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Legacy: Grixis Tezzerator

Legacy Artifact Control UBR (Grixis)


Work in Progress Deck Breakdown

Welcome to Tezzerator
---The Prison of Iron---The Void Unleashed---The Invasion of Artifice---The Infinite Consortium Cometh---

Hello, dear reader, and welcome to a breakdown of my favorite Legacy deck of all time, Grixis Tezzerator. Within this breakdown I will be: showing off the deck *,covering the general plan, pointing out intricacies of play, showing off the weird interactions, explaining certain match-ups/sideboarding choices. Feel free to send me any questions regarding the deck itself to either my inbox or commenting them here.

All right then, let's get right to it! ~

* = The decklist posted here is 100% accurate to what I am playing currently so this breakdown will not refer to many cards numerically as certain quantities change depending on my build, however, I will explain what the general quantities are.

First things first, you need to understand exactly what you are getting yourself into.

Grixis Tezzerator is:

When you look at any Grixis Tezzerator list, there are some staples to the archetype that you will see in almost any list. Because my decklist is constantly changing event to event, I'm going to talk about the different sets of cards that comprise the deck.
Chalice of the Void: Probably one of the most powerful cards in this deck, Chalice of the Void does 90% of the heavy lifting if resolved early enough. The obvious synergy of generating two mana on turn one using Mox Diamonds and/or Ancient Tomb and playing a Chalice with 1 charge counter on it is what this deck hopes to do. In Legacy, a format dominated by CMC 1 spells, being able to simply answer, presumably a majority of, your opponent's deck with a single card is huge. Who needs Force of Will, when you can just counter every 1 drop they play?

Ensnaring Bridge: Bridge is useful in decks that aim to empty their hand fast. This deck is capable of both emptying its hand AND playing through a bridge effectively. One of the struggles of Grixis Tezzerator has been its lack of removal for a long time, and Ensnaring Bridge was a way to mitigate that short-coming by just preventing your opponent from being able to attack.

Trinisphere: While not often played in the mainboard, Trinisphere is a good card to have available in the 75 as it serves as a clean answer to degenerate combo decks like Elves, Reanimator and Storm. Just like with Chalice, hosing your opponents' strategies to 'cheat' on mana by forcing them to waste time and mana on overcosted rituals and mana dorks.

Baleful Strix: My favorite two drop bird (yeah, suck it Storm Crow). A hyper efficient card, Strix will block any threat while also replacing itself in your hand for simply two mana. Efficient, clean and simple. Everything I like about a magic card. Importantly, Strix also happens to be an artifact which synergizes with a few cards, and being a 1/1 allows it to recur Sword of the Meek on its own. Just a good card.

Breya, Etherium Shaper: While I personally do not like running this card, there are those Tezzerator players who do. If you choose to run this card, be careful with your mana base as you must accomodate for white duals. The benefits of running Breya are something though. Breya comes down with 6 power over three bodies, two of which are flying. Her activated ability is useful for ending off a game and breaking a stalemate, and because of Academy Ruins, you can recur her if you ever need to. She is a large threat and can block VERY well as well as having removal stapled to her.

Etched Champion: While not a frequently seen card, Etched Champion does pop up in Tezz lists every once in a while as a resilient beater. Metalcraft is easily achievable so he becomes a bad True Name Nemesis for you and can play defense or offense respectably. I personally have only run him a couple times, and while I was impressed with his performance, was never thrilled to have him and prefer to run an additional Ensnaring Bridge if I need the defense.

Notion Thief: A fun soft-lock with Dack Fayden, Notion Thief is a sweet pet card to play against blue decks (and other decks that draw a million cards cough Elves and Griselbrand cough) and combos quite nicely with Dack's +1 targeting your opponent to make them discard two cards, but have you just draw two. The value! Aside from that, the thief can usually swing in for some damage, and having flash allows you to leave mana available. I play him every now and then for fun in the main or the side as a fun-of.

Force of Will: Hey, did you know this card is good in Legacy? No? Well, you should. There are in fact enough blue cards in this deck to support Force, but barely. Yes, sometimes you will need to pitch a Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas and yes, it will make you tear up a bit. But there is a reason you run force: to make sure your threats resolve and to make sure your threats stay on the battlefield. Making sure you resolve a Chalice of the Void on 1 turn 1 by Forcing their interaction is huge!

Transmute Artifact: This card... has won me way too many games. When everything costs relatively the same cost, this card is effectively a Tinker for two mana. Being able to tutor for either combo piece, or an Ensnaring Bridge is amazing. Sometimes turning an extra signet into a Baleful Strix is a reasonable play too! Post board, this can become a 2 mana win the game if you are going for Leyline-Helm combo or if you need to get one of your sideboard artifacts out of the deck and onto the battlefield. IMPORTANT NOTICE: Transmute is an old magic card. I highly suggest reading the Gatherer text on what it actually says. The sacrificing of an artifact is part of the resolution NOT an additional cost like some people might think. It's the only one of the few effects like it that isn't an additional cost so some people will make that mistake. If an opponent asks you what artifact you are sacrificing, they are acknowledging the spell is resolving, so either make sure to ask them "Does it resolve?" before proceeding or, if you are nice, explain the wording on the card to them and make sure they understand what is happening.

Thopter Foundry: A fun little uncommon from Alara block, Thopter Foundry provides the engine for us to create as many 1/1 Thopters and gain as much life as we could possibly want. Being able to sacrifice any artifact is useful, especially when we run cards like Chalice of the Void and Ensnaring Bridge that are priority number one for our opponents. Remember to always sacrifice your Chalices and Bridges when hit by removal as you get the value of a 1/1 flying blocker which is huge, as well as gaining 1 life, which isn't insignificant.

Sword of the Meek: If you have a Thopter Foundry, you can sacrifice Sword of the Meek to create a 1/1 flyer and gain a life, and when the Thopter enters the battlefield, the Sword will return. The shortcut version of this is: for every mana you have, you gain a life and get a 1/1 Flying Blue Artifact Thopter Creature token. This is the grindiest combo ever but it quickly snow balls out of control as you spend all your mana on making thopters to attack/block/whatever. There are also some weirder synergies this card has with the deck that will be mentioned later.

Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas: This. Card. Is. GAS. In my opinion the best designed Planeswalker ever, Tezzeret truly shines in this deck. This guy does everything for us: he finds us additional lock pieces, finds our missing combo pieces, makes your redundant mana rocks into 5/5 blockers/threats, and with an easily achievable ultimate, a swift death to your opponent. The ideal game plan is to drop an early prison piece like Chalice, and resolve a Tezzeret as soon as possible afterwards. With the steady stream of card advantage from Tezzeret, youll quickly out value your opponent. In the case that you are at a standstill, dont forget to use Tezzs -1 ability to create 5/5 threats. There have been many games where I slammed a turn two unprotected Tezz and just turned my two available artifacts into 5/5s and swung for lethal in three turns. 5/5s are also very good blockers, so if you dont have an Ensnaring Bridge available you can turn your extra mana rocks into walls for protection.

Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast: One of the primary struggles of Tezzerator has always been its lack of consistent removal. Daretti provides that which was missing in the form of his -1, which allows him to destroy an artifact or creature with the cost of sacrificing one of your own artifacts. His +1 can feed his minus ability too, which allows him to be self sufficient, but there are other synergies that can fuel his power. His ultimate is no joke either, and easily achievable too. Creating three Baleful Strix and/or Ensnaring Bridges is very powerful. He also synergizes with Sword of the Meek very well.

Tezzeret the Seeker : The Seeker is a powerful piece of the archetype. Tezzeret being Tezzeret, all his abilities care about artifacts again, but this time he works slightly differently role-wise. His -X ability is why you play him as it allows you to effectively run +1 copy of any artifact in your deck. Need a bridge right now? -3. Need a combo piece? -2. His +1 untapping your mana rocks also allows you to empty your hand by casting more spells faster. And while you ideally have a bridge out, in the case you don't, the deck does run enough artifacts that the ultimate is usually a win. With the new planeswalker rule from Ixalan in effect, there is no reason not to run both Tezz as they are pure value engines for this list.

Dack Fayden: The greatest thief in the multiverse is a fantastic value engine for this deck. Coming in at the low price of three mana, Dack comes down and immediately generates value with either of his abilities. Stealing an opponent's Batterskull, drawing two cards and discarding your extra lands and Sword of the Meeks. Dack's primary purpose in the deck is to just draw as many cards as possible. Because we do not run Ponder, Brainstorm or Preordain, we just don't draw as many cards as other decks do, so we need to mitigate that by at least seeing as many cards as other blue decks might. Oh and yes, the third ability on Dack Fayden does in fact read: -6: Do nothing but laugh at your opponent and cry at yourself.

Daretti, Scrap Savant: This guy isn't amazing, but he does provide some good value. Just like with the Ingenious Daretti, you are primarily playing the Scrap Savant for his -2 ability to Goblin Welder artifacts back into play. This adds more redundancy to the artifacts you are running especially when you NEED some of those on the battlefield to survive (Glaring at you Ensnaring Bridge.) His +2 also provides you with some looting which isn't half bad especially when you are drawing duds and just want new cards to look at. Basically, you are really running him for his Goblin Welder effect since you can't justify running a 1-drop in a Chalice deck.

Liquimetal Coating: Coating is a bad card. On its own it is useless and does nothing. However, it synergizes extremely well with Dack Fayden and Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast. Both Dack and Darett's minuses interact with other artifacts: Dack steals, Daretti destroys. With Liquimetal Coating on the battlefield, you can steal, or destroy, any permanent your opponent plays. The power of that interaction merits this card for consideration as a 1-of as it can easily be tutored for when needed. At the same time, it does almost nothing on its own.

Engineered Explosives: Tezzerator has always lacked removal so having access to Engineered Explosives is helpful. Being able to produce all 5 colors with Mox Diamonds allows you to get this up to 5 charge counters if needed. Usually I set it on 1 to get rid of Delvers, Deathrites and other nuisance cards. This is basically a removal spell that you can find off of Agent of Bolas's +1 ability.

Crucible of Worlds: Crucible adds value to Dust Bowl, Wasteland and fetches as well as invalidating your opponent's Wastelands. A powerful and simple card, it can't necessarily win the game on its own but it does provide a steady flow of value, especially if you can recur Inventors' Fair over and over again. Crucible gets better the more non-basic lands you run. If you go for both sol lands and run the full 8, you'll definitely want Crucible. If you choose to go more basic and color heavy, Crucible can become more of a liability as you'll want to play more Wasteland/Dust Bowl effects and it will affect your mana base a bit too much.

Trading Post: A self feeding value engine (funny how that seems to be what this category is about), Trading Post is a wild card. It can stabilize our life total, return artifact from our graveyard to our hand, draw cards and most importantly, it makes 0/1 goats! The value! In all seriousness, this card is quite reasonable. While it is an investment mana-wise, it can help you stabilize close games, and pull ahead slowly. The issue is how slow it is, being four mana and then an additional investment of mana each activation. Overall, a good option to have.

Staff of Nin: Back when I ran pure U/B Tezz, Staff of Nin was one of my favorite win cons. I still toss it in every now and then as a value engine. Additional card draw and a threat/small creature removal all in one, Staff of Nin is a simple card for simple folk. Ideally you Transmute into it from an extra Dimir Signet or Sword of the Meek, but sometimes you just have enough mana to cast it and feel good about it. While not currently as amazing as it used to be due to the prevalence of 1 mana 5/5s and stupid Leovold, Emissary of Trest, it is still a nice card to have access to and play every now and then.

Sorcerous Spyglass: NEW CARD ALERT. New from Ixalan and the land of Pirates, we have a 2 mana Pithing Needle! This card is great for this deck. I've always wanted to play Pithing Needle but the CMC 1 nonbos with Chalice of the Voids in the deck. Now, we get access to a Pithing Needle with the upside of Peek attached to it at 2 mana, which for this deck is as easily achievable as 1 mana is for other decks. I am testing a couple copies, both main and side to figure out where I want this treasure. UPDATE: Card is rad, T1 lock your opponent's only fetch in hand is hot, I am in love.

Ancient Tomb/City of Traitors: Sol lands are insane. 2 colorless mana is quite good. Being able to play a Chalice of the Void on turn one for 1 is kinda how you win games. These two lands serve as the best accelerators for Tezzerator. Some people like to play a split of these guys but I prefer to just run a simple 4 Tombs and call it good.

Mox Diamond: Moxen are always nuts. This one allows you to be quite explosive and fixes our mana.

Dimir Signet/Talisman of Dominance: Mana rocks! Ever wanted to have 4 mana available turn 2? Try Tomb/City into Signet/Talisman into T2 land drop into Tezzeret! These are nice little accelerators that turn into fodder late game for Daretti and Transmute Artifact.

Izzet Signet: This is a signet to run if you are running a heavy red splash or feel like you need more red sources.

Academy Ruins: Recurring artifacts? In an artifact deck? Whaaaaaaaaat? Yeah, unsurprisingly this card functions very well in this list, buying back Baleful Strixes, Engineered Explosives and a wide plethora of nice little tools. Obviously a frequent target of Wasteland, this is still a land worth runnning, and since we run Crucible, it will be back later.

Inventors' Fair: Ok so this card reads as tutor for an artifact as long as you control three or more artifacts. Metalcraft, is that you? This card is quite convenient as it can find whatever piece of the puzzle we're missing while also providing some small life gain which is nice. Again, just like Academy Ruins is Wasteland bait, so is this, but again, we have Crucible of Worlds (Which also means we just recur a tutor effect...).

Dust Bowl/Wasteland: Because you have access to Crucible and can tutor it up at will, running land destruction like this isn't really hard to do and is sometimes quite helpful. If you run Blood Moon in the side, I wouldn't recommend this package, but if you don't I highly recommend trying it out, it's quite nice.

Tundra/Scrubland: When playing the white splash in this deck, I recommend a 1-1 split of Tundra and Scrubland. I personally don't like the white splash as I really love the Blood Moon sideboard and running 4 colors will prevent you from doing it.

Seat of the Synod/Vault of Whispers: A land that you can find off of Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas' +1, a land you can tutor and put into play off of Tezzeret the Seeker 's -0, and a land you can sacrifice to Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast's -1 or Thopter Foundry. Yeah, I'm sold. ((Note: Currently not playing these to make room for my precious Blood Moon))

Island/Swamp/Mountain: If you are running Blood Moon in the sideboard, you want extra Islands and at least 1 Swamp. Thankfully you have mana rocks that produce colors, but it does help to be safe rather than sorry. At least 1 Mountain also helps vs Back to Basics and Wasteland to produce the red you sometimes need.

Polluted Delta/Bloodstained Mire/Scalding Tarn: Fetches are good. Who knew? Double blue is the most important color requirement, after which comes UB and RB. Polluted Delta is the better of the fetches as it gets you the Islands OR Swamp post board when you are working around your own Blood Moon. After that, I like Bloodstained Mire as the rest of the fetches, although I have been toying with Scalding Tarn but the relevance hasn't come up. I guess if you want the extra blue.

Sideboard Cards:

  • Blood Moon: So this is a card that wins games on its own in Legacy. Play this fast enough, and your Mox Diamonds and Dimir Signets (with help from the extra basics) will keep us floating while our opponents drown in blood and salty, salty tears.

  • Flusterstorm: A one mana counter to storm that gets around Chalice of the Void on 1.

  • Helm of Obedience + Leyline of the Void: So Leyline of the Void is worth boarding in as a graveyard hate card regardless, but in combination with Helm of Obedience it provides an additional win-con for this deck that is easily tutorable by Tezzeret the Seeker and Transmute Artifact.

  • Kozilek's Return: An instant speed removal spell for pesky creatures like Elves, Mystics, Delvers and Deathrites. The instant speed is sometimes relevant which is why I choose to run it over cards like Whipflare and Pyroclasm.

  • Lodestone Golem: Storm hate! You only ever need the one as you have Tezzeret the Seeker to find it when you need it. Also, being a 5/3, this buy can end a game quite fast.

  • Ob Nixilis Reignited: Ok, it's a pet card, but I do board it in against any grindy control matchups. In those matchups, this card shines quite bright. Card advantage and removal with an ultimate that does just win the game.

  • Padeem, Consul of Innovation: Padeem is quite a calculating lady. She protects all our artifacts from Abrupt Decays and Kolaghan's Commands. Most of the time the decks we board this in against are boarding out their creature removal and are not prepared to deal with a 1/4 creature that costs 4 mana. You'll want to get this lady down ASAP against those decks.

  • The Abyss: This card has won me so many games on its own. Turns out that when not all creatures have Haste or Indestructible, this card over-preforms. Sure it doesn't kill True-Name Nemesis or Marit Lage, but we have other ways of dealing with those cards. Being an enchantment, most of the decks this hates on don't have efficient ways to deal with it.

  • Toxic Deluge: Aaaand more removal. This card deals with all the go-wide strategies that this deck struggles with like Elves, Goblins and True-Name Nemesis.

  • Trinisphere: More Storm hate! This should probably be another Flusterstorm, but it has been helpful against non-Storm matchups like Omni-Show.

Breakdown by Archetype:

You board in god damn Blood Moon and laugh at the deck that only runs two basic lands in the 75.


I've given up on this matchup because I've lost it well over 20 times now. But this is what my board looks like in those matchups.


As long as you start off with a Leyline of the Void in play, you are in control of the game (hopefully)



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Top Ranked
  • Achieved #46 position overall 2 years ago
Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 years

This deck is Legacy legal.

Rarity (main - side)

29 - 3 Mythic Rares

13 - 12 Rares

10 - 0 Uncommons

3 - 0 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.27
Tokens 1/1 Construct, 1/1 Thopter
Folders Interesting Legacy decks, Favorable Fodder, Excellent Primer
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Revision 12 See all

2 years ago)