"Under Yavimaya's peaceful facade beat the hearts of many savage beasts."
=== I N T R O D U C T I O N ===
With the release
of Dominaria, Commander deck brewing enthusiasts like me got a bunch of new legendary creatures to play with. Among them is a complete cycle of dual color uncommons, which tempted me to brew Pauper EDH decks for some of the uncommon legendary creatures from Dominaria over the course of the weeks to follow.
What's neat about uncommon legendaries is that they're legal commanders in both Pauper EDH and Commander, so each of my brews will come with a 10 card maybeboard, consisting of uncommons, rares and mythics. The cards suggested there will increase the deck's power to a great degree if swapped with the commons listed beside them, and may be used as a sideboard for "regular" Commander games. As a self-imposed budget limit, the maybeboard won't cost more than the actual deck.
The second Dominarian legend on my to-do list was Tatyova, Benthic Druid
Be sure to check out my other Budget/Pauper EDH decks:
- Shanna, Sisay's Legacy
- Slimefoot, the Stowaway
=== E V A L U A T I O N ===
Tatyova has the potential to be an extremely powerful commander. Her ability provides a constant stream of cards and life for a dedicated landfall deck. And since you're going to have a truckload of mana anyways, making good use of all those spells will be no issue. What I like most about Tatyova is that she supports all deck archetypes - aggro, control and combo. Which path you take is completely up to you.
Since the cardpool for Pauper is a bit limited, I chose the most simple and fun EDH strategy: Stompy aggro.
=== S T R A T E G Y ===
a) Fix and accelerate
mana a.s.a.p. to cast Tatyova turn 4 at the latest.
b) Drop lands each turn to draw extra cards with Tatyova. Cultivate
c) Keep playing threats to apply pressure and bury your opponents under card advantage.
1. Play big creatures and go to town.
2. If that doesn't work, play more big creatures.
- No Command Tower
The many, many ramp spells in this deck will satisfy all your mana fixing needs. I considered a high basic land count and a good selection of ETB utility lands more important for this deck's strategy, so I completely abstained from mana fixing nonbasic lands (except for those that provide an additional landfall trigger).
- Oboro Breezecaller
It may seem that this creature doesn't provide much value since there is no Mana Reflection
in this deck, but it may grant a free landfall trigger when you missed your land drop. Besides that, it allows for multiple uses of Halimar Depths
and its ilk.
- Arcane Spyglass
Sacrificing lands in a ramp deck may seem like a "nonbo", but there will be a time when you won't be needing more lands. The spyglass can turn them into value.
- Descendant of Soramaro
With all the land tutors in this deck (18 cards let you shuffle your library), this unassuming wizard provides excellent card selection each turn. Always draw into gas!
Tips & tactics:
Go big or go home. Play all the threats you draw. This would be risky under other circumstances, but even a board wipe won't stop you. With only few exceptions this deck's mana acceleration is land based, so you can simply replay Tatyova and immediately restart your card draw engine.
=== C O N C L U S I O N ===
Tatyova, Benthic Druid
is a versatile and fun commander who leaves a lot of room for experiments. This decklist can be easily upgraded for more competitive metas; just keep the mana base and replace some or most other cards with your favorite blue and green spells. My maybeboard may serve
as a starting point.
I would like to hear your thoughts on Tatyova, and which path you would take with her, so please leave a comment. Thanks!
=== O N _ P A U P E R _ E D H ===
What distinguishes Pauper EDH from "regular" Commander? The rules are mostly the same, with three exceptions:
1. ANY uncommon creature can be your commander; it doesn't have to be legendary.
2. Each card in the 99 must have been printed at common rarity in a Magic set or product (paper OR Magic Online) to be legal in this format variant. Please note that the ban list for the Magic Online format Pauper doesn't apply to Pauper EDH, because in a 100 card singleton format these cards have much less of an impact.
3. Due to the lesser power of commons, players start with a life total of 30, and a player that's been dealt 16 or more combat damage by the same commander over the course of the game loses the game.
What's great about Pauper EDH is that the decks are really cheap to come by. An average Pauper EDH deck is worth something between 20 and 30 €. Some may be a bit more expensive, but most of them can be assembled for FAR less money, because many players already own most of the cards they'll need - draft chaff lying around in some box on a shelf, collecting dust.
Another advantage of Pauper EDH is its diversity. Due to the sheer amount of uncommon creatures (3,135 at the time according to Gatherer) there are far more possible deck strategies compared to Commander.
And last but not least: While the players who spend more money on cards than the rest of their playgroup also tend to win more Commander games, the odds of winning a Pauper EDH game are more even. Here, the power of an individual card (which, in most cases, is proportional to its price) counts to a lesser extend than your overall deck brewing prowess and your playing skills.