U/B Reanimator by fluffypingo on MtGO

Creatures (7)
2 Chancellor of the Annex
4 Griselbrand
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria

Non-Creature Spells (37)
4 Careful Study
4 Exhume
3 Preordain
4 Reanimate
2 Brainstorm
3 Daze
4 Entomb
3 Foil
4 Force of Will
4 Lotus Petal
2 Animate Dead

Lands (16)
3 Island
1 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
4 Underground Sea
4 Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)
2 Chancellor of the Annex
1 Ashen Rider
2 City of Traitors
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Empyrial Archangel
4 Show and Tell
1 Terastodon
3 Thoughtseize

Summary

Legacy combo decks are remarkably different from one another. Some of them look to get a bunch of creatures on the board and use the mana they create to combo off, others look to combine two cards to win the game, others are critical mass spell decks, and some are somewhere in between these. The deck we’re featuring today is U/B Reanimator, which looks to reanimate powerful creatures from the graveyard, backed up by draw spells and counter spells.

As for ways of getting creatures into the graveyard, this deck is very reliant on Entomb and Careful Study. While Entomb is concerned only with getting a creature into the graveyard to be reanimated, Careful Study does much more, drawing cards and digging this further towards the cards it wants to hit, making it the ideal card for this deck. The most interesting inclusion to this deck is Foil, which acts as another free counter spell that can also get one of this deck’s powerful creatures into the graveyard. It’s also the explanation for why this deck plays the full set of Underground Sea and Watery Grave. Foil is normally not worth the price of admission, but when the extra card you discard actively wants to be in the graveyard, it greatly increases the value of the card.

This deck has several ways to reanimate creatures. Exhume is nearly always a 2 mana reanimation spell without downside because the opponent’s creatures are markedly worse. Reanimate is the cheapest option, but it comes with a serious cost attached to it. However, the life loss isn’t as relevant in Legacy when Reanimate is cast on the first couple turns of the game against decks that don’t put immediate pressure on this deck. Animate Dead is a slightly wonky card, but the effective text of putting a creature into play with minus 1 power is still very powerful at two mana.

As for the creatures to reanimate, Griselbrand is the #1 target, as it allows this deck to not only get a significant advantage over the opponent, but it allows this deck to bury the opponent it card advantage as well. Most Reanimator decks play a flurry of other large creatures to support Griselbrand, but this deck takes a different approach, using Chancellor of the Annex as a way to stunt the opponent’s development and an equally powerful threat once its in play. Iona, Shield of Emeria is another good target for reanimation spells, as there are many decks in the format that are only one color, and even more decks that rely so heavily on one color that having that color shut off is close to game over.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Foil

-1 Animate Dead

-3 Preordain

+3 Ponder

+2 Brainstorm

Sideboard

-1 Empyrial Angel

-1 Terastodon

+1 Ashen Rider

+1 Thoughtseize

This is day 322 of Spellsnare.com’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 321 here, where we featured a Standard deck that looks to take the Energy archetype in a completely new direction!

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