Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is the preferred way to win
Four Copies of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Earlier in this still-young format, players would run maybe three copies of Teferi.
Now — despite the “Legend rule” disadvantage of diminishing returns — four copies has become absolutely stock. In contrast to versions that ran Torrential Gearhulk or Gideon of the Trials to ultimately deal 20 points of damage… Now all that pressure falls on Teferi to actually win the game.
“Torrential Gearhulk is the worst test spell!” claims Patrick. You can’t really pretend the opponent doesn’t have Essence Scatter. Playing a creature — especially an artifact creature — will turn on the opponent’s removal in a way a card like Pull from Tomorrow won’t.
How to win with “Just” Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
The one Commit // Memory can potentially be valuable… But it is presumably not essential.
Teferi is a great realization of control elements. It is this card that largely is there to build advantages; but can ultimately ensure the game going very, very long.
Imagine you have built lots of card advantage primarily through card draw. Then you have the emblem going. Then drawing cards (regardless of how they get drawn) you trigger the opponent down to a small number of permanents.
Maybe that number is even zero!
At this point you can start using the [-3] ability just to not lose the game.
There is nothing stopping you from targeting the Teferi itself, then playing a Teferi out of your hand. You can draw, exile, and library-push / repeat indefinitely with your Teferi[s]. Meanwhile your opponent keeps drawing one card per turn… Until his library is depleted. Yours may go low, but never goes to zero due to all those planeswalkers.
Given a very long game, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria requires no sidekick.
But Can Teferi Beat a Lich’s Mastery?
Don’t get me wrong.
It is not yet the right time for Lich’s Mastery to contend in Standard.
Part of that is the popularity of Teferi decks.
More important, Teferi typically comes alongside Negate, Disallow, etc.
But if you are in the unfortunate position of the opponent actually resolving Lich’s Mastery… The game will probably end in a stalemate.
You can grind the opponent down to no [other] permanents.
You can prevent your self from decking out.
But you still can’t win-win unless you have a direct way of removing the Lich’s Mastery.
It’s a spot like this where Gideon becomes a nice one-of. Cripple the opponent’s resources first, then winning becomes trivial, six cost enchantment or no.
If you’re considering a weird one-of like River’s Rebuke, or playing an actual damage source… Don’t make it because of Lich’s Mastery, though. Please.
Check “Focus on Teferi, Hero of Dominaria” out here: