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Historic 101: Esper Control (Historic, Magic Arena)

I can't believe it took me this long but here's my take on Esper Control for Historic!

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The deck focuses on controlling the early game with counterspells and removal like Absorb and Kaya's Wrath. After keeping the board clear, we then deploy our win cons in Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Liliana, Dreadhorde General. These cards will help us run away with the game by burying our opponents in card advantage and eventually threaten a brutal ultimate that will usually swing the game in your favor.

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Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is easily one of my all-time favorite planeswalkers as it allows us to run away with card advantage if left unchecked while also making sure we don't ever entirely tap out. Not only that, Teferi is here to give us multiple activations of Castle Vantress, Castle Ardenvale, and a flipped Search for Azcanta once we get to the late game. As we all know, Teferi is also one of our win conditions in that it tucks itself with the -3 ability so we never mill out as our opponents slowly draw all the cards left in their library. With how good answers are for planeswalkers, I figured we should add one more win condition in our deck so that's where Liliana, Dreadhorde General comes in. Shes also got a -4 ability that helps us deal with potential Carnage Tyrant and other big beefy creatures.


When I built this deck, all I was getting paired against was Gruul so I wanted a deck that had solid answers for all the haste threats that Gruul produces. I tried Dimir and all the other color variants but Kaya's Wrath being a four mana board reset was just too good to pass up on. I feel like this deck can beat most aggro and midrange decks. However, I feel that Fires of Invention decks are just too much for us as they have too many threats that tax our removal and answers. In testing, I ran into a few Grixis variants of Fires and those are even worse for us as they have a ton of discard and solid threats which leads to us eventually running out of gas. 


The deck felt very powerful as we finished with a clean 5-0. Esper from last standard can still hold it's weight and it has more utility lands thanks to Eldraine. I do think the deck needs a tad bit more tuning as I think another copy of Mortify and Murderous Rider. With the lack of Narset, Parter of Veils, I think we can also run cards like Chemister's Insight or maybe a copy or two of Gadwick the Wizened so that we have ways outside of our planeswalkers to generate more card advantage. It also doesn't hurt that Gadwick can tap down a ton of hasting threats against gruul but for right now, let's just try getting Chemister's Inisight into the deck so we have a little bit more filtering.

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