I want to try something different. I want to sell you on playing a Modern deck, Esper Gifts Ungiven, but I don’t want to do it using a detailed deck tech or tournament report. I want to just show off how dang cool the thing is, as concisely as possible.
So instead of walking you through an entire night of Magic, I’m going to boil it down to twelve video game-style achievements. All unlocked over the course of one Tuesday playing Modern.
I faced off against:
I went 3-0-1, and I did it exactly as Richard Garfield intended. With a deck full of spicy one-ofs, intricate decisions, and surprises my opponents didn’t see coming. If you sleeve up Esper Gifts, you can look forward to:
- Casting your first Gifts Ungiven not to find the typical Unburial Rites and a fattie package, but instead an improvised, game-winning pile of Engineered Explosives, Academy Ruins, Spell Snare, and Snapcaster Mage.
- Hardcasting Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite.
- Casting all four Gifts Ungiven in one game (by Giftsing for more Gifts, obviously).
- Hardcasting Iona, Shield of Emeria.
- Getting your opponent to give you a Dispel off Gifts Ungiven three turns ago, protecting Iona from Path to Exile and letting you put her into play naming Black.
- Reanimating Noxious Gearhulk and having it be exactly better than Wurmcoil Engine. (Relevant life total, relevant removal ability, opponent has a Path in hand.)
- Casting Engineered Explosives for 0, 2, and 3. (Really wanted to fit 1 in there too…)
- Hardcasting Unburial Rites to reanimate a Snapcaster Mage that can’t flash back any spells, and having it be the correct play.
- Siding out all seven removal spells in your deck to bring in fun-ofs like Shadow of Doubt, Spreading Seas, and Ghost Quarter.
- Killing two opponents with Celestial Colonnade (one buffed by Elesh Norn).
- Having an opponent Surgical Extraction your Spreading Seas only to find no others in your deck.
- Using Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy‘s looting ability multiple times without putting a single card in the graveyard.
Assuming those achievements sold you on the deck, you’re going to need the list. Here it is, in all its glory:
If you want to play Commander while the rest of your store is playing Modern, this version of Esper Gifts is right for you. I encourage you to tweak it for your own meta, sleeve it up, and see what achievements you can unlock. If you find any particularly sweet ones, please come back and post ’em here. Because after all, this deck is all about giving.