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Building Tanazir Quandrix in Commander


Hello all! I hope that you are having one of the best days of your life! And if not now then I hope so by the end of this day!

This is my third article for you kind folks featuring a Commander from Strixhaven, today we'll look at another Elder Dragon around which the format was named called Tanazir Quandrix!

Want to check out my first two articles?

  1. First, I built my deck around the Elder Dragon Galazeth Prismari who founded the Prismari School! I added in a ton of artifacts as well as some big spells to cast more easily with his ability to tap any artifact for mana for instants and sorceries. I hope you enjoy it!
  2. Second, I built a fun deck around Killian, Ink Duelist and fellow Strixhaven card Reflective Golem and the copying tandem they'll make! I then created a bunch of self-targeting instants and sorceries which felt much like an Orzhov version of a Feather, the Redeemed list.

Alright folks, let's turn to my newest leader!

Tanazir Quandrix

Here's my fun leader! As you can see, Tanazir Quandrix is a fun and powerful Simic Legendary Creature to build a Commander deck around! He's also the second Elder Dragon I've done with this set! It has double evasion which helps slip past bad guys for damage to their leader or their planeswalker buddy. It's a solid on-curve 4/4 for five mana. When it's first ability arrives, it will double the counters on a single creature. This is best with big fat Hydras or similar cards that have already gone big. Whenever it swings it makes your base creature 4/4 which works well with creatures that are smaller.

Here is how I see Tanazir building.

  • Hydras. The best way is to run a bunch of 0/0 Hydras that arrive to the party with a bunch of X/X counters. They'll get twice as large with Tanazir's arrival ability and get pumped by his latter ability as they are base 0/0. Hydras for the win!
  • Counters Matter. Tanazir cares about counters and Hydras arrive with them so adding in some relevant +1/+1 counter loving is pretty key to making this build work! But not by going wide but going big.
  • Fractals. The same set that gives us the founder of the Quandrix School also has a mascot that is 0/0 but goes big. We'll lean into those as well!
  • Creatures. Know what Fractals and Hydras have in common? They are both creatures with a 0/0 body. We want to go up with those not wide with the tokens, but our leader's second ability is best with a lot of creatures, so let's run a lot of creatures!
  • Support. Here we'll be adding in cards like mana ramp for my X spell Hydras and removal and card drawing and more for the deck!


Fractal Summoning
Body of Research

Let's get started with this pair from Strixhaven! I like them! The first is a great Lesson that can serve as a powerful mana sink making a big fat Fractal! Imagine it here with Tanazir's doubling on arrival! Nasty, right? The second card is another great way of making a fat Player Killer. Your library is usually going to be more than an opponent's life, so it is a one-hit kill, so you'll likely turn Tanazir elsewhere. It's so good that it made my Top Ten Cards of All Time, Article #1, #11-#1. You'll see two other new cards from this build on that list as well! Cough, one is my leader, cough.

Like those Fractal makers above? I have two more bigger ones for your consideration! Leyline Invocation is another powerful sorcery that can make a fat Fractal equal to your land count. That's another great target for your leader on arrival to the battlefield! Then we have Manifestation Sage, which can make a Fractal on arrival to the battlefield that is equal to your hand size. Again, that's a great target by your leader, and I enjoy the very fast on-curve nature of the Sage to add a cool card. Just a basic 4/4 is six power for four mana, pretty good righr?

Fractal Harness
Sequence Engine

Have you seen these artifacts from Commander 2021? Here you go! Both can make a fat Fractal. The former does so when it enters the battlefield. It's just one more mana to set up than our Lesson so it's pretty kicking, and you get a piece of Equipment afterwards. As the equipped creature swings, you'll double its +1/+1 counters! I know! Then don't sleep on the latter card as well which can drop for three mana and then activate for X to make an X-sized Fractal. Now this exiles a dork from a graveyard to use, so it has a limited set of usages, but you can use opposing graveyards and this Fractal is another big one!

Commander 2021 also has the awesome Simic sorcery Oversimplify that acts as a creature brake. Exile everything everyone has of a creature persuasion. It's getting answered no matter what and no amount of hexproof or indestructible will help! Go away, Heroic Intervention! What was the total power of their dorks? Then they make a Fractal dork that is that size. You'll likely have a player killer with a few Fractals or Hydras plus your other stuff. It's really good here!

I am only running three planeswalkers in my build. Kasmina, Enigma Sage is one of them. Can you see why? Her +2 is fine with the scrying, but she's here for the -X which could be solid after a few +2s to get your scry on! She pretty synergetic here, right? Right!

Kianne, Dean of Substance

Check out this modal card of love! Kianne, Dean of Substance can tap and exile a card from your library and if you have a land and draw it or else put a study counter on it. Then later you can invest five mana and make a Fractal that's the size of the study counters's mana cost. Pretty nice right? And then we have the Abraham version, (which is my name, intentionally misspelled). You get a nice four-mana, three-mana Phantom Monster, and you can tap down a Braingeyser amount of mana. You put a lot of cards with study counters on them and then you can draw one such card! Want to draw something you already exiled with a study counter? You can! Pretty good card, right? I think you'll tend for the first side here, but don't sleep on the other side.

Alright let's move to Hydras!

Voracious Hydra

Have you seen the Goat Hydra? I like it here a lot a lot! It can be pretty big on its own as it just has one mana before the X. Then when you swing at a foe, they can spend two mana to send it elsewhere and grow in size. Then that person spends mana and sends it somewhere else. That keeps going! It's like a hot potato. Love it here! And then have you seen the other Hydra? When it arrives, you can double its counters! And then you can double them again with Tanazir Quandrix! Great right? Or you can fight someone instead and net card advantage with creature kill. It works either way here! Love this Hydra duo!

Wildwood Scourge
Steelbane Hydra

Here are some more Hydras! The Scourge can also drop for cheap mana and it's Standard-legal, which is pretty cool. I like the ability to add counters to it as you add counters elsewhere to things like Fractals! Check out the Steelbane one! It's another big Hydra and it adds to your powerful force, and your removal section as you can swap a +1/+1 counter for an artifact or enchantment. I adore it here!

How about one more Hydra? Let's look at the most impactful Hydra ever made, Hydroid Krasis! This bad boy dominated Standard. It's pretty good with a certain Quandrix founder as well! You get a cast trigger that will fire even if it was countered. You gain some life and draw some cards and you net a flying, trample, force of Jellyfish Hydra and Beast nature! Double evasion for the cause! I think highly of it here!

Let's turn to supporting cards!

Quandrix Cultivator
Acidic Slime

Check out this fun pair! The first is another great ramping body for Simic colors and you can add it as a great way to ramp that land onto the battlefield. I like the Cultivator a lot here! Acidic Slime is here too! I am giving it a shout out as a fun 2/2 that becomes 4/4 when your leader swings, and that's pretty cool. We have a lot of expected creature-based support in here like Mulldrifter and Eternal Witness that are pretty good.

Fathom Mage
Armorcraft Judge

Check out this duo of +1/+1 loving fun times! The Human Wizard is solid here as a great method of card drawing over time. As you add counters to it with evolve you net those sweet cards. Considering the size of your Hydras and Fractals and leader, that's a lot of evolving! The Elf Artificer on the other hand nets you a bunch of cards at once! I tossed in a few support cards like Fertilid and Spike Weaver that play into this space. The card drawing is awesome with this duo!

Check out the bad boy Herald of Secret Streams! Nasty right? All your game-winning Fractals and Hydras are now unblockable! I love this with Body of Research! It's pretty powerful here right? Right? Right? Right!

Reshape the Earth
Nylea's Intervention

Check out these! This Commander Legends mythic rare breaks the game so much!! Ten lands of any style for just nine mana? Nasty! It will really fuel a broken Genesis Hydra or Mistcutter Hydra. We don't have that much flying other than our leader so feel free to sweep the sky with the Intervention. You can also just use it to tutor for a few lands here and there, and again, they don't have to be basic! It's a pretty powerful X sorcery in this build for the ramping fun times to commence!

Check out Simic Ascendancy! I don't have many in here that aren't obvious like Doubling Season. But this can be a strong win-con as you toss counters onto creatures! This will let you draw cards, turn creatures into bigger unblockable ones, add to the size of a Fractal or Hydra, toss growth counters on itself for winning and does a lot here! Since the trigger will put a bunch of growth counters on it you can win the game by dropping a 20+/20+ Fractal like that made by Body of Research. I love it here!

Let's finish with looking at a trio of lands!

Novijen, Heart of Progress
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
Littjara Mirrorlake

I really did a deep dive into lands that care about +1/+1 counters and I tossed them all into my build including this pair! I really like them here as they can enable your team to counter up which is great for cards like Armorcraft Judge and Herald of Secret Streams. Note that they will put counters on foes' stuff so make sure to time them properly. It's pretty cool!

Do you see this uncommon card from Kaldheim? It'll tap for that sweet Blue mana and then you can sacrifice it to copy a target creature you control save it arrives with a +1/+1 counter. Eternal Witness? Reclamation Sage? Mulldrifter? Note that this can only be done at sorcery speed, but it's pretty nifty. I like it lots here!

Alright, enough with the deep dive. Let's look at the build proper!

Tanazir Quandrix | Commander | Abe Sargent

And there we go! I hope that you enjoyed our deck today and look at another Elder Dragon! Anything in here that I missed or that you like? Just let me know!

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