With the release of Avacyn Restored, the standard metagame is obviously going to undergo some changes. Now I won’t pretend to know what these changes are, exactly. I am sure the first Star City Open will shed some light on the situation. What I will say is there is at least one deck that I think will show up in the Standard Top 8 of the Providence Open: Blue/Red Delver.
There is so much raw power in a deck like this. One of the best creatures in the format, Delver of Secrets, gets to pair up with some of the sweetest spells in the format, including the newly released Thunderous Wrath. How is this not the most exciting? Well we have 60 cards to put together so let’s start!
First off, the obvious creatures are Delver of Secrets and Snapcaster Mage. I would like 4 of each, please! These will form the backbone of the deck. Since both of these guys interact with spells and our spells are part of our win condition, our actual spell suite will have to be much more diverse than regular Blue/White Delver or Spirit Delver.
We obviously want to set up our Delver to flip, so Ponder is an automatic inclusion. When you use ponder on turn 2, assuming you didn’t just flip your turn one Delver, don’t be afraid to just go ahead and shuffle away a set of cards that doesn’t line up with your plan. I get that flipping Delver is “The Plan” but this deck actually has enough ways to interact with your opponent outside this Lightning Bolt on wings that you don’t have to try and get there 3 at a time. Ponder is especially important because it will hide the Thunderous Wrath until we have Red mana to actually hit them for 5.
Since Thunderous Wrath interacts so poorly with Snapcaster, we aren’t running a full 4 of these bad boys. Instead 3 will be enough and we will supplement the numbers with Noxious Revival. This card does work well with Snapcaster and adds a real level of versatility to your deck that continues to be surprising.
The other spell that really brings the heat is Brimstone Volley. This card is no joke in a format that runs rampant with Zombies that go morbid ever turn and Lingering Souls which offers about a trillion chump blockers. 3 of these fit the bill nicely, giving this deck even more reach.
The plus side to Volley is that you won’t often find yourself in a place where you have to cast it for 3 damage because the ground should stay clear with 2 Arc Trails and 3 Incinerates. Of course there will be the ever present 4 Vapor Snags so your burn spells won’t have to do all the work.
With 3 Miracles in the deck, drawing on your opponents turn will help get in extra points of damage. Besides the singleton Desolate Lighthouse, 3 Thought Scour will assist in this. The ability to mill our opponent or ourselves does two things. We can clear the chaff from Ponder, which is not the best use of the card, or we can destabilize our opponents’ Ponders, which is way better.
Getting a miracle stuck in your hand, especially one that costs 6, is not the best. 2 Faithless Lootings actually handle that problem nicely and give us some filtering to find the spells we need to maintain our dominant position.
With 5 cards remaining in the list, I have to suggest adding some control elements to the deck. With Cavern of Souls, Mana Leak becomes less good. That is fine for us as we actually don’t care about many creatures. Instead Negate is going to do some serious leg-work in this list. 3 of them plus Snapcaster protect us from board wipes, enemy plainswalkers, and Unburial Rites for Elesh Norn.
The last two spots fall to Grim Lavamancer! While the Lava-man does eat up out graveyard, he is death to opposing Delvers, gives us a lot of consistency with our damage, and can occasionally distract choice removal from our Delvers. The EOT synergy with Thought Scour doesn’t hurt either.
Our final list should look like this:
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Grim Lavamancer
3 Thunderous Wrath
2 Noxious Revival
3 Brimstone Volley
4 Vapor Snag
3 Thought Scour
2 Arc Trail
2 Faithless Looting
4 Sulfur Falls
1 Desolate Lighthouse
3 Evolving Wilds
I don’t know about you, but I get a warm feeling inside seeing an absolutely devastating removal package that happens to double as damage to the face for a final kill. For this deck, 10 is easily doable in one turn and if the games turn grindy, the reach that all the burn adds can quickly allow you to break away from your opponent.
If you have questions about the deck, or magic in general, feel free to talk to me on Twitter @samdavisboyhero, or leave me a comment below. If you have time to listen to a podcast, Planeswalker Asylum is up on MTGCast and our full archives can be found on Couch Pirate Radio, if you have some catching up to do. As always, thanks for reading!
Until next time, keep your sleeves clean and your miracles on top.