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Rite of Way

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One thing we don’t see very much of in Modern is old-fashioned reanimation. Sure, Goryo's Vengeance is a thing, but that’s less about cheating in a monster that makes the game lopsided and more about just ending the game on the spot. Sometimes we see Gifts Ungiven plus Unburial Rites packages in sideboards, but that’s about the extent of it. This week, SamuraiFunn has a deck that has a classic reanimator plan with a twist:


Unburial Rites
Back in Innistrad Standard, we saw decks kind of like this one. Four- or Five-Color decks featuring cards like Mulch and Faithless Looting to power up Unburial Rites and Lingering Souls. This deck is sort of a reimagining of that kind of strategy in Modern. The idea here is relatively straightforward - you’re sort of a midrange deck that plays out of the graveyard and has a reanimation plan.

Your early game is all about getting Stitcher's Supplier and Life from the Loam going so that you can start dredging. Faithless Looting teams up with Life from the Loam so that you can turn lands into real cards if you are so inclined, or you can just get a couple extra dredges to look for your engine cards.

As far as engine cards go, you’ve got a couple of them. Lingering Souls is the best way for you to buy time in the midgame. Conflagrate is a great way to stabilize the board or just take your opponent out if you’ve been able to whittle them down with Life from the Loam. Raven's Crime and Field of Ruin in conjunction with Life from the Loam is a great way to grind out control and midrange decks. Your haymaker is Unburial Rites plus one of your powerful reanimation targets. Iona, Shield of Emeria and Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite are pretty straightforward in the way that they lock opponents out of the game, but Borborygmos Enranged is sort of another Conflagrate, effectively giving you a Seismic Assault on a body.

If you’re interested in a grindy Life from the Loam strategy, this seems like a reasonable take on it. You’ve got enough card selection to dig for the pieces you need, plenty of ways to buy time, and quite a few angles to attack from. The problem is that all of these angles are dependent on the graveyard and your sideboard doesn’t do much to change that. This means that you are very soft to cards like Rest in Peace, Scavenging Ooze, and other graveyard hate. If there’s not much of that in your local metagame, then maybe this is a fun choice. However, if you expect to see some graveyard hate in all of your post-board games, maybe you should wait on this strategy.