Deck Tech: Esper Midrange with Chris Anderson
A number of the best players in the room are playing eerily similar decks... and some groups even developed them independently! Vapor+Snags weren't very good. The deck is way too passive for Vapor Snagâ€” you're very rarely aggro.â€
The grand experiment began, and met with success. â€œDoom Blade is really good in the format right now and black lets you play Lingering+Souls, which is really good against Delver.â€ Work to make Esper Midrange a contender began prior to the StarCityGames.com Invitational. â€œPenick, Boyd, and I worked on it for a little bit; Boyd ended up switching to the mono-blue Delver deck,â€ Chris said. â€œI played it in a PTQ online and I didn't Top 8, but I really liked it.â€ That convinced Chris to run the deck at the Invitational, where he performed admirably. â€œI ended up 7-1, and I beat Delver; I went 4-1 against it. I haven't lost to Delver today, and I think overall I'm 10-1 against it.â€
That's a stern win percentage!
Recently, Adam Prosak has been playing a similar deck on magic Online, and Michael Jacob played a version of that at the Invitational and is doing the same today, alongside Sword+of+War+and+Peace draw. You have enough cheap cards to trade and get into the late game, where you can take advantage of the fact that you have Lingering+Souls, Blade Splicer, Gideon, and Sun+Titan,â€ he said. â€œThey're usually out of cards.â€
One card that exhausts opposing resources better than any other is Vault of the Archangel. â€œVault lets everything trade, and it turns Lingering+Souls into a 4-for-1,â€ Chris explained, shaking his head. The card is gross!
The problem cards for Chris have been pretty obvious. â€œSword of War and Peace is rough,â€ he admitted. â€œIf you don't have the Doom+Blades for itâ€”you've got lots of Doom+Blades to put them back on tempoâ€”it's very difficult to come back, and they can just steal wins for you.â€ When you do have those Doom+Blades though, it's not hard to wrest control.
â€œI've played some games against G/R Aggro, and they seemed tough... but Blade+Splicer is really good against that deck and I probably just drew bad,â€ Chris added. â€œFrites might give me troubleâ€”an Elesh Norn seems really good against me. I've got a couple of Nihil+Spellbombs in my sideboard now.â€ While he'd ignored the graveyard in Indianapolis, he knew that Brian Braun-Duin's finish would put Frites back on the map.
Among his sideboard cards is one very powerful little enchantment. The one-of Intangible+Virtue is insaneâ€”you probably want two. I have not lost a game where I cast that card.â€ Bringing it in against Delver and Curses, it proactively answers some very dangerous situations!
Check out the list below, and decide which flavor of Restoration+Angel suits you best.