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Merchant's Dockhand Discussion
1 month ago
Hexcimal, I'm glad you like the deck, and I can definitely see where you are coming from on all these points. Regarding Marionette Master, I'll admit, I mainly put her in as a late game drop that was simultaneously better and cheaper than Angel of Invention, but I still don't see a reason to not put a card in because of cards they could be playing. I understand control and burn are huge, but if everybody put in cards that can't be countered and the like, then everybody would be playing control. I mean, every card has a way to be defeated or can be easily removed, even enchantments are getting popular enough that people are at least putting some anti-enchantments in sideboards. Like I said, I see where you are coming from, but it's risks like this that makes the game fun. Every deck makes some kind of risk. Anyway, To each his own.
Next up is Tezzeret the Schemer. I'll admit, I was considering Vraska for this role a little more mainly because Tezzeret doesn't create treasures or servos, although, looking at him again, I could see him working pretty decently in here. Even with his pseudo-treasures. At the very least, he takes a few extra hits for me, giving me breathing room to create. Not to mention his removal, if needed.
Following is Deadeye Plunderers is more of a meatstick for blocking, or getting rid of blockers. Usually, when I look for cards to go in a deck, I look for synergy with the main theme first, but ultimately (usually) choose cards that happen to synergies. This guy may not be too helpful in the way of producing treasures, but I chose it for the first ability. When the idea is to sit back and let a combo happen, then the last thing you want is someone to outswing you right before your combo is done. Plus, the second ability does come up more often than you would think.
As for Contraband Kingpin and Merchant's Dockhand, I'll have to consider them, I mean, they are easily removable, but I can't ignore their usability. Honestly, though, I do believe I have a good amount of scry and draw with Hidden Stockpile and Treasure Map, but Merchant's Dockhand wouldn't be bad at all...(carefully stroking beard).
In all seriousness, these are great suggestions, I'm glad you like the deck, thank you so much for commenting, and I'll take these into consideration, especially on what to take out, although, I might have a few ideas...
1 month ago
Hello! Thank you for posting this; I've been looking to make my first-time plunge into Standard, and would to play Esper (as it's my favorite color combination). I don't like Esper Gifts and I've been trying really hard to make Esper Mechanized Riches work in a control shell, but you and your friend may be correct with this build's direction. (Unfortunately, what I've been brewing just isn't working out the way I would've wished.) That being said, I hope I can offer any suggestions that'll be worth considering.
I like Marionette Master on paper, but I feel it just isn't good enough to warrant three slots in the main board (especially if it's just an alternate win-con). It costs too much for a 1/3 body pre-Fabricate, and can either be too easily countered or killed before its Fabricate ability resolves. (For example, Abrade, Essence Scatter, and even Aether Meltdown will kill its potential. There are many 2 CMC cards that answer this 6 CMC card.) Not saying that it should be cut completely, but more than 1 is unnecessary imo. The 2+ slots could go to something that would have more interaction with the opponent's board state. For example, Tezzeret the Schemer is making a wonderful presence in the developing meta with any deck that runs artifacts, and with all of the treasures, servos, and nontoken artifacts you're running he'd be a solid choice. Additionally, his ultimate is yet another win-con. Similarly, I dislike Deadeye Plunderers in general and could be considered when cutting to open a few more slots for other main board options. Contraband Kingpin or Herald of Anguish are both making a good presence right now, and I'm a fan of theoretically trying out Merchant's Dockhand to dig for an alternate win-con when needed.
Otherwise it's an interesting deck idea, and I like where it's heading. :) I know a W/B tokens deck was piloted to 9th place this past weekend in Dallas, and a couple Grixis Improvise decks are doing pretty well. Good luck with this deck, and I hope it develops into something good!
1 month ago
I have considered white and red for a while. I think red is better suited to an aggressive Grixis pirates shell with cards like Captain Lannery Storm and Trove of Temptation. Overall red doesn't seem particularly worthwhile. White, on the other hand, offers cards like Anointed Procession, Fumigate, Farm / Market and so on. The reason I'm not running white is mainly two reasons:
It doesn't offer enough that can't be acheived through (albeit worse) means in black and blue. As you mentioned above, The inconsistency could be an issue and doesn't seem worth it to me.
I am a budget player. I'm not interested in sinking very much money into standard, especially because I am new to it. Having a 3-color landbase could be fairly expensive and more than I'm willing to spend.
My opinion on Mechanized Production is somewhat mixed. While it only requires 7 treasures on upkeep (Gives you one then checks for 8), it is much more vulnerable to other control decks. It is vulnerable to artifact removal, and if the artifact it is on gets bounced, it is gone permanently. The lower CMC is pretty much irrelevant because I'd most likely be casting it or RiR when I've reached their treasure threshold so I only need to protect them for a turn.
I've been considering 2-3 Field of Ruin as a means of getting rid of the new flip lands. Some of them are quite powerful and require answers that my deck doesn't have right now.
Merchant's Dockhand is a card I forgot existed. It doesn't strike me as a bad card in this deck, so I might try playtesting with it. It seems to have a similar effect as Search for azcanta 's flip, which is quite powerful.
Thank you for the suggestions and support!
1 month ago
Thank you for posting this, and thank you to everyone who's provided good advise for helping this type of deck develop. With the release of Ixalan I'll be plunging into standard for the first time, and this deck has made me the most excited to get started right away!
Now, I'm currently leaning heavily towards the three-color splash for my own build, as Esper is one of my favorite combinations. I want to make it work really badly, but I don't want to sacrifice viability to do so. I'll try to compare running WUB over just UB, since Grixis isn't the current direction I want to take. (Though, I'm certain someone else could make a compelling argument for it.)
Debates to Support:
Excellent pool of SB options which include better answers against artifacts/enchantments, plus Authority of the Consuls/Kinjalli's Sunwing to provide further stabilization against aggro, and Consulate Crackdown/Hour of Revelation to check against mirror matches/similar decks.
Debates to Oppose
Three colors instead of two. Color balancing will be necessary. (Treasure and Etherium help to rectify this con.)
Greater risk of inconsistency.
UB already provides everything needed to control the board (except for when enchantments/artifacts manage to get past counterspells and resolve).
Too many options to choose from and not enough space to squeeze into 75.
Tldr; am I hyping myself up too much for esper when I shouldn't try to change what isn't broken, or do you truly believe it could still make for a viable build?
Additionally, I'm all for Mechanized Production being included at least in SB for faster and more consistent wins. I was thinking a 2:3 split between it and RiR somewhere in the 75; especially if any Gearhulks are being used.
Further Thoughts on Specific Cards
It would shut down several land-fetching spells/abilities. (Which if I'm understanding correctly, many ramp decks in standard run).
Flash. You are able to keep mana for counterspells available if needed, and can cast it in response to relevant spells/triggers on opponent's turn.
Fairly sizeable CMC to consider, with counterspell slots it has to compete with.
Another card I'm interested in is Merchant's Dockhand.
A turn 1 drop if you've got nothing else in hand. Chump blocker that trumps 1/1's and trades with any other X/1's.
Ability which provides utility for Treasures, Etherium cells, excess Dockhands, and Gearhulks to dig through library for win-cons, and can be used during opponent's end step if counterspells weren't necessary.
Cheap artifact for artifact matters.
Another creature in a control deck.
Dead draw late into the game when nearly any other card would make for a better draw.
Ability costs 4 CMC and tapping to activate, so it can't be used the turn it's drawn.
Again, thank you for posting this and thank you for your time! I plan on buying cards within the next couple of days, so if you get any updates let me know! I'll also post my deck when it's created and keep updates with it.
Let me know if you'd like any advise on specific cards you're debating over! I'll give my (admittedly naive) input if requested. Cheers, and good luck!
1 month ago
Thank you for posting this. I'm interested in building a similar deck, so someone else's insight is helpful.
Cards I'm not a fan of include Sailor of Means, Prosperous Pirates, or Depths of Desire. They give Treasures, but they also take up valuable slots that could be used to help provide better synergy for your deck.
It's very possible we are just building with different visions in mind for our decks. You may be focusing more on aggression with the Treasures as alternate win-cons, whereas I wish to focus on it being my main win-con in a UB or Esper control shell. If any cards shine while I'm testing and building, I'll update you. Best of luck! :)
1 month ago
1 month ago
What are your thoughts on:
I feel like Hope of Ghirapur would provide a lot of utility
Merchant's Dockhand to give you a method to dig for your combo pieces or answers to specific threats while providing early protection that synergizes with the rest of your deck.