Orzhov Ephemerate is a weird-looking midrange brew. But it got a couple good results in the last month, and it seems to be strong enough for the competitive environment of Magic Online.
In the current metagame, many archetypes don't allow you to fight in a fair way, they are too fast or have a tremendous amount of card advantage. I deem this as the reason why Ephemerate is now playable even outside of Counterspell strategies. It now seems more suited to be a fast win condition instead of a late-game engine.
To this end the deck employs a mix of value creatures headlined by Goliath Paladin, the white initiative five-drop. Initiative is clearly the most powerful tool here, mostly thanks to the "Trap!" room, which allows you to deal 5 damage for free. Keep in mind that completing the dungeon one or more times during a game is kind of an easy task with six or seven blink effects.
Vampire Sovereign is the second win condition and probably the best tool against aggro in the middle/late game. As for additional blinking, Pegasus Guardian // Rescue the Foal is better than similar effects, for example Cloudshift, thanks to the flying body.
Cards like Sign in Blood or Night's Whisper saw a lot of play in previous metas across various black-based strategies. Deadly Dispute here is somewhat better, as you can easily sacrifice small critters like Thraben Inspector or Spirited Companion. Alongside Ephemerate, it's another way to "counter" removal.
This white-black pile can be a valid alternative compared to other black decks like MBC or Pestilence. This goes for both the casual setting of your local game store as well as, evidently, the competitive online scene.
|White-Black Ephemerate by ManBoyChild, Top 8 at Pauper Challenge, January 15|
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