Scheming with Tezz

Playing with any Tezzeret card is a privilege. In fact, I would consider it a badge of honor among tournament players.

“The first rule of ‘Tezzeret Club’ is you don’t talk about ‘Tezzeret Club…’”

I’ve played various Tezzeret’s across a range for formats and every list was unique and memorable.

Breaking the Silence About Tezzeret Club

I’m breaking the silence. Let’s talk about Tezzeret. There are certain cards on the fringe of the normal, established format staples that we want and yearn to play with, but they always miss the cut or are relegated to maybe-next-time ideas. Every respectable brewer knows what I’m talking about: Mulldrifter, Acidic Slime, Bitterblossom, Isochron Scepter—the list goes on and on… cards that are sweet.

I’ve got to give mad props to Jungje Choi because he accepted the Standard Tezzeret challenge, brewed a sick one, steeled up, and played his brew to a respectable Open finish!

U/B Tezzeret

Jungje Choi

The brew caught my eye for obvious reasons: It’s cool as hell and full of all kinds of awesome cards that look fun to play.

Tezzeret has brought manufacturing jobs back to Kaladesh.

There is an important difference between bad decks with cool cards and good concepts with cool cards. Mainly, bad decks are bad and good concepts have the potential to be great. Anybody winning matches on Day 2 via the alternate win condition of Mechanized Production has clearly done their homework.

The deck is very good at locking down (pun intended) the board with tap effects like Deadlock Trap and Pacification Array by using efficient removal to slow the bleeding, and cheating mana by using extraneous artifacts to improvise.

The Difference Between a Brew and a Deck

Jungje was kind enough to share his updated deck list, as well as his insights about the deck:

“I created the deck to beat the midrange creature decks that were trying to beat Saheeli combo decks. Game 1, the deck grinds the opponent out while stranding removal in their hand. In sideboard games, the deck switches gears by beating down with Tezzeret’s Touch in the now low-removal deck from the opponent. I like the ability of the deck to slow the game down by being able to play artifacts and hold up Rebuke at every point in the game.”

The concept makes a lot of sense, and the deck is effective at executing the outlined pre- and post-sideboard games. It is telling that one of the cards he singles out in his deck overview is Metallic Rebuke:

Rebuke is what we in the biz call a “payoff card” because it rewards a player for building their deck to meet specific qualifications. In a vacuum, Rebuke is a bad Convolute, but when you have the ability to improvise twice, the card becomes a 1-mana counterspell. The card requires setup, but the payoff is an absurdly powerful and efficient effect.

It was very clear to me after talking and messaging with Jungje that his U/B Tezzeret was a deck and not a brew, and here’s why:

For me, a “brew” is an off-the-beaten-path idea somebody is trying out, and a “deck” is a polished, refined collection of 75 cards.

Other Cool Tezzerator Synergies

I could write a blurb about half of the cards in the set because there are so many unique card choices in the deck.

Nice Grasp and Fatal Push, newb.

Herald of Anguish is a powerful Magic card. It has a gigantic 5/5 body and 4 great abilities: Flying, discard, -2/-2, and improvise. It’s another great payoff card for building around the improvise shell and I appreciate the way that it outclasses the other big flyers (Avacyn and Heart of Kiran) and dodges a lot of popular removal.

I was a little disappointed to see the sideboard Sire of Stagnation get the axe, but those are the breaks when a brew grows up and becomes a real, mature deck. Choi suggested a straight-up swap of Sire for a third copy of Herald: “I’d take out the Sire in the sideboard for a third Herald of Anguish. The Sire of Stagnation was a ‘fun-of.’ It did what it needed to, but Herald is much better.”

I imagine Tezz lives in a Beauty and the Beast mansion and all his friends are animated appliances.

As Choi points out, he expects most opponents will be boarding out removal against him because he is creature light, which makes this pseudo-Ensoul-Artifact a game-breaker.

“When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back… she was alive! Look at her, Miller. Isn’t she beautiful?”

Where we’re going we won’t need eyes… just a Heart of Kiran with Tezzeret’s Touch on it! The interaction is cool because the Vehicle gains permanent 5/5 base power and toughness (meaning it is always turned on) and retains flying and vigilance.

“Dear Journal, Hi! It’s me Doug. I’m thinking about asking Patty to the dance. Also, Tezzeret turned Porkchop into a 5/5 artifact creature.”

Journal is an interesting card choice that I wouldn’t have thought of in my wildest dreams. It is slow, but in a deck full of Deadlock Traps and Pacification Arrays, you have time to spare.

It generates Clues, which have a lot of functionality in the deck—obviously, you can sacrifice them to draw cards or tutor with the Journal, but they also have a lot of value in play. In particular, you can use them to improvise or use Tezzeret’s Touch to turn them into creatures.

It is also interesting that a Clue token is a quick kill with Mechanized Production, which can enchant and make copies of Clue tokens (or Tezzeret’s Etherium Cell tokens). When you are receiving 2 Clue tokens per turn cycle, the game closes pretty quickly.

I am lucky that I get to play a lot of MTG and write about the game every week. Even though I’m around it all the time, I still can’t help but be a big fanboy of the game because it never ceases to surprise and intrigue me. Today’s article was fun because I genuinely found the deck to be not only very good but really cool as well.

I’ll always root for a brew to become a real deck.


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