Esper Sentinel

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vintage Legal

Esper Sentinel

Artifact Creature — Human Soldier

Whenever an opponent casts their first noncreature spell each turn, draw a card unless that player pays , where X is this creature's power.

SufferFromEDHD on myrel, shield of argive

2 weeks ago

Myrel is awesome power creep weirdness. Like Grand Abolisher fused with Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin.

Smokestack um...

Omen of the Sun on curve and useful.

Knight-Captain of Eos might be overkill but something to do with all those soldiers.

Field Marshal great lord.

Esper Sentinel quality 1 drop, artifact AND a soldier.

Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

2 weeks ago


Thanks for your thoughtful feedback and I am glad you are enjoying Giada! I wanted to take a second here to make an important philosophical point about both playing this deck and playing commander in general. The point is simply that how one plays the deck is just as important as how one builds the deck. One of the deficiencies of a lot of deck hosting sites (not Tappedout) is that they only allow lists and not comments or primers, and some other sites that allow primers hide them (ex. Moxfield). This fosters the mentality that we solve most of our problems in magic gameplay with deckbuilding and not play sequencing.

I can't speak to your or anyone else's experience with play since I wasn't there, but I can say that often times when my friends play this deck they have had this problem, and yet I've never had this problem myself, despite playing with a lot of different play groups. This is why I take such care in writing my primers, because I know the deck won't be good if not played in a certain way.

Playing aggro is particularly challenging in EDH because the threat you pose is always obvious. I've played a lot of sneaky combo decks where people ignore you till you combo out, and where I have a lot of control pieces to threaten them with if they mess with me. Aggro is tougher, and learning to play aggro in EDH is more like playing midrange in other formats- you have to keep the pressure on while always resisting the urge to overextend yourself. You almost never want to dump your hand, and you need to make sure you have a card draw engine in place- don't keep an opening hand if you don't! There is an inherent tension between moving the game forward while holding back with a clear back up plan for when they blow you out. When you don't have that plan you need to be careful not to draw too much aggro until you do.

You mentioned Giada dying as well. There was at least one game where they killed Giada four times. I still kept the pressure on and won the game even without her, and even the mana to spare to recast her all those times. They later regretted targeting her and wasting their removal when there are much scarier threats in the deck. Once again, people try to solve this problem by putting in all sorts of protection pieces for her. In my view, this is unnecessary and wastes slots on stuff that doesn't synergize with the rest of the deck. If they are motivated to kill her they will, but you can win without her. In the storyline Giada died to save New Capenna, and we are happy to sacrifice her a few times as well since she is low cmc and comes back easy when we need her. Because we have low cmc, as long as we keep getting lands and cards we can just keep pumping threats out faster than they can keep up with.

I personally think the weenie approach is the optimal way to play Giada, but that isn't saying that other approaches are wrong, since some might want to play her this way and ultimately commander is a game of self-expression in both deckbuilding and play. Some, for example, just want to play battlecruiser angels because battlecruiser angels are fun. I don't personally feel this approach gets the most out of Giada's abilities, but if someone finds that it is fun to play and enjoys that approach then more power to them!

As regards budget, it ultimately doesn't have too much to do with it. I am adding Smuggler's Share now that the price is what it should be, but I don't think the deck would suffer much without it. And most people I play with are smart enough to pay the tithe on Esper Sentinel, meaning that it would be less reliable draw in this deck. I may eventually add it anyway since the tax is its own sort of advantage, but I am not quite convinced it is worth it yet (though I am open to hearing from those who have used it in this list). Avacyn, Angel of Hope feels like she belongs in the deck and may go in one day, but the high cmc is it's own drawback. I don't think more money will make this deck substantially better- it mostly improves via experience with play. I spend a lot of time after games analyzing moves I should have made better or whether I should have kept a given opening hand, and these things have improved gameplay the most.

I do want to emphasize that I don't say any of this to question the quality of your or anyone else's gameplay or tastes in deckbuilding, but merely to make a point I've found helpful in EDH generally and with this deck in particular. When I first started playing I modified my decks a lot when games didn't go right, and I found quickly that extensive modding often ended up breaking things that worked and often didn't fix the problems, causing me to be more conservative with deck modifications and more reflective on lines of play and the deckbuilding philosophy most suitable to a given general. At any rate, I hope these reflections are of help to someone!

Mrnibbles57 on Ang-Hellic

1 month ago

I would do 4 Esper Sentinel. Best bet.

wallisface on Yorions gone - what cards …

1 month ago

So, this is my current thinking for this list - basically moving Thalia to the sideboard, and trimming some cards i’d rather not see multiples of. Also ditching Ephemerate:

Land (23)

Creature (31)

Artifact (6)

Sideboard (15)

Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

2 months ago


Thanks! I will. I'll probably add some cards soon- I've been looking so slot in Esper Sentinel and/or Smuggler's Share, and I'd love to put Avacyn, Angel of Hope in, so those may be coming depending on how my experiences are going. I'll probably put down a few more gameplay reports too.


I'm not running Maskwood Nexus and never have. It's on the maybe-board because someone suggested it, more for the second ability than the first. Making a changeling every turn is a way to pump out angels/counters and some may choose this, but I personally don't like changelings in this deck and as such am not running it, and probably won't. Gauntlet of Power is a good card and is very similar to Caged Sun. The reason I am not running them is that they are too mana intensive and often get destroyed before you can take advantage of them. That being said in a slower or more removal-light meta they can be amazing.

Necramus on Queza, the Queefer

2 months ago

Okay. So, I think you should really lean into the control/combo shell. This deck could use combos like Sanguine Bond and Exquisite Blood, with some added redundancy in the forms of Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose and Marauding Blight-Priest, or Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Triskelion to close out the game. In order to accomplish this, I think you should cut a ton of the creatures and really lean into board wipes, control spells, and resource denial.

Things like:

Arterial Flow

The Meathook Massacre

Dovin's Veto

Spell Pierce


Ghostly Prison


Revenge of Ravens


Wrath of God

Supreme Verdict

Time Wipe


Mana Drain

Rhystic Study

Smothering Tithe

Sheoldred, the Apocalypse

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Vampiric Tutor

Demonic Tutor

Search for Glory

Idyllic Tutor

Enlightened Tutor

Mystical Tutor

Cyclonic Rift

Murderous Rider

Feed the Swarm

Infernal Grasp

Fierce Guardianship

Deadly Rollick

Fateful Absence

Underworld Dreams

Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted


Solve the Equation

Baleful Strix

Drown in the Loch

Mana Leak

Professor Onyx

Narset, Parter of Veils

Nihil Spellbomb

Arcane Signet

Azorius Signet

Orzhov Signet

Dimir Signet

Talisman of Dominance

Talisman of Progress

Esper Sentinel

Lion Sash

Swords to Plowshares

Deep Gnome Terramancer

Archivist of Oghma

Teferi's Protection

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

Teferi, Time Raveler

Teferi, Master of Time

Dig Through Time

Drannith Magistrate

Malevolent Hermit  Flip

Aven Mindcensor


Aura of Silence

Sea Gate Restoration  Flip


Sphinx's Revelation

Authority of the Consuls

On Thin Ice

Generous Gift


Gitaxian Probe


Gadwick, the Wizened

The Magic Mirror

Echo of Eons

Narset's Reversal

Swift Reconfiguration

Land Tax

Blind Obedience

Darksteel Mutation

Grasp of Fate



Jace, the Mind Sculptor

You could also do cute stuff like Phyrexian Unlife + Solemnity, giving yourself time to wipe the board again or go for the win with Peer into the Abyss. You should also consider taking a look at your mana base.

I'd suggest going for some fetches, checks, and shocks like:

Flooded Strand

Polluted Delta

Marsh Flats

Hallowed Fountain

Glacial Fortress

Watery Grave

Drowned Catacomb

Godless Shrine

Isolated Chapel

Deserted Beach

Shattered Sanctum

Shipwreck Marsh

Command Tower

You also have way too many plains right now. Even before you get the lands I just named, you should cut 6 Plains for 4 Swamp and 2 Island.

I know I've given you a lot of suggestions. I think if you tried putting a list together with all the cards I named, plus some of the bangers from your current list and you'd have a badass deck! Don't worry about trying to do all that right now, though. See which look most appealing/are in your price range and add those first. A lot of these should be long term goals!

Don't tell Rett I gave you so many suggestions XD


Voralnic on Proliferate Fear

2 months ago


Removed: Vampiric Tutor

Added: Esper Sentinel

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