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Pioneer Peak: Esper Control (Pioneer, Magic Online)

Welcome to Pioneer Peak! This will be my new series following my games in Pioneer! As always, I try to find the best control deck that I can at the beginning of the format. This is the current shell I've been working with.


Its the typical control deck with a mixture of answers. We either win by burying our opponents in card advantage or we beat them down with our Shambling Vent. We also have our wonderful planeswalker package in Teferi, Time Raveler and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

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Teferi still is a dominant force here as he was in standard. Teferi being versatile and a card advantage engine is all you can really ask for as Teferi is the best five mana planeswalker to date. If you couldn't tell, the -3 on Teferi is great in a format that is new and every match could be a random deck so being able to tuck whatever nonland threat you need is solid. 

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You'll notice that a ton of my answers are split in numbers and thats because the format is still brand new so I'm trying to get a feel for the meta. Disallow being able to counter abilities is huge as that can stop an opponent's planeswalker ultimate from happening while also protecting our Teferi, Time Raveler from the Nexus decks who rely on Blast Zone to get rid of our stuff. Absorb is the other thing I use as a way to keep our health total up as there are a decent amount of aggro decks. We also have a painful manabase along with Thoughtseize. Speaking of Thoughtseize....

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I'm not running a full playset of Thoughtseize as our manabase is already super painful and the last thing I want to do is go Shockland + Thoughtseize and take four damage. Theres always the argument that taking four damage now could potentially save me health later but I think Thought Erasure is just fine. It also fixes our draws and loads our yard up which can help with Dig Through Time and Search for Azcanta. If I were to change the split on these, I would maybe go up to three Thoughtseize and one Thought Erasure.


So far, I feel like we have a pretty 50/50 matchup with most decks. The only problematic match up is with a deck that plagued me all of last standard and that deck is Nexus of Fate. Our deck is a slow deck and everything we do, they can do slightly better as they have Veil of Summer to force things through and if they ever resolve a Wilderness Reclamation, we usually never come back from that.  To be completely honest, I feel like any deck that runs Veil of Summer has a good shot of stealing games. I've beaten a t2 Oko, Thief of Crowns but I can't beat Veil. Whatever you do, just try to play around Veil and make sure whatever line you take lessens the damage if they have Veil.

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The deck felt powerful and I oddly loved the pile of answers put together. It may seem weird with so many twos and three ofs but its nice having different counterspells and removal. I've thought about trying to add Liliana, the Last Hope and Liliana's Triumph into this deck but I feel like we're getting closer to just being Esper Superfriends. Speaking of super friends, I don't hate the idea of adding Gideon, Ally of Zendikar somewhere in this deck. Lastly, it might be right to add a Commit // Memory over the Elixir of Immortality as Commit actually deals with something on board. Here's an updated list, I'm gonna try at my LGS and in testing:

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-Your Friendly Neighborhood AsianAvenger

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