Animar Deck Questions

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Animar, Soul of Elements.

Wow. Just wow. I know, this is not new, but this guy is just stone cold nuts. He protects himself vs the best 1v1 removal and he's the core of an awesome creature combo deck. Ramp a bit, get cheap dudes, pump his ability up like crazy then start slamming big, ugly creatures to smash your opponents. He can even attack the control player and beat him with 21 commander damage, since he can get so big. He basically does everything you want to do in an EDH game real fast. I love him.

So, I've thought about some things and I'm in big dillemas, hence the creation of this thread.

1) Eldrazi or Artifact Creatures? Or both? Eldrazi are more expensive but more effective, artifact creatures generally come into play much easier but they also get nuked by artifact destruction. And which ones would you recommend?

2) More combo or more aggro? Pure, raw power or synergies between creatures? Bounce effects and "enters the battlefield" effects seem nice in a deck that can ultimately make the grey number in any creature's cmc disappear and being able to re-use a Myojin's ability with ease can be fatal for the opponents, but on the other hand, could a single gigantic dude be better?

3) Protection equipment. Is it needed? Animar protects himself, but will I really need Lightning Greaves to protect the rest of my army? Will it even be fast enough? I need a player with experience with Animar on that matter.

4) What are the staple cards for him?

What I'm currently 100% sure that I'll use creatures with ramp and draw effects (oh, I'm a captain obvious alright). Hands will emtpy really quickly with this guy, so the card drawing will be necessary and ramp because Animar may not always be enough and a turn-2 cast of my commander seems nice.

Thoughts? Answers? Anyone playing Animar?
Are you building this for 1v1 or multiplayer? And how cutthroat is your group? Animar can be a pretty quick combo deck, but most groups don't enjoy someone taking a 10 minute turn and then telling them the game is over, especially in the first 5 or so turns.

To answer some of your questions:
-I run duplicant and 3 eldrazi (ulamog, kozilek, and artisan), and a few choice colored fatties (primetime, etc). Don't go overboard on the fatties. You can get a lot of mileage out of just bouncing and replaying things, and attacking with ulamog and/or kozilek ends games quickly enough, plus my deck can often tutor for what it wants when the time comes. Make sure most of your deckspace is cheap cantrippers and want to be able to consistently get animar big, even after he's been removed once or twice. That's far more important than being able to do lots of cool things after he gets there.

-I use greaves and sword of fire and ice as the only 2 pieces of protection equipment (skullclamp doesn't count) in my multiplayer animar deck. Neither are necessary if you go the cutthroat combo route.

If you build a combo deck, equilibrium, cloudstone curio, and tidespout tyrant are nutty, and let you go infinite in many different ways. Creatures that 'make' mana (like peregrine drake, palinchron and cloud of faeries) and earthcraft play well with these bounce effects, letting you work up infinite mana and/or pay equilibrium's cost. If you don't go combo, tradewind rider, crystal shard, erratic portal and kiki-jiki, mirror breaker are nice ways to re-use creatures at a friendlier pace.

Here's some advice that applies to nearly all animar builds:
-run bouncers (at least the ones with 1 colored mana in their cost): man-o'-war, dream stalker, shrieking drake
-Phyrexian metamorph can copy a bouncer to repeatedly self-bounce at 2 life per cast, instead of mana. It's also already a sweet card without this interaction.
-fierce empatch
-llanowar reborn
-skullclamp - this card is worth running trinket mage for.
-if you play online/allow proxies/have a stupidly large budget, imperial recruiter is the best card in the deck.
-primeval titan fetching gaea's cradle and eye of ugin is a pretty big game.
-glimpse of nature can set up some big turns. Also primordial sage and soul of the harvest if you're building a slower/more fair/friendlier animar.
-if you own one, survival of the fittest is stupidly powerful. It finds your bouncers when you need them, it finds your fat when animar gets big, it's a card advantage engine thanks to squee, and it bins anger for seriously explosive turns.
I've seen Aluren with the bouncers.

Grinning Ignus
ive got a deck that is based off another persons post using alot of myr and other colorless creatures or creatures that make/give mana.  in the make catagory we've got coal stoker and priest of urabrask, while the givers are cathodion and su-chi.  the givers play well with birthing pod as sac targets netting me mana to pay for larger targets should i not have enuf mana to cast em early.  like Tremor 88, i use a lot of similar creatures such as the eldrazi and bouncers save for the drake.  Forgotton Anicent can be insane allowing you to move his counters to animar if you cannot "go off" in one turn.  my build runs a few different win cons, with a large animar, or having people die via psychosis crawler with cards drawn from primordial sage/soul of the harvest or from kozilek to even winning on the spot with Laboratory Maniac with no more cards to draw.  the latter usually comes from when i cast primal surge as my list runs that as the only non permanent spell. 

the mana myr, iron, copper, silver and palladium all help to ramp out and make spells cheeper.  ive gotten much use from thousand-year elixir giving much needed quasi haste to Kuldotha Forgemaster, the myr, Bloom Tender or even Fauna Shaman. 

while it is very combo ish i find that its my favorite deck i ve got built at the moment.  i do have 20 decks built and the favorite one changes quite often but as for now this is it.  i tried to use other rug commanders such as riku but that got hated out real quick even tho the list didnt abuse him as much as other decks ive seen.  Intet was a fun but was more of a group hug like build.  i honestly didnt think all too much of animar untill i saw the "Lord of Myr" list and from there its been great. 

How did deadeye navigator not get mentioned?

You can probably look at my list for a middle of the road animar deck. It can combo, but it isn't primed to win before turn 5 regularly.

Right now my concerns are playing around nev disk and o stone. Once an opponent drops one I'm a little peeved. So I was looking at interdict (and the like) or voidmage husher as posibilities.


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