Esper Control by MouT on MtGO

Creatures (3)
3 Snapcaster Mage

Non-Creature Spells (32)
4 Cryptic Command
4 Esper Charm
3 Fatal Push
3 Logic Knot
1 Mana Leak
1 Negate
3 Path to Exile
1 Secure the Wastes
3 Serum Visions
2 Sphinx’s Revelation
3 Supreme Verdict
4 Think Twice

Lands (25)
3 Celestial Colonnade
2 Drowned Catacomb
4 Flooded Strand
2 Glacial Fortress
1 Godless Shrine
2 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island
1 Mystic Gate
2 Plains
3 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
2 Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)
2 Blessed Alliance
1 Celestial Purge
2 Dispel
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Gideon Jura
1 Jace, Architect of Thought
1 Negate
1 Path to Exile
1 Supreme Verdict
3 Thoughtseize


Control decks in Modern tend to have the same general feel about them, but what separates them is how they slightly deviate from the central, “normal” strategy. Most of the time, when adding a third color to the classic U/W Control deck in Modern, players add red for access to Lightning Bolt and Lightning Helix (as well as several powerful sideboard options), but this deck has chosen to go a different direction, including black as the third color, which gives it access to Esper Charm and Fatal Push. Frequently, Esper Charm will be an instant-speed Divination, but the extra flexibility it gives the deck both as an instant-speed Mind Rot and a Disenchant is very valuable.

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The rest of the deck will be familiar to those who play a lot of Modern, outside of several interesting inclusions. Firstly, 3 copies of Logic Knot is far more than the usual number which usually appear in this strategy. It’s generally thought that ever having to pay more than 2 mana to counter a spell in Modern is a serious loss of value, so players are usually afraid of playing Logic Knot. 1 copy of Secure the Wastes offer a few different things for this deck. Firstly, it can act as a Fog that kills some of the opponent’s creatures. Secondly, once the game is in hand, it can close it out fairly quickly alongside Snapcaster Mage and Celestial Colonnade.

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The sideboard has 1 copy each of 3 planeswalkers that each offer something different against decks that have trouble dealing with non-creature permanents. The inclusion of black also gives the deck access to Thoughtseize in the sideboard, which is undoubtedly the most versatile sideboard option this deck can get its hands on.

It’s excellent against other control decks, and against combo decks, especially Ad Nauseam which usually thrives against these slow, controlling strategies. Going forward, control decks will always be a part of Modern, but to what extent and which version (or versions) is certainly yet to be seen. It’s quite possible that this Esper Control deck could be the best option for the metagame going forward.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Logic Knot

-1 Secure the Wastes

-1 Think Twice

+1 Snapcaster Mage

+1 Serum Visions

+1 Mana Leak


-1 Celestial Purge

-1 Supreme Verdict

+1 Negate

+1 Engineered Explosives

This is day 63 of’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 62 here, where we featured a Modern combo deck that wins through taking as many extra turns as it can.

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