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Much Abrew About Nothing: Curious Tutelage (Standard)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to the new and improved Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, Curious Tutelage was easily the most popular of the Instant Deck Techs, so this week, we are heading to Standard to see if one of my favorite cards—Sphinx's Tutelage—has what it takes to be competitive in the format one more time, before it rotates in a few weeks. This new build of Tutelage is pretty interesting; instead of overloading on card draw (and potentially playing stuff like Pyromancer's Goggles to double up cards like Magmatic Insight and Tormenting Voice), this deck is more of a control build of the deck looking to take advantage of Curious Homunculus and Bedlam Reveler as a backup plan of winning with prowess creatures. Is this plan worth it? Let's get to the videos and find out!

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Curious Tutelage: Instant Deck Tech

Curious Tutelage vs. Jund Delirium

Curious Tutelage vs. UR Thermo-Thing

Curious Tutelage vs. GR Delirium

Curious Tutelage vs. Mono-Green Eldrazi

Curious Tutelage vs. UB Zombies

Curious Tutelage Wrap Up


  • First off, we managed to go 3-2 in our video matches, which is acceptable but not great. I also played a few more games for fun, and overall, the deck managed to win just about half of its matches. 
  • As far as Sphinx's Tutelage goes in general, we have a sort of good news / bad news situation. The good news is that lots of people are intentionally milling themselves to cast Emrakul, the Promised End on the cheap, so in some matchups, it felt like we were starting with a Leyline of Startled Awake on the battlefield. On the other hand, there are still a lot of random devoid cards in the metagame (or true colorless cards like Thought-Knot Seer), and running into cards like Transgress the Mind makes it less likely that we get double Sphinx's Tutelage triggers and really slows down our milling plan. 
  • On paper, I really liked the idea of Curious Homunculus in the deck as a backup plan when the mill plan wasn't working. In practice, I really hated Curious Homunculus in this deck. The problem is we just don't have enough threats to really depend on creature damage to win the game. While adding an additional mana is nice, with Startled Awake, a lot of our spells are one mana anyway, so having a mana dork wasn't that impressive. 
  • Bedlam Reveler was hit or miss. While getting three Sphinx's Tutelage triggers was nice, the body wasn't especially relevant. 
  • Maybe the biggest problem with the deck was the lack of card draw. We had a lot of situations when we ended up just a few Sphinx's Tutelage triggers from winning the game and had a handful of creatures and burn spells. The beauty of the old Sphinx's Tutelage decks was the ability to chain together card draw, but this build doesn't really have the critical mass to make it work. 
  • We had a really hard time hitting delirium, which made Scour the Laboratory really expensive (and probably just bad). If we are casting it for the full six mana, I have to imagine that main deck Chandra, Flamecaller is just better in the slot. 
  • As far as individual cards, I can't imagine playing Sphinx's Tutelage without Collective Defiance. Not only can it kill a creature, but it has the potential to generate a ton of Sphinx's Tutelage triggers for only three mana. The other card I really missed was Fevered Visions as a repeatable card draw spell that can also kill planeswalkers in a pinch. Finally, while it's not a huge deal, playing at least one copy of Geier Reach Sanitarium seems like such a free roll that it should be an auto-include in the deck. In fact, it might just be better than Drownyard Temple in the colorless land slot. 
  • The bottom line for me is this: I think this build is just trying to do too much. While Curious Homunculus and Sphinx's Tutelage have a lot of potential, they don't really work very well together. If you want to play Curious Homunculus, drop the Sphinx's Tutelage and Startled Awake, throw in some Stormchaser Mages, and be a UR Prowess deck. On the other hand, if you want to play Sphinx's Tutelage, cut the Curious Homunculus, the main deck Kozilek's Returns, and maybe some of the extra burn; play more card draw like Magmatic Insight and Collective Defiance; and maybe rework the mana base to use Engulf the Shore as a mass bounce spell. There could also be a way to make Crush of Tentacles work, but it's a bit more challenging because we don't often want to bounce our own Sphinx's Tutelages. 
  • I don't usually do this, but since I'm such a huge Sphinx's Tutelage fan, here's the build I would play today, featuring some of the updates we just talked about:


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, subscribing, and commenting on Instant Deck Tech videos! 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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