Esper Control at StarCityGames Open

Posted in Daily Deck on December 10, 2014

By Shuhei Nakamura

Shuhei Nakamura is a member of the Pro Tour Hall of Fame, former Player of the Year, and is one of just six players with more than 400 lifetime pro points.

Whenever a new expansion is released and the environment changes, naturally the popular decks change, and that trend is even more pronounced when it's a new block. After all, when there's a rotation we lose about a third of the Standard card pool.

With the exit of the second Ravnica block and the loss of all the strong Azorius cards, like Supreme Verdict and Sphinx's Revelation, I figured it would be a while before we saw another White-Blue Control deck arise. But it turns out that day came sooner than anyone might have anticipated. While there was a version of it in the Theros block, Shaheen Soorani's Esper Control deck is pretty much the same as existed a year ago.

Twelve scry lands, with a Planeswalker as the finisher.

Counters, removal, hand destruction.

The concept is the same, even though "Supreme Verdict" now costs one more mana and can be countered, and even though "Sphinx's Revelation" only draws two cards.

Defend, reset, and then use draw spells to cast Elspeth, Sun's Champion.

The deck loses good—perhaps too good—ways to gain life; in compensation, it gains Sorin, Solemn Visitor. This is the only unknown. It looks like nothing more than a straight-up combo piece for Elspeth, but time will tell. If nothing else, at the end of the day it's still a Planeswalker.

Shaheen Soorani's Esper Control—Top 4, StarCityGames Open Richmond

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