A different take on Esper, midrange/control. This deck succeeds by managing the tempo early, controlling the midgame and flipping Thing in the Ice  Flip with cheap cantrips. Lots of synergy with Snapcaster Mage and Mutavault. Flip Docent of Perfection for a late game wincon. I have had a lot of success, against a variety of powerful decks. It started as a mono-blue, tribal Horror, control deck and has since evolved into this homebrew gem.

Still working towards perfecting the mana base, but I'll get there. Sideboard is tuned to my LGS meta.

Please feel free to ask any questions. I'm always happy to share.



limpNuZZle says... #1

I'm definitely not a blue mage, but one thing I know is that modern is a fast format and blue players hate tapping out, or even close. With that in mind, would Esper Charm not be more preferable than Pieces of the Puzzle? It's an instant which is nice and clearly more versatile. While the card selection isn't as nice, it provides so many more outs for three mana.

February 27, 2017 5:24 p.m.

BilboBaggins says... #2

limpNuZZle I like the charm and I might test it out, but the reason that I'm running with Pieces of the Puzzle is the fact that I can put the chaff in the GY. Rune Snag only gets better and Snapcaster Mage gets more toys to play with. I agree that as a sorcery it's a large investment in a control deck, but so far, it's been an allstar in this deck.

February 27, 2017 6:54 p.m.

Illusificate says... #3

There's a bit too many cards imo. I think it'd be better to stick to more of the same cards, choosing more of the cards you need so you get the combos you want more often. I find while playtesting this that it is really hard to get anywhere in a battle. I like to use as little cards as possible in my newer decks so I can rely on my combos working. I am however, no expert and it can be beneficial to have a larger variety.

February 28, 2017 4:07 p.m.

BilboBaggins says... #4

Illusificate I see what you're saying, but this is a tempo/control deck, not a combo deck. I like to have a variety of answers and this mixture provides that. I'm sorry that it didn't test well for you initially. Give it another chance though, it's surprisingly powerful.

March 1, 2017 6:07 p.m.

Illusificate says... #5

I see where you're coming from and it makes sense. BilboBaggins I think you need more cards that can keep up what this deck is good at but also doing damage to your opponents or a recommendation from me, add some mill to the deck. Tome Scour would work well because it's only 1 mana, and playing it, even one puts pressure on your opponents just knowing that they will run out of cards before you do. I don't know if that's a card you would want but with your deck, I can see a very long game and it can save you from losing by drawing as you have quite a few cards that let you draw.

March 1, 2017 6:54 p.m.

upvote for no reason other the joy it brought me to hum "somewhere that's green" after pathing a docent when playtesting this

March 4, 2017 6:36 p.m.

BilboBaggins says... #7

Thanks for the love Serendipitous_Hummingbird, much appreciated.

March 4, 2017 7:04 p.m.

ej133 says... #8


I'm an Esper player too and I really like what you're doing here, but we have to agree that Pieces of the Puzzle sucks.

My suggestions would be:

  • Thought Scour. Mills 2 cards and gets you a draw in a instant speed. Couldn't get better.
  • Think Twice. I run 4 of in my Esper. and I have to say, this card is bonkers. I mean, Esper is mostly a draw-go deck, and sometimes your opponents don't play anything worth countering and/or spending a removal on, so you can use this turn to draw a card at the end step. It's so much value. This card has an extremely overlooked potential. Same goes for Telling Time.
  • I don't really think you need so many Vapor Snags, but I believe an extra Path to Exile would be nice.
  • Is 21 lands running fine for you? I don't know, I'd feel more confortable around 22 or 23.

Anyhow, I loved your list. Sweet esper build. Keep it up!


March 15, 2017 11:23 a.m.

BilboBaggins says... #9

ej133 Thanks for your input, I appreciate you taking the time to make suggestions.

I will try to justify the reasoning behind my choices.

Pieces of the Puzzle, in most cases gives me 3 Thing in the Ice  Flip and/or Docent of Perfection  Flip triggers on the turn in which it is cast. It also gives me specific selection, as I run a lot of removal. I had both Think Twice and Thought Scour in early iterations of this build, but they both just didn't provide enough utility for what I'm trying to accomplish here.

I like Telling Time, and I might play test a little bit with it. Vapor Snag is just so versatile, as it allows me to bounce and recycle my Snapcaster Mage, save my own win cons, or bounce and counter my opponent's.

Path to Exile is obviously a premier piece of removal, but sometimes I don't want to give my opponent that mana advantage. The Paths are in here specifically as a Meta call for things like Eldrazi, etc.

Once again, I really appreciate the input. Thanks for the insight. I will definitely give Telling Time a shot!


March 15, 2017 11:47 a.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 6 months
Last updated 5 months

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 1.97
Tokens 1/1 Human Wizard
Views 715

Revision 7 (5 months ago)

-12 Polluted Delta main
+8 Mutavault main
-12 Remand main
+16 Island main
+8 Hallowed Fountain main
-2 Plains main
-8 Creeping Tar Pit main
-8 Vapor Snag main
+8 Thoughtseize main
+2 Spell Pierce main
+8 Pieces of the Puzzle main
+16 Rune Snag main
-8 Mutavault main
-4 Drowned Catacomb main
+13 Watery Grave main
+8 Creeping Tar Pit main
+3 Plains main
+8 Docent of Perfection  Flip main
-8 Hallowed Fountain main
-16 Rune Snag main
and 71 other change(s)

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