Deck of the Day: Esper Control (Frontier)

Esper Dragons was a sweet deck that relied on Dragonlord Ojutai to slam the door and then turn the corner with card advantage. Esper Planeswalkers was also a sweet deck, which relied on the Gatewatch to slow down the opponent and turn the corner. Frontier allows you to use more powerful creatures and planeswalkers to turn even the toughest games around.

Torrential Gearhulk is value on legs. A flash creature is already tough to deal with, and this one just happens to be massive. It beats up on the likes of Siege Rhino in combat and comes with a free counterspell, removal spell, or card draw spell out of the graveyard. Once that value is out of the way, it starts attacking for 5.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is one of the best weapons a control deck could ever have, and was featured as the top end of old Esper Dragons decks as a way to stabilize the board before winning the game. In a world where Collected Company and Rally the Ancestors are both legal, a sweeper that exiles all creatures is a nice complement to a bunch of removal spells and countermagic.


Dissolve might be the counterspell worth playing that didn’t make the cut in this list, but there is an abundance of options available. Void Shatter doesn’t provide the same scry, but it will exile the spell it hits. Spell Shrivel will also exile, and Clash of Wills allows for some early interaction that can still work in the late game for a land heavy deck.


Transgress the Mind is almost a proactive counterspell that you can tap out for, removing the important card from their hand before they cast it. Collective Brutality doubles as discard and removal, and it will even give you a little reach and life gain in a pinch.


The removal options certainly are plentiful. Not only do you have Collective Brutality, but an excellent sweeper in Languish that won’t impact your Gearhulks. With Grasp of Darkness and Murderous Cut also in the mix, you can deal with most creatures on the cheap. For a solution that can slow down your opponent and then do some blocking, you have Reflector Mage.


Liliana, the Last Hope and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy are great ways to maximize value. Jace is back in a universe where fetchlands exist, and you’re fully maxed out on Flooded Strands and Polluted Deltas to make sure Jace is ready to do as you please.

For card draw, there’s Anticipate and the always powerful Painful Truths. The big payoff, however, is Dig Through Time. Dig can help control when your Jace flips if you want to keep looting, and it’s an instant to be flashed back with Torrential Gearhulk. With Jace to provide flashback as well, you should be able to dig through your whole deck for action.

There are lots of awesome control options in Frontier and many of them haven’t even been fully tested yet. This is the perfect time to start brewing!

Esper Control

Urano Shouta, 1st place at Sunny Frontier Cup 1/1


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