Tamiyo Revisited

The evidence is clear. Somebody in R&D fell in love with white.

The evidence is clear. Somebody in R&D fell in love with white. It's Plains and simple as that.

In an environment based on W/x Humans, W/g Tokens, W/b Control and W/u/g Company, it only makes sense to shake things up with the new set, right? Sure. Let's create some new archetypes, like W/u Spirits and W/b Angels. Then it is probably fine to make some more overpowered white cards, like Thalia, Heretic Cathar, Selfless Spirit, Gisela, Bruna, Spell Queller and Tamiyo, Field Researcher.

While this color imbalance in Standard is awkward, the archetypes are different enough to still enable interesting game-play.

Today I am going to focus on the questions two of our users had regarding Tamiyo. When Tamiyo was spoiled on July 1, I couldn't believe they would make such a strong planeswalker in what I perceived to already be the best color shard in Standard. I bought a playset and advised you to consider doing that as well. At that point Selfless Spirit and Spell Queller had not been revealed yet, which would end up putting additional pressure on the very tight main deck space of Bant Company. On top of that Spell Queller is most effective against 4-mana cards cast at Sorcery speed, and another flying threat attacking planeswalkers. With Spell Queller (and the new spirit decks) expected to be everywhere, Tamiyo's stock started falling fast.

The Company deck has a lot of requirements. You can't really cut 2- and 3-drops because of Company, and you generally shouldn't go below 4 removal spells, especially when they are as versatile as Dromoka's Command. Which leaves you with approximately 2 slots for Tamiyo, putting her in direct competition with Avacyn. Given the desperate need for flying creatures in this deck, and the new synergy between Selfless Spirit and Avacyn (either forcing the transform, or saving your creatures from the transform damage), it is no surprise that Tamiyo was only showing up in very small numbers, with the winning deck skipping her completely.

This is the Bant Company list that won the tournament (cards rotating out with Kaladesh highlighted):

3 Duskwatch Recruiter
4 Reflector Mage
4 Selfless Spirit
4 Spell Queller
4 Sylvan Advocate
3 Tireless Tracker
2 Archangel Avacyn
3 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
4 Collected Company
4 Dromoka's Command
3 Forest
1 Island
5 Plains
3 Canopy Vista
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Lumbering Falls
4 Prairie Stream
3 Yavimaya Coast

Tamiyo's power level analysis wasn't wrong, but the later revealed new cards just stole her spot(light). The price was based on the expectation to see her as a 3- or 4-of, not a as a 1-of.

A 1-of planeswalker should not cost 20 €, so it makes sense for Tamiyo's price to drop like a rock now.

The big question is, whether we should take our loss and move on, or hold our Tamiyos, hoping for a better environment for her after rotation.

As you can see Bant will only lose 11 cards on rotation. We will probably be able to replace the three Coasts with something from the next block (or a combination of existing lands). We most likely won't have a replacement as absurdly versatile as Dromoka's Command, but if you are just worried about having 2 mana removal, there will be various options in the Bant colors, like Declaration in Stone, Blessed Alliance, Unsubstantiate, and any new cards.

Obviously, we will finally lose Collected Company, which will open up a slot for other versatile 4-mana cards. Tamiyo could be this card. She can generate card advantage, or manipulate the board in your favor just like Company could. Tamiyo is not an instant and has a more difficult color requirement, but it can fill a similar role in the same Bant shell once the broken Company is gone.

Remember that a lot is going to change without Company. You will not be forced to have such a high low-drop count anymore. Your opponents will get to see and play a much smaller amount of Spell Quellers during every game. Overall I am optimistic that Tamiyo will see much more play after rotation, but that doesn't necessarily answer the question of “hold or fold”.

While we are waiting for the next Standard environment to save her, there will be a lot of pressure on her price. She will be opened during drafts and the Magic Online Redemption will hit the market in the meantime. I think trading her away now and considering to buy back in once the complete Kaladesh set is revealed in September, should be the best option. You could wait a little longer and hope for the Pro Tour to help the price, but I wouldn't bet on that to happen.


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Robinoost(2016-07-27 08:12)

Thanks for the clean and nice answer on my question. I didn't bought Tamiyo because i ws to late and when i seen it it was already up for 20 euro per card. Not many planeswalker stay that high so i waited out. I will buy them at some point i see her play when coco becomes less powerfull without coco. This is still a very powerfull planeswalker to dominate the mid game.

giannistkd(2016-07-26 22:10)

i think at the moment is the worst time to give it away! it is at its lowest price. See nahiri for example. There was no value trading it at 7-8 € people who didnt now have doubled or tripled their value.