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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 12:54 am 
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divinevert wrote:

As for Abzan midrange, it's probably close to a 50/50 matchup. If they draw good and just pump out relevant threat after relevant threat, it's gonna be tough, especially if you don't hit all your land drops up to at least 6 and hopefully are able to slam down a Confirm Suspicions early to reload your hand. That is a matchup where any single creature, even a Sylvan Advocate, can do serious work.


Yup, figured as much. You need Confirm Suspicions to not fall behind in card advantage.
It's one of the counterspells I did not value highly enough (the other being Spell Shrivel, which after playing the games I agree should be a 4-of over Broken Concentration, at least in Esper).

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 7:19 am 
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I'm going to hate running into Esper in the Xbox tourney. Vert's list especially. I've played against Geminis list extensively. His lack of counter spells lets PWs resolve and his creatures give me something to do with my removal.

I just pray for missed land drops and sweepers against Vert's list.


Were those games against me or someone else?


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 8:56 am 
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A bit of theorycraft tiem, yay!!

Never thought too much about Brain in a Jar until I saw GR's... mardu?... version and that got the wheels spinning a bit

What's the advantage that Jars give? More than acceleration, I think it is the ability of casting sorceries at instant speed.

And second, I'd say the possibility of countering leaving just one mana open (for a counter deck, obviously)

Once I realized that, it become apparent that Esper control is probably the best fit for them...even more, if we want to maximize its abilities, creatureless Esper control...which with the expasions was already a good deck

Having 8 counters that you can (maybe) cast for 1 mana is tempting...as it is casting Languish, Outburst or Declarations at instant speed. and if the Jars don't show, it's still the same functional build. It's just that it becomes way better with a Jar on play.

So...

Life of Brain (A particularly cheap joke, I know, I know...)

2 x Clutch of currents

1 x Celestial Flare
2 x Horribly Awry
2 x Telling Time
3 x Grasp of Darkness
2 x Declaration in Stone
2 x Brain in a Jar

2 x Spell Shrivel
2 x Scatter to the Winds
2 x Anguished Unmaking
1 x Read the Bones

2 x Languish
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

2 x Confirm Suspicions
2 x Planar Outburst
1 x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 x Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 x Tamiyo's Journal

1 x Sorin, Grim Nemesis
2 x Rise from the Tides

3 x Island
4 x Swamp
3 x Plains

2 x Shambling Vent
2 x Sunken Hollow
2 x Prairie Stream
2 x Isolated Chapel
2 x Glacial Fortress
2 x Drowned Catacomb
4 x Evolving Wilds


Comments:

Cluth is there as early control, because it can help the mandland line, with Outburst and Scatters... and because I like bounce for this deck. More on this later. Maybe it'll go up to 2, it's performing so far...and it's nice to have something to do with the Jar as it hits the board


The 5 CC row is crowded, at 7 cards!...that can be a problem...but I really want to try the Journal, the only card optional in that spot

As finisher, Tides, ten times better at instant speed (...aaand, there's the reason I want bounce and stalling...I want to play sorceries and instants, not hold my Grasps because I have a Languish or an Outburst too in hand...I want to feed the Tides faster, and those let me do it without feeling bad, lol)

Oh, btw...Sorin +1 is way better after a sorcery speed Telling Time...and really hurtfull after a 4-5-6 reset scry from a Jar. And if you have Jar in the board + Tides in hand (or Sorin about to ultimate) making a Gideon emblem is truly advised ;)

26 lands, the bare minimum


Last edited by callmemaggit on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:57 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 9:44 am 
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I'd rather be playing relevant things than brain. Esper already has great instants, it doesn't need a way to play instants cheaper. If anything, it'd be most useful for its slow scry ability.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 10:56 am 
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My Name is No version 1.1
3 x gideon's reproach
2 x celestial flare
2 x compelling deterrence
3 x telling time

2 x scatter to the winds
3 x broken concentration
3 x spell shrivel
2 x anguished unmaking

2 x comparative analysis
1 x bone to ash
2 x languish
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

2 x confirm suspicions
2 x planar outburst
1 x jace, unraveler of secrets
1 x ob nixilis reignited

1 x sorin, grim nemesis

3 x plains
6 x island
2 x swamp
2 x shambling vent
2 x sunken hollow
2 x prairie stream
2 x drowned catacomb
2 x isolated chapel
2 x glacial fortress
4 x evolving wilds


Changes in 1.1:
-1 swamp -1 celestial flare, +1 island +1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

I have engaged in enough playtesting that I am confident in this list. This is an extremely defensive/reactive control deck that is not designed for the impatient. The priority is locking down the board, not winning quickly. I have yet to lose a game because I decked myself (ran out of cards), but I have come close!

I view games as a three step process:
1) Deny your opponent card advantage. This can often be more important than taking a few points of damage. Tireless Tracker, I am looking at you.
2) Do not die. Removing all enemy creatures is nice but is not your #1 priority as long as you have 1 or more life (except vs red). Your life total is important, but understand that it is a resource you can spend in order to get more mileage out of sweepers or keep your mana untapped.
3) Expend your weakest answers first. One example is spell shrivel vs broken concentration. The first one loses utility later in the game, always cast it first. This category is hard to summarize because which cards are useful varies from matchup to matchup and from game to game.
4) Lock down the board, deploy win condition, win. This is the last thing you should think about.

The deck is primarily designed to win the long, grindy game against midrange/planeswalker decks, which is why I included so many counterspells. But let me talk about the individual matchups:

Midrange, midrange in general
I am deliberately lumping together different decks because I think individual card choices matter more than the specific color schema of a midrange deck. There can also be a huge amount of variance depending on the draw, so I am going to describe average games.

In an average game the midrange deck will cast one or more Sylvan Rangers, follow it up with a larger threat, e.g. woodland wanderer, and eventually try to land one or more planeswalkers/big threats. My deck usually has no problem neutralizing the early threats, but the midrange deck can potentially jam so many "must counter" spells on the board that it can tax our countermagic. It can also be difficult to tap out, meaning those little 1/1 rangers often eat into your health. But if you focus on denying them card advantage, I think my deck is favored against an average midrange deck.

But few midrange decks are average, so the matchups vary. Control-midrange will have fewer threats and more removal that is worthless against my creatureless setup. Strongly favored. Ramp-midrange will have fewer, but bigger threats, which again is no problem since our answers scale so well. Strongly favored.

But there are also midrange decklists that focus on powering out recurring card advantage. These grind-midrange decks are not very offensive, but they can earn card advantage. I am mainly thinking of evolutionary leap decks, but this can also apply to any deck that can land a dangerous early enchantment. Uhlenwald Mysteries decks are also built around gaining card advantage. Unfortunately my deck is limited to 4 spells that can stop an early enchantment. However, if they don't land an early card advantage engine I can lock them out of the game pretty easily. I think these matchups are even.

Planeswalker-midrange is a pet peeve of mine, a deck that I find incredibly annoying because it is built by just jamming a bunch of mythic cards together. In this matchup I often run into problems with the number of answers I have vs the number of threats my opponent has. Just looking at decklists, I am running 10 counterspells which should be enough to stop ~6 planeswalkers, but cards are random. This matchup is difficult because it is so hard to interact with a resolved planeswalker, and they do exactly what we do NOT want which is generate card advantage for our opponent. Still, we can stop all of their card advantage and they can't stop us from drawing extra cards. Slightly favored.

Comments on midrange: The key here is that midrange decks want to go for fewer big threats, combined with utility spells and removal. The removal is a dead draw, in many games it is like your opponent mulliganed down to 5 or 6. As long as you don't tap out prematurely you should do well.

Aggro - this is a very difficult matchup to be sure. Since we have so many CIPT (comes into play tapped) lands we often won't be able to respond to their one drop threats, especially if they are on the play. What makes this matchup difficult is the number of threats. White tends to run relatively few combat tricks, removal spells, and pump effects, so if we trade one-for-one removal they often come ahead. Still, it isn't too hard to stall until turn 4 or 5 for a board wipe, at which point they usually can't recover. Feel free to tap out to drop a planeswalker too. Unfavorable matchup.

Aggro - compared to white: fewer, hastier creatures, more burn that can hit our face. Blighted gorge is brutal. Be sure to use smoldering vent to gain life here. Unfavorable.

Vampires - unlike white, the vampires tend to run fewer threats. They may have good stats for their cost but it is easy to take them out with one for one removal. Just remember to save counters for big burn spells and this is an easy matchup. Favorable matchup.

Werewolves - somewhere in between white and vampires. Moderate number of sizeable threats, with some combat tricks. Key cards to counter are Duskwatch recruiter and Silverfur Partisan. Even matchup.

Prowess - like vampires only moreso. Very few creatures, easily disrupted with removal. Extremely favored.

Comments on aggro: These are matchups where you can use your sorcery speed spells early and often. Go ahead and wipe the board, then drop your planeswalker to seal the game. My deck is not tuned to fight aggro, but I have plenty of cheap removal so overall these tend to go well.

Other matchups:
Ramp - just like ramp-midrange, only they have even more ramp spells and even bigger threats. Be patient about deploying planeswalkers so they do not get exiled by Ulamog. Compelling deterrence is good to save your planeswalkers from exile. Strongly favored.

Control - the control deck with the most counterspells and the fewest threats generally wins. And we have both of those in spades baby. Just be patient and think of ways to make your opponent expend their resources. Also note that having a lot of land is very useful in draw-go, and my 27 lands help me to make my land drops on time. Strongly favored because internet players don't know how to play control... favored against a skilled opponent with a good deck.

Mill - This is very similar to the grindy-midrange archetype, if they get enchantments down early it can be rough. However they do not apply much pressure so it is very easy to save counterspells for tutelage and visions. Favored.

- not really a deck type in itself but can be added to anything. Turn 2 ruin in their wake into turn 3 thought-knot seer on the play is terrifying. However his big brother reality smasher is underwhelming due to counters and celestial flare.

Changes to my deck: I want to thank divinevert for turning me on to spell shrivel. I messed around with other removal packages but I love the scaling/hexproof answer of three two celestial flare and I love the super easy mana cost of Gideon's reproach.

Spell shrivel #3 is in for testing, I am confident about the other 59 cards but this could also be grasp of darkness, suppression bonds, comparative analysis, or bone to ash.

Brain: I can see it being useful to hold extra counters open when you do something like cast a planeswalker. With ten lands, you can cast Sorin, leave 3 open for one counter, then leave one more mana open for counter # 2. But it isn't worth a slot IMO... besides it is really awkward to fit it into my curve due to tapped lands.


Last edited by HenWen on Thu May 26, 2016 9:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 11:13 am 
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divinevert wrote:
I'd rather be playing relevant things than brain. Esper already has great instants, it doesn't need a way to play instants cheaper. If anything, it'd be most useful for its slow scry ability.


You haven't got a single thing of what I said, have you? :V

Yes, I'm afraid Esper certainly can do with something that lets it play its SORCERIES at instant speed...and to tap out (except just 1 mana...) to play its big PWs 2 turns earlier without losing the ability to counter their removal...and to play its finishers in a utterly more efficient way...just to mention three advantages

Anyways, I find this sentence quite hilarious: "I'd rather be playing relevant things than brain" Tnx for the laughs


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 11:21 am 
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HenWen wrote:
... besides it is really awkward to fit it into my curve due to tapped lands.


I find I usually don't cast BiaJ in t2, unless lucky with the lands and against a non-fast opponent...as said, BiaJ isn't just for acceleration, is to make your mid-late game way stronger...in fact, you shouldn't cast it before t4 or so unless you really haven't anyting to do besides that with your mana, including holding counters...it's just that it happens that you haven't always an Awry...and you then play it t2 or t3, and it helps with the mana quite a bit the first turns...

On a side note, the exercise was making a BiaJ deck...I'm not saying this is better than standar Esper, or even standar creaturless Esper...I'm starting to play it, I simply don't know yet...I'm just pointing out the (quite real) advantages of doing so...let's see if those balance the (quite real too) disadvantages in tempo and cards that including the pair of Jar in the deck causes


Last edited by callmemaggit on Thu May 19, 2016 12:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 11:24 am 
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divinevert wrote:
I'd rather be playing relevant things than brain. Esper already has great instants, it doesn't need a way to play instants cheaper. If anything, it'd be most useful for its slow scry ability.


You haven't got a single thing of what I said, have you? :V

Yes, I'm afraid Esper certainly can do with something that lets it play its SORCERIES at instant speed...and to tap out (except just 1 mana...) to play its big PWs 2 turns earlier without losing the ability to counter their removal...and to play its finishers in a utterly more efficient way...just to mention three advantages

Anyways, I find this sentence quite hilarious: "I'd rather be playing relevant things than brain" Tnx for the laughs

For the omission of "more relevant" I blame my phone.

And as to the ability to play things two turns earlier, I guess, but that's a bunch of work for not much payoff. You can need to have already resolved a brain very early (a card + 2 mana), ticked it up twice (an additional mana each of two other turns), and have relevant counters and a planeswalker.

That's alot of work for Brain to do the job you want it to. Playing sorceries at instant speed is a useful thing, but it's a big ask in a draw-go to have a bunch of sorceries that are dependent on a two-of or else you're asking the deck to tap out.

The costs outweigh the benefits by alot, in my opinion.


HenWen wrote:
... besides it is really awkward to fit it into my curve due to tapped lands.


I find I very rarely cast BiaJ in t2, unless lucky with the lands and against a non-fast opponent...as said, BiaJ isn't for acceleration, is to make your mid-late game way stronger...in fact, you shouldn't cast it before t4 or 5 unless you really haven't anyting to do besides that with your mana, including holding counters

And I've never ever thought "Man, Esper really needs assistance with its late game." Who cares if you have to wait two more turns? If the board is locked, the game is already won anyway.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 11:25 am 
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HenWen wrote:
My Name is No version 1.0
3 x gideon's reproach
3 x celestial flare
3 x compelling deterrence
3 x telling time

2 x scatter to the winds
3 x broken concentration
3 x spell shrivel
2 x anguished unmaking

2 x comparative analysis
1 x bone to ash
2 x languish

2 x confirm suspicions
2 x planar outburst
1 x jace, unraveler of secrets
1 x ob nixilis reignited

1 x sorin, grim nemesis

3 x plains
5 x island
3 x swamp
2 x shambling vent
2 x sunken hollow
2 x prairie stream
2 x drowned catacomb
2 x isolated chapel
2 x glacial fortress
4 x evolving wilds


I have engaged in enough playtesting that I am confident in this list. This is an extremely defensive/reactive control deck that is not designed for the impatient. The priority is locking down the board, not winning quickly. I have yet to lose a game because I decked myself (ran out of cards), but I have come close!

I view games as a three step process:
1) Deny your opponent card advantage. This can often be more important than taking a few points of damage. Tireless Tracker, I am looking at you.
2) Do not die. Removing all enemy creatures is nice but is not your #1 priority as long as you have 1 or more life (except vs red). Your life total is important, but understand that it is a resource you can spend in order to get more mileage out of sweepers or keep your mana untapped.
3) Expend your weakest answers first. One example is spell shrivel vs broken concentration. The first one loses utility later in the game, always cast it first. This category is hard to summarize because which cards are useful varies from matchup to matchup and from game to game.
4) Lock down the board, deploy win condition, win. This is the last thing you should think about.

The deck is primarily designed to win the long, grindy game against midrange/planeswalker decks, which is why I included so many counterspells. But let me talk about the individual matchups:

Midrange, midrange in general
I am deliberately lumping together different decks because I think individual card choices matter more than the specific color schema of a midrange deck. There can also be a huge amount of variance depending on the draw, so I am going to describe average games.

In an average game the midrange deck will cast one or more Sylvan Rangers, follow it up with a larger threat, e.g. woodland wanderer, and eventually try to land one or more planeswalkers/big threats. My deck usually has no problem neutralizing the early threats, but the midrange deck can potentially jam so many "must counter" spells on the board that it can tax our countermagic. It can also be difficult to tap out, meaning those little 1/1 rangers often eat into your health. But if you focus on denying them card advantage, I think my deck is favored against an average midrange deck.

But few midrange decks are average, so the matchups vary. Control-midrange will have fewer threats and more removal that is worthless against my creatureless setup. Strongly favored. Ramp-midrange will have fewer, but bigger threats, which again is no problem since our answers scale so well. Strongly favored.

But there are also midrange decklists that focus on powering out recurring card advantage. These grind-midrange decks are not very offensive, but they can earn card advantage. I am mainly thinking of evolutionary leap decks, but this can also apply to any deck that can land a dangerous early enchantment. Uhlenwald Mysteries decks are also built around gaining card advantage. Unfortunately my deck is limited to 4 spells that can stop an early enchantment. However, if they don't land an early card advantage engine I can lock them out of the game pretty easily. I think these matchups are even.

Planeswalker-midrange is a pet peeve of mine, a deck that I find incredibly annoying because it is built by just jamming a bunch of mythic cards together. In this matchup I often run into problems with the number of answers I have vs the number of threats my opponent has. Just looking at decklists, I am running 10 counterspells which should be enough to stop ~6 planeswalkers, but cards are random. This matchup is difficult because it is so hard to interact with a resolved planeswalker, and they do exactly what we do NOT want which is generate card advantage for our opponent. Still, we can stop all of their card advantage and they can't stop us from drawing extra cards. Slightly favored.

Comments on midrange: The key here is that midrange decks want to go for fewer big threats, combined with utility spells and removal. The removal is a dead draw, in many games it is like your opponent mulliganed down to 5 or 6. As long as you don't tap out prematurely you should do well.

Aggro - this is a very difficult matchup to be sure. Since we have so many CIPT (comes into play tapped) lands we often won't be able to respond to their one drop threats, especially if they are on the play. What makes this matchup difficult is the number of threats. White tends to run relatively few combat tricks, removal spells, and pump effects, so if we trade one-for-one removal they often come ahead. Still, it isn't too hard to stall until turn 4 or 5 for a board wipe, at which point they usually can't recover. Feel free to tap out to drop a planeswalker too. Unfavorable matchup.

Aggro - compared to white: fewer, hastier creatures, more burn that can hit our face. Blighted gorge is brutal. Be sure to use smoldering vent to gain life here. Unfavorable.

Vampires - unlike white, the vampires tend to run fewer threats. They may have good stats for their cost but it is easy to take them out with one for one removal. Just remember to save counters for big burn spells and this is an easy matchup. Favorable matchup.

Werewolves - somewhere in between white and vampires. Moderate number of sizeable threats, with some combat tricks. Key cards to counter are Duskwatch recruiter and Silverfur Partisan. Even matchup.

Prowess - like vampires only moreso. Very few creatures, easily disrupted with removal. Extremely favored.

Comments on aggro: These are matchups where you can use your sorcery speed spells early and often. Go ahead and wipe the board, then drop your planeswalker to seal the game. My deck is not tuned to fight aggro, but I have plenty of cheap removal so overall these tend to go well.

Other matchups:
Ramp - just like ramp-midrange, only they have even more ramp spells and even bigger threats. Be patient about deploying planeswalkers so they do not get exiled by Ulamog. Compelling deterrence is good to save your planeswalkers from exile. Strongly favored.

Control - the control deck with the most counterspells and the fewest threats generally wins. And we have both of those in spades baby. Just be patient and think of ways to make your opponent expend their resources. Also note that having a lot of land is very useful in draw-go, and my 27 lands help me to make my land drops on time. Strongly favored because internet players don't know how to play control... favored against a skilled opponent with a good deck.

Mill - This is very similar to the grindy-midrange archetype, if they get enchantments down early it can be rough. However they do not apply much pressure so it is very easy to save counterspells for tutelage and visions. Favored.

- not really a deck type in itself but can be added to anything. Turn 2 ruin in their wake into turn 3 thought-knot seer on the play is terrifying. However his big brother reality smasher is underwhelming due to counters and celestial flare.

Changes to my deck: I want to thank divinevert for turning me on to spell shrivel. I messed around with other removal packages but I love the scaling/hexproof answer of 3 celestial flare and I love the super easy mana cost of Gideon's reproach.

Spell shrivel #3 is in for testing, I am confident about the other 59 cards but this could also be grasp of darkness, suppression bonds, comparative analysis, or bone to ash.

Brain: I can see it being useful to hold extra counters open when you do something like cast a planeswalker. With ten lands, you can cast Sorin, leave 3 open for one counter, then leave one more mana open for counter # 2. But it isn't worth a slot IMO... besides it is really awkward to fit it into my curve due to tapped lands.



How's the matchup agaisnt 4CC Planeswalkers?

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 11:34 am 
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divinevert wrote:
And I've never ever thought "Man, Esper really needs assistance with its late game." Who cares if you have to wait two more turns? If the board is locked, the game is already won anyway.


You are right against agro, mostly

But against the mirror, or Ramp, or PWs.deck, I think the advantage in tactics/tempo/mana can be relevant. We really can't "lock" the board, we haven't Stasis u know :P ...and counters aren't infinite either

And remember the Tides ...at sorcery speed, they are ok but risky...at instant, they are almost instawin. And with Sorin on board, the 5 points of direct damage you can easily get from a Jar on play are relevant too. Maybe. As already stated, I'm not aseverating the awesomeness of the card, just trying to provoke some thinking on it :)


Last edited by callmemaggit on Thu May 19, 2016 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 12:07 pm 
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zzmorg82 wrote:
HenWen wrote:
Planeswalker-midrange is a pet peeve of mine, a deck that I find incredibly annoying because it is built by just jamming a bunch of mythic cards together. In this matchup I often run into problems with the number of answers I have vs the number of threats my opponent has. Just looking at decklists, I am running 10 counterspells which should be enough to stop ~6 planeswalkers, but cards are random. This matchup is difficult because it is so hard to interact with a resolved planeswalker, and they do exactly what we do NOT want which is generate card advantage for our opponent. Still, we can stop all of their card advantage and they can't stop us from drawing extra cards. Slightly favored.
How's the matchup agaisnt 4CC Planeswalkers?


I have seen a lot of other people on the forums claim that control is favored against superfriends.

Beating 4CC walkers has been my goal in building this deck. Most decks have two answers to resolved planeswalkers because of anguished unmaking. 2x compelling deterrence doubles that and gives you a larger safety margin. I run more counters that can hit PW than other Esper control deck I have seen. I squeeze more answers into my deck by cutting out win conditions.

Maybe Zerris' wolf deck would do better, but it is just him running it so it isn't part of the "meta."

I want to do more playtesting with my latest decklist, it is possible I will upgrade the match against 4CC Walkers from "slightly favored" to "favorable."


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 1:30 pm 
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HenWen wrote:


Beating 4CC walkers has been my goal in building this deck.


Just Nahiri, Arlin and Giddy? How choosy!!


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 10:46 pm 
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Spoiler


I have tried Brain in a Jar in the Esper build and it worked fairly well for me. These are the list of cards you would be incentivized to play at instant speed.

2 x Declaration in Stone
3 x Roil Spout
4 x Read the Bones
2 x Languish
2 x Planar Outburst
1 x Part the waterveil


Now, with Brain in a Jar, instant speed Declaration in Stone + sweepers can answer manlands and other instant speed Rise from the Tides decks. Also, with "awaken", you need 6 or 9 counters to get the effect which is good.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 11:55 pm 
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Now, with Brain in a Jar, instant speed Declaration in Stone + sweepers can answer manlands and other instant speed Rise from the Tides decks. Also, with "awaken", you need 6 or 9 counters to get the effect which is good.


Have you tested this? I am not sure how the mechanic should work. I know kicker is an "additional" cost that you can pay, but I think awaken is considered an alternative cost.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 12:30 am 
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An example of Esper Brain in a Jar deck I've been fiddling with recently:

Esper Brains Control

Creature(4)
2 x Thing in the Ice
1 x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
1 x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet


Instant(13)
3 x Telling Time
3 x Horribly Awry
3 x Broken Concentration
2 x Bone to Ash
2 x Confirm Suspicions


Sorcery(13)
2 x Declaration in Stone
2 x Read the Bones
3 x Roil Spout
2 x Languish
1 x Planar Outburst
3 x Rise from the Tides


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


Artifact(2)
2 x Brain in a Jar


Land(25)
2 x Prairie Stream
2 x Shambling Vent
2 x Plains
2 x Sunken Hollow
5 x Island
2 x Swamp
2 x Drowned Catacomb
2 x Isolated Chapel
2 x Glacial Fortress
4 x Evolving Wilds


To view this deck go to: https://www.magicduelshelper.com/deckli ... 4bd8e1bb03

Created using Magic Duels Helper: http://www.magicduelshelper.com


Brain in a Jar sure is fun, although I can't say for sure if it's really worth building around with only two copies. That said instant speed sorceries and 1 mana counterspells feel really awesome when they come out.

The list is very unpolished and I still question the necessity of some cards like Kalitas (just put him here as a way to get back some life and as a potential alternate wincon) and would like to make some room for Anguished Unmaking but it's a pretty fun archetype to play.

The main thing to consider when playing Brain in a Jar is that you pretty much have to put in instant or sorcery spells at various points of the curve, which can lead to subpar choices. Besides Languish, the options in the 4-mana slot aren't really great IMO.


PS: I haven't tried in the game, but according to gatherer alternative costs cannot work with Brain in a Jar.

http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/ ... eid=410017

Instant speed Roil Spout and Planar Outburst are still worth it though.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 1:35 am 
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HenWen wrote:

Have you tested this? I am not sure how the mechanic should work. I know kicker is an "additional" cost that you can pay, but I think awaken is considered an alternative cost.


Yep, neither Awaken not Surge (my Tentacles!! :( the hentai fan in me is so dissapointed...) and that's a pity

I had Waterveil there, is nice at instant speed leaving all your mana untapped at the beggining of your 2 turns...but instant Tides is even stronger


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 4:08 am 
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Brain+Tides is probably the most inevitable control wincon in the game right now. Who needs planeswalkers.
The problem is building a deck around a 2-of.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 4:09 am 
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 10:08 pm 
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Changes since my last post:
I cut:
1 x celestial flare
1 x swamp

I added

1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 x island


Having more experience with the meta now, Gaea's revenge is not super common. Flare isn't bad but it is better as a 2 of. Gideon is the replacement, he is the underwhelming junior varsity planeswalker, but he is nonetheless a win condition that is resilient to removal. Worse case scenario - he eats takes an anguished unmaking for the team, freeing up space for my "A" team walkers.

As far as lands - casting languish on turn 4 is important, but drawing double swamps has been really bad for me, this led to the only real color screw I have experienced that lost me a game.

Even with 27 lands it feels like my mana problems are 60% not enough land 40% too much land. A 5 land hand is almost always better than a 2 land hand, and a five land hand can even be ideal in some of the slower matchups like ramp or control.

Counters are a big part of the deck, and 11 is a hefty number. I frequently have games where I feel like I have too many counters or not enough. But again it feels like 60% of the time I do not have enough. I remember the games where I drew half my library, only got two counters, and was caught with my pants down when my opponent sent a 10 point fireball at me.

A lot of people come on the forums to tout their deck as the BEST DECK EVAR!! but I am more honest that there are always tradeoffs in deckbuilding. I have chosen not to use horribly awry, it is a potent card and I can see it having a place in this meta but I just do not have room for it.

Divinevert's deck runs awry and I am sure he has a better game against aggro, and similarly I think flip jace and avacyn give him an edge against decks that run very little removal. My game against aggro is basically 50/50, I need a wipe or I lose, and I am ok with that because I have consistent answers all game long against all of the decks packed with powerful threats.

I will test Divinevert's list now and see how it feels.


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 3:00 pm 
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Have been toying around with Esper a bit; here's what I'm at currently.

Creature(3):
1 x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
1 x Archangel Avacyn
1 x Linvala the Preserver

Instant(21):
3 x Telling Time
3 x Horribly Awry
3 x Grasp of Darkness
2 x Scatter to the Winds
3 x Broken Concentration
2 x Anguished Unmaking
3 x Comparative Analysis
2 x Confirm Suspicions

Sorcery(6):
2 x Declaration in Stone
2 x Languish
2 x Planar Outburst

Planeswalker(4):
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 x Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 x Sorin, Grim Nemesis

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



(basically Vert's list with:
-2 Celestial Flare, -4 Spell Shrivel, -1 Plains;
+1 Linvala, +1 Telling Time, +1 Grasp, +3 Broken Concentration, +1 Island)

I'd like to hear your inputs on the changes; are they still alright or did they throw off the balance too much (-1 counterspell -1 removal +1 threat +1 card selection)?
My POV on them:
-Celestial Flare seemed to be the worst card in my hand too often. While it's the deck's best out vs. Gaea's Revenge, I found that card to be uncommon enough (even in Ramp) to justify cutting it. The more common Plated Crusher is less problematic because it lacks Haste and can be countered.
Another thing to note is that WW was a huge strain on the mana; it happened often enough that you had the dilemma of having to choose between having WW for Flare and having BB for Grasp/UU for Cancel.
-Spell Shrivel was the cut that hurt the most, as that card is legit good. I just found that often enough I'd be able to cast Cancel t3 anyhow (especially if my t2 was Jace or Telling Time) and it would be the only spell I'd want to keep up. Also, Shrivel loses a lot of value in the super-late game while you're digging for your few win-conditions.

-Linvala is there to add another threat as well as a bit of life gain to help stabilize later in the game. I actuallly haven't gotten the 3/3 out of her yet, but being a 5/5 flier that gains you 5 life is already pretty huge in this deck I feel.
-Manabase adjustment for the added # of Cancels and because WW t2 is no longer needed.

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