Challenger Series: Tatyova, Benthic Druid

Hey there! Welcome back for the first May installment of the Challenger Series. In this article we’ll go over a value rich color combo that loves to deal with lands and card draw: blue green! The commander for this deck was the reason I won my Dominaria prerelease, so I thought I would do them some justice. Let’s get to it!

Blue Green- Tatyova, Benthic Druid

Tatyova, Benthic Druid is a brand new Dominaria legend! I love playing blue, but some how have never built a simic value deck. After building and testing this one, that is soon going to change.

Tatyova is an uncommon five mana 3/3 that reads: “Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you gain one life and draw a card.” Card draw in your command zone is insane, but when it makes all of your late game lands into cantrips, it becomes so much better. I had my best record I have ever had at a prerelease thanks to Tatyova, and I’m excited to share a deck around her today.

Tatyova is a lands commander. She want’s multiple land drops a turn, a lot of ramp spells, and cards that benefit from having a lot of mana. I’m going to break down the first part of this article into a few catagories: Land Acceleration, Payoffs, and Win Conditions. I hope you enjoy the article and at the end look at Tatyova in a new light!

Green is the master of multiple lands a turn. Tatyova is five mana so we want to get her out as quickly as possible, but we are not focusing on artifact ramp in this deck. Let’s start with creature ramp. Oracle of Muldaya and Sakura-Tribe Elder are examples of cards that can help you ramp in two different ways. Oracle gets you two land drops a turn, which also synergies with Tatyova getting you two cards a turn! Tribe Elder ramps you earlier on in the game, and in the later game is a blocker that sacs to draw you a card. Next the spell ramp. Typical green ramp, Cultivate and Kodama’s Reach get you more lands on the battlefield early on. A combination of spell and creature ramp help get you to Tatyova earlier than turn five, and also draw you cards in the late game.

Next, we have some pay offs. We have all of these lands and all of these cards, but what do they do for us? Our payoffs are cards that don’t win the game for us but help further us towards that goal. Another new legend from Dominaria, Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar benefits from all of our lands everywhere! A big beater and blocker, as well as allowing us to return lands to our hand for more card draw. With all of those cards in hand, Kefnet, the Mindful will be online and ready to attack, as well as giving us another draw outlet. These cards can’t usually win us the game, but keep us alive and our opponents scared until we bring out our win conditions.

Our win conditions. I’m on the fence if I included too many, but our win conditions also function in other ways that I feel okay about it. While creature damage is an option to win (Avenger of Zendikar), that’s not my main goal. Let’s look at the first one I included when I decided to make a lands deck. Dark Depths and Thespian’s Stage. This can be the most fragile or the strongest win condition in the deck, depending on the meta you play in and what kind of answers your opponents run. My play group doesn’t usually have a lot of exile effects, so getting an indestructible Marit Lage out means I pretty much win most of the time. If your play group plays a lot of Swords to Plowshares then be careful relying to heavily on this combo as it may come back to bite you. The next win condition I added didn’t come until late in the deck building. I realized how many cards I was drawing when I was testing, ending up with nearly my whole deck in my hand, grave yard, and battlefield.  You guessed it, Laboratory Maniac. It is so easy to end up with no cards in your library and just wind with lab maniac. Again, there is a fragility to this win condition. You can’t play out lab maniac too early otherwise someone will kill it before you get the win. I have been debating some kind of instant speed enabler outside of Alchemist’s Refuge to have the redundancy to cast lab maniac on my upkeep before I draw and win. Lastly, our other big win condition is Rude Awakening. We have all these lands, up to forty four on the battlefield. Animating them and swinging for at least sixty damage is trivial and should almost always win the game, or at least take a person or two out. Like I said, we also have creature beats as well as just out valuing our opponents. The win conditions are flexible and can be changed to your liking! If your meta is less creature centric, creature beats might be where it’s at because they don’t have removal or blockers to prepare for it. Like all my decks, this is semi built for my meta, and may need to change for yours.

You’ve heard about the categories of cards, lets look at the full list and we’ll wrap up until next week!

Tatyova, Benthic Druid EDH

Commander

Creatures

Artifact

Enchantment

Instant

Sorcery

Land

 

That’s it for Tatyova today! I have never played a deck with more than thirty six lands, much less forty four! Building this was a real challenge for me, but it helps bring me out of my comfort zone and into experimenting with new strategies! I love the commander’s that I have written about and how they have led me to finding new favorite decks, cards, and win conditions. I love hearing feedback from you guys and really do take any suggestions and criticisms seriously as I want these articles to be enjoyable and fun to read for you. Please reach out to me in the comments here or on twitter @camcole113.

Thank’s for reading! I’ve really enjoyed playing this deck, it has been a brand new experience for me and I love that I have the opportunity to talk about to you guys. My name is Cameron, and I’ll see you next week!

Cameron

@camcole113 on twitter

 

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