Commander Corner: Eight-and-a-Half-Tails

Welcome back,

[c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] is a powerful and wise kitsune cleric on the plane of Kamigawa. Unlike all other kitsune, instead of an all white tail, he was born with black streaks in his. These unusual streaks were seen as a great omen. He was destined to change the world. Throughout his life, [c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] went on many spiritual journeys. Each successful journey earned him one of his nine distinct tails. He became the highest spiritual leader on the plane, and as such, he was entrusted by Konda to study the Kakuryio.

The Kakuryio is the spirit world, where the Kami dwell. The Kakuryio and the Utsushiyo, the world in which the mortals reside, create the plane of Kamigawa. Eight-and-a-Half-Tails agreed to help Konda, but soon discovered his true intentions. Konda intended to perform a sacrilegious ritual that had the potential to break open a portal between the Kakuryio and the Utsushiyo, unleashing the wrath of the Kami on the plane. [c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] dismissed these thoughts as he did not believe Konda would do such things.

He was wrong though. As soon as Konda was given [c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] research, he did exactly that, and tore open a portal between the worlds. This act became known as Konda’s Crime, as it started the Kami War.

[c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] is an inexpensive and powerful commander. He can protect any permanent you control, including himself, while also allowing you to be able to push through damage. Having access to this early in the game can allow you to easily set up shop and help you bridge the gap to the late game by protecting your permanents from harm. Lets see what we can do with his wisdom and guidance.

eight-and-a-half tails

After Eight-and-a-Half-Tails realized what he had done, he decided that he no longer had the right to his nine tails. He then cut half of one off with his ceremonial knife, giving him his name.

[d title=”Eight-and-a-Half-Tails” (EDH)]

Commander
1 Eight-and-a-Half-Tails
Lands
29 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Secluded Steppe
1 New Benalia
1 Myriad Landscape
1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
1 Karoo
1 Emeria, the Sky Ruin
1 Eiganjo Castle
1 Drifting Meadow[/d]
[d]
Creatures
1 Weathered Wayfarer
1 True Believer
1 Transcendent Master
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
1 Student of Warfare
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Stonecloaker
1 Spirit of the Labyrinth
1 Silverblade Paladin
1 Silent Arbiter
1 Serra Avenger
1 Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant
1 Precinct Captain
1 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Peacekeeper
1 Mother of Runes
1 Mirror Entity
1 Mirran Crusader
1 Mentor of the Meek
1 Master of Pearls
1 Mangara of Corondor
1 Leonin Arbiter
1 Knight of the White orchid
1 Imposing Sovereign
1 Hero of Bladehold
1 Grand Abolisher
1 Glowrider
1 Flickerwisp
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
1 Containment Priest
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
1 Banisher Priest
1 Aven Mindcensor[/d]
[d]
Instants
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Path to Exile
1 Oblation
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Disenchant
1 Devouring Light
1 Condemn
1 Brave the Elements
Sorceries
1 Fell the Mighty
1 Council’s Judgment
Enchantments
1 Story Circle
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Karmic Justice
1 Journey to Nowhere
1 Banishing Light
Artifacts
1 Aether Vial
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sol Ring
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Gauntlet of Power
1 Extraplanar Lens
1 Caged Sun
1 Batterskull[/d]

I decided to model this deck after the popular Legacy deck, Death and Taxes. This deck wins by putting the opponent into a soft-lock of sorts and just beating down with tiny white creatures and equipment. The deck taxes the opponents mana, restricts them on when they can cast their spells, how many spells they can cast a turn, how many cards they can draw this turn, and how many creatures can attack, if any. For a deck made up of cheap white creatures, it can sure pack a huge punch.

This deck has many cards that attack your opponents from many different angles, whether it be restricting the amount of cards drawn to the amount of spells played, or whether your opponents’ spells can even target your permanents. These angles of attack really put the squeeze on your opponent, as they won’t know which way to counter your attack plan.

[c]Thalia, Guardian of Thraben[/c], [c]Glowrider[/c], [c]Eidolon of Rhetoric[/c], and [c]Ethersworn Canonist[/c] prevent your opponents from overloading you with spells. You are usually not going to be playing too many spells per turn, so cutting down the amount of spells your opponents play allows you to keep up with them or even pull ahead in some cases.

Since this deck is purely white, you’re not going to be drawing more than one card each turn for most of the game. Thanks to [c]Spirit of the Labyrinth[/c], your opponents won’t be either. This card can hinder any control strategy immensely and must be immediately dealt with in order for them to move on. Another angle of attack you can take up is with [c]Grand Abolisher[/c]. With this in play, your opponent won’t be able to counter your sorcery speed spells or deal with any of your creatures on your turn. They have to waste their mana on their turn to deal with your threats, preventing them from progressing their board state.

If all else fails and your opponent breaks out of your lock and sticks a few monstrous threats, you do have a safety valve of sorts in the form of [c]Fell the Mighty[/c]. Since your creatures are small, this card can really get some work done. Destroying your opponents’ big dumb idiots and effectively bringing your opponents down to “your level.”

The glue that holds this strategy together is of course, [c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c]. Being able to bring him out early allows you to set up your board by protecting your lock pieces and is what this deck needs to last in a multiplier game. With removal spells upon removal spells being slung across the table, you need to be able to protect your board at all times. You can also use his ability to consistently push your creatures through your opponents’ blockers. You have to know when to turn the tables and start the beatdown after you set up your shop. Since these creatures are relatively minuscule in size compared to the monoliths that rule the format, you’re gonna be on the defense for a while. Learn when it’s time to change up your stance, and you’re going to steamroll even the most seasoned of Commander players.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions for a Commander to feature in a future article, please let me know in the comments below. Next week, we will look at a lonely old man. See you soon, my friends.

-Steve Gulsby