I would rather play think twice than azcanta or 1 cmc cantrips, with the possible exception of hiero.
Dredge isn't consistently beatable without playing a ***** ton of hate + terminus.
As in, my build of 4 terminus, 2 surgical, 2 ego, 1 nosb, 1 angel isn't even close to enough. Adding 2 rest in peace to that is still not going to bring me up to 50/50, unless they're mainboard.
There's some Esper Gifts talk in the 4C Gifts thread.
I run it some times but there's a bunch of different ways to build it and Esper isn't especially popular in the first place so it's hard to say if one version is strictly better than another. I think it's more of a tailor to your meta type of deal
Hey guys, I'm in the process of putting together a draw-go list, and there were a couple of cards I came across that look promising that I haven't seen much discussion on:
disallow is a counterspell that can hit fetchlands and other utility lands such as field of ruin, hit annoying cast triggers from things like ulamog, and stop planeswalker ults. The big one for me is that it can deal with the storm trigger from a grapeshot/empty.
censor is pretty straight forward, a force spike/mana tithe that cycles for U. Seems better than serum/opt if you're not running terminus.
dawn charm is a card I feel a lot of people have slept on, the fog mode seems really useful against aggro decks like hollow one, dredge, zoo, etc., and being able to counter a burn/discard sounds good to me.
Disallow is probably the best 3 cmc counterspell in the format, but its still a 3 cmc counterspell. The format is too fast for it to be worth a slot.
Censor is not good in this deck because we need our answers to actually do something in more than just narrow circumstances.
Playing it in the serum/opt slot is slightly better, though in my opinion, without terminus you should not play either of those, and in general, hiero is a better card in that slot anyways.
Dawn charm is just too narrow. A fog is probably not going to matter much, since we're probably still dead the next turn. Countering burn or discard is ok, but its still a 2 cost spell, and its going to do very little far too often.
I've dropped the draw-go version a long time and Terminus feels good in Esper. With 2 Jace, 2 SfA and 4 Opt / 4 Esper Charm, it works well. I'm on 3 Terminus at the moment, but it's a nice addition to the deck. My sideboard though feels clogged and I can't add much to it :
Unmoored Ego is really a game ender, but sometimes I miss having Thoughtseize. However, 4 lifegain effect from the sideboard is a must in my case : I can't win otherwise against Burn, Affinity, etc. So it works. I'd like to have more room for Thoughtseize / Supreme Verdict, but I don't have any
I think you should specify your question. Better against what ?
That being said, they have different angles. Angels will stabilise the board on their own if protected/unanswered. blessed alliance has more narrow / niche uses such as bogles or infect, where it shines.
Is blessed alliance better than the 5 mana angels?
I'm on 2 Blessed Alliance / 1 Timely Reinforcement / 1 Runed Halo because I find Baneslayer Angel / Lyra Dawnbringer to be too slow against the matchups where lifegain is important. By that, I mean : against Burn, which is the worst matchup, it's hard to get to 5 mana to cast the Angel and still be alive. However, gaining 4 life on turn 2-3 and using it to gain 4 / kill a creature on turn 4+ is huge. It can even be flashbacked with Snapcaster Mage, which is great. To me, it gives the extra 4-8 life point needed to stay alive, stabilize and win against Burn and aggro matchups like Affinity or Humans. However, if you can cast an Angel and staying alive that turn, then you should be golden.
tldr : go with BA if you want low to the ground, versatile answers and go with BSA or Lyra against midrange and such.