Video: Jund Reanimator In Standard!

A Whip-based Reanimator deck would be too conventional for the brain of Sam Black. See the crazy alternate graveyard brew (complete with development notes!) before #SCGPORT!

Today’s deck is inspired by reading the words “Jund Reanimator” in Gerry’s article this week, which discussed a completely different deck. As this is working on something completely new for me, I thought it’d be useful to walk through the first steps of my deckbuilding process. In this case, I knew that I wanted to try to cast Fearsome Awakening on Dragonlord Kolaghan or Dragonlord Atarka, and I considered that I might want See the Unwritten, as putting both of them into play at the same time is great. Unfortunately, fitting all the pieces to be able to get them into the graveyard and to turn on ferocious didn’t seem possible, so I focused on the reanimator angle.

I wanted to get a Deathmist Raptor + Den Protector package in with my self-milling, but space was tight, so I moved that to the sideboard. My first build is trying a few things, and has very little room in the maindeck or sideboard for removal, which I expect to be a problem, but I need to learn how much of a problem through playing. I guess my first step is to test the threats to see which ones work well, so that I can trim things that aren’t working as well to make room for answers, which is a good system, because playing should also give me a better feel for which specific answers I need.

The starting point before playing any matches is this:

I have Satyr Wayfinder, Commune with the Gods, and Nyx Weaver to try to get a Dragon into the graveyard. If I draw one, I can make myself discard it with Kolaghan’s Command. I also need to find Fearsome Awakening, and I have Den Protector and Nyx Weaver to help with that. Tasigur and Surrak give me some midgame bodies that play well with what I’m doing–Surrak can give Dragonlord Atarka haste, and Tasigur’s good with the mill engine.

My sideboard is set up to grind control decks with Thoughtseize, Den Protector, Deathmist Raptor, and Foul-Tongue Invocation, and what takes most of the space, though those cards are all somewhat versatile. Murderous Cut and Hornet Queen are there to help against red Dragon decks, and Virulent Plague and Magma Spray are my soft nod toward trying to beat red aggro. I think I’m hoping that my deck can naturally go over the top of other midrange decks.

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

All in all, things felt to like they were going pretty smoothly for a first draft. I think Nyx Weaver is unlikely to make it through a lot of iterations here, and I’m uncertain how many Commune/Kolghan’s Command style set up cards you need to make things work. Fearsome Awakening seemed to be playing pretty well here, even if I was often trimming them for game 2. I don’t take that as a strong sign that I should be playing fewer–this just follows my typical plan of presenting a strong proactive plan in game 1, and then hedging into a grindy deck in game 2, which I think this deck is well-positioned to do.

I think my next step would be to cut Nyx Weaver for Deathmist Raptor in the main, freeing up some sideboard slots. I’m not sure exactly what to do with them. Xenagos, the Reveler is a card I’d like to try out since it’s good against control and plays well with Dragons, and then I probably want either a Thoughtseize or another early removal spell in the last slot. A suggested list would look like: