Standard Spotlight: Sultai Reanimator

“OMG, Ricco, you did it again!”

At least that’s what I would say to Magic Online user omgricco if he were here now, after taking the following masterpiece to a 5-0 finish in a League.

Sultai Reanimator

“Wow, that was a short intro, Frank. Don’t you want to tell us about your love for things like Sultai, or Reanimator, or both?”

At least that’s what you would say, if I wasn’t going to go into further detail about the deck right now!

I’ll be honest (which is a super weird saying. Shouldn’t “being honest” be the default? Why do I need to clarify when I’m being honest?): Ever since the Pro Tour, which seemed to be utterly dominated by Mono-Red, Standard has ironically seemed fresh AF. Can I say “AF” here? Well, if you’re seeing this, it appears I can!

In the weeks following the Pro Tour, Mono-Red has been pleasantly present, but not truly dominant. We a have smattering of Zombies decks, B/G Constrictor decks, various control decks, lots of decks using Liliana, Death’s Majesty to good effect, white aggressive decks—you name it! It seems like a time where you can pretty much play anything, as long as you’re able to beat some of the more aggressive decks.

I’m not sure how this deck is going to fare against those, but I’ve seen similar strategies pop up more than once, including U/B versions of the deck.

Boy, that deescalated quickly…

One thing to note is that my last three rounds were all aggressive decks. While the Mono-Black Eldrazi list (which I happened to win Game Day with, by the way!) was the least aggressive of the three, I was unable to deal with the early Glint-Sleeve Siphoners, and unable to deal with things with Thought-Knot Seer at all, quite frankly.

The problem is that not only do I have very little removal, I have practically no removal for creatures with 4 or more toughness, like Hazoret the FerventThought-Knot Seer, or a huge Diregraf Colossus. I have a bunch of sweepers for tiny creatures, like Yahenni’s Expertise and Demon of Dark Schemes, but considering that all of the creatures I mentioned cost 4 or less mana, they can come down pretty early and I don’t always have time to enact my game plan of trying to reanimate something on turn 5 or 6.

Not having any form of ramp hurts, but Noxious Gearhulk not being able to kill a Hazoret is even more unpleasant. Something as simple as some main-deck Grasp of Darkness could make a huge difference, especially since this deck wins handily in the late game, so long as it can survive the early game.

Interestingly enough, I never felt like Pulse of Murasa fit. This isn’t a deck where I want to bring creatures back from my graveyard to my hand, and when I do, I’m rarely ever able to cast them in the same turn. The 6 life is nice, but just put in more removal instead. If I was going to cut any creatures from the deck, they would be Angel of Deliverance, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, and Greenwarden of Murasa. So I’m basically cutting everything with the word “Murasa” in the title. I would kill for a Shriekmaw right now, and Gearhulk costing 6 mana just isn’t cutting it. I would go ham on adding Grasp of Darkness. I think it’s better than Fatal Push in Standard right now, but I would still play a few of those, as well. Maybe a 2/4 or 3/4 split.

Just add the removal. Take out the dumb things. Have a good time. Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you later!


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