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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:27 pm 
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gah, i totally just got joker's joke. I'm ashamed it took me this long.

good one, man.

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:39 pm 
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gah, i totally just got joker's joke. I'm ashamed it took me this long.

good one, man.

Last train into the station, as per usual.

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:54 pm 
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Do aggro threads get this long?


It's a Morg thread; you know I got that juice.

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:44 am 
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So I brewed up a new (to me) esper deck and it's a soul crushing machine.

If anyone wants the deets I'll post my build.

Edit: photobucket sucks.

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Last edited by Sl33pHumper on Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:29 pm 
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Looks like you have 5 Drowned Catacomb in that pic. Clearly hacks!i kid.


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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:24 pm 
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Fwiw this is my version;

Creatures (3):
1x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
1x Disciple of the Ring
1x Torrential Gearhulk

Instant/Sorcery (31):
3x Fatal Push
3x Blessed Alliance
3x Censor
2x Essence Scatter (swapped Unsubstantiate for these, as it's a permanent answer as opposed to a temporary bounce)
2x Scatter to the Winds
1x Broken Concentration
3x Spell Shrivel
1x Murder (tempted to make this Grasp of Darkness, as it has the same colour restriction but cheaper and can get around indestructible)
2x Anguished Unmaking
2x Glimmer of Genius (could easily be Hieroglyphic Illumination, but I like the Scry2 and the energy can fuel Hubs).
2x Languish
1x Confirm Suspicions
1x Planar Outburst (really felt relying on 2x Languish for sweeping was not enough, so I cut the third Unsubstantiate for this)

Walkers (5):
Liliana, The Last Hope
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
Ob Nixilis Reignited
Sorin, Grim Nemesis

Lands (26):
2x Swamp
2x Plains
3x Island
2x Shambling Vent
2x Drowned Catacomb
2x Glacial Fortress
2x Isolated Chapel
2x Sunken Hollow
2x Prairie Stream
4x Evolving Wilds
3x Aether Hub

Leaving out Unsubstantiate is a point of contention, as it can be useful to bounce a Tutelage or Vehicle or something that snuck through while I'm tapped out. But I feel more reliable early 2cmc counters (essence scatter) is more important.
Not sure about Fatal Push as a 3x - We only have the Ev Wilds to trigger Revolt. Maybe 2x and include a Grasp of Darkness or something..?

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:23 pm 
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So I brewed up a new (to me) esper deck and it's a soul crushing machine.


Can u post that pls?


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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:19 pm 
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I ended up cutting back to 3x Spell Shrivel and adding another hard counter in Broken Concentration.

Slightly harder on the mana but I'm just finding opponents are able to pay the (4) far too often. Especially when this deck almost always takes victory in the late game (barring a turn 3 Lily or turn 4 Gideon).

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:51 am 
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Moheekan wrote:
So I brewed up a new (to me) esper deck and it's a soul crushing machine.


Can u post that pls?

Will do Moheekan. Sorry to make you wait a week.

Cruel Esper control:

Instant/Sorcery (27):
3 x Fatal Push
3 x Censor
2 x Pull From Tomorrow
2 x Essence Scatter
1 x Disperse
3 x Grasp of Darkness
2 x Scatter to the Winds
3 x Broken Concentration
2 x Languish
2 x Never // Return
2 x Confirm Suspicions
2 x Commit // Memory

Enchantments (4)
3 x Cast out
1 x Cruel Reality

Walkers (3):
1 x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 x Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 x Sorin, Grim Nemesis

Lands (26):
4 x Swamp
1 x Plains
4 x Island
2 x Sunken Hollow
2 x Prairie Stream
2 x Shambling Vent
2 x Drowned Catacomb
2 x Glacial Fortress
2 x Isolated Chapel
4 x Evolving Wilds
1 x Submerged Boneyard


The only :w: non-lands in the deck are the 3x cast out and Sorin. Shambling vent is an important card in this deck as well since it's the only creature. Disperse and to a lesser extent commit has value in this deck to not only bounce our opponents resolved threats to be possibly played again into a counter but can also be used to save one of the 7 permanents in the deck from removal. If a cast out has a powerful card under it then hopefully you can counter enchant removal instead of bouncing it. I would disperse Cruel Reality if it's targeted as it's a major win con in this deck.

You could bounce a vent but I probably wouldn't fight over losing a land unless the situation is dire. Keeping your vents alive is important vs some decks and thats when you need to counter on your turn to keep them out of the gy vs those types of decks.

If you are in the control mirror or a mid range deck is able to deal with all the win cons (p-dubs, vents and Cruel Reality) the game isn't lost. Wait for an opportunity to cast memmory and we start anew.
This deck intentionally playes no cards that exile our own gy cards so that we can play memory without missing pieces of our deck.

If you can Ult Ob nix you can win that turn by casting memory.

I skipped playing with Unmaking because the the self-bolt wonder is bad vs aggro.

This deck may die to resolved hexproof if you don't find your 1 copy of cruel reality quick. If you want more insurance against that I suggest pulling out Languish for Planar outburst, and if you really want to shore up that weakness pull out Grasp for Blessed alliance and change the mana to accomidate more :w:.

I like the consistency of playing a dimir control deck with a splash of :w: for 4 cards. I feel so sinister playing it.

Enjoy.

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:42 pm 
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I love Cruel Reality as a win con. I feel like it is an additional planeswalker.

I have been playing around with Esper, and I am liking it. Running few counters and many more planeswalkers. Blue Hulk as the only creature.

The other major change is I am running 4 maps and 24 land. I rarely have mana problems. Maps and Wilds thin out the deck while triggering revolt for Push. I even am trying out Tezz partly because of the Maps. Not an outstanding Planeswalker, especially vs agro, but he does have to be dealt with. Between 2 Lil Oaths and Push off of his Mana Token, he can have some protection if cast on T4. Jury is still out on him.

Overall, vulnerable to slow draws vs good agro and vs heavy counterspells. As I tune, I will start looking for a good answer to counterspells besides more counters.

Also, on a sidenote, Censor has not been as good for me as I feel it should be. It is out now. I feel like it should be amazing, but maybe my deck is to active to take full advantage of it? Also, hit a bug that I could only cycle it instead of using as a counter in a few games. I ditched it afterwards and don't seem to miss it. Guessing works best in a heavy counter deck.

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:05 pm 
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So it's more of esper superfriends deck with oaths. Sounds powerful if you can keep the board empty and still tap out to drop the walkers.

So you run ewilds and maps? That means you have to run 8+ basics.

I wouldn't mind trying your version out.

Censor is nice because it punishes aggro that doesn't respect it. Gives you an additional turn in games with those that do respect it. It makes your deck smaller for the cost of :u: in the games it's not useful.

Let me know how you play a superfriends deck and get around counters.

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:10 pm 
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I just had two very satisfying wins against Grixis control and mono blue control that both went very late. The mono blue even got big Jace's ultimate off a couple of turns before I did.

Think the key was allowing through the threats which I had removal for, and saving the counterspells for other nasty things. Counterspelling a counter on my Lily cast was clutch against Grixis.

I don't think I've lost with this deck yet. Has been a smooth ride from ~20 to 30.

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:19 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:30 pm 
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Hey Sleep, this is what I have been running:

EsperWalkers

Creature(3)
2x Walking Ballista
1x Torrential Gearhulk

Instant(10)
3x Fatal Push
3x Blessed Alliance
2x Pull From Tomorrow
2x Anguished Unmaking

Sorcery(2)
2x Planar Outburst

Split(4)
2x Commit
2x Rags

Enchantment(6)
2x Oath of Liliana
3x Cast Out
1x Cruel Reality

Planeswalker(7)
1x Gideon of the Trials
1x Liliana, the Last Hope
1x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1x Tezzeret the Schemer
1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1x Ob Nixilis Reignited
1x Sorin, Grim Nemesis

Artifact(4)
4x Renegade Map

Land(24)
2x Prairie Stream
2x Shambling Vent
4x Plains
3x Island
2x Sunken Hollow
5x Swamp
2x Isolated Chapel
4x Evolving Wilds

Most of the cards seem pretty familiar I am sure. I really dislike counterspells, although the deck did start with some in them. I prefer an active deck with reactive options.

The cards that may seem a bit strange:

Walking Ballista - This was my last add. Basically, I found that if I had a 1 or 2 CC removal in hand, I had a decent chance vs aggro. I was only running 6 removal below 2 CC, and I was searching for something that could buy me some time early. Declaration in Stone was a string contender, but I really hate to have cards that only have one purpose, and it gives my opponent card advantage. Since I was running 5 exile effects, Dec lost a bit of shine for me as well. Ballista is not a perfect 2 cc removal, but it is not horrible. It removes things like motorist and at worst is a chump blocker, or forces my opponent to use mana on removal instead of another creature.

The thing that really sold me on it was how great it gets as the game goes on. This deck doesn't miss many mana drops, so Ballista can be a real threat late. It also give Esper some much needed direct damage. Besides pseudo early removal vs aggro, it also is a potential early threat that control must deal with. Usually it east instant removal, but if they do not have in hand, it forces them to go active which can let me push other threats through. It also gives Lil a few more targets to pull, and slightly helps Tezz. Overall, it is a jack of all trades.

Rags to Riches - This is probably my weakest card....except when it isn't. I really wanted 4 sweepers for wide decks, and started w/ Languish. Languish may actually be a better option, but the Riches portion is too tempting for me. It gives another way to get around untargetable (a bane of this deck) and also can discourage an opponent from playing a single big threat. Earlier I was playing vs a ramp deck that had Ulamog in hand, but he never cast it because I had Riches in the GY and over 9 mana. Again, probably the card that could be replaced, but I am a sucker for versatile cards. I think the only cards that would be completely dead would be this and push vs a creatureless deck. Most decks run at least a few creatures or manlands, so generally I rarely have dead cards. Suboptimal, perhaps, but not dead.

Overall, the deck is weak vs counterspells and some aggro. That may sound horrible, but weak does not mean it rolls over when I play against them. I need a bit of luck, but I can and have pulled of victory vs those decks.

As to how I handle counterspells, well, my deck has as much mana as them, or possibly more. Keeping up with land drops is pretty crucial. I have 7 instant ways to remove whatever he drops on the board, so I just wait until he goes active. When he does play a threat, I will try to remove it. He can counter that or let it get removed. If he counters it, then I have a huge mana advantage on my turn and can play my own threats with reduced to little fear of him using counterspells. It doesn't always work, but that is how I beat counter decks.

Here are 6 games I steamed this weekend. Game 1 is garbage, player dropped out after mull to 4, so not a fair game. I believe G2 is the game where Hexproof kicks my tail, but I make him work for it a bit. The rest are vs various decks, with one epic battle vs Mardu which I was sure I was going to lose.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/154233243

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:09 am 
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Hi,

First post, unfortunately after the demise of the game - here's a little background:

This is my favorite deck and I play exclusively on iOS, my tag is "Opponent (1)" - since someone else beat me to "Opponent". I used to play Duels only as a backup to Legacy; then Wiz banned Top and I noticed that this Esper Control deck was as close to that style of play as any other option remaining in Legacy. So I cashed out on my paper Miracles deck to play Duels exclusively - and for FREE! Then they banned Duels...

2x Prairie Stream
2x Shambling Vent
2x Sunken Hollow
2x Drowned Catacomb
2x Glacial Fortress
2x Isolated Chapel
4x Island
1x Swamp
1x Plains
4x Evolving Wilds
3x Aether Hub
Total Lands: 25

2x Anguished Unmaking
2x Fatal Push
2x Confirm Suspicions
2x Commit
3x Glimmer of Genius
3x Broken Concentration
2x Scatter to the Winds
3x Censor
3x Telling Time
2x Blessed Alliance
Total Instants: 24

1x Torrential Gearhulk
3x Cast Out
Total Flash: 4

2x Declaration in Stone
2x Languish
Total Sorceries: 4

1x Cruel Reality
1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1x Sorin, Grim Nemesis
Total Bombs:3

The philosophy of the deck is to maximize card selection, counters, exile-based removal, and stall long enough to land a bomb (like Miracles). This strategy struggles against good aggro hands and all-in tokens. It's pretty good against the rest of the field. If the meta becomes more than 50% aggro/tokens, I will switch to Grixis to have access to 3 additional, cheaper board wipes.

How to play: this deck requires consistent land drops to win. I would ship any hand with less than 3+ lands and at least one blue source - unless you luck out and can cast turn 2 telling time because the odds are very good that you find cyclers or that 3rd+ land. Against an unknown opponent: try for one removal and one counter in addition to the land requirements. Bombs are bad in openers - that's why there are only 3.

Vs Aggro: often is a 50-50 matchup. You will need to draw lucky to beat a good aggro starter, and sometimes even that is not enough. Not much to this, prioritize removing vehicles since Languish misses them. When deciding whether or not to draw Unmaking, take your life total into consideration. Exile scrounger.

Vs Midrange: Esper is favored since midrange is a bit slower. This match relies on holding up counter magic to neutralize OP's card advantage engine(s). If you expect OP is on Reclamation Sage, I advise cycling Cast Out to avoid a 3-for-one. If they go wide, prioritize card selection to find Languish, since you usually have enough time.

Vs Control: favored, be patient. You play the best answers in Duels, and most opponents do not. OP's draw spells should be ignored if they will have to discard at EOT anyways. This advice is discretionary when they are searching for an answer to your bomb. This match is all about knowing how much mana you and OP have access to and trying to bait them to tap too much so that you can resolve your bomb. If they play a deck that overloads on win-cons and they try to avoid getting them countered, they are punished by EOT discard. Note: getting your win-cons exiled is pretty bad, so watch out for Esper-mirror and consider countering a Return targeting a wincon in the GY. Also, if I am ahead, I will often allow a PW to resolve so that I can exile it instead of countering it. This saves a counterspell for later and ensures you won't see Chandra if a reshuffle happens. Also of note: Gearhulk can cast Memory from the yard at instant speed.

Vs Ramp: very favored. Early game, counter ramp spells to stall. Mid-game, draw into Bomb/counterspells and bottom most cheap removal. Use exile to kill any bomb they draw, since all good ramp decks lean on Murasa. It's better to exile a bomb than to counter in this matchup, since Pulse will force you to waste additional countermagic. Next to Ulamog, Rec Sage is their next best draw to deal with your enchantments. Counter Bellower if a tutored Sage would blow up one of your enchantments. Note: If I can't cycle, I try to use Cast Out on weaker threats (Vehicles comes to mind) if they are playing Sage to discourage them from blowing it up - provided I can still answer their PW's.

Vs Tokens: bad matchup. If you luck into Languish, mana to cast it, and they have weak follow-up, you might win. Otherwise they have to keep a slow hand. If you see this deck a lot in the meta, switch to Grixis control instead and apply the same concepts.

I hope others can get as much enjoyment as I have from this archetype. Thanks to the posters on this forum that have posted many fun ideas/decks over the past couple years.


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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:48 pm 
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Opponent, the deck looks good. I am not a fan of counterspells, so my version is more active, but yours is a very solid Counterspell build.

A few things I have had success with that you may wish to test how it does in your deck.

Maps have been great for me. I am not doing much T1 and sometimes T2 with my build, so perfect time to fix mana. Added benefit of thinning your library. Downside is I am sure you want 2 open mana on T2 for Censor or to bluff it at least, so may not be as valuable to you.

What are you generally killing w/ Languish? I ask because I would probably use Planar or maybe Rags before it. Planar gives you the option of playing an additional threat, and I am guessing one potential problem in long control mirror games is light on threats? The mana may be an issue though, as it delays a turn when you can use it, and it does not kill indestructible creatures.

Rags has been much better than I originally thought. It is a card that feels underpowered, but has done a lot of work for me. A big weakness are the token decks, and Rags pretty much wipes them away almost as well as Languish. Same with many of the Mardu creatures. I do run Lil, so I can occasionally hit a 3 toughness creature as well. Riches though, is great. It is another way to get rid of Scrounger (until they kill it...but they often toss any creature kill) and does wonders on things like Ulamog or Gaes Revenge. Now, I run 4 sweepers, so they are more of a back up sweeper, and I may be hesitant to run Rags as my only sweeper. I do completely agree on Languish above Expertise.

I also would try a single Pull. Two was too much imo, so I cut back to 1, and it has turned around a few games that were looking bad. Also, vs a Counterspell deck, it will almost always draw a counterspell on EOT to set up your next turn and hopefully allow you to push through a threat.

Not a fan of the Declarations. I understand that the main reason to include is probably Scrounger, but the deck has 5 answers already, and a few soft answers in Commit/Memory. Tokens is a good secondary reason. I just do not like giving card advantage to my opponent in a deck like this. That said, I can completely agree that they may be needed. At the least though, I would try trading one for the 3rd Push.

Overall, you know the deck better than I do, and these are just possibilities to try if you haven't already.

I have played vs Opponent a few times, but I think that was the other guy :) Welcome and good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:00 pm 
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Speaking of control decks. I built a $1.14 UR control deck on MTGO by replacing Gearhulk with Glyph Keeper. That thing puts people on a clock yo.

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:28 am 
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Wintervoid-thanks for the advice. I think I played a Jeskai control list you posted a while ago and had a lot of fun.

I use languish because it counters selfless spirit and kills a hydra provided they tap out || don't have pumps/excess energy.

I find that while Map is good the first turn, EWild is better after, since it costs 0. Also, I use telling time combo to get a free scry on opponents turn so I can play a land from library next turn.

On declaration- mixed results vs aggro, but the early tempo can help. It's good against all other decks, much like unmaking, though I usually discard it against control.

I agree that I have enough exile answers, so I pulled a Cast Out in favor of another Blessed Alliance for hexproof.

The biggest change I made that significantly boosted my average win % was changing my avatar from emrakuul/black background to Chandra/Red background. It started as a joke, now it's stuck that way.


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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:48 pm 
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opponent wrote:
Wintervoid-thanks for the advice. I think I played a Jeskai control list you posted a while ago and had a lot of fun.

I use languish because it counters selfless spirit and kills a hydra provided they tap out || don't have pumps/excess energy.

I find that while Map is good the first turn, EWild is better after, since it costs 0. Also, I use telling time combo to get a free scry on opponents turn so I can play a land from library next turn.

On declaration- mixed results vs aggro, but the early tempo can help. It's good against all other decks, much like unmaking, though I usually discard it against control.

I agree that I have enough exile answers, so I pulled a Cast Out in favor of another Blessed Alliance for hexproof.

The biggest change I made that significantly boosted my average win % was changing my avatar from emrakuul/black background to Chandra/Red background. It started as a joke, now it's stuck that way.


Lol, tier 1 avatar/background confirmed - That must be what all the 'Homeless Jace' noobs are doing wrong

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 Post subject: Re: [AKH] Esper Control
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:56 pm 
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Ive had people concede turn zero because of my avatar, I'm not kidding , "oh no, not this thing again. Every time someone has this I lose "

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