Video Deck Tech - Tezzeret Control (Standard)

Feature Article from Frank Lepore
Frank Lepore
4/18/2012 9:45:00 AM
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Don't miss the article we created here that has links to all of the officially spoiled Avacyn Restored preview cards so far, along with their Facebook entries and discussions. If you've missed some previews, be sure and check it out since I update it every night around midnight.


You ever notice how a lot of blue Planeswalker have abilities that you can - or rather need to - build around? Of course I'm specifically referring to guys like Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, Tezzeret, the Seeker, and Venser, the Sojourner.

Of course you'll probably say, “Well of course they do, Frank. Their abilities all require a specific type of card to be most effective!”

And I'll say, “Yes, I know. That's the point I'm making!”

At first I thought this trend was true of maybe, say, gold Planeswalkers, and not just blue ones. Then I realized the same thing wasn't true with Ajani Vengeant (he can go in pretty much any red and white deck), Sarkhan the Mad, Sarkhan Vol, etc. This fact usually means that these Planeswalkers, by nature, see less play than their more universal counterpart, but it also means that they are often much more appealing to rogue deckbuilders.

Well, today I'm going to represent such a deck. Everyone should know by now I'm responsible for all the decks that get entered into the site, and a little bit ago, I noticed an MTGO player named “mesmerize” was winning quite a bit with a Tezzeret Control list. Well, I kept entering decks and his name just kept showing up!

Then last Wednesday my good friend John Cuvelier asked if I had three Tezzerets I could lend him on MTGO. Before he even said what they were for, I immediately knew. He confirmed it before I could beat him to the punch. I knew he was PTQing over the weekend, so I made sure to get the Agents of Bolas back before he left to test the deck myself. I also sleeved up the deck and took it to FNM. Anyway, I'm sure you're curious what the list is so let's get to it.

Tezzeret Control by mesmerize (3-1)
Main Deck
2 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Treasure Mage
2 Wurmcoil Engine
Creatures [5]
1 Liliana of the Veil
3 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Planeswalkers [4]
3 Black Sun's Zenith
1 Curse of Death's Hold
1 Doom Blade
2 Go for the Throat
1 Grafdigger's Cage
3 Ichor Wellspring
1 Mimic Vat
2 Mycosynth Wellspring
4 Nihil Spellbomb
3 Pristine Talisman
3 Ratchet Bomb
1 Sever the Bloodline
1 Spine of Ish Sah
1 Throne of Geth
1 Tragic Slip
Spells [28]
4 Buried Ruin
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Drowned Catacomb
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Island (233)
4 Phyrexia's Core
5 Swamp (236)
Lands [23]
Deck Total [60]

2 Azure Mage
4 Distress
1 Elixir of Immortality
3 Ghost Quarter
1 One-Eyed Scarecrow
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Ratchet Bomb
1 Tragic Slip
1 Wurmcoil Engine
Sideboard [15]

Click for full deck stats & notes!

This particular list was one of the only ones that mesmerize took to a 3-1 finish (rather than a 4-0 finish). Feel free to click on his name there, to check out the sheer number of events he went 4-0 in using this deck. The reason I chose this one, however, was because it happened to be the most recent. The deck is actually insane and something that needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated, so check it!

T2 Tezzeret Control vs. Delver Humans

T2 Tezzeret Control vs. Esper Tokens

T2 Tezzeret Control vs. BG Wolf Run

I you see it!? Every turn you have about a million choices to make, but none of them are really game ending choices; what I mean is that, you're not necessarily going to lose if you choose to sacrifice your Nihil Spellbomb instead of using your Phyrexia's Core on your Ichor Wellspring on one turn. You just have the option to do either.

The deck has so much subtle card advantage that it's insane. You have Nihil Spellbomb which gains value over Snapcaster Mage, Lingering Souls, Think Twice, Forbidden Alchemy, etc. You have five Wellsprings which all replace themselves, then draw you a second card once you find a Phyrexia's Core or a Throne of Geth; kind of like the metallic “Think Twice.” You're simply able to churn through your deck insanely fast. to find your relevant spells. Heck, even the Grafdigger's Cage works as pseudo-card advantage when it's shutting off flashback spells, Snapcaster Mage, Lingering Souls, and Green Sun's Zenith. You can see in the BG Wolf Run match, my opponent overlooks the Cage and plays a Green Sun's Zenith for six. Needless to say he was a little frustrated when nothing appeared from his library.

Some of his other lists are even running Omen Machine. Omen Machine! Can you believe it? Go ahead and hover over that bad boy, since I know you don't know what it is. I mean, who does? But it seems awesome against the control matchups, right? I mean it shuts off Think Twice, Counterspells that aren't in their hand, their draw step. least I think the card is for the control matchups. I'm not even sure, but that seems like one of the best uses. The point is, I simply love innovation like this.

There were times I wanted to replace one or two Buried Ruin with Inkmoth Nexus. I mean, after all, it's a two turn kill with Tezzeret, and we also have Throne of Geth to proliferate, but truth be told, after playing the deck a good amount...they're not really needed. It's weird to say, but I was never like, “boy, I wish I had an Inkmoth Nexus.” When the deck manages to wrangle control -which is very common - you definitely know it.

The most misleading part of the deck is all of the “do nothings” that it seems to have. Cards like:

1 Grafdigger's Cage
3 Ichor Wellspring
2 Mycosynth Wellspring
4 Nihil Spellbomb
3 Pristine Talisman
1 Throne of Geth

At first glance these cards are all just cantrips or even strict sideboard cards, but in this deck they shine! They draw you multiple cards, they're found with Tezzeret, they enhance Tezzeret's ultimate, they can be animated by Tezzeret, they can be sacrificed for life gain, they can be returned with Buried Ruin. The area where these artifacts really shine is how well they allow you to actually play Magic. What I mean is they allow you to do things like draw the cards you need, and get lands in order to play those cards. In fact in the videos I was able to keep quite a few one land hands when I have a Wellspring and a Spellbomb in them, because I know the Spellbomb is going to draw me another card, and as soon as I hit a second land, the Wellspring will find me the third.

 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Store QTY Price  
ChannelFireball 1 $17.99
Vensers Journal 2 $18.94
CGMTrader 1 $18.96
Gametraders 2 $19.50
Spell Bound 1 $20.83
Sun City Games 1 $20.99
DojoTradePaperOutlet 1 $21.00
Card Monster Games 1 $21.00
Alter Reality Games 1 $21.04
zathma trading cards 1 $21.64
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Phyrexian Metamorph is also insane when you're able to copy something like a Spine of Ish Sah, sacrifice it to Phyrexia's Core, then get it back to reuse on something else, or recopy the Spine for three mana. Like I said, the deck has a ton of awesome subtle interactions. I can't even think of any changes I would make off the top of my head, since I know he's just put so much time into the deck

I warn you though: as seems to be the case with most decks that to run Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, this deck has a ton of choices to be made at any given time, and you'd do well to practice it with it before playing in any events. I was always able to close out the match, but as you can see, even against Delver I was close to timing out. And that was only game two!

The deck is just phenomenal though, and the results mesmerize is putting up seem to cement that fact. It looks like he's been putting up about three 4-0's per week for the last three weeks or so. If you have the chance, I highly recommend this list, since it has definitely been road tested by the creator, and I will definitely vouch for both its consistency and strength. Heck, it isn't even that expensive to put together! Well, that's all I have for this week! Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week!

Frank Lepore
@FrankLepore on Twitter
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