Esper Spells by itisunfair on MtGO

Creatures (12)
3 Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
2 Gurmag Angler
4 Monastery Mentor
3 Snapcaster Mage

Non-Creature Spells (30)
3 Cabal Therapy
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
1 Fatal Push
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Engineered Explosives
4 Urza’s Bauble

Lands (18)
1 Cavern of Souls
4 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Plains
4 Polluted Delta
3 Tundra
3 Underground Sea

Sideboard (15)
1 Containment Priest
2 Disenchant
3 Flusterstorm
1 Invasive Surgery
3 Meddling Mage
1 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Toxic Deluge


Tempo decks that look to simply cast more spells than the opponent are a major feature of Legacy. These are generally Delver of Secrets-focused decks, but the deck we’re featuring today removes the 1 mana creature and looks to go a little bigger, aiming to go over the top of those aggressive decks and compete into the late game with the format’s slower decks.

The centerpiece of this deck is Monastery Mentor. The powerful 3 mana creature gets better and better with every spell you cast. The diminishing presence of sweepers in the format thanks to the decline of Miracles has caused the stock of this card to rise even higher. As another similarly hard-hitting creature, Gurmag Angler offers a single big body for as little as 1 mana. This deck has no issues getting cards into the graveyard, so the Angler is a great option.

Erayo, Soratami Ascendant and Snapcaster Mage round out the creature base. This deck’s suite of cheap or free spells makes Erayo flip very reliably soon after it’s cast. Once flipped, the many decks in the format will struggle to do much of anything, and the enchantment can be thought of as a meaningful source of card advantage for the rest of the game. Snapcaster Mage has made a huge impact on Legacy since printing, and it’s not going anywhere, the ability to rebuy an instant or sorcery for only 2 mana is an incredible deal, and it allows you to get that much more value out of each of your cards.

Many of the non-creature spells in this deck are obvious inclusions, such as Brainstorm, Ponder, Force of Will, and Swords to Plowshares, but some are less obvious. Gitaxian Probe and Cabal Therapy are a package that can be taken advantage of more in this deck than most, as Monastery Mentor‘s ability to create a token for the back side of Cabal Therapy makes the 1 mana discard spell a really juicy cast.

Additionally, Urza’s Bauble and Engineered Explosives might seem odd on the surface, but both put in work in this deck. Urza’s Bauble is a free spell that replaces itself and gives small bits of valuable information, and Engineered Explosives is a reliable and flexible way of killing the format’s most pesky permanents.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Fatal Push

+1 Gurmag Angler


-1 Containment Priest

-2 Surgical Extraction

+1 Nihil Spellbomb

+1 Invasive Surgery

+1 Cabal Therapy

This is day 186 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 185 here, where we featured Modern deck aimed on gaining more life than the opponent can dream of dealing.

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