Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide

Hello, I’m Daniel, a big fan of Commander, and today I’m going to help you make your new black-blue precon even better. In this Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide, you’ll discover what the deck is trying to do and how to make it work more efficiently. I’ll cover both budget and higher cost cards to add to the deck, so rest assured, there are suggestions for all budgets.

I recon we better get to it.

Revenant Recon Overview

There are two themes in this deck. The first one is the surveil mechanic, which allows you to look at the top cards of your deck and either put them back or into your graveyard. Surveil goes well with cards that work with the top card of your deck (such as the miracle ability) or that work with your graveyard. It also allows you to control your future draw steps. You can send high cost cards into your graveyard when you need a land, or get rid of lands when you already have tons of mana.

The other theme is reanimator, which means that you’re returning big creatures from your graveyard for cheap. It naturally plays well with surveil, which can put creatures right where you want them.

Mirko, Obsessive Theorist Murders at Karlov Manor Commander Precons

Mirko is the perfect commander for those two themes. He gets stronger whenever you surveil, and brings back a creature from the dead at each of your end steps. The returned creature will unfortunately enter with a finality counter, but that’s still a great way to “cheat” out powerful creatures.

Additionally, the fact that he has both flying and vigilance makes him ideal for attacking and blocking, especially as he gets bigger. Mirko also doesn’t need to attack to resurrect a creature. So, he can sit back and grow bigger and only attack when he can deal some damage and survive.

Revenant Recon Decklist

Commander (1)
Mirko, Obsessive Theorist

Creatures (23)
Amphin Mutineer
Baleful Strix
Dimir Spybug
Dogged Detective
Doom Whisperer
Dream Eater
Grave Titan
Lazav, the Multifarious
Massacre Wurm
Master of Death
Mulldrifter
Nightveil Sprite
Overseer of the Damned
Phyrexian Metamorph
Ravenous Chupacabra
Shriekmaw
Sinister Starfish
Sphinx of the Second Sun
Syr Konrad, the Grim
Thoughtbound Phantasm
Twilight Prophet
Vizier of Many Faces
Whispering Snitch

Instants (8)
Brainstorm
Consider
Curate
Ephara’s Dispersal
Mission Briefing
Otherworldly Gaze
Pile On
Price of Fame

Sorceries (8)
Black Sun’s Zenith
Connive // Concoct
Deep Analysis
Discovery // Dispersal
Notion Rain
Reanimate
Rise of the Dark Realms
Toxic Deluge

Enchantments (5)
Animate Dead
Disinformation Campaign
Enhanced Surveillance
Necromancy
Phyrexian Arena
Lands (37)
Ash Barrens
Bojuka Bog
Choked Estuary
Command Tower
Darkwater Catacombs
Dimir Aqueduct
Drownyard Temple
Fetid Pools
Hostile Desert
Myriad Landscape
Mystic Sanctuary
Port of Karfell
Reliquary Tower
River of Tears
Rogue’s Passage
Sunken Hollow
Tainted Isle
Temple of the False God
Tocasia’s Dig Site
Island
Swamp

Artifacts (7)
Arcane Signet
Dimir Signet
Everflowing Chalice
Mind Stone
Sol Ring
Talisman of Dominance
Thought Vessel

New Cards* (11)
Case of the Shifting Visage
Charnel Serenade
Copy Catchers
Counterpoint
Eye of Duskmantle
Final-Word Phantom
Foreboding Steamboat
Marvo, Deep Operative
Ransom Note
Unshakable Tail
Watcher of Hours

Best 3 Cards to Upgrade Revenant Recon

Revenant Recon Murders at Karlov Manor Commander Precons

I’m going to start with my three main cards you should focus on getting first. Each of them will give your deck a huge boost, plus they are all quite fun to play. While I’ll also cover other cards (both budget and higher cost ones), these are the first ones you should try to add.

Living Death

Living Death Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide

Living Death is an interesting board wipe in that it also resurrects all dead creatures. This can potentially help your opponents, but in most games, your graveyard should hopefully be fuller. After all, your deck excels at filling up your graveyard. In the rare case that it’ll do more harm than good, you can simply decide not to cast it.

One other thing about Living Death also works against indestructible creatures, which can often be a big plus.

Sword of Once and Future

Sword of Once and Future

Your commander has flying and vigilance, so he’ll likely be your main attacker, since he can also block afterward.

If you want to protect Mirko, this sword helps you do so, especially if you’re playing against blue or black decks often. On top of that, it allows you to surveil and cast cheap spells for free from your graveyard. The Revenant Recon deck has a good number of cheap instants and sorceries to start with, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get more value from the sword.

Conjurer’s Closet

Conjurer's Closet Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide

Conjurer’s Closet is typically used for another trigger of enter-the-battlefield effects. Your deck can still use it for that, but there’s another neat interaction it enables here. Do you see it?

You can blink the creatures Mirko brought back from the graveyard. This will remove the finality counter, so even if they die again, they’re still in your graveyard, ready to be brought back yet again. And of course, if that creature has an enter-the-battlefield ability, it will trigger again. Great value!

Resurrect Creatures & Surveil More

In this section, you’ll find cards that work well with both surveil and reanimation. Furthermore, there are some interesting ways of removing those pesky finality counters. The cards are divided into two main groups, based on their price. You can select the ones that best fit your budget.

Budget

First up, the cheaper cards. Note that just because a card is cheap, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not strong and powerful.

Reanimation

Victimize Karlov Manor Special Guests

Victimize is a cheap and effective reanimation spell. You need to sacrifice a creature, but you’re rewarded with returning two creatures for just 3 mana. Plus, the card was just reprinted with a splendid new art on the Karlov Manor List.

Another card that works similarly is Whisper, Blood Liturgist. While it’s perhaps a better fit for a creature token deck, it can still work well here and resurrect powerful creatures.

Furthermore, Persist is an amazing resurrect card, if you don’t play tons of legendary creatures. The original Revenant Recon decklist contains only four legendaries, so unless you add a bunch of them, Persist seems like a good upgrade.

Not exactly a resurrect card, Body Double becomes a copy of a creature from any graveyard. Of course, you could also copy your opponent’s powerful dead creatures.

Since surveil allows you to somewhat predict the top card of your deck, miracle cards like Entreat the Dead can be powerful. As far as the miracle cards, this is is an obviously great fit for the Revenanat Recon upgrade.

Removing Finality Counters

Soul Diviner Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide

When you bring a creature back with Mirko, it’s a bit annoying that it comes back with a finality counter, thankfully there are ways to get rid of it:

  • Soul Diviner draws cards while doing so.
  • Fain, the Broker creates Treasure tokens instead.
  • Power Conduit can put +1/+1 counters on Mirko, making him stronger to resurrect bigger creatures.
  • Thrull Parasite only removes counters, and you have to pay life for it. Sadly, no draw or treasure. Nevertheless, it does have extort and is cheap, which can be useful.

More Surveil

Adding some more surveil cards to the deck can also be a good idea.

Eat to Extinction is a strange card since it originally didn’t have surveil, but had errata that changed that. Errata is an edit to the rules of a card, to update it as new abilities and rules are created. You can confirm this on the MTG database Gatherer. That said, exiling creatures is super useful in Commander against various indestructible creatures.

Another card that was changed is Think Tank. It allows you to surveil every upkeep, so you’ll get at least one trigger per turn.

Sinister Sabotage and Unexplained Disappearance are both cheap cards with surveil that allow you to counter and bounce cards. Another great option is Unauthorized Exit is a new card from Murders at Karlov Manor. Choose whichever you like most, and you can also include all three if you want.

Full

Agadeems Awakening
Agadeem the Undercrypt Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide

Agadeem’s Awakening is a great card for resurrecting multiple creatures. And the best part is you can use it as a land, when you’d otherwise miss your land drop for the turn.

Virtue of Persistence is a versatile card, since you can at first use it to kill a creature and gain life. Later, you can cast it as an enchantment that brings back a creature during your upkeep. This precon already contains Sphinx of the Second Sun, so with double upkeeps you can get two creatures per turn.

I earlier mentioned miracle cards earlier, and if you like that idea, Temporal Mastery is easily one of the most powerful. Two mana for an extra turn is an absurd bargain. But if you regularly draw it, it can be too expensive to cast.

Incarnation Technique is a powerful card in Commander and especially strong in this deck. You can copy it, and then your opponent gets a copy too. But you chose the opponent, so you could ally with someone against a bigger threat or target a player that doesn’t run that many creatures.

Additional Reanimate Synergies & Targets

Here are some additional reanimator synergies, including simply better creatures that you want to bring back.

Budget

Strionic Resonator Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide

Strionic Resonator allows Mirko to resurrect two creatures per turn. You can also use it to copy your other creature’s abilities! Extremely useful and fun card.

Criminal Past is a good fit for Mirko if you want to aggressively attack, since it pumps up his power as you get more creatures in your graveyard. The higher power also allows Mirko to resurrect stronger creatures.

Full

Sheoldred Whispering One

Sheoldred, Whispering One is a powerful creature to bring back, and then she starts resurrecting other creatures. Plus, she’ll make your opponents sacrifice creatures, so she’ll help you maintain control of the board.

Another potent threat to bring back is Archon of Cruelty. The best part is that its abilities triggers when it attacks or enters the battlefield, so even if it gets blocked, you still benefit. You could even sacrifice it and resurrect it repeatedly to get multiple triggers.

Wurmcoil Engine is a powerful and simple creature. It’s big, and lifelink and deathtouch are a big plus. The fact that it creates tokens when it dies allow you to recover from board wipes faster. If you can keep killing and resurrecting it, you can swarm the field with tokens.

Finally, Lithoform Engine is a much more powerful version of Strionic Resonator. It copies any abilities, not just triggered ones. Lithoform Engine also lets you copy instants, sorceries, and permanent spells.

Mana Base

Now it’s time to take a look at the mana base and figure how to improve it.

Budget

Tomb Fortress Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide

Tomb Fortress is a great card since it’s a land when you need mana, but you can also sacrifice it later to get a creature from your graveyard to the battlefield.

Wayfarer’s Bauble is a staple ramp card for any non-green deck. Low cost and can search puts the land on the battlefield.

One surprising type of ramp is Search for Azcanta. You can cast it early game, and it’s easy to flip if you keep surveiling. It then becomes Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin, a land that can also draw you some cards. This card will often feel like a blue Rampant Growth.

Laser Screwdriver is a card from the Doctor Who set that ramps mana and can also surveil! With other fun abilities, it can help in a variety of situations.

Another land from an Universes Beyond set is Rivendell, a great addition to any deck with a cheap commander. The ability to scry 2 for only 2 mana is a cheap way to control the cards you draw.

Full

Takenuma Abandoned Mire Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide

Takenuma, Abandoned Mine is a powerful land to add to this deck since you can also use its ability to get a creature from your graveyard to your hand.

Nesting Grounds can be great if you plan to be mean. It allows you to move the finality counters your commander makes unto your opponents’ creatures. That way, they’ll be the ones getting exiled when they die.

Here are some useful lands to make it easier to get both of your colors:

Cards to Remove from Revenant Recon Deck

Sometimes, a harder question than what to add, is what to remove. So, here are some suggestions about which cards to cut first.

Dream Eater What to Cut Revenant Recon Precon

Dream Eater lets you surveil multiple cards at once, but for six mana there are more useful cards you can play.

Copy Catchers simply isn’t a good fit for this deck. There are enough fliers, and two mana for a 2/1 flyer for each surveil trigger isn’t going to help you win the game. If you want this kind of effect, you can replace it with Bitterblossom, which doesn’t cost additional mana.

Final-Word Phantom is a strange card. Not bad per se, but there are tons of better cards to give your spells flash, like Vedalken Orrery.

Revenant Recon Upgraded Decklist Example

Here is an example deck list you can use when upgrading your deck. Feel free to make changes depending on your preferences and budget.

Commander (1)
Mirko, Obsessive Theorist

Creatures (22)
Amphin Mutineer
Archon of Cruelty
Baleful Strix
Cruel Witness
Dimir Spybug
Dogged Detective
Doom Whisperer
Grave Titan
Lazav, the Multifarious
Massacre Wurm
Master of Death
Overseer of the Damned
Phyrexian Metamorph
Ravenous Chupacabra
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Sphinx of the Second Sun
Syr Konrad, the Grim
Thoughtbound Phantasm
Twilight Prophet
Vizier of Many Faces
Whisper, Blood Liturgist
Wurmcoil Engine

Instants (7)
Consider
Cyclonic Rift
Ephara’s Dispersal
Mission Briefing
Pile On
Price of Fame
Unauthorized Exit

Sorceries (8)
Connive // Concoct
Deep Analysis
Discovery // Dispersal
Living Death
Notion Rain
Persist
Reanimate
Rise of the Dark Realms

Enchantments (7)
Animate Dead
Criminal Past
Necromancy
Phyrexian Arena
Rhystic Study
Think Tank
Virtue of Persistence
Lands (37)
Bojuka Bog
Command Tower
Darkwater Catacombs
Drownyard Temple
Fabled Passage
Morphic Pool
Myriad Landscape
Mystic Sanctuary
Polluted Delta
Port of Karfell
Reliquary Tower
Rivendell
Rogue’s Passage
Sunken Hollow
Tainted Isle
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
Temple of the False God
Tocasia’s Dig Site
Tomb Fortress
Watery Grave
Island
Swamp

Artifacts (11)
Arcane Signet
Conjurer’s Closet
Dimir Signet
Laser Screwdriver
Lithoform Engine
Mind Stone
Sol Ring
Sword of Once and Future
Talisman of Dominance
Thought Vessel
Wayfarer’s Bauble

New Cards* (7)
Case of the Shifting Visage
Charnel Serenade
Counterpoint
Eye of Duskmantle
Marvo, Deep Operative
Unshakable Tail
Watcher of Hours

Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide — Conclusion

That’s a wrap for today. Would you upgrade the Deep Clue See precon differently? Do you have any cards you’d like to recommend? Comment below and let us know!

You can find more information about other Murders at Karlov Manor Commander decks here. There’s in-depth information for each deck, as well as links to other upgrade guides.

Do you perhaps want to build your own deck from a scratch? You can read my article about the 14 most fun Karlov Manor commanders. In it, you’ll find some splendid ideas for your next Commander deck.

Until next time, have fun playing Magic, and may you win lots of games with your upgraded Revenant Recon precon.

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