Esper Planeswalker Control Deck (Top 16 at Grand Prix Charleston)

November 24, 2012 | Posted by Dee

The color combinations, Blue/White/Green (Bant) and Blue/White/Red, have gotten most of the hype for control players but don’t sleep on Blue/White/Black (Esper).

With strong cards like Lingering Souls and Jace, Architect of Thought, Esper Control is definitely a viable option for Return to Ravnica Standard.

Last weekend, Kurt Spiess played the deck to a top 16 finish at Grand Prix Charleston.

Check out his decklist below.

Esper Planeswalker Control
Creatures (3)
Spells (31)
Lands (26)
Sideboard (15)

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Deck Analysis

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Esper Control has a tough matchup with Blue/White (UW) Flash but that deck is losing popularity because more people are playing Cavern of Souls and Loxodon Smiter.

Against other decks, you have the tools to have solid matchups. Versus aggro, you have access to cheap removal spells, Azorius Charm and Ultimate Price. Also, you can clear the board with Supreme Verdict.

Terminus is always an option if you need to beat Zombie decks.

Versus midrange, you have a lot of card advantage spells to outlast them. Snapcaster Mage, Forbidden Alchemy, Sever the Bloodline, and Sphinx’s Revelation are all good cards for grinding out a win.

Plus, the planeswalkers are permanent sources of card advantage with awesome ultimate abilities if they are left unchecked.

Versus control, you have planeswalkers and Nephalia Drownyard to gain an edge in a long game.

The new Bant Control decks are playing Elixir of Immortality but with enough Drownyards, there’s a good chance you can hit the artifact with the land and put it in the graveyard before your opponent has a chance to draw it.

Along with Lingering Souls, the seven planeswalkers are the main win conditions. Each of them can take over a game on their own and they work very well together.

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Jace is great at protecting the other planeswalkers with his first ability. Sorin gives you chump blockers. Tamiyo neutralizes the biggest threat by locking it down with her +1 ability.

Keeping creatures tapped is pretty good these days with all the Thragtusks running around. Tapping Thragtusk is a great way to deal with it because your opponent doesn’t get the 3/3 Beast.

Lingering Souls is the main reason to play Esper. The card is very versatile. You get a bunch of chump blockers to protect you and your planeswalkers.

The Spirit tokens have flying so they are good at attacking your opponent or his planeswalkers. Five mana for four 1/1 flying creatures is not bad.

Lingering Souls has flashback so you can play around mass removal spells like Supreme Verdict.

Even though this is a control deck, you can actually kill quickly by combining Lingering Souls with Sorin’s -2 emblem ability. It’s nice to have that option to keep your opponent guessing on how you will play the game.

Also, Runechanter’s Pike can deal a lot of damage in one hit when equipped to a Spirit token. You can fill the graveyard with Forbidden Alchemy and Drownyard to increase the power of the equipment card.

For sideboarding against control, Geist of Saint Traft and Drogskol Reaver give you another angle of attack. Also, you can bring in Appetite for Brains to protect your creatures from Supreme Verdict.