Reanimation is one of the most popular themes in the entire Magic: The Gathering Commander format. Revolving around reoccurring powerful, expensive creatures from the graveyard via cheap spells, there have been a lot of iterations of this concept. One of the most intriguing is Obeka, Brute Chronologist, an orc wizard who allows players to end their turn whenever they want. At first glance, this may seem like an underwhelming ability, but Obeka can actually supersede other “end of the turn” effects. So if a card requires you to exile a creature at the end of turn, you can stack the triggers so Obeka ends the turn before this resolves, allowing you to keep that creature.
When designing this deck, I decided to make it powerful enough to win games, without being overwhelmingly oppressive or fast. It’s still a relatively competitive list, but one that wouldn’t be classified in the cEDH (Competitive EDH) format or a deck that’s designed to suck the fun out of the game. Additionally, we aren’t going to be constrained by price, however, I will be avoiding obviously pricey cards like dual lands, Mana Crypt, etc. Finally, this is simply a template for you to get started on your own Obeka deck. It’s always critical to adjust a deck based on your own playstyle and meta.
Obeka, Brute Chronologist Primer
Obeka revolves around abusing end of turn effects and dodging the negative side-effects these type of cards typically implement. On her own, Obeka isn’t going to causing a lot of chaos, as she serves as an enabler for the rest of our deck. Because of this, there’s always a high chance that players will attempt to remove her from the board. I always recommend tutoring out a card like Lightning Greaves to protect her from removal spells. Remember, we have a lot of reanimation effects so sometimes it’s cheaper to send Obeka to the graveyard and resurrect her.
When it comes to reanimation cards we have a nice suite to choose from. Apprentice Necromancer and Puppeteer Clique are superb choices since Obeka can stop us from sacrificing whatever creature we choose. Dawn of the Dead is especially good at this since it lets us reoccur a creature each turn for the cost of one life. For something more permanent we are also running Reanimate and Sepulchral Primordial, but I personally prefer Corpse Dance since we can buyback this spell. Sedris, the Traitor King also gives all our creatures Unearth, giving our deck some added flexibility if Obeka gets removed. Cauldron Dance is a really tricky spell that can disrupt your opponent’s entire attack and can have its end of turn efect circumvented by Obeka. Additionally, while Sneak Attack isn’t a reanimation spell, it does let us cheat out our big creatures for a single Red mana!
The draw in our deck is a mix of staple spells found in this format, ones that fill our graveyard, and some fun tricks we can abuse with Obeka’s ability. Rhystic Study is here because, well, it’s Rhystic Study. Faithless Looting, Windfall, Frantic Search, Ideas Unbound, and Fact or Fiction all draw us a lot of cards while loading up our graveyard with potential targets. Psychic Vortex and Avaricious Dragon are here because the sheer advantage they offer is insane especially when combined with Obeka’s ability to ignore those pesky end of turn effects. Buried Alive and Corpse Connoisseur let us tutor for cards to put in our graveyard. Demonic Tutor, Gamble, and Mystical Tutor are cheap tutors that let us search for any answers we might need to deal with an opponent’s threat. Finally, Rune-Scarred Demon is here as a repeatable tutor we can abuse via reanimation spells.
Obeka’s ramp package isn’t really exciting. We are running the usual mix of artifacts you’ll find in almost any deck, so feel free to include your favorite mana rocks. That being said, two notable inclusions are Solemn Simulacrum and Dockside Extortionist. Both of these can be heavily abused with reanimation cards, allowing you to amass a ton of mana very quickly. Dockside Extortionist is definetly the better of the two, so make sure to tutor this up whenever your opponent’s have a lot of artifacts and enchantments on the field.
Our removal package is a little lighter than normal, so this spot can definetly get beefed up if you want to deal with more threats. Blasphemous Act, Toxic Deluge, and Cyclonic Rift are our core wraths, letting us clear the board of issues so we can either rebuild or pressure our opponents. Noxious Gearhulk, Bedevil, Chaos Warp, and Identity Thief are our single target removal spells. The latter is especially deadly since Obeka can keep the card you choose permenantly exiled. We’re also running two counters in t he form of Counterspell and Fierce Guardianship. These are mainly used to protect Obeka or stop anything our removal cannot deal with such as enchantments. Zara, Renegade Recruiter is also pseudo removal with Obeka since we can steal creatures from our foe’s hands and make them ours.
We have a nice mix of win cons, but almost all of them invole reanimating really powerful creatures and either allowing them to control the bored or swinging for leathel. Terror of the Peaks, Pathrazer of Ulamog, and It That Betrays are an absolute nightmare to deal with if our opponents don’t have removal. Grave Titan and Phyrexian Triniform can create a ton of tokens to attack or block with while Etali, Primal Storm can just take over the game if left unchecked. Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur allows us to deal with control decks or those that like to grind games to a halt and Flameshadow Conjuring can get really out of hand with Obeka. However, for the most part we are making sure our threats are still deadly even if Obeka is removed. This will make the deck more consistent and less like a glass cannon.