Magic But Cheaper: Dimir Reanimator

"join ServoToken as he takes a look at some new ways to cheat giant creatures into play with this weeks Magic, but Cheaper - Dimir Reanimator"

“]One of my goals in life is to save as much mana as possible. Not in some environmentalist perspective or anything, that swamp is getting tapped until she’s dry. More along the lines of TLC’s old show Extreme Couponing. You see, I have an obsession with reduced mana costs. Whether it be cascading into a Living End to wind up with 30 mana value’s worth of creatures in play or just a good old “cheat a Worldspine Wurm into play with Ilharg, the Raze Boar”, I just love not paying for the costs of my permanents. Today’s deck is yet another in a long line of decks that sneak things into play at a reduced rate – something that the Pioneer format has struggled with in some ways. Let’s take a peek at Dimir Reanimator.

The Deck

Reanimator decks have been around in one form or another for decades, and follow a simple instruction manual. Put a large creature into the graveyard -> Take a large creature out of the graveyard -> ??? -> Profit. Whether it be random self-mill or specific discarding, there are a myriad ways to accomplish this relatively simple goal. This decklist today is looking to take advantage of both of those step one enabling plans while also filling the role of the control deck in its various matchups.

The Enablers

To meet the goal of the deck, a couple of key pieces need to line up properly in order to get things rolling. Tainted Indulgence, Stitcher’s Supplier, Aven Heartstabber and Heirloom Mirror all work to put creatures into the graveyard while also supplying some form of additional value, whether it be a cheap body to block with in the early turns or additional card draw later on. On the other end of the spectrum, Blood for Bones, Port of Karfell, and Junji, the Midnight Sky are the main recursion pieces used to bring things back. Each of these plays out in its own unique line, which gives the deck a fair bit of wiggle room to bring back the necessary Chonker when the time is right. Speaking of which…

The Chonkers

What good is all of the reanimation without the creature being reanimated? This list offers a small selection of the types of creatures that one might expect in a reanimator list, but is by no means complete. The best creature package is the one that attacks a specific meta game and hates on the most popular expected decks. Some recommended choices are Agent of Treachery for matchups that rely heavily on one large threat such as Auras, UW Control, or Ramp strategies. Massacre Wurm attacks the other side of the spectrum by wiping the field of all of those pesky small threats that tend to gum things up. Stormtide Leviathan likewise has its practicality, stopping a good number of decks like Winota and Red deck wins from ever attacking. Mirrorshell Crab is a good recommendation for most environments due to its utility. Countering a key Karn, the Great Creator or Thing in the Ice flip could be the difference between winning and losing, and while the 5/7 body isn’t wholly impressive, it’s basically free real estate when a card’s worth of value has already come from its channel ability. There are a huge number of practical cards that can fill these slots, and it’s always better to be prepared for what’s expected than to randomly guess what one might face at a given FNM. So always try to do a bit of scouting before finalizing any list.

The Rest

As mentioned, the remainder of the shell acts as a control deck to buy time into the mid game when the reanimation spells can come fully online. Murderous Cut takes advantage of all of the additional chaff that isn’t going to be coming back by being an effective one-mana removal spell. Collective Brutality can cover all of its bases, effectively acting as a “Reanimator’s Charm” that also enables discarding while answering anything that needs answering. The deck also has access to some creatures that can be brought back in a pinch and reused to gain additional value and buy more time, like Ravenous Chupacabra.

How does it play?

In the Pioneer format, the reanimator deck acts as a meta call deck, preying on unsuspecting players who’ve forgotten their graveyard hate at home. It’s adjustable to any environment, and can prove to be a nuisance in any circumstance. The deck is on the slower side, and may struggle with other decks that can capitalize on those couple of initial turns spent setting up. The deck is extremely fun to pilot however, and excellent for anyone who enjoys smashing people’s faces with giant beaters who otherwise wouldn’t be seeing much play. It also upgrades extremely well into an even more controlling shell should that be something that the player is after. On the whole though, this is one of those for-fun decks that can steal wins out from under anyone and absolutely ruin the night of some Pro Tour hopeful who was looking to play their first game of pioneer the night before the RCQ.

That’s all for this one. As always, let us know what you think of the decks, articles, and site as a whole via any comment section you can get your hands on. I love to see what you guys are looking to read, and am always looking for more ideas to show off as well, so hit us up wherever you can, whenever you want. And until next time, remember to stay safe, play smart, and thanks for reading.

  • Darren "ServoToken"


    ServoToken has been playing competitive magic since 2011, spending a majority of that time living in the shoes of a player on a strict budget. After investing a lot of time learning how to make the best of a bad situation, his goals today are to spread those lessons to the often-ignored population of Magic players who can’t afford to drop a car payment on a new deck every couple of months. His mantra is that “You don’t need to play mono-red to do well on a budget”. These days, you can typically find him deep in the archives of Scryfall searching for new cards to brew around or making tweaks to the Pioneer Budget deck spreadsheet on his unending mission to bring his favorite format to the people on the cheap.

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