Magic: The Gathering: A Different View Of Tayam, Luminous Enigma

Hello, fans of Commander, the primary player-driven format for Wizards of the Coast's hit trading card game Magic: The Gathering! Today, much like we did with Nethroi, Apex of Death roughly a month ago, we will be re-inspecting a commander that we looked at not long ago through a second deck tech. However, unlike that previous re-inspection, we will be pushing the deck in a different direction than what we originally gave you. Tayam, Luminous Enigma, prepare for a revision!

The artwork for Tayam, Luminous Enigma from Commander 2020, an expansion release for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Sam Burley.
The artwork for Tayam, Luminous Enigma from Commander 2020, an expansion release for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Sam Burley.

This deck will be an aristocrats-style deck, meaning the deck revolves heavily around the sacrifice of creatures for fun and profit.  As can be expected with a Tayam deck, this build has a mana curve peaking at three mana. The deck does not exceed the five-cost mark mana-wise, except for one card which costs seven (that card is Eerie Ultimatum, for those at home keeping track). That means that the deck should feasibly be able to recur whatever permanents it wants to, save for a sparse few, using Tayam and the engines needed to fuel our commander.

Because this deck needs so much to fuel Tayam we have a number of different combo engines to make sure the deck runs smoothly. This kind of breaks our consistency because a couple of those cards are very janky and unwieldy, and that sort of thing makes decklists like ours look worse than they actually are. Don't be fooled, however; Tayam is a fantastic commander for a fast and very scary list.

Off the bat, this deck went through a large number of changes before we settled on this build. There are still some changes to be made, as you'll see in the Notable Inclusions section which we will get to in a moment. For now, though, if you want a good look at this deck tech you may do so by clicking on our TappedOut link, located here. Let's dive right in!

Notable Inclusions For This Deck Tech

Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies: This combo arguably initiates a major part of the Tayam deck, in that it creates an infinite amount of green mana to use towards Tayam's ability. Yes, this combo works. If Vizier of Remedies was worded similarly to Solemnity or Melira, Sylvok Outcast, it would not. But it isn't, and therefore it does.

Of course, infinite mana is not enough for this combo to truly go off. You'd need to add in something like Ant Queen (which is not in the deck) or Verdant Automaton (which will soon go in, ideally) to make sure you have an outlet for the mana to work with. Either of those cards will ensure you can recur most anything else in your deck for the win.

The artwork for Devoted Druid, a card from Shadowmoor, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Darrell Riche.
The artwork for Devoted Druid, a card from Shadowmoor, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Darrell Riche.

Barrenton Medic: Barrenton Medic is a combo piece for Tayam to exploit, but it still needs enough mana to make sure it goes off properly. Without Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies in tow for this combo to work, however, that gets tricky. The goal of this card is to attain three counters to use with Tayam, rinse, and repeat. If this card had cost three or less, we would be very happy with this inclusion. As it is, however, we're still pretty okay with it but may consider cutting in the future as it stands, perhaps for the aforementioned Verdant Automaton.

Dreadhorde Invasion, a card from War of the Spark, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.
Dreadhorde Invasion, a card from War of the Spark, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering.

Dreadhorde Invasion: This card is quite strong in the right deck, and this definitely seems like the right deck. Not only does Dreadhorde invasion net you a Zombie token each turn (at the cost of a point of life, granted), but because the Zombie Army's power and toughness are defined by counters, Tayam can exploit this before too long. It also pairs well with Hydra's Growth, and both can be recurred easily.

Promise of Bunrei: We've spoken about this card's ability to be busted in the other deck tech on Tayam, but it bears repeating that this card is absolutely busted in Tayam. As a three-mana combo piece, it can be recurred endlessly by Tayam with an Ashnod's Altar on the field as well, netting you an endless amount of Spirit tokens with Vigilance.

The artwork for Promise of Bunrei, a card from Saviors of Kamigawa, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Stephen Tappin.
The artwork for Promise of Bunrei, a card from Saviors of Kamigawa, an expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Illustrated by Stephen Tappin.

Wrapping Up Tayam, Luminous Enigma

Does this decklist look more refined than the Sliver deck we did for Tayam? It still feels like it could fold to an early Leyline of the Void or a well-timed Rest In Peace, but regardless such a deck could be disgusting under the right set of conditions. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Tayam, Luminous Enigma, a card from Commander 2020, an expansion release for Magic: The Gathering.
Tayam, Luminous Enigma, a card from Commander 2020, an expansion release for Magic: The Gathering.

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About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.
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