Reader Submission: Esper Rest in Peace

Posted in Feature on March 21, 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.

This is the email Keegan Kennedy sent me that I'll be working with today:

I came up with this original deck when I watched the latest Grand Prix and saw how much people rely on the graveyard. Not even just the Reanimators, but all control decks use flashbacks constantly. It got me thinking about using Rest in Peace offensively. This deck is an Esper control deck with Rest in Peace that is focused on mill. Psychic Spiral can't touch it, the other control decks can't touch it, and I think that it would have a serious impact on the Standard metagame. It also gets basically unkillable Griffins and gets a remarkable amount of use out of Jace. I am very worried about its matchup vs. aggro, but maybe you could help me with that. Without further ado, the deck:

Keegan Kennedy's Misthollow Control

Download Arena Decklist

Without flashback, it kind of needs help to draw cards, hence the Bane Alley Broker. I also considered Soul Ransom and Duskmantle Seer.


First of all, Keegan correctly identifies a trend toward decks that are doing something with the graveyard and then tries to find a way to punish that while furthering his own agenda. This is a good approach to deck building.

Bane Alley Broker is an interesting choice, but there’s nothing about this deck in particular that makes the card better than it would be in other Esper decks, so I have to assume it’s too slow. (An interaction I had to look up: you cannot cast Misthollow Griffin from exile if you exile it with a Bane Alley Broker.) This deck already has a card that grinds slow, long-term advantage (Misthollow Griffin) so it doesn’t really need this. Also, this takes up slots that could be used on spells, making Augur of Bolas worse than it otherwise would be.

When I’m trying to draw cards without flashback, I turn to Divination.

Essence Scatter is an interesting choice. There are definitely spots where I like it a lot, but I’d be worried about it against the Human decks with four Cavern of Souls. I think it’s still better to use creature removal at this point, especially since Misthollow Griffin lets you fight Thragtusk and the Beast token. Also, if you’re spending mana on Misthollow Griffin on your turn, you’re less likely to be able to use Essence Scatter.

One Mind Grind doesn’t really do much. You’re going to need to take control whether you have it or not, and once you have control, you can win with Misthollow Griffin or Nephalia Drownyard.

My version, trying to leave as much intact as possible when there’s not a good reason to change something:

Sam Black's Misthollow Esper (after Keegan Kennedy)

Download Arena Decklist

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