Brief Brainstorm 003 — Esper DeathMentor with Paul

In Brief Brainstorm 003, Paul talks about the deck he is bringing to SCG D.C. Here it is below and the Carsten Kotter article that spawned it:

Carsten Kotter Article

Creatures (10)
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Monastery Mentor
2 Snapcaster Mage

Spells (31)
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Dig Through Time
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Cabal Therapy
2 Counterspell
2 Spell Pierce

Lands (19)
3 Underground Sea
4 Tundra
1 Tropical Island
1 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Polluted Delta
4 Flooded Strand
2 Misty Rainforest

SB: 2 Disenchant
SB: 2 Zealous Persecution
SB: 2 Surgical Extraction
SB: 1 Cabal Therapy
SB: 1 Darkblast
SB: 1 Pithing Needle
SB: 4 Meddling Mage
SB: 2 Disfigure


11 thoughts on “Brief Brainstorm 003 — Esper DeathMentor with Paul”

  1. The deck looks pretty interesting at first glance and I’m not certain how long or how many games you’ve tested but have you noticed any issues with so many cards fighting for synergies with your graveyard?

    Deathrite shaman can bum off your opponents but that’s not always the case.

    Then you have cabal therapy and snapcaster kind of going against the four dig through times. Has the problem of not being able to cast a dig or snap or something come up since they dis-synergize?

    Other than that I like the look Of the deck and hope you do well. Probe plus therapy is a nightmare against many decks

  2. Been playing with ~this deck for 6 weeks now.

    -1 Creeping Tar Pit
    -1 Tundra
    -1 Dig Through Time

    +1 Island
    +1 Plains
    +1 Lingering Souls

    I understand Dig is your darling and it’s obviously great, but this deck with snaps, deathrites and card velocity doesn’t want the full 4 in my experience.

    Good luck!

    1. Ian, thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it. I would like to hear about your experience with the deck. Which matchups do you like, and which do you hate? Basics and Lingering Souls are definitely tempting. For sure something to think about. My version is definitely still in the works, so I appreciate the input and new ideas. Let me know what your experience has been in testing and tournaments.


      1. For sure. I’m glad to see you’re giving the deck a spin.

        Before going into the matchups I should say that my sideboard is a bit different… -1 darkblast -2 disenchant -2 disfigure -1 surgical, +1 cage +1 needle +1 kor firewalker +1 clique +2 abrupt decay (greedy I know)

        I’ve played about 50 matches, here’s what I can recall off the top:

        Bug/Grixis Delver: 5-1
        Lands/Loam: 3-1
        Burn: 3-2
        Shardless: 2-1
        Maverick: 2-1
        Stoneblade: 2-1
        D&T: 2-1
        Nic-Fit: 1-0
        Miracles: 1-1
        ANT: 2-2
        Punishing Jund: 0-1-1
        Main deck choke? 0-1
        UR Delver: 1-2
        Omni: 1-4

        Big problem for me has been the omni matchup, and that’s what I’ve spent the most time working on lately. It doesn’t seem like it should be so bad, so it could be that I’m just keeping the wrong hands, not being aggressive enough countering cantrips, or just getting a bit unlucky.

        I haven’t seen a ton of Miracles, but the matchup felt pretty good.

        I expected to struggle with burn, but aside from 2 matches where the same guy had amazing top decks, I’ve been fine. Most wins involve StP my own mentor to gain ~5 life on the penultimate turn.

        Zealous P is perhaps the most important SB card, it comes in almost every time. Cleans up opposing pyros, mentors, thalias, etc. but also speeds up the clock in matchups like burn and ANT (and can also clean up after empty the warrens)

        I know it’s kinda last minute but I’m going to run a gauntlet Friday night so if I learn anything helpful I’ll let u know.

  3. Any chance we can get a part two of this brief brainstorm and hear how your tournament went? Curious to changes that you would make that aren’t necessarily only or meta game reasons but changes u feel the deck needs in general

    1. I strongly second this! I’m considering playing something similar in Seattle in a few months and would love to hear more about how the deck is doing. Thanks!

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