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Commanding Tayam

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Hello folks!

I hope that you are having a peaceful, productive, meritorious, and safe day today. And not necessarily in that order. Today I want to dip into a recent printee from Commander 2020 - Tayam, Luminous Enigma:

Tayam, Luminous Enigma

Here you are! Tayam, brings a lot to the table, and is one of the more popular leaders from Commander 2020. There are already 242 decks registered with Tayam, Luminous Enigma over at EDHREC.com. Tayam nets you the three colors of reanimation, giving you the Abzan clan with three useful colors. You have all of the removal options, along with abilities like card drawing, exiling, land fetching, reanimation a go go, and loads more.

Abzan Battle Priest
Mer-Ek Nightblade
Tuskguard Captain

Abzan is also the color of counter manipulation with a +1/+1 counters matter slate of cards from stuff like Outlast through this trinity of cards that care about counters of the +1/+1 variety on your things.

There are three key dials on Tayam that a deck can lean on:

  1. It puts vigilance counters on things as they arrive to the party. Unlike +1/+1 or similar counters they won't want things like Doubling Season as moving them around is less likely to matter. Note that vigilance is better in multiplayer than in duels as you can swing and keep your defense up against multiple flanks and waves of attack that could otherwise get you down.
  2. For three mana you can pull three counters off of your stuff to trigger its ability. This can pull unwanted counters such as -1/-1s. It cannot work on things that aren't dorks, so you cannot pull off the counters from a Dark Depths or something similar. Nor can you pull them off of one of your high loyalty planeswalkers, and it has to be your stuff, you can't hit foes'. Only your creatures can apply.
  3. The effect that occurs is to bring back a dead permanent of casting cost three or fewer. Note that unlike the previous one, this will work on any permanents in your graveyard, not just creatures. You can recur an artifact, a cheap planeswalker and much more. Land? Sure thing! Also note that said permanent will enter the battlefield, not merely return to your hand for more usages.

Devoted Druid

Now a common build around Tayam is to use Devoted Druid and other cards that place a -1/-1 counter on a dork as a cost and then pull those off and go infinite. Our own Jason Alt did that very thing here last month for y'all.

This build uses a number of similar effects, pulls off the -1/-1 counters with the mana made from them, and wins with a number of combos. Jason's brew is not dissimilar to others made over the last month for other sites as well. Devoted Druid is in 65% of Tayam decks (on EDHREC.com). The only cards played more heavily are Ashnod's Altar, Sol Ring, Command Tower, and Carrion Feeder. It's played more than Swords to Plowshares, Arcane Signet, Gavony Township, and more. You get the idea. That's the big Tayam combo.

I am not going to head down that path. Nope!

What path am I doing?

Let's take a gander!

Birds of Paradise

1a. Vigilance Matters: Tap Abilities

The first path I am going to hew down are those creatures that tap for various effects. They are better with vigilance on them as you can swing, block, and then use them as well for their effect.

1b. Vigilance Matters: Swingers

Commander Eesha

The second half of that path is the branch that looks at swingers who really really, really wanted to have vigilance. The perfect example? Commander Eesha! See how great she is with blocking with her flying and protection from dorks? And she can slip through unblocked for two damage. Well now you can do both!

2. +1/+1 Counters Matter

Spike Weaver

Hello fellow Abzan fans! I am digging into dorks that come with enough counters to have enough of a rush. I am growing up not down. I am Synergy Boy today, not Combo Killing King. We are going to dig deeply into this to matter. Spike Weaver is a great example of where I want to wind up.

3. Recursion Targets

Sakura-Tribe Elder
Commander's Sphere

My final trail I am blazing heads down into recursion city with some self-sacrificing effects that are cheap and powerful. Permanent's such as Sakura-Tribe Elder are great when they can head back out and something like Commander's Sphere can sacrifice for a card repeatedly.

The best place to head to? Multiple places!

Spike Feeder

Hello Spike Feeder! You arrive to the party with two counters, you can pull counters off for life and you are cheap enough to recur. Come on aboard good buddy!

Abzan Falconer

Another example are the outlast leaders I looked at earlier. Abzan Falconer? Cheap enough to recur, gives everyone flying, and has the ability to tap for outlast after it swings in battle making it play well with vigilance. Again, welcome to the party good buddy!

Durable Handicraft
Song of Freyalise

I am also dipping into enchantments that add synergy to the build as well as pal around with other effects. Both Durable Handicraft and Song of Freyalise play into the +1/+1 counter theme as well as come in cheaply and can go away. One dies every few turns and the other can be sacrificed mid or late game for some counters on your crew! Both can then return with an activation of your Tayam. I am also running Omen of the Hunt in here for lands.

Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter
Garruk, Caller of Beasts

Yanggu and Garruk unite! They both are bringing some sweet abilities to the table. I also have Liliana Vess and Ajani Goldmane uniting two of the original planeswalkers and their original printing in Lorwyn. The Maned One can pump up your team nicely with +1/+1 counters for a -1 loyalty and The Veiled One can tutor up a needed card to the top of your library as well as force discards all over. I love this quartet, and Yanggu can return if it dies after you use it three times for counter-age. Enjoy!

Saffi Eriksdotter

Saffi loves you! Saffi saves your life! Love Saffi!

Anafenza, the Foremost

Who wants vigilance? Anafenza the First does! She's cheap and can be recurred, she wants to swing and gives some counters when she does, and loves exiling foes stuff so they cannot recur them. She's awesome! Swing with her and keep her untapped!

And that's a deck!

Ready for my deck? Here you go!

Commanding Tayam | Commander | Abe Sargent


And there you have it. What did you think of my deck? Anything in there you want to try out or anything you think I missed? Just let me know!

P.S. - Ever want to know how I stay positive despite seven years into Huntington's Disease? Find out my two secrets here!

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