BRw Reanimator (Legacy) - A Tournament Report from an MTGAdept Selectional Event

Written by Jesse Watts.


A couple of weeks ago I was able to play in the first Legacy MTGAdept Selectional Event in Dunedin (and the first in New Zealand too!). Now, playing is a bit of a rarity for me as I’m normally the one running the show down here, but with another judge taking the reins, I decided to reign supreme with BRw Reanimator. With only 8 players, we ran 3 rounds of swiss with a cut to Top 4. This was an exception to the usual 8 player structure for Selectionals, but was permitted due to being the first Legacy event of its kind.

This deck has been a little bit of a pet project for me. When I first started playing legacy, I fell in love with Storm, but the legacy players in Dunedin are…a little bit more prepared for Storm than I would prefer. So I’m rocking in with another turn 1-ish deck, with the twist of me not really caring about Thalia, Chalice of the Void, or Thorn of Amethyst.

So, without further fluffing about, here’s the list. Feel free to scroll down to just check out the matches.

Mainboard: 60

3x Polluted Delta
3x Bloodstained Mire
1x Swamp
2x Badlands
2x Scrubland
1x Bayou

4x Lion’s Eye Diamond
2x Lotus Petal
4x Dark Ritual

4x Griselbrand
4x Chancellor of the Annex
1x Sire of Insanity

3x Unmask
4x Thoughtseize
1x Gamble
4x Faithless Looting
4x Entomb

4x Unburial Rites
4x Reanimate
4x Exhume
1x Animate Dead

Sideboard: 15
1x Iona, Shield of Emeria
1x Grave Titan
1x Elesh Norn
1x Ashen Rider
1x Stronghold Gambit
3x Abrupt decay
1x Pyroclasm
1x Shattering spree
1x Reverent silence
1x Vindicate
1x Massacre
2x Collective Brutality


Round 1: Slivers (2-1)

So round 1 I get paired against a new challenger to the Dunedin scene. It’s always nice to have a breath of fresh air with players who don’t always show up. Even better was that they were on a bit of a home brew, with Slivers.
Game 1, I take a cheeky peek at their hand with an Unmask to make sure there was no Force of Will in my future. There was not, so managed to get a turn 1 Dark Ritual, Entomb (getting Sire of Insanity), Reanimate. Opponent doesn’t recover.
While shuffling and sideboarding, I assumed my opponent will take the play, but I ask just in case. They allow me to start. This confused me, and I keep a bit of a flaky hand.
Game 2, I think it could turn 2 Reanimate… but it didn’t matter against their turn 1 Grafdigger's Cage. I immediately feel stupid for 1) not siding in my decays or shattering spree, and 2) not using the Unmask in my hand. (I didn’t want to lose anything in my hand), and as punishment for my actions, I lose pretty quick.
Game 3, I keep a hand with a land, a Griselbrand, an LED, and an Unburial Rites. I pull out my Griselbrand. I swung for 7 turn 2, drew 14 cards, and reanimated a Sire of Insanity and a Chancellor of the Annex, to get the handshake.


Round 2: RUG Delver (2-0)

As soon as I was paired for the round, I knew we were in for a wild ride. My opponent and I have a bit of a grudge, with a roughly 50/50 record. However, game 1, my opponent isn’t quite sure what I’m on, and thinks I’m still on Storm, since I always play Storm. That’s what I do.
Game 1, I lose the dice roll, and get a rather slow hand, but one with multiple reanimation spells. Turns out my first one resolves, giving me a Griselbrand, and a scoop not long after.
 Game 2, I start out with my favourite phrase “as a pre-game action, reveal Chancellor of the Annex.” My opponent takes a moment to read it, and plays a Wasteland to give me pressure without casting a spell. Just as well, since I had no lands! I go Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Entomb, Exhume. Or something. Either way, I had a turn 1 Sire of Insanity. My opponent misreads the card, and thinks they’ll have a turn with his hand, so lets it resolve uncontested. I ride the 6/4 to victory.


Round 3: MUD (0-0)

Both of us are 2-0 at this point, so we ID.

And into the Top 4 we go! Only 2 rounds left, and I recognize all the players in the Top 4. I know there’s MUD, myself, my round 2 opponent, and a player who generally plays Sneak & Show.


Round 4: Sneak & Show (2-0)

It turns out I was correct assuming my opponent was on Sneak & Show. Being top seed, I opt to begin possibly the weirdest and most stressful round of legacy I’ve ever played.
We both keep hands that are pretty loose. With a Griselbrand and some discard shenanigans in hand, all I need is something to reanimate it. But it takes roughly 6 turns of draw-go on my behalf, or draw-fish for my opponent, before any of us decide we want to do something. I get some business to get stuff from the graveyard, and it gets countered. I draw another turn or two, and get some more reanimation (in the form of Exhume). This time it resolves after my opponent brainstorms. He saw my Chancellor of the Annex in the bin, thinking it was Iona, and as I grabbed it, he said “you get Iona on blue, and I concede to that.” By the point I’m able to point out it’s a Chancellor, he’s already scooped up his cards, but mentions he’d concede to that anyway.

Game 2 is another one of those games where I have a reanimation spell a turn after my opponent plays Grafdigger's Cage. That makes the 2 Reanimate and 1 Exhume I have in my hand feel pretty useless. But I have a Griselbrand for when my opponent casts Show and Tell. They Burning Wish around turn 4 or so, and get a Void Snare. This makes things a little more annoying. Eventually there are 2 Grafdigger's Cage in play, I have 2 Abrupt Decay in hand, and no green source. I try to use Stronghold Gambit to get a cheeky Chancellor of the Annex, which resolves. My opponent reveals a Simian Spirit Guide! Now we can’t just keep playing this game of draw-go, and I need to actually do something.
I get down to about 15 life, when I get a fetch land. I crack it, and end of my opponents turn, Decay the first Cage. Untap, draw, and Decay the next one. With an LED and a single other land, I Dark Ritual with the intention of casting Exhume. This gets Spell Pierced, which I allow. So I take another 2 to the monkey. I untap, on 10 life, and try to Exhume (again, 1 land, 1 LED). My opponent Spell Pierces. I Dark Ritual in response, and my opponent Dazes. I think for a moment, and crack my LED for white. Pay for Daze, get 3 black mana, pay for Spell Pierce, and get a Griselbrand. I remembered about my opponent's Void Snare, so I go to 3 to draw 7, get a Thoughtseize, and see his hand of Show and Tell, Void Snare, and Burning Wish. I take the Snare, going to 1. I then ride the Griselbrand to the finals.


Finals: Rug Delver (0-2)

I turn to my round 2 opponent and ask if he plans to go to Wellington for Representationals weekend. He says definitely, if he wins an invite for the Title Trophy. I am also planning to attend, but as a judge. I concede to my opponent and take some booster packs.


Overall, the deck is great. It’s explosive, fast, and versatile. If I were to make any changes, I would take out the Gamble and put in a Collective Brutality in that slot.

See you all at Representationals!