotus Petal / Children of Korlis ; or

Land / Dark Ritual / Griselbrand / Faithless Looting or Thoughtseize targeting Big G / Exhume or Animate Dead / Entomb (to search for Children of Korlis ).

If I draw Reanimate instead of Animate/Exhume, my life total will be down to 12 after reanimating Big G, so it’s best to wait until turn 2 after I attack and replenish life to start drawing cards.

Lotus Petal s or Chrome Mox es are necessary to play more Dark Ritual s and to play Children of Korlis . Starting with 1 or 2 Petals or Moxes in addition to 1 or 2 Rituals is ideal.

If I don’t draw a Dark Ritual on turn 1, the combo is much more likely to be possible on turns 2 or 3.

I would rather start with or draw into the Children than Entomb them. If I draw the Children instead of Entombing them, this saves me the resources I would have to spend to reanimate them.

Once I go all-in with the combo, there’s no turning back. If the Children are not in my hand or discard when I start the combo, I risk not drawing the Children, Entomb, or a mana source. Assessing my odds of success along with the opponent’s hand using Unmask or Thoughtseize is critical before going for the kill.


I splash Red and White for Faithless Looting , Children of Korlis , Wear / Tear and Serenity on the sideboard, and for the option of hard-casting Ashen Rider , Sire Of Insanity , and other R/W creatures if a game goes long (although that is very unlikely).

I am aware of an alternative strategy using a single Bayou maindeck, then running Reverent Silence and Xantid Swarm on the sideboard. That may be a popular and viable strategy, but I would prefer to stick to Mardu colors for consistency.


Archetype of Endurance protects Big G from targeted removal and bounce.

Ashen Rider is a substitute for Tidespout Tyrant when bouncing is not enough to seal the deal.

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite instantly wipes the board of most tokens and small pesky creatures. Very effective against delver and dredge.

Grave Titan is hard-castable and provides extra firepower if necessary.

Iona, Shield of Emeria locks down decks which focus on a single color, especially burn.

Faerie Macabre is free grave-hate and should be brought in against the mirror or dredge.

Serenity and Wear / Tear are critical because Griselbrand refuses to Rest in Peace .


Buried Alive was my old standby, but the modern meta no longer supports it. My old combo was burying Maelstrom Wanderer and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight and reanimating both for a turn 1 win. This is possible but unlikely, so I have scrapped the combo for now in favor of consistency and Tendrils of Agony .

Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur has been functionally replaced by Griselbrand and Sire Of Insanity . Jin takes too long to discard the opponent’s hand and give them time to respond, whereas the Sire immediately discards their hand the turn it comes into play. Big G can draw cards at instant speed, has a superior 7/7 flying body, and costs 2 less life when reanimating.

This is a work in progress. Any comments or suggestions are welcome!


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86% Competitive

Top Ranked
  • Achieved #3 position overall 6 months ago
  • Achieved #1 position in Legacy 7 months ago
Date added 11 months
Last updated 2 months
Splash colors WR

This deck is Legacy legal.

Rarity (main - side)

12 - 4 Mythic Rares

24 - 4 Rares

9 - 5 Uncommons

13 - 2 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.69
Folders Uncategorized, Legacy Decks I Did Not Make, Decks I'd Like to Play, Random Stuff, Competitive Legacy, interesting
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Revision 8 See all

6 months ago)

+2 Collective Brutality maybe
+2 Thoughtseize maybe