Standard Esper Tokens

Posted in Daily Deck on November 17, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

When you hear the word "Esper," I would bet control is the type of deck that immediately comes to your mind. Nothing is scarier than being on the other side of a player who has Islands, Swamps, and Plains untapped. Today's deck is an Esper deck where you actually want to tap out on your own turn. Ray Perez Jr. piloted a tap-out-style Esper midrange deck to the Top 4 of Grand Prix Indianapolis. You won't see any counterspells in this deck. Instead, you'll see a mix of resilient creatures and planeswalkers.

Esper Tokens is looking to play a value creature in the early stages of the game. Hangarback Walker is a perfect fit here, as he can be a threat on his own and play defense really well, too. Knight of the White Orchid is another great creature in this deck. It helps fix your mana by finding a Prairie Stream, and the acceleration is important when you are looking to play high-mana cards such as Ob Nixilis Reignited and Secure the Wastes.

Speaking of Secure the Wastes, I am really happy that this card is making an appearance in token-based decks. It's usually a devastating end-of-turn spell and is really hard to play around. It has great synergy with Gideon, Ally of Zendikar because he can make an emblem the turn he enters the battlefield, which will make your tokens even stronger. Similarly, Sorin, Solemn Visitor is another planeswalker that works well with tokens.

The top of the curve contains another excellent card in today's Standard metagame: Wingmate Roc. Most removal these days is one-for-one, and this card gives you two flying creatures that are pretty tough to deal with. Like most of the cards in this deck, Wingmate Roc is another example of a creature that is great on both offense and defense.

Another card I'd like to call out is Painful Truths. Usually this card wouldn't be so great in an Esper control deck, because it's always on the back foot early. But in this kind of Esper deck, it's excellent. You'll likely always be applying pressure, so the loss of life to draw three cards is never an issue.

Ray Perez Jr.'s Esper Tokens

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