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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
Patriarchs Bidding
04.17.06

"This is an online extended deck that is brutal in casual play settings, but I am trying to figure out how to make it competitive in tournament type play.  So far it has been completely swamped by land destruction, heavy counter control, and ,if it doesnt work out perfectly, by rush type decks.  I'm assuming it needs to drop down in the mana curve, because it is essentially a 5th-7th round win deck at the moment.

Creatures:
4 Kokusho, the Evening Star
2 Yosei, the Morning Star
4 Iname, Death Aspect
2 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
2 Angel of Despair

Sorceries:
4 Compulsive Research
4 Probe
4 Careful Study
4 Patriarch's Bidding
2 Life/Death
2 Vigor Mortis
4 Zombify

Lands:
9 Island
13 Swamp

Obviously the key is to discard iname early, then rez him to dump my kokus and yosei's into the GY.  Start rezzing them, and if things go well then Patriarch Bidding for a 40 life swing on turn 5 which usually ends the game.  Angel of Despairs are currently my only destruction cards, and Angels of Wrath are in for  early damage and defense. 

The problem is I rarely am able to get to turn 5 having all my peices in place in a tournament style environment.  GY removal, counters, land destruction, and being dead within 5 turns are making this deck extremely weak in this environment.   I would love any advice you can give me to reduce my mana curve or any other beneficial changes.  I know that polluted delta's and watery graves would help, but I cant really afford these cards.  I'm also unsure as to what I should add to my sideboard for this type of deck.  Also, if you could come up with a way to keep this deck potent but turn it standard that might be a more competitive environment for this deck."
 
     I'll be happy to help you in any way I can.  This seems like the standard "reanimator" deck (standard as in normal, not as in Type 2), but there is something I'm a bit confused about.  When I started reading the decklist, I saw White and Black creatures and assumed it was a B/W deck.  Then I saw Compulsive Research and Probe, and got confused.  Once I saw the mana base it all became clear, but then I forgpt that Vigor Mortis doesn't require Green mana (I got it confused with Rolling Spoil).  So, now that I've got everything straight, I suppose the first task is to make it tournament legal.  If you're talking about Type 2 tournaments, then there are several cards here that have to go.  But Extended tournaments allow all of these cards.  Since I don't know which one you're talking about, I'm going to assume Standard (the last two expansion blocks plus the most recent core set), and if you want to try Extended, that can be arranged as well.

So, for a Standard tournament, you'll have to take out everything that isn't in Kamigawa, Ravnica, or 9th Edition.  That means Akroma, Probe, Careful Study, Patriarch's Bidding, and Life/Death.  That's a pretty nasty chunk out of the deck, so we'll start by finding some replacements.
First, there's the regrettable loss of Akroma, Angel of Keyword Abilities, Patron Saint of Reanimator Decks.  Fortunately, there are plenty of big, bad nasties still Type 2.  The first two that come to mind are Szadek, Lord of Secrets and Mindleech Mass, mainly because they're in your colors of mana.  But that doesn't seem important to you, so moving out of Black and Blue gives us Razia, Boros Archangel, Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, Kuro, Pitlord, The Unspeakable, Mahamoti Djinn, and that's just counting huge creatures with flying.  My first instinct was actually Konda, Lord of Eiganjo, simply for its similarities to Akroma.  Ghost Council of Orzhova is nice too.
 
Next, to replace Careful Study and Probe.  The purpose of these cards is twofold: to help you draw cards, and to give you a discard outlet in case you draw a card like Angel of Despair.  In their place, I recommend Drowned Rusalka, Dimir Guildmage, and Lore Broker.  They may not be as efficient at what they do, but they do provide you with creatures that can hit the board early, which will help you against faster rush decks.  Also, Drowned Rusalka is a Spirit, so Iname can go put it into the graveyard if you want.  If you prefer these effects in instant/sorcery form, try Consult the Necrosages, Ideas Unbound, or Sift. 
 
Finally, to replace Patriarch's Bidding and Life/Death.  This is going to be trickier.  There are plenty of ways to return creature cards to your hand, but putting them directly into play is tougher.  There's Stir the Grave, but for a card like Angel of Despair that would be awfully expensive.  The best options I've found are Yore-Tiller Nephilim and Hell's Caretaker.  The Yore-Tiller, ironically, you'd have to rez into play, but Hell's Caretaker would be excellent for this deck.  You could sack a Kokusho to bring back another Kokusho!  You could sack those Rusalkas and Lore Brokers to bring back.....another Kokusho!  The possibilities!
 
Finally, to fix the mana base.  You mention that your deck is a bit too slow, so some Dimir Signets would likely be a good investment.  Dimir Aquaduct would help as well. 
All in all, that's about all I can come up with for this deck.  Hopefully it'll be enough.  Good luck to you, and happy necromancing!


 

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