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Taigam, Ojutai Master - Tragically Taking Turns

Commander / EDH Competitive WU (Azorius)

timotie87


Tragically Taking Turns - A cEDH Taigam Primer

Taigam Turns is a competitive oriented EDH deck. The basic premise of a Taigam strategy in cEDH is to use Taigam as a strong control piece, value engine, and eventual win condition. The goal is to control the game with a fully powered suite of counter magic and stax pieces, dig for out combo pieces, and take infinite turns to win the game.

Taigam’s rebound ability allows the deck to double up the value on many already powerful spells. Staple card draw spells like Dig Through Time, Treasure Cruise, and the suite of 1 CMC cantrips allow you dig further and refill your hand for free. Being able to dive twice as deep off of our draw spells is what allows the deck to function in place of the more powerful tutors in black that we don’t have access to.

Taigam is best built as a meta-buster control deck, and is most optimally used when it’s tailored for the decks you play against. With a relatively small combo package, many of the slots in the deck are open for customization. Having uncounterable counter magic puts the Taigam pilot in a unique position of getting the final word on what resolves. In the games I’ve played, I can say that Taigam certainly changes the way a typical cEDH game plays out, and for me that makes the game fun and interesting.

Taigam’s win condition is infinitely recurring extra turn spells. We accomplish this by abusing the ETB ability of Mystic Sanctuary. The combo requires 5 mana (2 blue), Taigam in play, an extra turn spell like Time Warp, and a way to bounce Mystic Sanctuary such as Tragic Lesson or AEther Tradewinds. Taigam making our turn spells and bounce spells uncounterable makes the combo very resilient. Here is how the loop works:

This loop nets us infinite turns. If Tragic Lesson is used in the loop, we can draw our whole deck during the process. If AEther Tradewinds is used, we can bounce our opponent's boards and close the game out with combat. Cryptic Command can also be used here.

This loop can also be initiated with Teferi's Time Twist which is a 1 mana cheaper than the previously mentioned combo pieces. The downside here is that we do not net any cards over our infinite turns. If the Taigam is the biggest creature on the board, sometimes the infinite combat steps can net us a win on their own, but more times than not I've seen this isn't the case, so Teferi's Time Twist just doesn't make the cut here.

The engine behind this deck is Mystic Sanctuary. To execute our combo finish, we need it in play to recur our turn spells. Mystic Sanctuary is an island so it is fetchable off all of the blue fetch lands. Additionally, we run Tolaria West which can serve as a tutor for our Mystic Sanctuary. This brings us to 6 ways we can get Mystic Sanctuary which seems to be a good amount from my experience. The slow fetches Bad River and Flood Plain, and Expedition Map can also be used to find Mystic Sanctuary, but I do not think there are necessary.

It is important to remember that Mystic Sanctuary needs at least 3 other Islands in play for it's ability to trigger. Make sure you have the lands you need to begin the combo!

This card is basically a second copy of Sapphire Medallion. It has the advantage that it can block Tymna the Weaver, and as a creature it's usually harder to interact with. I've seen this card been considered a budget inclusion for other decks, but in my experience it does serious work - very underrated card!

This card is very useful for finding the remaining pieces we need to combo off. We can tutor up 3 turn spells, 3 fetch lands, or 3 bounce/recursion spells. Depending on what you have in hand, you can almost always find a good Intuition pile to get the rest. If we rebound with Taigam's ability, we can search twice making it possible to combo off even faster.

This card is great with Sensei's Diving Top and other top of deck manipulation cards like Brainstorm or top of deck tutors. It's also tutorable off of Enlightened Tutor and Muddle the Mixture. Getting Counterbalance out early is a good way to start disrupting your opponent's game.

From my experience, Taigam has always been the choice for steal effects if he is available. Usually this is from a Gilded Drake which makes it hard to interact with. Homeward Path is a decent option to help us if our Taigam gets stolen. The colourless mana also isn't too much of a draw back in our 2 colour deck. If you don't see much of these effects, feel free to run another Island in its place.

This deck runs only 3 turn spells. Additional turn effects at higher CMCs are not included as they are harder to cast and the deck ultimately doesn't need them to function. At 5 CMC, the turn spells we run are perfectly on curve with Taigam. It is also important to note that turn spells like Karn's Temporal Sundering that exile themselves will not go into rebound off of Taigam's ability, and thus are not included.

Pact is usually included in proactive combo decks that will win before having to pay for it. Our win condition is infinite turns and thus we will always have to pay for our pact which may interrupt our combo. With four other pieces of free interaction, Pact of Negation is not needed here.

  • Strengths

The strength of this deck is mainly found in Taigam. Both his rebound and uncounterable abilities are very powerful. Taigam puts us in a position where our value spells are twice as effective, and our defensive spells are mostly immune to interaction. Our win condition is also very hard to interact with as all of the spells are uncounterable. Taigam presents your opponents with a challenge as typical interaction will not work. This slows down the opponent's game, and often requires them to use their resources to deal with our board and not progress their own win condition.

The deck also functions well through many stax pieces allowing us to stay in front when other decks begin to lag behind. Taigam is highly tunable to your local meta, and to play the deck optimally you should adjust the stax package to address the common threats you see in your playgroup.

  • Weaknesses

In a cEDH meta defined mainly by aggresive consult decks, Taigam struggles to keep up in the early game. Assuming the worst case scenario with no mana ramp, Taigam needs 5 turns to combo off, where other decks typically win between turns 1-3. I try to aim for a turn 3 Taigam at least, and hope that some early game stax, wraths, and counter magic hold me over until Taigam is established.

Taigam is a very strong, high threat commander. Being part of our win condition, he will receive lots of targeted removal from your opponents. Getting Taigam stolen by a Gilded Drake is a not only awful for our own game plan, but also empowers your opponents spells. Tapping out for a turn 2-3 Taigam is not always the best play if you have no way to protect him. Read the table and deploy Taigam appropriately.

  • Lands

This deck can function on entirely basic lands and Mystic Sanctuary. Obviously, the biggest cut here is the ability to fetch Mystic Sanctuary. The first lands to go would be all of the non-fetch, non-basic lands like Ancient Tomb, Tundra, and Sea of Clouds. If you need to cut fetches, cut them most expensive to least, favouring any that fetch islands. Use the slow fetches Bad River and Flood Plain in thier spot. You can also add in Expedition Map.

  • Mana Rocks

The mana rocks can be switched out with cheaper alternatives as needed. 2 CMC rocks that tap for 1 are acceptable as they can help us power out Taigam turn 3. I would avoid rocks that are 3 CMC but tap for 1 like Darksteel Ingot Some cheap rocks I would suggest are Prismatic Lens, Everflowing Chalice, Sky Diamond, Star Compass, etc.

  • Other

Walk the Aeons can be used to replace Capture of Jingzhou which is notoriously expensive. There are not really any replacements for the other turn spells that are appropriately costed and don't exile themselves.

Some of the more expensive counter magic like Force of Will, Mana Drain, or Force of Negation can be swapped out for the usual budget alternatives like Mana Leak, Spell Pierce, or my personal favourite Spell Snare (trust me its good). Try to avoid 3 CMC counter magic like Disallow or Dissolve.

Some of the more expensive tutors like Intuition or Enlightened Tutor are here to add consistency to the deck. If they are cut, throw in some more draw spells like Shimmer of Possibility or Supreme Will to allow you to dig to your combo faster.

Here is a list of cards that have crossed my mind as potential candidates for anti-meta tech, general value, or removal options. Taigam has not seen alot of play in the current cEDH metagame so play testing is needed to evalutate the main decklist and these other maybe board inclusions.

  • Value Options

Chart a Course, Mirrormade, Search for Azcanta  , Teferi's Time Twist, Teferi, Time Raveler, Verity Circle, Time Twister

  • Removal Options

Dust to Dust, Grasp of Fate, Pongify, Rapid Hybridization, Reality Shift, Return to Dust, Submerge, Fragmentize

  • Stax Options

Aura of Silence, Chalice of the Void, Grafdigger's Cage, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Phyrexian Revoker, Pithing Needle, Suppression Field, Torpor Orb, Trinisphere

Suggestions

Updates Add

The deck and primer have been updated and also moved to Moxfield where the main list will now be posted. Here is the Moxfield list: https://www.moxfield.com/decks/rRTQZ6bk1EKOwCfBTntf1Q.

The deck has also had somewhat of a mini overhaul. The main change is the removal of the back up loop with Call to Mind and Not Forgotten. This loop was cut in favour of card quality, and I had yet to actually use it in the games I've played. There are some other changes that you will notice like the cutting of Narset, Parter of Veils which was hard to protect given our creature light build. Also the relevant Hulk hate cards have been taken out (RIP Flash).

I might still update this list as time goes on given I know that some people like tapped out, but for the most recent updates, please refer to the Moxfield link as I will prioritize that list first. Cheers.

Comments

Casual

97% Competitive

Date added 2 months
Last updated 4 days
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

6 - 0 Mythic Rares

40 - 0 Rares

16 - 0 Uncommons

23 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.35
Tokens Jace, 1/1 Bird
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