March 13, 2017

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Partners Without a Partner – Tana, The Bloodsower

Welcome to the fifth instalment in my Partners Without a Partner series, and this time we’re brewing half a deck for Tana, The Bloodsower!

If you’ve only discovered this series now, we’re aiming to put together a half-deck for each colour pair among the new commanders with the partner mechanic. You’ll be able to pick any two decklists from this series and mash them together into a fully playable 100 card deck. That is, once you’ve added the lands and six separate colourless staples. No fair giving Sol Ring to only one deck!

This week we take on the red/green colour pair. The Gruul guild! Let’s take a closer look!

Tana wants to get in for combat damage and as a result, make saproling tokens. Due to the half-deck restrictions, we can’t rely too heavily on tribal synergies, but we can emphasize our commander’s strengths, as any good deck should do! We’re still in for tokens, and there’s not a more efficient token producer than Mycoloth. Throwing away just a few creatures to it’s Devour trigger will generate an overwhelming army if it’s not dealt with soon! And while we’re building up this army, we’ll be happy to cast Ulasht, the Hate Seed to make a massive creature, throw around some damage, or make more saprolings! We’re also looking to cast Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter to get some early game tokens onto the battlefield or some gigantic threats once we’ve gotten rolling.

Another thing this deck wants to do is generate extra mana. Since we’re dealing with many smaller creatures, Cryptolith Rite will do a nice job at sneaking in a lot of extra mana if we need it. And although it’s a little riskier in this style of brewing, Mana Echoes can generate tons of mana, since the tokens we create almost always come in large numbers! And if all that wasn’t enough, we can sac them to Ashnod’s Altar, one of the best sac outlets in the format. I considered making it a staple card for a moment, but instead gave the honours to Tana.

These aren’t the best colours to make creatures unblockable, so we’ll have to rely on other ways to sneak our many creatures through. We’re looking at lure effects! This will be especially effective since we’re happy to lure everyone to a harmless token creature. One specific to our colours is Armed / Dangerous. The lure side is great, but if we fuse into the Armed side as well, we can get in a lot of extra damage. Or even an extra hit from Tana for more saprolings. One I discovered while brewing for this article can be used more than once! Tempting Licid can be turned into a lure aura on any dumb token, then before damage, turned back into a creature to survive the combat phase. What a nice licid! And the aptly-named Breaker of Armies is also here to break apart some armies without any extra help. Anything to get the team through!

I want to spend a few words on some extra support cards that work really well with our strategy. Not many partners get special extra lands, but Kessig Wolf Run is too good to pass up. It’s fantastic on a lured creature to possibly eliminate an entire opponent’s team, or to just outright finish an opponent. With all of our extra mana, we should be able to get someone huge! Speaking of gobs of mana, we’re also running Comet Storm as another finisher. When your deck can create multiple dozens of mana in a turn, ya gotta run a couple X spells! And Thunderfoot Baloth is a must-have for any go-wide green deck. This one is no exception.

This completes the allied colour pairs, and all the partners that have no competition for their colours. From here on out, we’re going to have to make a choice over which of the two eligible partners will represent that colour pair! Have a look at the list below, and let me know your thoughts on it!

Partnerless Partner: Tana

Artifacts: (2)
Ashnod’s Altar
Nemesis Mask

Creatures: (11)
Breaker of Armies
Champion of Lambholt
Grenzo, Havoc Raiser
Mycoloth
Nemata, Grove Guardian
Ogre Battledriver
Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Tempting Licid
Thunderfoot Baloth
Ulasht, the Hate Seed

Spells: (13)
Armed // Dangerous
Comet Storm
Cryptolith Rite
Cultivate
Decimate
Devil’s Play
Elemental Mastery
Faithless Looting
Firecat Blitz
Genesis Wave
Goblin Bombardment
Mana Echoes
Wildest Dreams

Lands: (1)
Kessig Wolf Run