Esper Deathblade by bobsondugnutt on MtGO

Creatures (15)
3 Baleful Strix
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 True-Name Nemesis

Non-Creature Spells (24)
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Ponder
4 Thoughtseize
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Batterskull
1 Umezawa’s Jitte

Lands (21)
4 Flooded Strand
2 Marsh Flats
4 Polluted Delta
1 Scrubland
1 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
4 Underground Sea
2 Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
2 Council’s Judgment
1 Disenchant
2 Flusterstorm
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Meddling Mage
3 Surgical Extraction
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
2 Zealous Persecution


One of the defining features of Legacy over the years has been so-called “fair blue midrange decks”, which look to leverage the card advantage offered in blue and the complimentary cards from other colors. These decks come in many shapes and sizes, including Esper Deathblade, which is the deck we’re featuring today.

Primarily, this deck adds black and white to the base blue. In the creature base, this comes in the form of both Deathrite Shaman and Stoneforge Mystic. Deathrite Shaman has been a staple of Legacy ever since it was printed as it’s the best mana dork available, producing mana while draining the opponent’s life total and bolstering its controller’s. Stoneforge Mystic is another incredibly powerful cheap creature, as it searches up any equipment, which are Umezawa’s Jitte and Batterskull in this deck, and cheats them into play at instant speed. The value created every time Stoneforge hits the board has made strategies built around it viable.

True-Name Nemesis is the king of fairness in Legacy, being a hard to beat threat that lands early and closes games out quickly. Combined with equipment, it’s nearly impossible to beat. Jace, the Mind Sculptor has had a slight fall from grace over the last several years, but it’s still one of the strongest cards in Legacy. It generates card advantage turn after turn with its 0 ability and threatens to end the game on its own once the game has been locked up, by using its +2 and -12 abilities. Baleful Strix, while not as exciting as these other cards, bridges the gap very well for this deck, providing evasion, card draw, and a great blocker when needed.

The Esper color combination gives quite a bit in Legacy. In white, Swords to Plowshares is the most powerful and efficient removal spell in the format, making it a no-brainer inclusion in this deck. In blue, Force of Will is a free, yet card disadvantageous, counter spell that helps this deck have game against combo decks, and Brainstorm and Ponder help this deck to churn through cards and find what it needs in particular situations. In black, Thoughtseize is the main draw. The 1 mana discard spell is particularly relevant in Legacy, where the metagame is incredibly diverse, the two life doesn’t matter a ton, and nabbing spells from the opponent’s hand is particularly potent.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Baleful Strix

+1 Toxic Deluge


No changes.

This is day 327 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 326 here, where we featured a Modern control deck that uses Leylines in the mainboard!

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