Reanimate the Dread

Reanimator has been a fringe strategy in Legacy for many years. Previously, decks would rely on hateful haymakers like Iona, Shield of Emeria, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, or Blazing Archon. While those cards are still great, they’re not the game-ending threats they once were, due to the increased presence of Karakas and other hate cards in the format. However, Reanimator strategies got a bunch of new toys in more recent sets. We’ve actually seen enough new spells to see a shift away from the Blue-based Reanimator strategies:

This Red-Black Reanimator deck has been gaining a ton of steam in the last couple of weeks. It’s a deck that relies on raw speed and disruption rather than careful interaction. You trade the Dazes, Force of Will, and cantrips of the Blue builds for the likes of Dark Ritual and Chancellor of the Annex to combo as quickly as possible and end the game before it really starts.

Collective Brutality is the card that has helped to bring this strategy back to the forefront. Collective Brutality is a flexible card that can serve as both disruption and a discard outlet With Dark Ritual, it even leaves 1 mana open to cast your Reanimate. It may seem like a small addition, but every means of improving consistency and resiliency is huge for a deck as fragile as this one.

If you’re looking to end games as quickly and brutally as possible, this is a great place to start. There’s not an excessive amount of graveyard hate in the format current, and this is a deck that’s fast enough to fight against just about everything in the format. The real question is whether you think you can find a way to navigate postboard games, where there’s graveyard hate and Karakas to worry about. Stronghold Gambit does great work, but without Ponders and Brainstorms to help find it, you’re still kind of all-in on whatever your first monster is. If that’s the kind of game you want to play, this is a great choice for your next Legacy event.

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