Video Daily Digest: Opt For The Free Frogurt

Opt has received comparisons to Serum Visions in Modern combo decks like U/R Gifts Storm, but what if the real comparison is Thought Scour? Ross Merriam explores an unusual Esper Control deck from Magic Online!

Think Twice control decks have been around for a while in Modern, but despite the power from all of Shaheen Soorani’s hopes and dreams, they’ve lived mostly on the fringes of the format. The printing of another versatile one-mana removal spell in Fatal Push has certainly helped them, and Ixalan brought another significant upgrade: Opt.

It may seem odd to describe Opt as an upgrade when it’s a worse cantrip than Serum Visions, but here, being an instant is critically important, so the upgrade is really Opt over Thought Scour, which is not good enough for a deck that doesn’t have any delve cards.

With a solid instant-speed cantrip, this deck can now consistently use its mana reactively and not be forced into awkward decisions about whether or not the mana spent on the cantrip may be relevant on the opponent’s turn. This effect is magnified by the presence of Snapcaster Mage, which is now a lot more versatile, letting you cast it as a threat or to pressure an opposing planeswalker while getting some value from its trigger even against a battlefield without a target for removal.

The final upgrade this deck received was Gideon of the Trials. I know, I know, it’s a sorcery, but there are only two in the 75 and it does a lot of good work here. Once on the battlefield, Gideon needs to be answered, and if they don’t have the Abrupt Decay, Dreadbore, or Detention Sphere, they’ll have to do it through the combat phase. That stress narrows the range of possible plays the opponent can make. They can only afford to bide their time for so long until they absolutely have to play into your wall of untapped lands and hope you don’t destroy them.

Most of the time, you’re going to destroy them.

That’s a good thing. For you, not for them. And it comes with free frogurt!

I have a naturally aggressive bent when playing Magic, but the key to this deck is patience. Sit back, gain value, and use your life total as a resource. There’s something particularly satisfying about watching your opponent struggle for so long to get back into a game they lost on Turn 5. Sadistic, but satisfying.