When I gave my Indianapolis SCG Open tournament report a couple months back, I talked about the UB Tezzerator deck and how I thought it was decently positioned in the metagame. I specifically noted that Elves and Miracles were very good matchups for the deck, and those two decks seem to have virtually taken over MTGO since the Treasure Cruise banning. In some recent Daily Event results, over half of the decks to x-1 or x-0 were either Elves or Miracles!
So with that in mind, I took advantage of the recent price decline in Tempest Block staples to build the deck online.
Here’s the list I took into the queues for this week’s videos:
UB Tezzerator by Chris Wynes
First up this week is a short video deck tech explaining how it all fits together. You are basically playing as a combo-control deck, trying to lock down the board and stave off death until you can win with one of your game-ending combos or planeswalkers. You also have the option to get aggressive by making mana-rocks into 5/5 creatures with Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. It’s this ability to shift roles that makes the deck dangerous against opposing control decks. If you do choose to sit back and play it like a prison deck, the ability to win immediately with the Helm of Obedience + Leyline of the Void combo limits your opponent’s chances to draw their way out of your various soft-lock pieces.
As I note in the deck tech segment, the opponents I was finding in the 2-man queues weren’t really representative of what has been dominating the Daily Events lately. I have generally not frequented the Daily Events because my schedule makes it difficult to set aside 4 hours in a single evening to play MTGO with minimal interruptions. I think this deck is definitely viable in the online metagame, and if I can set aside some time I would absolutely give it a shot in a DE.
Some of the other Tezz players are abandoning the maindeck Leyline-Helm combo in recent iterations of the deck. During the Treasure Cruise era, it not only served as a combo victory condition but also created a lot of splash damage against decks that used the graveyard as a resource. Although not quite as big a deal with Cruise gone from the format, the graveyard is still in heavy use. Tarmogoyf, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Dig Through Time, Deathrite Shaman, Snapcaster Mage, Cabal Ritual and other powerful graveyard-reliant spells remain format staples.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor makes it into many decklists in place of the combo, or in place of Tezzeret the Seeker, but I don’t think Jace really does anything to shore up the bad matchups — either Tezzeret is more effective as a source of card advantage with the way this deck is built.
Some players have also tried a color splash, red or white being the most common. The deck has a glaring weakness to Null Rod, and no really good answers to it other than to try and win with planeswalker abilities. Gaining an answer to Null Rod might be worth a red splash, and adding Blood Moon to the deck sounds pretty spicy. But mana consistency is strained in a deck with 7 colorless-producing “Sol lands”, so it’s not an avenue I currently want to pursue.
This deck has a cult following of sorts, so if you’re one of its devoted fans, be sure to drop me a line in the comments and let me know which direction you’ve been taking your build!