Courtesy of the Magic the Gathering Twitch stream, check out Core Set 2021‘s headlining card — Teferi, Master of Time.
There is a lot to unpack with the latest Teferi planeswalker, so let’s break it down piece by piece.
You may activate loyalty abilities of Teferi, Master of Time on any player’s turn any time you could cast an instant.
Teferi breaks new ground being the first planeswalket to use abilities on other players’ turns. This ability is already game-bending, but gets more powerful when it translates to getting to use it twice as much as any other planeswalker in history. Whether by simply upping Teferi on the turn you play it and your opponent’s turn, or going up then down, this kind of flexibility has been unheard of on planewalkers until now.
+1: Draw a card, then discard a card.
It’s no surprise to see card drawing on a blue planeswalker, but unlike Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Teferi, Time Raveler, Teferi, Master of Time isn’t pure card drawing. Looting is harder to leverage into an advantage, but is still a powerful +1 ability, especially taking escape cards from Theros Beyond Death into consideration.
-3: Target creature you don’t control phases out. (Treat it and anything attached to it as though they don’t exist until it’s controller’s next turn.)
Phasing is going to take some time to grasp as the ability was really only used back in Mirage block in 1996-1997. The ability came back in the form of Teferi’s Protection from Commander 2017 and includes more rules reminder text that Teferi, Master of Time doesn’t include — “They phase in before you untap during your untap step.”
Questions on power level will come down to the difference between returning a creature to its owner’s hand and phasing out, which on the surface seems pretty big as the creature doesn’t have to be played from hand again. While previous Teferi planeswalkers “tucked” cards back into the library or “bounced” them to hand, it’s time to get in the habit of phasing and the rules surrounding it, such as phasing out a token doesn’t mean it doesn’t come back. For more information on phasing, check out Riki Hayashi’s Twitter thread below.
-10: Take two extra turns after this one.
At least this one is pretty simple. If you manage to get Teferi to ten loyalty you get to live the dream and take two extra turns, presumably after activating on your opponent’s end step to allow you to play three turns in a row.
On top of Teferi, Master of Time getting a showcase frame and the borderless treatment shown above, there are four alternate art versions of the showcase frame.
How good will the new Teferi be? Only time will tell.