Hello Magic players, and welcome to a special edition of Jake’s Standard decks. Usually, I like to stick to mono-colored budget decks, but this time I’m willing to break the bank. Featured this week is a deck that I co-designed with my friend Trevor: Grixis Reanimator. With this gem of a deck, it’s totally possible to bring in a turn 3 [card]Griselbrand[/card], or a turn 4 [card]Omniscience[/card]. How, you ask? Well, my curious friend, read on.
Discard and Mill
The first step with this deck (or any Reanimator deck) is to get things into the graveyard.
Faithless Looting is the ideal turn one play in this deck. Use it to dig to your lands and reanimation spells, then discard the permanents you want reanimated at a later point. It’s an important turn one play, and it’s useful no matter when you draw it.
Izzet Charm is here as backup for [card]Faithless Looting[/card]. The instant speed, as well as the two other modes attached to it, makes Izzet Charm incredibly versatile. While it is best used to filter cards and get your fatties into the graveyard, it can serve in pinch to counter game breaking spells or deal with annoying small creatures.
Breaking (from Breaking//Entering)
Breaking is used as a fast-track way to get things into your graveyard. Hopefully, you’ll be able to mill a large creature or two and an [Card]Unburial Rites[/card].
Stage two is getting things out, and here’s how:
Getting creatures out of the graveyard early on is the key to your victory. Unburial Rights is the cheapest reanimate in Standard right now. The cheap flashback cost on this card makes it ideal to discard to a [card]Faithless Looting[/card] or [card]Izzet Charm[/card], and also allows you to power through removal-heavy decks by reanimating the same creature twice while only using a single card.
Obzedat’s Aid is used to get the noncreature fatties, [card]Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker[/card] and [card]Omniscience[/card], out of the graveyard.
Entering is the final card in our reanimation suite. The haste granted by this card is not to be underestimated, since you can go to town with your Gisela or Griselbrand that turn, which will pretty much win you the game in one swing.
The Dracogenius is the weakest of our reanimation targets, but he earns his place in the deck because of the fact that it’s not impossible to hardcast him if you can’t dig up the reanimation tech you need. His ability can deal with mana dorks like [card]Elvish Mystic[/card] or [card]Avacyn’s Pilgrim[/card], or draw you cards by pinging your opponent.
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
Gisela shuts down opposing aggro decks HARD by halving the damage that comes your way, and essentially doubles the power and toughness of all of your creatures, turning even a [card]Goblin Electromancer[/card] into a potential threat.
Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts
Teysa is another card thrown in because of her ability to shut down aggro strategies. Additionally, her vigilance and protection from creatures makes her a powerful threat while on the attack.
There’s not really much to explain about Griselbrand. He’s the biggest, baddest card-drawing machine in Standard, and can often close out games without even a single activation of his incredible ability, winning off of being a 7/7 Lifelink alone.
Stormtide Leviathan is the last piece of anti-aggro, allowing you to attack with impunity with your massive fliers while being totally safe from swarms on the ground.
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
Good old Bolas is a great target for [card]Obzedat’s Aid[/card]. It may take a while, but if you manage to resolve and keep him on the field, you’re well on your way to a devastating, if drawn out, win.
There’s not really much to say here. It’s Omniscience. If you get it out, you get to absolutely annihilate your opponent in short order.
General Utility Cards
Think Twice is a great way to dig deeper for the spells or lands you need, and can really help you power through a slow start.
Goblin Electromancer is this deck’s greatest enabler, allowing you to get your massive reanimations a turn early. It’s also necessary for this deck’s God Hand: Turn one [card]Faithless Looting[/card], discarding a large creature and an [card]Unburial Rites[/card], turn two Electromancer, and a turn 3 [card]Unburial Rites[/card] for the large creature. It also works wonders with both sides of [card]Think Twice[/card] and with flashing back [card]Faithless Looting[/card].
It’s always good to have a reset button, just in case things aren’t quite going your way. A quick Blasphemous Act can drastically turn the tables on an opposing swarm deck, as they scramble to reassert their board position.
The List (Minus the mana base)
- 1 [card]Gisela, Blade of Goldnight[/card]
- 4 [card]Goblin Electromancer[/card]
- 1 [card]Griselbrand[/card]
- 2 [card]Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius[/card]
- 2 [card]Stormtide Leviathan[/card]
- 1 [card]Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts[/card]
- 1 [card]Omniscience[/card]
- 3 [card]Izzet Charm[/card]
- 4 [card]Think Twice[/card]
- 2 [card]Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker[/card]
- 3 [card]Blasphemous Act[/card]
- 3 [card]Breaking // Entering[/card]
- 4 [card]Faithless Looting[/card]
- 2 [card]Obzedat’s Aid[/card]
- 3 [card]Unburial Rites[/card]
The Mana Base
As with many decks in Standard today, the mana base is the most expensive part of this deck. However, with 4 colors and an abundance of multiple mana symbols, it’s imperative that you be able to cast any spell at any time. To that end, here is the list of lands that I run in my version of Breaking Rites:
- 2 [card]Blood Crypt[/card]
- 2 [card]Clifftop Retreat[/card]
- 4 [card]Dragonskull Summit[/card]
- 3 [card]Drowned Catacomb[/card]
- 2 [card]Glacial Fortress[/card]
- 1 [card]Hallowed Fountain[/card]
- 1 [card]Sacred Foundry[/card]
- 3 [card]Steam Vents[/card]
- 3 [card]Sulfur Falls[/card]
- 3 [card]Watery Grave[/card]
As usual, I’ll keep my Sideboard section to suggestions, without any numbers. Mess with this list as you see fit in your local metagame.
Wear // Tear
The most dangerous cards to this deck ([card]Rest in Peace[/card], [card]Grafdigger’s Cage[/card], and [card]Ground Seal[/card]) are all artifacts or enchantments, so Wear and Tear pulls double weight in the sideboard.
Use Pithing Needle to deal with annoying Planeswalkers, [card]Tormod’s Crypt[/card], and especially [card]Scavenging Ooze[/card].
Sire of Insanity
Sire of Insanity is a good reanimation target against control decks, since Breaking Rites works much better without a hand than any White/Blue/Red or Blue/Black control deck.
Take out those [card]Tormod’s Crypt[/card]s and [card]Rest in Peace[/card]s before they can mess up your day.
And that’s it! Hopefully this deck works as well for you as it has for me (I definitely don’t win every game, but I still have a TON of fun). If you like it, dislike it, or just want to chat Magic, leave a comment below or send me an email at Jake@Geekenstein.com!