How They Brew It - Digging Too Deep With Tocasia

Michael Celani • June 5, 2023

Tocasia, Dig Site Mentor | Illustrated by Lie Setiawan

Attention hackers, cybercriminals, and peeping Toms! Are you tired of breaking into mundane things, like your school's grading system or NORAD? Does downloading the No-Fly List from an unsecured server not even warrant half a holy-@#$%ing Bingle these days? Maybe you want to spy on something other than your dad taking a shower. Luckily, the Prometheus Intelligence and Security Service needs people like you! We have positions open in the fields of cryptology, cryptography, and decoding encrypted crypto-phrases such as aHR0cHM6Ly9nYW1lc2ZyZWFrc2EuaW5mby90cnV0aC5odG1s. Apply today!

A Numbers Game

Good afternoon, analysts, and welcome to the Prometheus Intelligence and Security Service, or EYES for short. Yes, our graphic designer accidentally mirrored the organization's name. Can't fix it, it's on all the shirts. Now, I'm sure you've all gotten to know each other on the black-bag kidnapping helicopter ride already, so let me introduce myself. I'm Chief Security Director Michael Celani, and that's right, I'm a sapient cube. Let me be the first to say congratulations! Your intelligence, diligence, and browser history are all clear enough that we've accepted your application for cryptid. From now on, your daily life will consist of you spying on and making fun of people stupid enough to use computers.

Now, you might be worried that there's a lot to take in. We put a camera in every toaster in Montana, for crying out loud. So if you're confused, talk to Tocasia, Dig Site Mentor; she'll show you the ropes. Tocasia grants every creature you control the ability to Surveil 1, and we're going to use that to dig through our entire deck and wipe out our opponents in a single devastating strike. Knowledge is power, and we've got a lot of it. Let's start the tour!

Wire Tapping

That right there in front of you is the Intelligence Orb. It houses a computer that is connected to every machine on Earth, and several on Mars. Other directors said it should have been an Intelligence Box or an Intelligence Pyramid instead of an Intelligence Orb, but when the bunker is about to be hit by turbo-nukes, we won't be the ones scrambling for a wagon to cart it out on. Tocasia built this thing to put a tap on every person on the planet, and let me tell you, there's a ton of juicy things that can happen when you tap and untap your own creatures. Yup, here's how we get extra value out of the ability Tocasia grants your creatures:

  • Blackmail Recruit more people to the side of the Deep State by tapping informants like Emmara, Soul of the Accord or Stonybrook Schoolmaster. The more creatures you have, the more you can Surveil, so a healthy network of spies will snowball quickly.
    • God-Favored General costs a little extra to make his creatures, but you're given two of them.
    • Patrol Signaler has the symbol, meaning part of the cost to activate that ability is untapping Patrol Signaler. Tap it to Surveil, untap it to create a creature, and keep going for as long as you have mana.
    • Once you've got enough dorks, make a wish in the Halo Fountain to draw cards or even win the game on the spot. Alternatively, pump your army up to a ridiculous size with a well-timed Mirror Entity.
  • Trade away some of those assets you recruited blackmailed for real threats by activating Daring Thief and then letting it untap to trigger its Inspired ability.
  • The top card of your library is practically yours to choose in this deck, but you might be blocked once you realize you've found a card you actually want in your hand. Enter Fallowsage, whom you can tap to draw a card.
    • Note that you'll draw before Surveilling, so you won't want to start a surveillance chain with Fallowsage unless you know you're getting something good.
  • Protect Tocasia or repeat a powerful trigger by using Mistmeadow Vanisher, who's a blink-on-a-stick. It can even protect itself or no-sell an Aura or Equip ability.
  • Only you're allowed to fill up your graveyard in this game. Tap Armored Scrapgorger to snipe Flashback spells, reanimator targets, and more, or just use it to ramp.
  • Scaretiller throws lands directly from your hand or graveyard onto the battlefield, so you'll be able to keep up in resources.
  • Centaur Omenreader might as well be two Cloud Keys, and since the vast majority of our deck is creature spells, he's extremely valuable when you have more mana later on.
  • Unctus, Grand Metatect makes all your blue creatures loot in addition to Surveil, which makes it drop-dead simple to cultivate the perfect hand. It also makes digging for answers in the moment a snap.
  • And if hacktivists, protestors, and conspiracy theorists are bothering you? Don't worry! Simply tap Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist to put up an unassailable firewall. Token decks won't know what to do!
    • If you're still dealing with individual threats, pay the cost when you tap Surgespanner for a renewable Unsummon.
  • Finally, play almost anything for no mana down with Arbiter of the Ideal. Free creatures, artifacts, and lands are all but guaranteed when you can easily see the top of your deck.

Recursive Functions

This here's the Unrecycle Bin. It contains every file ever deleted from any computer built after 1982. Took a lot of legwork to make that happen. Recovering all the bits from the incinerated ashes of the Deep Blue supercomputer deep blew. But we did it, and now you can review all those embarrassing photos Allen took of himself when he was in college. Man, Allen, you really should have cut down on the plaid. You're gonna be Surveilling a lot of cards directly into this thing, so we rigged up a few ways to get value out of cards in or entering your graveyard. You can thank Allen for that, but only after laughing at his sunburn in this deleted photo labeled "Spring Break." Man, Allen. Still hate that plaid.

  • Reclusive Taxidermist powers out Tocasia on turn three, and then becomes a beefy blocker when you've got enough different card types in the graveyard.
    • Also in the ramp space, Krosan Restorer refreshes any land you want, but if you have seven or more cards in the graveyard, and you will, it's bumped up to three.
    • You can also just tutor three lands onto the board directly by casting Far Wanderings. Don't be afraid to spend it early if you have nothing else to do, though.
  • Order of Whiteclay has that pesky , which will let you resurrect as many small creatures to the battlefield as you have mana.
  • You're going to be throwing so much land away that even golf courses will look at you with disgust, so Ramunap Excavator and Conduit of Worlds effectively mean you'll never miss a land drop again.
  • Even then, you can still get a few more triggers out of ruining the environment. Turntimber Sower makes even more creatures whenever you Surveil a land to the graveyard, Slogurk, the Overslime becomes gigantic, and Titania, Voice of Gaea keeps you alive long enough to face down aggressive enemies.
  • If by some divine joke you feel guilt for salting the earth, play a Splendid Reclamation or The Mending of Dominaria and watch as anywhere from five to fifteen extra lands enter the battlefield under your control all at once.
  • Wonder, Genesis, and Glory aren't just working album titles for my Christian rock band JC/DC, they're also creatures that give you passive benefits from the graveyard. We've picked these three since they either make it easy for your tokens to smash through crowded board states or they let you bring back anything your opponents removed.
  • If you prefer to bring back the dead through less esoteric means, Reap, Dryad's Revival, and Praetor's Counsel all return arbitrary cards from your graveyard to your hand, or you can cast Sevinne's Reclamation to return a permanent to the battlefield. You can even make a loop out of recurring Reap and Dryad's Revival if any of your opponents happen to be playing black.
  • And if your graveyard is well stocked enough, Storm of Souls will almost certainly give you an unbelievably commanding advantage, since Tocasia doesn't care how big everyone's butt is.

Reload Current Page

And here's where you'll all be working, in Building C. We all know mathematicians prefer an environment of no sunlight, so we blew up all the windows. Unfortunately, that let in even more light, which is why you'll see a bunch of cracks here sealed up with Flex Seal. A no-light environment has been scientifically proven to yield the most productive employees, because they don't know when they're allowed to go home. We've also attached shock collars to your ankles so that if you fall asleep, you'll wake up again. For all you know, could be the crack of dawn and you just got your eight hours. Hey, wait a minute; that gives me an idea. Allen, call up Tocasia.

If we untap our creatures every turn, we can multiply our surveillance something-fold. I dunno, you're the mathematicians, you figure it out. You say it's four times the surveillance? That means four times the Emmara, Soul of the Accord, four times the Fallowsage, four times the Arbiter of the Ideal. Hell, if we can untap all our lands, too, we get to cast as many spells as we want thanks to Alchemist's Refuge.

And you're saying we can enhance our surveillance even further? I feel like a regular Stalin in here! By throwing down an Enhanced Surveillance, each of our creatures mills us for up to three. And we can even rearrange the top cards of our deck now! With so many cards heading to the graveyard...

...we can easily win the game by casting Approach of the Second Sun twice in one turn, or even by putting our entire deck into the graveyard and then using Sevinne's Reclamation to return Thassa's Oracle to the field! Gotta love those mathematicians, because this plan just adds up.

Secure In My Own Shoes

Now that the tour's over, I better see you working day and night on these complicated encryption problems. We're this close to finding out Jeff Bezos' bank account password, and if we get that, we might actually be able to fund your salary. It's up to you to get paid, so get to work!

And remember, if you enjoy How They Brew It, check out the Discord and my other projects at my website. You're able to vote for whatever deck you want to see written up next, or even make suggestions of your own. Seriously, Mardu Adventures has lost four times in a row, and you can change that. Hope to see you there!

Digging Too Deep (Tocasia, Dig Site Mentor EDH)

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Commander (1)
Creatures (35)
Sorceries (8)
Instants (7)
Artifacts (8)
Enchantments (5)
Lands (36)

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Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.