Okay so Esper Control. This will be a mildly extensive write up of esper control. Bear with and read through before making a judgement.

I built this out of a desire for a true control deck in standard. I've tested it on MTGO to get a good feel for the deck and see where it lies in competitive terms. Needless to say it's proven eye opening and interesting to say the least.

The way it works is fairly simple. Early turns consist of getting lands and countering essential enemy spells along with exiling essential cards. Disallow can stop triggered effects that really make situations worse. Void shatter can counter then exile a spell you don't want to see come back.

The main threat is Elusive Tormentor. It's really a sleeper card in terms of control. It's really strong against removal and can present a constant threat even after dropping field wipes while transformed.

As for the games I've played a plethora of decks and turned out really good results:

Match 1: R/B Vampires: 2-0

Game 1: it was a fairly easy game. Dropping a field wipe pretty much sealed the game and make it impossible for them to come back. By the time they could get anything useful the field was heavily controlled where nothing could stick.

Game 2: I put in authority and took out a few unnecessary counter-spells. My health didn't dip as dangerously low this time around but the results were the same.

Match 2: Jund Energy: 2-0

Game 1: It went similar to R/B vampire with me trying to stall till I hit a sweeper. I hit one 6-7 turns in and the game turned around a few turns later making it impossible for the opponent to get a good enough board presence.

Game 2: I took out a few direct removal for authority due to cards like hydra which have good counter abilities to targeted removal. This game went quite similar to the last.

Match 3: G/U Marvel: 2-0

Game 1: This was just so lopsided it wasn't funny. I got a great hand and they mulliganed to 5. From the outset they couldn't get anywhere.

Game 2: I saw they tried to drop marvel from game 1 and just went for better counters to stop the combo. He sided in strong counter spells. It was a little less lopsided but he was never able to resolve marvel.

Match 4: Grixis Amalgam Reanimator: 2-1

Game 1: This was a hard match up. Running sweepers that destroy don't exactly deal with reanimator well. I managed to draw a decent amount and keep the field clear. My life dropped to 1 at one point but he couldn't make anything work between cards like disallow. Tormentor won me the game since he couldn't make targeted removal stick.

Game 2: This one was definitely his to win. He sided in hard hand attack and managed to to drop turn 2 trangress, turn 3 lost legacy, turn 4 creature, turn 5 mindbender. It sucked and most of my hand got destroyed. However i did mange to get ahold of a few sweepers he didn't get through the hand attack and got him to 8 life before dying to constant reanimator.

Game 3: Talk about a tight game. Sided in descend and managed to get it off during a large field presence and him going hellbent. From there he had no hope of getting anywhere near the same field presence. I won shortly after while still having descent health.

Match 5: G/B Constrictor: 1-2

Game 1: This was my only match loss. The first game I got sweepers early and just came back around with tormentor.

Game 2: This was rough. I got him close to dying but I made a mistake by awakening a planar outburst and he in turn awakened a ruinous path the very next turn and swung in for the win.

Game 3: I put in consuls but once again got no sweepers. Drew 3 consul's in a row which kept me in the game but ultimately didn't keep me alive long enough to find a sweeper.

Match 6: Temur Tower: 2-0

Game 1: Wanna talk about a match tower hates, this is hit. Just straight off the game countered every tower with cards like void shatter and exiled creatures that managed to stick. 1 sweeper later and no cards in my opponents hand he scoops.

Game 2: I side in negate, 2 extra anguished and took the game quite handily.

Overall my experience with the deck has been incredibly positive. It's strong and manages to come back from the brink despite being close to game loss a few times. The side board could be tweaked ever so slightly but ultimately it pairs well against it's biggest weaknesses. I plan on seeing if I can transition this into amonkhet and maybe make it to game day.


Updates Add

Match 1: Aetherborn Tribal: 2-1

Game 1: Was a simple match up that went fairly quick. Once I saw Yahenni I countered it then a follow up sweeper made the game mine.

Game 2: I couldn't get a single sweeper to save my life. He came down hard and while I managed to counter Yahenni I couldn't keep up with the overall field presence.

Game 3: I managed to get ahold of one of my Authorities which stalled enough to land a sweeper and drop tormentor to win the game.

Match 2: Mardu Superfriends: 0-2

Game 1: Was rough as I don't have a ton to deal with superfriends in the unsided deck. Too many planeswalkers and couldn't get enough counters early on to prevent them from coming.

Game 2: Sided in path, extra anguish, horribly awry, and negate. Didn't draw a single one o_<. Got tormentor down and managed to take out gideon with it but a follow up gideon the following turn made it harder to come back. Put up a better fight but still not enough without getting the sideboard cards.

Match 3: Temur Tower: 2-0

Game 1: Was a fairly close game. He did try to drop tower once and torrential twice. However countering torrential and tower right into tormentor proved hard to deal with for them.

Game 2: He mulliganed down to 4 then scooped.

Match 4: Temur Tower: 1-2

Game 1: It was an interesting match up. He definitely came off easier because of hitting light counter magic and removal at the beginning. Definitely a more control version compared to the other tower matches I played. He came out ahead in the long run despite the game going REALLY long.

Game 2: I sided in a few extra instant hate and some negates. He apparently went the beat down route which didn't work. 2 sweepers later and a impossible to deal with tormentor won the game rather nicely with little trouble.

Game 3: This one hurt BAD. He came out hard and fast with Cub and tracker. I couldn't keep up and I couldn't find a sweeper. It was over by turn 6.


Compare to inventory
Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 year

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 3.76
Tokens 1/1 Vampire Knight, Nixilis
Folders Standard, Decks, Standard SHit I LIKE
Top rank #18 on 2017-04-05
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 4 See all

1 year ago)

+3 Glimmer of Genius main
+1 Scatter to the Winds main
-1 Planar Outburst main
-2 Ugin's Insight main
-1 Painful Truths main