Esper Spirits by sphynxx on MtGO

Creatures (27)
4 Drogskol Captain
3 Geist of Saint Traft
4 Mausoleum Wanderer
4 Rattlechains
4 Selfless Spirit
4 Spell Queller
4 Spirit of the Labyrinth

Non-Creature Spells (11)
3 Lingering Souls
4 Path to Exile
4 Aether Vial

Lands (22)
2 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Flooded Strand
1 Geier Reach Sanitarium
2 Ghost Quarter
1 Godless Shrine
2 Hallowed Fountain
1 Irrigated Farmland
1 Island
1 Moorland Haunt
1 Plains
1 Polluted Delta
3 Seachrome Coast
1 Swamp
1 Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)
2 Ceremonious Rejection
3 Disdainful Stroke
2 Engineered Explosives
2 Kataki, War’s Wage
2 Rest in Peace
2 Timely Reinforcements
2 Zealous Persecution


Modern tribal decks come in a few forms, with decks like Merfolk and Elves being the most popular. However, more fringe options have popped up here and there on MtGO and in physical tournaments. The deck we’re featuring today is Esper Spirits, which brings tribal synergies to the tribe popularized by Innistrad and Shadows over Innistrad block.

Drogskol Captain and Rattlechains are the main reason to have a dedicated Spirit tribal deck. Drogskol Captain is a well-costed flyer that puts an immense amount of pressure on the opponent when it lands, all while protecting your valuable spirits from removal spells, taxing heavily the midrange decks of the format that look to control the opponent’s board. Rattlechains similarly protects your creatures against removal spells, while providing a huge edge against sorcery-speed focused decks that populate the format. Mausoleum Wanderer, to a certain extent, is also a spirit payoff, but outside of a turn-long pump it gains little from other spirits.

Selfless Spirit and Spirit of the Labyrinth round out the low-drops in this deck, and provide unique and valuable effects. Selfless Spirit adds some insulation against board wipes in this play-to-the-board style deck. Spirit of the Labyrinth has seen more play in Legacy than Modern, but it still has good applications against many decks in the format that are looking to play draw spells. With Aether Vial in important part of this deck, getting a Spirit of the Labyrinth in play at instant speed to plow the opponent out is a rather common occurrence for this deck.

Further up the curve are two very powerful blue-white spirits in Geist of Saint Traft and Spell Queller. Geist of Saint Traft hits harder than almost anything else in the format, and the added bonus of hexproof means it simply runs over much of the format without second thought. Spell Queller has proven itself a valuable card in Modern, as the tempo advantage it affords the caster is more important in Modern than in Standard. It’s at its best in this deck, where Drogskol Captain, Rattlechains, and Selfless Spirit can all protect it.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Rattlechains

+1 Geist of Saint Traft


No changes.

This is day 268 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 267 here, where we featured a Modern control deck that forgoes blue for black and white’s planeswalkers and board wipes!

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