I’d be lying to you if I told you that I wanted to go deep for #SCGNJ.
I don’t really play Legacy, even though my finishes have been generally okay. My default is usually a Show and Tell variant, but I feel like I’m mostly
capable of at least adequately piloting any deck that isn’t Storm based.
Which is funny, because Burning Reanimator is very often trying to do just that.
- 1 Simian Spirit Guide
- 1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
- 2 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
- 4 Griselbrand
- 1 Sire of Insanity
I mostly put the deck down after writing a primer on it last year, not because I thought the deck
was bad but because I simply didn’t play very many Legacy events anymore. Then Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time happened, and let’s be real, those
times were miserable.
One of the things that would turn many off from the deck is that it’s incredibly complicated for a strategy that you can pull off much easier with
blue-based Reanimator or any Show and Tell variant. There really isn’t a way around it either, and not having Force of Will, or any sort of countermagic,
sucks. This deck attempts to make up for that with brute force. Unmask, Thoughtseize, and constantly pushing through Unburial Rites until it sticks is what
enables this. You can also beat the fair removal spells by just storming them out with Tendrils of Agony or Empty the Warrens, depending on the situation.
Most of this is covered in the primer, and I recommend reading that to really get a grasp of what the deck is trying to accomplish.
A pretty large number of sets have been released since discovering this deck, and it’s always important to explore the possibility of including newer cards
in anything, even if they may or may not work out.
The first major one to me is Dark Petition.
Dark Petition has basically become a mainstay in traditional Storm decks since its release, and I think it’s worth a spot here as well. While it’s
incredibly tough to add an expensive tool like this to an already multithreaded, interwoven contraption, it does open up even more avenues to victory, both
through storming and in our sideboard.
While storming, it’s just another way to grab Burning Wish via Lion’s Eye Diamond while also giving us enough to cast Tendils of Agony. The deck usually
had to jump through a couple of hoops to get a lethal Tendrils off, but this definitely makes that easier. The second use is pretty unorthodox (though this
entire strategy falls under that category), but having Dark Petition makes Death Wish a stronger option to include.
Death Wish is a particularly dangerous card at first, but believe it or not, the deck has always had trouble looking for big creatures. Death Wishing for a
high impact creature that you wish you played more of but couldn’t quite find the room for could make things even more streamlined. Not needing red is also
another good reason why Death Wish is worth considering. Hitting Reanimate out of your sideboard is huge when you’re strapped on red, and if that same tool
can get a game-winning creature, or even something to squeeze out the last bit of mana you need to hit an Unburial Rites, like, say, Cabal Ritual, then
it’s worth it in my book. Yes, these are a lot of corner case scenarios, but this deck has a ridiculously large amount of them, so having a card that can
tie all of them together, even if it’s moderately, is huge. I think the card is best in the sideboard, since after game 1 you’ll need more ways of
getting to the adjustments, especially through graveyard hate, but it’s something that, like basically everything in this deck, requires extensive and
insane amounts of testing and evaluation.
This is what I’ll be working on for the week:
- 1 Simian Spirit Guide
- 2 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
- 4 Griselbrand
- 1 Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
- 1 Sire of Insanity
Card choices aside, one of the biggest problems is dealing with direct graveyard hate. When I played this deck on camera last year, despite hitting a turn
1 Sire of Insanity, I would be Stone Cold Stunnered by a lowly Nihil Spellbomb. Combating this is tough, but transforming into a dedicated Storm deck that
happens to have Griselbrand is one way. Empty the Warrens is especially powerful in this regard, as it theoretically gets around all of it, but it takes up
a lot of sideboard space, taking up two to three spots. Another option is Chancellor of the Annex, which can buy you a much needed turn to power through
whatever you’re worried about. Again, space is the problem, and again, it needs a whole lot of work to determine if it’s worth bringing to a tournament.
Pithing Needle hits Deathrite Shaman and Nihil Spellbomb, but Grafdigger’s Cage still sucks. Sneak Attack pushes through somewhat, but it’s not easy to
actually find it. Since Sultai tempo style decks aren’t really a thing right now, I think Pithing Needle is your best bet, as you’re much more likely to
see Deathrite Shaman over the course of a fifteen round tournament, and you’re relying on your discard to power through everything else.
One option that I haven’t considered is one that I haven’t quite thought of, and it is a tad awkward given the mana we use to ramp up, but I previously
incorporated it in different Show and Tell strategies to present a completely different angle that many wouldn’t be prepared for. Goblin Rabblemaster is
the perfect card for that, as it is the epitome of “set it and forget it.”
Don’t worry about Containment Priest. Just tap out immediately.
No, seriously, don’t try, it’s okay.
There are so many nuances and small intricacies with this deck that it can often be overwhelming, and I know that someone of greater wizardry than
mine would be super threatening to a tournament wielding this beast of a deck (paging Greg Hatch!), but this isn’t the only weapon I have in my armory for
The next deck is one I have little experience with, but it has similar function to Burning Reanimator in a sense that it wants to do completely busted
things, and having seen this deck in action before, I think it’s time I try my hand at it.
- 4 Simian Spirit Guide
- 3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
- 3 Inferno Titan
- 2 Wurmcoil Engine
- 3 Griselbrand
- 1 Worldspine Wurm
- 4 Through the Breach
- 1 Trinisphere
- 4 Blood Moon
- 4 Seething Song
- 4 Sneak Attack
- 4 Lotus Petal
- 4 Chalice of the Void
When I played MUD at the Season Three Invitational in New Jersey this summer, the parts of the deck I liked were basically the prison elements. Carrying
that over to another deck is where I want to start, and this seems like a good place.
The Goblin Rabblemaster plan I talked about earlier is placed in full effect here, especially since it’s much easier to cast with the plethora of Sol-lands
and Chalice of the Void choking out the removal that would be good against it. I want more Trinispheres in the maindeck, regardless of Lotus Petal, but I
can barely stomach going to nineteen lands, and know I shouldn’t go lower. Having a critical mass of creatures is also very important, so shaving any of
those wouldn’t be ideal. It’s possible that just leaving it as it is is perfectly fine, but I think Trinisphere buys you a whole lot of time when your hand
is kind of sketchy. The deck doesn’t mulligan very well, so having another thing to give you multiple turns across a game is pretty strong. One Shattering
Spree is definitely light, but there really isn’t a cut that I’d be happy with. It’s tough to justify only three Griselbrand as well, but I actually think
that he’s only great when you’re trying to chain off of a Sneak Attack, otherwise your other creatures are much better at actually killing things,
The last deck on my short list is also one I haven’t brought to a tournament, but I have worked on for a long time.
Similar to why I didn’t continue picking up Burning Reanimator, I didn’t get to register this for any tournament because there just wasn’t enough
tournaments for me. While this amalgamation of old-school Omni-Tell, Hypergenesis, and a bunch of cards that work with Eureka may not be the cleanest of
decks, it’s certainly the most reliable in terms of actually getting a combo through. Force of Will and Misdirection make their appearance for the first
time here, and it’s pretty necessary, given how incredibly clunky the deck is in the first place. Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker is not as powerful as Ugin, the
Spirit Dragon in a decent amount of cases, but having blue cards to pitch to Force of Will is important. Progenitus is a potential alternative, but I don’t
want to take two turns to kill my opponent off of an Omniscience. A second Enter the Infinite doesn’t work with Hypergenesis or Eureka, but it is a
guaranteed win if resolved. I’m basically choosing between a maximum payoff for Omniscience or Hypergenesis and Eureka. I think I’d rather go for the
latter, but we are talking about a single card spot, so I’m unsure how big of a difference it would make over one tournament.
I’m pretty impartial to all of these decks, but it’s time for you to get in on the action too! Each of you will have the ability to vote on which of these
three decks I will battle with for #SCGNJ. Of course, there will be changes and adjustments, but the decks will mostly be what you see here.