Revenant Recon Precon – Deck List, Themes & Best Reprints

The murder/mystery-themed set, Murders at Karlov Manor, is only two weeks away now. The set follows Detective Alquist Proft as he investigates Ravnica. MKM has a full product line-up (draft and set boosters are no more) with four commander decks. Today’s article is about the Revenant Recon precon. Let’s kick things off with some basic information.

Murders at Karlov Manor is set to come out on February 9, 2024, and has four preconstructed commander decks. Revenant Recon is a blue/black (Dimir) deck themed around surveilling and reanimating creatures.

Beyond the general stuff, we’ll discuss the commanders, the overall deck theme, the cards that allow it to do its thing, the best reprints, and the complete deck list. So, let’s get started.

Updated: 1/27/24

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02/18/2024 08:27 am GMT

Deck Strategy

The Revenant Recon precon features a reanimator strategy common for blue/black. These decks aim to get powerful creatures into the graveyard and bring them directly from the yard to the battlefield. The strategy takes its name from Reanimate and is powerful because you get potent creatures into play for a significant discount.

There are usually two steps to making this work. First, get your reanimation targets (nasty stuff like Grave Titan or Massacre Wurm) into the graveyard. For this particular deck this will be done with the surveil mechanic, which says, “Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card into your graveyard.”

The next step is to bring them from the graveyard directly into play. One surefire way to do this is with the deck’s face commander, which was recently spoiled.

Primary And Secondary Commander

revenant recon face commander mirko obsessive theorist
marvo deep operative

Mirko, Obsessive Theorist, has a pretty solid stat line as a three mana 1/3 with flying and vigilance that gets bigger as you surviel. With a few counters, this will be a threat in the air and still be up to block opposing flyers. Given its high defense, it should be a pretty solid defender.

There are plenty of instants that can surveil, too. Casting things like Pile On in combat will also pump Mirko up unexpectedly. So, every instant speed surveil card in the deck can also be a small pump spell/combat trick.

Once per turn (at the end of your turn), he also reanimates a creature with less power than his with a finality counter. The finality counter means you’ll exile the creature if it dies instead of returning it to your graveyard. The more you surveil, the bigger stuff you can reanimate. This is a phenomenal combo since surveilling will also fill your graveyard with reanimation targets.

One thing I’m surprised we didn’t see is tricky stuff with zero-power creatures. Cards like Activated Sleeper, Apocalypse Demon, Barrier of Bones, Boneyard Mycodrax, and Gravehowler will all be able to be reanimated without even pumping Mirko up and be huge threats when you’ve already filled your graveyard up.

Reanimator strategies are fun and can be powerful when allowed to do their thing because they put out bombs way ahead of the curve. They rely almost entirely on the graveyard and tend to struggle when that’s taken away. In my experience, interaction like counterspells can save the day here.

Let’s break down the strategy in the context of this precon.

Fill The Graveyard

enhanced surveillance
nightveil sprite
lazav the multifarious

I like the surveil route for filling the graveyard for a few reasons. First, it helps you smooth out your draws. Not only can you dump cards you don’t need, but you can also stack the remaining ones however you want.

So, even aside from fueling the reanimator strategy, it pulls a lot of weight. For example, if you need a land or removal spell, many of your cards can dig into your library in hopes of finding them. This gets even better with instant speed card draw like Brainstorm and Consider.

And things like Whispering Snitch can generate extra value for things you already want to be doing.

I expected a fair amount of stuff that allows you to discard cards from your hand. However, we didn’t get it. In my experience, a few discard outlets are crucial for ditching reanimation cards that you happen to draw into and can’t cast. That said, this build does have more land and a somewhat lower curve.

Reanimation Targets

If you’re going through the trouble of surveilling stuff into your graveyard to cheat back, you want it to be good when you do. This usually means some high-CMC stuff with powerful abilities. Some examples of things that fit this bill would be Overseer of the Damned, Sphinx of the Second Sun, and Grave Titan.

However, smaller things with good enter-the-battlefield triggers like Mulldrifter, Shriekmaw, and Ravenous Chupacabra can be very impactful to bring back as well.


Interaction and Card Draw

Every commander deck needs ways to draw cards and deal with opposing threats; this is no exception. Luckily, the Dimir colors do both things quite well. In the context of a reanimator deck using surveil, the removal and card advantage will lend themselves to the strategy.

For example, removal spells like Pile on, and Price of Fame all pull extra weight in the deck. The card draw also has an upside – Curate and Consider can refill your hand and ditch some nice reanimation targets into the graveyard.

Related: Best Blue Removal In MTG & Best Black Removal In MTG

Best Reprints

We’ve established what the deck wants and some cards to allow it to get it done. Now, let’s look at the more exciting reprints, of which there are some bangers! Let’s have a look.

Revenant Recon Deck List

Here’s the full Revenant Recon deck list.

Revenant Recon

Amphin Mutineer
Dream Eater
Phyrexian Metamorph
Sphinx of the Second Sun
Vizier of Many Faces
Dogged Detective
Doom Whisperer
Grave Titan
Massacre Wurm
Overseer of the Damned
Twilight Prophet
Baleful Strix
Lazav, the Multifarious
Master of Death
Nightveil Sprite
Thoughtbound Phantasm
Ravenous Chupacabra
Sinister Starfish
Syr Konrad, the Grim
Whispering Snitch
Dimir Spybug

Mission Briefing
Pile On
Otherworldly Gaze
Price of Fame

Black Sun’s Zenith
Rise of the Dark Realms
Toxic Deluge
Deep Analysis
Notion Rain

Phyrexian Arena
Enhanced Surveillance
Animate Dead
Disinformation Campaign

LAND (57)
Choked Estuary
Darkwater Catacombs
Drownyard Temple
Fetid Pools
Hostile Desert
River of Tears
Sunken Hollow
Ash Barrens
Bojuka Bog
Command Tower
Dimir Aqueduct
Myriad Landscape
Mystic Sanctuary
Port of Karfell
Reliquary Tower
Rogue’s Passage
Tainted Isle
Temple of the False God
Arcane Signet
Dimir Signet
Everflowing Chalice
Mind Stone
Sol Ring
Talisman of Dominance
Thought Vessel
Mirko, Obsessive Theorist
Marvo, Deep Operative
Case of the Shifting Visage
Copy Catchers
Final-Word Phantom
Watcher of Hours
Charnel Serenade
Eye of Duskmantle
Foreboding Steamboat
Unshakable Tail
Ransom Note (Surveil)
Ephara’s Dispersal
Tocasia’s Dig Site

End Step

There you have it, my friends, everything you need to know about the Revenant Recon deck. The MTG gods have looked favorably upon us with this one – WOTC loaded it with stellar EDH reprints. If you’re a fan of Dimir or like playing with the graveyard, this one is a must-have come February.

I know I’ll be picking this one up for sure. Until then, take care and get out there and play some commander.

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Geno Doak

I started playing Magic in 2015. I love all formats but I particularly love to play and build decks in modern. Pretty much every part of my life has been influenced by Magic in some way or another. It is something I am very passionate about. RIP Simian Spirit Guide.