MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked (2023)

Whether you've played Magic: The Gathering or not, anyone who is familiar with at least one card game will be able to tell you about the graveyard. This is a ubiquitous term that's used across many card games to denote the area that cards go once they have been played, destroyed, or otherwise discarded. However, the graveyard is not always the end when it comes to Magic.

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Despite the existence of graveyard hate cards like Rest In Peace, reanimate decks, better encapsulated as "graveyard matters" decks in the modern age, continue to appear in the meta across every format. That being said, let's take a look at some of the cards that make this powerful and entertaining strategy viable.

10 Animate Dead

MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked (1)

While it doesn't see as much Constructed play as it used to, Animate Dead remains to be the most powerful version of what is the most straightforward reanimation effect in the game. Nowadays, Standard legal cards printed with the same effect come in at a cost of five CMC (converted mana cost). For this reason, alongside the card's roots as a part of Magic's first graveyard strategies, Animate Dead deserves to be on this list.

9 Kolaghan's Command

MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked (2)

Kolaghan's Command may not be a reanimation spell in the most traditional sense, but its use alongside Death's Shadow has pretty much turned it into one. Kolaghan's Command doesn't return a creature directly to the battlefield, but when the creature coming back to your hand is a 10/10 that costs one black mana, it might as well be doing exactly that. Granted, this isn't the most common use for Kolaghan's Command by a longshot, but it does come up.

8 Bazaar Of Baghdad

Going from the cheapest of ancient Magic cards to one of the most expensive, Bazaar Of Baghdad is a card anyone wouldn't mind owning. It comes in at a ballpark cost of just over $4,000 for a single copy. Aside from the far less potent Modern dredge deck, owning four copies of this ridiculously expensive card is just about the only way to play a competitive Dredge deck and in the Vintage format of all places.

By combining this card's effect with Dredge cards as well as other cards like Narcomoeba, Creeping Chill, and Prized Amalgam, the beloved Dredge mechanic has found a home in Magic's oldest format for the time being.

7 Golgari Grave-Troll

MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked (4)

Speaking of Dredge, we've got to include the best Dredge card ever printed: Golgari Grave-Troll. This card is so powerful it has been banned in Modern and even made the Restricted list in Vintage.

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While its ability to endlessly regenerate itself is one thing, being able to mill six cards from the top of your library instead of drawing every turn is just too powerful of an effect for players to be able to access for free. As this list will display, there are just too many cards in MTG at this point that benefit from having a high number of cards in the graveyard.

6 Yawgmoth's Will

MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked (5)

If you thought being banned in Modern and restricted in Vintage was bad, how about being banned in Legacy and restricted in Vintage? While it may appear relatively harmless at first glance, Yawgmoth's will is completely busted due to the existence of the storm mechanic as well as the card Tendrils of Agony. By using cantrip and draw effects as well as mana generation cards like Dark Ritual, Black Lotus, and others, it's easy to instantly kill a player without them ever having had a turn. Doesn't sound very fun, huh?

5 Underworld Breach

MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked (6)

This relatively recently released card led to the creation of an entirely new combo deck in Vintage that goes by the same name. While relative to the field Underworld Breach is one of the slower combo decks in Vintage, it makes up for this in resilence. For this reason, Underworld Breach is one of the most difficult decks to properly pilot across any format as it requires its player to understand what their opponents are trying to do and how to stop them.

Nonetheless, sometimes none of that matters at all, as with the right draw Underworld Breach can win the game on turn one when used properly alongside Black Lotus and Brain Freeze. Welcome to Vintage, folks.

4 Kroxa, Titan Of Death's Hunger

MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked (7)

Enough about crazy cards that are banned in some of the game's older formats though, let's get back to interactions in formats that most players are already familiar with. Kroxa is a value engine that slowly grinds your opponent out of cards and life while also representing a sizable threat on the battlefield.

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Not to mention, the card's own recursion is practically built in thanks to its use of the escape mechanic also seen on Underworld Breach. The only thing Kroxa needs is a deck full of other cards that can reliably keep the graveyard full. Well, that and the time to be played more than once as far as the speed of older formats is concerned.

3 Living End

MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked (8)

Back in February of 2021 when Simian Spirit Guide was banned in Modern, many players figured it was the end of Living End. However, it will take much more than a simple ban on mana ramping to put the nails in this card's proverbial coffin.

While Living End would take way too long to come into play by its normal circumstances, by using the cascade mechanic players are capable of casting it as early as turn three. This usually ends the game as it can be done during your opponent's turn thanks to the instant speed of Violent Outburst and while holding up a counterspell thanks to Pact of Negation. Ironically enough, the banning of Simian Spirit Guide may have indirectly resulted in Living End becoming more powerful than it ever was before.

2 Exhume

MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked (9)

Returning to cards legal in Legacy and Vintage only, Exhume is one half of the most faithful reanimation deck in existence, which is aptly named "Reanimator". This Legacy meta deck uses cards like Faithless Looting and Entomb to place absurdly powerful creature cards in the graveyard, then bring them back with Exhume and one other sorcery.

1 Reanimate

MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked (10)

At half the cost and some life for all of the reward, Reanimate is the best reanimation card in all of Magic's history — and properly so. Alongside Exhume in the Legacy reanimation deck, this card is used to put creature cards like Griselbrand, Archon of Cruelty, and Serra's Emissary into play as early as turn one.

While it's clear to see that reanimation has taken many forms over the course of Magic's history, it's good to know that the old ways are still around even if only in one of the game's oldest formats. By the way, you wouldn't happen to have $3,000 we can borrow to play Reanimator in Legacy, would you?

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MTG: The Best Creature Reanimation Cards, Ranked? ›

Reanimator is a deck archetype known for putting powerful creature cards into their graveyard, then using spells or abilities to return those creatures to the battlefield for a cheaper cost. Reanimator strategies almost always include the color black.

What is a reanimator deck MTG? ›

Reanimator is a deck archetype known for putting powerful creature cards into their graveyard, then using spells or abilities to return those creatures to the battlefield for a cheaper cost. Reanimator strategies almost always include the color black.

What is reanimation MTG? ›

What Are Reanimation Cards in MTG? Dread Return | Illustration by LJ Koh. Reanimation cards are any cards that bring a permanent back from the graveyard to the battlefield or return a dying creature to the battlefield.

Is Reanimator a combo deck? ›

Overview. There has been some debate amongst players on whether Reanimator is an Aggro deck or a Combo deck based on 2 points of view: While it does Combo, it needs to Aggro the opponent to win; and. While it needs Aggro to win, the deck doesn't exist without the Combo.

How do you play reanimator? ›

The goal of Reanimator is straightforward: Attempt to place a Griselbrand in the graveyard and return it to play as fast as possible. Once Griselbrand is in play, the raw card draw and size of the body will easily win the game, but there are a few routes to take from there.

How many times can you reanimate? ›

As long as you weren't sealed away with the reaper death seal either alive or dead you'll be reanimated infinite times. The other caveat would be being sealed in a sufficiently powerful jutsu while reanimated.

Is proxying legal MTG? ›

Proxies aren't legal in MTG, and depending on how they're made, they sometimes skirt the line of legal in general. Counterfeit cards and proxy cards aren't technically the same.

Can you reanimate mortal wounds? ›

Yes you can, mortal wounds (during the shooting and fight phases) act like normal wounds where reanimation protocol is concerned. It used to be otherwise, but not anymore.

What is the best cut of reanimator? ›

Basically, the Arrow release gives you the best of both worlds, if you so choose to watch the film this way. However, as mentioned earlier, Gordon prefers the unrated cut, so if you are a purist looking to watch the film the way the director intended, unrated is the way to go.

Is Reanimator a sequel? ›

Image of Is Reanimator a sequel?
Beyond Re-Animator is a 2003 horror film directed by Brian Yuzna and starring Jeffrey Combs, Jason Barry, Elsa Pataky, Simón Andreu and Santiago Segura. It is the third and final installment in the Re-Animator film series.

When was reanimator made? ›

Re-Animator is a 1985 American comedy horror science fiction film loosely based on the H.P. Lovecraft episodic novella "Herbert West–Reanimator." Directed by Stuart Gordon and produced by Brian Yuzna, it was the first film in the Re-Animator film series.

What can be done with reanimator? ›

You use the reanimator and get a temporary buff, it can be seen both in the corresponding section with character's skills and next to the HP scale. If your survivor takes fatal damage with this buff, his health is restored to the maximum, but the buff disappears.

Who is the corpse reanimator? ›

Herbert West: The inventor of a special solution, or "reagent", that can resurrect the dead. He is portrayed as a brilliant, narcissistic, and intensely driven young man of an amoral nature, traits carried over into the 1985 film. His arrogance and lack of respect for life (and death) prove to be his undoing.

How long is the reanimator? ›

What is the difference between Edo Tensei and reanimation? ›

The main difference between Edo Tensei and other kinds of resurrection techniques is the fact that the summoned soul is not actually turned into a living being. They will be able to move and even converse just like the time when they were still alive. Their body, on the other hand, is akin to that of a zombie.

Can you reanimate a skeleton? ›

They remain animated until they are destroyed. (A destroyed skeleton or zombie can't be animated again.)

Can you reanimate a creature with shroud? ›

Can you reanimate a creature with shroud? Yes. Shroud (and most other abilities) only functions while the creature is on the battlefield. In the graveyard, the ability doesn't function.

Will MTG 40K be legal? ›

Card Legality

Warhammer 40,000 Commander cards with the 40K set code numbered 1–176 are permitted in the Commander, Legacy, and Vintage formats.

What old MTG cards are banned? ›

Magic: The Gathering – Every Card Banned In Vintage, And Why
  1. 1 Shahrazad.
  2. 2 Chaos Orb. ...
  3. 3 Falling Star. ...
  4. 4 Conspiracy Cards. ...
  5. 5 Cards Mentioning Ante. Cards with ante were introduced in the first set of the game. ...
  6. 6 Banned In All Formats. Disallow by Min Yum. ...
Mar 20, 2023

Is it illegal to print your own Magic cards? ›

Reproduction of copyrighted material is completely fine if it is considered Fair Use under the Fair Use Doctrine.

Do Necrons reanimate mortal wounds? ›

A: Yes. Necron Reanimation Protocols are taken at the same time as Feel No Pain rolls would be, to potentially avoid suffering unsaved Wounds (and any ensuing tests that suffering an unsaved Wound may cause).

What does a Canoptek reanimator do? ›

Canoptek Reanimators are long-limbed Necron support machines. Picking their way across the battlefield, Canoptek Reanimators are called upon to repair damage caused to a Tomb World during enemy attack. Their Nanoscarab Renimation Beams emit nano-scarabs which can repair Necrons.

Does disgusting resilience work on mortal wounds? ›

Q: Can abilities such as Disgustingly Resilient be used to ignore wounds if they were inflicted by mortal wounds? A: Yes.

What are the three types of magic decks? ›

Traditionally, the three essential types of Magic decks are control, aggro and combo. Each of these has many variants.

What is the reanimator archetype in MTG Cube? ›

What Is Reanimator? Reanimator is primarily a combo archetype, deriving its name from the card Reanimate. The whole idea is that you get a big scary creature into the graveyard, and then you bring it back with a cheap spell, getting a significant discount and ideally riding that creature to victory.

What are Esper decks good for? ›

The main reason to choose Esper Control is to beat up on midrange decks, which are quite popular and come in many varieties. As a general rule, the slower and more reactive the deck, the better the matchup for Esper.

What is the most aggressive Magic deck? ›

Affinity/Raffinity/Ravager Affinity. Debatably the most powerful aggro deck that has ever existed, Affinity is an Artifact-based aggro deck using mainly cards from the Mirrodin block. It uses creatures with the Modular ability as well as creatures that can be played cheaply or for free due to the Affinity ability.

What color deck is best in Magic? ›

Blue is defined by knowledge and intellectualism, and it has the signature ability to draw and manipulate cards. This is among the most powerful things you can do in competitive Magic and has made blue historically the strongest color (which becomes more apparent in formats where cards from the 1990's are legal).

What is the 5 color Magic deck called? ›

The five colors of MTG are Red, Blue, Green, Black and White. Combining all five colors in one deck is typically referred to simply as “five-colored,” and it is abbreviated as “WUBRG.”

What is peasant cube MTG? ›

A peasant cube built around cross archetype synergies. Most cards try to be good in multiple decks. Additionally every color pair tries to support more than one deck each signaled by the typical signpost uncommons with many being selected to be good in both colors pairs archetypes.

What is metagame Magic? ›

The Magic metagame

The practice of tuning a deck or adding sideboard cards in order to have a better chance to defeat the most popular decks is called metagaming.

What is the most common deck type in MTG? ›

Most Magic: The Gathering formats involve players building decks before each match, but the rules on what they can include vary. Possibly the most popular format in all of Magic: The Gathering, Commander (or EDH) has players build a deck with one commander at the helm and a deck consisting of 99 cards.

What decks do magicians use? ›

Phoenix Playing Cards

They are preferred by many professional magicians because of their distinct cut, which offers improved handling—particularly with tricky faro shuffles. Due to their growing popularity among magicians, many creators are starting to use Phoenix Playing Cards to create gimmicked decks and gaff cards.

How rare is Esper? ›

Esper is an artifact that is dropped from Golem at an estimated 1 to 5% drop rate.

Can Necrons reanimate from mortal wounds? ›

Yes you can, mortal wounds (during the shooting and fight phases) act like normal wounds where reanimation protocol is concerned. It used to be otherwise, but not anymore.

Are canoptek acanthrites good? ›

They do slightly less damage per model from 6" than Destroyers do without Extermination Protocols. Like most of the Necron FW units, Acanthrites are completely inferior to their non-FW counterparts.

What is the reanimator gun in last day on earth? ›

The Reanimator is one of the newest gadget that was added to the game as of the Beta v. 1.17. 10 Season 14 update, it has the appearance of a needle gun with a vial of orange liquid on it. The main use of the Reanimator is to revive the player back to full health from a lethal blow.

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