Conflux – Esperzoa

A quick review on Conflux uncommon, Espezoa.

Aesthetics:

I actually had to read this one a couple of times because I got confused. There are only three other Jellyfish in all the annals of Gatherer, and one of them is one of my all-time favorite creatures (Man-o’-War), which also returns creatures to hand and also costs 2U.

Well, I guess Esperzoa doesn’t necessarily return creatures to hand so much as artifacts (but I bet they will be creatures relatively often).

I thought for a bit that this returned artifacts from your graveyard to hand, so I had to look at the mana cost again. Then I figured out it is kind of like Blue (or Esper) Stampeding Wildebeests.
For one less mana, apparently.

There are a couple of different existing models that can rub up against Esperzoa that we know are effective in Constructed or as sideboard strategies:

  1. Stampeding Wildebeests – Back in the dizzle, Stampeding Wildebeests returned such hits as Wall of Blossoms and Uktabi Orangutan to generate recurring card advantage while crashing through the Red Zone with a big 5/4. Esperzoa can return creatures like Sanctum Gargoyle or Sharuum the Hegemon for similar advantage. But it doesn’t just return artifact creatures. Perhaps we will see it resetting limited-use artifacts like Serrated Arrows.
  2. Imaginary Pet – My old Team Discovery Channel teammate and Morphling innovator Patrick Johnson aka PatrickJ used to say “Imaginary Pet has the rules text ‘Destroy target opponent. During your upkeep, pay U1.'” Esperzoa seems like a pretty decent stop sign in Blue for three mana. It is a little smaller than Imaginary Pet around the back (making it weaker against Red or potentially Black), but the flying can be really annoying for some attackers. Will we play this card exclusively for Imaginary Pet-style defense in any decks? Almost certainly not. But the flexibility of being able to scare off some Bears — in Limited or certain situations in Constructed (kind of like a poor man’s Plumeveil) — are not out of the realm of imagination. Then you have some potentially profitable artifacts next to it and you get a whole new way of looking at things!

Where can I see this fitting in?

Pretty sure I just said.

Snap Judgment Rating: Role Player

LOVE
MIKE

All Conflux

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4 comments ↓

#1 samspot on 01.20.09 at 11:18 am

Seems like this could be fun with Pithing Needle or Sigil of Distinction

#2 scoutinthenight on 01.20.09 at 3:58 pm

I’ve been excited about Esperzoa and Nyxathid since I first saw them on spoiler lists. Seeing the actual cards confirmed makes me happy.

#3 ascensionblade on 01.20.09 at 7:01 pm

Elsewhere Flask and Kaleidostone.

#4 ProdigalT on 01.21.09 at 12:13 pm

Two words: Solemn Simulacrum

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