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You would think so, wouldn't you? In fact, both of those cards have seen play in this list even but a few revisions ago. Let me go through my deckbuilding philosophy a little bit (hopefully I'm not repeating myself from other comments too much!) and hopefully be able to explain why those cards got cut.
What is the biggest problem with Sasaya as a commander? Well, to be brutally honest, she's frequently prone to just, you know, not doing anything. Playing Sasaya in a non-competitive EDH setting (competitive has both the cheap interaction and the speed to make Sasaya a non-issue) is like a Shahrazad /Archenemy subgame, where three or so other players need to successfully both deal with you, the combo player, while also hamstringing each other just enough to go on to win afterwards (it's for this reason, I've found, that aggressive decks see their win rates rise massively in games where Sasaya is eliminated) This isn't helped by the deck's lack of interaction or the fact that almost every creature in the deck either sacrifices itself or is more optimal (perhaps even only playable!) during the combo turn. A single discard spell can set you back years as you struggle to find action or the necessary lands to turn on that action in the first place.
To that end, effects like Seek the Horizon look appealing, don't they? Three lands for one card? That's basically Harmonize right there. But the problem with that thinking, as appealing as it may be, is it kind of lives in this fear-ridden headspace that can actively hamper the deck. If there isn't a discard spell, a Seek the Horizon without Reliquary Tower in play generally stops being Harmonize and becomes a bad Sift , or sometimes even worse. But Reliquary Tower, despite how good that sounds, actually kills the deck's consistency for the simple reason of not being named Forest (or Snow-Covered Forest , as the case may be). Instead, I've moved towards grindier, instant-speed engines like Thaumatic Compass Flip and Journeyer's Kite to make up the difference. Is it worse? Maybe, but again, only in scenarios that, while they do exist, are much less frequent than one might think, at least in my meta.
Rites of Spring has that same "Reliquary Tower" problem. For Rite to be good, you need nine cards in hand total: Rites, seven lands-to-be, and a payoff spell. And that's just not feasible, to be honest. In the scenarios that it is, the draw engines this deck has mean that it's very likely those "lands-to-be" are just "lands". And in those scenarios, Rites is just a dead card.
Turn Six has always been the goal for this deck. Three lands to cast Sasaya, and eighteen initial mana to go off with. The rest of the deck is built with that goal in mind. And hey, if your local meta has a lot of discard, then of course Seek the Horizon (and, similarly, Gaea's Blessing ) probably deserves a slot. If you think 53 lands is absurd and could easily be slimmed down, maybe with some more activated ability-based interaction, then Rites of Spring is probably a must-add. But this list has always been aiming for speed first, so they both got cut.
January 13, 2019 4:32 a.m.
Commander / EDH
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