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Chain Veil Teferi

Commander / EDH

Neunviertel


Description

Teferi Stax Primer: Jack of all trades, master of all.

Deck Introduction

Chain Veil Teferi (CVT) is a bit of a unicum among its competitive peers. Not only can it race the fastest Combo decks in the format with frequent Turn 3-4 wins, it also has the ability to completely lock down the game until it can find its way to victory. Moreover, the deck is able to fluidly switch between the two strategies depending on the current game state. All of this makes CVT one of the stronger and more popular competitive Multiplayer EDH decks.

The two major upsides of CVT are that the deck is both resilient and consistent due to having one piece of its two-card Combo in the Command Zone. This, coupled with a slew of artifact tutors, lots of fast Mana,and a bunch of Counterspell backup can lead to what looks like a win "out of nowhere". While the Combo does need a fairly high amount of Mana to execute, Mana is almost never a concern once Teferi hits the field thanks to his -1 ability. Said -1 ability is also a big factor when it comes to playing the Stax game.

Who We Are

neosloth (superstepa)

Hi, I'm neosloth, also known as superstepa on reddit and tappedout.

If you hang around the r/cedh Discord you probably already know me as "that Teferi guy". I am a huge fan of mono blue strategies in cEDH, and I have always been trying to play the best mono blue general avaliable. For the past year I have dedicated myself to making Teferi the best deck it can possible be. I have extensively tested my build of the deck against almost every tiered and fringe deck in the format, and I update the deck regularily in order to adjust to the new cards coming out and the shifts in the metagame. The deck has a proven record against some of the best r/cedh players, and a version of the deck has gone undefeated in the 2017 Vancouver GP competitive EDH event. I believe that Teferi is, and has consistently been one of the best cEDH decks and hopefully this primer can show you why that is the case.

Lobster (Neunviertel)

I'm Lobster, also known as SizOzzsome on Reddit, Neunviertel on TappedOut, or Sigi. Some of you may know me as the Admin of the PlayEDH Discord Server, or as the dedicated Mono Blue player on the Laboratory Maniacs YouTube Channel. My first foray into competitive EDH was trying to tune up a Stax Zur list to no avail. Immediately afterwards, I picked up Teferi as my main deck because I always enjoyed playing Blue and just from looking at the list, I felt like it might be a good fit. I originally started with a list that was similar to Zrifts's Stax Teferi, but soon realised that it was out of date and not really fit for the Post-Partial Paris cEDH environment. This lead to me experimenting around and learning a lot about Teferi in the meantime.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Can win on Turn 3-4 quite consistently
  • Can play hard Stax if need be
  • Plays the long game much better than other fast decks
  • Can switch between fast Combo and hard Stax very quickly
  • Runs a lot of interaction, both proactive and reactive
  • High consistency thanks to many different tutor lines

Cons

  • Has trouble dealing with Null Rod/Stony Silence
  • Doesn't like Sphere of Resistance/Thalia, Guardian of Thraben type effects
  • Is (sublty) hard to play and build correctly

Why play this deck?

You might enjoy this deck if you:

  • Really like Blue
  • Enjoy playing with lots of artifacts
  • Like to be flexible in your game plan
  • Like having half of your winning combo in the Command Zone
  • Enjoy a deck that has a lot of subtle depth, but a well-defined overall goal

You will not enjoy this deck if you::

  • Hate Blue
  • Don't like the idea of only having access to one colour
  • Prefer decks that try to execute the same plan every game
  • Prefer finishing the game differently every time
  • Prefer creature-based decks
  • Don't want to interact with opposing decks
  • Want to play with Time Warp and Consecrated Sphinx

Gameplan

Before we begin talking about the combo itself, here is the relevant ruling. Yes, it is pretty much the opposite of what the card itself says, but it's how the combo works. When we recast Teferi from the CZ, he gets all the previous activations of The Chain Veil, allowing him to make more mana and draw more cards each iteration.

7/18/2014

Because the last ability modifies the rules of the game, it affects not only planeswalkers you control when it resolves, but also planeswalkers that come under your control later in the turn.

Here is the basic gist of the combo. You cast Teferi, untap 4 things, cast chain veil, untap chain veil. Now, you untap 4 things with one of them being chain veil. If you have enough mana rocks (5 mana from three permanents), you will net a little bit of mana each time you activate veil. On the last Teferi activation you simply untap 4 things that net you the most mana and leave The Chain Veil tapped. Now, we recast Teferi with the mana we generated from the loop. Because this Teferi is a new game object he gets the number of free activations equal to the number of times you used The Chain Veil. So if you used it 3 times, you can instantly -3 to generate a whole bunch of mana before resuming the combo. You can also +1 first, and then tick Teferi down essentially repeating the first loop you did. You'd want to do that if there is something like a Ruric Thar on the battlefield and you need to dig for answers.

Once the loop gets going you are eventually going to have practically infinite mana and infinite planeswalker activations. With those you can now use Teferi's +1 to dig through your whole deck. Then you find Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and use his +2 to infinitely do damage to your opponent's faces. If your Ugin is somehow exiled you can just dig for Stroke of Genius or any other infinite mana outlet.

Before attempting to combo off, always make sure that you have enough mana to actually win. If you all you have is a Sol Ring and some tapped lands, chances are you won't have enough mana to get the loop going. There are edge cases where you might be able to win without enough mana rocks. All you have to do is get veil to 5 stacked activations. To make life a bit easier for you, we made a small Python script that will tell you if you're able to go off. You can find it here.

Now that we're all on the same page when it comes to how to execute our main win condition, let's talk about the one thing that sets Teferi apart from other decks. Not only can Teferi be a Fast Combo-type deck, it can also play the Stax role. More importantly, it can switch between these two "modes" very quickly and seamlessly, which is one of the reasons why it's such a powerhouse in competitive EDH. This, however, is also the reason why Teferi is a deck that has a lot of subtle depth to it: Deciding on the correct gameplan and knowing when and how you're supposed to change your role at the table is very complicated and takes both a skilled pilot and a high amount of experience with the deck. The following segment will attempt to illuminate the thought process behind formulating the correct gameplan in regards to three different factors:

  1. Opening Hand
  2. Other Decks at The Table
  3. Position at the Table.

Opening Hand

Before we talk about which gameplan we want to decide on, here's a short bit on mulligan decisions. Generally speaking, our ideal hand will look similar to this: 2-3 lands, 1 piece of interaction, 2-3 pieces of ramp, 1-2 draw spells, 1 tutor. While Mulligan decisions definitely go hand in hand with our gameplan, there are certain hand configurations that we really don't want to see:

  1. Too many lands: This one applies to pretty much every cEDH deck out there. Even when going for a long game, you don't want to keep a land that is too heavy on lands and too light on gas.
  2. 0-1 lands: There are very, very few situations where keeping a no-lander is worth it, so this should almost always be shipped back. One land is keepable if your hand has a decent balance of ramp and draw.
  3. Very slow hands: If our hand is several pieces of interaction, a tiny bit of ramp, and no real way to draw/tutor cards, it should go back. Especially in slow games, we want to have the ability to see more cards than our opponents, so just keeping interaction is not the way to go.
  4. All ramp hands: If we've got a hand where we can have like 10-12 mana by turn 3, but without any real payoff, we should mulligan. Although this deck plays a lot of fast Mana, it will quickly look weak when there's no payoff for that Mana.
  5. All-in hands: These can be kept against the certain decks, but most times, you should expect early interaction from your opponents. If our hand relies on one key piece too much, we can fall very far behind if that particular piece gets interacted with. Teferi is not a deck that needs to take this sort of risk.

After we've decided to keep our opening hand, the main criterion of evaluation should be the hand's speed. In this case, speed doesn't necessarily mean how fast the deck is going to win with this hand if uninterrupted, but rather how quickly it can do two things:

  1. How quickly can we establish a strong board presence?
  2. How quickly can we see how many cards in our deck?

A strong board presence can mean a lot of things in this deck, but it basically boils down to having access to more Mana than our opponents. This can be achieved in a variety of ways: Having a lot of cheap Mana rocks, landing a very fast Stasis with Teferi out, or even shutting off our opponents' access to Mana through cards like Back to Basics, Winter Orb, Static Orb, or Cursed Totem.

After establishing our board, we have to do something with it, and that's where the other aspect of speed comes in. We don't just want to have an advantageous board state, we want to do something with it, and to put it simply: more cards means more things we can do. And the quicker we can do more things, the better.

These two aspects of speed go hand in hand. We don't just want to have one without the other. If all our hand does is getting on the board quickly, but without a way to go from there, it's not going to go well for us. This hand could be described as one that has a lot of speed in the early stage of the game, but once the board is established, its speed will drop massively, as visualised in this graph". On the flipside, if our hand would let us see a lot of cards, but we'd have to use most of those cards to make our board presence workable, we're wasting a lot of resources that could've been used to propel us towards victory. Ultimately, this type of hand is a bit better than the first type since it can speed up as the game goes along (which makes its graph look something like this), but when taking this approach, we're usually left vulnerable to an opponent comboing out without us being able to do much about it, or to interaction that's aimed at one of our key cards. The major issue with keeping these hands is that we often end up constrained on Mana in the early game, since all of it has to go into trying to develop our board with the pieces we find through our draw spells.

Going back to our two different possible gameplans, here are some graphs for the stronger types of hands we usually encounter:

The Typical Fast Combo Hand

The typical fast combo hand

For this hand, we want to go hard and fast. If we see a bunch of Ramp that will give us enough Mana to cast Teferi early, a way to find The Chain Veil quickly, and maybe a Counterspell to protect our combo, this is where we want to be. A good example would be Island, Island, Mana Crypt, Mox Opal, Grim Monolith, Transmute Artifact, Flusterstorm. We have access to 8 Mana on Turn 2, which may already be enough to win the game.

The Slow, build-up, interaction-heavy hand

The slow, build-up, interaction-heavy hand

If we've got a bit of ramp and some repeatable card draw coupled with good pieces of interaction, we can usually try to grind our way towards a victory by accumulating card advantage and going off once we've managed to build up enough of a board state. This is basically the better version of our second negative example (Graph 2). A sample hand would be Scalding Tarn, Polluted Delta,Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip , Mystic Remora, Mana Crypt, Mana Drain, Back to Basics. With this hand, we can drop an early Mystic Remora and a JVP, and back it up with Back to Basics. This will give us a lot of card advantage and selection, which should mean that we pick up more and more speed over the course of the game.

The fast-lockdown hand

The fast-lockdown hand

This is what would typically be considered a Stax hand. We get a good board presence going upfront before we drop a strong piece of lockdown (think Winter Orb, Static Orb, Stasis). While this will also slow us down to some degree (albeit less than other decks), it will buy us time to find the remaining pieces we need to close out the game. Once we have those assembled, we can usually go off uninterrupted. A prime example for this type of hand would be the following: Island, Mishra's Workshop, Mox Opal, Sol Ring, Grim Monolith, Cursed Totem, Static Orb. Here, we can come out of the gates really quickly with a bunch of Mana rocks, which we can then follow up with Cursed Totem to stop Mana dorks, and Teferi + Static Orb to keep the Mana advantage over our opponents. Teferi also helps us go through parts of our deck at a moderate pace so we can keep interacting with our opponents while advancing our own board state.

Apart from speed, the other main factor to consider when it comes to evaluating opening hands is payoffs. These payoffs don't necessarily have to be game-winning plays, they can also be something like resolving a Dig Through Time, getting a lot of cards off Mystic Remora, or locking down the table with Teferi + Stasis. One thing to keep in mind when looking at a hand is identifying these payoffs. If our hand has no proper payoffs, we may find ourselves in a Graph 1 situation, where we can do a bunch of stuff upfront but run out of gas pretty quickly. We always want our hands to go somewhere

To sum it up: Going slow is fine. More than anything, your hand needs to have a clear goal.

Matchups

The second big factor when it comes to deciding on our initial gameplan is matchups. After taking a good look around the table, we should try to identify our opponents' decks and consider their possible gameplans. When doing this, most cEDH decks can usually be classified by two categories: speed and interactivity. Speed, in this case, means how early in the game a deck can usually threaten to win. Interactivity not only correlates with the amount of interaction a deck runs, but also it's willingness to use this interaction to prolong the game. As a guideline for how to evaluate some of the more popular decks in the format by these two attributes, we've prepared another graph.

cEDH Decks By Speed and Interaction

Cedh Decks By Speed and Interaction

What's quite apparent from looking at this graph is that there's usually an inverse relation between a deck's speed and its Interactivity. Another conspicuity is that most decks in the format tend to gravitate towards one end of the spectrum. They're either trying to be fast without interacting much, or they're trying to interact a lot, which makes them slower in nature. Since one of Teferi's biggest strength is its flexibility in terms of gameplan, we can abuse the nature of these other decks by adjusting our gameplan to the matchups. Teferi is neither the fastest nor the most interactive deck in the format, and it really shouldn't be trying to be either one of those if that would mean losing strength in the other direction. If we're up against a table that is mostly comprised of interactive decks, we can play the role of the fast combo deck that's threatening an early win. If we're not the fastest deck at the table, we can look to slow down the game and find the right window to win. If it's a mix between fast and interactive decks, we can go for a middle-of-the-road kinda thing where we watch out for the faster decks while not letting the slower decks get enough of a grip on the game. These types of pods usually take a fair amount of experience because they can be very unintuitive to navigate successfully. Doing so usually boils down to being patient and thinking ahead far enough to make the right choices about which cards to interact with. Sometimes, that also means taking a step back and letting other decks interact while slowly advancing our own board state.

Turn Order

Apart from the innate advantage of going first in a game, which you can read about here (Note that this advantage naturally isn't as big in Multiplayer games. However, there is a significant disadvantage to going last that is unique to multiplayer formats), there are some other things to consider about Turn order. A lot of this ties into our previous segment: We should look at how the different types of decks are positioned towards each other. Does the fast Combo deck untap before or after the slow, interactive deck? Who will usually have untapped Mana when it's our turn? Do we maybe need to stop ramping and start interacting a turn earlier because of how the turn order is set up? Could it be the other way round, so we have more time to build up our board, and can we abuse that somehow? These are all questions we should ask ourselves before the game starts. The main way in which they shape our gameplan can be summed up by evluating how greedy we can allow ourselves to be, or how conservatively we have to play.

The big thing to keep in mind about all of these factors is that they don't just stand by themselves. They all interweave and play off each other, and our final overall gameplan should take all of them into consideration.

Reacting to the Board

As we've alluded to previously, Teferi's biggest strength lies in its flexibility. That much is not only true when it comes to deciding on our initial gameplan, but also when it comes to, as some people say, "playing to the board". Over the course of a game, we should always evaluate the board state. This means that we should identify who the most threatening deck at the table is at any given point. We can also go one step further and consider which deck will gain the most from having the threatening deck be dealt with (aka "the last deck to try to combo off usually wins"). On the other hand, if we're the most threatening deck at any given point, we should pay special attention to the deck that has the highest potential to disrupt our plans and change our gameplan to deal with them accordingly.

Scenarios

We'll start collecting some actual games and our thoughts about them in relation to everything above, which will be added to this section in the future.

Every deck should be tuned to its metagame, and because of that this SCD section is not matched to a specific Teferi list. The following cards are the cards that we think are the core of every good Teferi deck, but these do not collectively form a specific Teferi list. If you want an example of a Teferi list, please scroll down to the bottom of the primer.

The Daily Bread of every competitive Teferi deck, copious amounts of Mana Rocks provide us with enough acceleration to power out our Commander very early if need be. For Teferi, a suitable Mana Rock should:

  1. Be cost-efficient: This includes free Rocks (Mana Crypt, Mox Diamond), Mana-positive Rocks (Mana Vault, Sol Ring), or just the better 2-cmc Rocks (Fellwar Stone, Mind Stone).

  2. tap for 3 Mana: When going for your Chain Veil combo, you don't need any other 2+ Mana sources if you have a single Source that taps for 3 Mana. All cards in this section will be evaluated according the critera listed above.

Ramp Card List:

  • Basalt Monolith - Pays for itself and goes infinite with Power Artifact and Rings of Brighthearth.

  • Chrome Mox - Taps for blue for 0 mana.

  • Copy Artifact - Copies the best ramp piece at the table.

  • Fellwar Stone - 2 mana and it taps for a colored. It's the best we can get without talismans.

  • Gilded Lotus - Taps for colored mana so we can easily keep up a Counterspell after casting it.

  • Grim Monolith - 2 mana and it taps for 3. Goes infinite with Power Artifact and Basalt Monolith.

  • Sol Ring - The reason commander decks are 98 cards.

  • Mana Crypt - The reason budgetless commander decks are 97 cards.

  • Mana Vault - It's a Dark Ritual that we can untap with Teferi.

  • Mind Stone - One of the better 2 mana tap for 1 rocks. Can be cycled late game.

  • Mox Diamond - Taps for blue for 0 mana.

  • Mox Opal - It's the best mox. With the amount of artifacts we have in our deck this is pretty much always going to be active.

  • Prismatic Lens - The second best 2 mana tap for 1 rock. The colored mana filtering can be surprisingly relevant.

  • Thran Dynamo - It's just good enough to make the cut. Having rocks that tap for 3 mana is important because they allow us to combo out with The Chain Veil.

  • Voltaic Key - Good with pretty much every mana positive rock. Lets us untap monoliths to net 5 mana.

Since this deck doesn't just play Fast Combo, but also needs to go for the long game from time to time, we run a more extensive interactive suite than most competitive EDH decks. The interaction we run usually boils down to one of three categories:

  1. Protection: This includes interaction on the Stack in the form of Counterspells to either protect our board against opposing interaction or prevent another player from winning.

  2. Removal: These spells should be used to clear out any obstacles that are getting in our way.

  3. Stax/Hate: The cards that make it possible for us to play (and win) the long game. Even when up against other Stax decks, controlling what affects the board is a strong position to be in.

  • Counterspell - UU to stop anything.

  • Delay - Often acts as a hard counter for 1U, stopping enemy generals, Counterspells and removal.

  • Dispel - Dispel's main function is protecting our combo turn. The card can also hit relevant instants such as Ad Nauseam when necessary.

  • Flusterstorm - Another excellent protection spell. In addition to being very hard to counter, this card can destroy opposing storm decks.

  • Force of Will - Free Counterspell. We are a mono blue deck so we'll always have something to pitch to it.

  • Mana Drain - Strictly better Counterspell (not a statement you hear often). Can help us combo out early.

  • Mental Misstep - Stops enemy ramp (Sol Rings and Elvish Mystics), tutors, removal and Counterspells. Amazing card in a competitive meta, but a subpar one in a slower meta.

  • Muddle the Mixture - Mostly used as a tutor for Transmute Artifact and Stasis, however it can act as protection in a pinch.

  • Pact of Negation - Mostly used to protect our combo but can be thrown out to stop an opponent from winning.

  • Spell Pierce - Best Mana Leak effect in cEDH. A lot of cards relevant to us (hello, Null Rod) are non-creature and a lot of the time we can catch our opponents off guard with a well placed pierce.

  • Swan Song - Best 1 mana Counterspell. The 2/2 can be annoying when Teferi is on the battlefield, but it's not a concern most of the time.

  • Chain of Vapor - Chain of Vapor is one of most deceptively powerful blue cards. While on a surface it may seem like a pretty straighforward bounce spell with a downside, an experienced player can turn it into one of the most potent removal spells in the entire format. Being able to read the table can help you put your opponents in a position where they are willing to copy Chain of Vapor bouncing someone else's card, essentially becoming a 2 for 1. The most important part of that, however, is that chain can be used to bounce your own permanents. The simpliest way to use it would be to generate mana off our fast mana rocks. Sometimes sacrificing a land and bouncing a Mana Vault and a Mana Crypt is enough to get us that little bit of extra mana for a win.

  • Into the Roil - At competitive tables this card is almost always a strictly better Cyclonic Rift. Being able to bounce our own permanents is huge in a stax based deck like Teferi, because we can use it to get extra untaps through stasis and the orbs. The 4 mana kicker is a lot easier to reach than the 6U overload, and having extra card draw is always nice.

  • Cursed Totem - Stops creature decks. Remember that it also stops mana abilities, so it seriously hurts decks that use dorks as their ramp.

  • Grafdigger's Cage - Stops reanimator decks and some storm decks. Note that it hurts our Snapcaster Mage and Jace.

  • Static Orb - Static Orb shuts down decks that would otherwise dodge our stax effects with dorks or artifact ramp. Not many decks can function well off just 2 permanents.

  • Winter Orb - Shuts down entire decks. Acts as a pseudo-boardwipe when combined with The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. Be mindful of decks that heavily rely on artifact and creature ramp, as those decks may have no trouble playing the game through it.

  • Back to Basics - Our answer to greedy 3+ color decks. A well timed Back to Basics can knock a deck out of the game entirely.

  • Overburden - Hates on creature decks. Absoltely brutal against dork decks if we can get it out early.

  • Rhystic Study - Continuous tax effect. Doesn't matter whether they pay 1 or not, both are equally beneficial to our gameplan.

  • Stasis - Often a game over with Teferi on the battlefield. In a worst case scenario it can act as a pseudo timewalk. Be mindful of our U producing mana sources when trying to cast it.

  • The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale - Our best stax piece against creature decks. Absolutely brutal when combined with Winter Orb.

The butter to our bread, card draw makes it easier for us to get to our win condition. As a rule of thumb, the best card draw spells are those that let us see the most cards for the smallest cost. As with Mana Rocks, all cards in this section will be evaluated according to these two criteria.

  • Brainstorm - Digs us 3 cards deep and interacts favorable with fetchlands.

  • Dig Through Time - Digging 7 cards deep will often give us the exact card we are looking for.

  • Frantic Search - While it's not technically card advantage, digging two cards deep for free is really good. Interacts favourably with High Tide.

  • Impulse - Digs 4 cards deep at instant speed.

  • Mystic Remora - Not really a stax effect, it's more akin to a mass draw effect. Most decks can't afford to pay 4 for their non creature spells, and most competitive decks can't afford to do nothing in the early development turns. In any case, it's often an Ancestral Recall and Ancestral Recall is a fantastic card.

  • Sensei's Divining Top - Top filters out draws, is tutorable with Trinket Mage and it draws us the deck with Rings of Brighthearth and infinite mana.

  • Memory Jar - It's a wheel effect that is extraordinarily easy to tutor for. We can also get it out early, keeping it up for combo turns or disruption on your opponent's combo turns.

  • Ponder - Potentially digs us four cards deep. Interacts favorably with fetchlands.

  • Preordain - Provides the best card selection out of all our cantrips.

  • Timetwister - Great for refilling our hand. The shuffle clause can be occasionaly relevant. If we lose our Ugin, or we need to loop our Stroke of Genius, this is the card to get.

  • Time Spiral - Pretty much just a second Timetwister (that is $965 cheaper). The untaps interact nicely with High Tide and lands that tap for more than one mana.

  • Thirst for Knowledge - Draw three discard two at instant speed is already pretty decent, and with this deck we'll always have something to pitch.

  • Windfall - Great for refilling our hand. Can sometimes be used to punish aggressive tutors. For example, if you see a Sidisi ANT player tutor the turn before you can use the Windfall to make them discard Ad Nauseum, essentially knocking one player out of the game.

These cards either set us up with an avenue towards victory, or can be used to win the game on the spot. When it comes to evaluating these types of cards, we should always think about how useful they are going to be outside of their Combo, since we want to minimize dead draws as much as possible.

  • High Tide - Nets us a ludicrous amount of mana with Teferi. Tutoring High Tide is often a valid line to take when you have TCV and not enough artifact mana.

  • The Chain Veil - The one and only. Getting this card is your goal, and once it lands the game is over.

  • Ugin, the Spirit Dragon - The deck could theoretically run any planeswalker with a game ending ability as the win outlet, with card:Jace, The Mindsculptor being the most notable Ugin alternative, but Ugin is the win condition you will see in most Teferi decks. Between JTMS and Ugin, Ugin has more utility. Reaching 8 colorless mana can be trivial with Teferi, and having a conditional boardwipe is backbreaking against most decks. Casting a Teferi into Ugin's -5 is often game winning.

  • Rings of Brighthearth - In addition to comboing with Basalt Monolith this card favorably interacts with our general (you can copy either one of the abilities) and fetchlands.

  • Power Artifact - Goes infinite with monoliths. One notable interaction this card has is enchanting The Chain Veil. The ability will cost 2, and untapping islands will generate 3 mana, so you'll be able to go infinite without any mana rocks.

  • Stroke of Genius - This is our infinite mana outlet of choice. This deck runs it over USZ because it's colored cost is easier to achieve when we cast stroke for value. The downside of stroke, however, is that we need to have spell recursion in order to kill the whole table with it. If we have somehow used up our Timetwister, Time Spiral, and snapcaster or Jace then it'll be impossible for we to win. The card is mostly interchangeable with USZ so pick the one that matches your deck better.

Protection

  • Mana Leak - Can catch people off-guard in fast games with thin mana margins.

  • Negate - Fantastic in slower non-creature meta, not as great in a creature meta. Delay is usually a better catch-all choice.

  • Steel Sabotage - Can be worth running if your meta is Null Rod heavy. It can also be used a pseudo ritual with mana positive mana rocks, and it can be used to break stax parity by bouncing your own winter and Static Orbs.

Removal

  • Cyclonic Rift - This is still a great removal spell but not being able to target your own permanents hurts is a fair bit. It's still way better in Teferi than it is in say, a dedicated candelabra deck, but it's definitely one of the more redundant effects we have. If you play in a slower, staxier, meta where you can reliably get to 6U then this card is great. The main issue with it is that at cutthroat fast combo tables the overload cost might as well not exist.

Stax

  • Torpor Orb - Stops creature based combo decks and creature based artifact removal. Most notably it shuts down Food Chain Tazri.

  • Tangle Wire - Tangle Wire is fantastic against decks that are light on permanents. If you are playing against a lot of storm, then feel free to slot this in.

Tutors

Lands

  • Strip Mine - Great if you are either running the Expedition Map package, or if Gaea's Cradle is a problem in your meta.

  • Gemstone Caverns - It's an occasional Chrome Mox, but having a colorless land when you are trying to tide out can be really rough. It's good in builds that plan to go the fast combo route.

Misc

  • Fact or Fiction - Digs 5 cards deep. Good at tables that are not familiar with Teferi.

  • Vedalken Shackles - If you're facing a lot of decks that base their main strategy on specific creatures (think New Selvala, Yisan, or even some Leovold decks), look no further. Post tuck change, Treachery-type effects are pretty much the only means of keeping some decks from having access to their commanders, and Shackles is the most efficient and flexible one we have. Even if you can't immediately steal your opponent's centrepiece, stealing a mana dork can give you a significant swing in Tempo.

You are in mono blue. There are better Counterspells you could run. If you have this and not Delay, make the switch ASAP. Only consider Denial if you are in a meta that is filled with cards that you can not hit with one of the deck's conditional Counterspells.

Capsize is both bad at being a piece of removal and a combo finisher. Paying 1UU to bounce something is just never worth it, and you will pretty much never be able to cast it with buyback.

Capsize acts as an infinite mana outlet but it requires infinite U, which is not something that the deck can do easily. If the deck is at a point where it has infinite U then there are probably better lines you could take. In addition to that, bouncing the board does not technically win you the game, which can be relevant if you are playing with a timer.

Enters the battlefield tapped. The color is not worth it.

Consecrated Sphinx is a 6 mana do nothing spell. Sure, if you cast it you will win the next turn cycle, but that comes at a cost of not being able to interact with anything your opponents cast during that cycle. What that usually mean is that you lose the game.

Let's examine the other two 6cmc cards in the deck: Time Spiral and Teferi himself. These two cards pay for themselves, allowing you to hold up interaction, and they will win you the game either on the spot or during the next turn cycle. They do the same thing sphinx does but they don't cost you any of your resources.

Consecrated Sphinx also enables your opponent's removal. Being impervious to creature hate is one of Teferi's strong suits and giving your opponents a nice juicy removal target is just not something you want to do. That Swords to Plowshares could have killed a Selvala that was ready to win, or it could kill that Eidolon of Rhetoric that was preventing the deck from going off.

Mystic Remora is the final nail in the sphinx-shaped coffin. That card does the same thing as the sphinx for 1 mana. Your opponents paying 4 for their spells is just about as likely as them skipping their draw step in order to stop you from drawing cards with sphinx. This might be a radical opinion but I think that Ancestral Recall is a better card than a Minotaur Abomination.

If you feel that your meta is slow enough for you to be able to run 6cmc card draw effects, look no further than Recurring Insight. Insight draws you 12-14 cards over a turn cycle, while the sphinx only draws 6.

Speak of the devil. As I mentioned above, this card is not worth it unless you play in incredibly slow metas. 6 mana is just way too much to tap out for.

Most of our instants are 1 or 2 CMC and ~60% of our artifacts are mana rocks. Being able to tap down our orbs on demand is cute but the card just does not do enough for the deck.

This card is new, shiny and exciting, but it simply does not belong in the current build of the deck. Unlike decks like Arcum Dagsson and Captain Sisay, we have no way to generate card advantage of paradox, and because of that, the card is nothing more than a win-more rock. It may see play in some future Teferi builds, but as of right now Arcum Dagsson is the better mono-u Engine general.

The deck heavily relies on artifact synergy so a mana source that doesn't stick around is just not great.

The deck runs enough tutors to get us any card we want. Long-Term Plans is one of the worst tutors in blue and there are no notable otherwise non-tutorable cards in the deck.

In the current core build the only otherwise non-tutorable cards are: Trinket Mage, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Back to Basics, Mystic Remora and Rhystic Study, and none of them are critical enough to warrant an entire tutor slot dedicated to them.

Mono blue isn't big on reanimation, so you are going to be hardcasting this guy, and if you have that much mana then you could've probably already won the game.

The common argument for offering is that you target the weakest players, but at a competitive table any player should be able to mess your plans up once you give them such a huge advantage.

Metalworker is a meta call. In some metagames Cursed Totem is essential, and you simply cannot use metalworker early enough to get value out of it. If you can afford to run metalworker the deck will become more explosive.

Staff of Domination is not worth it whether or not you run metalworker. TCV is a robust combo and trying to shove more winconditions into the game will dilute it's consistency. Staff also does not interact with anything other than metalworker.

With the amount of tutors the deck has we can always get the best stax piece when we need it. There is no need to run strictly worse versions of them.

Time Warp effects are often nothing other than 5 mana explores. Yes, they synergize with Teferi, but if Teferi has landed on the battlefield you will either win the game on the spot or lock the game down. Time Warps don't help our game plan in any meaningful way.

Teferi is not a dedicated High Tide deck, and thus it cannot interact with candelabra in any meaningful way. All it would do is filter colorless mana into U and that's just not something that the deck needs.

On tide turns generating 8 mana with Teferi alone should generally be enough to finish the game.

The Chain Veil combo is already extremely consistent, and wasting two extra card slots on a combo we do not need is subpar at best. If the deck ran more meaningful 2CMC spells there would be merit to trying Scepter, but as of right now it's just lacking good targets.

Sphere of Resistance is a card commonly played in stax decks, but that alone is not a reason to run it. Sphere of Resistance is anti-synergistic with Teferi, and it hurts us just as much as it hurts others. The only reason Winter Orb and it's kin are ran is because Teferi makes their downsides neglibile.

Spheres also have the problem of making our mana-positive mana rocks significantly worse, and they force us to leave up more mana for interaction. Making our Counterspells into cancels is not a place where we want to be.

Lodestone Golem synergizes with the deck moreso than the Sphere, but it still interacts unfavorably with our instants and 4CMC is a fairly high cost.

Thorn of Amethyst is generally ran in decks that have other creatures that support it and/or make it's tax less punishing. Since our deck is pretty much entirely non-creature spells this card is a big nonbo.

8 mana with triple U is an insane investment. It wins you the game, but it's just about the most inefficient way of doing so. In addition to that, the deck has no way to tutor it out so a lot of the time you are either not going to see it at all or it is going to be a dead draw.

Utility lands are generally not worth running unless they have a good synergy with the deck. Every non-basic land we play makes our High Tide worse, and the upside they provide is usually not significant enough. Running Urborg to compensate for running utility lands is in many ways akin to trying to put a bandage on a severed head.

This is not a reanimator deck. Guess some people missed the memo.

It's mana negative (produces less than it costs) and it comes into play tapped. Avoid at all costs.

If you regularly play 8-man cEDH, this card is nuts. But so are you.

Gameplan

FCT is a fast combo deck that aims to win by acquiring infinite creature mana with Food Chain + Eternal Scourge/Misthollow Griffin and casting Tazri an infinite number of times. The deck is extremely fast and resilient, using the best ramp and interaction from all the 5 colors of magic.

Weaknesses

  • Torpor Orb - Shuts down Tazri's ability making the combo impossible to execute.
  • Back to Basics - Tazri is a 5 color deck, and because of that it is weak to non basic hate.
  • Cursed Totem - While none of the actual combo pieces rely on creature activated abilities, the deck runs a fair number of dorks and a well placed Cursed Totem can slow the deck down by a few turns.

Notable Cards

Gameplan

Jeleva is a fast storm deck that runs a large amount of interaction and multiple redundant win conditions.

Weaknesses

The approach of the deck varies from game to game, and because of that it does not have any glaring weaknesses. In order to stop the deck you have to be aware of what win condition the Jeleva player is trying to reach, and try to counteract that. In general, try to see which resource the deck is struggling with the most and try to deny them that resource. Don't let the deck wheel when they only have a few cards in hand, and don't let them cast a Snap on High Tide turns when they don't have a lot of mana open.

Notable Cards

  • Candelabra of Tawnos - Helps the deck storm off on High Tide turns.
  • Doomsday - The doomsday piles of this deck usually pack a large number of protection so stopping it after doomsday resolves may be difficult. In general you want to either try to stop the pile from opening by countering the first draw spell cast after DD resolves, or you want to remove Laboratory Maniac if you think you have enough disruption to fight through protection.
  • Helm of Awakening - In addition to just making storming off way easier for the Jeleva player, this card acts as a part of a combo with Future Sight and Sensei's Divining Top.
  • Isochron Scepter - Generates infinite mana with Dramatic Reversal and rocks.

Gameplan

Prossh is in many ways similar to Tazri, trading the extra protection provided by the 5 colors for the easier execution of the combo and an extra burst of speed.

Weaknesses

Note that Prossh triggers on cast, and not on ETB, so the combo is not stopped by Torpor Orb

  • Cursed Totem - The deck is reliant on mana dorks and Cursed Totem is our best way to punish that.

  • Torpor Orb - Shuts down some of Prossh's win conditions. They can still win through Blood Artist effects or combat damage, so it's not a guaranteed lock.

Notable Cards

Gameplan

See this primer.

Weaknesses

The Teferi mirror match is weird. If you find yourself in a duel against another Teferi player, try to stop as much of their ramp as possible. The deck that can develop a board position with a stax piece first is generally the deck that wins.

Notable Cards

See: SCD

As of now, there are two big Thrasios/Tymna lists going around: Doomtide and Buried Alive/Angel Combo. We'll talk about both separately.

Gameplan - Doomtide

Doomtide is a deck that is very good at switching between different win conditions on the fly, which makes it fairly hard to disrupt once it's already in a position to win. It runs Bomberman, Aetherflux Reservoir, and Laboratory Maniac as its main win conditions. Rather than letting them get to a position where they can win, this deck should be attacked by denying it as much early resource development as possible.

Weaknesses - Doomtide

  • Back to Basics - Inherently weak to nonbasic hate because it runs 4 colours.
  • Cursed Totem - Shuts off the Bomberman line.
  • Static Orb/Stasis - This deck thrives on being good at developing both its board and its hand at the same time. However, an early lockdown effect makes this almost impossible.

Notable cards - Doomtide

Gameplan - Buried Alive

Buried Alive is more of an all-in fast combo type build than Doomtide. It relies on dumping either its whole library or some key cards into its graveyard as early as possible and winning on the same turn. This is usually done by casting Dread Return (or another reanimation spell) on Angel of Glory's Rise, which then brings back Laboratory Maniac and co or Auriok Salvagers for the Bomberman Combo.

Weaknesses - Buried Alive

Notable cards - Buried Alive

Gameplan

Yidris has firmly established himself as one of the strongest Storm generals. The most commonly known and accepted list, JimWolfie's Melt Banana, is quite all-in and doesn't run much in the way of stack interaction. We can abuse this by aggressively looking for Counterspells on our first turns if we're on a slower hand. On top of that, this deck's only win condition is Aetherflux Reservoir, so if we can somehow deal with that, life should be good.

Weaknesses

  • Counterspells - As mentioned, not much Stack interaction.
  • Back to Basics - 4 colors. You know the drill.
  • Grafdigger's Cage - This Storm deck relies on its graveyard moreso than other Storm variants, which makes Cage worth its weight in gold here.

Notable Cards

Gameplan

Zur is the boogeyman deck of the format. Incredibly fast and resilient, the deck tries to storm out as early as possible, with Zur tutoring out Necropotence as a way to draw more cards when things get hairy.

Weaknesses

A lot of the deck's power lies in the multiple ways it can approach every scenario. While that does mean that the deck has no glaring weaknesses, this does not mean that the deck is unbeatable. You'll just have to rely on your skill rather than a silver bullet.

  • Back to Basics - The deck is 3 color and as such it gets hurt by non-basic hate.
  • Into the Roil/Chain of Vapor - If you see a Zur player go for a pile that lacks protection (Lion's Eye Diamond is a dead giveaway), then bouncing Laboratory Maniac in response to their final draw will knock them out of the game.
  • Counterspells - We are one of the few decks that have enough interaction to fight a deck like Zur on the stack.

Notable Cards

Gameplan

As a general Leovold does not lend himself to a particular gametype, however Doomsday is by far the most popular competitive Leovold archetype. Leo's main advantage is that he acts as a hatebear that can destroy his opponent's hands with wheels.

Weaknesses

  • Into the Roil - If Leovold lands, bouncing him back into the wheel is our easiest way to slow him down. Unfortunately this can't disrupt Leo's doomsday pile, because attempting to bounce Laboratory Maniac will trigger Leo's draw ability.

  • Back to Basics - It's a 3 color mana base so it is weak to B2B.

Notable Cards

  • Doomsday - Leo's doomsday piles are difficult to disrupt because of Leovold's triggered ability. Only let them resolve doomsday if you are sure that you have enough Counterspells to stop the combo.
  • Wheels - With one of these on the stacks your only options to keep yourself in the game are either removing Leo or countering the wheel.

Gameplan

Gitrog Monster is a dredge combo deck that uses Gitrog's triggered ability in order to generate card advantage and combo off.

Weaknesses

  • Cursed Totem - Shuts down the deck's discard outlets.

  • Timetwister - The best form of grave hate we get in this matchup. It's unlikely that a gitrog player will leave a dredge card in a yard for you to twister away, but if that happens then shuffling it away might be a good idea.

Notable Cards

  • Dakmor Salvage - This and a discard outlet such as Putrid Imp is a game over. I don't think the word limit of this post will let me explain the combo in detail so you'll just have to either trust me on this or look up a gitrog primer. The combo is nigh-impossible to disrupt so attack the discard outlets and gitrog before they get a chance to play this.

  • Putrid Imp, Wild Mongrel, Noose Constrictor - The second half of the combo. Do not let these be on the battlefield at the same time as Gitrog.

Gameplan

Sidisi ANT is a deck that uses fast mana and Sidisi's tutor ability in order to power out an early card:Ad Nauseum.

Weaknesses

  • Counterspells - Being mono black the deck lacks good protection. Countering Ad Nauseum will usually do the trick.
  • Chain of Vapor/Into the Roil - For exploit to work Sidisi has to be on the battlefield. Bouncing her back fizzles the exploit trigger, making the Sidisi player lose a turn and some mana.
  • Timetwister, Windfall - Sidisi will get Ad Nauseum. Making the ANT player discard it can slow them down for a considerate amount of time.
  • Grafdigger's Cage - Shuts down Yawgmoth's Will

Notable Cards

Gameplan

Selvala is a blazing fast combo deck that aims to land an early Selvala and use her ability to win as early as turn 3.The general gameplan is:

  1. Play a mana dork turn 1.

  2. Play Selvala turn 2.

  3. Try to win turn 3.

Weaknesses

This deck is blazing fast but it is at it's core a glass cannon. Removing the early Selvala is often enough to knock the deck out of the game.

  • Cursed Totem - Practically shuts the entire deck down. Be ready for the Nature's Claim.
  • Torpor Orb - Shuts down the draw aspect of the combo.
  • Overburden - While it's hard to play this early enough to actively hurt the deck, it can make the Selvala player lose all their lands on their combo turn, and when backed with disruption that can be enough to knock the deck out of the game entirely.

Notable Cards

Gameplan

Boonweaver Karador is a deck that's fantastic at playing the long game, and it can make life quite hard for us thanks to running Kataki, War's Wage, Gaddock Teeg, and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben-type tax effects. Outside of the eponymous Boonweaver combo, this deck can also hurt us through an early, reanimated Iona, or it can win by looping Reveillark and Karmic Guide. Each of these win conditions comes with a significant downside, however: They all need the graveyard in one way or another. So when playing against Karador, you should aggressively look for graveyard and creature hate.

Weaknesses

Notable Cards

Gameplan

Yisan is a midrange deck that aims to use it's general's ability to tutor out the perfect silver bullets to lock out the board.

Weaknesses

Notable Cards

Q: Why are you playing a control deck? Everyone knows that control isn't a viable strategy in cEDH.

A: Teferi is not a control deck. It is a combo deck first, a stax deck second, and a control deck third. You shouldn't try to control three other decks, as that is not, and it has never been a valid cEDH strategy. Attempting to combo off while simultaneously trying to lock the other three decks out of the game is the path that you should be taking.

Q: Is the tutor consistency good enough to get veil out early?

A: Yes. While at a surface look it may seem like the deck only has 6 artifact tutors (Whir of Invention, Tezzeret the Seeker , Inventors' Fair, Fabricate, Reshape and Transmute Artifact), there are a few other lines that can get you there. Intuition for either three tutors, or The Chain Veil when you have Academy Ruins gets you there. Mystical Tutor gets you the most appropriate tutor. Trinket Mage gets you Expedition Map, which in turn gets you Inventors' Fair. Muddle the Mixture gets you Transmute Artifact. Merchant Scroll gives you Whir of Invention. Some of the lines are more viable then others, but you will always have options. It's unlikely that Timetwister effects or a Dig Through Time won't get you there.

Q: Is Teferi fast enough to race combo deck X

A: Unless we are talking about a glass cannon deck like Selvala then the answer is yes. The deck essentially runs a mana doubler in the command zone, so turn 3-4 wins are not only possible, but are commonplace. 12UU may seem like a crazy cost to win the game, but fast mana and mass untap effects will get you there much faster than you think.

Q: What if The Chain Veil gets exiled?

A: It's not a favourable position to be in, but the deck can assemble Rings/Power Artifact + Monolith fairly easily. Stroke of Genius wins the game there.

All in all, CVT is a deck that's very fun to play. It also has a fair amount of depth and can be challenging both in terms of in-game execution and deckbuilding choices - correctly deciding when you're trying to Combo and when you should play the Stax game is one of the biggest factors in winning or losing the game. It's also the only deck of its kind in competitive EDH with its ability to flip-flop between Stax and Fast Combo, which leads to a unique gameplay experience that can keep you entertained for a long time. We hope you'll have both fun and success playing Chain Veil Teferi!

If you've got any questions or are interested in joining us for some in-depth Teferi talk, feel free to join this Discord Server.

Budgeting

My good friend Dandelion/djmoneghan recently wrote a great post on Teferi lists for different budgets. Check it out here!

Updates

OUT:- Static Orb- Overburden

IN:- Fact or Fiction- Vedalken Shackles

Overburden ended up backfiring in several games since a lot of the decks that get hurt by it also have multiple easy ways of finding Gaea's Cradle, which can very easily be abused. It was also a nonbo with Torpor Orb.

Static Orb was pretty much never the lockdown piece we wanted to find, and in almost every game I drew it, it just stayed in my hand. Almost always, we either want to grab Winter Orb to shut down our opponents' lands, or we want Static straight away to buy us some time. Unfortunately, Static Orb does a terrbile impression of Stasis, so it's out for now.

Comments

benjameenbear7 says... #1

I posted in a different thread, but how does the deck fare against Animar? I consider Animar to be Tier 1, but I suppose it could be Tier 1.5 depending on who else is at the table.

March 2, 2017 9:27 a.m.

Neunviertel says... #2

Animar tends to get screwed over really hard by Torpor Orb. If you adjust your mulligan choices to aggressively look for either Torpor Orb itself or an artifact tutor to get it out t3 at the latest, you should usually be in the clear. Furthermore, Animar has kinda fallen out of favour lately in the competitive Metas I play in, so I haven't been paying much attention to the deck. It also relies on its Commander a lot, so you can slow the Animar player down by a lot if you bounce or counter it. Or, well, steal it with Vedalken Shackles if that's what you're into.

March 2, 2017 12:19 p.m.

Mataogetrekt says... #3

I own a very tuned list of Arcum Dagsson with a extremely similar list and strategy. Essentially I try and create a engine or disk lock the table asap with stax soft locks and interaction to stop my opponents. The decks main weakness is that I rely heavily on the tinker effect of Arcum to win. My question is, should I , or do I need to switch to Teferi to stay competitive? Or is Arcum still viable as a cEDH deck?

March 3, 2017 12:40 a.m.

benjameenbear7 says... #4

Neunviertel I do play Vedalken Shackles in my deck for the reason that the best way to hinder some decks in my meta is to steal their general (Azami, Animar, Zur come to mind).

Have you considered Counterbalance in the list? I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on it since you already run Top. I've had good success with it and in competitive metas, the random card at the top of the deck, if you haven't had a chance to manipulate it through Top, Brainstorm, or Ponder, is usually in a CMC range to counter something relevant. The record I have of countered spells with Counterbalance is 5 so far, and it consistently averages 2-3 spells per game. It adds another element of disruption and will always counter a CMC 1 spell with Top on the field, which is extremely relevant in a competitive meta. I also run Jace, the Mind Sculptor as an additional win con that interacts favorably with Counterbalance and for the long game advantage.

March 3, 2017 9:16 a.m.

Neunviertel says... #5

To Mataogetrekt: You've come to the right place - Arcum is my #2 deck right after Teferi! This more staxy Arcum build is what people in my community used to play before Paradox Engine got spoiled. Nowadays, Arcum is more of a fast combo build that uses Arcum to tutor up Paradox Engine and Citanul Flute, and then uses Citanul Flute to get Scrap Trawler and Myr Retriever, which you can loop with a sac outlet (i.e. Arcum himself) to untap your Mana rocks thanks to Paradox Engine. After you're basically made infinite Mana with that, you tap Citanul Flute to search for Walking Ballista, which you can cast to shoot everyone in the face for tons of damage. Here's the link to the version that most people are playing right now: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/03-02-17-paradox-arcum/

If you're looking for a highly competitive build that has Stax as its Main plan, I'd recommend looking into either Keranos (http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/keranos-blood-moon/) or Grand Arbiter Augustin IV (http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/my-cockatrice-list-for-gaaiv/). Stax is in a tough spot nowadays if you don't heavily commit to the plan, and neither new Arcum nor Teferi is a deck that really commits to Stax. If you're playing your staxy Arcum in a moderately competitive paper Meta, then it's probably fine to leave him that way though. Teferi is the better Mono Blue Stax commander, but the deck only gets weaker by committing to Stax, in my opinion.

To benjameenbear7: Yeah, I've enjoyed Shackles a lot for the short time I had it in my deck, and I still recommend it for appropriate Metas. Such a good card.

I've thought about Counterbalance, and I think I would play it in Teferi along with JTMS if I heavily committed to building a strictly Stax Teferi. However, as I've outlined in both the Primer and the comment above, I don't think that going full Stax (or full Combo) is the right way to build Teferi, since its main strength lies in being able to both play a strong short game and a strong long game.

March 3, 2017 9:57 a.m.

benjameenbear7 says... #6

NeunviertelFair enough. I think that keeping the pieces to counteract your very reactive meta is probably more important (ie: Delay, Spell Pierce, Mental Misstep, etc.) than a grindier approach. I find that Counterbalance has been very effective in my meta and my playstyle naturally favors a more control-oriented role, so the strategy works for me.

If I had to pick a card in your list that you could test Counterbalance in place of, I would choose either Delay or Spell Pierce since Counterbalance performs the same role as these two cards, albeit in a less controlled manner.

How has Power Artifact performed for you? I have one that is sitting in my binder currently and I've frequently had mental debates about adding it in. It adds another infinite combo, of course, but it seems fragile in my opinion.

March 3, 2017 10:43 a.m.

Neunviertel says... #7

Yeah, if a more controlling build fits you better as a player, by all means: go for it. After all, even when playing competitively, you should play something you enjoy.

Power Artifact has been great for me - it's one of those few cards that gives Teferi his potential to win out of nowhere. Basalt and Grim Monolith are cards that most people never really attack, and if you have Power Artifact, you can just suddenly have infinite Mana out of nowhere. If you're not on Stroke of Genius/Timetwister, etc. as your Plan B, it might not be as good, but I've found infinite Mana off Rings/Power Artifact + Basalt Monolith to be the best Plan B for this deck, partially because it doesn't really play any cards that are useless outside of the Combo. Fragility doesn't matter too much in this case, because you're usually looking to win the game the turn you play Power Artifact.

March 3, 2017 11:55 a.m.

Mataogetrekt says... #8

Thanks for the info mate. I'm also looking for a Edh deck that's very competetive, but is extremley under played. Like with a general that's not known as a real " Tier 1 " commander. Would you have any suggestions? Thanks.

March 3, 2017 9:13 p.m.

Neunviertel says... #9

Hm - if you're fine with decks that I've brewed up, I could recommend the Paradox Adun build - it's probably the closest thing to a typical Jund deck that exists in cEDH and has been putting up decent results. Adun is definitely a commander that won't be on anyone's radar in a competitive setting. Outside of that, I've seen a pretty cool Ephara build by IustitiaRex here on TappedOut that's been winning a lot. Those are probably the best two under-the-radar builds I can recommend right now.

March 3, 2017 9:22 p.m.

Mataogetrekt says... #10

Thanks again, you are one of the best deck builders on the Internet as far as I'm concerned , I'll definetly check out you other lists.

March 4, 2017 12:34 p.m.

Neunviertel says... #11

Oh wow, thanks a lot! I hope you're gonna have a good time with them.

March 4, 2017 1:03 p.m.

Mataogetrekt says... #12

I have a last question. Is it worth it for me to modify my Arcum deck and go with teferi? Currently I would only have to buy a few cards excluding time twister and tabernacle because they're out of my budget. Would teferi still be good with a Windfall substitute or a similar card vs a timetwister? The only reason I'm asking if I should switch is due to the fact that I own a altered Arcum lol.

March 4, 2017 2:32 p.m.

Mataogetrekt says... #13

Here's my current Arcum list for reference.

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/arcums-dilema/

March 4, 2017 2:41 p.m.

Neunviertel says... #14

I'd say it depends on your playgroup. If you're all playing highly competitive decks, switching to Teferi will make a lot of sense because he's still the strongest Mono Blue general. If not everyone in your playgroup is on top-grade competitive decks, staying on your Arcum build might be healthier in the long run. If that's the case, you can always wait to make the switch until everyone has powered up appropriately.

When it comes to Budget alternatives, they're definitely there. You can replace Timetwister with Time Reversal, but that also means you're gonna have to replace Stroke of Genius with Blue Sun's Zenith because the Stroke of Genius kill won't work. Furthermore, if you don't run Tabernacle and Workshop, I'd recommend replacing those two with Islands and getting rid of Expedition Map.

March 4, 2017 5:53 p.m.

Mataogetrekt says... #15

Thanks for the info. I'll probably keep my Arcum lost and make the switch to teferi when appropriate. As for my play group, 13 or so people play commander weekly on Saturday nights and 3 of them run competetive decks, one guy runs yisan , teferi, and oloro stax and switches between the three. However, he isn't very "skilled" with his lists as he tends to copy decks online without much play testing or strategy, which I'm fine with. The other 2 people play zur stax , Triton Hero dude storm, and a interesting colorless kozilek stax deck. Most of the other people play tier 2 to tier 3 lists i'd say. That being said, I'll definitely keep your list in mind and I'm planning on investing on a heavily played workshop which I'll purchase when I do eventually go over to Teferi. I may add a small personal spin to it , but honestly I would find myself very hard pressed to improve this list much haha. This list seems to be extremley tuned.

March 4, 2017 8:44 p.m.

Rarian says... #16

You have Lotus Petal both in your decklist and in a "notable exclusions" list when you claim it's not worth it at all :D that's kinda misleading.

March 5, 2017 10:32 a.m.

Neunviertel says... #17

Good find. This Primer was authored by two people (neosloth/superstepa and myself), and Lotus Petal is one of the cards we did not agree on. The Single Card Discussion part was mostly written by neo, while I focused on the more abstract parts of the Primer. For me personally, Lotus Petal is still good in the deck because I lean more towards the fast combo aspect of Teferi, and Lotus Petal (along with the greedier package I used to run before my most recent update) gave me the ability to win earlier more frequently while only sacrificing a tiny bit of redundancy. Furthermore, after reading through the primer, you should take a close look at all three sample lists, and use the knowledge you've gained to analyse and evaluate the nuances of each individual list.

March 5, 2017 11 a.m.

BlackCatBones says... #18

Hello Neunviertel,

A question for you. Have been playing Teferi in my competitive league with a lot of success, but there is a card I am not happy with. It is overburden.Green is rampant in our meta, and More often than not, if I am not casting it on turn 1, the only thing it does is allowing them to use Gaia's craddle twice in the same turn...What is you opinion on it ?

March 6, 2017 4:29 p.m.

Neunviertel says... #19

Hey, that's a good obversation. While Overburden is very good at messing with decks like Karador, it struggles hard against Gaea's Cradle, which is definitely something to keep in mind when adjusting this deck to your local meta. If a lot of the creature-based decks you play against tend to get Cradle early quite consistently, you could consider swapping it out for a different piece of creature hate.

March 6, 2017 10:05 p.m.

NeunviertelAny game reports?

Also, I've recently considered running Pithing Needle instead of Grafdigger's Cage, since I'm really the only player with a Reanimator-based strategy. It's a narrow response, but I think it neuters specific commanders very well ie: Yisan, Azami, Food-Chain variants. Thoughts?

March 8, 2017 8:27 a.m.

Neunviertel says... #21

Not necessarily game reports, but if you head over to the , you can find me playing Teferi in a couple of games.

Pithing Needle is a decent card, but Grafdigger's Cage doesn't just hose Reanimator Decks. It also works wonders against Storm, Doomsday, Yisan, Karador, and Birthing Pod type Decks in general. If none of the people in your Meta are playing these types of decks, then sure - feel free to cut Grafdigger's Cage.

March 8, 2017 9:24 a.m.

Neunviertel says... #22

Since for some reason, links don't seem to work for me on TappedOut, here's the link in plain text form: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo41YdkXVTp4dTXvhduaeYw

March 8, 2017 9:25 a.m.

beauty deck, but i want to say 2 things:

1) tezzeret the seeker + seat of synod + stasis is the perfect combination for the stax strategy

2) Add Tolaria West. it's a good way to search the tabernacle at pendrell vale

March 8, 2017 8:56 p.m.

Neunviertel says... #24

If you look at the Update log for this deck, Tolaria West was indeed part of it at some point. My stance on it is that paying 1UU at Sorcery speed is just straight-up not worth it with this deck being quite bottlenecked in regards to coloured Mana.

March 8, 2017 9:27 p.m.

ManSauce says... #25

I don't know if it's just me, but wouldn't you agree that Tinker is the better Reshape, unless you're looking for zero cost artifacts?

March 9, 2017 5:43 a.m.

Neunviertel says... #26

Yup, Tinker is far better than Reshape, and Reshape is easily our worst artifact Tutor, but alas, Tinker is banned. If it were legal however, I'd probably still run Reshape to have even more redundancy.

March 9, 2017 9:37 a.m.

NeunviertelGood game vid. The quality was good and the banter, as noted in the Youtube comments, was great.

Grafdigger's Cage does say library, huh? Totally forgot about that clause. Yisan sucks so much more now with that card in play.

March 9, 2017 12:39 p.m.

Tristanraid says... #28

Looks amazing. I have most of these cards. Going to give it a try.

March 17, 2017 1:07 a.m.

Neunviertel says... #29

Thanks! I hope you'll have a great time with it.

March 17, 2017 10:37 a.m.

Dalwinco says... #30

Dumb question. How does timetwister/stroke of genius make a win?

March 18, 2017 12:32 p.m.

Neunviertel says... #31

Very good question, actually - we had that come up on the Teferi Discord a couple of days ago. There are two different ways, depending on whether you have access to the Chain Veil combo or not (I'll also talk to neo about including that explanation in the Primer somewhere):

  1. With Chain Veil: You draw your whole deck, cast Stroke of Genius for at least x + 1, where x is the number of cards in their library, on one opponent to mill them out. Stroke hits the graveyard. Now, you cast Timetwister to shuffle it back into your library. After that, you +1 Teferi until you find Stroke again/have your whole deck in your hand, which lets you cast it again to mill our your second opponent. For your third opponent, you can flash it back with Snapcaster Mage to mill them out as well. If you somehow have more than three opponents, you can also use Time Spiral to get it back once, or you can flash back Timetwister with Snapcaster/JVP to shuffle it back once more.

  2. Without Chain Veil: The way you do it is the same, but instead of using Teferi to draw your whole deck, you repeatedly use Sensei's Divining Top + Rings of Brighthearth to copy the Sensei's Divining Top draw. This lets you draw one card + Top itself, which means that you can replay top and keep drawing cards if you have infinite colourless Mana.

March 18, 2017 12:42 p.m.

HeavenlyAxe says... #32

Two cards I would like to suggest.

The first is Padeem, Consul of Innovation. Both effects I have found to be amazing, but I particularly enjoy the draw. The hex proof has won me games. His mana cost is a little high however so I understand why maybe not an include, but hes also a good drop when you have a good mana hand but will run out of gas.

The second and better card in my opinion is Dimensional Infiltrator. He's an alternate win-con that with the right hand can win turn one or two. Hes very cheap and can be activated at instant speed so near uninterruptible, and you have everything else he needs already in deck. So a one card switch. Oh and he has flash!!!

Would enjoy your thoughts!

March 20, 2017 9:55 p.m.

Neunviertel says... #33

Padeem is a card I might consider running if I basically had to play Archenemy every game and people started packing a ton of artifact removal just for me. But in most competitive Metas, where decks are supposed to be on somewhat equal footing, our artifacts won't be interacted with enough to require giving them Hexproof. Another issue with Padeem is that the card draw he provides is incremental advantage, which is not something Teferi decks traditionally use. The only two pieces of incremental advantage we run are Sensei's Divining Top and JVP, with the latter also providing a lot of immediate advantage once he flips. Incremental advantages take several turns to really take effect, and that's not something we can afford to invest in, even if we drop him, say, Turn 2. Four Mana is a fairly big jump up from 3 Mana, which means that all of our spells that cost 4 Mana (or more) need to either provide us with a massive immediate advantage (think Memory Jar, Time Spiral) or win the game for us (Chain Veil, Tezzeret to tutor Chain Veil). Padeem does neither of those, unfortunately.

Dimensional Infiltrator is interesting, and I appreciate the creativity that goes into that choice. However, there are two reasons why we don't need it:

  1. Diversifying win conditions is not something that Teferi needs to do.
  2. Having Infiltrator as a wincon opens up a whole avenue of interaction for our opponents that they previously had no access to: creature removal. As stated in the Primer, creature removal is basically useless against us, but with Dimensional Infiltrator as a win condition, it suddenly becomes very good.
March 21, 2017 9:44 a.m.

Rarian says... #34

Neunviertel - I have a question of a different matter, among my decks the mono blue deck I've played with was high tide azami which I plan to change into Teferi, the build I'll start with is the exact same as yours because this primer is truly outstanding and I feel like it's the best way to go with Teferi. I own all but two cards from your list which are Tabernacle and Workshop. Which should be the first one I purchase? I feel like Workshop helps a lot with explosive openings but my meta is quite heavy on creatures (e.g. yisan, boonweaver karador, meren stax).on the other hand Workshop is quite cheaper :P. I'll probably get both of them but which one is more crucial for you?

The other thing is the issue of expedition map. Without tabernacle and workshop I feel like it's a free spot. What card you'd put in its place? I was thinking about either vedalken shackles or engulf the shore (because without tabernacle I lack mass removal).

March 21, 2017 10:08 a.m.

Neunviertel says... #35

If you really wanted to get one of the two, I'd say go for Tabernacle first. It's a card you're gonna want in many different competitive EDH decks, and one of our best pieces of creature hate. And yeah, you're spot on about Expedition Map - one piece of Tech I'm currently considering is Portcullis for more creature hate, but Engulf the Shore is also decent. Take that one if lots of creatures is your problem, and Shackles if you only need to deal with some key creatures.

March 21, 2017 10:36 a.m.

n0bunga says... #36

Hey! Love this build! Was just wondering if you considered Blue Sun's Zenith over Stroke of Genius? It's the same CMC, UUU shouldn't be an issue in mono blue, and it's repeatable for multiplayer.

April 6, 2017 12:09 p.m.

Neunviertel says... #37

Hey, thanks! The main purpose of Stroke of Genius is as a secondary win condition if we somehow can't go for the Ugin win. The reason why I chose Stroke of Genius over Blue Sun's Zenith is that it's much easier to cast (X2U instead of XUUU) outside of that win condition. While that's not something we normally want to do, Stroke makes it much easier for us to pull off if we really have to. The reason why Stroke works as a backup win condition is because we can bring it back with Timetwister, Time Spiral, and Snapcaster Mage after we've gone infinite on Mana and Draw with Teferi + Chain Veil.

April 6, 2017 12:20 p.m.

n0bunga says... #38

Ahhh of course, thank you so much for the quick response!

April 6, 2017 12:28 p.m.

HeavenlyAxe says... #39

I see no reason not to be running Scroll Rack. It's not listed in your notable exclusions. Your even running the fetches to take advantage of the shuffle. As well as other shuffle effects.

April 20, 2017 1:02 p.m.

HeavenlyAxe says... #40

Also might as well run Wasteland as you are running Strip Mine and I'm assuming you would only strip non-basics most of the time anyways.

April 20, 2017 1:23 p.m.

Wasadia123 says... #41

Heavenly Axe: I have my own chain veil teferi, and although I obviously haven't made this one, I thought it might be useful to here my reasons why. For Wasteland, the reason I don't run it isn't lack of power or anything, it's taking away a colored mana slot in the mana base. Teferi is incredibly strong once it starts going, but you need plenty of sources of colored mana. If you've noticed, there's not many artifacts in the deck that produce colored mana, so to combo off with the Chain Veil you usually need about two basic lands, and you want to maximize your capacity of keepable hands.As for Scroll Rack, I originally had it in my version, but had to cut it, not because it's not great, I love the interaction with fetches, but because it happened to be the least playable card in my deck. If something else gets banned, or gets cut due to a rules change, I would include it at once, but for me it doesn't fit in the deck.

April 21, 2017 4:40 p.m.

Neunviertel says... #42

Re HeavenlyAxe: While Scroll Rack looks like a fine card on paper, there are several reasons why it doesn't fit into Teferi. You did identify that the deck does indeed have enough shuffle effects to justify its inclusion in that regard, but there's much more to that card.

  1. It's slow: Scroll Rack takes uses up three Mana at a point in the game where we usually want to develop our board. Due to several of our Mana-positive rocks being non-untapping (Mana Vault, Grim Monolith, Basalt Monolith), we don't actually have that much Mana we can comfortably use on things like Scroll Rack. And if you're looking to only use it when the game goes longer, then that's honestly not a good way to look at it. You want to minimise the amount of cards that are going to be useless in half (or more) of your games.

  2. The deck already has plenty of draw and card selection that's significantly more powerful than Scroll Rack.

  3. It doesn't actually generate card advantage: Scroll Rack doesn't draw us cards, and it also doesn't really provide card selection outside of being used with a shuffle effect.

All in all, Scroll Rack is the kinda card you'd run when there's nothing better to run for card selection in your colours (think like Mono White with Scroll Rack + Land Tax). Teferi has a lot of better options, so we don't need a card like that. For Wasteland, I'll point you towards Wasadia123's comment, since they were spot on.

April 21, 2017 6:26 p.m.

Delta-117 says... #43

Have you considered As Foretold here maybe? Or do you think that maybe it will be too slow for this?

Anyways looks like a good deck you have here for sure, +1.

April 21, 2017 11:46 p.m.

Neunviertel says... #44

Thanks a lot! And yeah, I thought about it for a bit, and probably would've played it if the card made it possible to play my Sorceries or Mana rocks on other people's turns. Sadly, it doesn't, and it takes several turns cycles to really start being useful, so it'd be another one of those cards that aren't useful when we're going for a fast combo win.

April 22, 2017 10:12 a.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 6 months
Last updated 5 days
Exclude colors WBRG
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.33
Tokens Teferi, Jace, 1/1 Bird
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Top rank #10 on 2017-03-11
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