Hey, Wholesome here! My long-awaited reanimator guide is finally finished. I’ve played this deck almost exclusively on ranked ladder and I truly believe it’s a great competitive deck to climb with. I also played this deck in a recent tournament, Moonlight Masquerade, which you can read about below. Please let me know what you think of the deck and format and if you have any ideas for future deck guides you would like me to cover in this format. Thanks!
THE BUDGET VERSION
PATH | DISK OF CIRCADIA
This Path enables us to discard high mana cost minions, which will be referred to as big dudes, like Indrik Beast or Lantern Colossus, into the boneyard. It also gives everything Slayer 1 enabling Hopeless Necromantic to die to a 2 strength minion and allowing us to reanimate our big dudes as soon as possible.
POWER | SMITE
The reason we choose Smite as our Power is because we get so much chip damage in as we flip our Disk. We are not interested in choosing a Power like Foresight, especially since Disk gives Divination 2. If we did, we would then be suffering from diminishing returns. This is because we would be looking at the card we put on top of the deck with Foresight twice, once from the Foresight activation and once from Disk flipping to the night side. Most of the game, we will be behind on life points until we get a Biting Blade on a big dude, which means we are getting max value from Smite.
Purple gives us access to some incredible cards that have great synergy with the archetype, both at the low and top end of the curve. It adds so much utility to the deck and compliments it in every way. We can also use the items as backup discard targets when we want to flip our Disk . This interaction takes Disk from being good to being great. Normally, we would lose card advantage when flipping to Day then regain our card when we flip back to Night. When we discard items that are spawned from our Purple cards, we simply start developing card advantage.
THE PURPLE CORE
- Simuzen allows us to heal our big dudes back and is a great 1 mana 2/2 for blocking or chip damage. His healing potion is probably my most discarded item when flipping Disk.
- Sword Saint lets us Life Tap off of our big dudes to restore our life total and helps with racing.
- Hotel Barkeep was made for a deck like this. It gives us a free Power activation with his Powerful Ramen and allows us to flip our Disk twice in one turn if we want to.
- Terragon and Lantern Colossus are great value big dudes that help us go over our opponent with the Overrun from the Pearl and clear the way with Immolation Cloak.
THE GREEN CORE
- Grinning Kolobok is one way we like to stay ahead and keep the pressure on. It gives us a backup plan if we are playing against decks that have answers to Hopeless Necromantic, like Seal of Exile, so we can just ramp into our big dudes instead. It can also be great for defending early game and taking favorable trades into 2/1 aggro creatures, as well as creatures with 2 health when we have Slayer 1 from Day.
- Hopeless Necromantic is the card that enables the archetype. It lets us reanimate our big dudes by replacing itself with the bottom card in our boneyard. If we have multiple of them out on the board with a pretty full boneyard, our opponents will have an extremely hard time clearing the way to damage our life total.
- Wake the Bones and Raid the Tombs give us the ability to fix our boneyard to ensure our Hopeless Necromantics are reanimating the correct targets. Raid the Tombs also gives us extra card draw that can be useful in most situations where tempo loss isn’t an issue.
- Rewind Hex is a great card to slow our opponent’s early and late game threats. I like to use this mainly in the late game against other green decks that are looping strong spells, like Wake The Bones or Traitorous Murmur, with Bald Mountain. It’s also great as another bounce spell to find lethal. I ended up cutting this card from my current list due to what I was facing at the time in favor of Troikasekt, which is the next card we will be discussing.
- Troikasekt is such a great card with text that makes it useful in many scenarios. Whether you’re stopping recursion or slowing down aggro or even just doing more boneyard fixing for yourself, this card has you covered.
- Defy Death is a super niche tech against the Yellow Green OTK combo or the Blue Green Reanimator combo using Freki Sidecar. It lets them waste their combo and in most games sets up lethal the next turn.
Ideally, we want to play a Grinning Kolobok turn 1. If we don’t have one, we can play a Simuzen to start chip damage or defend our life total, but only if we are on the draw and have our free Power activation from Pursuit. We want to make sure our big dudes are on the bottom of our boneyard so we can reanimate them with Hopeless Necromantic.
If all things go according to plan, we are threatening lethal at this stage. Depending on the matchup, our opponent might not have enough hard removal or bounce spells for our big dudes. On the other hand, if we are facing aggro and trying to race them, we want a Sword Saint to regain our life total and put ourselves ahead. The majority of the time we are ahead and want to keep our advantage. This is where our Techs and Control cards become especially useful.
If we make it to the late game we tend to have a hard time, but can still pull off a win. This is where our Detained/Deports, Rewind Hex and Troikasekt shine. We can bounce for lethal or simply stop recursion shenanigans that are stalling out the game. At this stage, we are hard casting big dudes and reanimating smaller blockers that died in the early to midgame.
Crafting priority from left to right you can also refer to this crafting guide by EndoZoa for all your crafting needs.
Purple – Misfortune, Rogue Idolon, Jin-Sook, Celestial Dragon, Perfect Grade
Green – Iku-Turso, Indrik Beast, Chort Stag, Born-Again
I recently submitted this deck for a tournament and was impressed with how it performed. The format was Bo3, six Swiss rounds (day 1), and open deck lists. If you made it to top 8, then you got to play in day 2, which was single elimination.
I chose this deck because it’s what I’m most comfortable on. I spent a couple days testing with my teammates, Noah and Erobert. Some of the decks I tested were Green Orange Midrange, Yellow Blue Earthslide, and Orange Purple Control. In the end, none of them felt that great. I was expecting to see a lot more Yellow Green OTK, since Red Purple Aggro was nerfed the day before the tournament. So that was the matchup I was focused on winning. Looking back, I think I would not have been as successful if I had to face more Yellow Green OTK.
SWISS ROUNDS BREAKDOWN
ROUND 1 | VS Red Blue Rainbow’s End Midrange 2-0
Round 1 was an easy matchup for me. The opponent’s deck wasn’t quick enough to stop me, which allowed me to ramp, reanimate, and curve out perfectly. Plan executed, success achieved.
ROUND 2 | VS Orange Yellow Control 0-2
This was a very unfortunate series. As you can see in the deck list, my opponent is teched to beat me. They have two copies of Ghul, which makes it insanely hard to pull off my reanimate combo by clearing my boneyard so Hopeless Necromantic has nothing to swap places with. The opponent had 1-2 Ghuls in their opening hand each game and shut me down perfectly.
ROUND 3 | VS Blue Purple Midrange 2-1
I lost a game in this series to a misplay so it could have been a 2-0. There were only a couple cards that would have slowed my gameplan down in Spirit Away and Racer In Shadow. My opponent only had 2 copies of Racer so I wasn’t too worried about an answer to my turn 1 Kolobok. On the other hand, if they found that 1 copy of Spirit Away, I likely would have won still, but it could have allowed them to stabilize long enough to threaten the board state.
I was excited that I faced this list in Round 4. It was another matchup where my deck was favored. We were simply too quick for our opponent, meaning that we either ramped or got our reanimator combo off on curve, established board control, and never gave them a chance to stabilize.
ROUND 5 | VS 3C Fires of Creation 2-1
I’m not gonna lie, I felt that I might lose this one if my opponent kept getting the perfect hand to counter me. In this matchup, I should be favored to win, but the opponent had a couple cards that slow us down enough, stabilize, and regain board control. The game we lost, we had our Turn 1 Kolobok and it died to a Turn 1 Ignition, shutting down any ramp we might have been able to get off of it. The second card that hindered our gameplan was Orbital Jamming Satellite, which Suppressed our Hopeless Necromantic, thus denying our reanimate combo.
ROUND 6 | VS Orange Red Midrange 1-2
Unfortunately, this was another extremely hard matchup, which we almost won. As stated earlier, we have a weakness to Ghul, and our opponent had it in their opening hand again. Also, this particular deck ran Ignition, which denies us our turn 1 Kolobok value. When we finally stabilized and were threatening lethal, our opponent had Extract Life ready at 10 mana. They healed a great deal by casting it on one of our big dudes, regaining a healthy life total, while eliminating our biggest threat on the board. We had them on 1 HP game 3 and tried to flip our Disk to Night, in an attempt to find a Hotel Barkeep, which would have allowed us to use Smite one more time for lethal, but we were unsuccessful.
TOP 8 ANALYSIS
TOP 8 | VS Yellow Green OTK 2-1
Here it is, the matchup I was expecting in the Swiss stage of the tournament. We need the perfect hand/curve to beat this deck before it goes too late. In the scenario where we end up in the late game, we have exactly one card that can save us, Defy Death. I was expecting to get 2-0’d and knocked out after losing game 1. Fortunately, in game 2 the opponent had a full hand and didn’t kill us, which allowed us to achieve lethal the very next turn. Game 3 I had a great starting hand, including my 1 copy of Troikasekt, which allowed me to deny Raid The Tombs, by banishing the cards in their boneyard. I slowed down their draw power and stuck to my gameplan, which secured the win.
SEMIFINALS| VS Blue Red Aggro 1-2
This is going to be a hard one to write about. I should be favored in this matchup, unless we have a terrible hand and they have the perfect number of Rush cards in their starting hand. What decided this series was a single misplay in game 1, where I roped and wasn’t able to cast something due to the animation of Disk flipping. I wasn’t able to shake it off, which led to a diminished mental state, snowballing of misplays and suboptimal lines. This series should have been a clean 2-0. Game 3, my hand was looking good, and I had a turn 1 Kolobok on the play. Unfortunately, I had to take a risk, banking on my opponent not having Daring Trapezist. The recent patch altered Rainbow’s End to have a Coin in your starting hand, as its Pursuit (going 2nd). This Coin gives you a free mana, allowing you to play ahead of curve whenever you choose to. The opponent chose to use it turn 1 and kill my Kolobok. Since I was going first, I didn’t get my Pursuit, a free power activation, so I wasn’t able to discard a big dude into the boneyard. This means that my Hopeless Necromantic would swap spots with Kolobok. It was an uphill battle from that point. Ultimately, a couple misplays and a risky decision cost me and I did not make it to the finals.
3RD PLACE MATCH| VS Green Orange Midrange 0-2
At this point, I was already pretty defeated from the last series. On top of that, I had to face another deck that counters mine. My opponent had bounce spells, which banishes my reanimated ephemeral units, instead of returning them to hand. The opponent also had Ghuls and Seal of Exile, which are both great answers to reanimator. Both games were over pretty quick due to the fact that they had Ghuls in both opening hands. They simply denied our gameplan and achieved a quick lethal utilizing Resupply Caravan.
Overall, I think the deck could have taken 1st place in the tournament, instead of my 4th place finish, despite the unfavorable matchups. I surprised quite a few people by bringing an off-meta deck and probably caught some of my opponents off-guard. I did manage to obtain lethal in one of these matches by using Smite twice, through Hotel Barkeep’s Powerful Ramen, so that was exciting. None of the decks running Blue added Valkyrie Enforcers to their lists and the Green decks didn’t run Troikasekt. Orange and Yellow Green OTK were my main concerns and those matchups pretty much played out as expected.
If you made it this far in the guide, congratulations, good luck, and have fun on ladder fellow reanimators!
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