How does a deck like this win?
Posted on Oct. 8, 2018, 11:49 a.m. by dsigsbee
Here is an esper control deck. My overall question is, how does this deck consistently win? The only damage it has is one copy of Chromium, the Mutable and, maybe, Twilight Prophet. Surely the objective can't be to sift through the library every game for your one fatty -- yet, this deck is 100% competitive. I would love to hear some thoughts on how this deck or decks like this (esper control, with low to no damage output) can consistently win. Thanks all!
First, the deck you linked is Azorius (Blue/White) control and does not have any copies of Chromium, the Mutable, so I suspect you've linked the wrong deck.
Without looking at the deck, I am guessing it does win by trying to find that copy of Chromium, the Mutable.
Control is very dependent on having the spells you need, and drawing Chromium, the Mutable on turn 4, far before you can cast him, is a bit problematic--after all, that means you didn't draw into the counterspell you might need on your opponent's turn. Hence why these decks try to only play a few copies of their win condition. If you control the board long enough, you'll eventually draw into what you need--the goal is to be patient.
So, for the first X turns, these decks use hard removal (Black's kill spells; White's exile enchantments); Counterspells (Blue); and forced discard (Black--with some nifty Black/Blue cards released with Ravnica). Once their opponent has no cards in hand and no boardstate, they are no longer really a threat. Now, the control deck can switch over to offence, safe in the knowledge their opponents are unlikely to have an answer to their finisher.
Chromium is fantastic as a finisher. It can't be countered, so you can always safely field it. It can be flashed in, so you can leave mana open for to countersepll on their turn, and only cast him if the counterspell was unnecessary. It has flying, so it is hard to block. It has a large body, so can survive kill most blockers it does face. You can discard an extra land card to protect it from kill spells.
It pretty much hits every point for a control finisher--hard-hitting and difficult to kill.
October 8, 2018 12:07 p.m.
Control decks do generally have a low number of finisher cards. Control philosophy is about restricting what your opponent can do until they can do nothing useful, or potentially nothing at all. When you destroy or exile all of their permanents and counter or discard all of their spells, it doesn't matter how long it takes to win--victory will happen, and they can't act to stop it. This concept is referred to as "inevitability." Even though you don't have your big, unkillable finisher out yet, it's inevitable that you will. A couple of hard control combos are Isochron Scepter + Orim's Chant to prevent all non-instant spellcasting and combat from a player, and Nath of the Gilt-Leaf + Sadistic Hypnotist for constant discard. These are extreme examples, but they show the philosophy well.
October 8, 2018 12:17 p.m.
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is a win condition in himself.
If you manage to protect him enough to ult him, then you can just continue to cycle him. That's why he's a consistent 3 or 4 of in most control decks.
If you ult Teferi, you literally just slowly chip away at your opponent's board state until they eventually have nothing.
Even if they refuse to concede because they think you'll eventually draw yourself out first (which is inevitable as a control deck), you can use Teferi's -3 to just keep putting him back in your library and casting him each turn so you never actually draw out.
Here's me doing the same thing with Teferi for 9 minutes because this guy refused to concede. You can ignore the audio. Just random discord conversation and I actually forgot to have my mic registered for the recording - so it doesn't make much sense.
October 8, 2018 12:45 p.m.
Thanks all for the comments. No idea how the wrong deck is linked -- I've tested it three times within the last few minutes and continue to go to the esper control deck I have created. Here is another attempt. Regardless, it sounds like decks like this have two options for winning: 1) Get out a large body, protect it, swing for lethal or 2) Get your opponent to scoop.
October 8, 2018 2:34 p.m.
dsigsbee Nope, still the wrong deck. Try it in the deck-large format, and double check the URL slug you're using--spelling, spacing, whatever. If you're getting the right link, I'm not sure what's up. We're getting MTG Arena UW by OndraKonec.
October 8, 2018 5:22 p.m.
Wow, sorry. Last attempt before I just let it be. MTG:Arena Esper Control
October 8, 2018 5:47 p.m.
I see you too are a fan of Mr. Rosum. He played super well this weekend.
October 8, 2018 7:32 p.m.
also note that the "competitive meter" on this site should just be entirely ignored.
October 9, 2018 10:23 a.m.
The thing is that you don't cast your win condition until you can protect it by either nuking your opponent's entire board or just have so much countermagic/removal they couldn't stop it.
Even if you have the mana on turn 7, it's better to just wait it out before casting Chromium, the Mutable. Control advances its board state by playing lands and keeping the opponent's side clear. Just because you can cast something as the control player doesn't mean you should.