Esper Midrange (deck 6a in series) (Frontier)

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    *Continuing the three color midrange series. i have completed the 5 wedges and am moving on to the shards. I will start with Esper and work my way around.

    What the deck does:
    *Esper midrange deck.
    *Starts by looking at the strongest possible midrange cards, then building a deck around those.

    What inspired the deck:
    *The next deck in the series.

    Step 1: Choose the midrange cards.

    *Cards to consider are The Scarab God, Archangel Avacyn, and Dragonlord Ojutai.

    *Cards to consider are Gideon AoZ, or Sorin Solemn Visitor

    *Cards to consider are Torrential Gearhulk, Dragonlord Silumgar, Sorin Grim Nemesis

    Possible Paths
    *Creature deck- Avacyn/TSG and Sorin
    *Midrange control-TSG, Gideon, Torrential Gearhulk
    *Balanced Midrange- TSG, Gideon, SGN/Silumgar
    *Dragons- Ojutai, Silumgar

    ***This deck will be the balanced midrange build***

    (a) The Scarab God. 2 copies.
    *In this build TSG can return our own creatures or the opponents.

    (b) Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. 4 copies.
    *Still a fantastic card.
    *Has become a little weaker since the introduction of TSG and Hazoret, as these creatures have made instant speed creature exile a must for every deck.

    (c) Sorin Grim Nemesis. 2 copies.
    *He does a lot: gains life, draws a card, kills creatures and planeswalkers, and puts the opponent on a clock.
    *A little inconsistent as he can cause 0 life loss or as much as the highest cmc of cards in your deck.
    *Starting at 6 loyalty allows him to remove a large target upon entry and makes him very hard to remove if you tick him up.
    *The card makes delve cards and other cards that can be cost reduced very valuable.

    Step 2: Play delve cards to maximize Sorin Grim Nemesis' life loss ability.

    (a) Dig Through Time. 2 copies.
    *We are a drag out the game type of deck. Big graveyards are to be expected.
    *We are playing some potent finishers and a lot of answers to dig for.

    (b) Tasigur, the Golden Fang. 1 copy.
    *Big body that will enter for a low cost.
    *Pseudo card draw in the mid game.

    Step 3: Develop a sub-theme for the deck.
    *The main theme is to have a balanced midrange deck where there is an equal balance of offense and defense.
    *The best sub-theme I see is to build a taxes deck for the early game, where I interfere with everything the opponent does in the early turns, thus allowing my time to get to my strong mid game strategy.

    Step 4: Best taxes creatures.

    (a) Thalia, Heretic Cathar. 2 copies.
    *Punishing card against every archetype.
    *First strike makes her a quality attacker and blocker.

    (b) Reflector Mage. 4 copies.
    *Just a total pain for any opponent running a creature heavy strategy.

    (c) Spell Queller. 4 copies.
    *Answers so many of the threats in the format.

    Step 5: Best removal.

    (a) Cast Out. 2 copies.
    *A card that can answer just about anything we worry about.
    *Can be cycled to draw a card when we really need something else or our opponent has an empty board.

    (b) Fatal Push. 3 copies.
    *Best removal we can play.

    (c) Disdainful Stroke. 1 copy.
    *Answers so many threats.
    *The hand disruption allows us to see what we will need to answer in the mid game so we can have a proper plan.

    Step 6: Card advantage.

    (a) Despise. 2 copies.
    *Catches major threats in almost any deck.
    *Always a good play to just take whatever card they would like to play next turn.
    *Information is vital for many of our cards we play from turn 3 on.

    (b) Transgress the Mind. 2 copies.
    *Again, catches major threats in almost any deck.
    *Not strong versus all aggro decks.
    *Does not play well off The Scarab God, but is the best option at our disposal.

    (c) Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. 3 copies.
    *I was looking for instant speed card draw for 2cmc that can be played in the early stages of the game...this does not exist in Frontier in a quality card.
    *JVP is still amazing. Any creature that costs 2cmc and must be answered is strong in my opinion. If left unchecked, JVP is letting you see at least three cards before flipping into a strong planeswalker.
    *Fuels the yard for TSG and Dig/Tasigur.
    *Having a creature as your card draw also creates another target for TSG.

    Step 7: Build the sideboard.
    *I'm building a sideboard before the mana base because I want to see if it adds extra pressure to how many slots I need to devout to each color of mana.

    a) Authority of the Consuls. 2 copies.
    *Shuts down Saheeli-combo.
    *Grinds heavy creature decks to a halt.
    *Eliminates the upside of haste creatures.
    *The life gain can be significant against certain decks.

    b) Sorcerous Spyglass. 2 copies.
    *Turns off a variety of problem cards such as planeswalkers, Aetherworks Marvel, vehicles, fetch lands....
    *Remember not to name The Scarab God, Gideon, or Jace, Vryn's Prodigy as it shuts yours off as well.
    *Another card that lets us take a peek at what the opponent is doing.

    c) Disdainful Stroke. 2 copies.
    *If you are not playing against an aggressive deck then this is always a great card.

    d) Champion of Wits. 2 copies.
    *Reflector Mage is weak against control.
    *Drawing cards and having a creature with recursion is exactly what we want against control.

    e) Dragonlord Ojutai. 2 copies.
    *Extra win-con out of the side.
    *Originally this was Archangel Avacyn, however Avacyn is a weak target for TSG in some ways. While it's initial entry is pretty sweet (Indestructible creatures at instant speed), however getting two for one'd when the opponent kills any other creature you control is not so sweet. Remember a token will not transform.
    *Spell Queller makes Ojutai such a strong creature.

    f) Settle the Wreckage. 2 copies.
    *I want mass removal that kills Hazoret.
    *Chosen over Languish because it will catch any creature that attacks, not just those that have 4 or less toughness. You want to get Siege Rhino, Carnage Tyrant, Tasigur, Dragonlords, in addition to all the others that Languish gets.
    *The mana ramp can be an issue, you have to be careful not to misuse StW and ramp your opponent into their threats.

    g) Cast Out. 1 copy.
    *Solves problem cards.

    h) Declaration in Stone. 1 copy.
    *Considered Virulent Plague however it is very narrow and shuts off Gideon to some extent.
    *The tokens you would want to get are likely all the one type, therefore Declaration works just as well.
    *having a 2cmc exile spell in the sideboard is important to permanently remove recursion creatures such as Hazoret, TSG, Scrapheap Scrounger, Rekindling Phoenix,...

    i) Liliana, the Last Hope.
    *We are not playing a ton of creatures, but we play enough for Lily to matter.
    *At her best when we side in Dragonlord Ojutai.
    *Not a bad side in versus aggro either as she kills a lot of important creatures or at the very least can make them attack for 0.

    Step 8: Build the mana base.
    *Only difficult cards to cast are 4cmc double white (18 white sources).

    Flooded Strand. 4 copies
    Polluted Delta. 4 copies.

    Battle Lands
    Sunken Hollow. 3 copies.
    Prairie Stream. 3 copies.

    Island. 2 copies.
    Swamp. 2 copies.
    Plains. 2 copies.

    Man Lands.
    Shambling vent 3 copies.

    *At this point we have 16 white, 16 black, 16 blue

    Utility Lands.
    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. 1 copy.
    Glacial Fortress. 1 copy.
    Field of Ruin. 1 copy.

    ***Final Thoughts***
    (A) Strong deck overall. Great finishers. Lots of disruption.
    (B) Well balanced deck.
    (C) Slow getting started with a high curve.


    Sideboard price: 91.45 € | $ 53.87

    This deck appears to be legal in Frontier!

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