Today it was revealed that in November of 2014, there will be 5 five pre-constructed Commander decks. This time, they will each be mono-colored, rather than the three-colored decks previously released. Today, the first of these decks was revealed. It’s a mono-blue deck called Peer Through Time. The cover card is a new planeswalker, Teferi, Temporal Archmage. A Teferi Planeswalker has been expected for quite some time, but why is it the cover card of this new Commander deck?

teferi-temporal-archmage

Yes, you read that correctly. Teferi, Temporal Archmage can be played as your Commander. A planeswalker that can be a Commander?

First of all, let’s consider him as a Planeswalker. He costs 4UU to cast, which is on the high end for a planeswalker, and he starts with 5 loyalty. His +1 ability isn’t bad at all, essentially giving you a free Sea Gate Oracle type effect: look at the top two cards of your deck, and put one of them in your hand and the other on the bottom of the deck. But his -1 ability is very, very good: untap up to four target permanents. So essentially, this Teferi Planeswalker could essentially cost 2 to play, perhaps even less if you’re using Nykthos, Shrine into Nyx in a mono-blue deck.

Already his first two abilities are pretty decent. But his -10 is just bonkers. It’s an emblem effects, which already means that it does something silly. This emblem says: “You may activate loyalty abilities of planeswalkers you control on any player’s turn any time you could cast an instant.”

WHAT!? After reading that, I had to reconstitute myself. I would assume that each planeswalker’s ability can still only be activated once each turn, but being able to activate loyalty abilities of planeswalkers on an opponent’s turn is just a bit broken. Never mind that we have The Chain Veil to make things even sillier, allowing us to use these abilities twice in a turn.

Now a mono-blue deck would seem to be a fairly good place for this Teferi, especially with the powerful Jace planeswalkers, Tezzeret the Seeker, and Tamiyo, the Moon Sage. Considering that he can essentially act as a Legendary Creature, I could see a pretty silly mono-blue deck built around crazy Jace, Tezzeret, and Tamiyo shenanigans doing some work.

But there’s another crazy thing about Mr. Teferi, Temporal Archmage. He passes the Doubling Season test.

He passes the Doubling Season test. Since Doubling Season can double the counters on planeswalkers, Teferi would enter with 10 loyalty counters, and be able to go ultimate upon hitting the board. Now, obviously Doubling Season is a green card, but there are plenty of blue/green and “Super Friends” type decks that will happily make room for this Teferi, as being able to play Planeswalker loyalty abilities at instant speed sounds pretty good. His other two abilities are both useful, as well, in a wide variety of decks.

We’ll see what sort of deck Wizards will support him with. We already know that the other four decks will have planeswalkers as cover cards, as well. It’s hard to know if this will be a regular thing going forward, or just something for this set, because the idea of planeswalkers as Commanders is a pretty cool idea.

Definitely looking forward to a new wave of Commander decks. We’ll see what sort of power Wizards will decide to pack into these decks being able to focus on a single color.

– Elspeth for the Win

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