Kicking off week 3 of the Planeswalker Deck Project with MTG's answer to Dr. Strange! Before I introduce this master of time and space, make sure you travel back a few weeks to catch my project intro and first few duel decks.

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One of the little informal metrics I use to evaluate powerful cards is to listen to the groan that escapes my opponent when I play a good one. Using just that standard Teferi, Hero of Dominaria belongs in the S-Tier.

Teferi occupied an elite spot in Standard for his entire tour of duty, almost single-handedly elevating control strategies to the top of the heap. That he even warrants consideration for older formats which rarely play permanents that expensive is a testament to Teferi's power on the battlefield. For some reason, whenever I think of Teferi ticking up and marching inexorably to his ultimate, I'm reminded of that scene in "No Country for Old Men" where Anton Chigurh asks a helpless Carson Wells, "If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?" Things don't go super great for ol' Carson Wells after that. When Teferi's loyalty goes marching upwards, your opponent will feel similarly helpless.

A control deck like the one Teferi captained during his time in Standard isn't quite feasible in this project; those decks have tons of board sweepers and a lot of redundancy that these lists seek to avoid, in order to keep things interesting. But that's okay! Teferi is a character with a deep, rich history and it's worth exploring.

Teferi's specialty is time and space. He first showed up as a character in Mirage Block, where he was heavily associated with Phasing (mastery of space). He got his first card, a de-sparked version of the character in Time Spiral, a set that heavily featured the Suspend mechanic (mastery of time). Also, Teferi is incredibly annoying, in the lore of the story (given his proclivities as a prankster) AND in the gameplay (given any experience playing against this Planeswalker).

Ready for something a little unexpected?

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Teferi, Hero of Dominaria by Andy Hurst

'Teferi, Hero of Dominaria' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Andy Hurst

Event:

Rank:

Freeform (Casual)

Market Price: $55.53

Cards

Deputy of Acquittals

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128860_200w.jpg

Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.)
When Deputy of Acquittals enters the battlefield, you may return another target creature you control to its owner's hand.

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Teferi's Honor Guard

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5940_200w.jpg

Flanking (Whenever a creature without flanking blocks this creature, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.)
{U}{U}: Teferi's Honor Guard phases out. (While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist. It phases in before you untap during your next untap step.)

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Vodalian Illusionist

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222616_200w.jpg

{U}{U}, {T}: Target creature phases out. (While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist. It phases in before its controller untaps during their next untap step.)

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Reality Ripple

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5197_200w.jpg

Target artifact, creature, or land phases out. (While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist. It phases in before its controller untaps during their next untap step.)

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Riftwing Cloudskate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/93810_200w.jpg

Flying
When Riftwing Cloudskate enters the battlefield, return target permanent to its owner's hand.
Suspend 3—{1}{U} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay {1}{U} and exile it with three time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost. It has haste.)

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Foresee

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/35401_200w.jpg

Scry 4, then draw two cards. (To scry 4, look at the top four cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

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Errant Ephemeron

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/93776_200w.jpg

Flying
Suspend 4—{1}{U} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay {1}{U} and exile it with four time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost. It has haste.)

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Calciderm

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118611_200w.jpg

Shroud (This creature can't be the target of spells or abilities.)
Vanishing 4 (This creature enters the battlefield with four time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter from it. When the last is removed, sacrifice it.)

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Ixalan's Binding

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/144817_200w.jpg

When Ixalan's Binding enters the battlefield, exile target nonland permanent an opponent controls until Ixalan's Binding leaves the battlefield.
Your opponents can't cast spells with the same name as the exiled card.

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Dismantling Blow

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/190756_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{U} (You may pay an additional {2}{U} as you cast this spell.)
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. If this spell was kicked, draw two cards.

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Cleansing Nova

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212355_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy all creatures.
• Destroy all artifacts and enchantments.

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Dust of Moments

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14878_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Remove two time counters from each permanent and each suspended card.
• Put two time counters on each permanent with a time counter on it and each suspended card.

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Duskrider Peregrine

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14213_200w.jpg

Flying, protection from black
Suspend 3—{1}{W} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay {1}{W} and exile it with three time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost. It has haste.)

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Rewind

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215472_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. Untap up to four lands.

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Coastal Tower

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11283_200w.jpg

Coastal Tower enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {W} or {U}.

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Reality Strobe

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14966_200w.jpg

Return target permanent to its owner's hand. Exile Reality Strobe with three time counters on it.
Suspend 3—{2}{U} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay {2}{U} and exile it with three time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost.)

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Teferi's Curse

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5258_200w.jpg

Enchant artifact or creature
Enchanted permanent has phasing. (It phases in or out before its controller untaps during each of their untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.)

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Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $5.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145318_200w.jpg

Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.)
Creature cards you own that aren't on the battlefield have flash.
Each opponent can cast spells only any time they could cast a sorcery.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227281_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Timebender

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14825_200w.jpg

Morph {U} (You may cast this card face down as a 2/2 creature for {3}. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
When Timebender is turned face up, choose one —
• Remove two time counters from target permanent or suspended card.
• Put two time counters on target permanent with a time counter on it or suspended card.

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Delay

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $6.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14876_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. If the spell is countered this way, exile it with three time counters on it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard. If it doesn't have suspend, it gains suspend. (At the beginning of its owner's upkeep, remove a time counter from that card. When the last is removed, the player plays it without paying its mana cost. If it's a creature, it has haste.)

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Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $19.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162150_200w.jpg

+1: Draw a card. At the beginning of the next end step, untap up to two lands.
−3: Put target nonland permanent into its owner's library third from the top.
−8: You get an emblem with "Whenever you draw a card, exile target permanent an opponent controls."

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Jhoira's Timebug

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14272_200w.jpg

{T}: Choose target permanent you control or suspended card you own. If that permanent or card has a time counter on it, you may remove a time counter from it or put another time counter on it.

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Reflector Mage

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/110807_200w.jpg

When Reflector Mage enters the battlefield, return target creature an opponent controls to its owner's hand. That creature's owner can't cast spells with the same name as that creature until your next turn.

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Riftmarked Knight

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14794_200w.jpg

Protection from black; flanking (Whenever a creature without flanking blocks this creature, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.)
Suspend 3—{1}{W}{W} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay {1}{W}{W} and exile it with three time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost. It has haste.)
When the last time counter is removed from Riftmarked Knight while it's exiled, create a 2/2 black Knight creature token with flanking, protection from white, and haste.

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Zhalfirin Void

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162903_200w.jpg

When Zhalfirin Void enters the battlefield, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
{T}: Add {C}.

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Tradewind Rider

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5776_200w.jpg

Flying
{T}, Tap two untapped creatures you control: Return target permanent to its owner's hand.

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Shade of Trokair

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14804_200w.jpg

{W}: Shade of Trokair gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
Suspend 3—{W} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay {W} and exile it with three time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost. It has haste.)

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Breezekeeper

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5810_200w.jpg

Flying
Phasing (This phases in or out before you untap during each of your untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.)

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Crush Contraband

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222633_200w.jpg

Choose one or both —
• Exile target artifact.
• Exile target enchantment.

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Devouring Light

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/90958_200w.jpg

Convoke (Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for {1} or one mana of that creature's color.)
Exile target attacking or blocking creature.

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Warden of the Beyond

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/91031_200w.jpg

Vigilance (Attacking doesn't cause this creature to tap.)
Warden of the Beyond gets +2/+2 as long as an opponent owns a card in exile.

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Relic of Progenitus

Market Price: $2.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118645_200w.jpg

{T}: Target player exiles a card from their graveyard.
{1}, Exile Relic of Progenitus: Exile all cards from all graveyards. Draw a card.

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227283_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Tranquil Cove

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215929_200w.jpg

Tranquil Cove enters the battlefield tapped.
When Tranquil Cove enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life.
{T}: Add {W} or {U}.

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Clockspinning

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14186_200w.jpg

Buyback {3} (You may pay an additional {3} as you cast this spell. If you do, put this card into your hand as it resolves.)
Choose a counter on target permanent or suspended card. Remove that counter from that permanent or card or put another of those counters on it.

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Telling Time

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171489_200w.jpg

Look at the top three cards of your library. Put one of those cards into your hand, one on top of your library, and one on the bottom of your library.

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Murmuring Mystic

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212410_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, create a 1/1 blue Bird Illusion creature token with flying.

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Azorius Chancery

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212359_200w.jpg

Azorius Chancery enters the battlefield tapped.
When Azorius Chancery enters the battlefield, return a land you control to its owner's hand.
{T}: Add {W}{U}.

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Chronomantic Escape

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14864_200w.jpg

Until your next turn, creatures can't attack you. Exile Chronomantic Escape with three time counters on it.
Suspend 3—{2}{W} (Rather than cast this card from your hand, you may pay {2}{W} and exile it with three time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When the last is removed, cast it without paying its mana cost.)

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Meandering River

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171234_200w.jpg

Meandering River enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {W} or {U}.

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Teferi's Moat

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $0.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14652_200w.jpg

As Teferi's Moat enters the battlefield, choose a color.
Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you.

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The Game Plan

This deck is here to durdle. Eventually, the goal is to use some combination of Jhoira's Timebug and Clockspinning to play our two big Suspend haymakers—Chronomatic Escape and Reality Strobe—almost every turn while preventing our opponent from responding with Teferi. We can set our phasers to stun and remove obnoxious opposition with Vodalian Illusionist, Teferi's Curse, or Reality Ripple or employ some of those same effects to protect our own troops from removal.

The early turns give us plenty of options to invest in the future, as Duskrider Peregrine, Riftwing Cloudskate, and Errant Ephemeron all suspend on the cheap and make a big impact when they finally hit the board a few turns later. In the midgame, Warden of the Beyond and Breezekeeper provide conditional fat that hits hard...sometimes. We'll need to turn Warden on with an exile effect and Breezekeeper is only around half the time, but they are both cost-effective creatures that rock in combat, and we'll be well off when we can capitalize.

Our interaction and removal are unconventional but strong. Reflector Mage is a pain in the butt for your opponents, as usual. A pair of Delays can keep your opponent's spells away until a later, more convenient date—and if you have an active Clockspinning, possibly never. Rewind is always a fine option as a hard counter. Devouring Light and Ixalan's Binding can exile stuff and turn on our Warden, and our pair of sweet disenchant effects Dismantling Blow and Crush Contraband help out with troublesome noncreature permanents. Although not all decks in this project get this effect, Relic of Progenitus offers some graveyard hate that can easily cycle if it's not needed.

The Rares

This is one of my all time favorite creatures, and a priority for inclusion in this project. Tradewind Rider is powerful and extremely annoying—just like Teferi! It functions as protection from your opponent's removal, board control to neutralize opposing threats, and a decent blocker. In a pinch, I suppose, it's an evasive attacker, but swinging for a measly 1 point overlooks its talents. Each time you block with a Reflector Mage and then return it to your hand for another deployment, that movie scene from above will ring in your opponent's ears. Tradewind's an MTG classic with great art, and trust me, this card used to be a force to be reckoned with. Playing a few games with it should convince you that it hasn't lost its mojo.

It turns out that "powerful and annoying" isn't just limited to Teferi as a Planeswalker. OG Teferi is a very strong creature, and you'll find his passive ability familiar if you've ever had the misfortune of playing against the little Teferi Planeswalker. As you might remember from those games, that ability is almost deceptively powerful and it already looks really good!

Remember that Teferi has flash and can't be responded to well, so a combat ambush should be a priority. Also keep in mind that unless they've adjusted the rules on this (the last time I used this effectively was 2007, so it's been a minute!) you can suspend one of your creatures at instant speed if Teferi is on the battlefield, which might help you keep up some mana if you need to represent a counterspell.

Wow. Match up against a mono colored deck, and this has the potential to shut the lights off as early as turn 5. Even against a deck with multiple colors, Teferi's Moat can neutralize a lot of your opponent's creatures, and buy all kinds of time for your late game shenanigans to come online.

Since our deck is not looking to win the game on a tight timeline, a reset button makes great use of one of our Rare slots, and Cleansing Nova gets the nod because of its flexibility. There might be some games where Teferi's Moat and Ixalan's Binding are holding off a solid board but you need to wipe out some flyers, or maybe you've got Teferi or Tradewind cooking but you need to wipe out some artifacts. The Nova will effectively assist with either scenario.

Unsung Hero

The Illusionist is deceptively powerful. You will need to keep mana open for its activation, which is obnoxious and disruptive, but its ability to protect your creatures from removal or (temporarily) remove your opponent's troops at instant speed with no restrictions is well worth it. Keep in mind that Phasing is a strange mechanic from almost 25 years ago, so it seems a bit odd to modern sensibilities, but the current wording of "treat it as though it doesn't exist" is helpful.

Creatures that phased out don't trigger leave the battlefield abilities when they phase out, and they don't trigger enter the battlefield abilities when they phase back in. They can attack the turn they phase back in, because they didn't actually enter the battlefield that turn. Auras attached to phased creatures are still attached and come and go with the creature. Tokens even come back! Phasing is a strange mechanic. But Vodalian Illusionist allows you to control what happens to creatures on either side, at instant speed, with minimal cost and its effect is repeatable. One of the stronger cards in this deck—even if it doesn't look it on first glance.