[EDH First Pass] – Tazri Allied Gates

While my first true block of Magic was Tarkir, the first one where I really felt I knew what I was doing (somewhat) and got more into investigating EDH building was in Battle for Zendikar. While not the greatest Limited Environment it gave me the first truly synergistic Tribal deck I played, Tazri Allies, which coincidentally turned me onto the history of Magic I had missed out on. I mashed it up with the Gates theme after remembering one of my early friends playing a Maze’s End deck in college and figuring I had a 5 color mana base so why not, especially after some of my early purchases were leftover RTR boosters in Barnes and Noble.
Note: The embedded decklist is accurate as of M19 – the deck list reflected above may differ due to additional cards added in future sets.
When one conducts a search of Allies, there are 95 results. When WotC initially designed Allies they focused on three main types – Warriors (those that boosted themselves when others ETB’d), Wizards (those that scaled based on the number of allies) and Clerics (those that boosted all other allies). In the return to Zendikar they keyworded the ETB trigger of Allies into Rally, and also created the Cohort mechanic.  In order to limit our search to those that will have a greater impact in EDH, I focused primarily on the Wizard / Cleric Allies and Rally Allies. I did not include any Cohort Allies or vanilla / french vanilla Allies. There are a few Allies that don’t quite fit into either mold but I included due to recurring value / unique effects.
Some notable Legendary exclusions – I did not include Zada or Noyan Dar from OGW due to there not being any synergy beyond simply being Allies. I also did not include Akiri Line Slinger or Bruse Tarl from C17 due to
Allies (44)
Agadeem Occultist
Akoum Battlesinger
Allied Reinforcements – Two Rally triggers for one card
Angelic Captain
Bala Ged Thief
Beastcaller Savant – Helps fix mana
Captain’s Claws – Repeating Rally triggers
Chasm Guide
Drana’s Emissary
Drana, Liberator of Malakir
Firemantle Mage
General Tazri – Commander
Hagra Diabolist
Halimar Excavator
Harabaz Druid – Ramps / Fixes mana
Hero of Goma Fada
Highland Berserker
Joraga Bard
Jwari Shapeshifter
Kabira Evangel
Kalastria Healer
Kazuul Warlord
Kor Bladewhirl
Kor Entanglers
Lantern Scout
Makindi Patrol
Mina and Denn, Wildborn – Synergizes with Gates
Munda, Ambush Leader
Murasa Pyromancer
Ondu Champion
Ondu Cleric
Reckless Bushwhacker
Resolute Blademaster
Retreat to Emeria – Repeating Rally Triggers
Sea Gate Loremaster
Seascape Aerialist
Tajuru Beastmaster
Tajuru Warcaller
Talus Paladin
Tuktuk Scrapper
Turntimber Ranger
Unified Front – Up to 4 Rally triggers
Veteran Warleader
Zulaport Cutthroat

Ally Support usually comes down to trying to trigger Rally effects multiple times for one card, playing into the tribal nature of Allies, or both. Depending on how you want to build your deck you could throw in additional flicker or tribal effects.

Ally Support (15)
Blade of Selves – 2-4 Rally triggers per attack
Call to the Kindred – Free Rally trigger per turn
Clone Legion – Mass Rally triggers
Conjurer’s Closet – Free Rally trigger per turn
Descendants’ Path – Free Rally trigger per turn about 50% of the time
Distant Melody – Mass Card Draw
Door of Destinies – Chosen over Obelisk of Urd due to scaling
Flameshadow Conjuring – Free Rally trigger on cast
March from the Tomb
Panharmonicon – Double all the Rally triggers
Pillar of Origins – Ramp / Fixing for Allies
Primal Surge – 92 cards in the deck are permanents
Rally the Ancestors – Mass Rally triggers
Rite of Replication – 1-5 Rally triggers
Vanquisher’s Banner – Repeated Cycling through deck

Given that we are in 5 colors already and I don’t really care about my mana base I figured I’d go for a Maze’s End combo. To that end, here are the few Gates-matters cards that take advantage of what you’re already running in your mana base

Gate Matters (6)
Crackling Perimeter – Worst case, up to 9 damage per player per turn
Gatecreeper Vine – Finds Gates
Greenside Watcher – Untaps Gates
Hold the Gates – Up to +0/+9 and Vigilance
Scapeshift – Used to help get to Maze’s End
Way of the Thief – Push through additional damage
Gates (10)
Azorius Guildgate
Boros Guildgate
Dimir Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Orzhov Guildgate
Rakdos Guildgate
Selesnya Guildgate
Simic Guildgate

Normally I don’t go into the Manabase but given the 5 color tribal nature, there are a few cards that matter specifically. Otherwise, my solution for my casual meta is to throw in all TriLands. Vivid Lands are another option while you’re waiting to draw into your Gates.

Other Lands (25)
Ally Encampment – Tribal
Arcane Sanctum
Command Tower
Crumbling Necropolis
Evolving Wilds
Frontier Bivouac
Jungle Shrine
Maze’s End – Alt Win Con
Mystic Monastery
Nomad Outpost
Opulent Palace
Path of Ancestry – Tribal
Rupture Spire
Sandsteppe Citadel
Savage Lands
Seaside Citadel
Terramorphic Expanse
Tolaria West – Functionally an additional Gate
Transguild Promenade
Unclaimed Territory – Tribal

 Display deck statistics

At the time of writing, this deck comes out to just a smidge over $100 – the most expensive cards being Scapeshift (which should go down with M19’s printing), Tolaria West (which I had via FTV:20) and Blade of Selves (which I had via the C15 precon decks)

Obviously should we ever return to Zendikar there will be the eventual additionso f more Allies, and a Return to a Return to Ravnica would introduce more Gates matters cards. And any Tribal deck will have tools for Tazri, though I plan on prioritizing maximizing the number of Allies in the deck as possible.

Keep it Funky