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Schemes Within Schemes


Tezzeret the Schemer is an interesting card that never really had a chance to shine in the previous Standard format. It turns out that Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Aetherworks Marvel tend to crowd out other four-drops. However, now that rotation has happened, is it possible to find a way to utilize Tezzeret in a control shell? Zac Elsik set out to find the answer, and this is where he ended up:

Tezzeret the Schemer
The idea here is that you have a lot of cheap artifacts and interaction, all leading into key turns where Tezzeret allows you to turn a corner and put your opponent on the back foot. A key difference between this Tezzeret and others is that he can come down and kill a creature immediately. What’s more, he can even kill a Hazoret the Fervent. On top of that, he can start ramping you into even more powerful cards if your opponent doesn’t have a way to pressure him.

You’ve also got Maverick Thopterist as a great midrange threat that you can cast off of Cogworker's Puzzleknots and Renegade Maps. It’s not altogether unreasonable that you could chain together multiple improvise spells, given the density of cheap artifacts and a couple Etherium Cells.

At the top of your curve you have Herald of Anguish, which dodges a lot of the removal in the format, dominates the board against aggressive decks, and threatens to grind control decks into the dust. Along the rest of your curve, you’ve also got plenty of value threats like Maverick Thopterist and Pia Nalaar, all of which put real pressure on control opponents to have sweepers rather than lots of spot removal or they start taking a couple of points from miscellaneous thopters each turn.

Against aggressive decks, you’ve got lots of efficient ways to clog the board with Thopters and Contraband Kingpin, as well as Fatal Push and the potential for Lightning Strike and Abrade as removal spells.

All in all, you’ve got plenty of reasonably priced threats at each point along your curve backed by some exciting artifact synergies. It seems like the real problem for this deck is going to be that Abrade is one of the premier removal spells in the format. However, you don’t really care about many of your artifacts individually. Sure, Aethersphere Harvester is great, and Sorcerous Spyglass might be giving your opponent a headache. But just as often, the artifacts your opponent can target will be Prophetic Prism or a Thopter token.

You’re not particularly vulnerable to Abrade when you’re relying on a density random artifacts rather than the presence of specific engine pieces. None of your key cards are artifacts, and most of them are relatively resilient to the key interactive spells in the format. That means that, as long as the format is trending towards creature decks or decks light on counterspells, Tezzeret could be a fantastic choice for your next Standard event.

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