Tamiyo in Eldritch Moon

We got to see the first of the planeswalkers from Eldritch Moon the other day, and I must say that I absolutely love the design!

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Tamiyo is a super powerful card, even though it doesn’t look like it at first glance. Her +1 is an amazing card advantage engine while you are ahead or at parity, and is a form of protection that many do not realize. Read the ability carefully, you’ll notice that it can target creatures you don’t control. Often your worst case is play Tamiyo, +1 her, and your opponent must then attack her to get rid of her with you drawing 2 cards from it. Not great, but not the worst, as you’ve basically spent 4 mana to draw 2 cards and gain 5+ life. She gets even better when you start pairing her with some of the Standard all stars right now, primarily Sylvan Advocate. Choose an Advocate as one of her targets and suddenly you’re drawing a card from your vigilance creature on offense, but also on defense if your opponent attacks you.

Her -2 is another means of protection, one which is a bit more set in stone as far as making sure creatures just cannot attack. You also get the flexibility in that if you are really ahead you can use it to bypass blockers, potentially winning the game on the spot. Another possibility is that you can use it to tap down things other than creatures that must be dealt with, such as a Gideon, Ally of Zendikar or Pyromancer’s Goggles.

Her -7 is Omniscience without the downside of casting a 1 mana spell. Not only that, but you get to draw cards from the effect. While it doesn’t win on the spot, I’d be hard pressed to imagine many scenarios where you do not win shortly after using her ultimate.

In Standard

is currently the best color combination in Standard, and Tamiyo fits in with that really well. Many of those decks also have a tendency to splash for the addition of Reflector Mage or Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. As I’ve already mentioned: you have the best card to utilize her +1 with in Sylvan Advocate, but there are a ton of other really great creatures in those colors such as Tireless Tracker and Hangarback Walker (I know, Walker is in every color….). You can even use it on your Gideon, Ally of Zendikar after activating him, should you need to.

She also helps beat the other Gideon decks, by being able to tap him down to prevent an attack. This is kinda a big deal, though I expect the current trend of whomever plays the first Gideon winning out in the long run will still be true.

In Modern

Bant is a poor color combination in Modern for the most part. With her also being a 4 mana planeswalker, you’ll be hard pressed to find a good home for her. The exception to this is the decks that abuse Doubling Season with planeswalkers. The basic idea is once Season hits the battlefield, you can play your walkers and immediately use their ultimate. The usual go to is Jace, Architect of Thought who lets you grab the best card from your opponent’s deck plus another Jace from yours to continue the cycle. The last one can snag Emrakul, the Aeons Torn to just win on the next turn. Tamiyo gives the deck another option to ultimate the turn she is played, and the Omniscience effect let’s you then dump everything you still have.

Chris Wendelboe

Chris is a level 2 judge from Ashland, New Hampshire. He enjoys Scapeshift, modern, and putting on the best events possible.