Silumgar’s Scorn is a Messed Up Magic Card

Silumgar's Scorn
Silumgar’s Scorn is a messed up Magic card.

Esper Dragons in Standard is “not even realistic”!

All the other strategies are invalidated!

Too many people are just not playing realistic decks!

Esper is so much better than everything else it’s almost not worth having a conversation… And a big reason for that is of course Silumgar’s Scorn (which is a messed up Magic card).

Silumgar’s Scorn comes out on turn two as a Force Spike… And is essentially Counterspell the rest of the game. (You’d be surprised at what kind of “something special” it is to have Counterspell in your deck.)

Esper is so good that even their “bad matchup” Mono-Red got handed a 13-0 record beating over the Pro Tour and Grand Prix!

“If you don’t show up with something new, you better show up with Esper!”

But lucky for Top Level Podcast listeners, Patrick and Michael give you something new (maybe):

“Esper-Aware” Mardu Tokens

4 Butcher of the Horde
4 Crackling Doom
2 Mardu Charm

4 Dragon Fodder
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Hordeling Outburst
4 Outpost Siege
4 Stoke the Flames

4 Raise the Alarm
1 Soulfire Grand Master
1 Valorous Stance

2 Battlefield Forge
4 Bloodstaine Mire
2 Caves of Koilos
2 Nomad Outpost
3 Mountain
2 Plains
1 Swamp
1 Temple of Malice
3 Temple of Silence
3 Temple of Triumph

2 Read the Bones
2 Self-Inflicted Wound
1 Utter End
3 Twin Bolt
2 Nyx-Fleece Ram
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
1 Erase
1 Glare of Heresy
1 Valorous Stance

Patrick Chapin joins Michael J Flores in a discussion of Esper Dragons, control in general, and Silumgar’s Scorn… Until they end up brewing a Mardu list.

Give it a listen!

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Want to hear more from these guys?

Patrick’s Magic: The Gathering Books

Michael’s Magic: The Gathering Books

Episode 22 – Fun With Polluted Delta

Polluted Delta
Polluted Delta Control decks were some of the most successful decks of Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir

In our 22d episode, “Fun With Polluted Delta” Pro Tour Champion Patrick Chapin and Resident Genius Michael J Flores discuss three-and-a-half takes on Standard control.

Adrian Sullivan played a “pure” Dimir Control deck with only Planeswalkers to win.

Learn about this deck that “trims cards that are un-trimmable”, “plays one copy of a whole bunch of cards you would never Tutor for”, and runs “all kinds of colors of dual lands splashing for colors that aren’t in his deck”.

You’ll also learn the key to sideboarding against mono-red with Adrian’s build, and why it might be favored against Jeskai Tokens.

Former Player of the Year Shota Yasooka returned to Top 8 glory with a Dimir Control deck of his own.

Check out this coming out party for Icefall Regent and learn about a non-intuitive interaction you might not have known when playing Silumgar, the Drifting Death.

Andrew Ohlschwager splashed white mana for Dragonlord Ojutai in his third look at Polluted Delta in the Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir Top 8. Why might Andrew have played one copy of Sign in Blood instead of blue card drawing spells? Patrick and Michael engage in some lively speculation.

Finally, our intrepid Top Level Podcast duo examine Bryan Raymer’s Mono-Blue Dragons deck from States. Bryan made Top 8 running main deck Encase in Ice! Find out why a straight blue deck might be under-powered, but how this deck is already inspiring our heroes to brew Brew BREW

And speaking of brewing…

We might just end on a high note!

Dragon Tempest
Do these cards represent a possible future combo deck?

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Living the Monastery Siege

Patrick is still in Belgium, gearing up to play in this weekend’s upcoming Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir. He describes the experience as a kind of Monastery Siege.

Monastery SIege
Monastery Siege doesn’t really have much to do with this episode of Top Level Podcast.

Instead, our intrepid hosts Patrick Chapin and Michael J Flores discuss Patrick’s current playtest situation with his team The Pantheon, and twenty-odd years of high level tournament preparation skills, techniques, tactics, and technology generally. Including…

Which pros love to Stoke the Flames?
How to attack different formats, old and new
What are the good cards?
How are [other] people going to build decks based on the availability of good (new) cards?
Single v. multi-format events
Efficiently using limited playtest time
The Pantheon’s attitude towards sideboarding and playtesting with sideboards
The story of Mike Clair and seven Goblins decks
Assembling a gauntlet for established formats
Mike’s formula for extremes in metagaming
“We just play the best cards? Is that really a thing?”
Ben Rubin: master of taking from his environment
Why if two decks have a similar end game, the faster deck is favored
The concept of “bigger” v. “bigger end game”
Worlds 2005 and why Mori’s deck is one of Patrick’s all-time favorites for teaching deck building
Exploiting weaknesses in the metagame
Preparing for “middle ground” new formats that do not include a rotation
How card draw scales
Thought experiments around card draw versus expensive cards
How to expand your range as a player
Why every list Pantheon members post is expected to have a sideboard

… And more!

All in “Living the Monastery Siege”

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Speed, Nowhere, and Ojutai Exemplars

Ojutai Exemplars
Patrick’s short spiel on Ojutai’s Exemplars last week… Convinced Mike to buy a set!

How do you make a deck that is already the fastest deck in the format a half-turn faster?

Find out in “Speed, Nowhere, and Ojutai Exemplars”!

The importance of looking at formats from different angles?

“Speed, Nowhere, and Ojutai Exemplars” has got you covered!

Nostalgia? The history of Luis Scott-Vargas-winning tournaments?

… “Speed, Nowhere, and Ojutai Exemplars” I tell you!

[2009 World Champion] Andre Coimbra not believing some ridiculous turn-1 claim Mike makes?


“We have math for this, man.”
-Patrick Chapin

From New York City!

From the middle of nowhere, Belgium!

Mike Flores and Patrick Chapin bring you the epic twentieth episode of Top Level Podcast… “Speed, Nowhere, and Ojutai Exemplars”

What’s it like for two of the ten best deck builders of all time* to upload five years of deck building into your head in five minutes (or five months)?

“Speed, Nowhere, and Ojutai Exemplars” (obv)

In addition to spending much of this podcast on the paradigm-shifting power of Ojutai Exemplars, Patrick and Mike talk about Secure the Wastes and some updates / revisions to Sidisi, Undead Vizier.

Secure the Wastes
“Secure the Wastes for zero” will be a surprisingly effective Ojutai Exemplars-saving play.

Sidisi, Undead Vizier
Make sure you know how to respond to the multiple triggers on Sidisi, Undead Vizier; also…

“The Pantheon rules the streets.”
-“Poet Laureate” Owen Turtenwald

All this and more in: “Speed, Nowhere, and Ojutai Exemplars”

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* not Michael and / or Patrick BTW… But if you want to read about the Ten Best Deck Builders of All Time, check out Patrick’s book Next Level Deckbuilding