There were certainly some number of control decks that people expected to see this past weekend in Toronto. The White-Blue Flash deck has put up results, with and without more aggro elements to it. Scapeshift would be slinging the Cryptic Command. Maybe even White-Blue Tron would surge back into the metagame. But a deck packed with Planeswalkers and Spreading Seas was not exactly expected.
Collin Morton piloted his take on the Esper Planeswalker strategy to a Top 8 finish at Grand Prix Toronto. Elspeth, Knight-Errant and Gideon Jura were both premium quality cards during their days in Standard, and Jace, Architect of Thought is being just that right now, so combining their efforts in Modern makes a lot of sense. Planeswalkers provide the deck with a lot of defensive utility, but also a win condition.
Batterskull and Lingering Souls can also help that case, of course, but the rest of the deck is aimed at surviving and helping its Planeswalkers survive. Spreading Seas disrupts the mana bases of the popular four- and five-color strategies, as well as hurt individual strategies like Tron or Valakut. Path to Exile and Oust play the role of spot removal while Supreme Verdict does the heavy lifting. All the while, your Planeswalkers are ticking up and looking to go ultimate!
Collin Morton's Esper Walkers
Modern – Top 8, Grand Prix Toronto