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Using The Wandering Emperor in Control Mirrors

As soon as I saw the new rebalanced Teferi, Time Raveler, I began brewing Historic Azorius Control decks. One of my biggest challenges has been figuring out how to win the control mirrors after sideboard. With Archmage’s Charm being so popular in blue decks, the Shark Typhoon and Commence the Endgame plan is no longer very reliable because the bigger the token you make, the bigger risk you are taking should it get stolen. I started with a couple of Brazen Borrowers but I desperately wanted more cards I can use at the end of my opponent’s turn. The Wandering Emperor is exactly the kind of card I was looking for.

 

 

She fits the bill for several reasons:

  • Four mana is still on the cheap side in the control mirrors and the card being white means it won’t get dealt with cheaply by Mystical Dispute
  • I can play it at the end of my opponent’s turn, forcing them to either start taking damage and let me get a board advantage, which is very important in the planeswalker battles, or tap out to counter it and risk me resolving a Teferi or Narset, Parter of Veils on my own turn. 
  • Even if my opponent taps out for Teferi, Time Raveler on their own turn four, I can still play The Wandering Emperor in response. They can’t bounce it because it’s a planeswalker, so the best they can do is +1 Teferi. I’ll be able to make a token at the end of their turn and then either attack Teferi down to three and make another token, or give it a +1/+1 counter and put Teferi down to two, which means they won’t even be able to bounce it now. 
  • The -2 ability exiling a tapped creature is actually very relevant in the control mirrors as well, because even though Shark Typhoon tokens can sometimes be a liability, it’s not like you are going to fully board them out. Sometimes, you’ll be getting attack by a big Shark and getting to deal with it with what is pretty much a “bonus” ability on your planeswalker is a nice added benefit. 
  • If your opponent makes bigger tokens to block your Samurai tokens, as an Azorius mage, you’ll have four Archmage’s Charm yourself, so you can use them to steal their blockers as well. In addition to that you now have Teferi, Time Raveler to bounce them.

I believe The Wandering Emperor will obviously make a huge splash in Standard and Alchemy, but I’m also very excited to try it in Historic as a control mirror breaker!

 

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