Sunday, 5 June 2016

Mono Black Reanimator

They say that once you go black, you never go back. So, if you’re a fan of the UB version of this deck then you may not want to ruin that by trying out today’s brew. Long time fans might remember that I already wrote about the more traditional UB shell a long time ago. So, why go Mono Black? Other than the fact that it is a more budget-friendly, there are genuinely practical reasons for doing so as well. Not only is it consistent, but it can go off very fast and give you a very strong turn 1 start against your opponent. But enough teasing; let’s read on about Mono Black Reanimator.

One of the main problems with UB Reanimator is that you have to include a lot of blue spells for Force of Will to be a worthwhile inclusion. So why is adding so many blue spells a problem? For starters, Blue is easily the secondary colour in the deck. For the most part, all you really want to play it for are a couple of spells, namely counterspells for creature protection, and as a secondary form of getting creatures into your graveyard. The thing is, black can do both of these things just as well (and even better), without adding those less desired cards. Allow me to elaborate.

Discard spells are a great way to aggressively remove opponents’ threats to your creatures. Not only does it do that, but it also gives you information about your opponent’s hand, strategy and their options. Knowing both of these things can in turn help you develop your own lines of play. I think that all of these aspects of discard are a perfectly fine tradeoff for dropping counterspells. In fact, because of Dark Ritual, you can actually ‘go off’ on turn 1 along with attacking your opponent’s hand, giving you a serious edge in tempo as well.

Discard’s versatility isn’t just limited to use on your opponent either; it can also be used to help you get your own creatures into the graveyard. Some great examples of flexible discard are Cabal Therapy and Blackmail. Both of these spells read ‘target player’, and thus you are able to cast them on yourself if you need to. With Blackmail, just be sure to reveal the reanimate spell that you plan on using, so as to mitigate the amount of information you are giving your opponent.

Volrath’s Stronghold. This seems like a strange choice I know. After all, you are trying to get your creatures into the graveyard from your library, not the other way around. So why include it? Quite frankly, it’s there to protect them once they’re in there. Tormod’s Crypt is a thing, and returning the creature to your library in response to a Crypt activation is a great way to protect it. You can also use it in response to Planar Void, which can be quite relevant in certain situations.

Threats and omissions. Since the deck focuses on getting rid of your opponents’ answers via discard, Nicol Bolas seems like a perfect fit for the deck. After all, not only does he swing hard, but he can also destroy their hand. The problem with Bolas however, is that you do not have the mana to keep him alive long enough to swing in. Adding the colours necessary to keep him alive would seriously slow down the deck, and it is because of this that I did not include him. The rest of the threats that I did include should need no explanation. They all have a use in different situations. I encourage you to browse through the other creatures available to you and see if there are any you might choose instead. Happy Brewing!

Mono Black Reanimator


5 Swamp
1 Volrath’s Stronghold
4 Wasteland
7 Fetchlands

Total: 17


1 Iridescent Angel
1 Dragon Mage
1 Magma Giant
1 Reya Dawnbringer
1 Crosis, the Purger
1 Spirit of the Night
2 Akroma, Angel of Wrath

Total: 8


4 Animate Dead
1 Buried Alive
4 Dark Ritual
4 Entomb
4 Exhume
4 Reanimate
1 Recurring Nightmare
4 Duress
3 Blackmail
2 Cabal Therapy
4 Hymn to Tourach

Total: 35


4 Tormod’s Crypt
4 Terror
2 Engineered Plague
1 Blackmail
2 Innocent Blood
2 Cabal Therapy

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