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Against the Odds: Turbo Tezzeret (Modern, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 190 of Against the Odds. War of the Spark is here! Last week, we had another Against the Odds poll but this time with a twist: rather than playing the winning card in Standard, we'd be heading to Modern! In the end, it was our new buy-a-box promo Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge that came out on top, so we're heading to Modern today to see if a six-mana planeswalker that makes all of our other planeswalkers cheap (or even free) thanks to its affinity-granting static ability can compete in the format. The main idea of Turbo Tezzeret is to ramp into Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge as quickly as possible with the help of some mana-producing artifacts and then flood the board with other planeswalkers that care about artifacts, to hopefully generate an absurd amount of value (and a ton of random artifacts), so we can drain the opponent out of the game with Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge's +2. What are the odds of winning with Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Turbo Tezzeret

 

 

The Deck

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When Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge won the poll, my first thought was to make an infinite combo deck with sometimes Ancestral Statue, Tezzeret, and some sort of infinite enters-the-battlefield trigger payoff like Saheeli, Sublime Artificer or Genesis Chamber. But sadly, I couldn't really get the deck to function well enough to make a video of it. While we did win some games, it was never with the combo; instead, it was mostly by playing random artifacts and then using Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge's +2 a couple of times. As a result, I figured the best plan was to focus more on the power of Tezzeret itself and less on the potential to go infinite with other cards. The end result is a weird sort of artifact ramp superfriends-style deck that uses Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge to flood the board with planeswalkers thanks to its affinity static ability while also using the +2 as the primary plan for closing out the game.

Fast Mana

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For Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge to be powerful, we need two things. First, we need ramp to get Tezzeret on the battlefield as quickly as possible since the affinity static ability is much less powerful if Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge is the last card in our hand. Second, we need lots of artifacts on the battlefield, to power up both Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge's affinity ability and his +2 drain ability. For this, we turn to some interesting artifact-based ramp. Pentad Prism is a great way to ramp into Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge quickly, giving us two extra mana in the form of charge counters while being an artifact on the battlefield even after the counters have been removed. It also works very well with Inspiring Statuary since we can tap Pentad Prism for an additional mana to improvise Tezzeret out. Finally, we have Mox Opal as well because our deck has a lot of cheap artifacts, making it easy to turn on. Toss all this together, and we have the potential to get Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge on the battlefield as early as Turn 3, with something like Mox Opal with other free artifacts into Pentad Prism on Turn 1, into Inspiring Statuary on Turn 2, into Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge on Turn 3, which is about as turbo as Tezzeret can get in the Modern format.

The Artifacts

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Since most of our ramp spells (and Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge itself) need lots of artifacts on the battlefield to function, the next piece of the puzzle is a bunch of cheap artifacts. Chalice of the Void takes advantage of the fact that our deck doesn't have any one-mana plays, so we can cast it for two mana and lock some percentage of our opponents' decks out of the game. Meanwhile, Engineered Explosives gives us a cheap artifact that is great at sweeping away tokens and can potentially kill other small permanents as well.

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Rounding out our cheap artifact package are a bunch of do-little artifacts that happen to be free, giving us additional ways to turn on Mox Opal, improvise with Inspiring Statuary, and drain with Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge. Welding Jar protects our more important artifacts. Mishra's Bauble can be turned into a new card if we are looking for action or can just sit on the battlefield to up our artifact count if we already have what we need, and Tormod's Crypt gives us a bit of main-deck graveyard hate if we run into a deck like Dredge or Izzet Phoenix.

The Planeswalkers

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Rounding out our deck is a massive pile of planeswalkers, all of which care about artifacts in one way of another. These cards give us something to affinity out with Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge and help add more artifacts to the battlefield to support Tezzeret's +2. First off, we have Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, which basically doubles up the number of artifacts we have on the battlefield if we can get it down before we empty our hand of artifacts. Every time we cast a Mox Opal, Chalice of the Void, or planeswalker, we get a kicker of a 1/1 Servo, which gives us an additional artifact for Tezzeret's affinity and draining abilities. Plus, the Servos are a great way to keep our planeswalkers' loyalty high, by giving us a board full of chump blockers to keep our opponent's ground forces at bay.

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Our Karns—Karn, the Great Creator and Karn, Scion of Urza—are especially powerful with Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge's affinity ability since they are colorless, which means once we have a Tezzeret on the battlefield, we typically have enough artifacts that we can cast any number of Karns for free. Karn, the Great Creator is especially helpful in tutoring silver-bullet one-ofs from the sideboard like Grafdigger's Cage, Sorcerous Spyglass, or Mycosynth Lattice to lock our opponent out of the game. Meanwhile, Karn, Scion of Urza can be a card-advantage engine but often just makes huge Construct tokens (which we can copy with Saheeli, Sublime Artificer's 2 ability to deal a ton of damage out of the blue).

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Also rounding out our deck are a couple more Tezzerets as backup win conditions. Tezzeret the Seeker gives us another way to tutor up our important artifacts (like Inspiring Statuary) and can also close out the game after a single +1 by ultimating to turn all of our random do-little artifacts into 5/5 beaters. As for Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, it's good for digging through our deck to find artifacts and, much like Tezzeret the Seeker, can potentially win by ultimating after just a single +1 to drain our opponent out of the game with an ultimate that is basically the same as two Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge +2s.

The Matchups

The matchups for Turbo Tezzeret are sort of tricky to figure out because the deck often feels like it's more about our draw than what our opponent is doing. Aggro can be hard, but we've got a chance if we can turbo out a planeswalker on Turn 3, especially Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge. On the other hand, against slower decks like control or midrange, we've got so many powerful planeswalkers that we often only need to resolve one or two to generate enough value to finish the game, with Tezzeret always lurking at the top of our curve as a finisher. Plus, in the worst case, we can always jank people out with the Karn, the Great Creator / Mycosynth Lattice lock.

The Odds

All in all, we played five matches with Turbo Tezzeret and ended up winning three, good for a 60% match win percentage, making Turbo Tezzeret just a touch above average for an Against the Odds deck. As for Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge itself, we did have some games where it was expensive and slow, but we also had some absurd games where it allowed us to play a ton of planeswalkers in a single turn and essentially combo kill with the +2 to drain the opponent out of the game! 

Vote for Next Week's Deck

One of our longest-running sub-series here on Against the Odds is planeswalker tribal decks. The rules are simple: to be eligible a planeswalker needs at least three non-Planeswalker Deck printings. Well, thanks to War of the Spark, we suddenly have a bunch of new planeswalker tribal possibilities. Which of these planeswalkers should get the tribal treatment next week? Let us know by voting below!

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Conclusion

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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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