Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Tasigur, The Golden Fang:Sultai Might"

"The Big Banana Himself"
"Tasigur, The Golden Fang:Sultai Might"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

One of the first boosters I opened from Fate Reforged contained a Palace Siege and another card which like a True Sultai  Khan came with a Zombie token. At the back of the rare Palace Siege came the shining Foil version of Tasigur , The Golden Fang. I was simply whooping it up because this card was on one of my priority lists. The Sultai Khan from a thousand years ago may not be a zombie producer like Sidisi but he sure packs a punch. Costing 5 generic mana and a single black one the 4/5 frame is something that you might pass up after all there are other creatures worth less mana that has the same power level.

However a 4/5 creauture for one black mana on your second turn seems like something that you would want to play with right? Magic Players don't even see the 5 colorless mana. All they see is the one black that they would have to pay. In the Modern Format , You could use Tome Scour on turn one to mill 5 cards from your own library and voila , turn two play a swamp to have your Tasigur , The Golden Fang threatening early on your side of the board. And if your opponents decide to take care of this Sultai Khan early there are bound to be 3 more copies in your deck anyway. The one copy they just killed(assuming they did not exile it of course) would also add fuel to the other copies delve counts .

For Standard , well it could be a lot slower and more painful because of the fetchlands that you would use to delve.The trick though is in getting the right amount of mana. So one of the ideals plays would go like this:

Turn#1 Play Polluted Delta , Crack for a Swamp , play Thoughtseize or Despise. - Cards in Graveyard:2
Turn#2 Play another Polluted Delta , Crack for another Swamp and hopefully you have another Thoughtseize or Despise or a sign in blood. Cards in Graveyard:4
Turn#3 Play a land. Pay 2 mana and then delve 4 cards.To have a 4/5 menacing creature into play. 

While aggro players would want Tasigur , The Golden Fang coming down and dealing damage pretty early there are those who would rather control the battlefield first and then have him come down to deal some pain. The delve cost could also mean that you could have extra mana open to counter any removal that would take Tasigur away or even have an answer to other permission players counters.

"Monkeys and Bananas...I sense a theme"
While Tasigur is comparable to another Sultai creature , Hooting Mandrills in the power department(and it is a joy to play in Standard Pauper) the 4 mana activated ability adds a lot more value to Tasigur. His ability lets you put 2 cards from your library to the graveyard and an opponent chooses a non-land card from your graveyard to return to your hand. The advantage of this ability is that this sets up another 2 cards as a  "Delve resource" later on while at the same time allows you to essentially "Draw" a card from your graveyard. It is card advantage plain and simple. Talk about the Sultai abusing every resource. 

Your opponents gets to choose a non-land card to return to your hand after the ability activated so this means that any card he or she chooses would be a useful card. Either a creature that you need to go back into play or a spell to draw cards or to remove a threat. Before playing this ability you could also narrow down the list of choices for your opponents by using Delve to power out a Necropolis Fiend or other delve spells and then leaving the desired non-land card in the graveyard. All you need to do now is cross your fingers that you would self-mill two land cards with Tasigurs ability or that you get to mill the same desired card so that in either scenario you get the card that you want. A card like this perhaps?

Tasigur the Golden Fang also makes history in the EDH format because he is the first commander with the Delve mechanic. Now this is significant when he gets sent back to the Command zone and has an additional Commander Tax of two colorless mana on him. Apparently you could use delve to lower down his casting cost as well. With the way that his ability works chances are there would be tons of cards in your graveyard for him to keep coming back without any mana spent at all. Except for the one black mana of course. This is still Delve and not Convoke.

As of this writing Tasigurs price has skyrocketted. The foil card that keeps looking at me, hinting that I should make another Sultai EDH deck again is now priced at 30 dollars apiece. How is that for a luck pack Draw?

Delve is something of a surprise hit and the coming weeks will tell us if this Khan commander is just riding a wave of hype or maybe the next big thing in standard and other formats.

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