Power and Toughness—The Intensity of Hatred I Have for Bullshit Decks Like Esper Control and My Disapproval of Anyone Playing Them, Ever

It’s been an intense week.

I’ve been super emo whilst playing magic both online and in real life. Reanimator and it’s variations have been good to me. I haven’t been losing to aggro, like, at all. There have been two matches against Esper Control, one won and one lost, that put me on tilt like I haven’t been in ages.

One can talk up the “it’s just a game” attitude towards magic all one wants. It’s a rare bird that can live this attitude. I enjoy playing Magic. I like the decks I build and play, you know, reasonably fair mid-range decks that are often ridiculed considerably by my non-Kadar buds. “Cast big dudes and smash,” many say my strategy is flawed, dumb, uninteresting, and not complicated enough Listen, Reanimator and other mid-range decks are never the bad guy. They always interact, are totally beatable and disruptable, always give you a game, and let you play your fucking spells. The bad guy is always a deck playing counter magic.

Hugh “I haven’t lost a draft since 1997” Kramer yelled at me (not in volume but in tone) Saturday after I scooped to a round three opponent’s turn whatever Jace, ruin-fun, with a Rest in Peace in play, uttering “I don’t want to fucking do this anymore.”

“People are going to play Magic in ways you don’t approve of and you’re going to have to deal with that,” isn’t what he said word for word but it’s close enough, and I hear that, sure. Logic and reason have no place in the moment and everyone on Planet Earth knows this. HA! That was a kinda psychotic sounding laugh, btw.

I’m gonna talk shit because I’m pretty frustrated, but let it be known before the shitstorm that I think the person I played at some point in a tournament over the last week who shall remain nameless good … person. Young, smart, and capable, just, maybe, a little etiquette inept and incredibly confused. Multiple times in our match I felt it necessary to request s/he speak audibly in response to spells resolving, announcing triggers, and generally any time s/he interacted with me, you know, the other human being playing in the match with her/him, rather than ever so slightly nodding or occasionally grunting. Who does this? So you’re gonna play some super annoying permission based deck and you’re going to pull some Sith mind control bullshit throughout our entire match? Fuck that. I’d rather stay home. I’m too old to have to deal with that shit. Respect your elders, punk.

The night before my battle with the opponent from hell I played Johnny. Johnny’s a super dude but he was also on Esper Control. After a 30 minute game one a very emo and angry Matt Jones told him he couldn’t stop thinking about how he’d rather be doing fucking anything than sit here and try to play Magic against this total bullshit, that there were countless other things to do rather than watch his opponent deny him the ability, nay, the right, to play Magic. He asked Johnny how he came to choose this horrid pile of cards. “I dunno, it’s good,” was his reply. That’s fair enough but certainly didn’t quell my rage.

Johnny fell victim to mana screw and Acidic Slimes games two and three. My sick mind thought “that’s what you get for playing such an asshole deck!” Instead of saying that I apologized for wishing him ill and verbally reconfirmed my love for him as a person.

The type of artist-person I’ve become requires that I live and feed off of my emotional responses to things. These responses are sometimes inspirational highs that lead to my best work. I sometimes see things others don’t and respond intensely to stimuli and situations that otherwise go ignored. I live and die by my emotions. Buddhist study has helped me to deal with this shit but there’s only so much I can do, you know? Hugh, you’re probably right, dude. There’s always room for improvement.

Here’s a Standard Daily I absent-mindedly recorded a couple days ago. I go long stretches without saying anything, speak with my studiomate about why I’m talking to myself, and sing a little. OH! And at the request of Anthony Lebron: Spoiler Alert! I say “fuck” or “fucking” like 300 times during these videos.

I must not have recorded round four. Breaking news: I lost to Esper MOTHER FUCKING Control. It wasn’t even close. All my hands were the goddamn worst. No land mulligans. Colorless land mulligans. Variance is a great part of Magic but sometimes it comes at uncomfortable times. It’s like that period in Star Trek—The Next Generation when Geordi has a beard.

Next week I’m going to write the happiest, most positivest Magic blog post of any time ever. I swear. To uh … you? I dunno. Whatever, I’ll try. I look forward to some “first world problem” comments or “dude, all you do is whine, you’re a dick” comments this week. HOORAY!

I’ve taken two breaks while writing this to play some more Reanimator  on MTGO. I lost one and won one. I CANNOT STAY AWAY!!! It’s basically reached the point of “unmanageable” and we all know what that means.

Lots of love,
MTGO: The_Obliterator

20 Responses to “Power and Toughness—The Intensity of Hatred I Have for Bullshit Decks Like Esper Control and My Disapproval of Anyone Playing Them, Ever”
  1. giacofurino says:

    “Next week I’m going to write the happiest, most positivest Magic blog post of any time ever.”

    Yo, step off my niche, dude.

  2. Jess Stirba says:

    Oh man do I feel you! I played against Esper control in the last standard tournament I played in (you know, that one in which I scooped to you the final round, leaving me without an actual win all night), and it was so awful I was like “welp, maybe next season!”

    Maybe that Legion anti-wrath card will be enough to shut that deck down? One can hope, right?

  3. Rich Stein says:

    Man I miss playing control decks sometimes.

      • Rich Stein says:

        I loved playing control dude. The earliest success I had in competitive constructed Magic was with Owling Mine. You think you have rage and hatred in today’s world? Imagine this:

        My Turn 1: Island, Pass.
        Your Turn 1: Land, Pass
        My Turn 2: Island, Boomerang your land, Pass.

        Oh boy was that fun. For me. Always. For my opponents? Not a chance.

        Oh, and the deck ran 8 Boomerangs, but four were Sorcery speed, but whatever.

  4. Sean Shirato Almon says:

    Matt, if we can sit down and make a nice fun elf deck, I would be happy to sideline my Esper Control and not bring it up around you ever. (I’m sorry I like milling as a win-con)

    • Matt Jones says:

      SSA – you need not apologize for enjoying milling as a win condition. You have every right to like whatever you like re: magic (and within reason outside of magic), you don’t need me to tell you this. I’m not trying to take it away from you at all. I wrote this article mostly to share the very real frustration I have in playing against Esper (or really any control deck). Keep on milling and don’t care what others think about your strategy. If it’s what you like doing then do it all the way, man.

      I don’t really have time to play the amount of magic I want to play, let alone sit down and build a nice fun elf deck with you. Sorry, bub. 😉

      • Matt Jones says:

        Mostly I think it’s important to discuss many aspects of magic – and the emotional/mental strain of it is an important thing to notice/bring up. Come to think of it, every time I play against a control deck I nearly bring up. I vented in this rage filled way b/c I kinda think it’s helpful to announce suffering to this degree, helps me let go of it. I felt maybe 100x better after writing the post.

  5. Leo Newball says:

    This sentiment was the reason I feel in love with hyper aggro, until I realized that after turn 5, it does nothing but repeat itself and dies to all decks. They’re ways to beat esper control and its like, but often that requires you having your own counterspells in hand.

    • Matt Jones says:

      I’m like 50/50 against esper, maybe 60/40. It’s not so much that I can’t beat it – at a certain point in a match it is unwinnable but it takes forever to get there – it’s just that the style of those matches isn’t very fun/exciting. I honestly don’t get why anyone would play esper, seems so shitty/unfun to me. BUT, the world is an amazingly diverse place and it takes all kinds.

      • Leo Newball says:

        It’s almost as if they took out a padlock, and put it on top of your deck, as if to say “so now what?” I get why people would want to play esper (they want to control the field from everything) – but personally for those people I just want a deck that wins consistently on turn 3.

      • Matt Jones says:

        and that’s how the meta hopefully balances itself out.

  6. Jon Jerome says:

    The fact that them “winning” takes so goddamn long is what bothers me.

    • Matt Jones says:

      haha. i’m all for well played thought out games, etc., but yeah. seriously. I’m so far ahead and then SPHINX’S FOR 5 and they wrath and it’s over. Like … what’d I waste the last hour for? haha. To be doubly fair I love Bonfire.

  7. One of my favorite things about playing Junk Reanimator though, is that you can build it so Rest in Peace is a minor annoyance instead of a game-winning card against you. I know you like Slimin’ it, so if someone t2 RIPs you, why not just chillax it and start playing to your outs? I wouldn’t be playing the same list on MODO as I do in NYC live events, there are way more Esper decks than there are online.

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