I’ve been looking to play with not-Bazaar decks for a while, but I’ve never found success with Xerox shells (and Mistake Forge Shops is abhorrent to my sensibilities!). So I started messing around with Oath of Nissa+Mana Drain+Planeswalkers. It was fun. It was fine. It went 3-2 a lot. What I found was I was winning lots of games with Teferi. So I decided to just build more towards that. After a few iterations I’ve arrived at my first 5-0 with the deck this morning:

Mana:
9 U fetches
2 Trop
2 Tundra
2 Sea
2 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
4 Mox
1 Lotus

Guys:
4 DRS
2 Snapcaster
2 Lavinia
2 Collector Ouphe
1 Leovold
1 Mentor
2 Sylvan Library

Restricted:
Ponder
Bstorm
Ancestral
Time Walk
Gush
Probe

Interaction:
4 FoW
4 MM
1 Plow
1 Assassin’s Trophy
1 Abrupt Decay
2 Thoughtseize

Walkers:
2 Teferi
2 Narset

SB:
2 Containment Priest
3 Yixlid Jailer
2 Ravenous Trap
1 Lavinia
2 Collector Ouphe
3 FoV
1 Nature’s Chant
1 Assassin’s Trophy

Deck plays sort of like a soft prison vs other blue decks because DRS, Lavina, Narset, Leo, and Teferi make it difficult for them to time things the way they want. Against Dredge and Shops you’re more of a hate bears deck.

last edited by wfain

Let me also take a minute to point out a few things about playing with Teferi;

•he can do a half-Gush impersonation if you cast him off a Mox

•He does absolutely phenomenal work with Snapcaster Mage. Both abilities do dumb things. +1 lets you Snap sorceries (like Thoughtseize) in the most opportune moments. -3 is obviously Gwen Stefani level bananas 🍌.

•in combination with Lavinia he can basically Stone Rain your opponent’s Moxen at a profit with -3. It also feels really busted to play your sorceries as instants while your opponents play their instants as sorceries.

That gush impression inspired an esper doomsday list I took to 3-3 in the challenge last week. It seems like the combo of lavinia and teferi is pretty powerful. Teferi definitely opens up a lot of interesting lines. Did you have a hard time playing leovold at all? DRS probably helps with that but what do you think about narset?

@ian-mars
I didn’t really have any trouble, no. And Narset is pretty good. The deck doesn’t have all the cantrips Xerox does, so they more often find action of some kind.

Is Thoughtseize possibly an outdated piece of interaction? It’s really only kind of good on the play, and even then it doesn’t always stop your opponent from doing something good. Also, fetching out an Underground Sea turn one on the play is not great since it could leave you exposed to Wasteland or Strip Mine.

Compare it to Spell Pierce. On turn one, you can pass the turn with a fetchland and always have interaction with whatever they want to do, like countering Defense Grid or Grim Monolith, and then the opponent has to pass the turn back to you since he used up his mana to cast a spell into Spell Pierce. If you had a Thoughtseize instead, you would have taken his Karn, but then he still gets a Grim Monolith or Defense Grid without interference. Spell pierce stops Karn indirectly by countering the Monolith and then letting you get to your next land drop. Or Spell Pierce counters the Defense Grid, allowing you to use your FOW on Karn.

Narset is a really big deal in the blue matchup. It seems to me that Spell Pierce is a superior approach to dealing with it since the Thoughtseize is potentionally just completely ineffective.

Do you understand where I’m coming from on Thoughtseize being “completely ineffective”? Or are we just on a completely different page?

@desolutionist Are you saying this in the specific context of wfain's deck and a Karn deck, or that counterspell>thoughtseize in all circumstances?

@nba84

Yeah I’m saying in general terms of having turn one interaction in a U/x vintage deck.

Thoughtseize seems not good right now unless you're planning on winning right after you play it and you just want to make sure the coast is clear.

@desolutionist Or the opponent plays a Deathrite Shaman or Foundry Inspector and you've wasted your mana. Or draws a Misstep off the top for your Spell Pierce. Constructing hypothetical situations and ignoring context are both poor ways of evaluating cards.

Teferi mitigates a lot of issues with discard and the bounce ability is naturally synergistic, giving Thoughtseize much more versatility than it typically has. Do we have to do comparisons? What's a good instant speed discard spell? A Vindicate that doesn't hit planeswalkers or lands? Bah, I hate comparisons... Just play good cards that have good interactions in your deck. Thoughtseize clearly does. It honestly seems fine in any UWBx Teferi deck if you can make the mana work.

@chubbyrain
Was going to reply to @desolutionist but I think chubby hit most of my points. Only thing he didn’t bring up was that for me, Pierce is pretty mediocre since I want to be casting DRS or one of my 2 drops on t1 whenever possible. When I can’t? TS feels better because of the information advantage and it doesn’t induce me to just hold up 1 Mana next turn when I want to play Ouphe, Lavinia, Sylvan, Narset, or Teferi.

@chubbyrain said in Teferi Midrange:

@desolutionist Or the opponent plays a Deathrite Shaman or Foundry Inspector and you've wasted your mana. Or draws a Misstep off the top for your Spell Pierce. Constructing hypothetical situations and ignoring context are both poor ways of evaluating cards.

I’m not sure what you mean by that, Matt. I think about hypothetical situations all the time when evaluating cards. In your example, Inspector and DRS aren’t exactly very scary cards. If the opponents best play is Inspector or DRS you should be thrilled that you’re not going to lose this turn.

Teferi mitigates a lot of issues with discard and the bounce ability is naturally synergistic, giving Thoughtseize much more versatility than it typically has. Do we have to do comparisons? What's a good instant speed discard spell? A Vindicate that doesn't hit planeswalkers or lands? Bah, I hate comparisons... Just play good cards that have good interactions in your deck. Thoughtseize clearly does. It honestly seems fine in any UWBx Teferi deck if you can make the mana work.

You’re agreeing then that there are some limitations to Thoughtseize? I’m not denying there are some pros to having a discard spell to use along with one of Teferi’s abilities. What I’m saying is that Thoughtseize is not a good card in the metagame. I’m all for playing good cards though. Thoughtseize definitely is one of those cards that could be “just fine” if that’s you’re goal.

@wfain

Your reasoning makes sense, but I'll definitely be looking to see how long you keep it in your list since I'm skeptical Thoughtseize is great.

last edited by desolutionist

@desolutionist The problem with hypotheticals is that you can always make them in such a way as to prove your position. It is a form of selection bias. How many new cards are discussed where people only focus on the best-case or worst-case scenarios?

Also, every card has limitations. You are comparing Thoughtseize to a conditional counterspell, so I'm really not sure what your point is. My point is that Teferi mitigates the downside of drawing Thoughtseize late as you can use bounce+TS as a Vindicate and the instant speed to steal draws if there isn't a permanent to hit. It turns Thoughtseize into a very good card (it's a fine card without the synergy with Teferi).

If you only want to discuss some arbitrary value of Thoughtseize in a vacuum without the other 71-74 cards that surround it, well I've never had interest in those discussions and certainly not in threads dedicated to decks...

@wfain Have you considered adding in a 3rd Teferi? I've found the card to be good enough that I've wanted three in most of my lists.

@chubbyrain
I haven’t, mostly because I feel like you can’t load up on so many 3’s right now. If Forge and/or Dredge take a step back and things move a little more towards #fairdeckfights then yeah, I’d probably look at a third along with another Snapcaster (or maybe Eternal Witness).

@wfain Lance's (@vaughnbros) approach has been to play more Forces to ensure you get the ability to 3 mana. The additional teferis and narsets help make the Forces live as well as ensure you have an impact play.

https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/2111404#online

Edit: Linking because I think the deck has a lot of merit. I've played Teferi's in other lists and have found him very strong.

last edited by ChubbyRain

@chubbyrain
Yeah, that’s certainly an interesting take.
I’m almost positive the delve spells are wrong and I can’t imagine not having any on board interaction or Snapcasters.

last edited by wfain

@wfain The delve spells were cut from a later version. He was trying to eschew removal for a more threat dense approach, leaning on cards like Teferi and Tarmogoyf to provide pseudoremoval (which is something Brian Kelly favors with cards like Vraska, Golgari Queen). Snapcasters are great but there are likely many ways to build Teferi decks. This is just what happened to be published.

I meant to use the 5-0 list as evidence that the core of the deck is solid and you are on to something powerful. Keep up the good work and brewing 🙂

last edited by ChubbyRain

FYI, I played a Teferi Jeskai list to the top 8 of the most recent challenge and Teferi was great for me all day. I'm not sold on the red portion of the deck and the overall decline in Dack in the metagame makes me question if this was an isolated incident. There were my two copies and the three copies in the 29th place list. That's it. Last week there were 6 copies in two decks. They finished 30th and 31st. I think there are many reasons for that, but they are outside the topic of the discussion. The point is without Dack, you lose one of the main reasons to play Jeskai and options such as this look much better.

And for the record my tournament was a fun experience of:
Dredge x4, Survival, Red Hate (TMWA), and Karn Forge.

@chubbyrain

I can’t imagine a reason for wanting Dack Fayden. If you need a three mana walker, the Nth Teferi or the Nth Narset seems a lot better.

Aside from typical Delver stuff like Pyromancer and Bolt, I think a lot of people who play red do so for Pyroblast (on Narset or Lavinia) but depending on how explosive your deck is you can accomplish the same thing with Chain of Vapor or Void Snare.

last edited by desolutionist

Gush and a mana base of only island duals seems a bit greedy for 4 colors. I think that you could improve your % by a quite a bit just changing into some non-blue duals.

The other major component of my current list that this is missing is the large number of 3 and 4-ofs. This provides consistency despite not playing preordain. Singletons can be fun, but sometimes you want to be able to rely on getting to certain aspects of your deck.

@vaughnbros
They’re not really singletons though?

  • 26
    Posts
  • 1374
    Views