So I usually play Amulet in paper these days since it's fun to play even against my least favorite matchups, but I wanted to chime in and say that I've played list similar to the one below to several 3-2 finishes (I know, really impressive, right?
) on MTGO. It's good enough to get a free league for your troubles and a chest (read: 2 tix) to spare, thus going "infinite". Of course, on MTGO you're very likely to play against Dredge, Burn, or Urza (or lose to variance) at least once in 5 matches, and I usually fold in those matchups, hence the 3-2 instead of 4-1 or 5-0.
I've addressed this somewhat in the sideboard. As for the current best deck (Amulet), the matchup is quite favorable for Esper Charm. If they don't Cavern you early on, you're generally able to let them play out their stuff and ECharm away their hand before killing Dryad for good. I haven't dropped a match to Amulet. I did lose 1-2 against Titanfield once because they were playing Veil in the board and, more importantly, naturally drew an early Cavern and Field of the Dead, of which they played 2 copies. I'd LOVE to play a 3rd Field of Ruin in the main, but the mana is just too inflexible. Anyways:
Ok, so the meta I always seems to play against is all big mana (Amulet, Eldrazi, some Tron), Grixis Shadow, and a random smattering of fringey midrange/control decks (BW Stoneblade, Azorius/UBx Control, Jund, etc) and red aggro (Burn mostly, some prowess).
In the main, I'm playing 3 Drown because it's the absolute best draw in the late game (look out for Scavenger Grounds
in the Eldrazi Tron MU), but it's really dead in the opener, particularly against big mana. You still want to keep Drowns over Push post board against them for hitting Ballista/Pacts/KarnGC/TKS/etc. I used to play 4 main and honestly loved it. Drown always seems to overperform. I'm also playing 3-4 Snaps because the chess clock doesn't always favor you, especially when your opp doesn't concede. I've literally cast WSZ one time, and I know I should cut it, but I don't have another wincon due to budget reasons and I still need a big effect like that against mirrors. Sometimes T5feri isn't good enough. I'm not playing Jace, the Mind Sculptor
, Force of Negation
, Teferi, Time Raveler
, or Surgical Extraction
for the moment due to budget restrictions, but if I had access idrk how I'd fit them in -- I'd have to test it.
With all of that in mind, the sideboard is built primarily to shore up the poor or popular matchups with bombs like Timely, Ego, Sphere, etc, with a few good general-use cards to fill the gaps while covering additional weaknesses (an extra wrath for Humans/Druid, extra Purges for resolved Wrenn/Lili/Moon, a Stroke for Tron/Eldrazi/control, etc.). At bare minimum, for the online meta, I would play 2 Purge, 2 Damping Sphere, 1 VClique, 3 Timely -- yes, all three are necessary or you won't win against R aggro, and 2 Ego in the board. The plan against Dredge in both pre- and post-board games is right click --> concede. Such a horrendous matchup, not worth the board space. Again, if I had Surgicals, I may reconsider the Dredge MU.
Just throwing this out there to open up room for thoughts. I fully believe this meta is better for Esper than UW control. Not sure how it compares to UW Stoneblade, but they're really different decks anyways.