The UR Sphinx’s Tutelage deck Andrew Cuneo innovated for PT Origins was one of the coolest decks in the room. One week later at Grand Prix San Diego, Michael Majors proved it had some serious game. Tutelage goes way over the top of midrange strategies and threatens to win the game by decking at an alarming rate.
Fast-forward to today and we are living in a world where midrange decks and slower-than-midrange decks are taking over. Jeskai decks are moving away from Mantis Rider for more controlling cards. Deck builders are trying to go over the top of these slow strategies with, again, even slower strategies. This is a perfect time for a Tutelage deck to make a comeback.
Apparently, QTL7 on MTGO agreed, as he used his UW version to a 5-0 record in an MTGO Standard League. Sphinx’s Tutelage is still the backbone of the deck, but fast card draw is crucial to make the mill strategy happen quickly, while digging you toward copies of the namesake card. Ugin’s Insight does a great job of filling up your hand and potentially having lots of Tutelage triggers, not to mention that if you load your deck up with enchantments that stay on the battlefield, you can scry some unneeded cards to the bottom. Monastery Siege and Blighted Cataract are additional fuel for the late game.
The problem with slower control decks is in actually reaching the late game. Pacifism is not a card we’ve seen much of, but it’s cheap and early interaction. Silkwrap, Stasis Snare, and Quarantine Field add to the removal suite akin to the Esper Control list Cuneo had been running earlier this Standard season. Planar Outburst does a great job of cleaning up the mess. Suppression Bonds even finds its way into this deck!
What if they get rid of your Tutelages or you don’t have the time to mill them out? White has some great enchantment synergies with both Starfield of Nyx and Sigil of the Empty Throne. You can kill opponents quickly, often out of nowhere, with these powerful finishers.