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 available. 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 regularly 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, with one variant of this deck going undefeated in the 2017 Vancouver GP Competitive EDH Side Event, and a different variant of the deck took second place in the r/CompetitiveEDH's 5th Tournament. 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 realized 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

Deck Tech

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 Jace, the Mind Sculptor and use his -12 twice on each opponent in order to exile their hands and decks. If your Jace 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 hand 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 evaluating 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Fact or Fiction - Digs 5 cards deep and pretty much always generates card advantage.

  • 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 Jace, 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.

Outside of packing the deck with every possible playable artifact tutor we can find, we also want to have access to specific key cards in our deck. F.i., if we need to play the long game, but can afford to play Teferi and let him sit for a while, we want to gain access to Stasis as quickly as possible.

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.

  • Jace, the Mind Sculptor, often regarded as the best Planeswalker ever printed, is an absolute powerhouse in Legacy and Vintage. And for good reason - even in EDH, he kinda does it all: his +1 destroys top-of-deck tutors, his 0 lets us cast a free Brainstorm every turn cycle, his -1 bounces problem creatures back to their owners' hands, and his ultimate ability serves as a win condition with our infinite Chain Veil activations by double-ulting every opponent. Despite all of this, the main reason why he only became the better choice over Ugin, the Spirit Dragon recently is the Meta shift away from creature-based Midrange/Stax decks that play a slow, long game towards those types of decks also being able to finish a game quickly. In the old Meta, JTMS was disregarded as a "4-mana Sorcery-speed Brainstorm", but this is not the case anymore. He provides a wealth of utility and card advantage while also acting as a win condition, and being 2UU instead of 8 makes him much more castable than Ugin.

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

  • 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.

Since Teferi is not only a deck that's not creature-based, but actively plays and seeks out several types of creature hate, the only creatures we want to play are the ones that provide some form of value outside of merely staying on the battlefield (e.g. by having strong ETB effects). Furthermore, mostly avoiding creatures means that a significant amount of removal in our opponents' decks turns into cards that are useless against us (which is epitomised by the fact that our Commander is a Planeswalker). This also means that we do not want to run any big, expensive creatures, regardless of how strong their effects might appear to be at face value.

The basic questions we should ask ourselves when evaluating Land choices for Teferi are the following:

  1. When is this Land going to be better than a basic Island?
  2. What makes it better than a basic Island in our deck?
  3. How often is that going to be the case?
  4. For utility lands: Which parts of our deck does this land interact with?

If a land is frequently better than an Island, and it synergises with other cards in our deck well, then it's probably worth including.

The cards in this section are the cards that were recently added to the core list. After playing some test games with these cards they will either be permanently moved to the core list, or moved to a more appropriate category such as Flex Slots.

Card Draw

Manifold Insights

Manifold Insights is a card that is extremely hard to evaluate without, well, playing it a bunch.

Some of its merits include:

  • Drawing three non-land cards for 3 mana.
  • Digging for answers againt an opponent who is about to win.
  • The "intuition" effect where an unexperienced opponent might give you a less threatening looking card (Timetwister) over something scary, but something you might ultimately not need at that time (The Chain Veil)

Cons:

  • Sorcery Speed.
  • Can't draw you land (depending on the gamestate this could be either a pro or a con).
  • An experienced opponent will give you the three worst cards off the top.
  • Terrible if there are less than three opponents.

The reasoning behind adding it to the core list is that, in order to play the control game well, the deck needs to have more cheap card advantage spells that can help the deck stabilize and have responses avaliable at any stage of the game.

The cards in this section are the cards that fill meta-specific niches. While these are all extremely strong cards, they might not belong to the core list for one of the following reasons:

  • The card is dead in some matchups. For example, cards like Negate are largely useless against all-in creature decks.
  • The card is dependent on a card that can be either added, or removed from your current list. For example, if you play in a meta that does not require you to run The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, then perhaps, Expedition Map does not warrant a slot either.

Ramp

  • Lotus Petal - If you are trying to go for a more fast-combo oriented build, then a Lotus Petal could get you a little extra boost in speed. The downside of petal is that it opens you to easy 2-for-1s when something you use a Petal on gets countered or removed. The petal also doesn't interact all that favorably with all our artifact synergies, as it does not stick around for metalcraft and it cannot be untapped with Teferi.

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

  • Vedalken Shackles - If you're facing a lot of decks that base their main strategy on specific creatures (think New Selvala, Yisan), 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.

Combo

  • Ugin, the Spirit Dragon used to be the finisher of choice for Teferi since it could also serve as a somewhat one-sided board wipe. However, as time went on, we found ourselves never using Ugin. The decks he is good against - Midrange and Stax decks with big, progressing board states - have fallen out of favour in recent months, and the newer versions are significantly better at preventing us from ever getting to the Mana for Ugin. If your local Meta still has a lot of these decks, Ugin should stay, but we favour the continuous card advantage provided by Jace, the Mind Sculptor since it ties nicely into the most recent shift into a more card advantage-heavy strategy.

If you are interesting in building a budget Teferi list, Dandelion/djmoneghan recently wrote an extensive post on Teferi lists for different budgets. You can read it here.

Not everyone (myself included) is made out of money, and sometimes you just have to look to alternatives to some of the pricier cards in the list. The following is a list of some of the most expensive cards in the list, and some alternative cards that may fill the same niche for less $$$.

  • Grim Monolith and Mana Crypt - These should be the first card you get when building this deck. The deck needs these mana positive rocks, and it does not function anywhere near as well without them.

  • Transmute Artifact - This card is essential to the deck, as it is the best way to get TCV. There are no budget replacements since the deck already runs all the possible similar effects.

  • Power Artifact - This card is nowhere near essential, and Rings of Brighthearth already serves a similar purpose. Replace with whatever you think is appropriate for your local meta.

  • Force of Will - Misdirection is almost functionally identical when you are trying to protect the combo.

  • Mana Drain - Mana Leak, Delay and Negate are all fine Counterspells.

  • Mox Diamond - No direct replacement, but if you think that you need a 0cmc artifact, there are Lotus Petal and Jeweled Amulet. Neither are recommended but both are somewhat playable. If you are struggling to get colored mana, then consider Coalition Relic.

  • Timetwister - The deck works fine without it. Just pick up something from the flex slots for your meta.

  • The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale - Just replace this with an Island and the deck will still function well. Now your High Tide is even better.

  • Snapcaster Mage - Other than the Timetwister + Stroke of Genius win condition Snapcaster doesn't serve a specific purpose in the deck. Just replace it with any other card.

These are the cards that we think either do not belong in this type of build of Teferi, or are otherwise overshadowed by better cards we already run. Note that a card being listed here could still be a good card, the following are discussed only in the context of this exact Teferi build.

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.

The card can act as a UU ritual, but ultimately the 3 CMC cost is a little bit too steep. The deck isn't too intensive on colored mana, and we want all our rocks to be as close as possible to either being mana positive or breaking even.

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. In the current meta, the decks that are successful with paradox are the decks that can generate card advantage through it's untap triggers. Decks like Arcum, Sisay and some Thrasios builds all have a clear, guaranteed line to victory when you resolve paradox. The engine is inherently reliant on other cards you have in your hand, and that's simply not something that we want in this Teferi build.

If you want to play a mono-blue Paradox Engine general, then Paradox Arcum is the deck you want.

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, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, 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.

The reason other top-tier decks run the iso-reversal combo is because it's either a solid, easily tutorable combo available to them (Jeleva) or because they have an easily accessible infinite mana outlet (Thrasios). Teferi is unique in that he has access to a combo that is simply better than iso-rev. Rather than dedicating three slots (reversal, isochron, outlet), the deck can afford to just run a one slot combo (The Chain Veil) and every possible tutor and piece of protection for it. You have your card draw, mana generation and an outlet all in one card.

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 negligible.

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.

The issue with Static Orb is that it's extremely hard to break parity on. Effects like Winter Orb are good because they only deny one type of resource (land), so our deck circumvents the loss of that resource (with artifact mana). Ultimately, Static Orb is just a little bit too awkward for the deck, as you need to have Teferi out in order to fully abuse it.

Overburden often ends up helping the decks that it's meant to hurt. In a vacuum it sounds fantastic. You drop it during the early game, and then every mana dork cast by our opponents ends up not netting them any mana. In practice, however, things are not that peachy. A smart green player can use Overburden to keep bouncing and replaying Gaea's Cradle, netting them an absurd amount of mana. The card also does not favorably interact with our own stax pieces, as it lets our opponents circumvent the effects of cards such as Back to Basics and Winter Orb.

Sometimes this leads to explosive plays that win you the game extremely early. Other times you just wish it was a basic island. Note that the card only lets you cast artifact spells, and not use artifact abilities. The card is overall counterproductive to the deck's control plan, and as such it does not belong in a Teferi build that is not all in on stax/fast artifact combo.

The following is just a quick overview of some of the most popular decks in the format based on our collective experiences. These shouldn't be held as dogma, but they could provide some helpful advice if you are completely unfamiliar with the matchup.

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

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, Oblivion Crown - 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, new spicy tech, or you simply want to talk to someone about Teferi, join us on this Discord server.

This section of the primer goes over the latest major changes to the core decklist.

May 2017

Static Orb

Moved to Notable Exclusions from SCD->Stax

Overburden

Moved to Notable Exclusions from SCD->Stax.

Fact or Fiction

Moved to SCD->Card Draw from Flex Slots.

Manifold Insights

Added to Curently Testing->Card Draw.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Moved to Flex Slots from SCD->Combo.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Added to SCD->Combo.

Mishra's Workshop

Moved to Notable Exclusions from SCD->Lands.

Misc

Removed some outdated card references (RIP Leo).

Updates

OUT:

  • Mishra's Workshop
  • Vedalken Shackles
  • Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

IN:

  • Island
  • Manifold Insights
  • Jace, the Mind Sculptor

This update changed a few things in how to think about some aspects of Teferi, especially in the card choice department. These changes will be reflected in a Primer update that's coming soon.

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.

LabManiac_Sigi 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.

LabManiac_Sigi 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.

LabManiac_Sigi 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.

LabManiac_Sigi 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ishmokin says... #45

Awesome list!

Just some questions: What's your thoughts on using Turnabout to Maximize high tide. Also with the amount of artifacts mana you have, how useful has high tide been?

May 1, 2017 10:54 p.m.

Think of High Tide in this deck more as Dark Ritual than as High Tide in something like JVP. We're not trying to do big HT combo turns with it, we can use it as a ritual effect to get a bit more mana or as an enabler for the Chain Veil combo, which it has been doing a very good job of. That's why cards like Turnabout or Candelabra of Tawnos are not good in Teferi.

May 2, 2017 7:44 a.m.

NeXuSDeSiGn says... #47

Hey, great list and excellent article!

I am just wondering about arcane denial as a hard exclusion. Are situations where arcane denial can function as a draw three, and situations where less threatening/crippled players can be made threatening not relavent enough to warrant inclusion? Just curious about your thoughts on the matter. Thanks!

May 21, 2017 12:30 a.m.

Thanks! The idea behind why Arcane Denial is bad can be boiled down to a very simple concept: if your opponents aren't playing bad card, then you can't make them draw bad/useless cards off Arcane Denial. The other reason is that the deck already had enough slots devoted to countermagic, and the ones in there are all better than Arcane Denial.

May 21, 2017 8:33 a.m.

Mfstrom says... #49

Hi, very nice decklist.

I have two questions that I hope you can find the time to answer.

I dont have acces to Timetwister or Tabernacle. Is this deck any good without those? And if I had to buy one of the them, which one is best for this deck? I'm thinking that Timetwister is best since it is part of combo and therefore good in all match-ups where as Tabernacle is only really good in certain match-ups.

Hope you will answer me, cheers.

May 22, 2017 6:33 a.m.

have you thought about Gemstone Caverns? Seems like a situational Chrome Mox. It's not a super bad draw later cause it's just a land.

June 5, 2017 12:27 p.m.

Gemstone Caverns is a card that, from my experience, is completely useless outside of dedicated fast combo lists (think Sidisi ANF or Doomsday Grenzo). Here are a few reasons as to why it's bad in this specific list:

  • We still like High Tide quite a lot even if it's not a key card like it is in JVP, and we don't need the colourfixing provided by it at all
  • The chance of getting it in our opening hand is REALLY low
  • In a deck that's as focused on card advantage as this, even if we were to have it in our opener, it would immediately set us back two cards (Caverns itself and the card we exiled for it).
  • At the same time, it only provides a fairly miniscule mana advantage in a deck that's already one of the best in the format at quickly getting to high amounts of mana.
June 5, 2017 3:40 p.m.

Makes sense to me,just wanted to hear your thoughts on it

June 6, 2017 10:22 a.m.

Ociadia says... #53

Most games I like to drop totem in favor of walking ballista. It is probably just my meta. I do like having a win condition outside of stroke or JMS... How much do you rely on totem? Any thoughts on Ballista?

June 16, 2017 7:18 a.m.

I rely on Cursed Totem a lot. In a deck like this, you usually want to maximze slot efficiency, and Walking Ballista is not an efficient use of a card slot here.

June 16, 2017 9:47 a.m.

Ociadia says... #55

Right on buddy. My meta plays a lot of extract lobotomy effects, (probably a 60/40 mix of shepards vs sheep... ie usualy half the pod can't grap threat assessment or anything in the way of a logical thought process) they always go to veil immediately .... Once they do they usually think of me as not threat so it takes a lot of the heat off and helps to have a little more firepower when you get power artifact to stick on a monolith. I am sure you are right overall though.

June 16, 2017 10:15 a.m.

Oh, playing and building to your Meta is definitely important. If they continuously attack you with cards that exile your win conditions, adding another one is probably a fine thing to do. Do they ever go for Rings/Power Artifact/Basalt Monolith/Grim Monolith/Sensei's Divining Top? Because if they don't, adding Blue Sun's Zenith on top of Stroke of Genius should probably be good enough. Or you add Walking Ballista, draw your whole deck with Top and bounce your own Cursed Totem before you win.

June 16, 2017 11:10 a.m.

Azemotay says... #57

What exactly are the differences between the 2 authors decklists? I believe one has dispel and the other 2 drop mana rock, prophetic prism maybe? And the other runs lotus petal and FoF. Is that right? If that is the case what are your arguements towards the 4 cards?

I recenetly built this deck and I am struggling between a few of the flex slots. I would like vekalken shackles as I have a less competative meta and we have a lot of decks like kalia and new selvala and derevi(The main match I need to try and improve my matchup in) Steel sabotage is a card I keep looking at aswell. Are there any under the radar cards that might actually be very good in a slightly less competative meta that were not mentioned? We have a lot of graveyard decks, boonweaver karador, a gitrog monster, derevi, kalia, new selvala, captain sisay, atraxa, breya. ect. Thanks in advance Sigi :)

June 16, 2017 2:47 p.m.

Ociadia says... #58

Your 100% dead on. I have to add BSZ & WB. Most of the time they go straight for veil, rarely do they hit the other combo pieces like rings etc. They just assume I am out of it after veil is gone, but every so often they will pick out stroke and Ballista. I most of the time keep a Laquatus In a sideboard as well depending on the pod.

June 17, 2017 9:01 a.m.

Azemotay: Neo's and my list are very close to each other - the only other difference is that I'm running Strip Mine while he isn't. Lotus Petal, Dispel, Prophetic Prism, and Fact or Fiction are all cards that are interchangeable depending on playstyle. I prefer a slightly more controlling and card advantage-heavy version of Teferi, so I like Fact or Fiction a lot. The list as a whole has been moving in that direction as of late, which is also why we've included Manifold Insights. Prophetic Prism and Lotus Petal both increase the deck's speed, and Dispel is basically the 11th best Counterspell we can run if we really need one more than the 10 we already have.

Regarding Lotus Petal, it's basically the super flex slot in my list. Whenever I have something I want to test, I toss it out and add that card instead. For instance, I'm currently testing Silent Arbiter to improve our Edric and Tana/Tymna matchup, and Lotus Petal was the card I took out for it (on a side note: Silent Arbiter is amazing against those decks, and will probably make its way into my main list very soon).

If you have trouble dealing with those decks and they don't go off on, say, Turn 3 regularly, trying out Ward of Bones or maybe even Portcullis might be worth a try. The issue with Portcullis , however, is that ETB effects still happen and its trigger can be responded to, so it won't actually bother Selvala all that much. Then again, with Cursed Totem and Torpor Orb, Teferi is already well-equipped to deal with (some aspects of) Selvala.

June 18, 2017 10:35 a.m.

A2hley1989 says... #60

One of my group has recently started playing a tuned zur list. I've decided to try and use this list against it as I love that you can go for fast combo or switch to stax if needed. However I think shackles would help stop zur. What would you recommend removing for it given your experience with the list?

June 20, 2017 4:52 p.m.

shiffster says... #61

can you explain how does the python script work?

June 21, 2017 6:29 a.m.

A2hley1989: If that person is on the Storm/Doomsday build of Zur, Zur only serves as a backup plan for the deck in case things go wrong - slotting in a card only to deal with the backup plan of one deck isn't worth it.

shiffster: What exactly do you need explained? It basically follows every step of the combo and checks whether you can or can't go infinite based on what your input.

June 21, 2017 1:10 p.m.

A2hley1989 says... #63

He generally tutors for necropotence and gift of immortality then goes for empyrial plate for commander damage. He doesn't play the doomsday list as no one in our group wants to play it. Most people have pretty casual decks and we have a 6-8 person pod. It's just this one guy that goes all in. Thanks for coming back to me!

June 21, 2017 7:27 p.m.

shiffster says... #64

LabManiac_Sigi the script shuts down as soon as i put how much mana do you want to go for

June 22, 2017 4:52 a.m.

A2hley1989 So it's Voltron Zur. Shackles should probably work fine there, and if you need a second piece of specific hate (albeit one that can't really be tutored for), Gilded Drake can also work.

shiffster That's weird. I checked, and it works on all my devices. That being said, it will only work under Python 3 (the specific version I'm running is Python 3.5.1; the script won't work in Python 2.

June 22, 2017 9:19 a.m.

shiffster says... #66

If my group doesn't play land hate should I consider Lotus Vale?

June 24, 2017 6:19 p.m.

Azemotay says... #67

Suppose it makes comboing easier, but also makes high tide worse.

I have been testing Vedalken shackles and Portcullis since I had such a creature heavy meta, it finally donned on me. Why wouldn't I just swap back to Ugin? Thoughts Sigi? I did kinda have trouble fitting them both into the deck. I believe I tried cutting Map since I do not have a tabernacle. but fitting shackles was really hard. It was between either Memory Jar or Dispel. I ended up cutting jar since it has been the least performing card in my deck for how often my board gets hated out. Any advice is always appreciated Sigi :)

Also since the decks are so similiar and I like to watch the world burn. I bought the few cards to try out your guys version of Keranos Stax. Hoping to see it played on the community stream today :D

June 24, 2017 7:22 p.m.

kyuuri117 says... #68

What do you think about cutting intuition? I've been playing Chain Veil teferi for over a year now as my main cEDH deck, and a friend of mine had also been on the deck for like six months, and we've both found that intuition just seems lackluster.

Also, why into the roil? I feel like there are definitely better cards that could take the slot.

June 28, 2017 7:30 p.m.

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