As soon as I saw there was a legendary Moonfolk in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, I knew where I’d be starting this article. After all, I’ve always appreciated the Soratami, and getting a cool new take on returning lands to your hand sounded like a lot of fun to me. This new Azorius commander delivers all that and more – let’s take a look at Tameshi, Reality Architect!
I saw this first when a friend of mine was considering adding it to his Silas Renn/Rebbec deck, and I think it would be a good player in all manner of Azorius/Esper/etc. decks that focus on artifacts and enchantments. Usually I see decks that focus on just one or the other, and if you’re trying to make your deck powerful, that’s generally the right call, but I think Tameshi can blend the two themes into something cool. Leaning a little bit more into one or the other is probably still the right call, but Commander is about optimizing as much as you and your playgroup want to, after all!
If you’re going to build your own Tameshi deck, here are some cards you might be interested in trying!
I first encountered this card in Commander as part of an enchantment-focused deck I didn’t enjoy playing against, but I immediately recognized Attunement as an interesting card. Naturally, that paid off years later when Tameshi was printed! It’s a perfect match – Attunement puts cards in your graveyard for Tameshi to return, and bouncing Attunement to your hand draws you a card, keeping the process card-neutral. Best of all, it can happen on other players’ turns, giving you additional bites at the apple with Tameshi’s once per turn trigger. Oboro, Palace in the Clouds can play a similar role in supplying some card draw if you’re okay with the price tag.
Finding sacrifice outlets for your artifacts and enchantments is a must, and Oswald is a fun option for decks looking to focus on the former. As Birthing Pod effects go, Oswald is fair – at least, as fair as the chains you build into your list, so make sure you calibrate appropriately for your deck’s desired power level.
Finding ways to put more land on the battlefield from your hand is very important – you don’t want to fall behind on mana, especially if you intend to reanimate anything sizeable with Tameshi. This color combination isn’t overflowing with options, but there are a few reasonable choices, and the more ways to get lands back on the battlefield, the better. You may not want to sacrifice Tameshi to put Patron of the Moon on the battlefield, so it may be worth throwing a few more Soratami into the mix if you’re excited to get a discount or play it at instant speed.
Of course, with enough artifact mana, you may not need all of those pesky lands on the battlefield anyway, and with Trade Routes, you can turn those lands into more card draw! Bonus points if you’re tossing artifact lands, returning them to the battlefield with Tameshi, and then either replaying your regular lands or tossing them as well.
The white catch-up ramp cards fit quite nicely into a deck that intentionally sets itself behind on lands. Keeper of the Accord and Archaeomancer’s Map are certainly my favorites of the bunch, but Boreas Charger, Loyal Warhound, Cartographer’s Hawk and more are totally serviceable as long as you’re playing enough Plains in your list.
Filling your graveyard just gives you access to more options – Tameshi could even be built as a graveyard-focused deck with a lot of flashback and other options to play out of your bin, but it’s easy enough to just dump artifacts and enchantments into the garbage and hope for the best.
Artifact lands and Urza’s Saga make that a plenty attractive proposition, as it happens! You basically get to make your land drop by bouncing a land to your hand, returning one of those cards to the battlefield, and then replaying the land you bounced. It costs you a white mana, but if you bounced and replayed a basic Plains, then it didn’t really cost anything. Vessel of Paramnesia can also be quite exciting if you end up enchantment-focused and wanting more self-mill; perhaps in a version of this deck that wins with Thassa’s Oracle it would be solid along with the Emrys of the world. Emry is probably just good in a higher-powered version of this deck – and initially I did build a combo-heavy list before deciding it wasn’t terribly innovative compared to existing artifact lists that already play at a high power level – so make sure you choose the appropriate tools for the job.
Our newest addition to the Open the Vaults club, Brilliant Restoration costs a lot of white mana – but then again, we need plenty of Plains in this deck, don’t we? Filling the graveyard is great for Tameshi, but it doesn’t have to stop there. In fact, it probably shouldn’t – depending entirely on your commander is often a dangerous proposition. Cards like these, especially Dance of the Manse, can turn a game around in a hurry. Tameshi looks like one of those commanders that can accrue a lot of value and then end up doing nothing, so you should make sure to include some haymakers if winning is your goal.
Sai does a lot of what we want all in one card. It provides a steady stream of tokens from casting artifacts while giving us a sacrifice outlet to allow the fun to continue out of the graveyard. If you are going the combo-heavy route this is a fun option with Sensei’s Divining Top, Mystic Forge and a cost reducer like Cloud Key or Etherium Sculptor. Additional sac outlets like Krark-Clan Ironworks, Phyrexia’s Core and similar are also key to keeping a deck like this healthy.
Sagas in general play quite well with this card, which is unsurprising given they’re a core part of this new set. They come in, do their thing and then go off to the graveyard, able to pop back in with Tameshi or one of our other recursion effects. I’ve thrown some proliferate cards into my list to work together with the Sagas and a couple of other counter-related cards as a fun subtheme.
A landfall subtheme is also a fun option. Cosima, God of the Voyage is a big pile of card draw, but it ended up on the chopping block in my list since I was already drawing plenty of cards to begin with. Going wide and adding counters to our creatures sounds like much more fun to me, especially in a deck that might be a little light on ways to win the game.
Big cyclers are at a premium here since we have such ready access to the graveyard, though we can’t cheat them out for cheap. That said, a proper application of Cryptic Trilobite to generate extra mana restricted only for activated abilities might make it easier to reanimate the Sanctum Plowbeasts of the world. I might be going a little bit too deep on Cryptic Trilobite here, but you have to give me credit – I didn’t suggest you play Ventifact Bottle, now did I? Have fun reading that one.
MDFCs and lands with channel or enters-the-battlefield effects are particularly cool when you’re living the Moonfolk life. Sure, discarding things to Trade Routes is all well and good, but why not get even more value out of your mana base? Just bounce this to your hand late in the game and have fun wiping the board of anything that might matter at all.
Here’s my first draft of a Tameshi list – it certainly needs work, but it’s a good start, and I can’t wait to see what other tools come out of the set. Soon I’ll even be reviewing the whole set with an eye toward Commander! For now, enjoy the deck list.
Commander: Tameshi, Reality Architect 1 Academy Ruins 1 Adarkar Wastes 1 Aether Spellbomb 1 Ancient Den 1 Angel of the Ruins 1 Arcane Signet 1 Archaeomancer's Map 1 Attunement 1 Azorius Signet 1 Brilliant Restoration 1 Bronze Guardian 1 Buried Ruin 1 Cavalier of Dawn 1 Chromatic Star 1 Command Tower 1 Commander's Sphere 1 Conjurer's Bauble 1 Contagion Clasp 1 Contagion Engine 1 Court of Grace 1 Dance of the Manse 1 Darksteel Citadel 1 Deserted Beach 1 Digsite Engineer 1 Dispatch 1 Dovin's Veto 1 Elspeth Conquers Death 1 Faithful Mending 1 Felidar Retreat 1 Filigree Familiar 1 Ghost Quarter 1 Glacial Fortress 1 Hall of Heliod's Generosity 1 Hallowed Fountain 1 Hangarback Walker 1 Hedron Archive 1 Ichor Wellspring 8 Island 1 Keeper of the Accord 1 Kiora Bests the Sea God 1 Krark-Clan Ironworks 1 Mind Stone 1 Mirrorworks 1 Moonsilver Key 1 Mycosynth Wellspring 1 Mystic Gate 1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds 1 Omen of the Sea 1 Ondu Inversion / Ondu Skyruins 1 Open the Vaults 1 Oswald Fiddlebender 1 Patron of the Moon 1 Phyrexian Metamorph 1 Phyrexia's Core 8 Plains 1 Prairie Stream 1 Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage 1 Razortide Bridge 1 Reality Heist 1 Reliquary Tower *F* 1 Sai, Master Thopterist 1 Scaretiller 1 Sea Gate Restoration / Sea Gate, Reborn 1 Seal of Cleansing 1 Seat of the Synod 1 Sharding Sphinx 1 Skycloud Egg 1 Sol Ring 1 Solemn Simulacrum 1 Soul-Guide Lantern 1 Supreme Verdict 1 Talisman of Progress 1 Tectonic Edge 1 Terrain Generator 1 The Antiquities War 1 Thirst for Knowledge 1 Thought Monitor 1 Thoughtcast 1 Trade Routes 1 Traxos, Scourge of Kroog 1 Urza's Saga 1 Vedalken Archmage 1 Walking Atlas 1 Witching Well 1 Wurmcoil Engine