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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Apr 14 2013 11:02pm
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Are Indestructible 7/7s for Four Mana Any Good?

We have a preview card today. It’s a good one. 
 
I’d parse it out a bit, to “build suspense.”   I know you are going to just scroll down to the card anyway, so I’ll throw out some notes while you scroll.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It’s a creature, BTW
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A legendary Human Soldier.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It costs 2WR.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
No drawbacks.   Always Indestructible.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It has Battalion.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Okay, enough torture.  Here you go:
 

 

So, let’s talk about this guy. Tajic is obviously good in limited. Indestructible / protection from creatures blockers have been clogging up the ground since at least Cho-Manno, Revolutionary and Beloved Chaplain.  However, as good as Cho Manno was at holding the line, he could hardly beat down.   Tajic, on the other hand, is a huge body when you can get your battalion on. We won’t know just how good he is until we see the whole set, but I suspect that the full format may be a lot slower than Gatecrash. For one thing, we have a full cycle of 2/4s – details here. What we do know is that Boros is good in Gatecrash, and beating with creatures should be fine in DMZ/GTC/RTR.  I’m not quite ready to call Tajic a bomb, but I would need to see something pretty amazing to convince me not to first pick him.
 
Indestructible, beats for 7/7 much of the time. Maybe I will call him a bomb.
 
Tajic may be even better in constructed. Let’s take a look.
 
First off, he is a Human. That is a big plus, since Human is a heavily played tribe. That’s important because many decks name human with Cavern of Souls.   Control decks are still being played, and Cavern is still important.   Let’s look at some  decks that may find a use for Tajic.
 
My first thought is a non-starter: Human Reanimator.  Those decks are typically WBG - the wrong colors - and don’t need what Tajic brings. They have Thragtusk to serve as a wall early on.  Let's move on.  
 
The next thought is Boros Human beatdown decks. We see some base red decks adding white for cards like Frontline Medic. However, these decks are usually very close to the mono-red aggro decks, and their mana curve tends to top out at the Frontline Medic, at three. I could see these decks testing Tajic out of the board for the mirror, but these decks don’t really want walls. They may well want removal, Falter effects, or Faith’s Shield more.  On the other hand, RW decks will have nothing that can get rid of Tajic (except the legend rule) unless they have Oblivion Ring or Fiend Hunter in the board.
 
Boros aggro decks are really just slightly worse Naya decks, so let’s move on to those.
 
Here’s a typical Naya aggro deck. Let’s see where Tajic might fit.
 

 

Once again, the mana curve looks a bit low for Tajic, but you are not going to run more than two copies main, and maybe only one. Naya does not want dead cards, which is what multiple copies of a legend are. On the other hand, if you have played, or played against, this deck, you know what a beating Frontline Medic is. Tajic isn’t quite a Frontline Medic, but he can be a whole lot bigger and he does not die to Searing Spear. Actually, Tajic does not die to anything in Naya, except the Fiend Hunters out of the board.

I haven’t talked about just how good indestructibility is in this format. What can remove Tajic? Fiend Hunter, O Ring and Detention Sphere, Angel of Serenity, Selesnya Charm, Mutilate and Tragic Slip – at least as far as cards that are commonly played. If you don’t have one of those, then you are going to need something that flies or tramples, or damage is not getting through. 
 
By the way, have you thought about what a beating Tajic will be with Rancor
 
Moving up to more midrange Naya decks, we see something like this:
 
 
Now this is the kind of deck that really wants Tajic. He fills the same slot as Huntmaster, but is a whole lot harder to remove. Tajic plus Domri Rade is a combo, and having Tajic team up with Aurelia in a battalion attack would be just plain sick.    
 
The ultimate dream: Tajic in play, with Rancor. Aurelia.  Battalion. First attack: Tajic is a 9/7 indestructible trampler. Second attack, assuming you need one and still have Battalion – Tajic is a 16/13 indestructible trampler. Unless they have a Charm, that’s gotta be game.
 
However, I think that the perfect home for Tajic may well be the New Aristocrats. Here’s the build that Brad Nelson used to Top 8 the most recent
 
 
Nelson’s deck plays Blasphemous Act, and Tajic is fine with a good Blasphemous Act now and again. It doesn’t even phase him. He also enjoys Lingering Souls, since Lingering Souls means Battalion, and that make Tajic a monster.   He fits the curve, benefits from Cavern of Souls on Human and plugs some of the holes the deck has, since he's a very hard to remove blocker against RDW, Boros and Naya Aggro, and something that survives an opponent’s Bonfire or Blasphemous Act. 
 
Tajic, Blade of the Legion.
 
I think we will see a lot more of him.    

9 Comments

Wow! I never thought our by olaw at Mon, 04/15/2013 - 10:58
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Wow! I never thought our preview card would be actually be a Guild Champion and arguably the best one revealed so far at that.

Entertaining article and some good ideas about where Tajic might find a home.

PureMTGO's cred is growing! by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:08
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PureMTGO's cred is growing! (Or maybe it's just because of Pete)

I was just looking back at the past preview cards we got, and for Zendikar it was Needlebite Trap. Which, indeed, who can even remember what the hell that is? :)

Champion is amazing, but I like even more another Boros preview card revealed today, Legion's Initiative. Mythic enchantments FTW.

Off the top of my head? Anti by AJ_Impy at Tue, 04/16/2013 - 01:47
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Off the top of my head? Anti life gain drain card, 3BB, trap cost B, gain five, opponent loses five, trap trigger opponent gains life.

Almost there. 5BB. by AJ_Impy at Tue, 04/16/2013 - 01:48
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Almost there. 5BB.

His flavour text doesn't seem by StealthBadger at Mon, 04/15/2013 - 15:53
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His flavour text doesn't seem to make a lot of sense with battalion!

That aside, I quite like him. I don't think he's anywhere near exava, varolz or ruric on power level though.

Well, he does say that he by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 04/15/2013 - 17:22
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Well, he does say that he "fights with the full might of the Legion". That's what battalion is about. :)

Yeah but it says "I run the by smack8001 at Tue, 04/16/2013 - 14:49
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Yeah but it says "I run the maze alone," but wouldn't he rather have 2 buddy squires with him? Without his 2 squires, he is running alone and NOT fighting with the full might.

Reminds me a lot of Konda, by smack8001 at Tue, 04/16/2013 - 14:47
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Reminds me a lot of Konda, Lord of Eiganjo, because he's white, indestructible, and can grow while attacking under certain circumstances. Except he's 4 mana, not 7, and he can hit opponents for 7. Wham!

Oh boy, Blasphemous Act and by KaraZorEl at Wed, 04/17/2013 - 14:20
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Oh boy, Blasphemous Act and Magmaquake look really good right now.