Is this a midrange deck? Is it a reanimator deck? I don't know if it falls so neatly into either box, but for now I'm going to classify it as midrange because I think that moniker is closer. Its closest relative in Magic's history would be the old Solar Flare decks from Ravnica-era Standard, which slowly grew away from the reanimation aspect, and this deck doesn't even have a dedicated reanimation spell like Zombify.
What it does have is a lot of efficient threats and removal. Fatal Push and Grasp of Darkness are among the top removal spells in the format and Gifted Aetherborn has emerged as an excellent speed bump against aggressive decks that can hold its own against larger creatures via deathtouch.
There aren't really any dedicated reanimator targets, just a slightly above-average number of expensive, powerful threats at the top end of the curve. Demon of Dark Schemes can be a backbreaker for a lot of decks looking to go wide, while Noxious Gearhulk is just a good card that notably helps you catch up should you stumble a bit with the higher curve or a draw that's heavy on Strategic Plannings.
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet pulls double duty here as a creature that is easily cast in the early stages of the game but can be a powerful creature to reanimate later, especially if you untap with Liliana, Death's Majesty already on the battlefield and can follow up the -3 with a removal spell or two.
We like to think of reanimator decks as necessarily combo-oriented with only high-end threats as targets, but when you have powerful midrange creatures, this halfway approach can be quite effective. Sometimes blending two strategies can leave you with a deck that has the weaknesses of both, and sometimes you get the strengths of both. This seamless combination falls into the latter camp because all the pieces are perfectly fine on their own.
The best synergies are the ones that don't require any special maneuvering in your deckbuilding. If everything comes together effortlessly, you're on the right track to something competitive.
- 3 Noxious Gearhulk
- 4 Champion of Wits
- 1 Demon of Dark Schemes
- 4 Gifted Aetherborn
- 2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
- 2 The Scarab God