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Tribal Alliance


Twitter is a great way to get in touch with me (@jasonealt) for a variety of subject matter. People ask me finance questions. People ask me Commander questions. Sometimes, finance people ask me Commander finance questions.

Jim Casale is a finance writer for MTGPrice, and he recently started a finance YouTube program with a few other finance writers. He also dabbles in Commander, and when he pulled a foil General Tazri at the prerelease, he wondered if a flood of players building the new five-color all-star commander was going to buoy the price a bit. Should he sell now, when supply is the lowest, or wait to see if demand outpaces it?

General Tazri
Well, what do we tell him? Is there a reasonably good Tazri deck? There sure are a lot of trash 6-drop Allies, but are there enough good ones that aren’t at cross-purposes with each other (thanks for literally nothing, Halimar Excavator) to cobble together a decent deck? Moreover, are we going to be able to do something original and creative with Tazri so we can justify her being in a 75% article or are we just going to slap a few good Allies in with forty or so lands that tap for any color, sprinkle in an Urza's Incubator and Coat of Arms for good measure, and call it a day?

If we’re going to do something at all interesting with Tazri, we’re going to have to think about what we like to do with Allies most. To me, abusing those triggers when an Ally comes into play is how we’re going to gain an advantage and win the game. So while we’re having to build tribal, we’re not resorting to it as the only way we can think to build the deck 75%. Instead of focusing on how we’re going to kill our opponents, let’s focus on how we’re going to generate as many Ally triggers as possible (I refuse to acknowledge “rally” as a mechanic name), and we can let killing them take care of itself once we’ve flooded the board and threaten to do it again if someone Wrath of Gods us, but harder this time.

Instead of the typical tribal junk like Coat of Arms and the new Stoneforge Masterwork, I want to devote those slots to Cloudstone Curio and Equilibrium. This is going to be closer to a Reaper King build than a beatdown build, and I refuse to apologize for that. Sometimes, 75% means picking the most fun thing to do and focusing on it. If that thing happens to be the second-most aggressive thing you can do with your creatures, good. You’re still going to be competitive because of all of the advantage you’re going to generate with your stupid triggers, and the best part is that it doesn’t matter which creature you Flicker or bounce because you generate those triggers on every Ally when one comes into play—I mean, except the Allies with cohort, which is a bad ability and is also an ability literally no one asked for. Beyond that, we are going to flash, Flicker, bounce, copy, and cast our way to victory. This is going to be fun.

Reasonably Good Tazri Allies ? Commander | Jason Alt

  • Commander (0)

This is a build I am very happy with. I spent a little too much time on the creatures section before I gave up and realized that part doesn’t matter. You want a few non-Ally support creatures like Eldrazi Displacer and Deadeye Navigator and Mistmeadow Witch to generate those triggers. You also want the utility of Sun Titan and his ability to keep stuff like Curio and Equilibrium around, and you want his synergy with the deck and all of its Flickering shenanigans. You want some powerful Shapeshifters like Taurean Mauler and Chameleon Colossus because they trigger that rally junk and you can use your Mana Echoes mana to drill opponents in the face with Colossus. Beyond that, your Ally package is up to you. You want Bala Ged Thief to go after their hands? Be my guest. You want Mirror Entity? Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief? You want Umara Raptor? It’s your journey. My Ally package represents me getting about halfway to where I wanted to be and giving up. Is that laziness?

Umara Raptor
No, it’s actually the opposite—it is me telling you that you can put whichever Allies in the deck you want if you build it. The Allies I have are fine, and the deck will play fine. It would take time to tweak the list exactly how I want it, but the important thing is that I have the ones I really want to be generating triggers from: Turntimber Ranger, Talus Paladin, and Murasa Pyromancer. The rest are good, but they’re not the cards that make me cackle with glee. You don’t want Sea Gate Loremaster but you do want Ondu Champion? Go to town. There are way more good Allies than there are slots—something that surprised me as I built.

In a typical 75% article, I will stress that we should only include Ally creatures in the deck to limit our card pool, thus forcing us to use the best cards available to use making a limited but still powerful Ally deck fueled by synergy and that helps us resist the urge to tinker and gradually make the deck less 75% as we ramp the power level. However, this week, I don’t want to be strictly tribal because I am focusing on a goal: generate triggers. I want to play all of the Flicker creatures to generate those triggers, and that means playing non-Allies. What makes this deck a good 75% build is you’re focusing on something other than making the best army and attacking because you’re durdling with your creatures, bouncing and Flickering them. You’re going to have a lot of fun doing it. We don’t need to limit our card pool because, instead, we’re focusing on a goal and building toward it. The rest is going to take care of itself.

Cloudstone Curio
The Curio and Equilibrium are key to generating triggers by buying back and recasting cheaper Allies like Taurean Mauler (it counts) and Jwari Shapeshifter. Mimic Vat, March from the Tomb, Patriarch's Bidding, and other cards that can bring back dead Allies help us make sure death doesn’t prevent our best creatures from pitching in. Even Flameshadow Conjuring is on the team, doubling our creatures for maximum effectiveness for a small mana investment. If you want to go deeper, add something like Minion Reflector. I like Flickerform in a deck like this, but almost anything works—False Demise, Gift of Immortality, or anything. You’re a five-color deck, so play what you want. I tended to stick to more reliable cards since this isn’t a budget deck, although most of it is super-affordable. I think Chromatic Lantern is among the most expensive cards in the deck, and that’s a good sign.

I went with pain lands in the mana base because they are effective, affordable, and can tap for colorless mana. We need to be a little more conscious of that now that we’re running Eldrazi Displacer. Maybe I overreacted, but maybe this is the perfect mana base. You have 40 life. Use it. If it’s worth taking a damage in a 20-life format, it’s doubly worth taking a damage in a 40-life format.

Is this deck reasonably good? I think so. Getting the ally creatures right where I want them will take some playtesting, but for now, I’m really happy to be doing shenanigans when I bounce, Flicker, and recast my Allies. I think this is powerful enough to beat decks that are tuned to be competitive with a little skill and a little luck, and I think you’re not going to overwhelm a casual group by bouncing a Murasa Pyromancer with Equilibrium so you can recast it and give your creatures lifelink and indestructible and roast something. They’re mostly going to be having as much fun as you are, and that’s kind of the point.

 . . . You know, until you trample them into powder. Filthy casuals.

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