The Great Teacher, part 1

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Since my friend who you know as your friendly neighbourhood Grim Lavamancer, who also happens to draw our local webcomic, is knee-deep in a new Dragonlord Atarka deck, I decided to follow suit and design a new EDH deck to compete i proper Elder Dragon Highlander. I decided to focus on Dragonlord Ojutai, for a few reasons:

  1. I haven’t played Azorius in ages, and blue-white is my favourite colour combination in Magic.dragonlordojutai.full
  2. Like myself, Ojutai is a teacher, and that appeals to me.
  3. I wanted to do something a bit more focused on a theme.

All of these together led me to design a deck around Ojutai as a teacher, and the primary focus being cards that has to do with teaching. Luckily, blue is all about knowledge and learning, so the theme was in fact quite easy to do once I got started. Today, I want to go over the students that will be taught by our Great Teacher in the sky, as well as the staff that might have held high positions in their old institutions, but now are relegated to mere learners like the rest of the students.

Barrin, Master Wizard – In the lore, Barrin is the headmaster of the Tolarian Academy. Since his school is these days in ruins, he has been relegated to head bookkeeper in the library. He is yet to be joined by his wife, since I’ve yet to procure a paper version of her card, but she might join Ojutai’s school in the future. Gameplay-wise, Barrin is a bit underwhelming, but can certainly be useful against several Voltron commanders, creatures with counters (hello, Animar!) and the like.

jace,themindsculptor.hqJace, the Mind Sculptor – Jace’s origin story, as detailed in Magic Origins, retells how Jace was tutored from a young age under the Sphix Alhammarret (whose name I can’t seem to be able to spell to save my life). They had a falling out in the end, when Jace discovered Alhammarret had erased parts of his memory in order to conceal the Mind Sculptor’s abilities from himself. They battled, harsh words were certainly tossed around, and Jace planeswalked away with a damage mind, after having destroyed the mental prowess of his former mentor. In the official story, Jace ends up on Ravnica, but I don’t see why he wouldn’t take a de-tour to Tarkir and find himself learning under The Great Teacher himself.

As far as his prowess goes on the table, Jace is somewhat of a rattle snake – people tend to attack him just for the heck of it, because they are genuinely scared of the card-advantage it bestows upon the controller. This is very fair, since Jace is arguably the best planeswalker ever printed. He belongs in a control strategy, especially one that can protect him well.

ertai,wizardadept.fullErtai, Wizard Adept – Ertai was a student at the Tolarian Academy, and he is the archetypical countermagic-wiedling blue mage. He is arrogant, on the brink of foolish, and often thinks he is way funnier than he actually is. After joining the Weatherlight crew, he travelled to Rath, where he was unfortunately left behind by the rest of the crew due to an emergency, corrupted and killed by accident by Squee. Very tragic. In this case, however, he is a cocky student learning from The Great Teacher, like the rest of the class. Gameplay-wise, he’s pretty bad, but he is a reusable counterspell and can probably function like a rattlesnake like Jace, though to a lesser extent. I imagine he will be soaking up a spot-removal or two in his days. The original wording of the card also invites a lecture on the history of Instants and Interrupts!

Teferi, Temporal Archmage – Another powerful student of the Tolarian Academy, Teferi plays a major role in large parts of the Magic storyline, which eventually ends with him giving up his spark at the end of the Time Spiral block. This card represents him at the peak of his power, and I find him a lot more engaging than the creature counterpart. Though his ultimate is very expensive and unlikely to be used, the other two abilities are both very useful. He’s expensive, but worth it!

Academy Elite – A group of staff from the academy in Paliano on the plane of Fiora, how could they not qualify into The Great Teacher’s class? Though obviously much less learned than The Great Teacher, these classmates can band together to create a powerful creature, and also use their own counters to fuel more card-draw. The mana cost isn’t very cheap, but it’s very non-restrictive, and considering the size could be outright enormous depending on the opposition, I’d say they’re worth it.

narsettranscendent.fullNarset Transcendent – In the lore, Narset is expelled from Clan Ojutai in the Dragons version of the Tarkir storyline, but that doesn’t stop me from including her. She is actually the only one, aside The Great Teacher himself, to know what actually happened to the Jeskai in Tarkir’s past, and her story is quite engaging. In the Khans version of the storyline she ends up dead, like most of her current fellow classmates, and I guess exile is better than death. No doubt she is a brilliant student though, so she belongs in the deck. Her abilities are pretty damn good too, all three are relevant, and her loyalty score is really high considering her relatively cheap mana cost.

That’s as far as we’ll go this time, class dismissed! If there are any other students you, dear reader, think would qualify into The Great Teacher’s Academy of Spellcasting, Learning and Plotting, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments section below!


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  1. The Winter Dragon (Ojutai primer, pt. 1) | Goyf Wars

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