Hatching Evil Sultai Plots With Tasigur

Bennie Smith knows that Standard isn’t the only place Tasigur is tearing up! See how Bennie is letting Tasigur run wild in Commander as well!

So Fate Reforged has been officially unleashed onto the Magic populace! I don’t get a chance to draft much, but I made sure I found the time to go
down to the nearest game shop – Collector’s Heaven, just north of Richmond, VA – to get my draft on. Pack 1 Pick 1, I shuffle to the back and found this
little sweetie staring back at me:

Now, I’m no Limited expert, but I’m pretty sure the legendary dragons in this set are considered bombs, so I scanned through the rest of the pack to see
what I’d be passing to the guy on my right and dropped Dromoka face down in front of me. I quickly thought about the clans where G/W fits in and realized
there’s only one, and so I drafted a middling collection of Abzan goodies to go with Dromoka. I hedged my bets a bit by mostly picking white and green
cards – which wasn’t entirely difficult because there wasn’t too much black coming around – but my instinct was to keep my options open. We go to open up
the next pack of Fate Reforged, I shuffle to the back and found this little sweetie staring back at me:

Now, I’m no Limited expert, but I’m pretty sure if I could ever get two of the legendary dragons in this set in play at the same time, I’d have a very
tough time losing. Of course, that means throwing blue into my green/white/black deck… or do I give up black and go full on Bant? If I run Ojutai, I’ll
need to move up in priority the defensive cards that can buy me time to draw enough mana to play a seven-drop bomb.

Then I get passed this:

Okay, if this isn’t a sign for me to just go for it, I don’t know what is. This counts as a mana fix for Ojutai, doesn’t it? The black I’ve picked up so
far isn’t really compelling, so maybe I can just go Bant? As the draft progresses, I keep my eye out for good blue cards and any uncommon Dragons across my
four colors, but no other Dragons pop up and my blue is about as tepid as the black. I did, however, get a lot of mana-fixing lands across all four colors
so maybe I can just have it all?

Here’s what I pull together:

After putting the deck together, I proclaim to my draft-mates that this is either a trainwreck or genius. Well, four rounds later I’ve won all my matches
and boldly stake out my place on the genius side of the line. I was obviously quite happy with the results, and the two times I drew Ojutai I was able to
play her early enough to take over the game. I was also very pleased with the manifest cards, which impressed me in Sealed Deck and did quite nicely in
Draft too.

I haven’t had a chance to play my Villainous Wealth deck with Fate Reforged in the mix yet, so I figured this week I’m back with another sweet Commander
brew featuring the wicked cool Sultai ancestor Khan Tasigur, the Golden Fang!

Plots Within Plots

So what does a Commander deck built around Tasigur, the Golden Fang want to do? First off there’s delve, which opens up the possibility of playing Tasigur
really early in the game. Maybe not super-early, but early enough to cast him and also have mana up for at least one activation before opponents try and
kill him off. So we’d want throwaway cards to fill up the graveyard early and often to fuel that delve. We’ll also want to have plenty of mana lying around
to activate the mill/draw ability, and we’ll want ways to take advantage of having cards milled from the library to the graveyard even if they aren’t cards
your opponent are going to be putting in your hand.

Lastly, we’ll need to remember who we’re dealing with:

Tasigur, the Golden Fang is the young, pampered heir to the Sultai fortune. Pale and slender, he is a hedonist who indulges in cruel pleasures and
spares no thought for ruling his realm. He is usually carried about the palace on an ornate platform borne by zombies.

Cruel pleasures, huh? I’ll need to work in some evil plot twists into this story…

Delve Mana

Misty Rainforest, Polluted Delta, Verdant Catacombs, Bloodstained Mire, Marsh Flats, Evolving Wilds, Terramorphic Expanse, Barren Moor, Polluted Mire,
Lonely Sandbar, Remote Isle, Slippery Karst, Tranquil Thicket, Lotus Petal, Urza’s Bauble, Mishra’s Bauble, Nihil Spellbomb, Brainstorm, Insist, Crop Rotation, Ponder, Preordain

When thinking about how to load the graveyard for delve we can take an obvious lesson from Standard-fetchlands! I included each of the ones that can search
up two of our colors, and then I nabbed the other two that can find a Swamp to pay for the colored mana cost for Tasigur. The cycling lands are pretty cool
in here too, since they draw a card while providing a virtual mana in the graveyard for delve cards. Lotus Petal seemed cool-pop it off for a mana and then
it gives you another mana for delve now or later. Crop Rotation is like a modal Dark Ritual in a deck with delve spells. I tossed in some Baubles and Nihil
Spellbomb as cheap ways to fill the graveyard with cantrips, and speaking of cantrips, it seems like Brainstorm, Ponder, and Preordain are great for
finding shenanigans as well as fueling delve.

Real Mana

Gaea’s Cradle, Exploration, Burgeoning; Azusa, Lost but Seeking; Frontier Siege; Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro; Seedborn Muse, Prophet of Kruphix

One interesting thing to keep in mind regarding Tasigur’s ability is that your opponent cannot give you lands, so if you raise the density of lands in your
deck, you can narrow the choices for your opponent. Playing a lot of lands in the deck also pays off by giving you more mana to activate Tasigur’s ability,
so building the deck with this in mind seems like a win-win. To take advantage of a higher land density, I decided to play with accelerants like
Exploration, Burgeoning, and Azusa, Lost but Seeking. Seedborn Muse and Prophet of Kruphix are insanely powerful cards that scale with each opponent, and
getting to use all your mana during each player’s turn to activate Tasigur is pretty crazy. Lastly, Tasigur is a shaman, so Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro
allows him to tap for half the mana he needs for an activation.

Graveyard Resources

Academy Ruins, Petrified Field, Volrath’s Stronghold, Life from the Loam, Narcomoeba, Crucible of Worlds, Eternal Witness; Hua Tuo, Honored Physician;
Sidisi, Brood Tyrant

Everyone is aware that the graveyard can be a powerful resource, and since Tasigur is milling cards from our library into our graveyard, we can take
advantage of that. Academy Ruins, Volrath’s Stronghold, and Hua Tuo, Honored Physician can take cards we want to draw and put them back on top of our
library. Narcomoeba can be put into play for free if it’s milled, and while one Narcomoeba isn’t exactly a card to write home about, the little fellow can
provide a decent blocker that you can keep coming back with Volrath’s Stronghold and Tasigur shenanigans. Crucible of Worlds and Life from the Loam can
keep the land drops flowing from lands milled into the graveyard, and Life from the Loam makes a good engine with one of the cycling lands I’ve put in the

Sharpening the Golden Fang

Training Grounds, Elixir of Immortality, Sylvan Library, Scroll Rack, Illusionist’s Bracers, Disciple of Deceit, Reito Lantern

To help our young hedonist overindulge, we can help shave the two colorless mana off his activation with Training Grounds. Illusionist’s Bracers lets you
copy the ability, and you can use the inspire ability of Disciple of Deceit to turn an innocuous card your opponent gives back to you into just the right
card in your deck that has the same converted mana cost. Sylvan Library and Scroll Rack can help manage the top of your deck so you’re milling what you
want with Tasigur and drawing what you want from your library. I like Elixir of Immortality as a way to shuffle your graveyard back into your deck if your
graveyard gets a little too filled with chaff, and your opponents aren’t giving you good stuff with Tasigur.

Exile Shenanigans

Riftsweeper, Food Chain, Misthollow Griffin, Murderous Cut, Torrent Elemental, Dig Through Time, Empty the Pits

Delve means exiling cards, and there are two blue cards that don’t mind being exiled-the brand new Torrent Elemental as well as Misthollow Griffin.
Everyone knows Misthollow Griffin does silly things with Food Chain, and since we can play green might as well put Food Chain in the deck too. Just know
that Torrent Elemental doesn’t combo like that with Food Chain-you can’t cast Torrent Elemental from exile, so the mana you get from feeding it to Food
Chain can’t be used to bring Torrent Elemental back from exile, but you can use the mana to cast other creature spells and bring Torrent Elemental back
later with its activated ability.

Depleting the Library

Laboratory Maniac, Time Warp, Walk the Aeons, Villainous Wealth

With Tasigur’s ability milling your own library, other delve cards exiling cards from your graveyard, and permanents that can put cards back into your
library, the potential exists to shrink your deck down to just a few key cards you can draw over and over. One thing that’s interesting to think about is
that, with enough mana, you can put your whole deck in the graveyard, and then eventually use Tasigur’s ability to put every non-land card in the graveyard
into your hand. One way to win in that scenario is Laboratory Maniac. Being able to keep casting a large Villainous Wealth each turn ought to be able to
put the game away pretty quickly. Another way is to keep casting Time Warp and putting it back as the only card in your library. With Crucible of Worlds
and Azusa, Lost but Seeking you can Walk the Aeons and buy it back each turn. Yeah, I know – I’ve long been a big hater of Time Walk effects and have
argued up and down for their bannings (along with Seedborn Muse), but hey-so long as they’re legal and I’m playing an evil bastard like Tasigur, I’ll grant
the exception here.

So this is what the deck looks like:

Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 01-30-2015
Magic Card Back

In case you missed Temur Sabertooth’s coming out party this weekend, check out the coverage archives for the Starcitygames.com Open in DC. Look for Temur
Ascendancy in the decklists, or check the video footage for the deck tech. Temur Sabertooth does some good work when you’ve got a bunch of mana lying
around, and I think he works nicely in this deck alongside cards like Genesis Hydra and Eternal Witness.

So what do you think? It’s definitely way up on the Spike-o-meter and not really fit for a laid-back casual game, but if your table is full of cutthroats,
maybe this sick Sultai brew could do some damage. Are there any cards you think belong in the deck?

By the way, if you’re a fan of Tasigur-and how can you not be?-check out “Ask Tasigur” over on Tumblr, it’s quite amusing: http://asktasigur.tumblr.com/

New to Commander?

If you’re just curious about the format, building your first deck, or trying to take your Commander deck up a notch, here are some handy links:

Commander write-ups I’ve done
(and links to decklists):

Titania, Protector of Argoth (Titania’s Land and Elemental Exchange)

Reaper King (All About VILLAINOUS WEALTH)

Feldon of the Third Path (She Will Come Back to Me)

Sidisi, Brood Tyrant (Calling Up Ghouls with Sidisi)

Zurgo Helmsmasher (Two Times the Smashing)

Anafenza, the Foremost (Anafenza and Your Restless Dead)

Narset, Enlightened Master (The New Voltron Overlord)

Surrak Dragonclaw (The Art of Punching Bears)

Avacyn, Guardian Angel; Ob Nixilis, Unshackled; Sliver Hivelord (Commander Catchup, Part 3)

Keranos, God of Storms; Marchesa, the Black Rose; Muzzio, Visonary Architect (Commander Catchup, Part 2)

Athreos, God of Passage; Kruphix, God of Horizons; Iroas, God of Victory (Commander Catchup, Journey into Nyx Edition)

Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient (Ghost in the Machines)

Jalira, Master Polymorphist (JaliraPOW!)

Mishra, Artificer Prodigy (Possibility Storm Shenanigans)

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard (All-in Yisan)

Selvala, Explorer Returned (Everyone Draws Lots!)

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden (Cleaning Out the Cellar)

Karona, False God (God Pack)

Child of Alara (Land Ho!)

Doran, the Siege Tower (All My Faves in One Deck!)

Karador, Ghost Chieftain (my Magic Online deck)

Karador, Ghost Chieftain (Shadowborn Apostles & Demons)

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed (GREED!)

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind ( Chuck’s somewhat vicious deck)

Roon of the Hidden Realm (Mean Roon)

Skeleton Ship (Fun with -1/-1 counters)

Vorel of the Hull Clade (Never Trust the Simic)

Anax and Cymede (Heroic Co-Commanders)

Aurelia, the Warleader ( plus Hellkite Tyrant shenanigans)

Borborygmos Enraged (69 land deck)

Bruna, Light of Alabaster (Aura-centric Voltron)

Damia, Sage of Stone ( Ice Cauldron shenanigans)

Emmara Tandris (No Damage Tokens)

Gahiji, Honored One (Enchantment Ga-hijinks)

Geist of Saint Traft (Voltron-ish)

Ghave, Guru of Spores ( Melira Combo)

Glissa Sunseeker (death to artifacts!)

Glissa, the Traitor ( undying artifacts!)

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born (Necrotic Ooze Combo)

Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge ( Suspension of Disbelief)

Johan (Cat Breath of the Infinite)

Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer (replacing Brion Stoutarm in Mo’ Myrs)

Karona, False God (Vows of the False God)

Lord of Tresserhorn (ZOMBIES!)

Marath, Will of the Wild ( Wild About +1/+1 Counters)

Melira, Sylvok Outcast ( combo killa)

Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker ( Outside My Comfort Zone with Milling

Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis (evil and Spike-ish)

Nicol Bolas (Kicking it Old School)

Nylea, God of the Hunt ( Devoted to Green)

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic (Life Gain)

Oona, Queen of the Fae (by reader request)

Phage the Untouchable ( actually casting Phage from Command Zone!)

Phelddagrif (Mean Hippo)

Polukranos, World Eater (Monstrous!)

Reaper King (Taking Advantage of the new Legend Rules)

Riku of Two Reflections (

steal all permanents with
Deadeye Navigator + Zealous Conscripts


Roon of the Hidden Realm ( Strolling Through Value Town)

Ruhan of the Fomori (lots of equipment and infinite attack steps)

Savra, Queen of the Golgari ( Demons)

Shattergang Brothers (Breaking Boards)

Sigarda, Host of Herons ( Equipment-centric Voltron)

Skullbriar, the Walking Grave ( how big can it get?)

Sliver Overlord (Featuring the new M14 Slivers!)

Thelon of Havenwood ( Campfire Spores)

Varolz, the Scar-Striped (scavenging goodness)

Vorosh, the Hunter ( proliferaTION)

Xenagos, God of Revels (Huge Beatings)

Yeva, Nature’s Herald (living at instant speed)