Magic: the Gathering

Deck Guide

Upgrading Commander Precon - Revenant Recon (Mirko, Obsessive Theorist)

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Today, we bring you a guide on how to upgrade Revenant Recon, the Murders at Karlov Manor precon deck, with Mirko, Obsessive Theorist as our commander!

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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Murders at Karlov Manorlink outside website brought us several new mechanics, but it also brought us some old favorites we've known for a while.

In today's article, we'll show you how to upgrade Revenant Recon, the commander precon deck that focuses on the Surveil mechanic. It features the iconic Dimir vampire, Mirko, Obsessive Theorist, as its commander!

Revenant Recon Decklist

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Revenant Recon is a Dimir Magic Symbol UMagic Symbol B deck that brings Mirko, Obsessive Theorist and Marvo, Deep Operative as commander options. Surveil shows up quite a lot in it, so, this time, we decided to use Mirko as our commander.


But don't worry: Marvo will get a chance to shine in a deck with Clash and big spells we'll show at the end of this article.

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Mirko will reanimate creatures in your graveyard because of Surveil, an ability that even buffs him with +1/+1 counters. He'll reanimate creatures with power less than him to the board and give them a Finality counter: this means, if these creatures die, instead they'll be exiled.

The idea behind this deck is to figure out a way to remove these Finality counters, and add even more Surveil and reanimates to it, so we can guarantee Mirko can target any creature in our graveyard. Without further ado, let's see how we can upgrade Revenant Recon!

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The Upgrades and Why

Cards We Removed

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Even though this deck has a Reanimate theme, we removed some cards that cost a bit more mana than we'd like. Overseer of the Damned and Marvo, Deep Operative are some of these cards. Counterpoint, besides its great effect, is still too heavy. Foreboding Steamboat is interesting, but it is really slow.

This deck has several cards that cost a lot of mana and seem strong at a first glance, but, once you play them, you understand why someone would remove them.

We also removed some cheaper cards that are relatively irrelevant, like Thoughtbound Phantasm, Dimir Spybug, and Ransom Note. In their place, we'll add cards that are actually relevant to our game plan. They may have synergy with our commander, but, late game, they'll probably not help you improve your game at all.

We changed the total number of lands to 35, as we removed only one Island and one Swamp. Witch's Clinic replaced Darkwater Catacombs because it makes the game go on for longer. As Mirko will grow with Surveil, we can take advantage of lifegain, particularly with Doom Whisperer. With it, we can grow Mirko's stats significantly before we attack, and this way gain back a lot of the life we lost.

Toxic Deluge also takes advantage of lifegain, considering it lets you deal a lot of damage to the board if you have a reasonable amount of life when you use it.

Interacting with Counters and Surveil

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Here's a fun fact about a certain Surveil card. On Gatherer, Search for Azcanta's text is "Surveil 1". So, we added it to the list as it can turn into Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin.

Our upgraded list has 37 non-creature spells, so, as Azcanta filters 4 cards, we can extract a lot of value out of it.

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The Grim Captain's Locker is another interesting addition. Besides Surveil 1, it lets you reanimate creatures for 4 mana with Escape for another 4 cards in your graveyard. Considering we can't access every type of card in our graveyard, these cards will be fuel for our Escape. We have great targets we can reanimate, like Sphinx of the Second Sun, Grave Titan, and Massacre Wurm.


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Mirko's ability reanimates creatures but gives them a Finality counter: if the creature would die, instead it is exiled. With this in mind, we added cards that remove creature counters and even added cards that remove counters of other types of permanent. This way, we won't completely lose the creature we reanimated with Mirko to exile.

We added Power Conduit, Soul Diviner, Fain, the Broker, and Thrull Parasite; as a bonus, they give us card draw, create Treasures, and gain us life with Extort, respectively.

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Reanimate and Utility Cards

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We also added two other Reanimate cards to our build. After all, we can't count on our commander all the time, considering our opponents may remove him with global or target removal.

Victimize and Breach the Multiverse were our prime choices. Victimize only costs 3 mana and is very efficient because it brings back two creatures from our graveyard at the same time. Breach the Multiverse, on the other hand, reanimates up to 4 creatures and/or Planeswalkers from each graveyard.

Eye of Duskmantle may make Breach the Multiverse cost only 7 life - this is a great advantage to our game strategy because this way we'll have more mana available to use with something else.

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And, of course, to make up for how much life we'll lose, not only we have Witch's Clinic but also Gray Merchant of Asphodel. This last card is a great target to reanimate again and again, or cast it with a copy if you have Case of the Shifting Visage in play and it is solved. This Zombie will drain your opponents and this way give you even more life - it might even be a finisher in one of your games.

One play you can make is to sacrifice Gray Merchant of Asphodel with Fain, the Broker in play, reanimate it with Mirko, and remove its Finality counter with Fain. Just repeat this process as many times as you can each time you enter combat.

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Blackblade Reforged has two roles in this deck: it will guarantee any creature in your graveyard can come back to the board thanks to Mirko's ability, and finish an opponent through commander damage.

Our list already has two clones: Vizier of Many Faces and Phyrexian Metamorph, so we added another one, Spark Double. It works well with many cards. As Syr Konrad, the Grim, you will deal more damage; as Grave Titan, you will create more Zombie tokens; and as Massacre Wurm, you'll remove more creatures. You may even copy the aforementioned Gray Merchant of Asphodel.

Finally, we added Feed the Swarm as a target removal for creatures and enchantments because it is a bit difficult to deal with enchantments with a Dimir deck.

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Upgraded Revenant Recon Decklist


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This is our upgraded Revenant Recon decklist! We changed around 14 cards, which will give you more resilience and consistency when you play this strategy and game style. This list became a lot closer to what the Dimir guild represents - Surveil, removals, and copies of creatures all give it a characteristic Dimir feel.

Alternative List with Marvo, Deep Operative

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We gave Marvo, Deep Operative his own list, like we said we would. We also gave him several Clash cards to trigger his ability, and gave you big spells to cast, like One with the Multiverse, Beacon of Tomorrows, Worst Fears, and Army of the Damned.

Final Thoughts

This is another precon deck that has Toxic Deluge by default, which is impressive to me. This is a 100% Dimir deck - it really matches what this guild is about, so if you're a fan of House Dimir, it is perfect. Fun, interesting, and may I say, also quite different!

Did you like this list? Would you change anything? Do you prefer Marvo? Tell us what you think!

See you next time!