Brewing Taii Wakeen, Perfect Shot in cEDH

Sam Black • May 1, 2024

Taii Wakeen, Perfect Shot by David Auden Nash

It's no secret that it's hard out there for a Boros Commander in cEDH, with Winota, Joiner of Forces as the one exception, but Taii Wakeen, Perfect Shot brings a lot to the table. At only two mana, she comes down early, which is one of the most important considerations for a commander, and more importantly, she provides both card advantage and a mana sink in the command zone. That said, both the card draw and the mana sink require a bit of help to work.

Fortunately, Taii Wakeen doesn't have a lot of words you might expect, like "or more" or "once each turn," so if you can deal exact damage to several creatures at the same time, you can draw cards for each of them, which means Taii can offer a surprising amount of card advantage. At face value, Taii can let you use burn spells on creatures to draw cards, allowing you to police the table without going down on cards, but what you're really looking to do is draw more than one card off a single spell.

The trick is that you need the rest of the table to cooperate by giving you creatures with the right toughness to kill... except that's not quite true. First of all, Taii can draw cards even when you damage your own creatures, but also, you can use cards like Forbidden Orchard and Genesis Chamber to make sure your opponents have the creatures you want.

Jumping through hoops to draw cards is pretty fun, but we're in Boros, so the real question is how we can convert those cards into a win. It's generally easier to generate infinite mana than to actually win the game, and this is where Taii's activated ability comes in. She doesn't exactly function as a combo piece the way Thrasios does with infinite mana, in that you still need another card, but if you activate Taii's ability with a lot of mana, then any card that deals damage will deal a lethal amount of damage, so the last piece of your combo can become any card that damages each player.

Given that, I'm looking to win with one of the following:

Taii Wakeen cEDH Combos

Cloudstone Curio + Dockside Extortionist+ Damage Source


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Zirda, the Dawnwaker + Basalt Monolith/Grim Monolith + Damage Source


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Underworld Breach + Grinding Station + Mana Crypt


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Dualcaster Mage + Molten Duplication/Twinflame


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I think these are pretty realistic ways to win; the trick is that you don't have a lot of tutors in Boros, so we need to make sure we can draw a lot of cards. To accomplish that, this deck uses traditional card draw engines available in Boros:

Taii Wakeen Damage-Dealers

I'm also including cards that can deal damage to multiple creatures or to creatures multiple times, which can net extra cards with Taii:

Additionally, Delney, Streetwise Lookout doubles draw triggers from Taii.

A note on the cards chosen: you want cards that deal one damage or cards that deal X damage. Dealing more than one damage is redundant given that Taii's activated ability can always increase the damage for you, but it can never reduce it, and being able to draw off killing one-mana creatures is important. Fear, Fire, Foes! is nice because it can get exact hits on both one-toughness creatures and another creature at the same time. 

Left to their own devices, your opponents are unlikely to give you a lot of creatures with the same toughness that you can kill all at once, which is why you need to take matters into your own hands with cards that make tokens. Fortunately, you don't really care who gets the tokens, and if anything, it might be better if your opponents get them, since some of your cards don't damage your own creatures. To enable card draw from your damage spells, you have the following efficient ways to make a lot of tokens:

Taii Wakeen Token-Generators

I'd like more of these, but I can't think of any cards that are comparably efficient; if you know of any, adding more would likely help the deck a lot. My editor, Jake FitzSimons, also happens to be working on Taii Wakeen at the moment and he suggested Young Pyromancer, which might have potential as it doesn't require additional mana, but I'd like to find something more explosive. Thanks to him for suggesting Delney, Streetwise Lookout and Volcanic Spray, which I'd missed initially.

Additional Burn Spells

Burn spells that only hit one or two creatures are a lot better than usual, even though they're not real card advantage engines. Still, cheap removal that draws cards is powerful, so the deck does want to play some extra burn spells and also doesn't want to play removal that can't draw cards, like Swords to Plowshares.

That leaves this removal package:

I think these cards are good in the deck, but not essential to the gameplan, so if I were looking to make room for something else, I'd consider cutting one of these.

Fast Mana

Because this deck can draw a lot of cards and needs to be able to try to win quickly, it has to play a lot of fast mana to try to chain cards together. Like most cEDH decks, I included the typical fast mana cards (Lotus Petal, Mana Crypt, Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Sol Ring) as well as the following fast mana cards:

Boros Interaction

Red and white are limited in their ability to interact on the stack, but you do get a little bit:

Silence and Ranger-Captain of Eos are extremely important white cards, both for preventing other wins and securing your own.

This isn't really a Stax deck, but there are a few cards that are just good enough:

High Noon is a debatable inclusion, as your deck is generally looking to cast a lot of spells. My current theory is that at only two mana it's fantastic at preventing other decks from winning quickly, and you can play a very reasonable grindy game and sacrifice it when you're ready to try to win, but it's very expensive to sacrifice, so it can definitely backfire. The others are all asymmetrical, so they're much safer to play.

The primary reason I like High Noon is that I think this deck has a strong matchup against creature decks and a weak matchup against turbo/spell-based decks, and High Noon is a card you can look for that will give you a chance at a difficult table.

Boros Tutors

The tutor options are limited for Boros, but there are a few good ones:

Sevinne's Reclamation isn't as powerful as it is in decks with Intuition and Brain Freeze, but it's still useful here as a way to get back an important combo card that's been answered.

I also like Lightning Greaves to protect Taii; I think opponents will often want to ignore it since it's only two mana, but if you go for a damage spell that will draw a lot of cards, it can be killed in response and you'll lose your commander, the burn spell, and the tokens that you want to draw cards off with another burn spell, so it's important to be able to minimize the chance of that happening.

It's common for decks with red and white to play extra turn effects, like Final Fortune with Angel's Grace, but this deck gets to add a fun extra combo to that: Chance for Glory has the extra text that your creatures become indestructible, which means that they don't die when you deal lethal damage to them, and Taii doesn't care if the creature dies, it cares if lethal damage is dealt, so you can keep your X/1 creatures in play and draw off several Earthquake effects in the same turn.

Moreover, if you cast Angel's Grace and keep playing the game after that turn, your creatures are actually indestructible for the rest of the game, which is generally cute with Chance for Glory, but it's exceptional in this deck because those indestructible creatures continue scaling up all your card drawing.

Lands That Synergize with Taii

Forbidden Orchard is the best land in the deck, and it's good enough that I'm tempted to play a card like Weathered Wayfarer or Expedition Map to find it, but it's also much less good to find later: it only makes one token per turn, so to get a lot of value out of it you really want to play it on the first turn. Beyond that I'm not doing anything too fancy with the lands. Barbarian Ring is a little better than usual, and I'm playing normal lands like Ancient Tomb, Urza's Saga, and Gemstone Caverns.

Over all, I think it's really cool that there's a cEDH Boros commander that revolves around spells more than creatures as a contrast to Winota. I think it can be hard to play this kind of gameplan without blue, and I think this deck will often struggle against true turbo decks, but it could have very good matchups against most green decks or other decks that rely on keeping creatures on the battlefield, like Yuriko, Magda, Winota, and Najeela. 

Taii Wakeen cEDH by Sam Black

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Commander (1)
Lands (25)
Enchantments (6)
Sorceries (17)
Instants (13)
Artifacts (16)
Creatures (22)

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Sam Black is a former professional Magic player, longtime Magic writer, host of the Drafting Archetypes podcast, and Twitch streamer. Sam enjoys a wide range of formats, especially limited and unofficial fan formats like Old School and Premodern in addition to cEDH.