Tasigur, The Ultimate Master

Tasigur isn’t one of the most money cards from the new Masters set, but there’s still plenty of powerful things he can do! Check out the new build that Bennie is using to resurrect this old favorite!

The full card list for
Ultimate Masters
is out, and there are some incredibly sweet reprints for fans of all
formats. There are certainly plenty of cards Commander fans are happy to
see reprinted, in the hopes of the prices going down or to perhaps pick up
cool new artwork. Maybe even a box topper if we’re lucky! I’m certainly in
the market to pick up another copy or two of Ancient Tomb, Glen Elendra
Archmage, Creeping Tar Pit, Balefire Dragon, or Karn Liberated. And I
wouldn’t mind finally getting my hands on a copy of Snapcaster Mage and new
art versions of Phyrexian Tower, Mana Vault, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, and
Dark Depths!

But when it comes to reprinted commanders, I was a little surprised how few
there were, and of those few, I thought that Tasigur, the Golden Fang was
an odd inclusion. I mean, there is a ton of value in Ultimate Masters to be sure, but if someone is playing the lottery
and just buying a couple booster packs, having $1 Tasigur showing up as the
rare in one of the packs is going to be a pretty big disappointment.

However, if you’re a fan of Commander and have never built a deck around
Tasigur, the Golden Fang, picking up a copy of the new artwork for cheap is
a great excuse for building a fun and powerful deck.

The Sultai color combination covers a lot of ground in Commander, with
green’s mana acceleration and fixing, blue’s control elements, and black’s
removal. And there are a ton of fantastic creatures to choose from. Plus, Guilds of Ravnica has given us a lot of sweet new toys that like
to play with the graveyard that Tasigur loves to plunder, so it’s a
fantastic time to revisit this gem from Fate Reforged!

Mana Ramp

The first order of business is mana ramp. Tasigur isn’t cheap at six mana,
and even though we have delve to discount the mana cost, we’re not always
going to want to exile tons and tons of cards from our graveyard. We’re
also going to want plenty of mana to activate Tasigur’s ability to give us
raw card advantage over the course of the game. Green gives us a ton of
mana acceleration here with cards like Cultivate and Mana Reflection. I
recently traded for Mana Drain so that goes right in here along with Plasm
Capture and Spell Swindle to give us a temporary infusion of mana. Training
Grounds does good work here by discounting Tasigur’s activation by two
generic mana.

Graveyard Shenanigans

Since Tasigur will be filling out graveyard, let’s leverage that into other
sorts of graveyard shenanigans. Lazav, the Multifarious can turn into a
copy of any good creatures that end up in the graveyard. Muldrotha, the
Gravetide can let us play permanents out of the graveyard, while the
transformed version of Jace, Vryn’s ProdigyJace, Telepath Unbound
along with Mission Briefing lets us cast instants or sorceries from the

Play with Exile

One of my all-time favorite cards is Villainous Wealth, and since we’re
playing a Sultai deck with lots of mana acceleration, I definitely want to
find room for that card. But wait-there are a ton of cool cards in this
color combination that play cards from exile in various ways, so why not
lean heavily into this theme to give it some interesting flavor? I’m
particularly looking forward to seeing what a lategame Mnemonic Betrayal
can do!

Shaman Stuff

Since Tasigur is a Shaman who likes a lot of mana, it occurred to me that
Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro would be handy, letting Tasigur tap for mana to
fuel his own ability. Thornbite Staff can equip to Tasigur or any Shaman
for free, and lets you untap it whenever a creature dies. I have visions of
having Sachi and Training Grounds out with Tasigur equipped with Thornbite
Staff, and whenever a creature dies you can tap Tasigur for two green mana,
activate its ability, and then untap it to the trigger and be ready to do
it again.

Card Draw/Selection

Tasigur provides us with card drawing, but why stop there? Let’s draw all
the cards! Let’s do crazy stuff like combine Underrealm Lich and Sylvan
Library, or Doom Whisperer with The Gitrog Monster!


It’s always good to have plenty of removal options, and Sultai gives us a
lot to choose from. I’m particularly happy to have a bunch of destroy
effects to pair up with Dead Man’s Chest. I also like having both
Imprisoned in the Moon and Song of the Dryads for problematic cards that
can otherwise be difficult to deal with.

Sultai Goodstuff

We’ll round things out with a little bit of permission and a few other
utility/good stuff cards for Sultai.

Sweet deck! But wait, there are too many cards. I’ll start by looking at
our mana curve:

1 mana: 10

2 mana: 15

3 mana: 14

4 mana: 12

5 mana: 8

6 mana: 6+commander

7+ mana/X-spells: 4

70 total cards plus 39 lands equal 9 cards too many, which isn’t too bad!
Let’s see what we can trim.

At the top of the curve I think I prefer the selection of Dig Through Time
over the raw card drawing of Treasure Cruise in this deck. I ended up not
including any particularly potent land cards so Ulvenwald Hydra isn’t
super-useful other than just an expensive ramp spell with a big body
attached. Lurking Predators is awesome and everything, but some tough cuts
need to be made.

I like all of these cards, but I feel their effect is either redundant to
other cards or it’s rather weak on the power scale. Ice Cauldron is a pet
card of mine that I wanted to fit in here, but it needs more untap effects
than I want to include.

For the last two cuts, Assassin’s Trophy is probably the worst of my
removal options, especially since some of the cards I’m including that will
snatch cards my opponents own will likely grab removal spells. And I don’t
have enough cards that want a reusable sacrifice target to really want
Bloodsoaked Champion too badly, so that ends up being my last cut.

Here’s how the deck ended up:

Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 11-26-2018
Magic Card Back

So, what do you think? What sort of cuts do you disagree with? Are there
any cards that I overlooked?

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Deck Database

Below I’ve got links to decks I’ve written about going back to January
2017. If you want to read the associated article, just put “Bennie Smith”
and the commander name into the Google and it should pop right up. I’ve
written a lot about Commander – and Magic in general – so if you want to
explore further the

StarCityGames.com article archives

have my articles all the way back to January 2000!

Guilds of Ravnica

Niv Mizzet, Parun

Emmara, Soul of the Accord


Lazav, the Multifarious (decklist in the comments)


Tajic, Legion’s Edge


Etrata, the Silencer


Izoni, Thousand-Eyed

Commander 2018

Aminatou, the Fateshifter


Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

, Lord Windgrace,
Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer

Core Set 2019

Sai, Master Thopterist


Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma


Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire


Chromium, the Mutable


Grothama, All-Devouring


Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle

, Grand Warlord Radha
, Arvad the Cursed,

Muldrotha, the Grave Tide


Slimefoot, the Stowaway


Yargle, Glutton of Urborg

, Squee, the Immortal

Firesong and Sunspeaker


Jodah, Archmage Eternal

Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker

Masters 25

Hannah, Ship’s Navigator

Rivals of Ixalan

Azor, the Lawbringer

, Etali, Primal Storm

Nezahal, Primal Tide


Zacama, Primal Calamity


Tetzimoc, Primal Death


Zetalpa, Primal Dawn


Ghalta, Primal Hunger


Grusilda, Monster Masher


Dr. Julius Jumblemorph


Vona, Butcher of Magan


Tishana, Voice of Thunder


Admiral Beckett Brass


Gishath, Sun’s Avatar

Commander 2017

Nazahn, Revered Bladesmith


Inalla, Archmage Ritualist


Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist


O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami


Mairsil, the Pretender


Taigam, Ojutai Master

Hour of Devastation

Razaketh, the Foulblooded

, Zur, the Enchanter
(Mummy’s Curse),

Djeru, With Eyes Open

, The Locust God, Karona, False God
(All the Deserts),Nicol Bolas, Neheb, the Eternal


Oketra the True

Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun

, Atogatog
(Cartouches & Trials),

Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons


Samut, Voice of Dissent


Rhonas the Indomitable

, Hazoret the Fervent

Kaladesh Block

Yahenni, Undying Partisan

, Nicol Bolas, Child of Alara (5
Color Energy),

Rishkar, Peema Renegade


Kari Zev, Skyship Raider


Sram, Senior Edificer

Commander 2016

Breya, Etherium Shaper


Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice


Tymna the Weaver // Ravos, Soultender

Other Commander Decks

Anafenza, the Foremost

(shutting down shenanigans),

Momir Vig, Simic Visionary

(no green creatures),

Kytheon, Hero of Akros

(Tribal Gideon)

Commander Strategy

Let’s Talk About Lands

Who Should I Attack?

Targeted Removal in Commander