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The States of Esper

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The letter L!ast weekend, while some of us were battling out Team Sealed in San Jose, the majority of North America was participating in the 2012's. With Return to Ravnica freshly introduced into the Standard format, a lot of people were looking forward to this weekend for inspiration as well as simply figuring out where things stood in Standard. All this week and most of next, we will be searching through the 2012's top 8's for some of the new lists that may be defining Standard in everything from Friday Night Magic to the Pro Tour.

Today, we take a look at what Esper Control looks like now that Mana Leak and Day of Judgment are out of the format. Ryan Sabin decided Esper could still be viable, as he turned to his Planeswalker friends to do most of the heavy lifting now that the Titans and Consecrated Sphinx are not available to do the closing. Jace, Architect of Thought has received a lot of attention, and it looks like he is willing to deliver on his promises. Combined with partners in crime, Sorin and Tamiyo, the 8 pack of planeswalkers allow the deck to generate card advantage every turn of the game that they go unchecked.

Other new additions include Detention Sphere, which is an upgrade on Oblivion Ring assuming you have no trouble casting it. Azorius Charm is an interesting addition to the deck. On one level, putting a creature on top of its owner's library does not actually deal with the threat permanently, but with 5 sweepers in the deck, buying time is likely all that is needed. Mainstays like Lingering Souls and Curse of Death's Hold are still here to hold down the fort, but Return to Ravnica definitely had a huge impact on the success of the deck.

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