Strategy and Themes

This is a dredge/ self-mill deck that focuses on politics and some light control. Most of the win conditions involve getting massive creatures into play, and eventually killing people with them - that is, once half the table has killed itself. If played right, no one should be trusting anybody, and everyone should have some grudge against everyone else - maybe you, maybe not. Depends on how sharp your opponents are.

Flavor: Brooding schemer, cunning diplomat, and master spellcaster in equal measure.

Dredge: Tasigur should be constantly putting cards into your graveyard from your library, but he doesn't rely on just one avenue for dredge. There are many ways to fill a graveyard.

The Devil's Dues: Tasigur must have opponents owing him favors in order to get the cards he requires from his graveyard whenever he needs them, and those favors must be at least somewhat substantial. If he is lucky, people will actually be grateful for the help, and see him as a temporary ally. Lovely!

One should be meticulous about keeping track of exactly how many favors he or she is handing out, to whom, and what they were. That way, when it comes time to get a card out of your graveyard with Tasigur's ability, you can call in that favor and have an indebted opponent choose which card you get back. If they go back on their deal, they'll look very bad in front of everyone else at the table, and everyone will know that opponent can't be trusted. You won't get the card you wanted, but you may just get something even better. Delicious!

Of course, if you are asking for something that is ridiculously skewed in your favor/ will screw over everybody but you, the rest of the table won't feel bad for you at all when you get a land returned to your hand. In fact, they'll feel solidarity with the opponent who just screwed you over. Don't want that! Get power cards back via your own methods. Get utility cards back via favors. Constantly be playing politics.

Political Scheming: The goal of all these favors and ploys is not to make friends - it is to manipulate the board state in a way that turns people against themselves, and not you. Tasigur wants to watch his enemies dismantle each others' strategies, aided by a little nudge here, a little favor there, until, like a viper, he is ready to strike.

sanctum of mystic scheming

Specifics

Favors for "Friends": There are plenty of cards in here that allow Tasigur to trade a favor for a favor. Some are obvious, while others are subtle. Spectral Searchlight is no Darksteel Ingot, but it allows Tasigur to grants possibly "game-saving" mana to a color-screwed opponent down on their luck Asceticism, Skullwinder, Nullmage Advocate , Kaseto, Orochi Archmage, Djinn of Infinite Deceits, Amphin Pathmage , the Vow enchantments, and other tools can all be applied directly for favors. Do keep in mind that there are plenty of other ways to gain favors that have nothing to do with casting a spell, and many of these tools can also be applied to Tasigur's own benefit.

Schemes: Necrotic Plague, Crown of Doom, Djinn of Infinite Deceits, and other tools are great ways of sowing discord among players. Again, aside from the myriad ways of doing so without actually casting anything.

Recycling: With all of the dredging and mass removal that should be happening, there shall be a number of useful cards just rotting away in graveyards. Body Double, Beacon of Unrest, Havengul Lich, Regrowth, Deadbridge Chant, Life from the Loam, and others take care of creatures and lands. Living Lore , Sins of the Past , and Spelltwine allow you to cast those massive sorcery spell for free once your ramped-up land base has cast them normally.

You'll Regret It: Sometimes schemes aren't enough to discourage opponents from messing with you. Dread, Propaganda, Executioner's Capsule, Hissing Miasma and the like will do the trick.

Graveyard Sculpting: Sometimes Tasigur must force opponents to make the right choice, and this is done by removing the wrong choices from your graveyard. The Mimeoplasm, Scavenging Ooze, Deathrite Shaman, Necropolis Fiend , and others allow for fewer choices for a possibly bitter opponent late game. Riftsweeper and Torrent Elemental can let you bounce back somewhat from all of the exiling.

Benevolent Exterminator: When playing the long game, there always come points when killing most of the permanents on the board is necessary. Creeping Corrosion, Deadly Tempest, Life's Finale, Living Death, Necromantic Selection, and Plague Wind are there for you, but one should take care not to anger too many people with board wipes.

Thus we come to Asceticism, a great political card. It can regenerate any creature, including those about to get destroyed by one of your own board wipes. Let troublesome creatures die while saving at least one minion for each player, and board wipes will not be nearly as politically harmful. Nullmage Advocate , Pulse of Murasa , Skullwinder etc. are other ways - and cheaper ways - to lessen the bitterness against you.

Final Blows: Massive or potentially massive creatures like Lord of Extinction, The Mimeoplasm, Rakshasa Vizier , Living Lore , and whatever you reanimate from other people's graveyards will be coming into play late game. These can help you win, but only if you can punch through defenses. This is where Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord, Rogue's Passage, Amphin Pathmage , and Kaseto, Orochi Archmage (the later being dangerous even by himself with all the ramp in the deck) become valuable finishers. Even without your own huge creatures, pairing targeted unblockability with Dulcet Sirens (assuming an opponent has a massive creature or, better yet, commander) is a fun way to get the job done.

When all else fails, a couple rounds off Baneful Omen s can certainly do the trick with enough defenses.

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