Today, I am going to explain why Tasigur is the best general for any BUG control player wishing to grind any commander pod to a halt and win through ridiculous combo. This list is not a budget list and will include headache-inducing combinations as well as overpowered creatures and cards that can be seen as “unfair.” This deck is all-powerful. Tasigur lets you cast the good cards in your deck as many times as you please (as long as your opponents select them). Let’s get right into it!
Tasigur, the Golden Fang will command this beast of a control deck. This deck rarely casts him for less than 4 mana and requires the pilot to be selfish in order to get exactly what they want. Use Tasigur in combination with cards like Scroll Rack and Sensei’s Divining Top for ultimate library manipulation for each one of his activations. This deck has the ability to cast cards like Damnation, Cryptic Command, and Cyclonic Rift in a loop as long as you can maintain manipulation.
Oh, and Tasigur attacks for 4. He does not die to Mizzium Mortars and, if played with backup, can be the hardest general to remove from the game in any given commander pod.
Let’s take a look at the list before we go over cards, that way we can all be on the same page.
The Golden Fang
The first thing you probably notice about this list is that it’s a “control” list, yet we are playing 20 creatures. Most “control” decks only play around 5 or 6 creatures in favor of some more powerful cards/spells. Our deck loves our graveyard and what better way to establish board presence while working on our combination than to have big dudes in play? Tasigur can even re-buy these cards late game, making decisions often difficult for your opponents. Personally, I am a huge fan of playing creatures that have a massive impact on the board state and recurring them, much like the famous legacy deck “Reanimator.” This deck has a fantastic reanimation package that can help us cast spells in our opponent’s graveyards, double our mana, or even have a massive hand size. The Sultai color pie has so many awesome creatures to choose from that you do not need to worry about making room for other non-creature, non-land cards.
That being said, let’s take a look at what this deck is trying to do.
There is a very funny and fantastic combo piece in this deck named “Laboratory Maniac.” He lets us use the very powerful cards like Doomsday, Enter the Infinite, and Omniscience to simply win the game. Here are a couple likely scenarios you may experience with this deck:
Scenario 1 (ideal scenario): Cast Omniscience, cast Enter the Infinite for free, cast Laboratory Maniac for free after drawing your entire library minus 1 card. Cast any draw spell and win the game.
Scenario 2 (without Omniscience): Cast Doomsday, leaving behind Laboratory Maniac, Pact of Negation, Force of Will, and two draw spells. Use a draw spell in hand to draw Lab Maniac, draw the rest of your library with your other spells and win off of Lab Maniac’s trigger. Keep Force of Will and Pact up for added protection.
This deck can attack for a bunch of damage. Use your spells defensively and attack away with heavy hitters like Grave Titan, Sheoldred, Vorinclex, and Stormtide Leviathan. The best part about these creatures is that they never truly go away with Tasigur. You have the opportunity to get them back again and again. Make your opponents suffer through Stormtide Leviathan and Vorinclex every turn. Hey, it’s really fun for you, right?
Tasigur can also attack 6 times to kill someone, but you probably are not going to do that. Let’s be honest.
Obviously every EDH deck/list should be customized to your liking. This list works very well with some cards you may not be very accustomed to playing with if you typically do not play GBx decks. These are the cards that you should definitely include in your list in order to maximize your profit in game!
Doomsday, Enter The Infinite, Omniscience, and Laboratory Maniac are must haves if you want to run a combo version of this deck. You can also Doomsday for value if you are trying to close out a game. Doomsday is not a very fun card for your opponents.
This card is so sweet. It destroys everything and only costs three mana. Late game you can blow up the world as many times as necessary, since wrath effects just let you clear your graveyard for better cards Tasigur can utilize. Pernicious Deed is also an enchantment. This gives it a lot of added protection since many people do not run lots of targeted enchantment removal aside from one or two cards in their lists.
The ultimate reset button for this deck. Cast Damnation and profit exponentially every single time. The best part about Damnation is that players who are under constant attack can and will give it back to you when you activate Tasigur. It is not as rude as Pernicious Deed which is a huge upside when the politics of the game begin to happen.
Anyone who says Cryptic Command is not a powerful card is a liar. Arguably the most powerful version of the command cycle of cards, Cryptic Command can change the tide of a game in your favor (especially in 4-player + pods). The only problem with this card is that lots of people will not ever want to give it back to you once you wreck their plans with it. Be wise when casting this card.
For some reason all the fun spells in magic cost a lot of mana. This deck runs 40 lands, so the draw spells we have typically will get us there in terms of land drops. However, sometimes you just need to grab some lands out of your deck. I have chosen Wood Elves, Cultivate, and Skyshroud Claim. Wood Elves, Solemn Simulacrum, and Skyshroud Claim can grab non-basics, which is really important to our overall plan. I included Cultivate because I love that card. You can play any other ramp spell. It’s all about preference. I think 4 or 5 ramp spells is ideal for this list.
Cards like Scroll Rack, Sensei’s Divining Top, Brainstorm, Ponder, and Soothsaying help us utilize our Tasigur activations to the utmost degree. Scroll Rack is great for digging and clearing the top of your library. Say you have a lone Damnation in your yard that you want to get back. Put two lands on top of your deck with Scroll Rack before activating Tasigur in order to get your Damnation back with no worries. Activating Tasigur in the blind can be very unfortunate if you desperately need a card back.
I cannot stress this enough. You can bluff Cryptic Command with Tasigur in play all the time. Exile the cards that no longer give you value with Tasigur when you cast him. Do not just throw all your lands in the exile zone for his delve costs. Be sure to utilize his delve as one of his abilities.
Know your deck. Build it to your strengths. I love playing with library manipulation and wrath effects when I play control, so I only included combo-protection counter spells (aside from Cryptic Command). You can use your bounce lands to get an early huge creature in play off of a Reanimate. Most of all, I would encourage you to play slow. Do not kill everything in play constantly. This deck rewards the patient pilot with its kill spells and massive creatures.
I am not playing any planeswalkers. I have tried the list with many different walkers and most of them did not work out the best. If I was going to include a walker, I would include a Jace the Mind Sculptor. His library manipulation is fantastic and he can severely take over a game if he remains unanswered. I do not play him because I feel like he is not powerful enough for a four man pod (he typically only gets to activate once. I would rather play a more powerful removal spell).
Also, there is a noticeable lack of tutors in this list. My playgroup frowns upon tutors. I do not include those for that reason (except if you count Doomsday, but that’s an all-in tutor). I feel like this deck loves to dig and cycle through each card every game. It is a much more rewarding combination win if you dig and dig to assemble it instead of simply searching for the pieces reliably every single game. Remember, EDH is ultimately about having fun. It is a causal format. This list is competitive, but that does not mean it has to be oppressive to your playgroup.
I hope this primer has been of some help to you. I would encourage any control player to give a list similar to this a try. Tasigur is a very rewarding general to pilot if you are greedy, yet patient. Abuse that Attunement for me, it’s one of my favorite cards. Remember to buy all your singles from your local game store!
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