MTGA Esper Control – The Scariest Deck in Standard

Esper control is the scariest deck, after RNA’s release, and that’s because it no longer has any weak spots.

Here’s a list I’ve been playing with:

Or in text format for everyone(with import codes so you can just plug it straight in):

  • 4 Drowned Catacomb (XLN) 253
  • 4 Glacial Fortress (XLN) 255
  • 2 Godless Shrine (RNA) 248
  • 4 Isolated Chapel (DAR) 241
  • 4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259
  • 2 Angel of Grace (RNA) 1
  • 3 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria (DAR) 207
  • 2 Kaya, Orzhov Usurper (RNA) 186
  • 2 Consecrate // Consume (RNA) 224
  • 3 Discovery // Dispersal (GRN) 223
  • 3 Ritual of Soot (GRN) 84
  • 3 Thought Erasure (GRN) 206
  • 3 Syncopate (DAR) 67
  • 2 Vraska’s Contempt (XLN) 129
  • 2 Search for Azcanta (XLN) 74
  • 4 Revitalize (M19) 35
  • 3 Cry of the Carnarium (RNA) 70
  • 2 Mortify (RNA) 192
  • 1 Plains (M19) 262
  • 1 Island (M19) 266
  • 1 Unmoored Ego (GRN) 212
  • 2 Absorb (RNA) 151
  • 3 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251

Let’s look at every threat a person could be scared of in standard, and let’s see how we could deal with it, first up being Mono Red burn, or rakdos aggro:

Absorb, Vraska’s Contempt, Revitalise, Consume, Kaya Orzhov Usurper, and finally Angel of Grace (which is bonkers in this match up)all for life gain, Mortify hits Experimental Frenzy, which is super strong. Cry of the Carnarium and Ritual of Soot are great here too.

Golgari Midrange:

Consecrate // Consume (For carnage tyrant and Find//Finality), Ritual of Soot, Kaya Orzhov Usurper, Vraska’s Contempt, syncoptate all helps stop their graveyard recursion and slows them down.

Mono White Weenie

Cry of the carnarium is your power card here, as it beats Adanto Vanguard, you just need to be able to play it before they get some anthem effects in play. Otherwise, most of the same lifegain cards that are strong against Rakdos are great here.

Turbo Fog

Unmoored ego for nexus of fate will win you the game, all you have to do is guarantee is resolves. Thought Erasure, and syncopate are great for this, especially since syncopate can exile a chemister’s insight stopping jump-start. Flipping azcanta as early as you can to search for ego is a big help too.

Jeskai control

Fighting over getting a Teferi down, which usually means waiting for Thought erasures and counter spells to be available for you to be able to successfully get Teferi down, once he lands they don’t have vraska’s contempt, their only removal is enchantments or their Teferi.(for which we have mortify and Vraska’s contempt for) Protect Teferi until he can ult, then nuke all their lands, and use Kaya’s ultimate to one-shot them. Unmoored Ego for Teferi is also pretty insane.

Gruul / Jund Midrange

The only thing I’m scared of in the entire format is carnage tyrant with haste, and this deck has two different ways of doing that with Rhythm of the wild having the added scare factor of everything being uncounterable. What we have that is good against this deck is Mortify, Try and counter Domri, then hold Angel of Grace for when they over commit to combat. Players will often assume you’re holding settle the wreckage and only attack with one or two creatures, that you can block with Angel and survive combat easily. Unmoored ego for Domri or Tyrant is pretty good here too.

Izzet Drakes

Consecrate // Consume is enormous, as it gains us a million life, and turn 3 Kaya can help keep their graveyard nice and small. They have few threats, so always thought Erasure their creatures, especially Niv-mizzet Parun.

Mill

Mill is very slow, so the earlier you can throw down an angel successfully, the better. Mortify also hit’s their mill enchantments, and you have to be weary of surveilling yourself to death.

If they’re playing persistent partitioners you can literally unmoored ego their whole deck.

Changes after grinding to diamond :

  • 4 Drowned Catacomb (XLN) 253
  • 4 Glacial Fortress (XLN) 255
  • 4 Godless Shrine (RNA) 248
  • 4 Isolated Chapel (DAR) 241
  • 4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259
  • 1 Angel of Grace (RNA) 1
  • 3 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria (DAR) 207
  • 2 Kaya, Orzhov Usurper (RNA) 186
  • 2 Discovery // Dispersal (GRN) 223
  • 3 Thought Erasure (GRN) 206
  • 2 Search for Azcanta (XLN) 74
  • 4 Revitalize (M19) 35
  • 3 Mortify (RNA) 192
  • 1 Plains (M19) 262
  • 3 Absorb (RNA) 151
  • 3 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251
  • 2 Chemister’s Insight (GRN) 32
  • 1 Unmoored Ego (GRN) 212
  • 3 Syncopate (DAR) 67
  • 2 Settle the Wreckage (XLN) 34
  • 3 Kaya’s Wrath (RNA) 187
  • 1 Cast Down (DAR) 81
  • 1 Mission Briefing (GRN) 44

This new list feels much more stream-lined, and is able to better compete at higher tiers. If you find yourself continuously fighting RDW and white weenie, consider returning Cry of the Carnarium and adding a moment of craving. Kaya’s wrath is just more consistent than ritual of soot, but you have to be careful with how you play your lands to make sure you can cast it.

That’s probably enough to get you started, I hope this helps give you some direction after cracking all your RNA packs!
Good luck in your ranked Quest


-Keith

By |2019-02-06T01:23:16+00:00January 30th, 2019|