Tezzerator?

tezzerator old schoo

A few years back, when I started playing extended… Ok, make that many years back! There was a deck named ‘Tezzerator’ and it was full of artifact control cards to put a stranglehold on the game before eventually winning with Tezzeret, the Seeker’s -5 ability:

tezz ultimateArtifacts assemble!

Getting to that point in the game is not going to be easy, but we’ve got just a bit of card draw, some tutoring and a few counters to get there. It’s a little list from a year ago that somewhat performed well online, but it might not be up to snuff for the current Modern metagame. After all, in extended, Tezz’s +1 ability could actually generate mana (artifact lands were not banned at that point). Nowadays, we need a Darksteel Citadel and a Mox Opal to do that kind of thing. Still, his +1 is not just for show…

 

Tezzerator

Modern Format

Creatures: 9
3 Spellskite
4 Trinket Mage
2 Vendilion Clique

Instants: 9
2 Cryptic Command
3 Spell Snare
4 Thirst for Knowledge

Sorceries: 2
2 Serum Visions

Planeswalkers: 3
3 Tezzeret, the Seeker

Artifacts: 13
2 Chalice of the Void
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Mox Opal
1 Pithing Needle
1 Pyrite Spellbomb




1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Torpor Orb
2 Vedalken Shackles
Lands: 24
2 Academy Ruins
1 Breeding Pool
1 Darksteel Citadel
1 Forest
8 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Scalding Tarn
2 Steam Vents
2 Tectonic Edge
Sideboard:

1 Spellskite
1 Vendilion Clique
4 Firespout
2 Echoing Truth
2 Counterflux
3 Blood Moon
1 Back to Nature
1 Trinisphere

 

The deck is very light on actual threats, so you can’t really go around spamming your artifacts and draw spells. Tezzeret is pretty awesome because he can almost instantly protect himself the turn he comes into play, thanks to this little toy:

ensnaring bruidgeOldie but a goodie

He then stays at 1 loyalty and begins to ramp his way back up ever so slowly. Another thing that’s pretty neat is that you can still get to put artifacts in play with his ability through your own Chalice of the Void. So you can cast say, a Pithing Needle and have it get countered. You then put the Pithing Needle back on top of your deck with Academy Ruins. Lastly, go ahead and -1 Tezzeret, the Seeker to put the Pithing Needle into play from your deck. Tada! It’s magic!

The problem card nowaydays is Abrupt Decay. It can’t really be dealt with in this deck other than spamming Spellskites (also just an awesome card). You can ‘Negate’ one Abrupt Decay per Spellskite, so keep spamming. Also, don’t hesitate to put your Spellskites back on top of your deck with Academy Ruins. You can never have enough out if you need to protect your Ensnaring Bridge. Obviously, you could always just put the Bridge back on top as well. Both cards are also very effective at fighting the Pestermite/Splinter Twin combo, though not 100% fool-roof. You can always lose your Spellskites to Flame Slash or have your Ensnaring Bridge bounced via Cryptic Command. It’s funny actually, because that’s something you end up doing in order to win right before Tezzeret’s ultimate: Cryptic Command to tap their team and bounce Ensnaring Bridge. You then are free to attack past their tapped would-be blockers.

cryptic commandC’est bon!

One thing I really don’t like is the Relic of Progenitus. I believe that a Tormod’s Crypt or Nihil Spellbomb (maybe adding a Watery Grave instead of one of the other duals in the main deck). You can at least recur the Spellbomb and Crypt, but not the Relic. Usually a Relic of Progenitus activation is sometimes enough, but not always. Against a deck like Living End it might not do the job early on and they can always respond to it late game with a Violent Outburst Cascade (into the deck’s namesake : Living End). Unfortunately, even the other graveyard hate card is not efficient in dealing with them. Grafdigger’s Cage does nothing against Living End, since their creatures are exiled before they are put into play. Torpor Orb does a wee bit, but nothing great. Chalice of the Void at 0, however, is pretty darn good. At that point they will need to draw a Beast Within to deal with the Chalice, or just regular cast all their guys.

I haven’t played the deck much to really analyze any of the common match-ups and I feel that it’s always good to let people figure things out on their own. The deck is maybe on some people’s deck-building radar, but probably not a real contender at the moment. Still, the fun is always about trying a bunch of decks out and seeing what fits your play style more or seeing if you can tweak some failed experiments and turn them into success stories. Maybe with he new/old fetchlands becoming Modern-legal, the deck will have new life breathed into it. While I don’t really mind Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas much… I do prefer the original.

tezz older artSpeaking of original…

UG Faeries

ug faeries

ddt avatar final

Modern is a for the most part defined as a format, but much like Legacy in its heyday you always get some fresh new decks that pop up and take you by surprise. Such was this deck that almost took down a 200+ plus PTQ.

 

UG Faeries

Modern Format

Creatures: 21

Scryb Ranger
3 Mistbind Clique
3 Vendilion Clique
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Spellstutter Sprite
1 Venser, Shaper Savant

Instants: 9

2 Voidslime
2 Remand
2 Cryptic Command
3 Mana Leak

Artifacts: 7

3 Sword of Feast and famine
2 Sword of Fire and Ice
2 Vedalken Shackles

 



Lands: 23


Forest
4 Breeding Pool
2 Mutavault
Verdant Catacombs
Misty Rainforest
2 Tectonic Edge
6 Islands

Sideboard

3 Kitchen Finks
2 Spellskite
2 Engineered Explosives
2 Threads of Disloyalty
2 Scavenging Ooze
2 Spell Snare
2 Hurkyll’s Recall

The cool thing about this deck is that you actually accelerate into some pretty nice stuff.

Turn 1 : Noble Hierarch off a Forest of Breeding Pool.

Turn 2: Mutavault and pass turn or Breeding Pool

Opponent’s Turn: they cast a 2-drop.

Activate Mutavault to turn it into a creature then Spellstutter Sprite their spell.

OR

Cast a Scryb Ranger, return a forest to hand to untap Noble Hierarch and cast a Spellstutter Sprite to counter their card.

 

noble hierarchMana dorks. They don’t just look good, they ARE good!

It’s got way better tricks but that’s just a small early game example.  You can also Time Walk your opponents that classic way by going Mistbind Clique on their upkeep and then countering something with Cryptic Command later while bouncing your Mistbind Clique to hand and having another chance to Time Walk your opponent next upkeep as well. It gets even better if you championed a Vendilion Clique with it since you get a great deal of value all while getting rid of their best card (kind of) and gaining hand knowledge.

vendilion cliqueDid you hear about the new cool Blue/Green Faeries deck?

 

voidslime bubbleAngel meets tentacle

The green splash is pretty sweet even for cards like Voidslime. Yes, Squelch or Trickbind do the ‘counter activated ability’ thing as well, but Voidslime is much more versatile (depite not having the Split Second of Trickbind of the Draw a Card of Squelch). Your Scryb Rangers do very good work in various matchups, like untapping your Mistbind Cliques or tapped attackers equipped with Swords in order to surprise block and kill their attackers. If you think you will miss your next land drop, you can even end of turn the Scryb Ranger.

This will allow you to tap your mana dudes (Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch) as well as your lands for mana, then untap one via Scryb Ranger. You then bounce a Forest to your hand and then play it as your land drop. You’ve just generated 2 extra mana! This is not an uncommon play for when you want to cast and equip a Sword of Feast and Famine on your turn 3 (even with the missed land drop). Obviously you get insane value if you connect with the equipped creature, since you get to untap and setup a Spellstutter Sprite counter (or Mana Leak). Don’t be sad if your counterspell was Voidslime either (you can activate the Scryb Ranger ability on your opponent’s turn as well to generate another mana and allow you to go ahead and Voidslime their spell.

scryb rangerFaeries used to be green. True story!

The deck is worth a try for anyone looking for something cool and different to try (I always am) in a  format that is still open to innovative brews. I am not a fan of the overpriced Bitterblossom at the moment either, but it still can be a ‘thing’ depending on how the metagame shift.

I was a little shocked to see that this little gem is being released in Magic 2015:

hushing gryffYeah … we probably don’t want our opponents casting Gryff here

I really like it when cards that are meh (like Torpor Orb) get a body attached to their ability to make them very playable. Things like Magus of the Moon, Thalia,etc. It gives you the opportunity to maindeck hate cards with decent stats in decks that are more aggressive all while keeping the aggro plan going.

While a budget version of the deck is possible, I would not really recommend it. You can’t fully replace cards like Noble Hierarch and swords,etc. Spellstutter Sprite is criminally underplayed in a format where it can counter soooo many spells with it (even without the extra Fairies in play). Wish I still had that Spellstutter playmat I did her holding an Umezawa’s Jitte