Back from Extinction

Recently, I have found myself playing far more online Magic than paper. It’s not that I don’t like playing paper Magic, as I have always enjoyed the social aspect of the hobby. No, the reason for the shift in my playing habits is due in part to the fact I am a father of two and as any MTG dad will tell you, your availability to attend tournaments takes a back seat to your parental responsibilities. Now while playing on a digital platform is not my first choice, there are some benefits to playing on MTGO. You get to play whenever you like, you get a better understanding of triggers and the stack, and you get to see some truly interesting deck lists that you may never have had the chance to play against in the real world.

Maybe its because players are willing to be more adventurous with their brews, or maybe its because people are more willing to have a little bit more fun, but I have come across a great number of unique decks while I have been testing online. While I was trying out my One with Nothing brew for the site a few weeks ago, I came across one such deck. Designed by user name marutuki, this Modern deck makes use of a myriad of Dinosaurs from Ixalan to win games as early as turn three. How you may ask. Simple, he brings them back from the dead.

The plan of the deck is very simple. Turn one put a Dinosaur (preferably a Gishath, Sun’s Avatar) into the graveyard with a Faithless Looting or Lightning Axe. Turn two cast a Goryo’s Vengeance and attack with Gishath, revealing a ton of Elder Dinosaurs. Turn three, profit. This new and interesting take on a Reanimator strategy can certainly take you by surprise, putting well over twenty power onto the board from out of nowhere.

The back bone of the deck is the above-mentioned combo of Gishath, Sun’s Avatar and Goryo’s Vengeance. Gishath is a beast of a card, been a 7/6 with Haste Vigilance and Trample that can put more Dinosaurs from your library straight onto the battlefield. The only issue is its mana cost. Coming in at a hefty eight mana in three different colours, Gishath is just a little bit two slow for Modern. But when you only have to play one and a black, that’s a whole different ball game. It doesn’t even matter that you have to sacrifice it at the end of your turn, because you should be able to replace your Dinosaur Avatar with a whole heap of new creatures.

In order to maximise the ability of Gishath, the deck runs a nice selection of powerful dino’s. A playset of Regisaur Alpha alongside some number of Burning Sun’s Avatar, Nezahal, Primal Tide, Zacama, Primal Calamity and Ghalta, Primal Hunger provides the deck with some really meaty threats to cheat into play. The next part to the deck are ways to pitch our Dinosaurs into the graveyard. Lightning Axe, Faithless Looting, Izzet Charm and Chart a Course give the deck discard outlets and provide either card filtering or removal. The deck also runs two copies of Life from the Loam to dredge cards into the graveyard while recycling fetchlands to fix the mana base, and a single Fatal Push for extra removal.

The final part of the deck are the two reanimator spells, a playset of Goryo’s Vengeance and three copies of Footsteps of the Goryo. While Goryo’s Vengeance is the superior of these two spells, but Footsteps of the Goryo does a passable job where Gishath is concerned. The mana base of the deck is by far the most interesting part of the deck, as instead of the usual reanimator decks like Grishoalbrand which are two colours, this deck is basically five colours. I believe this is because if all else fails you can play all of the creatures naturally, but it does make the mana very difficult.

The sideboard has a broad selection of spells to answer a multitude of threats. Ceremonious Rejection is an efficient way of handling Eldrazi, or artifacts alongside Nature’s Claim. Stubborn Denial is a great way to protect your army Dinosaur’s once the board is established, while Abrupt Decay can handle any threat with CMC three or less. Pyroclasm and Radiant Flames provide the decks sweapers, while Leyline of Sanctity, Nihil Spellbomb and Quicksilver Amulet round out the board.

Creatures (15)
4 Regisaur Alpha
1 Burning Sun’s Avatar
3 Nezahal, Primal Tide
4 Gishath, Sun’s Avatar
1 Zacama, Primal Calamity
2 Ghalta, Primal Hunger
Non-Creature Spells (24)
1 Fatal Push
1 Lightning Axe
4 Goryo’s Vengeance
3 Izzet Charm
3 Remand
4 Faithless Looting
3 Chart a Course
2 Life from the Loam
3 Footsteps of the Goryo
Lands (21)
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Polluted Delta
2 Steam Vents
2 Wooded Foothills
1 Blood Crypt
1 Breeding Pool
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Desolate Lighthouse
1 Forest
1 Island
1 Shivan Reef
1 Stomping Ground
1 Swamp
1 Watery Grave
Sideboard (15)
3 Ceremonious Rejection
1 Nature’s Claim
1 Stubborn Denial
2 Abrupt Decay
1 Pyroclasm
1 Radiant Flames
3 Leyline of Sanctity
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Quicksilver Amulet

And there you have it, Dino Reanimator in Modern. The deck is super spice and has some potential, but what do you think? Do you fancy resurrecting some prehistoric lizards and stomping home to victory? What changes would you make to the deck, if any? Why not let us know in the comments below, and while you are there why not subscribe to the site to keep up to date with all the latest from us here at Master of Magics. A big shout out to marutuki for sending me the deck and letting us share it with all of you. But until next time remember, Good Luck and Have Fun.

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