20, Jun, 24

Assassin's Creed Uncommon Provides Competitive Taxing Effect!

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Article at a Glance

The new Ubisoft Universes Beyond Assassin’s Creed crossover may be Modern legal, but we really haven’t seen any MTG cards that could potentially impact the format. A lot of what players had seen up to this point looked like interesting additions to Commander that could have serious potential in certain archetypes… at least, until now.

A few cards have recently been revealed that could have some real Modern potential. One of these is an incredible asymmetrical taxing effect. These effects are typically insanely powerful, so it’s interesting to see it appear on a two mana uncommon. Is Tax Collector the real deal?

Tax Collector

Tax Collector is a two mana creature with two incredibly powerful ETB effects. Tax is the real star of the show, essentially slowing down your opponent an entire turn. Most tax effects like this impact both people. For whatever reason, Tax Collector, while only temporary, only impacts your opponent. This is insanely powerful in the opening turns of a game. Considering how fast Modern Horizons 3 is, Tax Collector can buy you some much-needed time.

Buying an extra turn against Ruby Storm or Nadu, Winged Wisdom strategies can be the decision between life and death. Ruby Storm, in particular, would have a rather difficult time going off through a Tax Collector in the early stages of the game.

The Arrest ability is not nearly as interesting as Tax, but it does give Tax Collector some utility if you draw it later in the game. Tax won’t do much when both players have a ton of mana, but turning off a creature for a turn to delay your death, or even push some damage, is a strong second option.

Abusing Tax Collector

Phelia, Exuberant Shepherd

So, what are the best ways to use Assassin’s Creed’s new gift to Modern? Flickering Tax Collector to get multiple copies of its ETB. Whether you do this multiple times in a turn, or just reset it each turn, it’s definitely the most interesting way to use this card. Phelia, Exuberant Shepherd is a fantastic new Modern addition that synergizes with Tax Collector.

Attacking with Phelia will both reset Tax Collector’s ETB effect and buff your Legendary dog. Both of these creatures are rather cheap as well, allowing this combo to come down rather quickly.

Want to get these creatures out even faster? If you’re playing this combination in a creature-centric deck, Aether Vial can do a lot of work. Not only will this make your creatures difficult to counter, but you can even flash in your Tax Collector at instant speed. Honestly, this won’t help your Tax effect much, but it can make the Detain effect more deadly.

If you want to really dial into the ETB theme, a Soulherder deck could be the most interesting home for Tax Collector. Flicking this card over and over can keep your opponent on the back foot until they are able to get rid of it.

Read More: MTG Assassin’s Creed: Release Date, Details, Beyond Boosters

Tax Collector in Ephemerate Strategies

Grief

Everyone loves a good Grief Scam… or hates it. Being able to steal two of your opponent’s cards for just one mana is absolutely absurd. While most players achieve this with effects like Not Dead After All, you can use Ephemerate to flicker a Grief and do the same thing. Heck, you can even steal a third card on your next Upkeep if you don’t feel like attacking with Grief!

An Orzhov Scam list could be an interesting home for Tax Collector. These decks commonly suffer from having weak follow-up plays after successfully deploying their Scam. While Tax Collector may not be as powerful as Dauthi Voidwalker as an aggressive option, it can help keep the pressure on by Taxing your opponent. Orcish Bowmasters also slots in quite well to this strategy. You even get Solitude as premium removal that can also be Scammed.

If you need to slow down combo-centric opponents, you’ll also have the option to Ephemerate your Tax Collector. You can stack multiple Tax ETB effects against your opponent if need be.

Tax Collector in Boros Midrange

One of the emerging Modern strategies post MH3 revolves around the Boom//Bust and Flagstones of Trokair combo. For this reason, these cards have been spiking immensely lately. This combo essentially allows you to strip your opponent of their lands while breaking the parity of Boom. After all, Flagstones of Trokair finds another land for you when it is destroyed. Alternatively, you can use Indestructible lands like Darksteel Citadel to cheat the effects of Boom as well.

If you’re stripping your opponent of mana, Taxing them is going to hurt a lot more. This allows Tax Collector to be continually devastating as the game goes long and you pull ahead. These decks are even running White Orchid Phantom to destroy more of your opponent’s lands.

Tax Collector in Legacy

As the name of the archetype suggests, Death and Taxes is a great home for Tax Collector in Modern and Legacy. The deck is not particularly powerful in either format, but it certainly feels a lot more real in the Legacy format. The archetype traditionally uses powerful ETB effects combined with recurring Flickers like Flickerwisp to pull ahead gradually.

Tax Collector doesn’t seem too powerful for the Legacy format outside of decks specifically designed to abuse it, so it likely won’t see much play in the format.

While Tax Collector is unlikely to flip the Modern format on its head, the card certainly has enough game to be a role player. With a few potential different homes for the card, if the format remains as fast as it has been, Tax Collector can help some slower strategies to weather the first few opening turns. Whether or not this card sees play is anyone’s guess, but I think it has some potential.

Read More: MTG Assassin’s Creed Secret Lair Showcases Popular Reskinned Commander!

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