From the Brim to the Trim - Melting opponents' faces with a Budget Reanimator Deck

An unprobable meld between a dinosaur, a yeti and a blobby monstrosity, all very green
(The Mimeoplasm | Art by Svetlin Velinov)

Melding, Smelting, Molding, Smoldering...

Greetings and salutations from a place currently dripping in unwanted humidity (don't ask)! I'm Arnaud, and I'm thrilled to take you once more on a journey of inexpensive brews, unusual cards, neat statistics and possibly some neat EDHREC features.

We have a lot to talk about this time. Before we move on to the commander you chose, I'd like to address the other poll. The one on price.

First and foremost, thank you very much for your participation. I was hoping for significant figures to take a decision, and you did not disappoint. At the time of writing, while the poll is still open, I'm confident enough to publish the results, which speak for themselves.

62% of you spoke in favor of a little more flexibility regarding the $1 threshold, opening the way to cards worth up to $1.10, or a 10% margin. 31% voted against that change. And finally, 6.6% bravely asked about dinner. To those 12 voters, I'll gladly serve some freshly baked focaccia if and when we meet in person.

On a more serious note though, the path is clear. From now on, I'll possibly include some cards that cost a teensy bit more than the official threshold. That does not mean all of these pricey cards will be included in each and every build. I'll only consider them if I feel they add some real spice to the build. Don't expect more established and boring staples, but instead janky and fun cards. And to be clear, this is the final mark. No more flexibility after this, planeswalker's word.

Now, on to the commanders.

It was a tight race. While Galea, Kindler of Hope clearly did not spark too much interest (16%), Baru, Wurmspeaker and The Mimeoplasm were extremely close, earning respectively 89 (40%) and 97 votes (44%). Wurm lovers, don't despair, I might throw the name back in the basket in the future. Being the happy owner of such one deck, I can confirm it's as silly as sometimes scarily powerful. And proudly playing a Craw Wurm is priceless.

Which leaves us with our winner.

Boy this brings back memories. The Mimeoplasm is among the first cards Wizards edited specifically for our format, in the first commander precons back in 2011. While it has lost a bit of its lustre as years went by, it's still a fairly popular monstrosity, boasting close to 5200 decks, and with good reason.

This Ooze is a scary combination of whatever craziness you mad lads want to make it. The most classic meld involve Skittles with a big body, but there are several other fun possibilities to explore.

Funnily enough, graveyard shenanigans are not the most featured theme on its page, that honor befalls to Oozes. 

As usual, let's dump everything from the commander's page onto Archidekt, adding the additional cards from the Budget section for good measure.

396 cards of beauty. Shall we?

First Trim - The Cardboard Chainsaw Massacre

As mentioned in the intro, the cuts this time will be ever so slightly different. We'll still cut everything worth more than $1, but allow a potential few exceptions within the $1.10 range if deemed too fun to pass by. Anything else shall and will leave this place at once!

That's more than 100 cards out of the way already, but that was the easy part. Now, to have a look at the best cards that almost made it, but that are still too expensive:

  • Phyrexian Arena: Can you believe this is down to $1.16? Seems crazy to me. And that Phyrexian edition is gorgeous!
  • Whispering Madness: Wheeling over and over seems like a good plan to fill the graveyard with shenanigans.
  • Fauna Shaman: Get a creature in the bin and pick another from my deck? Is it Christmas already?
  • Necrotic Ooze: A notorious combo machine. Not really my jam, but I can see the appeal.
  • Swiftfoot Boots: I feel like the price of this thing swings more than a see-saw during a hurricane.
  • Hydra's Growth: A neat way to make our commander lethal much quicker.
  • Impervious Greatwurm: Awwwwww, I really really wanted to add that!
  • Dreamborn Muse: I still consider this to be an underrated gem. Mill your opponents' best cards while filling yours with goodies. Granted, that also helps other necromancers.

This leaves us with the following, tottering between $1 and $1.10.

The outs:

  • In Garruk's Wake: Just too mana intensive.
  • Dark Ritual: Boooring.
  • Oran-Rief, the Vastwood: In this deck, one counter won't make much of a difference.
  • Emergent Ultimatum: This is a fantastic card, one that I like a lot. But it's also a card with the potential for unwanted tutored combos, and that's really a direction I'd like to avoid in this series.

The keeps:

Bear in mind that nothing ensures these three cards will make it through the final cuts. But it's nice to keep options open! And I wouldn't be surprised to see these swing below the $1 mark at some point in the future.

And with that, we're down to 239 cards. That's a healthy pool if I've ever seen one! Moving on.

Second Trim: Cardward Scissorhands

Now that the price question is out of the way, it's time to look at what we've come to call affectionately "the veggies" (thanks Matt).

We currently have:

Draw: 23 Ramp: 32 Removal: 28 Wipes: 6

While we're doing fine in every other section, I'm probably going to revamp the wipes a bit.

Draw Ramp Removal Wipes

Ancient Excavation Dimir Signet Consumptive Goo Casualties of War
Brainstorm Circuitous Route Corrosive Ooze Decree of Pain
Bred for the Hunt Commander's Sphere Gelatinous Cube
Inspiring Call Explosive Vegetation Invasion of Muraganda
Harmonize Far Wanderings Golgari Charm
Lifecrafter's Bestiary Golgari Signet Green Slime
Primal Empathy Growth Spiral Krosan Grip
Syphon Mind Harrow Murder
Tezzeret's Gambit Mind Stone Nature's Claim
Thought Scour Migration Path Overwhelming Remorse
Urban Evolution Rampant Growth Putrefy
Sakura-Tribe Elder Reclamation Sage
Simic Signet Return to Nature
Sultai Banner Scavenging Ooze
Troll of Khazad-dûm Sultai Charm
Zagoth Crystal Tribute to the Wild

A few comments here.

First, please, please stop playing Casualties of War. It's an expensive and color-intensive spell that will more often than not fail to solve a given problem, either because of protection or sheer volume.

Second, I'm adding one of my favorite draw spells to the list: Chart a Course. At best it's 2 cards for 2 mana. At worst it will help us put a beater in the bin. It's a win-win.

Which leaves us with:

Draw: 13 Ramp: 14 Removal: 8 Wipes: 4

Much, much better. After trimming down the lands accordingly, we're reaching 168 cards, and it's time to have some fun and make some decisions.

Third Trim - Cutting Off the Rough Edges

168 cards then. That's a lot. But let's consider for a moment what actually remains, and what the possible strategies are.

At the moment, there are two potential paths the deck clearly wants to tread:

  • Reanimation, possibly turning the The Mimeoplasm into a gigantic monstrosity able to one-shot our opponents
  • Ooze typal

While these are not exactly exclusive one from the other, they are nevertheless quite different orientations. Let's see if we can make the best of two worlds.

First, we'll cut down some of the more obnoxious Oozes. Then, we'll trim down some of the reanimation spells. Finally, let's see if we can remove some miscellaneous stuff (tutors, I'm looking at you).

Some choices may be questionable, especially concerning tutors, but since this is a budget deck meant for a casual environment, I feel like tutoring cards goes against the general philosophy. Plus, it keep the mystery alive, as the deck is more likely to surprise you!

Oozeless Oozes Recursion Misc.

Aeve, Progenitor Ooze Dread Return Collector's Vault
Biowaste Blob Eternal Witness Consuming Aberration
Corrupted Zendikon Life // Death Confounding Riddle
Experiment Kraj Rise from the Grave Cruel Somnophage
Experiment One Regrowth Cut Your Losses
Gelatinous Genesis Squirming Emergence Diabolic Tutor
Gluttonous Slime Splendid Reclamation Death's Presence
Gobbling Ooze Unnatural Restoration Final Parting
Gutter Grime Forced Adaptation
Inexorable Blob Fractured Sanity
Manaplasm Grapple with the Past
Miming Slime Jarad's Orders
Mitotic Slime Marauding Brinefang
Ooze Flux Mythos of Brokkos
Ooze Garden Reflections of Littjara
Oran-Rief Ooze The Everflowing Well
Predator Ooze Thirsting Roots
Printlifter Ooze Urborg Lhurgoyf
Slime Molding Villainous Wealth
Slogurk, the Overslime
Slurrk, All-Ingesting
Splitting Slime


With all of these massive, blobby cuts, we reach 118 cards. I know, that's a bit more than we're used to in the final section, but I genuinely feel that there are no more "useless" cards in the list. So hear me out...

Final Trim: Heart-Wrenching Choices

This is something I've skipped insofar, but I feel like this situation is just perfect.

So, what do we do now that we've reached an impasse? There are two levers we can activate:

  • Reducing the mana cost
  • Trimming something in every category

At the moment, our curve stands high:

Mana curve of the deck before the final trim. Average mana value is 3.84

3.84 is a lot, all the more so considering there are 14 spells costing 6 or more mana. This view is a bit skewed however, since we're not in a big mana plan. Hard casting them is a last-resort option, when reanimation and our commander have failed.

Still, we can probably focus on the 5-6 mana range to find some spells to cut:

Counterspells Draw Mill

We're getting rid of the hard
counterspells and keeping only the fun ones.
Not much to add here, simply personal choices. Neither are bad cards, not by a mile Again, nothing personal. I know some of you will scream your head off at the Troll, but I'm not confident enough in my card draw to rely on dredging consistently.

Payoffs Ramp Removal

Yep, that's it. I don't want to run less than 10 threatening monsters to play with my commander. Off with the talismans. We have Deathsprout in th Removal category to fill one of their spaces. The Slime is for the sake of the curve. Cankerbloom because I want to keep Necroplasm

Surviving Oozes Wipes Other

  • Necromantic Selection

I was hoping they would stay till the end, but alas, there's no room. Too expensive with three black pips. We have other means to give trample to our monsters, and as for the gift... I like living on the edge!


And so, with these final changes, we managed to significantly lower the curve to...

Mana Curve, average mana value 3.98

Ahem. Ok, so not lower after all. But hey, the vast majority of our spells cost between 2 and 4 mana, and some of those allow us to cheat costs. So... victory?

Here's our final list:

The Mimeoplasm - Oozemonster of All

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Draw (12)
Clones (1)
Mill (7)
Ramp (11)
Recursion (6)
Creature (1)
Removal (5)
Instant (1)
Counters (3)
Payoff (10)
Evasion (1)
Counterspells (2)
Sorcery (1)
Wipes (3)
Land (35)

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View this decklist on Archidekt


While I'm writing these last words, I'd lie if I said I was 100% confident. I'm expecting seasoned Mimeoplasm players to point out several mistakes, or argue in favor of hidden gems.

And to be honest, I'm looking forward to those.

See you in two weeks!

Read more:

From the Brim to the Trim – Build a Budget Legendaries Deck with Kethis, the Hidden Hand

Brew For Your Buck - Build a Budget Mono-Black Deck

Arnaud Gompertz has been playing Magic since 4th Edition, back in 1995. He's been an assiduous EDH enthusiast since 2012, with a soft spot for unusual and casual Commanders. He'll always favour spectacular plays against a boring path to victory. Aside from mistreating cardboard, he's a dedicated board games player, loves a challenging video game and occasionally tries to sing with his choir.

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