Allied Command(er)

Posted in Command Tower on December 31, 2015

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

War never changes, but Magic does. There's always something new around the corner, like the wonderful wave of awesome incoming with Oath of the Gatewatch. As a Commander aficionado, I'm constantly looking for a new way to engage in multiplayer mayhem.

Joraga Auxiliary | Art by David Gaillet

Generally, it's a new commander—or "general" for those who have played long enough to remember—that gets me fired up. Today I'm pleased to share what may be the most highly awaited legendary creature in a long time. Meet General Tazri:

This is the definitive Ally commander of choice. While Karona, False God has been around forever, and Munda, Ambush Leader was a three-colors-too-few alternative, General Tazri is the real deal.

  • Although a 3/4 for five mana won't light any fires, it's enough toughness to resist small fries and most burn spells.
  • The enters-the-battlefield trigger is exactly what you want for an Ally leader, rallying another Ally to follow along behind.
  • The full monty of mana required for the final ability isn't just show: pumping all your Ally creatures is one way to secure victory, but more importantly, it defines General Tazri's color identity as all five colors.

You can play every Ally you want with Tazri—and you should! The ability to tutor out whichever Ally you need next is a powerful tool to use over and over. The best way to take advantage of it is to include plenty of Ally creatures that come with some utility attached:

That isn't an exhaustive list of sweet Ally creatures to use, and if you go back into the Lorwyn/Morningtide era you'll find plenty of changeling creatures that can cooperate too:

Going all-in on Ally creatures means a whole host of supports exist for General Tazri. Everything from Patriarch's Bidding and March from the Tomb (to get back those Ally creatures) to Eldrazi Monument and Steely Resolve (to keep our Ally options safe) works together to make a mass of Ally creatures move to victory.

Stybs's General Tazri Commander

Download Arena Decklist
COMMANDER: General Tazri
Planeswalker (1)
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
99 Cards

This deck is rough—and it'll be weeks until we can put it through its paces—but it highlights a good start to making the most of General Tazri:

It's worth mentioning that the mana for a five-color deck has gotten easier over the Magic years. Aside from a few splashy choice rares to add in, Standard can provide plenty of good lands to make things happen. Using enough basic lands and fetch lands means the new duals from Battle for Zendikar (Prairie Stream and friends) work great. If you wanted to downshift, the enters-the-battlefield-tapped-but-gain-1-life lands from Khans of Tarkir/Fate Reforged can supply multicolored options just as well. If you're worried about mana, start with the commons!

Where General Tazri goes from here is up to you. Do you want her to wield powerful Equipment and Auras? Would you like her to become a combo piece based on Xenograft and Conspiracy in a token-focused deck? What other Ally creatures do you want to add to her arsenal of options?

I can't wait to watch someone add all five colors to their mana pool and pump an army into an astronomical, lethal attack. I hope you'll be just as excited to see it too!

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