Upgrading Tezzeret

It’s nearly here. Yes, in a few days’ time Core Set 2019 will be coming to your local game store in the form of the Prerelease weekend. Now while many of us are keen to see what goodies we can open and how we can tweak our Standard brews to be more competitive, it is important to remember that not everyone is a seasoned player in our community. Every day new people are introduced to the wonderful world of Magic the Gathering and for them the priority isn’t building a tier one deck, but rather learning the game. Lucky for them, Core Set 2019 is the perfect place to start their journey into the multiverse. But you don’t have to start from scratch.

Along with the main Core Set release, Wizards of the Coast have expanded their selection of Planeswalker decks to give budding mages even more choice in how they want to start their journey in this fine game. These sixty card decks are Standard legal out of the box and are themed around one of the iconic characters from Core Set 2019. They provide new and returning players with a chance to explore the game and its rules as well as try out some cool and interesting spells without overwhelming them with complex rules interactions.

Now it’s important to remember these decks are not designed for tournament play (being fairly underpowered) and are not for everyone. However, if you are looking for a way to get into the game these decks offer you a starting point to start your path in Magic the Gathering.

But what do you do after you have played a few games and decide you want to upgrade these decks to play at your local Friday Night Magic? Well that is a question fellow content creator and friend of the site Jordan (aka Orcs Head Magic) posed to me.

A few weeks ago, he messaged me and a few other Magic content creators with a challenge. Take one of the M19 Planeswalker decks and without swapping out the unique cards in the deck, show what improvements we could make for $5 and what improvements we could make with $20. The decks would be allocated randomly in order to put us all on an even playing field (fingers crossed for red). Not being one to turn down a challenge, I of course accepted.

After the draw I ended up with the Blue Tezzeret deck (not what I was hoping for, but never mind) and set to work brewing up a strategy. This is what I had to play with.

Planeswalkers (1)
Tezzeret, Cruel Machinist

Creatures (20)
Snapping Drake
Field Creeper
Riddlemaster Sphinx
Exclusion Mage
Gearsmith Prodigy
Gearsmith Guardian
Scholar of Stars
Skilled Animator
Meteor Golem
Skyscanner
Tezzeret’s Strider

Sorceries (2)
Divination
One with the Machine

Instants (1)
Uncomfortable Chill

Enchantments (3)
Dwindle

Artifacts (7)
Manalith
Pendulum of Patterns
Tezzeret’s Gatebreaker
Lands (26)
26 Island

So, we are playing with a blue artifact themed deck, with Tezzeret, Cruel Machinist, Riddlemaster Sphinx, Tezzeret’s Gatebreaker and Tezzeret’s Strider being the cards we MUST keep. It was at this point I had one of those light bulb moments, and in a flash of inspiration I knew the route I wanted to take the deck. What is more, it is a proven strategy that has done well in previous Standard seasons. It all revolves around one card from Kaladesh, Metalwork Colossus.

This 10/10 recursive threat is surprisingly easy to get on the board, and if left unopposed will end games all by itself. All we need is more ways to make it cheaper and dig it up from our deck. Glint-Nest Crane allows us to do just that. Working much in the same way as our Tezzeret’s Gatebreaker, this little birdy allows us to dig for our Metalwork Colossus, or just find other artifact to make them cheaper to cast.

Speaking of which, Prophetic Prism and Powerstone Shard make great additions to the deck. Not only do they draw cards and generate more mana respectively, but they also work wonders at helping us get out our Colossi. But we also need to protect our own spells and delay our opponent while we get our board state ready. Luckily, Metallic Rebuke does a great job of handling both.

So, the game plan is as follows. Dig for and play out our four Metalwork Colossus, sacrifice Tezzeret’s Gatebreaker to make our team unblockable, then swing in for the win. Simple enough, but what cards do we cut and which do we keep? Well after some tweaking this is what I ended up with.

Budget Upgraded Tezzeret ($5)

Planeswalkers (1)
Tezzeret, Cruel Machinist

Creatures (20)
Gearsmith Prodigy
Skilled Animator
Meteor Golem
Tezzeret’s Strider
Metalwork Colossus
Glint-Nest Crane
Riddlemaster Sphinx

Sorceries (1)
One with the Machine

Instants (4)
Metallic Rebuke

Artifacts (10)
Tezzeret’s Gatebreaker
Prophetic Prism
Powerstone Shard
Lands (24)
24 Island

As you can see we keep a fair few cards from the original list, only dropping those that don’t help our game plan directly or synergise well with strategy. I have to say I am pretty happy with how the deck turned out. Not only does it look like a ton of fun to play but looks like it could do well at the local store level. But what do we add when we get up to $20 worth of upgrades I hear you ask? Simple. A playset of Inventors’ Fair. Not only does this utility land give us life gain against aggressive deck, but it gives us a great way of tutoring up the right artifact at the right time.

And that’s it. Our budget is spent up.

Fully Upgraded Tezzeret ($20)

Planeswalkers (1)
Tezzeret, Cruel Machinist

Creatures (20)
Gearsmith Prodigy
Skilled Animator
Meteor Golem
Tezzeret’s Strider
Metalwork Colossus
Glint-Nest Crane
Riddlemaster Sphinx

Sorceries (1)
One with the Machine

Instants (4)
Metallic Rebuke

Artifacts (10)
Tezzeret’s Gatebreaker
Prophetic Prism
Powerstone Shard
Lands (24)
20 Island
Inventors' Fair

And there you have it, my take on how to upgrade the Tezzeret M19 Planeswalker deck. But what about the other decks? Make sure you check out Orcs Head Magic, Magic the Gathering UK and Thoryn tomorrow for their take on how to improve the Liliana, Ajani and Vivien decks respectively. And also check out our Saturaday guest article where Tim (aka Dijital Llama) will show off his fiery side with his take on the Sarkhan deck.

But what do you think of today’s article? If you’re a new or returning play, have you found it helpful? Do you want to see more challenges and collaborations in the future? Why not tell us about it in the comments down below. If you have enjoyed today’s article why not like and share, it’s a great way for you to help support and grow the site. But until next time remember – Good Luck and Have Fun.

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