[Primer] Esper Draw-Go Control

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MashedPotato
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Post by MashedPotato » 2 years ago

Given the SFM unban, has anyone put it into their deck? Understandably, its not a tool we would normally run, but and with the effective (to some extent) beaters we have in Colonnade and Clique (if mainboarded) is it something anyone has used over the past weekend. I have adjusted my deck slightly to reintroduce a Geist of Saint Traft to respond to this and any other creature on board and it seems effective enough, but not worth maintaining

edit: still running a split between Opt and Seum Visions, the balance of Scry + Draw at instand, and Sorcery Draw and Setup next few draws is a balance I like. As much as Think Twice is nice with flashback, the cost is a little to ineffecient for my liking still
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Arkmer
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Post by Arkmer » 2 years ago

I don't think SFM would help what I am running, so no, I am actively avoiding that package. The factors I'm paying attention to in that decision are too few bodies to carry, too many sweepers, and nothing that makes me want to be in combat (evasion, protection, recurring creatures, etc).

As far as Opt vs SV, I feel it's been easy to take advantage of T3feri and just cast SV at instant speed most of the time. I'm on 4 Archmage's Charm and 3 Esper Charms, so instant speed draw hasn't been an issue in the slightest even without T3feri altering SV. I find that in some matches I'm cutting SV for actual cards opposed to deck sift.

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MashedPotato
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Post by MashedPotato » 2 years ago

Arkmer wrote:
2 years ago
I don't think SFM would help what I am running, so no, I am actively avoiding that package. The factors I'm paying attention to in that decision are too few bodies to carry, too many sweepers, and nothing that makes me want to be in combat (evasion, protection, recurring creatures, etc).
On this actually, spoke with the guys at my LGS, it appears not many running it in paper as its far to expensive to acquire at this stage ($100AUD roughly)
Arkmer wrote:
2 years ago
As far as Opt vs SV, I feel it's been easy to take advantage of T3feri and just cast SV at instant speed most of the time. I'm on 4 Archmage's Charm and 3 Esper Charms, so instant speed draw hasn't been an issue in the slightest even without T3feri altering SV. I find that in some matches I'm cutting SV for actual cards opposed to deck sift.
I only run one T3feri in my deck, haven't found it overally useful against most opponents in my area. Most are tapped out on their turn so I don't need the slow down it offers. Which is why I'm still using the split I am. Although I find the UUU cost of Archmages charm a little hard to hit at early on sometimes, but I have considered running one main and one side. I enjoy an extra Cryptic command for a slight casting cost increase and being able to select two options. What is the appeal you have for archmages charm though, curiously?
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Arkmer
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Post by Arkmer » 2 years ago

I feel as though I very much misevaluated Archmage's Charm when it was first spoiled. I thought that each individual mode was not worth the UUU price tag and that it would essentially just be a dud. Turns out the modal value is far and above worth it.

The two modes that I used the most were draw 2 and counter in that order. When I first saw the card I assumed that would be swapped and I would suffer under the bad mantra of 3cmc counters. What actually ended up happening is I would counter anything that would gain them more than 1 card's worth of value (subject to player decision) and then draw 2 when I felt I had them slowing down. Generally though, the option to counter or draw was really good at 3cmc and kept me flowing through my deck when my opponent had a slower turn.

At some points in my games, I'd been looking at 9 options across 3 spells (Archmage's Charm, Kaya's Guile, Esper Charm). That flexibility let me adapt over and over to my opponents, so while I may have had 3 cards in hand, I could act as though I had 9 because my opponent was still only playing 1 spell per turn in most cases.

This past weekend I went 3-0 against Dredge, regular Affinity, and Fevered Visions. I think only the Dredge player was really on his game and familiar with his list though.
I went 3-1 last night losing only to Red Prowess in 3 games (I JtMS'd him in G2). Beat Jund, Humans, and Hardened Scales. This was my normal shop.

I do think a big portion of my success with Archmage's Charm can be attributed to Kaya's Guile. Being able to just be slower because you can force a Sac + Gain 4 really makes 3cmc counters a bit better as you extend the game into T5&6, not to mention the draw 2. I had been playing Foul-Tongue Invocation in a Grixis list before the ban and (ignoring Hogaak) it helped me stay alive far longer than I probably should have.

I did have a game against Scales where I stole a Hangarback Walker to stop the assault for a few turns only to Verdict and gain 7 Thopters as an offense. I also stole a Swiftspear against Prowess to prevent 5 damage, but those were my only two instances of using that mode so far.

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Post by TheAnnihilator » 2 years ago

[mention]Arkmer[/mention] Could I see your list?

Also, as for Opt vs. Serum, I'd probably play Serum in the absence of Narset, Parter of Veils in your local meta -- I'd definitely play Serum at a big tourney because I honestly think that Narset is off of the radar now. Serum is just more worth diluting your deck for the effect. When you Opt and keep the scry on top, you literally just played Reach through Mists, and when you bottom, chances are you find something equally irrelevant (a land/wrong answer). Serum just lets you set up your next 2 turns or dig 2 cards deep for the right card without actually costing you a card from hand. Now that we have Kaya's Guile as maindeckable life gain, fetch-shock on T1 to Serum isn't so bad, and playing it later in the game is all about sequencing anyways.

Except that I'm playing neither. Think Twice about your cantrips, everyone. :)

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Post by Arkmer » 2 years ago

[mention]TheAnnihilator[/mention], sure, but I always have some questionable things in my lists.

I'm a little heavy on Black lands, I'll probably swap 1 Watery Grave for 1 Hallowed Fountain.
Maybe a bit light against control, but the game ends if I land a T3feri before they do.

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Post by TheAnnihilator » 2 years ago

So I've seen that many UW Control/Stoneblade players are adopting 2 or 3 Snares in the main. Esper, years ago on MTGS, used to maindeck 3/4 Snares as part of the stock list. Should we go back to this?

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Post by MashedPotato » 2 years ago

TheAnnihilator wrote:
2 years ago
So I've seen that many UW Control/Stoneblade players are adopting 2 or 3 Snares in the main. Esper, years ago on MTGS, used to maindeck 3/4 Snares as part of the stock list. Should we go back to this?
I don't think we need to. We have picked up many more new tools being Guile, Veto, FoN which look like they have pushed out Snare. With modern looking like its slowing slightly, I don't think we need a lot of Snares, but it may be something look at dropping one in over a logic knot or veto.

With the meta so unsettled at the moment, it may be a good time to test the waters with it.
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Post by Amalek0 » 2 years ago

If the format keeps getting leaner and more efficient, we may go back to playing more than just one snare. Personally, I think the format is actually better when spell snare and spell pierce are strong, main-deckable options.

I have been testing an esper stoneblade list, which I put up in the appropriate section, esper MIDRANGE. I went 2-2 with it last week, while missing some cards, and one of those losses was pretty ultimate bad-luck against scapeshift (they had their one-outer field of the dead in hand when I ego'd their valakuts, and I had discard + ego, snap ego lined up for the next two turns). The secret tech is invisible stalker, which nobody in any of the stoneblade brewing threads or discords seems to have really picked up on yet. It flat out brutalizes the board-state mirrors. Connecting once with sword of feast and famine while you have things to sink the mana into is brutal.

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Post by TheAnnihilator » 2 years ago

Amalek0 wrote:
2 years ago
If the format keeps getting leaner and more efficient, we may go back to playing more than just one snare. Personally, I think the format is actually better when spell snare and spell pierce are strong, main-deckable options.

I have been testing an esper stoneblade list, which I put up in the appropriate section, esper MIDRANGE. I went 2-2 with it last week, while missing some cards, and one of those losses was pretty ultimate bad-luck against scapeshift (they had their one-outer field of the dead in hand when I ego'd their valakuts, and I had discard + ego, snap ego lined up for the next two turns). The secret tech is invisible stalker, which nobody in any of the stoneblade brewing threads or discords seems to have really picked up on yet. It flat out brutalizes the board-state mirrors. Connecting once with sword of feast and famine while you have things to sink the mana into is brutal.
Not gonna lie, Invisible Stalker does sound really good for Stoneblade. I was already on Skull and SoFaF for the main anyway.

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Post by TheAnnihilator » 2 years ago

So any hype for Murderous Rider? We might finally have a playable Hero's Downfall, since it can just be a 2/3 lifelink vs. Burn.

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Post by MashedPotato » 2 years ago

TheAnnihilator wrote:
2 years ago
So any hype for Murderous Rider? We might finally have a playable Hero's Downfall, since it can just be a 2/3 lifelink vs. Burn.
Could be a great addition, Any 2 for 1 card / options on a card is something I have always liked. However, once the creature is cast, if i read correctly, the adventure potion being the instant cannot be cast. But if the instant is cast, it goes into exile and the creature can be cast from its "adventure"

edit: might be a good 1 of in the deck as a beater to replace a Clique in the mainboard perhaps?
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Post by Amalek0 » 2 years ago

I don't THINK we're in the market for a 2/3 lifelink for 3 mana, even against burn.

I don't think we're in the market for hero's downfall.

I think what we actually want is a 2 mana dreadbore at instant speed, even if at some kind of life cost or something.

Or a kicker version that killed a cmc restricted creature/walker, and for an additional cost, killed any kind.

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Post by jfuite » 2 years ago

Should this thread be more excited and upbeat? Are we, as Esper control players, living in the best of times? Am I mistaken if I have not remembered a six month stretch with more consistent appearances of the deck in tournaments and 5-0 modern leagues?

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Post by A Cute Bunny » 2 years ago



I made a sheet with all the major tournament lists post ban and the average number of copies of each card in the deck :o so we can track the "standard" build and any trends :3

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Post by Jizard » 2 years ago

Hi all.

Just registered.

I've been on Esper draw-go for some years and excited to finally start getting my list down properly.

Just going to figure out how to format and will put my 75 up soon

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Post by Jizard » 2 years ago

Jizard wrote:
2 years ago
Hi all.

Just registered.

I've been on Esper draw-go for some years and excited to finally start getting my list down properly.

Just going to figure out how to format and will put my 75 up soon


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Post by jfuite » 2 years ago

Please tell me about Kaya, Ozhov Usurper, from your experience. How does she perform against various decks? When is she strong, or weak? Little Teferi is the most played in comparison, so why do you keep her?

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Post by MashedPotato » 2 years ago

A Cute Bunny wrote:
2 years ago

I made a sheet with all the major tournament lists post ban and the average number of copies of each card in the deck :o so we can track the "standard" build and any trends :3
Great work on that sheet! Its interesting to see all the deck lists like that, especially seeing 4 Esper Charms in most lists.
Wonder what the reasoning behind so many Drowned catacombs is as opposed to a Creeping Tarpit and so many lists running so many multiples of JTMS.

Not surprised at the number of Burn decks either at the moment as a side note, whenever meta isn't settled its the norm, although at my end seen more Jund and Merfolk decks.
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Post by A Cute Bunny » 2 years ago

MashedPotato wrote:
2 years ago
Great work on that sheet! Its interesting to see all the deck lists like that, especially seeing 4 Esper Charms in most lists.
Wonder what the reasoning behind so many Drowned catacombs is as opposed to a Creeping Tarpit and so many lists running so many multiples of JTMS.

Not surprised at the number of Burn decks either at the moment as a side note, whenever meta isn't settled its the norm, although at my end seen more Jund and Merfolk decks.
Yeah, 4 Esper Charm seems to be the norm right now. I think the check lands in general is a response to the abundance of burn in the meta right now. Having a bunch of untapped duals that aren't shocks is great against that. Probably why the lists that are doing well have 5 lifegain spells min in the 75 (3 Guile 2 Timely). I'm personally still a fan of Tar Pit but having untapped painless mana is a big deal right now. Jace though seems normal as a 2 or 3 of. I personally think 2 is right because having multiples usually sucks but its a card you want to see.

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Post by chaos021 » 2 years ago

Having multiple Jaces now isn't so bad depending on the number of Forces of Negation you're playing.
Last edited by chaos021 2 years ago, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by TheAnnihilator » 2 years ago

Super interesting stuff. Is there a way to include sideboards on the spreadsheet as well?

I'll use this to update the primer's stock list when I can.

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Post by TheAnnihilator » 2 years ago

Oooh Drown in the Loch anyone? :) We might have a real contender.

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Post by TheAnnihilator » 2 years ago

Sorry for the triple post, but I've made a few updates to the primer (most pretty small, you may not even notice them), and I realized I never actually went to the trouble of discussing any specific matchups other than the bad ones. I'd like to add some sections on sideboarding ins and outs, literally and figuratively, for the most popular decks in Modern. Do you all have any suggestions, either on which matchups should be discussed or any specific sideboarding advise?

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Post by Amalek0 » 2 years ago

[mention]TheAnnihilator[/mention] Crib from the old MTGSalv primer. Most of the advice is still valid because it doesn't focus on specific cards, but rather on coordinated and cohesive gameplans.

The problem with doing anything else is that it doesn't address the two components everyone who wants to play this archetype NEEDS to learn:

How to address sideboarding when your meta demands preparation for different types of decks than the SCG/GP Meta, and how to develop a sideboard plan for decks when the meta changes, or when you're blindsided and boarding on the fly against something new.

At some point I put up a three post string on MTGSalv on how to sideboard blind against an archetype you've never seen before, and I used as a case study my first encounter with faeries post BB unban (not quite a perfect example because I obviously played the deck when it was in standard, but at that point in time lists were quite different), so if you want to go find it, that should give you a timeframe to hunt in the old thread.

I can also attempt a re-write on that kind of process if people have a desire for that.

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