Just yesterday, we saw some major rebalancing of cards for Alchemy and by proxy, Historic. With this, a lot of cards got buffed and a handful of cards got nerfed. But Wizards dropped a little bomb on us, with the rebalancing and unbanning of Teferi, Time Raveler. While we’re unsure exactly how much impact the new version of the card will have, I don’t think it’s going to be quite what one may think.
Looking at the new Teferi, a lot of things changed. He costs 1 more mana, he has 1 more loyalty, and his passive has changed. We talked about him a bit more at length in the B&R Announcement Update. Really what this means is that Teferi may end up becoming more of a sideboard card for control decks against control decks rather than a main deck staple for control decks against the world.
Interaction is Key
If we take a look at the old version of Teferi, the passive was really where the power of this card lied. If you’ve played against this card, you understand just how oppressive this card is. If you haven’t, It was very hard to interact with this card.
Often times, this would come down on turn 3, bounce a creature, draw a card, and leave the opponent needing to play a haste creature next turn or have a spell to remove Teferi from the board immediately. If not, then the Teferi player gets to untap, with counter magic back up and then it becomes near impossible to deal with this card.
Additionally, this version of the card prohibits various lines of play to deal with him. There are methods of casting spells at instant speed on your turn that could help, but this shuts all of that off.
The New Meta
The last time that Teferi was legal in Historic was August 2020. The metagame has evolved a lot since then and at this point, Teferi isn’t quite as good as he was, at least as a main deck staple.
Looking at some of the Historic Metagame, we see that there are a couple of true control decks here, in Azorius Control and Jeskai Control, but the rest of the decks are majorly creature decks. In this world, Teferi costing 4 mana leaves these creature decks more time to set up and deal with him. The only deck where he would be relevant against could be the Heliod Combo deck, stopping end of turn Collected Company plays.
Additionally, the control decks have some other key 4 mana plays that they would want to utilize and may not want to take the time in the average match up to cast Teferi on 4. These cards include Wrath of God and Memory Deluge. For this reason, I think that these control decks are going to want Teferi in the Sideboard against the control Mirrors.
What Decks Can Use Teferi?
I think that there is 1 deck that can leverage the new Teferi. It’s a deck that has been around since the release of Jumpstart: Historic Horizons, and it was at one time, the best deck in the format, Jeskai Creativity.
In theory, this deck is wanting to set up a situation where they can cast Indomitable Creativity for 2 or 3 against nearly every deck and cheat Serra’s Emissary into play. Utilizing the new Teferi, allows this deck to go off with no worry about any interaction from the opponent.
It’s definitely possible that Teferi takes the place of Hullbreaker Horror, in the sideboard as it got nerfed, losing it’s “cannot be countered” ability. In this case it’d be the same principle as traditional control.
READ MORE: Is Garth One-Eye A Good Commander?