The Cauldron of Eternity is perhaps the coolest of the Legendary artifact cycle from Throne of Eldraine (though it does have to compete with The Great Henge). There's some pretty easy ways to get creatures into your graveyard in Standard, so let's see what we can do!
Standard Reanimator with The Cauldron of Eternity
4 Blood for Bones 2 The Cauldron of Eternity 2 Drowned Secrets 4 Emry, Lurker of the Loch 4 Merfolk Secretkeeper 4 Wall of Lost Thoughts 4 Vantress Gargoyle 2 Agent of Treachery 1 Thorn Mammoth - Brawl Deck Exclusive 1 Vilis, Broker of Blood 1 Lochmere Serpent 4 Witch's Oven 3 Cauldron Familiar 4 Watery Grave 4 Dismal Backwater 9 Island (335) 7 Swamp (339)
Blood for Bones is one of the cards with the most potential from Core Set 2020, but it's either been overshadowed by more powerful decks in the large rotating Standard format, or it's difficult to build around just 4 copies. The Cauldron of Eternity gives us the redundancy to fully embrace the reanimator strategy. Both want us to have multiple creatures entering the graveyard, and can be played for a grindy value game rather than just a 1-shot combo like typical reanimator decks in other formats.
Emry, Lurker of the Loch is the most obvious natural pairing with The Cauldron of Eternity. Either half can get back the other, and Emry comes down early to put some creatures into your graveyard. If we need our deck to contain lots of creatures and some more artifacts to pair with Emry, Vantress Gargoyle is the other obvious new inclusion. It's a powerful creature that can contribute to both of these plans with its passive milling ability. It's also nice that it's a flying blocker, since the rest of our creature suite does a solid job of gumming up the ground.
Merfolk Secretkeeper and Wall of Lost Thoughts are nearly identical in this deck, but they do their job well. They put creatures in the graveyard and provide early blockers. Later, they can be used as sacrifice fodder.
There are plenty of solid reanimator targets in Standard, but we've opted for creatures that can provide immediate value upon entering the battlefield. Agent of Treachery and Vilis, Broker of Blood play different roles but both are theoretically able to be cast if our main plan hasn't come together. Thorn Mammoth is a new option from the Throne of Eldraine brawl decks that seems powerful enough to consider – it's a giant Ravenous Chupacabra up front, but we're also running a lot of small creatures that could let it gun down an entire opposing army. We've avoided options like Drakuseth and Niv-Mizzet that are extremely powerful but require another turn to really start accumulating an advantage.
Lochmere Serpent is an intriguing new card that bridges the gap between reanimator target, being castable on its own, and being a payoff for all of the self-milling. In all of our brewing in these days leading up to the day 1 metagame, we've built quite a few graveyard-oriented decks, so it's possible that its ability to naturally contain any opposing graveyard strategies is pretty big upside.
It seems like we're including the Witch's Oven and Cauldron Familiar combo in a lot of decks, but it looks to fit perfectly here as well. We happen to be playing a bunch of 4-toughness creatures that we could sacrifice for multiple food tokens. It can help Emry come down earlier while also giving Emry more potential targets to recast. The lifegain from repeated Cauldron Familiar triggers can help offset the life loss from The Cauldron of Eternity, and it provides another expendable body to help cast Blood for Bones.
This deck looks both very fun and like it has a lot of potential, so be sure to check back soon after September 26 when Throne of Eldraine is released on MTG Arena to see the video of us trying out this strategy!