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April 3, 2019

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Daily Dose of War of the Spark – Calling all control players, have we got some new cards for you

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of War of the Spark where today I’m going to be talking about 3 cards from the new set that I’m looking forward to putting in my control decks. Whenever a new set comes out, the deckbuilding side of me goes into overdrive, thinking of new decks that can be built with this pool of new cards. Another thing to think about is if any of these new cards can make existing decks, that much better. Today I’m going to be talking about three cards that I think will fit nicely into an Esper Control deck. I have been playing both regular Esper Control as well as the Esper Acuity deck, so I’ll consider both decks when looking at these cards.

First off, I want to talk about a new removal card that can be cast at instant speed. Here is Liliana’s Triumph.

They key wording that makes this removal spell greater than similar cards in the past is that it doesn’t target your opponent. That means you can cast it even if your opponent has hexproof. Similar cards like Diabolic Edict or To the Slaughter forced you to target a player making it so you couldn’t always cast it if your opponent had hexproof/ couldn’t be the target of spells. The bonus of having them discard a card will rarely, if ever come into play, but it’s nice that it’s been added onto the card. There are certain situations where this will be better or worse than the current two-mana removal options being used in Esper Control. It’s two greatest comparisons are Moment of Craving and Cast Down. There is a triangle between the cards where each card can be rated higher than the other based on what you are facing. Are you playing against a trio of creatures in Mono White Aggro? If so, you want the other two cards over Liliana’s Triumph for sure. Are you playing against Mono Blue Tempo which has loaded up one creature with Curious Obsession to try and win the game? Liliana’s Triumph becomes your best option as it will get around cards, they use to protect the creature like Dive Down. I would most likely play it out of the sideboard, but the changing metagame will tell me where it will end up in my deck.

Every set has some counterspells in it, but very few of them make the cut when it comes to being added to a good control deck. War of the Spark brings a new counterspell to the mix with Dovin’s Veto.

Currently there are two main counterspells being used in Esper Control. Absorb and Negate. Absorb is clearly the best of the lot as it can counter any spell while gaining you 3 life. After that though I would say that despite the double colored mana cost, Dovin’s Veto should be used 100% of the time instead of Negate. How many times have you been in an Esper Control mirror and your opponent has 8 or more mana up and they try and cast a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. You can be 100 % certain that they have a counterspell to counter the Absorb or Negate that you try to cast. With Dovin’s Veto you don’t need to worry about that. Their won’t be any counterspell war, as it ends with you thanks to Dovin’s Veto ability to not be countered. This is a great addition to the counterspell realm of spells and I can’t wait to put it in my deck come May.

Finally, I get to talk about one of the most popular planeswalkers currently in Standard, Teferi. There is a new version hanging out in War of the Spark. Here is Teferi, Time Raveler.

This looks like another home run for Teferi lovers. This is the perfect card to have during the control mirror match. Let’s break down the abilities of this card.

Each opponent can cast spells only any time they could cast a sorcery. – Wow, just wow. If you look at typical Esper Control lists, this shuts them down from casting 21 of their spells during your turn. That is over a third of the Esper Control decklist. This also means that you have clear skies to cast whatever you want during your turn without any fear of them interacting with your spells or battlefield.

[+1]: Until your next turn, cast sorceries as if they had flash. – This ability won’t be useful every turn, but there are some definite advantages for this against any deck. Just thinking about being able to cast Thought Erasure at the end of their draw step, or casting Kaya’s Wrath at the end of their turn to clear the battlefield. How about casting Teferi, Time Raveler to see if it is better suited to come out of the sideboard or be played out of the main deck. The metagame and lots of deck testing will give me more information in the coming months.

Beware Magic players, as control players now have 3 more tools in their toolbox to help them in their quest for Magic control. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of War of the Spark. Join me again tomorrow as I talk about more of what War of the Spark will be showcasing in the months to come!