Brain in a Jar Reanimator by tzio on MtGO

Creatures (8)
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Griselbrand

Non-Creature Spells (31)
4 Beck / Call
4 Breaking / Entering
3 Faithless Looting
4 Goryo’s Vengeance
4 Kari Zev’s Expertise
4 Serum Visions
3 Thoughtseize
1 Yahenni’s Expertise
4 Brain in a Jar

Lands (21)
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Blood Crypt
4 Bloodstained Mire
2 Forbidden Orchard
1 Island
1 Mountain
3 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
1 Steam Vents
1 Swamp
1 Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)
2 Anger of the Gods
2 Defense Grid
2 Dispel
1 Echoing Truth
3 Leyline of Sanctity
3 Painful Truths
1 Through the Breach
1 Yahenni’s Expertise


Reanimator decks featuring Goryo’s Vengeance have been a consistent player in Modern for a long while now, but new cards being printed have been pulling the deck in several different directions. This deck that we’re featuring keeps the traditional Goryo’s Vengeance plus Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn package, but also includes several powerful combos that Shadows Over Innistrad and Aether Revolt have enabled.

The first new combo in this deck is pairing either Kari Zev’s Expertise or Brain in a Jar with Breaking / Entering. Due to a very odd rules interaction, both of the first two cards let you cast both halves of Breaking / Entering, since fuse only cares that you’re casting it from your hand, and not how much mana you paid to cast it. This lets you mill yourself for 8 and put a hasty creature in your graveyard onto the battlefield. If you turn over Emrakul, the Aeons Torn with the Breaking half, you get to resolve the Entering half before it shuffles your graveyard into your library.

Now that we have some shenanigans in our deck with Kari Zev’s Expertise and Brain in a Jar, we need something else janky to do! This is where Beck / Call comes into play. The card that was boldly called “2 mana Glimpse of Nature, which is definitely still just as good” by many is a proud 4-of in this deck. When either Expertise or Brain casts this card, it puts 4 1/1 fliers into play and draws you 4 cards, which is incredibly valuable for a combo deck such as this one.

Yahenni’s Expertise is a powerful and flexible card in this deck. In one situation it can be a board wipe to slow the opponent down for several turns, and in another situation it can operate as the 9th piece of the Expertise or Brain half of the combo. However, I find it hard to not have a full playset of Thoughtseize in the mainboard of this deck, so I’ll be moving this Expertise to the sideboard. The sideboard of the deck already has several good cards that contribute to the combo to bring in, alongside a series of protection cards that help you force through the combo, so Expertise fits very well in the current setup.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Yahenni’s Expertise

+1 Thoughtseize


-2 Anger of the Gods

-1 Painful Truths

+1 Defense Grid

+1 Yahenni’s Expertise

+1 Echoing Truth

This is day 87 of’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. you can read day 86 here, where we featured a Modern combo deck that’s looking to ramp its way to victory.

Follow us on Twitter:

Like us on Facebook: