Tithe Taker is finally here.
The two-drop you’ve always wanted, but maybe didn’t know you did.
Seriously, I haven’t been this happy to slip a two-drop into my deck since
Stoneforge Mystic entered Standard from Worldwake.
None of these have been hitting the mark as far as white two-drops go.
After Adanto Vanguard there were slim pickings. White’s been hungry for a
“generically good” piece to the puzzle.
Ajani has been wanting something great to get back with the -2. If your
Adanto Vanguard got removed, chances are it was exiled. Tithe Taker is a
creature you don’t mind getting killed, and it does a great job blocking
for your Ajani.
Tithe Taker is a great spell to lead on. If your opponent leaves up just
enough mana for a counterspell, a Chemister’s Insight, or a removal spell
like Vraska’s Contempt they’ll be forced to act with Tithe Taker on the
Speaking of stack, multiple Tithe Takers work well together. Your opponent
will have a rough time doing anything outside of blocking on your turn when
you have two or more Tithe Takers on the battlefield.
Instead of maindecking Tocatli Honor Guard, we can now slip in Tithe Taker,
which has the added benefit of working quite nicely with Divine Visitation.
With Tithe Taker out, it’s less likely for Legion Warboss to die before it
makes a token. The path to resolving a good Heroic Reinforcements will be
clearer now too.
Again, we see tokens gain a boost from Tithe Taker providing some
interaction while providing insulation against sweepers. You can block
early while still maintaining a creature count for your convoke cards like
Conclave Tribunal, Venerated Loxodon, and March of the Multitudes.
- 4 Adanto Vanguard
- 4 Skymarcher Aspirant
- 4 Snubhorn Sentry
- 4 Benalish Marshal
- 4 Dauntless Bodyguard
- 4 Venerated Loxodon
- 3 Tithe Taker
- 20 Plains
The more a format expands from additional sets entering the format, the
stronger mono-color decks get. Eventually the consistency starts to
outweigh the power gained from splashing.
Maybe Experimental Frenzy is still worth it, or maybe the added strength
that Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants got from Tithe Taker entering the format
will push out the need for a splash color.
Tithe Taker Is A Human
- 3 Meddling Mage
- 4 Noble Hierarch
- 4 Phantasmal Image
- 4 Champion of the Parish
- 3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
- 4 Mantis Rider
- 4 Reflector Mage
- 4 Thalia's Lieutenant
- 3 Kitesail Freebooter
- 1 Militia Bugler
- 4 Tithe Taker
While I was in Play Design at Wizards of the Coast, a question was
proposed: Should Tithe Taker be a Human?
Modern Humans was on the rise and poised to be the deck to beat. Eventually
it was decided that it wasn’t worth constantly doing a “Modern Humans
check” with every Human printed down the line. Good news for Modern Humans
Heck, the back half of Tithe Taker is a Spirit too. Could it be something
that Bant Spirits wants in its sideboard? Probably.
Get Them Fetchlands
Tithe Taker has similarities to Grand Abolisher. The key difference is
Grand Abolisher doesn’t mess with fetchlands while Tithe Taker does.
Now, when you tap your Aether Vial on your turn, the opponent needs to
wonder if they need to crack their fetchland immediately. The threat of
Tithe Taker also puts pressure on opposing instants, like Opt, or removal
spells like Path to Exile or Lightning Bolt. In an Aether Vial standoff, a
Tithe Taker can shut off their potential Aether Vial activation. Against
Bant Spirits, they have to fire off their Collected Company before Tithe
Taker hits. Also their Selfless Spirit and Mausoleum Wanderer now cost a
mana to activate.
The list of activated abilities and instant-speed spells in Modern that
Tithe Taker affects is quite long. I expect Tithe Taker to see play in
Modern sideboards for years to come.
- 4 Mother of Runes
- 4 Flickerwisp
- 4 Stoneforge Mystic
- 1 Mirran Crusader
- 1 Phyrexian Revoker
- 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
- 2 Recruiter of the Guard
- 1 Sanctum Prelate
- 1 Palace Jailer
- 3 Tithe Taker
- 13 Plains
- 4 Wasteland
- 3 Karakas
- 4 Rishadan Port
Expect Tithe Taker to be a force in Legacy too. Just look what Tithe Taker
can possibly affect in the mirror.
We’re talking about a format that’s really dense in countermagic and
fetchlands as well. Brainstorming at end of turn now has an enormous cost
with Tithe Taker in the mix.
There are more than just fetchlands to affect in Legacy. Maze of Ith and
Thespian’s Stage are a couple that pop into mind.
Casting Tithe Taker puts a ton of pressure on the opponent to act
immediately. In Legacy where small edges and smart responses are key, Tithe
Taker looks very strong.