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Thread: [Deck] U/R Delver

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    [Deck] U/R Delver

    U/R Delver, a Legacy Primer

    I. Introduction
    a) History
    b) Strategy
    c) Why should I play U/R Delver?

    II. Card Choices
    a) Main Deck
    b) Sideboard

    III. Variants of U/R Delver
    a) The Reveler List
    b) The Non-Reveler List
    c) The Control List

    IV. Matchups, Strategy & Sideboarding Options

    lV. Matchups
    a) Already tested, bad card choices
    b) To Be Tested Cards
    c) Tested, Niche Potential

    VI. Literature
    a) U/R Delver Related
    b) Legacy Related
    c) General Magic Theory
    d) Updates

    VII. Final Addendum

    I. Introduction

    a) History

    Ever since the beginning of Legacy, the format has known certain archetypes, to fit player's favorate playstyle. Some players like to play Control, while others like to play Aggro or Combo. One such archetype is Tempo.

    Tempo refers to different aspect of the game, which loosly can be described as board presence: effective use of mana, cost effective beatsticks, life totals, and card advantage. In short, the player who knows how best to use his or her resources to the fullest, is able to dictate the tempo of the game, and is most likely to win.

    While Tempo-strategies are not specific related to one colour, it is mostly associated with Blue. It was with the release of Innistrad (2011), and one card in particulair that the Tempo-strategy became 'mature'. Delver of Secrets would have a big impact on Legacy, and on Tempo oriented decks. One of the first succesfull tempo decks to emerge was RUG Delver. Other ĎDelver-decksí were soon to follow.

    This primer is about one of those other tempo decks: U/R Delver. It combines Aggro-elements of Burn, with Tempo-elements of, say, RUG Delver.

    U/R Delver can be described as a counterBurn deck. Early lists don't really differ much of today's list. For example, this list by Andrew Shrout took first place at SGC St. Louis (04-12-2011):

    3 Snapcaster Mage
    3 Grim Lavamancer
    4 Goblin Guide
    4 Delver of Secrets

    2 Fireblast
    2 Daze
    3 Force of Will
    3 Price of Progress
    3 Spell Snare
    3 Ponder
    4 Chain Lightning
    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Brainstorm

    1 Wooded Foothills
    2 Arid Mesa
    2 Mountain
    2 Island
    3 Misty Rainforest
    4 Scalding Tarn
    4 Volcanic Island

    Sideboard
    2 Sulfuric Vortex
    3 Pyrostatic Pillar
    3 Surgical Extraction
    3 Submerge
    3 Pyroblast
    1 Force of Will

    Of course, the creature base is a bit different. The printing of Treasure Cruise made U/R Delver omnipresent. One of the first list with Treasure Cruise was:

    3 Young Pyromancer
    3 True-Name Nemesis
    4 Delver of Secrets

    4 Lightning Bolt
    3 Force of Will
    4 Daze
    4 Brainstorm
    3 Treasure Cruise
    3 Ponder
    3 Gitaxian Probe
    2 Chain Lightning
    4 Stifle
    1 Spell Pierce

    Sideboard
    [cards]1 Swan Song
    1 Sulfur Elemental
    2 Submerge
    3 Smash to Smithereens
    2 Relic of Progenitus
    3 Pyroblast
    1 Mana Maze
    1 Grafdigger's Cage
    1 Envelop/[cards]

    Played at Trial BOM on 27 september 2014 it had all the elements of the U/R Delver list that would become prominent, yet played only three Treasure Cruise. It was Bob Huang who took first place at SCG Legacy Open Edison (28 september 2014) with the following list:

    4 Delver of Secrets
    4 Monastery Swiftspear
    4 Young Pyromancer

    2 Forked Bolt
    4 Ponder
    1 Chain Lightning
    4 Gitaxian Probe
    4 Treasure Cruise
    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Force of Will
    4 Daze

    4 Volcanic Island
    4 Polluted Delta
    1 Flooded Strand
    4 Scalding Tarn
    1 Wooded Foothills
    1 Mountain
    2 Island

    Sideboard
    2 Sulfuric Vortex
    2 Blood Moon
    2 Grim Lavamancer
    2 Grafdigger's Cage
    2 Pithing Needle
    1 Null Rod
    1 Smash to Smithereens
    3 Pyroblast

    Based on a list by Ben Winokur, Huang would present a blueprint for the months to come. U/R Delver would become the most efficient Aggro Tempo deck to dominate Legacy.

    But the dream couldnít last forever, and Treasure Cruise proved to be too good. The card got the banhammer on 19th of january 2015. U/R Delver was back at the drawingboard, and different builds were being played. Then, on 22th of January 2016, Stormchaser Mage was printed, and the modern U/R Delver deck took shape.

    4 Monastery Swiftspear
    2 Snapcaster Mage
    4 Delver of Secrets
    4 Stormchaser Mage

    3 Ponder
    4 Chain Lightning
    3 Spell Snare
    3 Price of Progress
    4 Lightning Bolt
    3 Force of Will
    2 Fireblast
    2 Daze
    4 Brainstorm

    1 Flooded Strand
    2 Polluted Delta
    1 Bloodstained Mire
    2 Wooded Foothills
    4 Scalding Tarn
    4 Volcanic Island
    2 Mountain
    2 Island

    Sideboard
    1 Force of Will
    3 Eidolon of the Great Revel
    2 Sulfuric Vortex
    3 Surgical Extraction
    3 Submerge
    3 Pyroblast

    Played by Dries Vanheukelom on 26th January 2016 it showed all the ingredients for U/R Delverís newest incarnation. Still, different variations of the deck were being played, but by the end of the year a more streamlined and stock version would emerge. Hall of Fame-inductee Olle Rade has got a lot of success with the following list (this one played on 5th December 2016):

    2 Bedlam Reveler
    4 Delver of Secrets
    4 Monastery Swiftspear
    3 Stormchaser Mage

    4 Chain Lightning
    4 Gitaxian Probe
    4 Ponder
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Daze
    1 Fireblast
    4 Force of Will
    4 Lightning Bolt
    2 Price of Progress

    2 Arid Mesa
    4 Flooded Strand
    1 Island
    1 Mountain
    4 Scalding Tarn
    4 Volcanic Island

    Sideboard
    1 Dismember
    1 Flusterstorm
    2 Grafdigger's Cage
    3 Pyroblast
    1 Pyrostatic Pillar
    1 Rough / Tumble
    2 Smash to Smithereens
    1 Spell Pierce
    1 Submerge
    1 Surgical Extraction
    1 True-Name Nemesis

    b) Strategy

    Your aim, like all tempo-decks, is to take full advantage of your resources, and to aggro your opponent out of the game. Your whole deck is made with this in mind. U/R Delver is all about synergy: burn, spot-removal, cantrips, and counters play vital roles, but also add up to Prowess-triggers.

    c) Why should I play U/R Delver?

    One of the last real Aggro-decks in the format, U/R Delver combines Burn with counters. The deck is great for learning your cantrips, and at the same time adding Prowess-triggers. Your burn-spells are there to clear the way, but also ending your opponent. Last, but not least, your counters help you to disrupt your opponentís game, and yes, also add Prowess-triggers. While it should not be high on your list: U/R Delver can be your doorway to other Delver-decks, or even Sneak and Show (or Miracles).


    ll. Card Choices

    a) Main Deck

    Creatures

    4 Delver of Secrets
    Delver is the most efficient threat that comes down for 1 mana. For this version of the ďDelverĒ archetype the namesake card provides a consistent source of good damage where as other threats such as Monastery Swiftspear and Stormchaser Mage require spells being cast to make their damage output as efficient as the Delver.

    4 Monastery Swiftspear
    The Swifspear is an efficient 1-drop creature with haste and the ability to grow bigger and produce massive amounts of damage. When multiples of the Swiftspear or the Mage are in play each spell instead of adding one damage are adding 2 or even 3 damage to your attacks.

    3-4 Stormchaser Mage
    Stormchaser Mage is the addition to this deck in late January of 2015 that made this deck become a serious competitive deck again. Stormchaser Mage is somewhat awkward sometimes, being a 2 mana creature. However as said about the Swiftspear also applies, that multiples of either and spells in hand can have very explosive results. As well Stormchaser Mageís 3 toughness in combination with Prowess make it very hard to kill with a Lightning Bolt. When your opponent goes to Lightning Bolt your Stormchaser Mage and you respond by casting a Brainstorm you have now essentially got them to completely waste a card.

    0-2 Bedlam Reveler
    Bedlam Reveler offers an amazing card off the top in the late game and thus a way out of a bad spot sometimes. The card does have its fair share of critics and fans though. Bedlam Reveler can sometimes stunt the progression of your game plan by being a dead card in your hand when you need cards to cast to stay ahead. Reveler can also be a card you need to cast and can tear your good hand apart. That said Bedlam Reveler can also help you refuel and present a massive threat that is very difficult to deal with for some opponents.

    0-2 Snapcaster Mage
    Snapcaster Mage is very useful as it can flashback a Lightning Bolt a Chain Lightning or in the most devastating fashion flashback a Price of Progress and attacks or blocks as a 2/1 as a nice consolation prize. That is the dream. However, many choose to eschew this mage due to it being somewhat slow and clunky.

    0-1 Grim Lavamancer¨
    With the number of fetchlands you crack and spells you cast you will almost always have fuel for Grim Lavamancer. With this fuel Grim Lavamancer can easily take over some games. Against Elves, Death&Taxes, Grixis Delver and Aluren Grim Lavamancer kills most relevant creatures, thus is a must answer threat for these decks. In addition Grim Lavamancer does a great job of ignoring blockers/clearing blockers to get damage through to the opponent.

    0-1 True-Name Nemesis
    The lists without Bedlam Reveler lack high impact threats for the late game. For the non-reveler lists the infamous Merfolk Rogue will be a great addition as it is a mini Progenitus. Resolving a True-Name Nemesis after a good start can often just lock up the game for you.

    0-3 Soul-Scar Mage
    The newest creature we can toy with. While it looks like a strictly worse Monastery Swiftspear, the addition of Soul-Scar Mage gives this deck more explosive potential. Generally, Soul-Scar Mage replaces 1 Stormchaser Mage and your other flex creatures, thus giving you an extra 2 creatures with Prowess. This means you are more likely to have turns where you cast 3-4 spells with 2 or more creatures with prowess on board resulting in a massive output of damage. Soul-Scar Mage also has a little side bonus of being able to essentially give your burn spells wither (deal damage to creatures in -1 -1 counters instead). It is a very niche ability but it can be relevant when battling Tarmogoyf and Gurmag Angler. The real reason to play this card is really that it gives you extra prowess creatures at 1 mana.

    Burn spells

    4 Lightning Bolt
    Simply one of the best removal spells in the game. Efficient at 1 mana for 3 damage to a creature or has the ability to go directly to an opponent. With this sort of strategy you want to hold you Lightning Bolts for creatures primarily and bolts that donít go to creatures will eventually end up going to your opponentís face in an attempt to burn them out of the game.

    4 Chain Lightning
    This is almost exactly like Lightning Bolt however it is much worse. You will always cast these before casting you Lightning Bolts. Be careful with Chain Lightning as it can chain and take out your own creatures if your opponent has double red up. You want to make sure that the coast is clear before you cast this or have another double red up of your own to threaten throwing it back again.

    0-1 Forked Bolt
    Although not often Forked Bolt does take out 2 creatures and can be completely devastating. More often it is used to kill a single creature or kill a creature and go upstairs. Forked Bolt going upstairs is not always that great on the down side and against some decks Forked Bolt isnít going to kill creatures. Despite this having 1 can be very useful and is extremely good at times.

    2-3 Price of Progress
    Price of Progress is very good at punishing people and their greedy manabases. Price of Progress can deal lethal blows to decks like Lands, Aggro Loam, and Eldrazi even after they gain a bunch of life with Glimmerpost. It is also great at dealing 4-6 damage against other Delver decks, Death&Taxes, and various BUG decks. Price can sporadically be good against decks like Sneak&Show, Infect and Elves as well. Despite the very high upside of this card it can be almost dead against decks like Miracles that play many basics. However there are some very niche uses for Price that include forcing opponents to crack fetchlands especially when they want to flip their Senseiís Top.

    0-1 Fireblast
    Fireblast can end games suddenly and for no mana too. Given that it is a ďfreeĒ spell it goes very nicely with Monastery Swiftspear or Stormchaser Mage. Often the 4th damage is extremely relevant when pointing it at your opponent. Fireblast in a pinch can be used to kill creatures but in that position things are not looking well. Despite these great things about Fireblast is it is heavily taxed by Wasteland and at times it can be clunky.

    0-1 Thunderous Wrath
    5 damage for 1 mana is off the charts efficient, however the catch is you must set it up or randomly miracle it to be able to cast it. The other downside is that it can get stuck in your hand and you will have to find a Brainstorm to put it back to make it castable, otherwise it can really slow you down by being an uncastable dead card in your hand.

    Cantrips

    4 Brainstorm
    Simply the best card in Legacy. Brainstorm is a very fun card for its applications, because many decks want to cast it differently. The ideal use for Brainstorm is the start of a combo turn. Brainstorm can literally just become Ancestral Recall in that spot as there are bound to be a couple useless cards in your hand. Brainstorming in this spot is an attempt to find gas to start a fiery storm of Lightning Bolts, Gitaxian Probes, and Prowess triggers. Brainstorm also serves the usual purpose of being able to find gas on non-combo turns to help you get some pressure. Brainstorm lastly serves the purpose that all Brainstorms ubiquitously share, hiding information, finding land or finding spells.

    4 Ponder
    Ponder in this serves the purpose that all Ponders do. Find what you need when you need it. Ponder isnít incredible during combo turns however. It does do the job though of finding 1 extra Lightning Bolt, or setting a Gitaxian Probe into a Lightning Bolt. Ponder mostly serves the usual purpose of finding land or spells.

    4 Gitaxian Probe
    Gitaxian Probe (in my opinion) should be played in a deck if that deck has the potential to exploit Gitaxian Probe. Here Gitaxian Probe is exploited because it is a free spell that triggers Prowess on potentially multiple creatures, increasing your damage output and lastly it even replaces itself. Gitaxian Probe can also be used to aid your decision making weather to fetch a basic or to fetch a dual, weather to commit more to the board or to hold up removal.

    Counter Magic

    Our aggressive playstyle and ability to finish the game by comboing our opponent out makes us want to play only free counters. This is because cards like Spell Pierce and Spell Snare cost mana and can become clunky, taking away from the pressure we create. Other builds of this deck do run some number of Spell Pierce and Spell Snare, however these builds are definitely on the more controlling side with cards like Young Pyromancer.

    4 Daze
    Daze is by far the most efficient legal counterspell on turns 1-2 and sometimes even turn 3. The cost of Daze is to pick up a land which can in turn actually protect us from a Wasteland. There is not much quite like turn 1 Delver, Daze your spell, and next turn flip Delver and beat face. Daze also has some very funny utility on a combo turn as well and is usually the card that enables turn 3 kills. You can cast a spell holding priority Daze it, and either pay for the Daze or holding priority again counter your own Daze for prowess triggers. If you havenít made a land drop it can also help out with that on those combo turns, allowing you to cast yet another spell.

    3-4 Force of Will
    The necessary evil of the format. Force of Will is terrible, however you need it in this format as an insurance policy against anything that will just kill you out of the blue. Force of Will is the counterspell you cling to playing this deck, as you donít have access to cards like Spell Pierce, and thus is realistically all we have to fight fast combo in game 1. Force of Will also has the same kind of funny utility on combo turns as Daze does but that doesnít need to be repeated again. Lately, people have opted to play three Force of Wills in the main. Pitching a card can be problematic, as we don't recover as good from card-disadvantage, as other decks. Besides, we need all our spells for Prowess.

    Manabase

    4 Scalding Tarn
    Scalding Tarn is our golden fetchland. If you have access to the land you want through another fetchland, use that one first before using Scalding Tarn. Otherwise there isnít much else to say other than play your fetchlands as a normal blue deck would.

    4-6 Other Blue Fetchlands
    These fetch Volcanic Island and basic Islands.

    0-2 Other Red Fetchlands
    These fetch Volcanic Island and basic Mountains.

    3-4 Volcanic Island
    Volcanic Island is our U/R dual land. The difference between running 3 or 4 is very much up to the player and how they like to sequence their mana.

    2-3 [cards]Island[cards]
    Island is your Wasteland proof source of blue mana.

    1-2 Mountain
    Mountain is your Wasteland proof source of red mana.

    b) Sideboard

    1-2 Flusterstorm
    Flusterstorm is very important to being able to fight combo. You are not favoured in combo matchups and will need the help of Flusterstorm to aid in counter fights.

    1-3 Pyroblast
    Pyroblast is great in combo matchups (aside from Storm) as a super-efficient 1 mana counterspell for stuff like Show and Tell or fighting their Force of Wills, Dazes, etc. Pyroblast is also excellent against almost any other blue deck as well, such as Miracles, and other Delver decks.

    2 Smash to Smithereens
    With the rise of Death&Taxes also comes more Stoneforge Mysitics. As well the Bant Deathblade decks are out there and bringing the rise of Storneforge Mystic. This deck will fold to a Jitte, or an unanswered Batterskull. Expecting to see more Death&Taxes than ever Smash to Smithereens is a must, to be able to answer the equipment that will inevitably give you a lot of trouble. Chalice of the Void also being a very prevalent card is a must answer card and Smash to Smithereens is your number 1 answer to this card.

    1 Winter Orb
    (This is TheManWithaPlanís not totally biased opinion) Winter Orb is great against many mana hungry decks like Miracles or any Punishing Fire deck. These arenít great matchups and you will need a bullet for them. Winter Orb punishes these mana hungry decks by making it so that they canít dump mana into doing things on your end step, whereas U/R Delver is perfectly comfortable with the restrictions that Winter Orb puts on both players.

    2 Surgical Extraction
    Surgical Extraction takes specific combo pieces out of your opponentís deck once they hit the graveyard and can be game breaking if that happens. Extracting Show and Tell can often mean that the game is over because they have to find Sneak Attack while under the gun and they will likely have very little time to find it. Surgical can also take out Swords to Plowshares or Terminus against Miracles aiding in your effort to keep pressure on your opponent.

    1 Pithing Needle
    The needle is great against decks like Death&Taxes, Miracles, Aluren, Sneak and Show and Lands. Shutting off things like Stoneforge Mystic, Ghost Quarter, Thespianís Stage, Cavern Harpy, and Senseiís Divining Top are very important to suppressing your opponentís ability to stop your game plan.

    1 Null Rod
    Null Rod does mostly the same thing as Pithing Needle, but the fact it shuts off all artifacts. It has some different utility that Pithing Needle because of that fact. It can shut off all the mana rocks in Storm, AEther Vials, Jittes, Swords, Tops etc. However it canít shut off things like Thespian Stage, Ghost Quarter, Cavern Harpy, or Sneak Attack.

    1-2 Rough//Tumble
    Rough is the side you will be casting if you are curious. It is essentially a one sided Pyroclasm against decks like Death&Taxes, Elves and even Grixis Delver to an extent. Due to these decks having a high density of ground creatures with 2 or less toughness, these decks can fold to a big Rough//Tumble.

    1-2 Eidolon of the Great Revel or Pyrostatic Pillar
    These cards can help you stay ahead in racing situations against other Delver decks, due to your high density of burn spells. These cards also help your Miracles matchup greatly if they donít have a Top in play to dig. Forcing them to dig with cantrips into an Eidolon or Pillar will be very perilous for them and could cost them the game if they go too far.

    1-2 Price of Progress
    Due to your resilient manabase you can use cards like Price of Progress to your advantage. It is also your greatest tool against Lands, Eldrazi and BG/X decks that want to attrition you out. Having access to extra Prices of Progress will prove to be a boon when playing against these decks.

    1 Blood Moon
    Blood Moon, like Price of Progress, is great due to your resilient, basic heavy manabase. It can shut off a lot of Eldraziís best creatures, as well as lock these BG/X decks, lands, and Aggro Loam out of the game. As well, Blood Moon being a 3 drop could end up being a liability due to it being kind of slow.

    1 True-Name Nemesis
    The fabled Merfolk Rogue is very good at closing out games that have already gotten far. He threatens to end the game almost unconditionally and can be unanswerable for some fair decks. It is also great against the decks that are looking to grind out games like Shardless BUG, Delver, Death&Taxes etc.

    1 Grim Lavamancer
    Having access to repeatable removal is very great, and allows you to start pointing burn at your opponentís face while the Lavamancer takes care of the creatures. The lavamancer, like Rough//Tumble can wreck decks that have a high density of low toughness creatures like Delver, Death&Taxes, Elves, Infect and even some other decks like Shardless BUG or Jund.

    1 Dismember
    Dismember is a great catch-all removal spell to take out bigger creatures like Tarmogoyf, Gurmag Agnler and Thought-Knot Seer that this deck usually has trouble dealing with if the opponent gets ahead or gets to a position where they can race you.

    1-2 Grafdiggerís Cage
    The cage is extremely potent graveyard hate, especially in a metagame full of Reanimator. It also has the side bonus of hitting Dredge. If unanswered reanimator based decks have no way to function other than getting around the cage. It also has some splash damage against Storm being as it is able to completely shut down Past in Flames.

    1 Izzet Staticaster
    Staticaster is an excellent option to machine gun down a bunch of small 1 toughness creatures. It comes out at flash speed and has haste, so it can start wrecking your opponent on their turn and immediately. It is an excellent option for controlling Elves, Death&Taxes, Lingering Souls (if you live in Toronto) etc.

    1 Sudden Demise
    Sudden Demise is a more flexible option than Rough// Tumble, as it catches fliers and can do more than 2 damage. However, it is more expensive and only hits creatures of 1 colour.

    0-1 Force of Will
    To complement your maindeck 3-of.

    0-1 Vendilion Clique
    Vendilion Clique is mostly here as hand attack against combo decks, and conveniently comes with a 3/1 flying body. It is also another creature in matchups where you will need more creatures and probably want to board out Force of Will.

    1 Spell Pierce
    This is mainly to combat combo decks. UR Delver needs more interaction than it already has, to beat combo. In addition, Spell Pierce is great as extra cheap interaction in matchups where you want to board out Force of Will.
    Last edited by Chatto; 07-12-2017 at 04:31 PM.
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    Re: U/R Delver

    lll. Variants of U/R Delver

    a) Bedlam Reveler Build
    The Bedlam Reveler list looks very similar to the non-reveler lists, just that it has the Bedlam Reveler as an additional threat over True-Name Nemesis, Grim Lavamancer etc. The deck usually relies more on chaining cantrips into more cantrips where some criticize the list for its somewhat wasteful use of cantrips. Despite that Bedlam Reveler is a force to reckon with and can pose serious threats of damage as well as refueling an empty hand with 3 fresh cards when the reveler enters.
    Grand Prix Chiba 2016, 13th Place Takuto Miyazima

    b) Non-Reveler Build
    The Non-Reveler build of U/R Delver chooses to eschew the obvious power of Bedlam Reveler in favour of casting their cantrips more conservatively and a sleeker mana curve, due to Bedlam Revelerís obvious flaws being as it is able to screw up your game plan by being in your hand.
    Grand Prix Chiba 2016, 11th Place Takumi Matuura

    c) The Control Build
    The Control build of U/R Delver aims to play a game very similar to decks like Grixis or 4C Delver. Using mana denial elements like Wasteland and Stifle to go along with better late game cards like True-Name Nemesis, Young Pyromancer and Snapcaster Mage causes the deck to slow down and thus, eschew the fast streamlined core of Stormchaser Mage and Monastery Swiftspear. The build plays no Chain Lightnings and no Prices of Progress as it aims to grind better, making room for Spell Pierce, Spell Snare, more lands and the Stifles.
    Grand Prix Chiba 2016, Trial Winners Wataru Mishima and Shogaku Aihara

    lV. Matchups

    The Mirror
    This matchup is quite strange. You would expect this matchup to be just like other Delver-mirrors, completely one sided and boring, but it is far from that. Both sides are going to be trying to jockey for positioning and win the game with small creatures that grow. Both sides have access to an abundance of removal and cantrips. This means that Monastery Swiftspears, Soul-Scar Mages and Stormchaser Mages will stick around for a while, while Delvers will quickly get burned. Prowess creatures can be very tough to kill, making the game go longer as players will sometimes bounce creatures off each other and other times be intimidated if the opposing player has several cards in hand. Games going long also means players get to make landdrops and suddenly hard casting Force of Will becomes very possible. Cards like Bedlam Reveler, Cryptic Serpent and True-Name Nemesis become very good in this matchup because the games can go so long. That said, this matchup can play out very similarly to a traditional Delver Mirror, where one player is just tempoed out of the game, or is simply outraced. Playing this matchup, you want to cash in your Chain Lightnings early, while your opponent doesnít have mana up to bounce it. You also usually canít afford to hold up mana for Chain Lightning anyway. You want to hold your Chain Lightnings and Lightning Bolts for opposing creatures. You want to fetch for basic lands, despite Price of Progress being mediocre in this matchup, but it can just kill you out of nowhere if you arenít careful. You need to get ahead of your opponent with your 1 power creatures that are scary to try to kill. There arenít many cards you actually want to expend Force of Will on in this matchup, but cards like Grim Lavamancer, True-Name Nemesis, Bedlam Reveler are certainly deserving of a Force. It is rare, but you will sometimes have to Force of Will a burn spell on your creature, or an opposing creature just for the tempo advantage. Delver of Secrets never lives, so donít try to protect it very much.
    Sideboarding
    In this matchup, we are looking to bring in more cheap interaction. Pyroblast kills Delver and Stormchaser outright, and counters opposing Forces of Will, and cantrips. Flusterstorm is great when fighting counter wars over removal spells or crucial cantrips. Grim Lavamancer, despite only being able to do 2 damage at a time, is still excellent in this matchup. It will surprise you how often Grim Lavamancer kills opposing prowess creatures with no fight at all from the opponent. Since this matchup can be quite grindy, cards like Bedlam Reveler and True-Name Nemesis will have the time to excel in this matchup and can completely turn the tides of a game, as they are both difficult to answer if they stick.

    Elves
    Elves is a heavily creature based combo deck. It relies on critical mass to be able to be effective so, they will try to swarm the board with little green creatures, make lots of mana and try to make a Craterhoof Behemoth appear on their battlefield, buffing all their creatures and kill you in one swing. Elves can also play a long game with card advantage engines in Glimpse of Nature and Elvish Visionary with Wirewood Symbiote. Be careful though, Glimpse of Nature can just kill you out of nowhere. Since Elves is a critical mass deck multiple Lightning Bolts can stop them from doing much, however Elves is well positioned against decks that are stuffed with spotremoval, with their card advantage engines helping them to outlast these decks. Elves can falter with their important creatures being killed under a quick clock though. Against Elves, you want to start out early with a Delver ideally. Ground creatures can quickly get stumped by a combination of any elf and Wirewood Symbiote or Quirrion Ranger and Dryad Arbor. You will want to quickly follow up by deploying more threats, ideally Delver or Stormchaser Mage, and/or start killing creatures. You should be keenly aware of their ability to Natural Order after turn 2, and if you havenít been able to keep their creatures at bay, you will have to be wary of a very large Green Sunís Zenith as well. This means you will probably want to have a Force of Will in your hand past turn 2, and if you have to use it, you want to find another quickly. Going later into the game, Price of Progress is strangely good, and can often blow an Elves opponent away when you have a good start. Price of Progress will count a Gaeaís Cradle, Dryad Arbors and Bayous, which can get Price of Progress to hit for very high numbers. Speaking of Price of Progress, it is recommended to not fetch to play around your own Price of Progress, but it is up to you if you feel you need to or not.

    Sideboarding
    Since Elves is a critical mass deck, specifically needing a lot of creatures, sweepers are excellent. More disruption for their combo can also be very good as well. Rough//Tumble, Sudden Demise and Izzet Staticaster are great in this matchup because they kill multiple creatures and only require 1 card to do so. Grim Lavamancer is also excellent in this matchup, but it can be a little slow, and early in the game can be contested with your opponentís Deathrite Shamans. Submerge is another card that is decent in this matchup. If they manage to pull off a Natural Order for Craterhoof Behemoth without a ton of creatures on the board, submerge can be a blowout, letting you survive what would be a lethal attack and getting a 5/5 off the table. For hating out their combo, Grafdiggerís Cage is probably your best option. It shuts off Green Sunís Zenith, Natural Order and using a fetchland to get Dryad Arbor. However, do be wary of Reclamation Sage, as it can blow up the Cage and then they can just combo you right there. Vendilion Clique is decent in this matchup as it gives you an evasive body and can take a Natural Order or Green Sunís Zenith. Spell Pierce is quite poor in this matchup, due to Elvesí ability to make tonnes of mana and pay through Spell Pierce on a Natural Order or Green Sunís Zenith. Elves is very venerable an early Eidolon of the Great Revel, because it will really pressure them to kill you quickly as they will be taking a lot of damage from the Eidolon.

    Death&Taxes
    Death&Taxes has the ability to tax your spells and then shut out your mana with Rishadan Port and Wasteland. They can shut you out of the game almost entirely with a Sanctum Prelate on 1 and Stoneforge Mystic can be a big problem if unanswered. Despite this since the advent of Sanctum Prelate and Recruiter of the Guard this matchup has ironically become better. Them slowing down to add more clunky 3 drops to their deck have made many Death&Taxes players move away from things like Serra Avenger and Vryn Wingmare which were a real nuisance when it came to executing our game plan as these stupid fliers would always get in the way of our Delvers and Stormchasers. Now that they have moved away from the fliers our Delvers and Stormchasers are almost free to attack past uninterrupted. Past that all their creatures die to our eight Lightning Bolts.
    In this matchup we want to be attacking them as aggressively as possible to try to get their life total as low as possible before they land a Sanctum Prelate. Prioritize killing Thalia, Stoneforge Mystic, and their Fliers before firing your Bolts at their face. You want to counter AEther Vials, Stoneforge Mystics and anything that will tax your spells. Stoneforge Mystic is almost the most important card to counter due to its ability to take over the game by putting a Jitte or Batterskull into play in an uncounterable way.

    Sideboarding
    In this matchup we want ways to deal with their hatebears and ways to attack the Stoneforge Mystic package. Additional things we can do are ad more evasive threats to get around their ability to clog up the ground. Killing multiple hatebears with Rough//Tumble can break the game for them. Grim Lavamancer or Izzet Staticaster can also do this but in a slower fashion, however it is slower but it does feel like a plan to lock them out of creatures which is still okay. Smash to Smithereens, Pithing Needle and Null Rod really stunt the effectiveness of the Stoneforge Mystic package. Shutting off Jitte, Batterskull, Sword of Fire and Ice or Stoneforge Mystic is very valuable and destroying the equipment all together is usually even better. As well blowing up or shutting off AEther Vial is quite good because it stops surprise blockers from ever happening. Vendilion Clique is also an effective way to disrupt Stoneforge Mystic and AEther Vial. If you have True-Name Nemesis in your sideboard bring it in, it is very difficult for Death&Taxes to deal with and threatens to end the game quickly in combination with your Lightning Bolts, Chain Lightnings, and Prices of Progress.

    Lands

    Lands is a hardcore prison deck with a combo finish. They will try to control your board as well as attack your manabase in attempt to lock you out of the game. They will use The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Punishing Fire, Maze of Ith and even Molten Vortex to control your creatures, while using Wasteland and Rishadan Port and/or Ghost Quarter. Lands can also use Crop Rotation to get Glacial Chasm, which will stop all damage done to them, and allow them to have some breathing room. UR Delver, unlike many other builds of Delver decks, doesnít just fold to Lands. Wastelands cannot touch our basic heavy manabase, Ghost Quarter will have to do a lot of work to start becoming effective. Rishadan Port is very good but it being a land that sticks on the battlefield means more damage from Price of Progress. In addition, Punishing Fire is much worse against a threat base with Stormchaser Mages and Monastery Swiftspears. It is usually quite easy to get a Monastery Swiftspear to survive a Punishing Fire, and it will take a lot of work to kill a Stormchaser Mage.
    Against Lands, you want to come out early and kill them quickly. You will also want to ensure your manabase is safe, so prioritize fetching for basic lands. You will want to have early creatures like Delver of Secrets and Monastery Swiftspear to start attacking the opponentís life total before they can get going so that you are set up to burn them out or have resilient your resilient creatures in Swiftspear, Stormchaser and even True-Name Nemesis close out the game. You cannot let Gamble or Crop Rotation resolve, as Gamble will usually be going for a Life From the Loam, mana acceleration or a crucial land. Crop Rotation will do much the same, so you canít let it resolve either. You usually want to stop Explorations or Manabonds as it can slow them down and allow you to take advantage of slowing them down to get under them.

    Lands is a deck that relies heavily on recursive cards in Life From the Loam and Punishing Fire so you want to do what you can to shut these engines off. Lands also has trouble dealing with creatures they canít Maze or Punishing Fire. Ways to interact or stop the Dark Depths, Thespianís Stage combo will also be helpful at times. Lastly, Lands can have trouble in the face of powerful nonbasic land hate. Surgical Extraction is by far the premier tool for making sure that Life From the Loam or Punishing Fire donít come back. It can also get Dark Depths or Thespianís Stage to stop the combo. You can take out Wasteland or Ghost Quarter to protect your manabase if you really need to. Vendilion Clique is another good way to disrupt the Life From the Loam engine and, although not often, can tag a Punishing Fire. True-Name Nemesis is a creature that Lands can have a lot of trouble with, so if you have it, you likely want it in this matchup, as it doesnít care about Maze of Ith or Punishing Fire. Powerful nonbasic hate like extra copies of Price of Progress or Blood Moon can be absolutely devastating to a lands player and can often just win you the game.


    ANT

    Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT) is a fast Storm combo deck that will try to cast 10 spells in a turn finishing with a Tendrils of Agony to kill you. ANT can consistently go off on the third turn after setting up and disrupting you for the fist couple of turns, with their good draws. As UR Delver your ways of interacting mainboard are usually just 4 Force of Will and 4 Daze, which is usually not enough to stop ANT from going off. However, UR Delver has a much faster clock than many other variants of Delver, which is an upside, but it doesnít quite compensate for the lack of enough interaction. This being a matchup where both decks can kill relatively quickly, it will often come down to a race. Can the ANT player setup and clear the way to go off before the UR Delver player can kill the ANT player? As mentioned before, ANT can go off through disruption as early as turn 3, thus UR Delver could have trouble finding enough disruption in time. ANT must win quickly and canít draw poorly because any stumble can be fatal. One of ANTís best lines for winning quickly is going for an Ad Nauseam, which is very risky when playing against a deck that is aggressively attacking their life total.
    In this matchup you want to go pedal to the metal and try to kill the ANT player as fast as you can. You are going to want to start with an early threat, like a Monastery Swiftspear or a Delver of Secrets. On turn 2 you want to start trying to find counter magic to protect yourself from their combo. If you can follow up with a threat like a Monastery Swiftspear, that would be excellent. Gitaxian Probe can be very great on turn two, because it can tell you weather or not to use your Brainstorms and Ponders to try to find your Forces of Will and Dazes or step on the gas and try to kill the opponent faster. Past this point you are either trying to find Forces and Dazes, or, if you have a couple pieces of counter magic, deploy more threats and burn spells to try to end the game.


    Sideboarding

    Against ANT we need extra interaction to stop their combo. We can also use hateful permanents to make it much harder for them to combo. Surgical Extraction can remove cantrips, Rituals or Infernal Tutor, which can be devastating, but Surgical can also be mediocre in spots where there are redundant rituals or tutors. Extra counter magic in Flusterstorm and Spell Pierce are a must to augment your existing counter suite. Vendilion Clique is excellent, because it disrupts the opponent at instant speed and it is a 3-power creature ready to beat down. For hateful permanents, Grafdiggerís Cage will just shut off Past in Flames, however doesnít do anything against Empty the Warrens, nonetheless it is still very good because Ad Nauseam is quite risky. Null Rod will shut off Lotus Petal, and more importantly Lionís Eye Diamond, which will make it much harder to get hellbent for an Infernal Tutor. Eidolon of the Great Revel is the ultimate hate piece, because your opponent needs to cast several spells costing 3 or less mana to kill you, and that means they have to take lots of damage. With the amount of burn in UR Delver, it will be very difficult to win through an Eidolon.



    Eldrazi
    Eldrazi is a deck that aims to play large creatures like Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher on turn 2 or 3 with the help of up to 16 (!) sol lands and they get to play Chalice of the Void as a consolation prize. With their ability to play big creatures quickly they can generate a very fast clock very quickly. They also play a full set of Cavern of Souls which will keep you off of Dazing and Forcing their creatures. The other problem is Chalice of the Void which can almost lock you out of the game entirely. The downside to this seemingly broken deck is that it is inconsistent and that despite the large amount of mana they can produce very quickly they are very venerable to Daze. As well the mana they produce is entirely coming from nonbasic lands and is heavily punished by Price of Progress. The deck also has the capability to deal a lot of damage to itself with Ancient Tomb and [cards]Dismember[cards]/. Eldrazi also has no protection from fliers without a blue splash for Eldrazi Skyspawner, but you normally just see White Eldrazi or Colourless Eldrazi.
    For this matchup you want to be able to stop the potential turn 1 Chalice of the Void with a Daze or a Force, or you hope that they donít have it. The ideal threats to land are Delver of Secrets and Stormchaser Mage. These fly and Eldrazi doesnít have a good way of dealing with fliers, so they will be able to get in lots of damage against them. Ancient Tomb can also help you race them due to it dealing damage to them every time they tap it for mana. The next step is to keep their Thought-Knot Seers and Reality Smashers at bay by Dazing and Forcing them. Through this if you have flying threats on the table you should be able to just ride them to victory along with a couple Lightning Bolts, Chain Lightnings or a Price of Progress.

    Sideboarding
    There are really only 2 things you want to be doing with your sideboard. You want a way to deal with Chalice of the Void and you want to punish their extremely greedy manabase. Smash to Smithereens is your answer to Chalice of the Void and can also catch Ratchet Bomb out of their sideboard. Extra Prices of Progress out of your sideboard can be devastating to their greedy manabase and Dismembers. Once again if you have the True-Name Nemesis it will block Thought-Knot Seers, Eldrazi Mimics, and Endless Ones forever and can turn the corner when needed.

    Shardless BUG
    Shardless is an attrition based deck built on 2 for 1ís. They will try to kill your creatures with Abrupt Decay and Liliana of the Veil and make you discard your burn spells and creatures with Thoughtseize and Hymn to Tourach. Once they cripple your hand and your board they will get ahead of you and try to race you with Deathrite Shamans, Tarmogoyfs and Shardless Agents. Again their manabase is very greedy and will be punished by Price of Progress quite heavily. You can get ahead of them but donít expect to be ahead of Shardless BUG for too long because they will catch up and it will start to look grim very quickly.
    You should approach this matchup trying to be a burn deck or trying to combo quickly. You want to find enough creatures so that you can weather a couple Abrupt Decays and you also want to find your Prices of Progress. You want to kill them quickly before they get to cast cards like Ancestral Vision and take over the game with insurmountable card advantage. If they get to resolve one they will have Abrupt Decays Tarmogoyfs and Lilianas for days and it will be very difficult to overcome that. Despite your best efforts to be a burn deck you need creatures to win, so hold your bots for Deathrite Shaman and Baleful Strix. You will want to force them to have answers to your creatures and pressure their life total to the best of your ability.

    Sideboarding
    In this matchup you want to punish their greedy manabase and add elements that allow you to grind a bit better. Gaining access to excess Prices of Progress is one of the best ways to punish Shardless BUGís greedy manabase and get you far in the race against the ticking time bomb of them taking over the game. Blood Moon can also come in to severely hinder their manabase, and in combination with zapping Deathrite Shamans can really put the bind on them. To grind better, nullifying Tarmogoyfs and Deathrite Shamans can really help. Graveyard hate like Relic of Progenitus can control graveyards and blow away graveyards at your will. Sulfuric Vortex can offer a constant source of damage and negates Deathrite Shamanís lifegain ability and combined with a creature can really put the pedal to the metal. True-Name Nemesis is also spectacular in this matchup with Shardless BUGís only out to it being Toxic Deluge. They will also likely Deluge for very high numbers if you have prowess creatures on the board and you can reap huge advantages from that. One last note is that TheManWithaPlan recommends boarding in 1 Smash to Smithereens to pick off random Baleful Strix and Shardless Agents and get some damage in the process.

    Infect
    Infect plays pretty much only x/1 creatures that all die to Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning. Infect wants to pump these x/1 creatures with cards like Invigorate, Vines of Vastwood and Become Immense to try to inflict 10 points of damage in poison counters to you as fast as possible. Not only do these pump spells pump however they also protect their small creatures from dying to a lot of damage based removal. They also have Force of Will, Daze and Spell Pierce/ Flusterstorm to protect their creatures. However that does not deny the fact that all their creatures die to Lightning Bolt and are blocked effectively by some of your creatures like Stormchaser Mage (it blocks Inkmoth Nexus!) and Monastery Swiftspear forcing them to have a pump spell if you are opting to block their creatures. The important thing to remember is to attempt to kill creatures during your turn or on your opponentís turn after their combat step.
    In this matchup we want to pretty much play a very traditional Delver game. We want to land an early threat like Delver or Monastery Swiftspear to start attacking with. From there it is again important to deal with their creatures first. It is especially important that you hang on to your removal spells until you can just burn them, whereas in other matchups you can afford to start slinging bolts at their face a little earlier. This is because if they can get a creature, they can easily kill you out of absolutely nowhere. They can even get Inkmoth Nexus via Crop Rotation. It is crucial that you fight the opponent with your countermagic if they decide to protect it with countermagic or pump spells to try to strangle your opponentís board presence. An additional note is that games can end quite abruptly and unexpectedly due to Price of Progress hitting for numbers like 8. Infect hits lots of land drops and only has 1 basic land in their deck and the rest of the lands in their deck being Pendelhaven, Inkmoth Nexus, fetchlands and Tropical Islands.

    Sideboarding
    For this matchup you want to mostly kill all their creatures. Sometimes killing all their creatures means getting into fights over 1 creature and you will need backup to fight those. Any removal from Forked Bolt to Rough//Tumble comes in for this matchup as overloading on removal will help you to achieve your goal of strangling your opponentís board presence while attacking with threats of your own. Other good cards you can bring in are Price of Progress to close out games faster being as it can deal 4-6 damage on average. Vendilion Clique can be a great surprise blocker as well as giving you information on your opponentís hand which is very, very valuable in this matchup.

    B/R Reanimator
    The B/R Reanimator decks are extremely consistent in getting a Griselbrand or Sire of Insanity into play on turn 1 on a goldfish. This is naturally very intimidating. To make it even more so they have can do it through disruption on turn 1 as well with Thoughtseize, Collective Brutality or Chancellor of the Annex. You have to make sure that you are prepared to take a loss in game 1 if you lose the die roll. If you end up on the play you can fight through Chancellor of the Annex and still have Force of Will or Daze ready to go. On the draw you have to hope that they just donít have a lethal combination so quickly and hoping they wonít go for it is like hoping the reserve list will go away tomorrow. This matchup will likely come down to the first couple of turns and will not take long. Another big thing to remember is it is very possible to out race a Griselbrand. It has been done on camera.
    What you want to do in this matchup is stunting their first couple of turns and get their life total low quickly as to turn off Reanimate. The first thing you want to do is get creatures into play to pressure their life total. As for what to counter the Reanimate effects or the Entomb effects. You usually want to prioritize countering their Entomb effects due to them having less of them and by doing this you can strand the Reanimate effects in their hand. In this matchup you also want to be firing your burn spells off sequencing as if you are goldfishing.

    Sideboarding
    For Sideboarding you are looking to just stop them from reanimating creatures. Surgical Extraction is an all-star for turn 0 interaction to go along with Force of Will. On turn 1 you can drop Grafdiggerís Cage or Relic of Progenitus (the relic can be a bit slow) and that will make your opponent have to jump through some hoops to get a creature into play. Extra counterspells like Flusterstorm can help you reassure yourself against their fast combo. Lastly bounce spells like Vapor Snag can also be all-stars bouncing their creatures and forcing them to get them into play a second time can be absolutely game breaking.

    Sneak&Show
    Sneak&Show wants to get an Emrakul or Griselbrand into play around turns 2-4 as possible via. Show and Tell or Sneak Attack and kill you with it. More recently Sneak&Show has adopted Omniscience as another combo piece and is much harder to beat once in play. As well, they can usually combo with backup, whether it be redundant Show and Tells/Sneak Attacks or counter backup in the form of Force of Will, Spell Pierce and sometimes even Misdirection. With only 7-8 pieces of disruption only in the form of Dazes and Forces, it will be tough to beat them in a counter war. Racing them will also prove to be difficult as they are able to combo with backup usually turn 3-4, while your best racing hands goldfish around turns 3-4. Put simply, they are faster than you.
    In this matchup, you want to try to play out your game plan similarly to that of Grixis Delver. You want to land ideally a Delver on turn 1 and hold up counterspells to fight a counter war over Show and Tell or Sneak Attack. Naturally your deck will be more aggressive so your game plan will be to have that turn 1 threat followed up by likely another threat or two while holding up counters and try to end the game quickly before they are able to sculpt a perfect hand.

    Sideboarding
    For this matchup, you want more ways to fight their combo. Pyroblast and Flusterstorm are all stars because of their high efficiency. Pithing Needle on Sneak Attack shuts off 4 combo pieces without fighting the combo piece on the stack. If you have Eidolon of the Great Revel in your sideboard it can be highly effective in this matchup, as it is able to really punish them for digging to their combo and is often very effective against many Omniscience based ways of them killing you. Any additional disruption like Surgical Extraction or Vendilion Clique can also be very helpful. Surgical can remove all copies of Show and Tell from their deck if you do manage to counter one. Another useful application of Surgical Extraction is to rip cantrips out of their deck while their time to combo is running very low as a way of preventing them from finding the combo just in time to beat your clock. Vendilion Clique is great with a Show and Tell on the stack because it can strip a combo piece from their hand before they get to put it into play. It can also be very useful in the draw step or end step as a way to pick apart their combo preemptively.

    Grixis Delver
    Grixis Delver is a deck that will try to stay very low to the ground and play very cheap and efficiently costed spells. They also have a lot of cheap, efficient interaction in Cabal Therapy to strip cards from your hand, potentially getting multiples, Lightning Bolt to kill your Delvers and Swiftspears, and Wasteland to blow up your Volcanic Islands. Their manabase however, is extremely greedy. 8 fetchlands, 6 duals, no basics, and 4 Wastelands. This means that they can be very venerable to Price of Progress, however a good Grixis Delver pilot will only play the lands that they have to and sandbag the rest for future Brainstorm fodder. Another thing that will happen is them leaving Wastelands in play to soften the blow from Price of Progress.
    For this matchup, we are naturally lower to the ground than Grixis Delver which is to our advantage. You will want to play aggressively and try to maintain that advantage as the game starts to go later. Grixis Delver can have a tough time handling a lot of early aggression which we capitalize on by deploying multiple creatures on the first few turns. Grixis Delver can have the ability to deal with your threats and deploy a threat of their own, like Young Pyromancer, Delver or Deathrite Shaman, to try to keep up. This plan can be answered effectively by your 8 Lightning Bolt effects and allow you to take back control of the game. That said it is more important to save your Lightning Bolts for their creatures to keep them further behind than to go to their face.

    Sideboarding
    Against Grixis Delver, you want cheap interaction and ways to punish their greedy manabase. You could also board in some of your sweeper effects. Pyroblast and Flusterstorm are great options for this matchup, due to their extreme efficiency and potency. Sudden Demise could also be great, taking out a wave of Pyromancer tokens along with the Pyromancer. It also takes out Delvers, and Deathrites but be careful of your own Delvers. Price of Progress and Blood Moon do an excellent job of punishing Grixis Delverís extremely greedy Manabase. Blood Moon can lock out their lands, but Deathrite Shaman can still carry them until it inevitably gets zapped. Price of Progress, with your basic heavy manabase can put you far ahead in the damage race. Eidolon of the Great Revel can be an effective way to keep ahead in a damage race against a comparable board presence, punishing your opponent for casting spells. Do be careful as it can punish you if you are behind.



    V. Outside the Box

    a) Already tested, bad card choices

    Curious Homunculus // Voracious Reader
    This card generated a little bit of excitement when first spoiled because its reverse side is pretty beefy. But ultimately there are very few spells we want to play in U/R Delver which include generic mana in their costs, so we can't get full value out of the card. Two-mana for a 1/1 is not efficient enough without that benefit.

    Thing in the Ice // Awoken Horror
    This card was hugely hyped on release, and has seen some play in BUG decks and in UR control lists in Legacy. But it never really made it into the standard UR Delver core. It may be too conditional to be worth two mana in the list, and it's pretty questionable as a topdeck in the mid or lategame.


    b) To Be Tested Cards

    Bomat Courier
    This card needs more testing. The majority of theory on it is negative, but it's possible that it can provide enough card advantage to be useful in metagames where a 1/1 can reasonably expect to attack a few times. Jacob Saracino ran two at the 2016 SCG Baltimore Open to 10-5 finish, but his impressions are unknown.

    c) Tested, Niche Potential

    Goblin Guide
    Guide was a staple of the pre-Khans of Tarkir lists, when it was needed to fill out the stable of aggressive one-drops. After the printing of Monastery Swiftspear, the marginal value of Guide has dropped. The margins in Legacy are thin enough that giving your opponent an extra card or two can lose you the game a real percentage of the time. A few lists play some copies as 9th or 10th 2+ power 1-drops, but it's rare these days. Playing Guide moves you more towards the "Blue Sligh" lists, where it's worth considering extra burn and cutting cantrips, so you can aim to shorten the game and accept higher variance to win quickly.

    VI. Literature
    a) U/R Delver Related

    UR Delver Decklists on MTGtop8
    Deck of the Day Ė Legacy UR Delver

    b) Legacy Related

    Introduction to Legacy
    History of Legacy
    Introdution to Delver
    Introduction to Tempo
    Tempo & The Best Delver Deck

    c) General Magic Theory

    Fishing Lessons Ė Pondering Brainstorm
    Legacy Lessons Ė The Depth of Brainstorm

    d) Updates

    * 16-04-2017: added Thunderous Wrath, Izzet Staticaster, Sudden Demise at the maindeck- and sideboard-section (TMWAP). Changed the numbers of Force of Will maindeck from 4 to 3-4, added Force of Will as a 0-1 to the Sideboard-section. Added Sneak&Show and Grixis to the MU-section (TMWAP).
    * 12-07-2017: added Soul-Scar Mage at the maindeck-section, Vendillion Clique and Spell Pierce to sideboard-section (TMWAP). Added the Mirror-MU, Lands, Elves, and ANT to the MU-section (TMWAP). Removed Miracles (RIP SDT).

    VII. Final Addendum

    This Primer is written by TheManWithaPlan, Paradigm72, and me, Chatto. The layout is taken from the Goblin-primer (a legendary deck, some of you may know from the days of old). While decklists can be found in this primer, the main focus is to give you a general idea what this deck is all about.

    The old thread, written by Beatusnox, can be found here

    If you made it this far: thank you for reading.

    Tournament Reports:

    2017

    - UR Delver, pateuglow, 4-2
    - UR Delver, Johnny Tempel, 6-0
    - UR Delver with Goblin Guides, CabalTherapy, 4-0
    - UR Delver, Smuggo, 1-4-1
    - UR Delver, Smuggo, 1-4-1
    - UR Delver with Lavamancers main, Johnny Tempel, 3-2
    - UR Delver with Clique and Reveler main, Stuuch, 5-0
    - UR Delver, with Goblin Guides cabalTherapy, 3-0-1
    - UR Delver with a TNN main, IslandDelverGo, 3-3
    - UR Delver also with a TNN main, FZA, 5-0
    - UR Delver with Thoght Scour main, DNSolver, 5-0
    - UR Delver with Soul-Scar Mage, Smuggo, 2-3
    - UR Delver with a TNN, TMWaP, 6-1-2
    Last edited by Chatto; 07-25-2017 at 04:05 PM.
    "Be it ever so crumbled, there's no place like home."

    RGCL (GQ)


    Quote Originally Posted by Dice_Box View Post
    Welcome aboard, in her dark name we do dedicate this performance.
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    That actually sounds erotic.
    Youtube-playlist dedicated to RGCL

  3. #3
    Hey guys, let's do it! The blue yonder awaits! Yahoo!
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    Re: U/R Delver

    Reserved 2 of 2
    "Be it ever so crumbled, there's no place like home."

    RGCL (GQ)


    Quote Originally Posted by Dice_Box View Post
    Welcome aboard, in her dark name we do dedicate this performance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Mcdonalds View Post
    That actually sounds erotic.
    Youtube-playlist dedicated to RGCL

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    Re: U/R Delver

    Thanks guys.

    What do you think about Fire/Ice?
    Versatile card. And old, everybody knows it. But I like it instead of Forked bolt as a two-drop removal for Prelate.

  5. #5

    Re: U/R Delver

    Awesome!

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    Re: U/R Delver

    b) Strategy

    Your aim, like all tempo-decks, is to take full advantage of your resources, and to aggro your opponent out of the game. Your whole deck is made with this in mind. U/R Delver is all about synergy: burn, spot-removal, cantrips, and counters play vital roles, but also add up to Prowess-triggers.
    To flesh this out a little more, the difference between older UR Delver variants and the current incarnation is all about maximizing Prowess triggers. You often want to be saving your instant-speed cantrips and burn spells for after blockers are declared to maximize Prowess. This, of course, heavily depends upon the matchup; for example, saving Brainstorm to save your threats from something like Toxic Deluge is a good line keep in mind.

    Regarding how to play the Miracles matchup, it's imperative to keep a turn 1 Top from resolving. Life gets much easier for you if you can do that, and much more difficult if Top is in play. I'm glad you noted not to overextend - that is key to winning the Miracles matchup. Holding back threats to make them run through their removal while you whittle them down is the right strategy. If you can get them to feel comfortable about fetching duals, even better - situations where you can burn out with Price of Progress in response to Counterbalance being cast can help you steal a win from them. (Just don't expect to be able to do that in games 2 & 3! They WILL fetch their basics in those games.) In sideboarding, I'm glad you mentioned Clique, but I feel you should also add that siding in Grim Lavamancer and Invasive Surgery help make games 2 and 3 more favorable. A resolved Invasive Surgery on Terminus can just be clutch, and Grim Lavamancer is a must-answer for them. If your meta is very heavy on Miracles, Exquisite Firecraft isn't such a bad sideboard choice either.

    If possible, you might want to comment on the Grixis/4C Delver matchups as well! Thanks for writing an updated primer!

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    Re: U/R Delver

    RE: Fire // Ice: I currently play this as a one-of in the main, for the exact reason you mentioned: a hedge against Prelate on 1. It's reasonable enough in all the other matchups too - occasionally getting a two-for-one and also sometimes dodging Counterbalance.

    RE: Grim Lavamancer against Miracles: this one surprises me, he's usually one of my board-outs in order to get Vortex/Null Rod/Pyroblast/Sulfur Elemental in. If you're also upping your Grim Lavamancer card, what are you taking out of the main deck?

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    Re: U/R Delver

    Quote Originally Posted by paradigm72 View Post
    RE: Grim Lavamancer against Miracles: this one surprises me, he's usually one of my board-outs in order to get Vortex/Null Rod/Pyroblast/Sulfur Elemental in. If you're also upping your Grim Lavamancer card, what are you taking out of the main deck?
    I run/ran a build similar to the Miyazima List, except I run 3 PoP 3 Daze instead of 2 PoP, 4 Daze and my sideboard was a little different for my meta. I see more Legend Miracles in my meta than Predict Miracles, so I typically haven't had to board in Sulfur Elemental. It's been a while since I've been on UR Delver (been on other decks recently), but my boarding usually went something along the lines of -2 PoP -4 FoW +1 Pyroblast +1 REB +1 Flusterstorm +1 Sulfuric Vortex +1 Grim Lavamancer +1 Vendillion Clique. I would likely work in Invasive Surgery as well if I were to pick the deck back up. I had good experience with the Lavaman post-board because I would set him down early along with a Delver/Swiftspear to get in under Counterbalance (if it stuck) if I had him in hand and would do my best to keep Swords/Terminus at bay.
    Last edited by Ruta Barracuda; 01-16-2017 at 06:52 PM.

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    Re: U/R Delver

    Quote Originally Posted by jattra View Post
    Thanks guys.

    What do you think about Fire/Ice?
    Versatile card. And old, everybody knows it. But I like it instead of Forked bolt as a two-drop removal for Prelate.
    If you are looking to diversify the casting costs in your removal sweet to fight Sanctum Prelate Fire // Ice is an option and don't forget that Dismember is also an option. However I don't feel that this is necessary. I feel that just being more aggressive with establishing a board presence and firing your cantrips off is effective enough to get under the Prelate, for if it lands you are just trying to minimize its effectiveness with a deck that is extremely capable of it.

    This is just what I think, and it is entirely possible that I could be wrong, but this is how I have chosen to adapt to the outbreak of Sanctum Prelate. I would love to hear more on what everyone else does to combat the Prelate.

    Edit: To add to this I feel cards to deal with Prelate are more appropriately placed in the sideboard for this deck. Cards like Rough // Tumble or other cards that completely dodge Prelate on 1 in your sideboard are better just so that you don't dilute your efficient plan in G1 against other decks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilkin View Post
    I tap all 5 of my lands on my turn. He's like....OMG not Shriekmaw. I land Batterskull. He's like. Ok sure. LOL, not very often someone is more happy to see Batterskull then a Shriekmaw.
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    Re: U/R Delver

    @ Ruta Barracuda: I was aiming on making it clear that Prowess is the main difference/ focus with this new incarnation: with proper sequencing you can have a better damage-output :-) I'll update when I have proper computer at my disposel.
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    Re: U/R Delver

    Quote Originally Posted by TheManWithaPlan View Post
    If you are looking to diversify the casting costs in your removal sweet to fight Sanctum Prelate Fire // Ice is an option and don't forget that Dismember is also an option. However I don't feel that this is necessary. I feel that just being more aggressive with establishing a board presence and firing your cantrips off is effective enough to get under the Prelate, for if it lands you are just trying to minimize its effectiveness with a deck that is extremely capable of it.

    This is just what I think, and it is entirely possible that I could be wrong, but this is how I have chosen to adapt to the outbreak of Sanctum Prelate. I would love to hear more on what everyone else does to combat the Prelate.

    Edit: To add to this I feel cards to deal with Prelate are more appropriately placed in the sideboard for this deck. Cards like Rough // Tumble or other cards that completely dodge Prelate on 1 in your sideboard are better just so that you don't dilute your efficient plan in G1 against other decks.
    The good thing about Fire/Ice in main deck is that it does not dilute my plan (in my opinion) and helps even in G1 to kill Prelate or tap Griselbrand just to swing for lethal.

  12. #12

    Re: U/R Delver

    Really glad UR Delver got the thread it deserves, since previous ones had become not updated with the more modern developments. Great job Chatto, primer's excellent and will be following this closely, thanks for referencing my MTGGoldfish articles.

    In terms of artifact destruction, is Smash to Smithereens always the best option? There's a bevvy of options in red that could be quite interesting - something like Crash which synergises very well with big Prowess turns, but of course could be a little inconsistent. Shattering Spree is also a good one in certain situations. Just a thought.
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    Re: U/R Delver

    Quote Originally Posted by ChemicalBurns View Post
    Really glad UR Delver got the thread it deserves, since previous ones had become not updated with the more modern developments. Great job Chatto, primer's excellent and will be following this closely, thanks for referencing my MTGGoldfish articles.

    In terms of artifact destruction, is Smash to Smithereens always the best option? There's a bevvy of options in red that could be quite interesting - something like Crash which synergises very well with big Prowess turns, but of course could be a little inconsistent. Shattering Spree is also a good one in certain situations. Just a thought.
    Firstly, thanks for the feedback everyone!

    @ChemicalBurns, in terms of the best artifact removal for this deck firstly I have never even heard of Crash, seems interesting, but the reason Smash is so good is because it isn't just a Shatter it is also a Lightning Bolt so it does two things at once; destroys an artifact while progressing your game plan.

    Also, I love your content on MTGGoldfish and eagerly look forward to reading each week, thanks for your contributions to the Legacy crowd!
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilkin View Post
    I tap all 5 of my lands on my turn. He's like....OMG not Shriekmaw. I land Batterskull. He's like. Ok sure. LOL, not very often someone is more happy to see Batterskull then a Shriekmaw.
    ______________________________________
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    Re: U/R Delver

    that's why, when possible Destructibe Revelry is really a good card.

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    Re: U/R Delver

    Sean, I like the suggestion of Crash. I think in a non-Fireblast list it's potentially worth running as a third artifact destruction spell in the board, when the metagame demands it. Against something like Thorn or Thalia the free cost is definitely compelling.

    I don't think I would cut either of the two sideboard copies of Smash to Smithereens though... Smash is just so clutch at turning around a game where we're behind because of the virtual card advantage it creates, with the extra bolt 'stapled on'.

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    Re: U/R Delver

    First off, thank you all for making this nice new primer!

    Second, i'm attending a bigger legacy event in 3 weeks and would like to have some feedback on my list, especially regarding sideboard choices.
    I'm not sure about the meta as i mostly played modern the last few months but i believe there will be lots of BUG decks (all flavours), lots of Storm and Reanimator and few Miracle decks.
    Infect, D&T and Sneak Show should also be present.

    My list:

    Spells: 31
    4x Brainstorm
    4x Daze
    1x Fireblast
    4x Force of Will
    4x Lightning Bolt
    2x Price of Progress
    4x Chain Lightning
    4x Gitaxian Probe
    4x Ponder

    Creatures: 13
    1x Bedlam Reveler
    4x Delver of Secrets
    1x Grim Lavamancer
    4x Monastery Swiftspear
    3x Stormchaser Mage

    Lands: 16
    2x Island
    2x Mountain
    4x Polluted Delta
    4x Scalding Tarn
    2x Volcanic Island
    2x Wooded Foothills


    Sideboard: 15
    1x Flusterstorm
    1x Grafdigger's Cage
    2x Pyroblast
    2x Smash to Smithereens
    2x Spell Pierce
    1x Submerge
    1x Sudden Demise
    2x Sulfuric Vortex
    2x Surgical Extraction
    1x Vendilion Clique


    Feedback welcome!

    Greetings

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    Re: U/R Delver

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonny Tempel View Post
    First off, thank you all for making this nice new primer!

    Second, i'm attending a bigger legacy event in 3 weeks and would like to have some feedback on my list, especially regarding sideboard choices.
    I'm not sure about the meta as i mostly played modern the last few months but i believe there will be lots of BUG decks (all flavours), lots of Storm and Reanimator and few Miracle decks.
    Infect, D&T and Sneak Show should also be present.

    My list:
    Thanks for the shoutout for the primer! Glad you like it!

    I don't think that Grim Lavamancer and Bedlam Reveler belong in the same main deck, especially since you aren't necessarily pouring spells into your graveyard (that would just be a waste). I also heavily advocate sideboarding up to the 4th copy of Price of Progress. It's something I've been doing and I have really loved it. I haven't played the deck in a while, but Price of Progress looks like a great card in the current meta. I don't think I would be running Fireblast in your build of the deck. I feel you would need to go to 4 Volcanic Islands to support it effectively, but don't take my word for it because I haven't tested your build or any builds with Fireblast.

    To go off on a bit of a tangent I am also changing my stance on Bedlam Reveler a bit. I am now willing to try it in the mainboard of this deck as a 1 of. I will be testing it in the coming weeks. It seems that it is well positioned against the BUG decks as they don't have a particularly efficient way of removing it and you actually get slowed down enough to make the card castable. I also might be messing with a 3rd Price of Progress in the main board.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilkin View Post
    I tap all 5 of my lands on my turn. He's like....OMG not Shriekmaw. I land Batterskull. He's like. Ok sure. LOL, not very often someone is more happy to see Batterskull then a Shriekmaw.
    ______________________________________
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    Re: U/R Delver

    Blood Moon should also be considered if your meta is filled with greedy manabases :-)
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    Re: U/R Delver

    Thanks for the suggestions guys!

    I' recently cut the second Reveler in favour of Lavamancer but maybe i should consider re-adding him or take a Clique instead.
    Same goes for Price of Progess and Fireblast. I have to borrow my third Volcanic to one of my friends so i'm left with only two for my deck. Fireblast has been really nice in the few games i've played with it so far but you may be right with only 2 dual lands it might be to risky.

    So my changes would be:
    Maindeck:
    -1 Fireblast
    -1 Grim Lavamancer
    +1 Price
    +1 Bedlam Reveler/Vendilion Clique

    Sideboard:
    -1 Vendilion Clique
    +1 Blood Moon

    Greetings

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    Re: U/R Delver

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonny Tempel View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions guys!

    I' recently cut the second Reveler in favour of Lavamancer but maybe i should consider re-adding him or take a Clique instead.
    Same goes for Price of Progess and Fireblast. I have to borrow my third Volcanic to one of my friends so i'm left with only two for my deck. Fireblast has been really nice in the few games i've played with it so far but you may be right with only 2 dual lands it might be to risky.

    So my changes would be:
    Maindeck:
    -1 Fireblast
    -1 Grim Lavamancer
    +1 Price
    +1 Bedlam Reveler/Vendilion Clique

    Sideboard:
    -1 Vendilion Clique
    +1 Blood Moon

    Greetings
    I feel like Clique is a better sideboard card than a mainboard card. I would be running a True-Name Nemesis over the Clique in the mainboard. The reason being you generally want a more resilient threat in that slot. Clique dies to half a Forked Bolt while people have to run answers specifically for the Nemesis because it doesn't die to traditional removal where as Clique is just another target for Bolts, Decays, Plows, and now Fatal Pushes. I feel that Clique can be awesome in the sideboard against combo like Sneak and Show and Storm and that the sideboard is where this card should be.

    For the lack of the third dual land I would run a Steam Vents anyways. You NEED that third dual. I put up several results with this deck, lacking a third Volcanic and it was still fine. It also powers up your non-existent Death's Shadow to boot!
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilkin View Post
    I tap all 5 of my lands on my turn. He's like....OMG not Shriekmaw. I land Batterskull. He's like. Ok sure. LOL, not very often someone is more happy to see Batterskull then a Shriekmaw.
    ______________________________________
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