Esper Control

  • #353
    You -2 when you're:

    A) Desperately looking for answers.
    B) You think you're gonna take a decent chunk of damage and want to "trick" your opponent into killing Jace.
    C) Control mirror whenever you can and aren't exposed to restoration angel
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  • #354
    Jace's +1 is just a lifegain engine Vs Aggro. It allows you to get into your later turns on more than 0 life, and then you can start digging for cards. In G2, you might want to -2 him more often to ensure you hit the Wraths you've brought in, but in G1 I'd just stall out for days.

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  • #355
    Seeing how you win choose to win games, it actually does make sense that you Love Tamiyo. I'm lazy, so I like sticking Big Jace and milling them over three turns. But if you enjoy sitting(which is very reasonable), Tamiyo, will just make the opponent scoop, screw winning the game.


    Yeah, this is exactly the problem with Tamiyo. I saw someone earlier say claim "sweeper -> Tamiyo" as proof of her being great, but that's applicable to just about any planeswalker. Tamiyo definitely isn't a bad card by any means and I still have her as a singleton, but if you manage to ultimate her in a game, something went horribly wrong on your opponents side and you probably were winning that one anyhow. Either they had no counterspell or Detention Sphere, or they were playing aggro and they could only afford one creature on the board. These scenarios aren't "wins" for Tamiyo, they're wins on account of your deck. Tamiyo is essentially Azor's Elocutors +Tumble Magnet.

    Granted, I imagine she's much better against Aggro if you run 7 sweepers main deck.

    You -2 when you're:

    A) Desperately looking for answers.
    B) You think you're gonna take a decent chunk of damage and want to "trick" your opponent into killing Jace.
    C) Control mirror whenever you can and aren't exposed to restoration angel


    If you're ultimating Jace, I'd say you're making him another Tamiyo; you want a win-more to wrap up an already locked-up game. I've done that plenty of times, but for the most part I always -2 him unless my opponent would kill him and I'm hitting land drops and have plays for the following turns. All he's really worth is drawing cards, except for those rare board states where he locks down a bunch of Spirit tokens or whatnot. The fact that you have to work to make him better than Ponder/Preordain led me to cut him from my deck for more Think Twice's.
  • #356
    Seeing how you win choose to win games, it actually does make sense that you Love Tamiyo. I'm lazy, so I like sticking Big Jace and milling them over three turns. But if you enjoy sitting(which is very reasonable), Tamiyo, will just make the opponent scoop, screw winning the game.
    It infuriates opponents with my style of play, I peck peck peck away at them and then to top it all off I Ultimate Tamiyo the Moon Sage lol RAGE!!!!
    Quote from Titus0
    How and when do you guys +1 with Jace, Architect of Thought? Have you guys found it to be useful? In tight situations, I still prefer to -2, as the +1 is a tad clunky. I find it kinda...shaky. Like, it's pretty good at weakening the damage output, but sometimes I feel like if I don't have a follow-up, it's a little bit of a waste.
    Alright basically what i do is I drop Jace, Architect of Thought, depending on how much preasure I have on me I usually -2 him. The only time I +1 on the turn I drop him is if I need help staying alive till I can stabilize the board. Usually my turns go as such ....... -2, +1, -2, then I will +1 to get that last -2 out of him, usually by then I have drawn another one and want to drop it after then last one dies off to get a second Fact or Fiction out of the round. To answer the question: Yes, I 100% love Jace, Architect of Thought as a 4x of in my deck.
    Quote from Dm225
    @Damaja: Mind explaining your choice to exclude Curse of Death's Hold from your seventy five?
    Alright Dm225 .... This may be wrong .... but it is how I choose to play my build. I look at Curse of Death's Hold being too slow for what I want to do. I originally had a 1/1 split in my old build. I see it this way, by time turn 5 rolls around I usually am either locking down the board or about to lock it down so Curse of Death's Hold just doesn't seem all that good to me. I played Aggro deck all night long last week until the Top 8 where I started seeing "some" Control and I never needed Curse of Death's Hold at all. It just doesn't seem needed. This may change over time though who knows but right now I keep it out of my 75.
    Quote from Rayman420
    I find that once you stabilize, assuming you arnt worried about d spheres, you can just tick jace up, especially against aggro, and then just pop him, grab a fresh one, and take one of their bombs to put pressure on them while you go to town with jace again.
    Yea, but to be totally honest with you, I find that I am getting much more utility out of him just drawing cards off him. I reckon maybe once I should pop his ultimate just to see how awesome it is, I first started playing Tamiyo the Moon Sage when she first released and until I popped her ultimate I didn't fully appreciate her like I do now. lol You guys shoulda seen me the first time I got her ultimate lol I was yelling across the store in excitement haha
    You -2 when you're:

    A) Desperately looking for answers.
    B) You think you're gonna take a decent chunk of damage and want to "trick" your opponent into killing Jace.
    C) Control mirror whenever you can and aren't exposed to restoration angel
    Yea bunches of times I have dropped Jace, Architect of Thought with a full grip so I just kept +1ing it until I got low enough that it was worth actually -2 but the card draw is just super good.
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  • #357
    So lately I've been having issues with people casting Slaughter Games to take out my board wipes. I've been thinking about using Redirect to combat this (while being able to function as Negate as well). Any thoughts?
  • #358
    Quote from Aazadan
    So lately I've been having issues with people casting Slaughter Games to take out my board wipes. I've been thinking about using Redirect to combat this (while being able to function as Negate as well). Any thoughts?


    I run 3 copies of Witchbane Orb in my sideboard and it works perfectly. G2 when you bring those in and play the first one, watch your opponents shoulders slump in defeat hehe

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  • #359
    Witchbane Orb was the other thought. I don't like that it's 4 mana though. I typically win game 1 since I run a creatureless list and most decks just aren't set up to handle it. That means in game 2 after they sideboard they're on the play and can land Slaughter Games before I have a chance to cast Witchbane Orb. That exact play happened to me two weeks ago at FNM actually. My opponent was playing 4c Reanimator and cast a turn 4 Slaughter Games in game 2 of the finals naming Supreme Verdict, getting the two in my hand and the other two in my library. That's why I was looking for something lower mana than Witchbane Orb.

    This is my current list. Actually, while on the subject of my list I've been having issues with lands coming in tapped. I've never felt like I needed more lands, and being in a control light meta (no one but me tends to play it) I can get away with only a couple Nephalia Drownyards as a backup win condition. So I'm only running 24. I'm thinking that maybe I should goto 25 though so things come in untapped more often. I'm not really high on any color of mana, so cutting duals for basics doesn't seem like the right move.
    Aazadan's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Land 24
    4 Drowned Catacomb
    4 Glacial Fortress
    4 Isolated Chapel
    4 Hallowed Fountain
    3 Island
    2 Plains
    1 Swamp
    2 Nephalia Drownyard

    Artifacts 1
    1 Elixir of Immortality

    Enchantments 5
    2 Detention Sphere
    3 Curse of Death's Hold

    Planeswalkers 7
    2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
    3 Jace, Architect of Thought
    2 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage

    Spells 23
    2 Ultimate Price
    4 Lingering Souls
    3 Azorius Charm
    2 Feeling of Dread
    2 Forbidden Alchemy
    2 Dissipate
    1 Syncopate
    3 Sphinx's Revelation
    4 Supreme Verdict

  • #360
    Quote from Aazadan
    So lately I've been having issues with people casting Slaughter Games to take out my board wipes. I've been thinking about using Redirect to combat this (while being able to function as Negate as well). Any thoughts?


    Cant redirect. Target opponent.

    ________________STANDARD________________
    UBW Soorani Esper Control UBW
    UBW Nicholas Spagnolo's Drownyard Control UBW

    ___________________EDH___________________
    UB Wydwen, the Biting Gale UB
    W Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker W

  • #361
    Hmm, good point. I don't know why I was reading it as target player. So much for that idea.
  • #362
    If it is big rakdos appetite for brains can take a slaughter games, or hellkite, or aristocrat, or Olivia, or zealous conscripts, ect.

    I also find they usually take my walkers, or whatever you beat them with g1. If you get some abuse in with diverse cards, it can make it a harder choice for them too.
  • #363
    So this is where my build is at right now, since I can get back to testing this week.

    redtwister's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Land 27
    4 Nephalia Drownyard
    4 Drowned Catacomb
    4 Isolated Chapel
    4 Glacial Fortress
    4 Hallowed Fountain
    1 Evolving Wilds
    3 Island
    1 Plains
    2 Swamp

    Instant 15
    4 Azorius Charm
    4 Sphinx's Revelation
    3 Ultimate Price
    4 Think Twice

    Sorcery 9
    3 Supreme Verdict
    4 Terminus
    1 Entreat the Angels
    1 Sever the Bloodline

    Enchantment 3
    2 Detention Sphere
    1 Oblivion Ring

    Planeswalker 6
    4 Jace, Architect of Thought
    2 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage



    EDIT:
    Tinkering with the deck sideboard.

    Can't decide if I want 2 Feeling of Dread or 2 Curse of Death's Hold.
    Last edited by redtwister: 1/2/2013 11:31:11 AM
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  • #364


    I would cut a jace, terminus, and all of the azorius charms for some countermagic.
  • #365
    Quote from kamWise
    I would cut a jace, terminus, and all of the azorius charms for some countermagic.

    Honestly, I disagree with this; format is pretty aggro/creature-heavy, so I don't think cutting removal for countermagic is good. On top of that, I feel like esper builds don't really need that much countermagic in the first place.

    Maybe a miserly 2-of dissipates mainboard and an assortment of counterspells sideboard would do, but I don't think it's right to cut all of the Azorius Charms.
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  • #366
    Quote from Rayman420
    If it is big rakdos appetite for brains can take a slaughter games, or hellkite, or aristocrat, or Olivia, or zealous conscripts, ect.

    I also find they usually take my walkers, or whatever you beat them with g1. If you get some abuse in with diverse cards, it can make it a harder choice for them too.


    The deck in question is 4c reanimator running a set of Slaughter Games sideboard (and several other anti control cards too). Appetite for Brains might be the card I want here since it exiles quite a few threats.

    Quote from kamWise
    I would cut a jace, terminus, and all of the azorius charms for some countermagic.


    I agree with the Jace and Terminus but I'm a fan of Azorius Charm. 7 board wipes is too many, two can be cut plus a jace and that leaves room for a handful of counters. Too many counters in a world with Cavern of Souls is a bad idea but some are important. Since Snapcaster Mage isn't in the list I could see an argument for cutting one Charm as well. It's a strong enough card though, especially early in a game that I think having a few is good.
  • #367
    App for Brains is an amazing SB card, and I have been running 4x since everyone and their dentist started running thragtusks, restoration angels, angels of serenity, hellkites, planeswalkers, and slaughter games. Also hits unburial rites, which is kinda sweet, as they dont get the flashback. I cannot say enough good things about this card. If they are going big, eat their brains.
  • #368
    As much as I like Dissipate and running a strong counter-magic deck, I really feel better with Damaja's main deck build.

    This is because UWR is the better counter spell build because of Counterflux and Izzet Charm. I'm not going to win a counter war vs. UWR Control or UWR Flash or UWR Midrange. It just isn't going to happen. I have to control some other way, and to me that is under-costed hand control which also gives me insight into what they have open.

    I also don't entirely care (I care a little, just not a huge amount) about their Sphinx's Revelations, since their life total is not my problem and mega-draws help me mill them. Besides, Duress is a better way prevent cards like that in the Esper vs. American match-ups. It's pretty sweet to play Duress and watch UWR try and decide if it is worth using their precious counter-magic to stop that, knowing they won't get to use it again on your Sphinx's Revelation, or the chance that you won't take their SR and instead still take their Counterflux, and know exactly what they have in hand.

    I might cut a Jace, Architect of Thought, but it would not be to put in counter-magic right now. I would probably add a main deck Appetite for Brains.

    As for Terminus, until my locals stop showing me 90% aggro (BG Zombies, BG Aggro, UW Humans, GW Aggro), aggro-control (UWR Flash), and mid-range (Jund, various Reanimators, 4C, GW Beatdown, Naya Beatdown), I'm keeping sweepers I can Miracle. With this build, 10 removal cards and 4 Time Walks are what make it a board control beast.

    Appetite for Brains is so good, but you left out that most nasty card: Zealous Conscripts. I love taking that card away. It just feels so good.

    EDIT:
    Actually, if I -1 Terminus, -1 Jace, Architect of Thought, I would probably +2 Curse of Death's Hold.
    Last edited by redtwister: 1/2/2013 11:32:19 AM
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  • #369
    I ran Despise last year in Grixis, but you had your opponent's entire hand to choose from when playing it against most decks. Appetite for Brains in a control deck seems even narrower than the Wtichbane Orbs and Curse of Echoes, which I didn't think was possible. The cards going to brick half the time, and the other half they're just going to resolve the other fatty that you saw in their hand.

    Unless you're playing a tap-out Esper fatty deck, I can't imagine you actually want to be running these. That or if you already have 8 counters maindeck or something crazy like that. Even then, I can't imagine running Appetite for Brains over Duress. If it's not apparent why targeted discard is a bad answer to aggressive strategies then I don't know what to tell you.
  • #370
    You don't have to run them over duress if you don't want, or even at all, but I can't think of a card that makes really good cards look as foolish as app for brains does. Angel of serenity loop says hi.
  • #371
    Quote from redtwister
    EDIT:
    Actually, if I -1 Terminus, -1 Jace, Architect of Thought, I would probably +2 Curse of Death's Hold.


    I like Curse of Death's Hold the trick is living long enough to cast it in an aggro meta. It can be done but I wouldn't call it the most consistent play in the world, even at 27 land and 11 black sources there's a not unheard of chance of lacking the mana turn 5.
  • #372
    There is a LOT of over thinking going on in this thread. Stop over thinking lol you do NOT need Counters .... besides vs these decks like Flash and American Midrange you will not win the counter wars anyways so why bother? I am beating Flash and American Midrange quite easily without any counters at all, if you know how to bait counters then you will have no issues at all.
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  • #373
    Quote from Damaja
    There is a LOT of over thinking going on in this thread. Stop over thinking lol you do NOT need Counters .... besides vs these decks like Flash and American Midrange you will not win the counter wars anyways so why bother? I am beating Flash and American Midrange quite easily without any counters at all, if you know how to bait counters then you will have no issues at all.


    I lose to American Control with Devil's play quite a bit. As well as a wide range of other spells. For this reason I've chosen to add 3 counters (Dissipate) to my M/D. It isn't like they are dead by any stretch of the imagination. Countering Bonfire would have saved my ass in so many games, for instance.
  • #374
    Quote from Aegraen
    I lose to American Control with Devil's play quite a bit. As well as a wide range of other spells. For this reason I've chosen to add 3 counters (Dissipate) to my M/D. It isn't like they are dead by any stretch of the imagination. Countering Bonfire would have saved my ass in so many games, for instance.


    That is your choice, but vs Control decks, Esper is an easy win over them. My Control matchups are always bringing smiles to my face, I just have such good match ups vs them. Exactly why are you losing to American Control anyways?
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  • #375
    Quote from Damaja
    That is your choice, but vs Control decks, Esper is an easy win over them. My Control matchups are always bringing smiles to my face, I just have such good match ups vs them. Exactly why are you losing to American Control anyways?


    Since you play no counterspells, I'm wondering how you even get to resolve much against 4x Snapcaster + the 4-6 counterspells they play. Never mind they have a laundry list of burn spells to take out your planeswalkers if your life total is sufficiently high enough (assuming you got one to resolve). Bonfire + Devils Play is a beating when you are running no counter spells.

    They're also running Sphinx + Jace + either Izzet or Az Charm and other CA/Hand quality engines so they can easily keep up with you in that department. I played one the other day who had a Staff of Nin out of the sideboard and that was just too much for me after I had all ready used one of my two Detention Sphere's on his PW.

    Granted, I had just changed up my deck a little and didn't have time before pairings to fix my side board....so there's that.
  • #376
    Quote from Damaja
    That is your choice, but vs Control decks, Esper is an easy win over them. My Control matchups are always bringing smiles to my face, I just have such good match ups vs them. Exactly why are you losing to American Control anyways?


    Since you have the extra slots from not using counterspells, I'm interested in what cards you decided to put it. What is your current list looking like?
  • #377
    Quote from kamWise
    Since you have the extra slots from not using counterspells, I'm interested in what cards you decided to put it. What is your current list looking like?

    go backwards into this thread into you see my last posted list.
    Quote from Aegraen
    Since you play no counterspells, I'm wondering how you even get to resolve much against 4x Snapcaster + the 4-6 counterspells they play. Never mind they have a laundry list of burn spells to take out your planeswalkers if your life total is sufficiently high enough (assuming you got one to resolve). Bonfire + Devils Play is a beating when you are running no counter spells.

    They're also running Sphinx + Jace + either Izzet or Az Charm and other CA/Hand quality engines so they can easily keep up with you in that department. I played one the other day who had a Staff of Nin out of the sideboard and that was just too much for me after I had all ready used one of my two Detention Sphere's on his PW.

    Granted, I had just changed up my deck a little and didn't have time before pairings to fix my side board....so there's that.


    Playing smart I guess, the first time I faced that deck I figured a loss was soon coming, but after the 2-0 win it just didnt seem that hard, and G2-3 R.I.P shut all the Snapcaster Mage tricks down. I ended up Ultimating Tamiyo the Moon Sage and proceeded to Oblivion Ring my R.I.P to get use out of that Ultimate. I agree on paper it really seems like a BAD BAD BAD matchup for us, but so far it has not been hard at all. Seems Rest in Peace is key to shutting them down after G1 even though I beat it G1 hehe so I dunno, I plan to test more vs this deck.
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