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  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    It's done. I had a great time at GP Charlotte, but I lost some really swingy games and to top decks. Could have easily gone 7-2 but I went 4-5.

    Deck: Esper Twix

    UR Twin: 2-0

    4c Ascendancy: 0-2 (I was 1 turn away from winning both games)

    UR Twin: 2-0

    UB Faeries: 1-2 (We went to turns and he beat me on turn 4 as he Cryptic Commanded my Go for the Throat on his Mistblind Clique)

    Scapeshift: 1-2 (I was 1 turn from winning but he top decked a Scapeshift)

    Bloom Titan: 2-0

    UB Mill: 2-0

    UR Moon: 1-2 (lost to an early Blood Moon)

    Naya Burn: 0-2 (Convincing blowout)

    The losses were swingy as in if he doesn't win this turn, I win next.

    For example:

    Vs 4c Ascendancy:

    Game 1: I had him at 4 life with a Geist on the field. Beats me with Grapeshot.

    Game 2: I had him at 3 life with a Geist on the field. Beats me with Ascendancy triggers on BoP but I redirected his Grapeshot to my Skite.

    Vs UB Faeries:

    Game 2: He won via an early Bitterblossom, but my game 1 was a blowout.

    Game 3: We were won on turns and he had to win on his turn. He swung for game with Mistblind and I snapped in Go for the Throat, but he Cryptic Commanded it. I was sitting on a Meddling Mage.

    Vs Scapeshift:

    Game 2: After being blown out in G1, he had 1 turn to beat me as I had him at 5 life with Geist on the board. He top decked Scapeshift and won.

    Game 3: Same situation, but I had him at 4 life with a Sculler/Elspeth on board, but he top decked a Scapeshift and won.

    Vs Blue Moon:

    Game 2: He was blown out G1 quickly after a strong disruption sequence, but he won G2 with Blood Moon when he was down to 6. He was taking a beating from Mage, Sculler, and Snap.

    Game 3: T3 Blood Moon put me away.

    I won 11 games and lost 10. 5 of those losses were wins 1 turn before losing. Frustrating, but that's the game. I did win my first game of each 1-2 loss as well.

    Overall, disappointed I didn't at least go 6-3 or 5-4, but it was with a brew, my first GP experience, and the deck performed consistently well.

    The deck turned heads and I received several compliments about its overall design, such as that it's better than Esper Mentor and it's an adaptive deck that has very few weak match ups.

    There will be those who look at my GP results and think:

    "4 and 5? Sucks."

    But in actuality, I won 11 games at the tournament. 3 of my 5 losses went to game 3 and I had won G1 of each of them, then losing in G3 a turn right before winning. Frustrating, but that's Magic.

    Losing in G3 to a top deck Scapeshift, I threw my hand onto the table in frustration because I had lethal next turn. It was the 3rd time that had happened that day. I even lost G1 and G2 vs 4c Ascendancy that way.

    The Scapeshift player responded:

    "I'm so sorry man. Lucky rip. Your deck is a *****. I f'n hate Sculler n Geist. And main deck Mage? Never thought I had to Cryptic Mage because she could mess up Scapeshift and you got rid of my Electrolyzes and Snared my Snap. Jesus. Glad its over."

    I definitely didn't hang my head this weekend. Twix has a promising future.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from Roscoe »
    I've been running this version of Esper hatebears for a long ass time now, like over a year. It's interesting to see someone start using the meddling/sculler package I thought would be the place Esper wanted to be. It's pretty clear that if Esper wants to be a midrange deck like Jund or junk that it needs to have some aolid two drops, just like them. And these are our guys.

    Unfortunately, the deck always lacked oomph and was always terrible against other creature decks. I like your enthusiasm for the package. I was very enchanted with it when I brewed it a while ago, but I'm thoroughly convinced after many different versions that it does not have what it takes. Maybe tasigur added something to it, but I just want to warn the masses that it's a giant headache of a deck. Meddling Mage lacks the structure for it to be great. Modern is too creature centric for this kind of deck to be anything other than a pain. Mentor could at least deal with threats by overloading on removal and because mentor allowed you to easily go wide to block and then crack back with a flurry of spells. Esper has a fundamental problem that it's creatures are wholy and entirely outclassed by green's. It always pushes esper and blue generally to either tempo delver or bigger control to go over the top of the green creatures.

    I hate to be a downer, but as someone who played this type of deck for a year, I just have a lot of experience with these downfalls. Might be good in this meta, though. It always crushed any kind of deck that didn't rely on beating you with creature bashing.

    I truly appreciate your input. Thank you. Your points are valid. They're the reason this deck packs quite a bit of removal (main and board, along with Gideon and Ashiok), 3 Snaps to reuse them, and Planeswalkers like Elspeth, Sorin, Jace, and Gideon to protect us from them. They're a different angle to the deck that apply defense and offense. This deck can turn into a Walker control deck if you need it to be. Elspeth's other role is to turn our hatebears into finishers, making each one a threat at any point of the game.

    This isn't a traditional hatebears deck, but the key is to balance the removal/threat ratio. Striking that balance has been a challenge but very rewarding.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    We can also switch up the numbers and go 4 Path, 2 Cut, 1 Smother with 1-2 more spot removals in the side. We have Snaps so we don't have to overload on them; just enough to see them.

    This would be an improvement:

    4 Path to Exile
    1 Smother
    1 Dismember
    1 Murderous Cut
    1 Hero's Downfall (SB)

    I'm not fond of Pact because it doesn't hit Bob, Tasigur, Rhino, Olivia, etc.

    We don't Delve too well, so 1 Cut may be as much as we can go.

    1 Downfall is clutch vs Junk/Jund for being able to double up as an answer vs Liliana. It's an out vs Karn/Ugin too.

    Lastly, if we ever have to call Path to Exile with Mage, we have 4 other spot removals we can use.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Snap/Path or Cut if you used them early. The deck initially ran 1 Dismember, 1 Go for the Throat in the main > 2 Smother, but Smother was essentially our more narrow Decay. You can also add 2 more spot removals in the side and I'd go with 1 Go for the Throat and 1 more Muderous Cut. You wouldn't need more than that. Olivia is also a 1 of that can be dealt by Gideon or Verdict.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from TheNoob »
    Quote from Tengu Drum »
    So with Esper Twix what do we even side out against burn? I've done some testing and I kind of suspect meddling mage would be the cut in some number. It just feels like their deck is so redundant it doesn't do enough.

    You have to remember even if they remove Meddling Mage, that means it is one less burn card going at you. If can also force awkward plays by your opponent.

    I have found that some of the more expensive removal is what I remove, since casting a CMC 3 or 5 on a CMC 1 or 2 creature is not where I want to be.

    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from Yumhi12 »
    Two maindeck negate with no Remand or Mana Leak? Seems loose.

    You're taking it at face value. Negate is clutch here. It's exactly what the deck wants. Remand and Leak don't consistently take care of the threats we're actually concerned about. They were this deck's weakest cards. Negate, on the other hand, hits Combo pieces, Karn/Ugin/Lilly, O-Stone, IoK/Seize, Lingering Souls, removal vs our creatures, Burn spells, etc. Since we run Meddling Mage/Tidehollow Sculler, along with hand disruption, Negate is the perfect answer we need to what we don't hit.

    This deck breaks conventional rules and the deck definitely has a learning curve. It really rewards skill and knowing the meta. You begin to learn what cards you're weakest to and plan accordingly. If you take the deck at face value without actually playing it, you miss out on many clutch interactions, various angles of versatile attacks, and explosive plays the deck is capable of.

    Think of it as Esper's Junk rather than Esper Control.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from darktutor »
    That being said, Esper Twix is an entirely different beast and has been referred to as Esper's version of Junk. Ali Aintrazi recently interviewed me about my brew and the article is available on TCG Player. The updated list can be found on Facebook.com/EsperTwix

    I'm taking it to Charlotte this weekend.

    Wish you the best at GP, don't be afraid of posting links about the archetype. It looks like a sweet spin to the Esper midrange builds we've been seen lately, so I'll include it in the primer when I update it any time I can this week.

    Esper Twix Article @ TCGPlayer

    Keep up with the brews!

    Thank you! Much appreciated. If you have any questions regarding the deck, please feel free to ask. The deck has many intricate lines of play. It can also effectively utilize two different gameplans in one, either simultaneously or individually.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    That being said, Esper Twix is an entirely different beast and has been referred to as Esper's version of Junk. Ali Aintrazi recently interviewed me about my brew and the article is available on TCG Player. The updated list can be found on Facebook.com/EsperTwix

    I'm taking it to Charlotte this weekend.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Meddling Mage is excellent vs Bloom. I've had Bloom scoop after naming Primeval/Hive.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from Tengu Drum »
    I decided to take this Esper Trix deck with me to FNM yesterday and managed to make the top 4 and split. My list was mosrtly just copied aside from the sideboard which was just thrown together last minute and actually wasn't too helpful in some matchups last night.

    Round 1 RG Burn: 2-1
    Game 1 I drew poorly and just outright lost sideboard games I drew into hatecards and kept him off skullcrack and won.

    Round 2 Mono Red Burn: 0-2
    Just got beat down game 1 and sideboard game all I drew was Spellskite which almost stabilized me but skite doesn't do anything against Lava Spike when I'm at 2.

    Round 3 U/R Storm 2-1
    Game 1 I kept a hand with tons of disruption and only one land and decided to risk it because I knew he was on storm. Never drew the second land to start laying Tidehollow and Meddling Mage. Games 2 and 3 I was able to get the ball rolling with hate cards and he scooped after I took some rituals with extraction and had Giest on board.

    Round 4 Affinity 2-1
    I didn't expect anyone to actually have this at my shop but this week it finally happened and got caught with no hate. Managed to win a game off of Explosives for 1 wiping most of his board.

    Round 5 B/R Vampires: 2-0
    Not much to say here because budget deck in construction.

    Top 8 Jeskai Control 2-0
    I played tons of discard spells and tore apart his hand faster than he could stabilize with Revelation. Meddling mage on Cryptic and Tidehollow scullers slowed him down long enough for me to resolve Elspeth and Giest and end game 1. Game 2 he kept a land heavy hand to blank my early tidehollows and discard spells and we had a long game. He decided to EoT electrolyze me and went to 1 mana so I flashed in a Resto and started the beatdown as i continued to try and pick apart his hand. At one point he Edged my second white source so I couldn't play an Elspeth I drew. Eventually he had to wrath my lone Angel so I pathed it to get a plains and resolve Elspeth who closed out the game alongside a Creeping Tar Pit.

    Top 4 Split because we needed to be responsible. My possible opponents were on Anafenza Company, Bant Midrange company and B/g Obliterator aggro homebrew.

    Overall I liked this deck a lot though I do need to actually sit down and make a better sideboard. I mainly want a little more hate for burn and something to help with collected company decks which are popular at my store. I do think I finally need to make some concessions to affinity as well.

    Awesome! Happy to see your results and thanks for piloting it. It's really getting around. Your SB is definitely different but that's expected since it's a meta call.

    The manabase has changed in my list and so have some spells, but the core is largely the same. Jace is now in the main since he gives us a better gamd vs Junk and Jund. Very good vs unflipped Delvers and Pyromancer Tokens, too. Excellent draw engine as well.

    Would you mind if I share your results in my official Esper Twix FB page?


    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    All updates will be on my FB page for the deck but I will do my best to update it here as well. Videos will be up this morning of my 2 featured matches vs BW Tokens and Affinity (2-0 each).
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    If we Extract Decay, for instance, then Flash it back with Snap to hit Path, they are going to have a hard time dealing with us. This allows us to almost lock some decks out of the game.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from TheNoob »
    Played the Twix version of Esper tonite at a ~50 person event

    Here is the list

    Here is a quick summary and my feelings on the deck:

    Went 2-2 at the event
    To be fair, I had never played the deck before tonite (literally sleeved it up 10 minutes before start time). I will do a brief recap below:
    Match 1 - Esper Control (2-0). Opened with discard into Geist into Elspeth into Meddling Mage naming Verdict, that was game. Game 2 involved a lot of discard/Scullers finished with Snap/Mage beats.
    Match 2 - UWR Twin (1-2) Game 1 was a lot of back and forth. He played 2 Geist throughout the game, while I played none. I was able to win with Snap/Mage/Angel beats. Game 2 He was able to combo off with Twin, which I did not see in match 1 so was extremely not expecting. I am not sure if it is a sideboard plan or what. Game 3 was my first big mistake/super lucky top decks from my opponent. I had him down to 8 life with a Resto on the board and nothing on his side. I cast Thoughtseize and see the following: Pestermite, Keranos, Splinter Twin. He is on 3 lands and I have Creeping Tar Pit and Resto. I have him dead in 2 turns if I take the Pestermite, 3 if I don't. I figure he has to hit non-shock land (in a 3 colour deck) and a Deceiver/Mite on his next two draw steps to win. I go greedy and pick the Mite. He proceeds to top deck Plains into Deceiver...... While I draw nothing but 4 lands in a row (with 3 more coming). Bad Beats.
    Match 3 - UWR Control (2-1). Game 1 - Discard into Geist gets me there. Game 2 - is super grindy until he top decks a Crucible with 2 GQs on the table and 3 of my basics already out. He cuts me off White first, and I proceed to draw Kor Firewalker > Geist > Resto. Game 3 I rip his hand apart, land Sorin LoI and beat down with Vampires/Creeping Tar Pit.
    Match 4 Grixis Delver (0-2). Game 1 He lands some early YPs while I find no removal and have a Geist that cant attack. He is able to burn me out for 12 damage and some Tasigur beats. Game 2 I dont draw more than the 2 lands I have in my opener over 10 turns. I do draw all 3 of my Geists though. The second game I felt like if I had drawn some lands early I could have won

    I liked the deck, there is just so much disruption between Scullers, Mages and IoK/Thoughtseize. My only issue with sometimes I felt like I wanted card draw: all the decks I played against were running Serum Visions (as well as Think Twice/Thought Scour) and I felt like I did not have the selection/draw they did. Even after ripping apart there hands, I felt like I was relying on my top deck and they could draw out of it. My manabase needs some work; I was stuck without WW sometimes for Elspeth or Firewalkers; but that was my fault.

    I am a huge proponent of small, repeatable life gain against Burn. Now that most decks are running 8 spells that prevent life gain, I dont want to rely on a) them not having Skullcrack/Command when I want to cast my Timely/Rest b) getting to turn 3 with enough of a life cushion that I can cast a lifegain only spell. Firewalker does so much work against Burn/Zoo and can even come in against Grixis Delver and other decks that I want to burn you out for 6-12 damage every game.
    I think I want to try to find room for 3-4 Visions/Anticipates though I have no idea what to cut/trim.

    Thanks for sharing your results! Considering you made some changes from my version, sleeved it up 10 min before, played it for the first time, and made a couple costly mistakes, I think you did rather well. Promising for this deck.

    As we discussed in the group, Visions/Anticipate is not where this deck wants to be. If anything, 4th Charm.

    Mage should also be at 4 and I like 2 Kor/1 Timely or Rest for the Weary in board over 2 Timely. I also think we should consider dropping 1 Skite and including 1 Extirpate or Extraction. Very strong in our deck. Takes pressure off Mage too.

    For those who are interested:

    This is the official FB page of Esper Twix -


    Stay updated with its progress as it continues to adapt to the meta.
    Posted in: Midrange
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