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Operation Doom Foretold

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One of the safest places to be in a new format is to take an already proven shell and add a powerful new element to it. Week one Standard is an easy place to be wrong - and subsequently crash and burn - so by taking something that already has a pedigree and finding a new way to improve on it you leave yourself in a pretty safe place. This is exactly what former World Champion Carlos Romao did last Saturday in the Fandom Legends Caster's Cup tournament with his Esper Stax deck. Bryan Gottlieb won the Thursday Fandom Legends tournament with an earlier build of the deck, giving it quite the pedigree over the first two events of our young format.

Doom Foretold
Dance of the Manse

While built around the Esper Control shell of Thought Erasure, Teferi, Time Raveler, and Kaya's Wrath, the new Throne of Eldraine enchantment Doom Foretold adds an entirely new and unique element to the deck that harkens back to the earlier days of Magic which were all about breaking global effects like Smokestack. Doom Foretold gets fed things like Oath of Kaya and Golden Egg, which then eventually leads to a large Dance of the Manse which provides both the card advantage as well as the ultimate endgame of making a bunch of 4/4 creatures in addition to drawing cards and firing off Lightning Helixes.

Time Stamps:

Match 1 - 00:06:18

Match 2 - 00:19:14

Match 3 - 00:44:55

Match 4 - 01:22:47


As we saw in our first few matches things went swimmingly against creature decks as Kaya's Wrath is still awesome and plays wonderfully with Doom Foretold.

Kaya's Wrath

Creature decks and aggressive decks in general tend to be popular early on in formats as people like to subscribe to the notion that "there are no wrong threats, only wrong answers." This makes cards like Kaya's Wrath and Oath of Kaya very exciting, with Thought Erasure and Teferi, Time Raveler able to handle most other things.

Field of the Dead

The issue we saw was in our latter two matches against the long-game Field of the Dead decks. Given that it is our plan to play a long game too, Field of the Dead's ability to churn out a never ending army of 2/2 zombie tokens was very tough to deal with. Further complicating things was the presence of Unmoored Ego, which almost completely removed our ability to win the game in one of the sideboarded games.

Going forward the deck is going to need some sort of plan in the sideboard for both, but there's something very real here. If you're looking to have an awesome endgame while clowning the creature decks Esper Stax may be for you!

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