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Budget Magic: $88 (32 tix) Fevered Thing Tutelage

Selamat pagi Budget Magic lovers! It's that time again. This week the long awaited release of Shadows over Innistrad on Magic Online is finally over and we get to start exploring the new Standard format! I have to admit, I really went into the tank this week trying to figure out what Budget Magic deck to play for our first Shadows over Innistrad Budget Magic. I came this close to playing a Mono-Red Aggro deck that seemed powerful and cheap, but had the downside of being Mono-Red Aggro. Eventually I decided that for the first week of Shadows I would play the deck I was most excited about, which means the revival of Sphinx's Tutelage alongside some very powerful and interesting new cards!

Let's get to the videos, then I'll talk more about Fevered Thing Tutelage. A quick reminder. If you enjoy the Budget Magic series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Fevered Thing Tutelage Deck Tech

Fevered Thing Tutelage vs Grixis Eldrazi

Fevered Thing Tutelage vs Mono-White Humans

Fevered Thing Tutelage vs UR Prowess

Fevered Thing Tutelage vs Big Red

Fevered Thing Tutelage vs UR Tempo

The Deck

To understand why I'm so excited about Fevered Thing Tutelage, we need a history lesson. Last summer a UR Tutelage deck was one of the surprise breakout decks of Pro Tour Magic Origins, and it proceeded to win a Grand Prix a few weeks later. One of the reasons the deck was successful at the time was it had access to mass bounce in Whelming Wave, which isn't a very good card, but did serve its purpose as a Fog that sometimes costs an opponent two or three turns (since they need to spend mana to replay their creatures). In Shadows over Innistrad, Wizards printed not one, but two cards that are essentially upgraded versions of Whelming Wave. Plus we get Fevered Visions as well, the perfect Howling Mine for a Sphinx's Tutelage deck!

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We're not going to spend too much time talking about Sphinx's Tutelage since we've played it a couple times before on Budget Magic. Basically it says, "Pay three-mana, draw as many cards as possible. If you draw enough cards, you win the game." One reason I'm excited about Sphinx's Tutelage right now (apart from all the support it got from Shadows over Innistrad), is the fact that heavily White, aggressive Humans lists are near the top of the metagame. The combination of having a low land count and being mostly (or totally) mono-colored means it doesn't take that many Sphinx's Tutelage triggers to mill away our opponent's entire deck. 

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Fevered Visions is the first of three important new cards from Shadows over Innistrad. At level one, Fevered Visions is a Howling Mine which allows us to trigger our Sphinx's Tutelage every turn while also forcing our opponent to draw extra cards, which helps with our goal of getting their library empty. However, Fevered Visions is even better than most Howling Mines in a Sphinx's Tutelage deck because, unlike other variants, the card draw comes on the end step rather than at the beginning of the turn. This wording means that we don't have to wait an entire turn to draw our first card and get our first Sphinx's Tutelage trigger, which is actually pretty important. 

The other reason Fevered Visions is important is because it gives Fevered Thing Tutelage a legitimate Plan B. Older versions of Tutelage decks were pretty much all in on winning by milling away an opponent's library. With our deck, we can actually kill our opponent with damage. Some control decks literally cannot beat a Fevered Visions on turn three. They just draw a bunch of dead removal spells and discard while they slowly get drained two life at a time. Against midrange decks, Fevered Visions can often deal a lethal amount of damage if given enough time.

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Thing in the Ice is the perfect card for a Sphinx's Tutelage deck for a bunch of reasons. First, we don't really mind a 0/4 defender to stop our opponent's early game beats. Second, since we are playing a ton of card draw spells (that just so happen to be instants or sorceries), we are built to flip Thing in the Ice into Awoken Horror. As a 7/8 that bounces all our opponent's blockers, Awoken Horror is a key part of our Plan B of winning with damage. Third, being able to bounce all of our opponent's creatures is great even when we are trying to win with Sphinx's Tutelage. At the very worst it's a Fog that Time Walks our opponent since they have to spend their turn replaying their board, and in some situations it's a double or triple Time Walk. While Fevered Visions might be the most important Shadows over Innistrad card in Fevered Thing Tutelage, Thing in the Ice is likely the best new addition.

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As I mentioned before, one of the things that made UR Tutelage decks very good last summer was the presence of a mass bounce spell. While Thing in the Ice helps fulfill this role, Shadows over Innistrad also gives us Engulf the Shore, which is a major upgrade over Whelming Wave. Since we are predominantly a Blue deck, we can get away with playing 14 Islands so powering up Engulf the Shore is pretty easy. In fact, in one game I managed to bounce a Westvale Abby transformed into an Ormhandal, Profane Prince!

There are two big things that make Engulf the Shore very good in our deck. First, being instant speed means we can bounce hasty threats (e.g. Chandra, Flamecaller's Elemental tokens), but more importantly we can often manipulate the number of Island we have in play so we don't bounce our own Thing in the Ice. Typically we want to play a dual land on turn one so we have access to Red mana, and then spend our next three turns playing Islands. On turn four we can cast Engulf the Shore to bounce all of our opponent's creatures and remove a counter from Thing in the Ice. The next turn we can cast a card draw spell or two, flip our Thing in the Ice and bounce all of our opponent's creatures a second time. Then we have a 7/8 Awoken Horror, which means any future copies of Engulf the Shore are very unlikely to bounce our big threat, but extremely likely to bounce our opponent's entire board. 

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Our card draw package of Magmatic Insight, Tormenting Voice, and Catalog is what makes the deck tick. Not only do we use these cards to generate a ton of Sphinx's Tutelage triggers to mill our opponent out, but they also make it super easy to flip our Thing in the Ice on command while also making sure we are drawing a steady stream of action to find our Engulf the Shores and removal spells.

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Alhammarret's Archive adds a ton of explosiveness to our Sphinx's Tutelage plan since it makes our Magmatic Insight, Tormenting Voice, and Catalog draw four cards instead of two, while also working with Fevered Visions. I thought about playing Pyromancer's Goggles in this slot, but decided that Alhammarret's Archive was just better in our deck since we aren't really playing that many Red spells outside of our card draw, and when we are casting card draw spells, Alhammarret's Archive does exactly the same thing as Pyromancer's Goggles

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Finally, our last main deck cards hedge against specific problems. While our mass bounce spells mean we aren't really that scared of midrange creature decks, decks that are playing a lot of one-drops can be a problem since our opponent can rebuild so quickly. As such, Fiery Impulse gives us a way to deal with a Kytheon, Hero of Akros or Thalia's Lieutenant permanently. Clash of Wills and Crush of Tentacle, on the other hand, give us answers to planeswalkers, which would otherwise be a big problem for the deck. While Crush of Tentacles often feels bad (it bounces our Sphinx's Tutelage and Fevered Visions), it's a necessary evil so we don't auto-lose to a resolved []Gideon, Ally of Zendikar]]. 


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This is our "we're playing against a deck with really, really big creatures" package. Against something like Eldrazi Ramp, Engulf the Shore really isn't very good since we need 10 Islands to bounce an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, and our opponent would then just recast it to exile more of our stuff. As a result, against these decks we an take out Engulf the Shore and bring in Send to Sleep and Icefall Regent as a way to deal with our opponent's big threats. 

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This is our control package. One thing I learned while playing this deck is that a lot of control decks literally cannot beat a Fevered Visions. So in these matchups we can take out some of our bounce and even our Sphinx's Tutelage and go all-in on the Fevered Visions plan. Another trick is to take out all of our copies of Thing in the Ice to blank our opponent's removal spells in game two. 

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Finally, when we run into a very aggressive deck (like the more aggressive builds of Mono-White Humans), Fevered Visions is pretty bad because our opponent can usually get down below four cards in hand. In these matchups we can take out Fevered Visions, bring in a bunch of removal, and plan on winning the game with Sphinx's Tutelage (which usually isn't too hard, since most of these decks are one-color and skimp on lands, so we get a lot of double hits from Sphinx's Tutelage). 


Ultra-budget Fevered Tutelage is actually pretty straight forward. You take out Thing in the Ice and replace it with a little bit more removal (Fiery Impulse) and some more Fog effects (Hydrolash). While I think this deck is fine and can have success, the main thing I dislike about the ultra-budget build is that the Plan B of winning with damage gets much more difficult without Thing in the Ice. Still, you should be able to mill people out with some amount of consistency and the deck can definitely still function without Thing in the Ice


The non-budget version of Fevered Thing Tutelage gets some absurdly strong additions. First, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy is a great way to trigger Sphinx's Tutelage, both as a creature with his looting ability and as a planeswalker where he can flashback things like Magmatic Insight. Second, we can play Sunken Hollow and Smoldering Marsh, which not only allow us to keep our Island count high for Engulf the Shore, but also take advantage of Radiant Flames as a key sweeper against very aggressive decks. Third, we get Chandra, Flamecaller who not only Plague Winds our opponent's board, but can also trigger Sphinx's Tutelage about a million times each turn with her 0 ability. 


Anyway, that's all for today. While we only finished the videos with a 2-3 record, all of our loses went to three games and in two of our loses we either had mana trouble or ended up one-card short of winning. With a tiny bit more luck we could have had a 4-1 record. I'd definitely take the deck to an FNM and plan to continue playing on Magic Online, not just because it can win matches against the best decks in the format, but because it's incredibly fun to play! Anyway, as always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive, or at

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