Early Brewing with Tana

Commander spoiler season is upon us. New cards designed specifically for the Commander players are released in large numbers. There are reprints, mechanics, and staples that we will see around the table for years. These are the products that gave us cards like Karador, Daretti, and Nekusaur. This year there is a particular card in the early spoilers that has caught my eye and that’s Tana, the Bloodsower. She isn’t super powerful so I’ll have to work to make her epic (Thanks Bruce for the reminder that epic is better than value). I don’t have a full deck list yet, but below are some of my initial brewing thoughts on where to go with her.

More Tokens

Tana creates tokens based on how much combat damage she deals, so I’ll want to buff her up. Cards like Rancor, Sword of Fire and Ice, and Xenagos, God of Revels all have my eye. There are cards like Kessig Wolf Run and Primal Bellow for temporary power boosts. I also get to use cards like Boartusk Liege and Ulrich which have been sitting around my collection.

BYOA (Bring Your Own Army)

Tana can’t be the only one who brings her own army. Dragon Broodmother, Master of the Wild Hunt, and Freyalise where on my mind went instantly. I want to include some fungi to help make more Saprolings. We can add Mycoloth because he’s good. Pyschotrope Thalid for card draw, Vitaspore Thalid for haste, and of course Thalid. Sure original Thallid isn’t good, but sometimes you have to bring out a card from childhood. Tana feels a home for Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter which is a card I’ve been looking to use after GP Atlanta. Kazuul also fits here as a token creator and a bit of deterrence.

Making Use of Tokens

I want other things to take advantage of the tokens that are created. Yes, I plan on playing Purphoros. Maybe I’ll even use his last ability to pump the team. Goblin Bombardment, Thermopod (it’s a slug!), and Spawning Pit will be my main sacrifice outlets. I may also try Orochi Eggwatcher if I can reliably get her to flip to boost Tana further. I’ll need to find a copy of Perilous Forays to turn the tokens into lands. Grenzo, Havoc Raiser is another card I’ve been itching to use and can turn tokens into Goad triggers or red style card draw.

Partner or Solo

Tana has the Partner mechanic that allows me to have two Commander’s if they both have partner. There’s 15 cards with Partner and it looks like there are two of each enemy color pair and one of each allied color pair. So far (Wednesday morning) I think I’ll solo Tana. This isn’t because I have strong feelings against the Partner mechanic, but I don’t know if any of the options fit well with my vision for the deck. Sidar Kondo would be an option to help get Tana and the tokens through, but I’d have to cut some of the Voltron elements. I do like Ludevic as some card draw and it would give me the ability to run Sarkhan Unbroken (one of my top two favorite planeswalker cards), but I don’t necessarily want to enable my opponents to draw cards. Thrasios, Triton Hero might be another option to splash blue, but he isn’t spoiled yet so I don’t know. Similarly, I think Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper will be G/B which would unlock a black splash. Only time will tell, but I know that I’m at least excited to build with Tana regardless.

Wrap Up

So those are my big plans for Commander 2016 right now. I don’t think I’ll be brewing with any of the four color legends, but maybe Yidris will change that. Do you have any big plans or brewing ideas for Commander 2016? Does Deepglow Skate make you weep for joy or sorrow? What do you think on the mechanics? Let me know what you think. Until next time, happy brewing.

–       Cowboy Kyle

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