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Against the Odds: Oath of Teferi Friends (Standard)

Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 134 of Against the Odds. Dominaria is finally here, which means rather than having a poll last week, we've now got a special episode showing off the power of the new set in Standard. If you're a fan of the Against the Odds poll (and Dominaria), don't worry—it's back at the end of the article and overflowing with sweet new Dominaria cards! So, "what are we playing this week?" I hear you ask. Oath of Teferi Superfriends, of course! While there are a ton of cards from Dominaria that I can't wait to play for Against the Odds, one of the most exciting is Oath of Teferi, which is sort of a mixture between The Chain Veil and Doubling Season, allowing us to activate our planeswalkers twice each turn! We can do all sorts of sweet things with the enchantment on the battlefield, from ultimating our planeswalkers super quickly to drawing tons of cards or keeping all of our opponent's creatures at bay with Gideon of the Trials and Dovin Baan. Eventually, we play Karn, Scion of Urza, make a few 10/10 Construct tokens, and kill our opponent. Plus, thanks to all of our planeswalkers and the legendary theme of our deck, we can also take advantage of some of the spicy new legendary sorceries from Dominaria! Can Oath of Teferi make Superfriends one of the best decks in Standard? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Oath of Teferi Friends (Standard)

The Deck

Oath of Teferi Friends is pretty simple. We play planeswalkers, lots and lots of planeswalkers. Then, we activate planeswalkers, lots and lots of times. We back this up with some good removal and sweepers, and eventually overwhelm our opponent with absurd amounts of planeswalker value.

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Oath of Teferi is essentially our finisher. Planeswalkers are some of the most powerful cards in Magic when we we activate them once a turn, which means activating each of our planeswalkers twice a turn for free has the potential to be pretty broken, allowing us to ultimate our planeswalkers very quickly, generate a ton of card advantage, and keep our opponent's creatures under control. 

Apart from activating planeswalkers multiple times, the other upside of Oath of Teferi is that it lets us flicker one of our permanents. A lot of the time, this ability simply ends up untapping a land, but occasionally we can do some sweet tricks. One of the sweetest is flipping a Treasure Map, spending all of the Treasure tokens, and then using Oath of Teferi to flip Treasure Cove back into Treasure Map for even more scrying and card advantage!

The Planeswalkers

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Gideon of the Trials and Dovin Baan are our best defensive planeswalkers. Not only are they relatively cheap, but they also have plus abilities that shut down opposing creatures. Without Oath of Teferi, we can shut down one or two of our opponent's best creatures, but if we have Oath of Teferi on the battlefield along with Gideon and Dovin Baan, we can sort of build our own wrath, stopping a total of four creatures a turn with our planeswalkers' +1 abilities. Gideon of the Trials can also go beatdown when it comes time to close out the game, and the emblem gives us a good way of beating Approach of the Second Sun (except on Magic Online, where it's apparently bugged), while Dovin Baan can generate tons of card advantage with his 1 ability. 

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Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Karn, Scion of Urza are our primary card-advantage planeswalkers. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria typically just keeps ticking up to draw cards and untap lands, and then hits ultimate in just two turns if we have an Oath of Teferi to double up the activations. Meanwhile, Karn, Scion of Urza just keeps drawing us cards with its +1 and 1 while also having a ton of loyalty, which makes it pretty difficult for out opponent to kill. 

If we don't need to draw cards, Teferi can also be used as removal, sticking any of our opponent's permanents three cards deep into their library (and getting rid of it forever if we make our opponent shuffle with Field of Ruin). Meanwhile, Karn, Scion of Urza is one of our best finishing planeswalkers in the late game. We typically get a lot of random artifacts on the battlefield with the help of Tezzeret the Schemer and Treasure Map, which means Karn comes down and makes two 10/10s, which close out the game in just a couple of turns. 

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Tezzeret the Schemer works amazingly well with both Oath of Teferi and Karn, Scion of Urza. Because Oath of Teferi lets us double activate our planeswalkers and Tezzeret starts with five loyalty, we can play Tezzeret, plus twice up to seven loyalty, plus one more time the next turn to keep Tezzeret the Schemer alive, and then ultimate to start making hasty 5/5 artifact attackers. Meanwhile, with Karn, Scion of Urza, we can simply make a ton of Etherium Cell tokens to make sure that the Construct tokens Karn makes are as devastating as possible. Since we make a ton of artifacts, Tezzeret the Schemer also helps us kill some really annoying and hard to deal with creatures like Hazoret the Fervent thanks to the X/X 2 ability. 

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Liliana, Death's Majesty is sort of a filler planeswalker. Since we don't have any creatures in our main deck, we can't really use the 3 reanimation ability, so instead we just continually plus to make 2/2 Zombies and then eventually wrath away our opponent's creatures with Liliana's 7. While this might not seem great, Liliana, Death's Majesty is the only planeswalker in our deck that can make creatures with its plus ability, which is important for clogging up the board against some decks. Basically, even though Liliana is probably our worst planeswalker, it's really hard for a planeswalker to be bad when we can activate it twice each turn thanks to Oath of Teferi

Legendary Sorceries

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Urza's Ruinous Blast might be the best card in our entire deck. Outside of Treasure Map (which flips into a land), we don't have any non-legendary, non-land permanents in our deck, which means Urza's Ruinous Blast is essentially a one-sided wrath for all non-land permanents, with the upside of exiling rather than destroying. What this means is that when we resolve Urza's Ruinous Blast, we are not only exiling all of our opponent's creatures but also the Cast Outs and Ixalan's Bindings they use to exile our planeswalkers, along with annoying things like Hidden Stockpile and Anointed Procession. The card is amazingly powerful and often ends up being pretty close to "you win the game" for just five mana. As for Yawgmoth's Vile Offering it's just a one-of removal spell, but it's very powerful in certain situations. It's a huge swing in our favor when we can kill one of our opponent's planeswalkers (or good creatures) and get back our best planeswalker from the graveyard. 

Other Stuff

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Treasure Map and Search for Azcanta are the final key pieces of our deck. While Oath of Teferi Friends is overloaded with power, our curve doesn't really start until three or four, which means we don't do much in the early game. When we have a Treasure Map or Search for Azcanta on Turn 2, we can smooth out our draws and make sure we hit our land drops in the early game and our planeswalkers in the late game, which is very important to the success of our deck. 

We can also do some sweet tricks with both of these cards. We already talked about using Oath of Teferi to reflip Treasure Map for more scrying and Treasure tokens, but we can also double-activate a flipped Search for Azcanta with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria untapping our two lands. We simply activate once on our main phase, untap Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, and then activate Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin again during our opponent's turn to dig even deeper to find more planeswalkers, Oath of Teferi, and removal.

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The rest of our deck is pretty simple: we've got a bunch of removal to kill our opponent's creatures in the early game, including Cast Down, Fatal Push, Never // Return, and Vraska's Contempt, along with a couple of Negates to help against control and combo decks. Generally, these cards don't do anything specific with our planeswalkers, but there are a couple of synergies. For example, the Etherium Cell tokens from Tezzeret the Schemer give us an easy way to trigger revolt for Fatal Push, while untapping two lands with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria gives us just enough mana to cast a Cast Down or Negate during our opponent's turn. 

The Matchups

Probably the most challenging matchup for Oath of Teferi Friends is very aggressive decks. While I'm not sure these matchups are bad, it is possible that we get a slow hand, the opponent gets a fast hand, and they are able to kill us before we can stabilize. Otherwise, against midrange decks, we simply have a ton of powerful, repeatable abilities with our planeswalkers along with great removal and sweepers, and against control, we simply cast a planeswalker every turn until one resolves and then try to ride it to victory with a steady stream of card advantage. All around, the deck felt super solid and also really fun!

The Odds

All in all, we played five matches and won all five, good for a 100% match win percentage. As for games, we played 13 and won 10 (and this includes the one game we lost to the Magic Online bug involving the Gideon of the Trials emblem not stopping the Approach of the Second Sun kill), good for a 77% game win percentage, which makes Oath of Teferi Friends one of the most competitive Against the Odds decks of all time! Basically, Oath of Teferi Friends was great, and while some of the numbers could use tweaking, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see some sort of Superfriends list develop into an actual tier deck in Standard. Oath of Teferi is a great finisher, the legendary sorceries offer a ton of extra value to a deck overflowing with planeswalkers, and the printing of Karn, Scion of Urza and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria gives the archetype two new, extremely strong planeswalkers. Basically, Superfriends has all of the pieces to be very good, and with a bit of tuning, I wouldn't be surprised to see it on the tournament scene before long.

Vote for Next Week's Deck

Dominaria looks to be one of the best Against the Odds sets ever, which means we'll be playing it a lot over the next few weeks. Which of these sweet Dominaria cards should we build around in Standard next week? Let us know by voting below!

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Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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