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Battle Report: Esper Aggro(midrange?)



 
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Alphakiller



Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:10 am    Post subject: Battle Report: Esper Aggro(midrange?) Reply with quote

I went to the local FNM with this decklist:
// Lands
6 [M10] Island (4)
5 [ZEN] Plains (3)
3 [LRW] Swamp (4)
3 [WWK] Celestial Colonnade
1 [WWK] Creeping Tar Pit

// Creatures
4 [ARB] Esper Stormblade
3 [ALA] Ethersworn Canonist
2 [ARB] Ethersworn Shieldmage
4 [ALA] Master of Etherium
2 [CFX] Master Transmuter
4 [WWK] Lodestone Golem
2 [CFX] Sphinx Summoner
2 [ALA] Sharding sphinx

// Spells
2 [ARB] Thopter Foundry
3 [ZEN] Journey to Nowhere
2 [ARB] Mistvein Borderpost
4 [ARB] Fieldmist Borderpost
3 [M10] Open the Vaults
3 [ARB] Crystallization
2 [WWK] Basilisk Collar

// Sideboard
SB: 3 [ALA] Tidehollow Sculler
SB: 3 [ALA] Oblivion Ring
SB: 3 [CFX] Vedalken Outlander
SB: 3 [WWK] Bojuka Bog
SB: 3 [ARB] Etherwrought Page


now the first thing that stuck out to me was the number of players. it was unusual for my shop, because there were 34 players signed up, and yet more wanting to enter. there were probably more games being played on the countertops than on actual tables. the number of players who had non-budget decks also suprised me, but not the number of decklists that also happened to be on the PT san diego's top 8. the tournament went 4 rounds, and the cutoff was top 16.

MATCH 1: RG Valakut Ramp, non-removal variant.

game one kicked off a tad slow for this deck, which gave him the opportunity to put me on the ropes. I finally reach a bit of a standoff and i have one play to make me the game, but I forget to pay attention to the fact that my open the vaults gave him back expedition map, fetching him the critical mountain that won him that last 6 damage. any other situation and i'd have won it... but I guess that doesn't count. one move he played on me that was not typical of valakut was bogadarn hellkite. I had plans to nullify that threat in future games.

SB: -3 journey to nowhere, -3 crystallization, -3 ethersworn canonist, +3 oblivion ring, +3 etherwrought page, +3 tidehallow sculler

game two went pretty much as planned for this deck. my fliers beat him down, my lodestones slowed him down, and pretty much I had far too much momentum for him to even react. easy game win.

SB: no changes.

game three is when my SB cards came in handy. early game was another rush for me, which pressured his early valakut kickoff into clearing my field. two etherwrought pages in the next couple of turns quickly got rid of any progress he could have made with valakut, and the long standoff finally ends when I get too much field prescence for him to survive again. match win.

MATCH 2: Jund: all land, no removal. same decklist as PT champion.

game one was not typical of a Standard game. early plays were cancelled out pretty quickly, but in the late game my field prescence directly counteracted his, and it came to the point where the first to attack was the first to lose. the war of attrition was in my favor, however, because my masters of etherium were big, and he wanted to get rid of them because it made my sphinx summoners even with or better than his broodmates. eventually, thopter foundry came in handy with an EOT sac a bunch of artifacts when he was tapped out, followed by a lethal attack in the air for game. he had 2 bbe's, 2 putrid leechs, and 2 broodmate(no token)s, but when blocking my two summoners, it couldn't block lethal damage from my thopters. game one win.

SB: -2 master transmuter, -1 sharding sphinx, +3 oblivion ring.

game two was a complete blowout... in my favor. my stormblades flew over him, my removal put him in his place, and my lodestone locked him out of his turn 4 for one turn- long enough for me to snatch an almost perfect win.

MATCH 3: RW Allies.

game one went as planned with this deck. the early plays stay strong through the late game and I have plenty of threats to counteract their plays. strangely enough, I came closest to losing to this deck on this game, even though I was paired down. my first notice was the lack of lightning bolt, but it was made up for all the oblivion ring effects, including admonition angel, which came too late for him to snatch the game win.

SB: +3 tidehallow sculler, +3 etherwrought page, -2 sharding sphinx, -1 thopter foundry, -3 canonist

game two was the first mana screw of the night. I missed my turn 3 land drop, and the subsequent behind a turn made me fall too far behind to survive the relentless assualt. game loss.

SB: no changes.

game three also went as planned, but I also had the advantage of him being mana screwed. fair is fair, I guess, but my tempo was as planned, and what damage he could do was nullified by etherwrought page.

MATCH 4: Vampires.

game one: mana screwed entire game. sucked. I couldn't draw into my black sources, and I happened to draw both sphinx summoners. so much for that idea. his noctornus came out on turn 4 and pumped the gatekeepers who killed what threats I could put out, and he made short work of me.

SB: -3 ethersworn canonist, +3 oblivion ring.

game two: mana screwed. again. but with a new twist! no white sources, and all my white cards in hand. my opponent was actually suprised when he saw the swamp come into play. "I don't remember that!" he had remarked. his defeat of me was pretty much the same thing, the nocturnus killing me with the gatekeepers that killed my few threats.

Record after the fourth round: 3-1. With the number of players there were, I could've gone 2-1-1 and still gotten top 16. the prize split was 2 packs a person if we were to take that, and agreement was pretty much universal that we'd play to the top 8 and then split 4 packs each.

top 16: Match: UW Iona/jace/tectonic edge control.

my startup was decent enough, and had him sweating before he could get anywhere near stable. I did, however, have some of my non-basics, and he had his tectonic edges out which kept me locked at 3 lands, and I needed a source that one of my dual lands provided. a few basics sat in my hand for the game. in my last relevant attack, I brought him down to 5 before he brought out jace, and left me with one creature. the correct move would probably have been to continue the attack on him, but I was afraid of jace and decided to take him out. he stabilized then, and It took me another 10 minutes and about 2 countered open the vaults for me to lose the game.

SB: -2 baslilisk collar, -3 crystalization, -3 journey to nowhere, -1 ethersworn shieldmage, +3 tidehallow sculler, +3 etherwrought page(topdeck control), +3 oblivion ring(chalices).

game two I was disappointed to miss my two-drop. that lack of momentum might of well have handed him the game, but I stuck it out and tried to empty his hand of counter. when his two bsa's were almost ready to attack for lethal, I finally cast my open the vaults, which he luckily for him had a final negate in hand for the win.

Match loss.



I Was impressed with my deck's preformance. it fought competetively and fought well, and gave every deck where it wasn't color screwed a run for its money.

and it also ran jund straight through.

EDIT:
after seeing how helpless I was against a stabilized UW control, and seeing how often I didn't have a use for sharding sphinx, I made a few changes:

// Lands
6 [M10] Island (4)
5 [ZEN] Plains (3)
3 [LRW] Swamp (4)
3 [WWK] Celestial Colonnade
1 [WWK] Creeping Tar Pit

// Creatures
4 [ARB] Esper Stormblade
3 [ALA] Ethersworn Canonist
2 [ARB] Ethersworn Shieldmage
4 [ALA] Master of Etherium
2 [CFX] Master Transmuter
4 [WWK] Lodestone Golem
2 [CFX] Sphinx Summoner
2 [ALA] Sharuum the Hegemon

// Spells
2 [ARB] Thopter Foundry
3 [ZEN] Journey to Nowhere
2 [ARB] Mistvein Borderpost
4 [ARB] Fieldmist Borderpost
3 [M10] Open the Vaults
3 [ARB] Crystallization
2 [WWK] Basilisk Collar

// Sideboard
SB: 3 [ALA] Tidehollow Sculler
SB: 3 [ALA] Oblivion Ring
SB: 4 [M10] Silence
SB: 2 [WWK] Bojuka Bog
SB: 3 [ARB] Etherwrought Page

my favorite thing about having tested this deck is a very extended-esque combo that I ran into during the course of the game.

I had a sharuum in the graveyard, and at the end of his turn I had an idea and searched for the other sharuum by bouncing and returning my sphinx summoner. during his next attack step, I bounced my summoner to play sharuum, and I targeted sharuum in the graveyard. in response, I sacrificed sharuum to make a thopter and gain one life, and when the sharuum ability resolved, it gave me another sharuum trigger which could target sharuum.

basically, I had a sword of the meek and a thopter foundry.
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P_P4E



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like this archtype.

whats the advantage of playing crystalization over oblivion ring or PTE?

I honestly don't think you have enough mana sources. I tried out 8 borderpost and 18 land and it wasn't always good.

good job. top 16 with 34 players is odd though.
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Alphakiller



Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the main advantage of crystallization over PtE is that it comes back with open the vaults, doesn't give them land (lodestone hates PtE), and costs one less than oblivion ring. note that oblivion is sideboarded in case the deck i'm facing needs that much more removal, or isn't creature based.

in an aggro deck, 24 sources when the mana curve tops at 6 is a pretty good way to go. I've usually found that 26 sources can be a bit too much, and I get flooded with that more than I get screwed with this.

and yeah... top 16 is actually rare with that shop. they usually go top 4 because they have like 12 players.
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Vedrfolner



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 2325

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am amazed that after 4 mana screws in 12 games (1 in 3 games) you still hold on to the 18 lands + 8 borderposts plan. No wait, you went down 2 Borderposts! That'll help!!

If you had listened to me and gone 24-25 lands no borderposts, you would have good chances of winning that tournament. Yes they are that bad.

Another weakness: you have no instants. Take out crystallization and journey to nowhere for instant removal. Yes I know Open the Vaults brings those back, but how often has that been useful to you? PtE and Esper Charm should be in there. I suppose two Thopter Foundry's are one too many. They are nice in certain situations but for that you need only one.

So -4 Fieldmist Borderpost, -2 Mistvein Borderpost, -3 Journey to Nowhere, -3 Crystallization, -1 Thopter Foundry. +4 Arcane Sanctum, +2 Marsh Flats, +4 Path to Exile, +3 Esper Charm.

Try it.
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Bantos86



Joined: 28 Nov 2009
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vedrfolner wrote:
I am amazed that after 4 mana screws in 12 games (1 in 3 games) you still hold on to the 18 lands + 8 borderposts plan. No wait, you went down 2 Borderposts! That'll help!!

If you had listened to me and gone 24-25 lands no borderposts, you would have good chances of winning that tournament. Yes they are that bad.

Another weakness: you have no instants. Take out crystallization and journey to nowhere for instant removal. Yes I know Open the Vaults brings those back, but how often has that been useful to you? PtE and Esper Charm should be in there. I suppose two Thopter Foundry's are one too many. They are nice in certain situations but for that you need only one.

So -4 Fieldmist Borderpost, -2 Mistvein Borderpost, -3 Journey to Nowhere, -3 Crystallization, -1 Thopter Foundry. +4 Arcane Sanctum, +2 Marsh Flats, +4 Path to Exile, +3 Esper Charm.

Try it.


This.

And I agree with him about the borderposts. About the only way you could make them worth anything is to shove Tezzeret in your deck.
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ChuckNorris



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like Tidehollow Sculler should be main decked. One of the better cards available to the deck.
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Alphakiller



Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vedrfolner wrote:
I am amazed that after 4 mana screws in 12 games (1 in 3 games) you still hold on to the 18 lands + 8 borderposts plan. No wait, you went down 2 Borderposts! That'll help!!

If you had listened to me and gone 24-25 lands no borderposts, you would have good chances of winning that tournament. Yes they are that bad.

Another weakness: you have no instants. Take out crystallization and journey to nowhere for instant removal. Yes I know Open the Vaults brings those back, but how often has that been useful to you? PtE and Esper Charm should be in there. I suppose two Thopter Foundry's are one too many. They are nice in certain situations but for that you need only one.

So -4 Fieldmist Borderpost, -2 Mistvein Borderpost, -3 Journey to Nowhere, -3 Crystallization, -1 Thopter Foundry. +4 Arcane Sanctum, +2 Marsh Flats, +4 Path to Exile, +3 Esper Charm.

Try it.


the 1 in 3 was actually pretty atypical of the deck... on MWS I had done torough testing and found that it mana screws once every 10-12 games instead. however, finding situations where I would rather draw into a land over a borderpost, I do get your point. it'd be nice for master of etherium to have artifact lands, though.

on mws: i'll test your suggestion and see how it goes, and decide from the comparison.

in RL: that's a tougher call, because I don't quite have too much spare change for PtE or marsh flats atm.

i've always found that thopter foundry is a very valuable tool for me to use. I used to run only one thopter foundry, but the rate that I draw into it just wasn't enough to justify the singleton. the great thing about having two thopter foundrys is that even if you draw into the second one, which isn't a common occurence, you can always sac it for another thopter and life, which you can't say for some more redundant cards.

Quote:
Seems like Tidehollow Sculler should be main decked. One of the better cards available to the deck.


sculler was maindecked for a while, actually. in testing against many different decks, i've come to one conclusion: Against many of the decks out there, all he does is force a choice of which removal they use on the sculler, and he sits there for not even a turn. he is best against decks with small amounts of removal and/or large threats I have some trouble dealing with.
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sgcyrus



Joined: 04 Aug 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This deck seems good, I haven't played t2 in a while and will probably be playing esper when I start playing again. What are the Silence and Bojuka Bog in the SB for?
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Alphakiller



Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the 1 sharuum one sen mainboard seems like a solid idea.
(oh, wait, just don't let two sharuums come into play at once. and if its so late game that you do have both, you have probably about 10 other creatures.)

I actually think it's a better idea to have both sharuums, because a better-than-broodmate field prescence card is always desirable, and combine both with thopter foundry and it'll look like we're playing extended.

oh, and from testing vedrfolner's land variant, no borderposts is actually worse for the deck. it was a lot rarer that I would rather have a land than a borderpost considered to how often I wish I had a borderpost when I just drew a land. my stormblades were almost always 2/1's, my masters were almost always 1/1 or 2/2, and nothing really worked unless it was a hand NOT including those cards which become dead with the lack of a borderpost.

esper charm: I never had a problem with card advantage, and any threats I may need to take out were better dealt with by the sb sculler. i'd rather have additional removal, so crystallization and journey are better than esper charm, and as I said path to exile gives them a land which weakens Lodestone's impact.

the basic synergies of keeping those cards mainboard also increases the viability of my anti RDW control card: Etherwrought page. if you're not really in need of life, that's when you get to seal the deal by peeking the top card of your deck. it's a journey? how pleasant. ditch it. open the vaults.

i've actually had that situation occur several times. while decent removal on its own, they really shine and make an open the vaults more likely to win me the game than before.



Sgcyrus: Silence was added to the SB for matchups against control decks, or the occasional combo deck. silence launched during your own upkeep prevents an open the vaults from being countered, and silence during your opponent's upkeep prevents the combo being kicked off due to cards locked in hand.

Bojuka bog was an interesting consideration for me, because not many of the top decks need graveyard hosing. appearence of Open Filigree in the pro tour, however, led me to believe that an open-open mirror is very possible. bojuka bog turns a toss-up into a win.
(it also completely destroys crypt of agadeem/extractor demon combo deck)
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Insom



Joined: 19 Dec 2008
Posts: 433

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen a crypt deck in months. People still play it around you? From testing I think 6 borderposts are about 2 too many. 2 thopter foundry is at least 1 too many. Same with collar. The more I play decks with lodestone and OtV the more I hate them. Have you tried the top 8 control variant of this deck? If you really like the agro version dumping the OtV (blasphemy I know) for sharding and eldrazi is kind of fun.
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