I was all set to play a Sultai deck this week, but when I told Melissa about my plans, she told me that I always play Sultai decks. She's not wrong: I love a good Sultai deck; or a bad one actually. But at that point I had no idea what to play. I say it every time but the weeks before a new set is released are some of the hardest for people producing video content. (The Magic Online Legacy Cube returned this week, so let me know if you guys might want a Cube video for Monday.) No one wants to read about the "old" format, and the new one is unable to be played!
Either way, we have to write about something, so I decided it might as well be something fun. This past weekend at the Open in Dallas one unique deck received a Deck Tech that was played throughout the coverage quite frequently. It was a four color reanimator deck...with Bearer of the Heavens. I'll give you guys a minute to look that guy up before we proceed.
Okay, great. I forgotten all about the deck before Melissa had suggested I play it, but as soon as she mentioned the deck having Bearer of the Heavens in it I was sold! I had to check it out.
Much to my disappointment it only had a single Bearer in the entire 75 cards, but the deck still looked pretty sweet. I know I tried a list like this in the past, but this one had a Butcher of the Horde, a Soul of New Phyrexia, a Bearer of the Heavens…! It looked pretty spicy, and what the heck, I wanted to play something fun before the format changed. So let's see how it did.
4C Reanimator vs. Sultai Control
4C Reanimator vs. UB Control
4C Reanimator vs. Jeskai Tokens
4C Reanimator vs. Red Deck Wins
Not too shabby. Melissa mentioned that Mahendra said in the coverage that the deck had a good matchup against midrange and control decks, but seemed to struggle against aggro decks. Well, this was exactly my experience, so he certainly seemed to hit the nail on the head there.
While I've become less of a fan of Sylvan Caryatid since the printing of Crux of Fate, it along with Satyr Wayfinder is kind of like the glue that holds the deck together. With our deck containing four of the five colors, along with cards that include casting costs of WBG, GGG, BB, WW, and WBR, having access to a card that can produce all colors is huge. This being the case we can definitely use all the help we can get. The deck also seems to start on turn four with cards like Siege Rhino, Butcher of the Horde, and Whip of Erebos, so being able to ramp from two to four is a big deal here.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned, Bearer of the Heavens was a mere one-of and not a truly integral part of the deck. This was sad as I wished he played a larger role; I wasn't able to live the dream of sacrificing a Bearer of the Heavens to a Rescue from the Underworld, but you can imagine how awesome it would have been. We came close once in an unrecorded match, but they had the second Valorous Stance. Other than Bearer we have one Butcher of the Horde and one Soul of New Phyrexia - an interesting choice - as our big creatures to Reanimate. The Soul was actually pretty useful in one game and ensured we could swing for an additional five damage with a whipped back indestructible Ashen Rider. Oh yeah, we also have three Ashen Rider, and despite its eight mana casting cost, it's one of my favorite creatures in the deck. I can't help but love how "Angel of Despair x2" it is.
I felt like the sideboard was actually fine, and I could see having a use for most of the cards in there at one point or another; I think I even brought all of them in at some point.
This is basically your standard reanimator list with a few tweaks and special touches, but ultimately I'm not sure if they're worth the inconsistency. I think a deck like this could be pretty insane if we make it a more stable four colors with some Dragons of Tarkir cards like Dragonlord Atarka or Marsh Hulk...naw, just kidding about Marsh Hulk. But seriously, Atarka is basically a 10/10 if we're able to use Fearsome Awakening on her. That's a big dragon. At only seven mana, she's extremely realistic to just cast as well.
The deck was surprisingly consistent for something that was so deliberately all over the place, and I think Whip of Erebos decks are actually in a pretty good place right now, yet we haven't actually seen that many since Tasigur, the Golden Fang has been legal. Interesting.
Alas, that is all I have for now. Next week Conley will take us on a Dragons of Tarkir Set Review, and I will present my Top 10 Sleepers of Dragons of Tarkir for you guys. I'll also have some Modern videos for you on Monday (or a Cube video if you'd prefer). Thanks for reading and I'll catch ya then!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV, streaming Monday - Friday, starting at 2 pm PST