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John Shultis on Magic
Graveborn Dominion

      Welcome to the Precon Recon section here at Pojo.com! To help celebrate Graveborn week, I will be taking a look at the Graveborn deck, and reconstructing it! The original deck list can be found here: http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/169

       The Graveborn deck is all about getting cards into your graveyard, and using various spells to bring them back from there, and right onto the battlefield. This is a strategy that has existed for quite some time, and is very effective if properly executed. The challenge can be getting things into your graveyard sometimes more so than bringing them back. The deck executes these philosophies well, but I feel it could use some slight adjustments, making it faster, and perhaps meaner than it was before.

     The one kind of catch 22 that the deck has is utilizing cards of colors that you cannot possibly cast. While I like this idea to some degree, I am also concerned that there should be some cards that are game changers that you could cast if necessary. The other part I will look at is what kind of effect the discard cards are granting you. Certainly putting cards into your graveyard is the main purpose, but perhaps there should be better benefits.

      So let us start with what we should pull out. I think that each player has their own opinions on what they should leave in, these are just my own. The deck itself is very good, these are just ideas that made the deck play better for me. I would remove the two Last Rites. While they are nice at getting rid of things from your hand, and limiting what your opponent can do, the mana cost is three. This is the one card that during the reconstruction I was on the fence about. If you prefer leaving it in, by all means, do so. It does have decent benefits in limiting what your opponents may be able to do, and at least you’d see what they have in hand. I would pull out the Twisted Abomination. I’ve never been a big fan of it, and there are better options. And while I really do love the Verdant Force, I feel there is a better option there as well. Inkwell Leviathan is another good card, but there could be better, so I pulled it out. The two Hidden Horros are decent option, but I think that there is something much, much better that I added. The three Duress’ seem like they are aimed more at targeting yourself, and sometimes that is not the best idea. And Cabal Therapy is definitely in here to hit yourself, and again, there are better ideas.

       So there we go. Eleven cards were removed. But what could we add? Obviously the Platinum Emperiontheme is big nasties, so feel free to change up my ideas, these are just going to be my suggestions. And I am not holding back this time, many of the cards I will suggest are rare or mythic. But this deck is epic in it’s own right. So if you cannot get your hands on some of these cards, just adjust accordingly.

      The first thing I would like to mention that I feel was grossly overlooked for this kind of deck is Platinum Angel. If ever a deck existed that screams to have the Platinum Angel it is this one. Of course, you could also put in Platinum Emperion as well. They both are capable of similar awesomeness. The next thing I would suggest is Grave Titan in place of the Verdant Force. The reason is the Grave Titan is castable, and will drop two 2/2’s when it enters the battlefield and when it attacks. And it has Deathtouch, something that the Verdant Force does not do. A better option in my opinion, especially if it ends up hitting the board turn two. The other oh my god how could they not have put it in there card for me was Dark Rituals. I would add four copies. The straight mana acceleration is key. The possibility then exists to Entomb and Animate Dead on your first turn, and that is a game ender if you pull the right creature. In place of the Hidden Horrors, I would definitely switch to Avatar of Discords. Two to replace the two you took out. The reason is for the same mana cost, you get a 5/3 flier, that allows you to pitch two cardsSkirk Ridge Exhumer, any cards, not just a creature. It would likely be at least one creature for you to target later, but then you could toss an unnecessary land. If you decided to pull the Last Rites, the card I would add in is Skirk Ridge Exhumer. The Skirk Ridge Exhumer allows you to pay one black, discard a card, and put a Festering Goblin into play. So you get something into your graveyard, and a creature that can keep the board clear if necessary. The last spot should go to a Liliana Vess in my opinion. She allows you to target yourself for discard if you need to, or search for a card that you may need, and should you get her final ability to go off, it truly fit’s the Graveborn theme.

       So there you have it! These small additions/changes make the deck play faster, and much better. The larger creatures really can be any big creature you may have. I just like the ones I added because of the effects that they give, such as being unable to lose the game.

      Be sure to adjust as you see fit, that’s the fun of a reanimator deck, is being able to take full advantage of your play style.

      So until next time, keep safe, and keep gaming!


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