Now that the M-Core Set All-Stars League has come to a conclusion, I’d like to post the replay analysis of all my matches. I found the format to be surprisingly diverse and interesting despite the limitations of simple, dumb ol’ core-set commons. The design of M core-sets definitely had limited in mind compared to the pre-M predecessors and this league format highlights that difference quite well.
The first video is a deck tech for what I chose to play – Esper Control. In my testing I originally thought that mono-white would be THE dominant deck. A few short head-to-head games later and I found out that mono-black blasted the weenies to shreds. I liked Mono-Black a ton: card advantage, ETB creatures to get back with Gravedigger, removal for the early and late game, life gain tacked on to creatures/spells, and discard spells to strip our opponent of resources. It felt perfect, that is, until I threw deck with all hexproof creatures at it.
Aven Fleetwing, Primal Huntbeast, Sacred Wolf, and Gladecover Scout combined with Mark of the Vampire, Tricks of the Trade, and Marked by Honor created some nasty, resilient voltrons. Heliod’s Pilgrim was there to find Verdant Haven to fix our Bant shard deck with a speculative manabase plus whatever aura we needed buff our troops. There were many options to round out the deck with removal, counters, card draw, or recursion or even splashing another color.
Mono-black could only deal with a souped up duder with their own creatures on board without an edict to lean on for removal. Deathtouch is a good ability to interact since none of the creatures would have first strike from Ethereal Armor, but Deathgaze Cockatrice was so much worse than Bloodhunter Bat that I couldn’t bring myself to run it. The unblockable-granting enchantment laughs at the deathtouch plan, too.
I almost chose the hexproof deck but it felt too untuned compared to the Esper Control deck I had been working on. Dimir ended up being the best in testing but I didn’t want to be cold to hexproof decks, so that’s why I added the white.
I’ll let the videos do the rest of the talking (click on the Esper Charm to be charmed by my Esper videos)
Quick Hits: Top 4 Written Recap
The Top 4 video replay is on a computer different than my usual laptop that I play from and it does not have recording software functioning on it right now. If I get it working I’ll eventually update the playlist to include that match. Spoiler alert – I got destroyed by JMason playing a very consistent GR Aggro/Hexproof Deck. It was a better brew than my hexproof deck because it was faster and had a better manabase. He chose to round out the deck with burn spells, which is a perfect balance of removal or reach to close out the game.
In the finals Beatnik_Bobby got the best of JMason to take down the event. I beat Bobby in the swiss but I believe I got much better draws than him to do so. The matchup felt close but slightly worse for me since he had more threats than I could answer and some of them had hexproof, which would strain my manabase and Celestial Flares. Anyway, congrats to Bobby – he wins a lot of events these days!
Thanks for watching and remember to sound off in the comments about your opinion regarding the conclusion of our top 8 match – I appreciate the help in cultivating the balance between competitive spirit and sporting conduct for our community.
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