How They Brew It – Now You See Me

Michael Celani • April 5, 2021

Zur the Enchanter by Josu Hernaiz

Ladies and gentlemen, step right up! Hurry, hurry, hurry, you don’t want to miss it! You, young’un, got that look in your eye that says you’ve seen it all, that nothing rouses you since that car paralyzed your son! Well I’m here to tell you that our freaks make your kid look downright normal, as you’re standing right in the middle of mischief and mayhem at the All-State Street Village County Renaissance World’s Train Fair!

Carnival Barking Up The Wrong Tree

My name’s Michael Celani, and I murdered an entire bowling alley just to make my pinstripe suit. On your right, nothing says macabre-on-the-cob like our Maize of Death! Doesn’t it feel like something’s stalking you?! On your left, he’s half-man, half-feast, the ever-expanding eater, Hot Cross Buns! And at high noon, don’t miss our Cavalcade of Calamity, where we show off the world’s most sickening, repulsive, vile creatures, including actual, real-life Boris-

I see you’ve noticed the forbidden tent. Truth be told, we don’t pack it up with us when we travel; it follows us. It dips in and out of perception, taking whatever and whomever it wills with it. Sometimes, its victims come back. Sometimes, they don’t. Count yourself lucky that you can see it today. Dare you uncover what is behind this rift in reality? Only five tokens! Win a prize!

A Realm Reborn

Millennia ago, a terrible battle erupted among the mystic forces of the world. Soothsayers, wizards, and leprechauns tore the land asunder, creating barren, hellish landscapes like the Sahara Desert and Arkansas. As the world neared its inevitable doom, one foolish man dredged up from a website called Scryfall a spell so old it could legally drink. That spell was Teferi’s Realm.

This enchantment forces players to choose among creatures, lands, non-Aura enchantments, or artifacts at the start of their upkeep. All cards of that type then phase out, meaning they don’t exist until their controller’s next turn. Although the world was spared, even now, the mystical battles ebb and flow. Did you really think that the Ever Given was an accident?

Are We Still Doing Phasing?

Teferi’s Realm is a complex card that turns games on their head. Not only does it remove the problems in your life without the trouble or hidden fees of mafia dressed as carnies, it also protects your own plans by simply undoing them for a while. To truly understand it, you’re better off understanding what it isn’t first.

  • Unlike a rigged carnival game (which the A.S.S.V.C.R.W.T.F. denies ever having), Teferi’s Realm can’t make tokens vanish.
    • Create a creature catastrophe with Ajani’s Chosen, or a creature pegasusastrophe with Archon of Sun’s Grace, then phase out your opponent’s nontoken blockers!
    • If enemy tokens are leaving you broken, strike some fear into their hearts with Detention Sphere. They’ll knock out each token of one type.
  • The realm isn’t your student loan debt: your opponents can put a dent in it. You’ll need to find ways to protect it or recur it.
  • Phasing doesn’t activate zone-change triggers, so Oubliette and Oblivion Ring are still great ways to spirit away ingredients for your next batch of corn dogs.
  • Finally, Teferi’s Realm is incapable of directly phasing out Auras. Auras can still phase out indirectly if the permanent they’re attached to phases out, though.

Don’t Show Them To Me

While you can choose land, creatures, or artifacts during your upkeep to nullify enemy threats, the most powerful choice most of the time is actually enchantments. Teferi’s Realm isn’t immune to its own effect, so phasing it out denies your opponents the ability to choose for themselves. Your other enchantments will also be out of commission, meaning you can sidestep some pretty hefty drawbacks. What’s a more fitting way for a carnival to rig their Magic tricks then by picking their own cards?

  • Avoid paying your fair share without shell corporations by phasing out Treacherous Blessing after playing it.
  • Sagas only advance during the draw step; if they’re phased out, they’ll be left as incomplete as the personal injury lawsuits against us. Slap down The Birth of Meletis or Firja’s Retribution and copy their first chapters forever with Estrid’s Invocation.
    • You can also replay them once you’ve bounced them with Riptide Chimera.
  • Phased out permanents can’t change control, which is why we “left your refund money” in a “phased-out bank account.” It’s also why I use Act of Authority to exile an artifact or enchantment every upkeep.
  • Or if you’re just sick of your friends calling you “Stench President Charles de Balls” behind your back (and trust me, they are), destroy everything with Planar Collapse or Serenity.
    • Once they phase out, they won’t be removed by their own effects, granting you an infinitely repeatable artifact or creature board wipe!

Yes, But Actually, No

As a child, I was quite scared of clowns, so to conquer my phobia I became one. Now, I pass my fears onto children of the new generation, ensuring there will be a bevy of bozos for ages to come. In the same way, sometimes the best way to win with a phasing deck is by not phasing.

Pay just one life with Spatial Binding to prevent a permanent from phasing out until your next upkeep. With Teferi’s Realm in play…

Sideshow’s Over

Well done! You’ve managed to solve the mystery of Zur’s disappearing tent. Maybe you’ll also be able to solve the mystery of the disappearing elderly at our park! But I don’t have high hopes – after all, the police haven’t even come close. Anyway, swing by our prize tent for your free copy of Psychology: An Industry of Death?, and make sure you bring Grandpa next time!


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Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at https://discord.gg/xWWqD2G8Fj and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.