Have you ever fancied the idea of riding a giant frog like a horse? Well, now you can with the new Magic: the Gathering Commander from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Tatsunari, Toad Rider.
Other than being the MTG equivalent of Jiraya from Naruto, Tatsunari actually makes for a sweet Commander deck filled with enchantments and a legendary Frog token that drains your opponents’ life away.
Tatsunari, Toad Rider
The token that Tatsunari creates is almost more important than Tatsunari himself. Keimi drains each opponent whenever you cast an enchantment. Because enchantress decks are known for snowballing enchantments onto the field, Tatsunari and Keimi end up dealing a lot of damage.
There are a few directions you can take when building Tatsunari as a Commander. You can play into his Ninja creature type or Keimi’s Frog creature type. You could also take advantage of Tatsunari’s evasion-granting ability.
Whichever way you decide to build Tatsunari, Toad Rider, there are some key cards the deck should play, and I’ll cover them in this deck guide.
Best Synergies With Tatsunari
Compared to most enchantress strategies in Magic, Tatsunari can seriously pressure your opponents’ life totals. With the help of a few specific enchantments, you can turn Tatsunari into a real threat.
Nature’s Will & Bear Umbra
Tatsunari’s ability to give himself and Keimi pseudo-unblockability is actually really relevant. Safely attacking with your Commander ensures Nature’s Will and Bear Umbra will untap all of your lands.
These enchantments effectively allow you to play double the amount of enchantments you normally could in a turn.
Enchantments You Can Recast
Both Whip Silk and Shimmering Wings one-mana are Auras with the ability to return themselves to your hand. This is extremely useful as you can cast them multiple times in one turn to trigger Tatsunari and Keimi’s abilities.
You can play Mana Bloom as a source of mana ramp. But you can also play it for one mana and it will return to your hand the following turn. This is a good of triggering Tatsunari, Keimi, and many other enchantress effects each turn.
What Does Black Offer the Enchantress Archetype?
The main appeal to playing black in Commander is the color’s access to all the best tutor effects in the game like Demonic Tutor. Tatsunari certainly benefits from tutor effects. But there are also a bunch of interesting black enchantments that other enchantress Commander decks typically can’t play.
The Meathook Massacre
Tatsunari’s frog pal, Keimi, applies steady pressure to all of your opponents by draining them whenever you play an enchantment. The Meathook Massacre, while being an enchantment itself, serves as yet another way to drain your opponents and speed up your clock.
Constellation is a good mechanic to pair with enchantress decks like Tatsunari because constellation gets extra value whenever an enchantment enters your battlefield.
Doomwake Giant enters and immediately wipes out your opponents’ small creatures such as mana dorks. But every time you play an enchantment the Giant will shrink your opponents’ creatures further, almost acting like a board wipe.
Attrition and Other Ways to Sacrifice Keimi
Although Keimi is important to Tatsunari’s overall strategy, it’s actually okay if the Frog token dies. There’s even reason to sacrifice it yourself. All it takes to replace Keimi is playing another enchantment while Tatsunari is on the field.
Attrition makes for a perfect inclusion in the deck because of this. You can sacrifice Keimi to Attrition’s ability to kill an opposing creature. Then cast an enchantment. Tatsunari will make another Frog token. And you can repeat this to mow down your opponents’ battlefields.
You might want to consider running additional effects that make use of sacrificing Keimi such as:
- Evolutionary Leap | Buy At TCGPlayer
- Phyrexian Altar | Buy At TCGPlayer
- Ashnod’s Altar | Buy At TCGPlayer
- Blood Funeral | Buy At TCGPlayer
- Journey to Eternity | Buy At TCGPlayer
Classic Enchantress Staples
As Tatsunari, Toad Rider, is an enchantress deck at its core, there are a handful of enchantment-related spells you should definitely include.
Card-Drawing Enchantress Effects
Looking at the above cards, you’ll understand why enchantment-themed decks are often referred to as “enchantress”.
There are many iterations of spells that draw you cards whenever you cast an enchantment. This is a critical effect to any enchantment-themed deck. These cards will help you dig through your library, especially once you get multiple enchantress effects into play.
Enchantress-themed decks gain a suite of mana ramping enchantments. One mana accelerants like Utopia Sprawl and Wild Growth can help you play Tatsunari on Turn 2. And Sanctum Weaver can make a boat load of mana with all of the enchantments in this deck.
There are many similar enchantment ramping effects in Magic: the Gathering and Tatsunari will want to play a lot of them. Here are a few more:
The Best Infinite Combo To Play in Tatsunari, Toad Rider
The best part about this combo is that both cards work well with Tatsunari on their own. They’re both enchantments, which will trigger Tatsunari and Keimi’s abilities. And each of them plays into Keimi’s life-draining ability.
While these synergies are cool, it is more exciting that together, Exquisite Blood and Sanguine Bond form an infinite damage and infinite life gain combo.