Legends Legends - Hazezon Tamar

Jeff Dunn • May 14, 2024

Hazezon Tamar by Richard-Kane Ferguson

Welcome back to Legends Legends, a weekly series where we build Commander decks led by the original 55 legendary creatures from Legends! This week we're taking a look at Hazezon Tamar, a Naya commander with a wonky enters-the-battlefield/leaves-the-battlefield effect. How do we build a blink deck around Hazezon? Let's find out!

General Thoughts

Hazezon Tamar is a seven-mana Naya legendary creature with some gorgeous artwork from the one and only Richard Kane-Ferguson. It has a novel's worth of text that's been updated and reworded for clarity several times since its initial release. Basically, when Hazezon enters the battlefield, you create X 1/1 white/green/red Sand Warrior creature tokens at the beginning of your next upkeep. When Hazezon leaves the battlefield, we exile all Sand Warriors. The timing on this ability is tricky, as we want to blink Hazezon as much as possible without losing our entire army of Sand Warriors in the process. 

Clocking in at a resounding seven mana, Hazezon Tamar isn't easy to cast. What's worse is we'll need extra mana after he hits the field to blink him once or twice. We're focusing on land-based ramp to hit that seven-plus mana threshold to create the maximum number of Sand Warriors every chance we get. Then, we'll use our army of tokens to sweep the board.

This Hazezon Tamar Commander deck plays like a glass cannon. It can explode in just a few turns, burying opponents under 20+ Sand Warrior tokens and blowing them away with Impact Tremors and Goblin Bombardment. Unfortunately, like many creature-based decks, it's vulnerable to board wipes, and Hazezon Tamar is expensive to replay from the command zone if he perishes. 

Landing Lands

The first thing we need for our Hazezon Commander deck is land! Hazezon Tamar won't benefit nearly as much from artifact-based ramp, so expect the usual suite of land tutors in this list. Cultivate, Kodama's Reach, Rampant Growth... they're all here. Notably, we're including Boundless Realms. Typically, we'll still be looking to ramp once we hit seven mana so we can cast Hazezon and blink him in the same turn. 

Another interesting choice is Tempt with Discovery. Most opponents should know better than to take you up on this offer, but on the off-chance that they're falling behind on mana, you have the opportunity to skyrocket your mana base.

We're also running a few land-fetching creatures with enters-the-battlefield effects as well. Wood Elves, Springbloom Druid, Yavimaya Dryad, and Solemn Simulacrum make great targets for our Conjurer's Closet, Teleportation Circle, or any of our other blink effects. Plus, their ETBs double off of our Panharmonicon, too.

It'd be foolish to build a deck so land-focused without including at least a few of the better Landfall cards in our colors; for instance, Avenger of Zendikar is a powerhouse card in EDH that combos with Emiel the Blessed very well. 

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Felidar Retreat and Scute Swarm can create threats while we're busy ramping, and we'll recur our fetchlands with Ramunap Excavator and Crucible of Worlds. Finally, Oracle of Mul Daya and Rites of Flourishing help us clear away those lands so we aren't stuck with dead draws.

Hazezon In, Hazezon Out

If we've played our cards right, we should have enough mana to cast Hazezon by turn four or turn five if we're really dragging. That doesn't mean it's time to cast our commander yet, though. We want to be sure that we can blink Hazezon Tamar once or twice, stacking that delayed trigger effect multiple times before our next upkeep. We only have one shot to generate as many Sand Warriors as possible: once Hazezon leaves the battlefield, we'll lose any Sand Warriors we've created, and we won't even get death triggers as they leave.

The two easiest ways to blink Hazezon are Cloudshift and Ephemerate. Casting Ephemerate on our commander is fun because we'll have the opportunity to rebound it on our next upkeep. Place the rebound trigger and the delayed Hazezon trigger on the stack so that the Ephemerate resolves first, putting another delayed trigger on the stack (that'll resolve next upkeep) without losing the Sand Warriors we'd create this turn!

It'll behoove you to play a few key permanents before Hazezon, as well. Conjurer's Closet and Teleportation Circle both guarantee another ETB from Hazezon when he hits the field, and Emiel the Blessed is the perfect mana dump for some extra blinks. Having an Impact Tremors on the field before the Sand Warriors come into play really speeds up the clock on your opponents, too.

Now, keeping Hazezon on the field at the same time as your Sand Warriors is a bad idea. If Hazezon should perish, we'll lose every single one of those tokens as well. Once you've maxed out the number of delayed triggers from Hazezon, we've got to get rid of him. Use Ashnod's Altar, Perilous Forays, and Goblin Bombardment to get him the hell out of there before a single Doom Blade wipes your board. 

Sand Warriors

Once we've placed an appropriately large number of Hazezon's effects on the stack, we've got several options. One of my new favorite ways to capitalize on those Sand Warriors is Rite of Harmony. Assuming we played Hazezon for at least seven mana last turn, on our following upkeep we'll have enough mana to both cast and flashback Rite of Harmony in the same phase, drawing two cards for every Sand Warrior we bring into play. 

In addition, the combination of Warleader's Call and Impact Tremors should be enough redundancy to always have one or the other or be able to tutor them with Idyllic Tutor and Enlightened Tutor

Finally, landing Hazezon while Cathars' Crusade is on the field means each of those Sand Warriors will get a +1/+1 counter for each Sand Warrior entering the battlefield next upkeep. We can easily turn seven 1/1s into seven 8/8s this way.

Oh! I almost forgot: there's one more silly interaction with the Sand Warriors. When Hazezon is removed, he exiles all Sand Warriors, not just the ones you control. This means you can use Shields of Velis Vel to turn your opponents' entire board into Sand Warriors, exiling them all whenever Hazezon leaves the battlefield. This is a great instant-speed response to targeted removal that'd otherwise set you back seven mana.

The Mana Base

In such a land-focused deck, we can't afford to miss land drops, especially before we play Hazezon. To that end, we're running a whopping 38 lands in this deck. Six of these lands are fetch lands (either actual fetches or Evolving Wilds equivalents), which can be replayed with Ramunap Excavator and Crucible of Worlds to great effect with our Field of the Dead. We've avoided all but the most essential artifact ramp (Sol Ring and Arcane Signet), and we run a single mana dork, Birds of Paradise

Budget Options

This Hazezon Tamar Commander deck rings up at around $550 for its cheapest printings. Most of that is the $188 Hazezon, but there are a few other cuts you can make to bring the overall price down.

Parallel Lives, while great for doubling up on our Sand Warrior tokens, is also thirty whole American dollars, and it can be replaced with the cheaper-yet-symmetrical Primal Vigor. Your mileage may vary; I had to remove all my Primal Vigors from my decks because my opponents ran too many Ghave, Guru of Spores combos.

Crucible of Worlds can also go. Ramunap Excavator does the same thing on a body and, even though it's easier to remove, it can be replaced easily with an Ancient Greenwarden, who just dropped down to $2 (thanks OTJ Commander decks)!

Hazezon Tamar Deck List

Legends Legends - Hazezon Tamar

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Creatures (19)
Artifacts (9)
Lands (38)
Enchantments (12)
Sorceries (14)
Instants (8)

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Sand... I Hate Sand...

Hazezon Tamar offers a unique deckbuilding challenge. He makes Sand Warrior tokens, something not seen again until his Dominaria United incarnation. He has a punishing leaves-the-battlefield effect that makes for an interesting restriction you have to work around. He's one of the only commanders you don't want hanging out on the field very long.

What do you think? Does Hazezon Tamar live up to its rare rarity compared to the other Legends Legends? Or is he just too much effort to make work? Let me know in the comments, or on the Commander's Herald X. 

Thanks for reading! Join us again next week for another Legends Legend!



Jeff's almost as old as Magic itself, and can't remember a time when he didn't own any trading cards. His favorite formats are Pauper and Emperor, and his favorite defunct products are the Duel Decks.