Exalted Esper

Posted in Feature on April 22, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for StarCityGames.com. He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

Today's deck finished 2nd in a PTQ in Tokyo, Japan, and it's noteworthy for attacking the Standard format in a way very similar to what we've seen in another deck, but executed quite differently. This deck shares a philosophical origin with Bant Hexproof but leans primarily on the exalted mechanic rather than enchantments to make its large attackers.

Faith's Shield

Knight of Infamy and Knight of Glory may not actually have hexproof, but each of them will be immune to some of your opponent's removal some of the time, and when they are, they're likely also immune to many of the opponent's creatures. This allows this deck to steal a lot of "free wins"—something it's definitely in the market for.

Plan A for getting those free wins is certainly to stick Spectral Flight on Geist of Saint Traft, but even if you can't do that, if you play any Knight on turn two, Geist on turn three, and Sublime Archangel followed by an attack with Geist of Saint Traft on turn four, the Geist is already a 5/5, so there's a good chance the opponent won't have any great blocks even without Spectral Flight.

Because this deck only ever really intends to attack with a single creature, Faith's Shield does excellent work here, getting "your entire team" through by providing protection to only a single creature, but boosted by all the others. It's also great at protecting the extremely high-impact but relatively fragile Silverblade Paladin and Sublime Archangel.

The support spells are primarily creature removal, as Kihara probably assumed he'd have a good matchup against control decks that traditionally struggle with Geist of Saint Traft, particularly since most control decks at the moment are white, blue, and black, which means both Knights will be effective against them. The removal is chosen to be as cheap as possible to allow Kihara to continue advancing his plan, using the removal largely as a tempo play to win races against other aggressive decks.

Undying Evil is an extremely cute one-of that can be a giant beating against Supreme Verdict.

Kihara Atsuki's Exalted Esper

Latest Feature Articles


The Artists of Magic: Lake Hurwitz by, Nicholas Wolfram

Celebrating a Newer Magic Artist Last month I had the pleasure of sitting down with Noah Bradley to discuss the art that he creates for Magic. This month, I get to continue this article ...

Learn More


In-Store Play Evolves by, Chris Tulach

In-store play is one of the best ways to foster community among Magic players, to meet new friends, and to experience everything the game has to offer. Over the past year we've been rampi...

Learn More



Feature Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By clicking any link on this page or by clicking Yes, you are giving your consent for us to set cookies. (Learn more about cookies)

No, I want to find out more