Posted in Feature on April 8, 2013

By Sam Black

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

The first WMCQs were this weekend, and for the first time, they happened on the same weekend in every country. That means there were a lot of happy winners this weekend, and a lot of decks for tournament players to study to find out what did well this weekend.

David Tuite was this weekend's Irish champion. He played a unique take on Esper Control that made some very different pivotal choices. He's chosen to play Snapcaster Mage over Augur of Bolas and the rest of his deck reflects this change. He no longer needs to maximize his spell density, which allows him to play Detention Sphere over other removal spells without hurting his Augurs. And instead of Think Twice, which is good to find with Augur of Bolas but redundant with Snapcaster Mage, he plays Thought Scour, which fuels his Snapcaster Mage. The Thought Scour also helps him find Lingering Souls, which play well with his Sorin, Lord of Innistrad.

He's set up well against other control decks because he has more counterspells, and the Snapcaster Mages let him play as if he has even more, but he also has a lot of early removal.

There is a danger that he could be too slow and lose too much life against aggressive decks like Naya Blitz, but he has the rarely played Human Frailty, which is excellent in that matchup, and four Terminuses, so he can always win if he gets a little lucky.

Overall, this is a great choice in a control-heavy field, but it also has excellent sideboard cards against creature and graveyard decks. He accomplished this in part by skipping Azorius Charm, a card that's often considered an automatic inclusion, reminding us that we should always reconsider each card. If you're looking for some new ideas for Esper, this list is worth taking a close look at.

And if you're interested in joining David Tuite at the World Magic Cup this year in Amsterdam, look up your country's next WMCQ on April 20–21 here.

David Tuite's Esper Control

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