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Commander / EDH Control W/U/B (Esper)



This is a soft control durdle deck, our main playgame is surviving to late game and win with one of our wincons.

This is meant to be played in a casual and mid competitive meta, that does not mean it wont do well in other metas, but it may not be appropiate for very competitive metas full of early combos.

About the deck principles

I play EDH mainly with the same playgroup but sometimes I play MTGO and sometimes I go my LGS and play with random people.

This deck is built to play with my normal PG so a lot of the cards decisions are made taken in consideration this reality.

My meta consists in various decks, we have Atraxa, Praetors' Voice in her different versions (PW, counters, everything except infect), Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Breya, Etherium Shaper and a lot of T1-T3 commanders.

The playgroup members don't like infinite early combos (they are allowed, they just don't like it), or extra turns.

There are a lot of midrange/tempo decks, some aggro/control, etc.

There are many ways to build a control deck, like this

  • Stax: Nobody really likes playing against Stax strategies, having a couple of Stax package is a thing, like propaganda, but having the complete package of Winter Orb and friends will annoy the table very much and drain the fun of your friends, so is a no-no unless your meta is full of high competitive decks that can only be stopped with Stax.

  • Permission decks: Some decks packs tons of counter-spells and bounce effects, they try to counter every threat, kill the ones that couldn't counter, bounce the things everyone have untill they can lock the table out.

There are more ways to build control, but both discussed strategies want to develop their board and get late game to win (as every single control deck) but to get there they need to prevent other people play, so it kind of breaks the fun for the rest.

With my version of Oloro, I am trying to win as many games as I can, developing my board, surviving to late game but trying to not interfere too much with other people's plans (unless their plan is killing me off curse)

The first turns we want to establish our board, our mana sources, try to get some card advantage and start to pillowfort.

We want to be in the shadows, we want the other people to play their stuff, we wont be countering anything at this point, we won't be casting nothing that can aggro the table such as Humility, ideally we want Propaganda in the table, mana rocks and not much more. We want to be the lower threat of the table.

Most decks plays creatures, and people playing creatures normally want them to attack, some times they will attack us because they consider us the biggest threat or sometimes they will attack us just because we can't block for the lack of creatures.

If it's not commander damage we can take some damage, so let them have it if the number is kind of reasonable, but because sometimes is not or everyone is attacking us, this is the time for one of our boardwipes, we run 10 boardwipes so we should always have 1 in hand.

If nobody else died, we will be perceived as "the threat" because normally we will be in the high ground now and we will be having a 3v1 fight, that's why is important to try to assist a player kill a another early

If everything went right we can use one of our wincons we will discuss in the right section such as Aetherflux Reservoir

Card selection

We won't be covering every single choice, but at least the more relevants.

Commander is a 100 singleton game, variance is fun but we need consistency, we need to be able to "trust" we will draw what we need and that's why we pack some effects X10

While we have built-in card draw in our commander, it is just not enough, we need more consistent ways to draw more cards, this are my favorite ones right now:

  • Rhystic Study: Ok, people hate it because you are always asking if they will be paying the extra mana, but the card advantage is real and... they don't really need to pay to play their stuff, they just need to pay if they want to suppress your draw.

  • Well of Lost Dreams it is great, every turn we have guaranteed 2 life, so we can be drawing 2 extra cards every upkeep by paying those , it gets insane with Alhammarret's Archive

  • Necropotence: By far my favorite draw spell of all times, triple black is an annoyance but is worth it

  • Consecrated Sphinx: If she last a single turn you will be drawing 6 cards of it, so profit!! if left unchecked is totally game breaking

  • Phyrexian Arena the life cost is absorbed by our trigger so, why not? some people argue against it because it takes 2 turns to get the same value that Sign in Blood and cost 1 more, and if it gets removed you don't even draw a card, while this is true, there are a few things to consider

  • My games are long, so normally Arena will be there for more than 5 turns

  • If anybody chooses to waste their enchant removal spell on my arena I will allowed it, is one spot removal none of my real win-cons will have to fear for.

People will attack you because you have more life than they, you have no creatures or just have won too many games with this decks, so whatever the reason is, we need to prevent or discourage attacks.

The first things we have for prevention are Propaganda and Ghostly Prison, the usual suspects, but it is not enough, so lets take a look to my selection of pillows

Delaying Shield: You may think at first sight, hey, this only delays the damage, how good can it be? well young padawan, remember 2 things, first you can have 10000 life and 21 commander damage will still kill you (10 infect also), so if a voltron commander hits you for 10, it gets prevented and THEN the shield is the one damaging you so you avoid the commander damage, also we play in this deck Solemnity and the tutor for it, so if we have both in play we take zero damage.

Glacial Chasm Because I just talk about Solemnity it seems like the right time to talk about this land which combos perfectly, remember that Sun Titan also gets lands from your GY so we can retrieve it

Righteous Aura: Paying 2 life and to "skip all damage that "a source" can make us is OP, remember you "choose" the source, it does not target so it surpass hex-proof

Solitary Confinement : If we get our draw engine on, the cost of this is cheap

People playing creatures wants them to survive and to work, so we can have some dis incentives like this:

No Mercy: if a creature damages you it gets destroyed

Aurification: If a creature connects it is converted into a wall (walls cant attack)

Sometimes people play nasty things we need to get rid out, and for those we have this package

Path to Exile and Swords to Plowshares: for exiles a creature, exiles ys way better than destroy not matter the cost.

Because we may be threatened by enchants, artifacts or PW we also want them in exile, that's why we run Anguished Unmaking and Utter End

Creature damage is a real thing, more often than not we will be surrounded by swarms of creatures and get attacked, so we have 10 mass removal spells (yes ten)

Bonus track

I consider the next two cards boardwipes, even when they are not strictly that, I have consider many times the option of removing those 2 from my deck but then I remember a lot of broken stuff and it changes my mind back

Normally even when it is in my hand I am very reluctant to use it because of the impact it does against everyone and not only the "main offender", but sometimes is needed.

  • Spreading Plague: This is another card I always think cutting off because it is a constant board wipe that actually prevents people to play creatures at all but as I said, sometimes is needed, if you are not getting attacked more than whats tolerable then you may not use it, but if not... it's on!!!

We don't play many counters, but we want to have always one with us, we will normally let everything pass except for things that can hurt us badly and we can't get rid of those any other way.

Imagine someone plays Havoc Festival, if I have a removal like Utter End I will let it resolve and then kill it, because I need my counters to protect my wincons, but if I don't have any removal then ok, it will be countered.

Just remember, let people play their stuff unless that really wrecks your plan or you just know if a piece of the combo that would win the game for them.

For counters we use Counterspell and Negate but we need extra protection

Swan Song for just protects our stuff from removal, prevents combos, etc.

Disallow: Counterspell and Stifle in the same card? yes please

Cryptic Command: everybody likes to have choices, and this spell gives us 4 so, it is a must

Ending the misery of the table - Win conditions

Because at some point of the game it needs to end in our favor

All my wincons are kind of "lame" from a competitive point of view, that's why you wont see some usual suspects that take the game at T4. All my wincons needs a lot of time and work to be deployed

Aetherflux Reservoir: This is the main wincon, if we get life points enough we can one shot the table, also If we have 51+ life and enough mana to cast and use Sydri, Galvanic Genius we don't need much life to combo-out.

Sanguine Bond + Exquisite Blood: this is a well known combo, as I said in the introduction, it is "lame" from a competitive point of view, but when the table is locked out/controlled, we can get this done.

Sanguine Bond + Venser's Journal and shenanigans: I have won a couple of times draining the life of my opponents just with the enchant and some huge life gains, I normaly end the game having 20+ cards in hand so that's makes 20 damage each turn

Luminarch Ascension can end the game if you have a soft lock

Felidar Sovereign and/or Test of Endurance are pretty good cards you can use as win conditions.

There are 2 mainly reasons because I don't play this cards in my deck right now

The first one is because people in my playgroup consider those cards "unfair" and unfun to play against

The second reason is because the objective of the deck is to lay low and discourage attacks on us, and if your opponents knows you are playing those cards then they will have to attacks us a lot in order to keep our life total in check and way below 40.

If your build is a full life gain Oloro that can actually came on top of the life even with 3 opponents attacks on you then, this 2 cards may deserve a spot

Example of one magical Christmas (but real) game I won

  • Turn 0 - Leyline of Anticipation
  • Turn 1 - land
  • 2 Turn - land (and EOT of my last opponent signet)
  • Turn 3 - land (and EOT of my last opponent test of endurance)
  • Turn 4- I won

Good Stuff and synergies

I like to draw a lot of cards because I like to have all the answers I like to have possibilities, so we need to increase our maximum hand size

Reliquary Tower: This is a staple in EDH, and we can tutor it with Tolaria West if needed

Thought Vessel: a mana rock that gave us the effect we are looking for

Venser's Journal: All star of what we need/look for

  • Land Tax: I play 36 lands in this deck an a lot of mana rocks, but you may be surprised if I tell you how many times I got manascrewed, now that I play this card I was able to solve the issue

Tithe: pretty much the same for land tax, mana screw is real, I have 8 targets for it (5 plains and 3 nonbasic)

  • Hushwing Gryff sometimes a ETB trigger can wreak our plans or start a combo, this guy just stop it

  • Meddling Mage and Nevermore: certain commanders are just too powerful for us if unchecked, I was reluctant for a long time to include any of this cards because I feel them too oppressive and in time, if I need to test other cards I probably will cut one or the two for the slot. But meanwhile this two can stop some broken stuff

  • Snapcaster Mage, we usually don't have a huge graveyard but is nice to count on it for extra value/options

-Sun Titan: A lot of our enchants and artifacts are 3cmc or less, so we can recur those every turn, he also brings back lands and he is a 6/6 body with vigilance after all

-Elspeth, Sun's Champion: she is a wrath and a token generator, if left unchecked things can go wild (never happens)

As my friend Khadagar always says "Knowledge is power" and being able to see what your opponents plays before playing your stuff is a great advantage.

Also, being able to cast a Wrath of God at instant speed when the entire army of one opponent is heading towards you is priceless

Or to "cheat" mana for comboing out, imagine this scenario, you have 5 mana, AEOT of your opponent from the right you cast Exquisite Blood, then is your turn, in your upkeep Oloro triggers and you in response cast Sanguine Bond, is GG and that is just one of the many interactions you can make with instant speed when you not supouse to

  • Leyline of Anticipation: if its on your starting hand is nuts, if not... is great too

  • Vedalken Orrery: same cmc as Leyline, not as broken and weaker because is an artifact and there a lot of artifact hate and stealing but just great as it gets.

Back to the future (possible next inclusions)

This sections is with cards I want to try or I think I may try, if eny of this gets some play in my deck then it will be removed from this section and added to the right one.

If I try one of this cards and doesn't work, I will put that in "discarded ideas" section

Restoration specialist Show

Dawn of hope Show

Approach of the second sun Show

Omniscience Show

Still Under construction


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Date added 2 months
Last updated 2 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.28
Tokens 1/1 Soldier, 4/4 Angel, 1/1 Bird
Folders Oloro, NetDecks, Cool Ideas
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