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Modern Mayhem: Esper Control


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Gameplan

If you've been playing Modern, the control deck has been Esper so you know I'm excited to see what new cards will help strengthen the archetype. Thanks to Modern Horizons 2, the archetype gets a huge boost in Counterspell and a ton of sweet answers like Vindicate.

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This felt like it's been a long time coming as Counterspell should've been in the format since Modern Horizons 1. The card in 2021 just feels powerful but not format warping. The card has been sorely needed as Control having an unconditional counterspell for cheap is more important now than ever. While we're at it, having Vindicate be an answer to any permanent including lands is beneficial as I assume Tron lands and numerous other MH2 cards will probably need to be answered. 

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While we're at it I think I'm finally at a point where filter lands like Mystic Gate and Sunken Ruins feel powerful enough to be included. With cards like Counterspell, Archmage's Charm, and Esper Charm, the mana base can be a bit color heavy. Filter lands will help us get around those issues. There's definitely a discussion to play more filter lands with this current build but for now, we're just gonna have a quick taste of what they could do. Another land that has made it's way into our deck is Riptide Laboratory. Being able to return our Snapcaster Mage is the type of value I'm in love with.

Conclusion

The deck was able to get more wins than losses and definitely could use some tuning to help fight the meta. Urza's Saga is shaping up to be an absolute haymaker and Hardened Scales looks to be on the menu again. With that in mind, It might be time to tune our sideboards to pack Stony Silence. I'm also thinking the number of sweepers I'm playing in this build is incorrect. I'd probably pack two copies of a sweeper in the main deck and then one to two more post sideboard. Either way, the deck felt amazing as Counterspell brings a tear of joy to my eye. Modern Horizons 2 is shaping up to be more powerful than MH1 with decks like Rogues, Merfolk, and so many others that I'm looking to try out for future episodes!

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