Tezzeret, the Schemer is one of the most intriguing cards from Aether Revolt. His high starting loyalty can allow you to kill two creatures on back-to-back turns without losing your planeswalker. Alternatively, it can tick up to a game winning ultimate as early as turn 6. Even beyond that, the ability to soak up a lot of damage is valuable in a format as aggressive as Standard. It also makes Tezzeret a perfect candidate for crewing Heart of Kiran.

The first deck I brewed with Tezzeret, the Schemer was an Esper Control deck. I eventually decided that the angle I wanted to push was that Tezzeret, the Schemer pairs perfectly with the best removal spells in Standard. Unlicensed Disintegration is a no-brainer in any artifact-based deck that can cast it. Similarly, Fatal Push is one of the best cards in Standard, and the play pattern of casting Tezzeret, making an Etherium Cell, and passing with access to a revolted Fatal Push is appealing.

Grixis Tezzeret

Reid Duke

Grixis Tezzeret is an aggressively-slanted midrange deck that takes advantage of Standard’s artifacts-matter cards.

Renegade Map, Terrarion, Spire of Industry, and a plethora of other dual lands combine to form an appealing 3-color mana base where you’re rarely missing a color, and nearly all of your lands enter the battlefield untapped.

Map and Terrarion allow you to trigger revolt at your convenience, which is not only helpful for Fatal Push, but also unlocks Vengeful Rebel as a powerful play against creature decks.

One more underappreciated card is Scrap Trawler. In Grixis Tezzeret, Scrap Trawler represents card advantage and guaranteed value, and can create a midgame engine with Walking Ballista, turning every Renegade Map and Terrarion you draw into another powerful mana sink. Like the rest of the creatures in the deck, Trawler is chosen because of its ability to crew Heart of Kiran.

The greatest appeal of Grixis Tezzeret is its flexibility and customizability. You get to pressure your opponent’s life total while also having staying power, disruption, and answers to just about everything. Your opponents will rarely know the best way to fight you, and your ability to become more controlling after sideboarding can throw people for a loop. (It also means that virtually every matchup becomes more favorable for games 2 and 3.)

A wide variety of 1- and 2-ofs, plus the utility of Metallic Rebuke, give you a lot of control over what’s happening and leads to a lot of fun and interesting games.

Grixis Tezzeret doesn’t have the greatest tournament results behind it, but for anyone who’s bored of the same old things in Standard, I recommend taking it for a spin.

P.S. Why no Herald of Anguish?

I’ve worked extensively with the improvise mechanic and have concluded that it’s not quite good enough for Standard. I really like Metallic Rebuke and Battle at the Bridge (although Battle hasn’t earned a spot in the final version of Grixis). Herald of Anguish is also a pretty strong card, but it’s not nearly enough of a payoff for playing with weak cards like Servo Schematic and Cogworker’s Puzzleknot. It doesn’t make sense to design your deck with the hopes of casting a 5/5 on turn 4 when B/G and Mardu Vehicles can make similarly-sized creatures just as quickly with far less effort.

I think it would be okay to play with 1 or 2 Herald of Anguish, but I recommend against the all-in style of improvise decks.