Tezzeret has returned with some major schemes.
Whether these are schemes anyone will ultimately be interested in remains to be seen. At first glance the casting cost would be an obvious starting point to get hyped about, but reading further may be disappointing. It could very well lead to players wishing this was a reprint of Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas by the time they finished reading the card.
Well, enough with the playful snark – let’s talk about Aether Revolt‘s newest planeswalker the only way our spoiler coverage knows how!
[+1]: Create a colorless artifact token named Etherium Cell with “T, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.”
I have to admit, seeing a planeswalker create Lotus Petal tokens in Standard is interesting. This ability is likely predicated on what we want to include around Tezzeret. A big draw here is this could be yet another outlet for Emrakul, the Promised End. There’s no denying Standard is warped around a few cards – and hoping to play well with (or against) them is still a positive. Tezzeret can also combat a current Emrakul strategy – Aetherworks Marvel by providing an Etherium Cell to Ceremonious Rejection on the play for Turn 4. That may not be the likeliest of scenarios, but it’s a start.
[-2]: Target creature get +X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of artifacts you control.
It’s always a good outlook for planeswalkers to have removal abilities. The issue here is it’s predicated on heavy artifact usage- luckily it’s an artifact based block! Just keep in mind that it’s situational, and may not be able to interact with problematic cards in current Standard as well as it looks on paper. It can however be used twice, and Tezzeret still sticks around. This ability can also be used offensively to turn a corner and end games – looking at Smuggler’s Copter or Heart of Kiran here.
[-7]: You get an emblem with “At the beginning of combat on your turn, target artifact you control becomes an artifact creature with base power and toughness 5/5.”
This will eventually win you the game – so long as your artifacts stay on the battlefield. The effect doesn’t end at the end of your turn, and this greatly interacts with Tezzeret’s first ability if all else fails. In that sense your opponent would not only have to use cards like Consulate Crackdown to clear your board – but additionally remove Tezzeret from the battlefield just to stop this emblem. This ultimate is also extremely realistic, considering Tezzeret starts with 5 loyalty – in similar design space as Nahiri, the Harbinger. We’ve all seen how fast a Nahiri ultimate can happen.
Tezzeret doesn’t look flashy on the surface, but I’m coming around to this card. It does need some specific deck-building decisions though, and it’s multi-color. It’s not the obvious “throw 4 copies into any deck playing Blue/Black”, and it still remains to be seen if it’s restrictions keep this from seeing a large amount of play in this current Standard. We’ve seen plenty of recently failed planeswalkers:
Not directly comparing Tezzeret to any one of those cards, but the smallest factors can really make or break the argument to include planeswalkers into our strategy. Perhaps Tezzeret creates an archetype that’s successful, but usually the track record for that happening is not very good.
The line of Heart of Kiran, Liliana, the Last Hope, and Tezzeret the Schemer does entice me quite a bit – as I’m sure it does for other players. That doesn’t seem like a lot of effort to build around, it also helps that Tezzeret has a lot of Loyalty to continuously Crew the Heart. That does add some additional value to Tezzeret, but I would say that’s a testament to how great of a card Heart of Kiran is going to be.
Tezzeret’s current value seems fair enough, so it seems like a good idea to acquire these if you’re set on using Tezzeret in Standard. It also prevents future price increases (because that has happened with 4cc walkers) to create a barrier of entry. If that value should diminish, I don’t think it would be drastic enough to have remorse for having these in your collection. I would still personally wait, because Tezzeret likely won’t be ubiquitous as Gideon, Ally of Zendikar has been.