Eternal Warrior #25: It’s a Blue World

Last fall I built a blue-black control/combo deck based around Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, for one of the Classic Quarter Invitational Qualifier leagues. I considered the deck largely to have been a failure, and I discussed the shortcomings extensively way back in Eternal Warrior #6.

Although the list didn’t Top 8, I had identified the key changes I needed to make to improve the deck. I still felt that Tezzeret 2.0 was a strong card in Classic, and I suspected a much stronger card in Vintage. Compared to Tezzeret the Seeker, Tezz 2.0 is less likely to win the game on the spot. But to compensate, he is a mana cheaper, and he provides you with a much stronger Plan B (animate and beatdown) and even a readily accessible Plan C that doesn’t require the combat step at all (his ultimate). Most importantly, you can immediately animate a stray artifact and mow down an opposing planeswalker. This aspect of the deck would be much stronger now that Moxen were online.

Looking back on my notes from last fall, I knew I’d want additional countermagic. I added in two copies of Mana Drain and a pair of Mental Missteps to complement the set of Force of Will. I gave some consideration to splashing a third color, but decided that it wouldn’t be very reliable if I were to keep my Ancient Tombs and correspondingly modest count of fetchlands. I did, however, think adding a single Tundra was fairly harmless, potentially assisting with Engineered Explosives. This enabled me to run a single Disenchant in the sideboard to tutor if I needed to deal with an enchantment. I opted for Disenchant over splashing green for a Nature’s Claim because I preferred to avoid Mental Misstep.

Here is the list I am playing for today’s videos:

Right now the online field is overwhelmingly comprised of blue decks. I was actually quite lucky to find a Dredge player for the first match, as the deck has not showed up in the numbers I expected based on its affordability. Dominant Classic Quarter League player Montolio has been reported to be doing quite well with his Shops deck, and in this field (and with his skill), nobody should be surprised by that. There should be a lot more Shops online than I have seen so far, as the deck has a favorable matchup against all the blue decks running wild. But it seems that most players just want to keep playing blue. I suspect that people are still very excited to be casting Time Walk and Ancestral Recall, and are letting that influence their deck choices. Blue does tend to have all the fun. And while I believe this Tezzeret deck has some good action in the blue mirror, if you really want to smoke the competition right now, I’d be casting Sphere of Resistance or perhaps Thalia, Guardian of Thraben off a Cavern of Souls.

As always, be sure to let me know what you think of the deck in the comments section. I’ve been having quite a bit of success with it in the 2-mans, but will continue to tweak it as the metagame shifts. I think I’m almost at the point of benching Hurkyl’s Recall; it’s a situational card whose situation just isn’t occurring all that often, and I might be better served by a third Mana Drain in that slot, at least until the format becomes as overrun with Workshops as it probably ought to be. Overall I think the deck is a fun twist on the traditional UBx Vintage control-combo deck, and I’ve enjoyed playing this Powered version.

  1. Yeah, Snapcaster is totally viable. A bunch of blue decks are playing two copies, including the extremely popular UR Delver/Pyromancer/Gush deck.

    In another type of deck, I would likely be using Snapcaster in the place of Strixes — they both essentially draw you a card and can trade with a lot of the creatures in the format. But in Tezzeret and in Goblin Welder decks, I use the Strixes instead for their obvious synergies.

  2. Do you see this as a deck that could be budgeted down? I am curious what such a deck would look like sans power and maybe with a few more counters…Also how does this meld with the metalworker decks?

  3. A power-less version of the deck would look something like the list I played back in Classic, which you can find at this link:

    You can see that I ran Lotus Petals instead of Moxen and also had Talisman of Dominance that I could play off an Ancient Tomb to get a Turn 2 Tezz. In that way, it was much more like the Legacy Tezzeret decks. The basic idea of having a control-combo deck with a backup plan of beating down with 5/5 creatures is the same, it’s just much more efficient and explosive with Power.

    That Classic version of the deck needed a lot more tuning, I spent about two weeks trying out half a dozen blue decks and decided on that because I thought it was the most fun and had a shot in a field of other planeswalker decks. It also should have had a Vampiric Tutor in it, looking back now. Maybe I hadn’t bought that card yet as of the time that I had to register the decklist for that season’s league.