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Thread: Mono U Tempo Delver

  1. #1

    Mono U Tempo Delver

    Hey guys, I wanna start playing blue in Legacy also (only build I got is Burn) and I was wondering if this build might work as a budget build:

    Creatures:
    2 Cryptic Serpent
    4 Delver of Secrets
    2 Snapcaster Mage
    4 True-Name Nemesis

    Card utility:
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder

    Counter:
    4 Daze
    4 Force of Will
    3 Spell Pierce
    1 Spell Snare
    4 Stifle

    Removal:
    2 Dismember
    2 Vapor Snag

    Lands:
    8 Island
    4 Misty Rainforest
    4 Scalding Tarn
    4 Wasteland

    This is a Delver Tempo deck so I run 4 Stifle and 4 Wasteland for mana destruction. Then I have the standard counterspells and as removal a Vapor Snag and Dismember split which I have to test how good it is. As creatures I run the main ones Delver and Nemesis while splitting Snapcaster Mage and Cryptic Serpent. Snapcaster Mage is for this build self explaining with all the instant and sorcerys. The good thing about Cryptic Serpent is it does not exile the instant and sorcery cards in your graveyard it only needs them to be in there to be casted so with 4 of it in my GY I can allready cast it for 3. I have to be careful to not exile one of my instant cards with a Snapcaster Mage and having to 2 Cryptic Serpent on my hand but since there are only 2 of each in the deck this shouldn't be a big deal especially with 4 Brainstorm and 4 Ponder. 20 mana with 4 Wasteland should be enough to cast Nemesis with cc3 consistently. The good thing about this build is the non existing fear of the opponents wastelands so I might do something better than all the other Ux Delver builds. I think this build is a little bit slower than the rest of the Ux Tempo builds (no Lightning Bolts, higher mana costs). But for this it could run a little bit more consistent because of Mono U??

  2. #2

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    Looks decent for budget mono blue. First thing that comes to mind is Back to Basics. This will make your bounce spells considerably more effective and it not only buys you tempo but can nearly destroy a number of decks on it's own in the same way Blood Moon does for mono red decks. Another one that comes to mind is Thing in the Ice in your Cryptic Serpent slot which is much more than just a cheap big dude considering his sweep ability.

    Since you are already running Stifle you might want to go another route and consider Phyrexian Dreadnought along side Trickbind and Trinket Mage (for grabbing PD). Keep in mind that Phyrexian Dreadnought also has some nutty synergy with Eldrazi Mimic but I'm not sure there is a place for him in mono blue.

    Another option is mono-blue Standstill card advantage featuring man-lands such as Mishra's Factory which puts pressure on your opponent to trigger it.

    Winter Orb and/or Back to Basics combined with bounce and/or Propaganda, Rhystic Study, Pendrell Mists and/or Monastery Siege do some crazy stuff together especially if you have mana rocks to back up Winter Orb.

    Anyway, those are off the top of my head. Hope that helps a bit.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    Going the standstill route opens many perspectives.
    You could add man lands indeed (mutavault or mishra's factory) and perhaps Ninja of the deep hours which has huge synergy with it and other cards which benefits of being bounced (snapcaster mage for example).
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  4. #4

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    Quote Originally Posted by Tylert View Post
    Going the standstill route opens many perspectives.
    You could add man lands indeed (mutavault or mishra's factory) and perhaps Ninja of the deep hours which has huge synergy with it and other cards which benefits of being bounced (snapcaster mage for example).
    - Coming from my Vintage Fish experience, playing standstill in a tempo deck will worsen your matchup against every fair deck, read the vast majority of the format.

    - I have very small understanding and experience with tempo decks in legacy, but 12 counters and 4 bounce/removal looks like too much stack control and not enough permanent disruption. Vapor Snag is definitely your best option here (bounce+damage=tempo+tempo), i'd run 4.

    -Manacurve on your beaters looks a bit off, maybe too many cc3's?

  5. #5

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    I've tried sometimes mono-U delver, its actually pretty nice, I really think Thing in the Ice has a sweet spot on the deck, it might be counter intuitive to go with delver, but it is actually pretty good, for that I would surely bring the SCM to 4-of, this makes the deck a little more midrangish like UWR delver, but I think it works better this way.

    Also, you are running 2 lands more than usual delver lists, that I think might be because of True-Nemesis, I would cut 2-3 TNN and with that cut 2 Islands having 6 Islands and 8 fetches.
    Believe me TiTI is so good when I tested, it can be an instant speed wipe that leaves you an 7/8 beater, I find it harder for a monoU deck have a better creature to replace it, TNN is a beating, but he is way too mana intensive to go 4-of in my opinion, even more for a deck that has a slightly higher number of counters than usual delvers so you need more mana open and increasing too much the land count is not what I would prefer doing.

    I would work with this deck in the idea that it can have the usual delver draw, early pressure and disruption, but it can have a slightly better late game than most other delver decks, even though you are giving up some of the best spot removals for having no splashes.

    Anyway those are just my opinion, they might not be correct, but there you have it :)

  6. #6
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    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    Stifle by itself [i.e. solely to target opponent's triggers/activations] will always be pretty suspect and will cost you games. If Stifle -> Dreadnought, if no Dreadnought -> no Stifle; whatever your SB backup plan is for Stifle coming out, it isn't maindeck Probe meeting SB Therapy. Your mana curve for threats is 4-0-6[+2] at cmc 1,2,3[+], unless you're actually casting SCM for no value. This is problematic in a "tempo" deck, particularly one trying this hard to get to 3 mana while Dazing and Wastelanding. Classic tempo is 8-4-2 at cmc 1,2,x (x being TNN, Gurmag, Mandrils, Tombstalker, Leo, Cryptic, Reveler). The two best things you could be doing are using Factory as 1-drop #5-8 or casting Aether Vial. Thing in the Ice is ok, but the reason the card works (when cast face-up) is the 6 slots of SCM/Strix and 8 slots Gitaxian Probe/Therapy (some variants use Probe/Pfire/no Strix); face-down casting means you're on Dreadnoughts.

    Don't really like the Cryptic Serpent given that you're on mono- as it costs you one of the best tools at your disposal Set Adrift and your list has 4x TNN which should be enough top-end. A move to Standstill (away from TNN) has the most pieces working together and is one of the best ways to obtain more raw card draw, Dreadnought is the best way to add a second color one dual at a time, and Vial means your a bad Merfolk deck (but it will actually give you a reasonable shot of deploying a clock against combo without tapping out and passing the turn). Given that this is supposed to be bugdet, an important question is whether or not you've already thrown your money into TNNs. You can do all this work, but it would be just as easy to run U/R Delver with Steam Vents as you slowly build up to Volcs.

  7. #7

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    I don't think Phyrexian Dreadnought really has a place in Legacy anymore and Standstill needs to have more dedicated cards included around it to be worth it.
    I like the suggestion of Back to Basics, which is a pretty powerful card at the moment and gives you a legitimate reason to be mono blue.
    Thing in the Ice is a powerful card by itself and works well with Snapcaster but it's not the greatest thing alongside Delver of Secrets.
    Gitaxian Probe can be a reasonable inclusion for helping to cast Cryptic Serpent and for giving more options to cast with Snapcaster. (It also helps to flip Thing in the Ice if you go that route).
    The suggestion of just playing U/R with Steam Vents instead of Volcanic is also not that bad (being the multicolor Delver deck that requires the fewest dual lands) but it does seem a bit questionable putting shocks in a deck that probably wants to be casting Price of Progress and/or Sulfuric Vortex

  8. #8
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    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    Can not agree enough that Back to Basics is were you want to be. The card is a beating in the current meta, and if you plan to play an early Stifle game your going to have the option to limit the amount of basics that hit the table in some games.

    I personally would cut a counter and up the removal a touch. 12 counters means your likely to win counter wars, but then lose to the board when someone Lands. Playing against Elves for example your in for a bumpy ride if you lose the die roll. I think Thing in the Ice helps here too, it's a give and take on what you find works best.

    I would cut a TNN for a Clique. The card is a godsend against Combo and plays the role of Ambush Viper best. It also matches up well with your plan of holding open counters and then casting something at the end of turn.
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  9. #9

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    If you're running B2B, then a beetter land might actually be Ghost Quarter over Wasteland, which can target basic lands, turning their nonbasics into Lotus Petals under it. Has anyone tried this out to see if that's a viable strategy?

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    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    I doubt it would be. You can use Wasteland as a Tempo play while pushing yourself into the mid game. If your plan in the mid game includes locking them down on non basics, you don't want to have to kill one and hand them a basic early.

    Ghost Quarter in a deck like this is really helping once your winning, Wasteland helps you get there. Also people often sandbag non basics, planing to tap out for one big spell. If you kill one of them, it costs you little and them a ton.
    It is better to ask and look stupid then keep your mouth shut and remain so.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    Stifle-Naught just isn't viable anymore, sadly. Abrupt Decay dug the grave and Kolaghan's Command/Fatal Push sealed it. Standstill is still viable but the best version is UB and that's not very budget friendly.

    Mono U Tempo Delver is a completely different deck than TITI Midrange Control (with Snapcaster and B2B). The latter is probably the better of the two decks (on a budget), but if you can bite the bullet and get a couple Volcanics, UR Delver is another tier above. Might want to think about that as you plan your upgrade path.

  12. #12

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    thanks for all the input guys :) I am actually aiming for Ur Delver but cannot afford Volcanics right now. So the main core practically says -2 TNN and an other -1 Stifle -1 Spell Pierce + 2-3 Back to Basic. Are there any other good creatures as a Mono U player or are the top choices only limited to practically 4 Delver, 2-3 TNN and 2-3 Snapcaster Mage? Even 10 creatures look kind of low for the deck I am aiming. Right now it looks like that:

    4 Delver of Secrets
    2 Snapcaster Mage
    2 True-Name Nemesis
    1 Vendilion Clique
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Daze
    4 Force of Will
    2 Spell Pierce
    1 Spell Snare
    3 Stifle
    2 Dismember
    2 Vapor Snag
    2 Back to Basic

    Still have 4-5 slots to fill in...

  13. #13
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    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    How about another semi-crazy idea?

    Is it totally crazy to do something like having "colorless" be your splash in this type of shell? Is 4x Mutavault + Spellstutter Sprite an option? The only real interaction you gain is Warping Wail but it's pretty solid at being able to kill DRS which is going to be a big issue.

    The other alternative is just to just play Steam Vents and rock UR with some self-damage which may just be better.

  14. #14

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    Quote Originally Posted by eldub View Post
    How about another semi-crazy idea?

    Is it totally crazy to do something like having "colorless" be your splash in this type of shell? Is 4x Mutavault + Spellstutter Sprite an option? The only real interaction you gain is Warping Wail but it's pretty solid at being able to kill DRS which is going to be a big issue.

    The other alternative is just to just play Steam Vents and rock UR with some self-damage which may just be better.
    Very dubious to say the least.
    Playing colorless opens you up to a lot of possibilities, read, a number of possibilities between 0 and 2. Basically you splash a bunch of colorless lands hoping you can throw the warping wail that's sitting in your hand since turn 1 to something, and the rest of "colorless" (eldrazi stuff?) is unplayable in a tempo deck, and you can play sideboard artifacts without needing colorless lands. By playing blue, you already have stuff like Invasive Surgery to take care of big sorcery spells, and by playing a reasonable splash you can pack literally all the removal of this world. Also, every other splash has fetchable duals and basics, which isn't really the case here.

    If you wanna go for the faerie route, black is definitely where you wanna be, with Bitterblossom and many of the best removal spells in the format.

  15. #15

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    I absolutely love this deck.

    Pauper Mono Blue Delver is my favorite deck of all time and this deck shares the same feels. The list looks great. Have you made any adjustments or refinements to it this year?

    I think I will build this same deck but ditching the fetches and replacing Brainstorm with Preordain.

  16. #16

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    I would either build around Thing in the Ice or try to mimic the Pauper Delver strategy

    NINJA Delver


    //Creatures: 12
    4 Delver of Secrets
    4 Spellstutter Sprite
    2 Vendilion Clique
    2 Ninja of the Deep Hours

    //Enchanments: 3
    3 Back to Basics

    //Spells: 27
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Stifle
    4 Vapor Snag
    4 Daze
    2 Dismember
    1 Spell Snare

    //Lands: 18
    4 Wasteland
    3 Scalding Tarn
    3 Polluted Delta
    7-8 Island
    0-1 Riptide Laboratory

    //Sideboard:
    3 Surgical Extraction
    2 Sorcerous Spyglass
    2 Spell Pierce
    1 Flusterstorm
    2 True-Name Nemesis
    2 Echoing Truth
    3 Propaganda


    Play a tempo game. By midgame you can use Ninja of the Deep Hours and/or Riptide Laboratory to reuse Spellstutter Sprite, Vendilion Clique and/or Snapcaster Mage for extra value.

    Alternately, instead of the Ninjas and Faeries your creatures could be 4 Thing in the Ice, 2 Snapcaster Mage, 2 True-Name Nemesis. Then your midgame plan is to flip Thing or control the board with TNN.

  17. #17

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    I would either build around Thing in the Ice or try to mimic the Pauper Delver strategy

    NINJA Delver


    //Creatures: 12
    4 Delver of Secrets
    4 Spellstutter Sprite
    2 Vendilion Clique
    2 Ninja of the Deep Hours

    //Enchanments: 3
    3 Back to Basics

    //Spells: 27
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Stifle
    4 Vapor Snag
    4 Daze
    2 Dismember
    1 Spell Snare

    //Lands: 18
    4 Wasteland
    3 Scalding Tarn
    3 Polluted Delta
    7-8 Island
    0-1 Riptide Laboratory

    //Sideboard:
    3 Surgical Extraction
    2 Sorcerous Spyglass
    2 Spell Pierce
    1 Flusterstorm
    2 True-Name Nemesis
    2 Echoing Truth
    3 Propaganda


    Play a tempo game. By midgame you can use Ninja of the Deep Hours and/or Riptide Laboratory to reuse Spellstutter Sprite, Vendilion Clique and/or Snapcaster Mage for extra value.

    Alternately, instead of the Ninjas and Faeries your creatures could be 4 Thing in the Ice, 2 Snapcaster Mage, 2 True-Name Nemesis. Then your midgame plan is to flip Thing or control the board with TNN.
    Excellent lists/suggestions. I love them. Thing in the Ice is a great idea as well.

    One thing I have serious concerns about is the manabase, 13 colored sources is way too low, I think 15/16 Islands is the absolute bare minimum. Perhaps 3/4 Wastelands to accompany them.

    I would also definitely cut 2 Vapor Snag for the 3rd Dismember and a Spell Pierce because anything beyond 2 Snag is overkill (itís the weakest card in the deck) and Dismember is actual removal. And my personal controversial choice, I might opt to drop the fetchlands and replace Brianstorm with Preordain.

    Not completely sold on Maindeck Back to Basics here as well. I would at least cut one for a 2nd Spell Pierce or maybe a Jitte or True Name. There are too many matchups where BtB is useless.

  18. #18

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    I wouldnít cut out vapor snag SO quickly though... it can be used to reset snapcasters and cliques if need be


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  19. #19

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    Lmao, I just realized that none of the lists are playing even a single counterspell. Have we really gotten to a point where counterspell isnít worth playing in a deck like this that craves instants and easily supports UU spells?

    Counterspell is so powerful that Wizards hasnít reprinted in over a decade, and it doesnít exist in modern for this reason. Yes this deck should definitely play it.

  20. #20

    Re: Mono U Tempo Delver

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Hammer View Post
    One thing I have serious concerns about is the manabase, 13 colored sources is way too low, I think 15/16 Islands is the absolute bare minimum. Perhaps 3/4 Wastelands to accompany them.
    Yeah that's why I was unsure about Riptide and put 0-1. But the whole 14 blue sources + 4 wastelands + 8 cantrips thing comes from RUG Delver and friends. If 3 color tempo decks can work with only 14 mana sources (and they risk getting Wasted), then a mono-colored tempo deck should be fine. Most of the deck works on 2 land, with 3 the most needed. If 14 is too low, 15 should be enough. Maybe -1 Vapor Snag + 1 Island?

    I would also definitely cut 2 Vapor Snag for the 3rd Dismember and a Spell Pierce because anything beyond 2 Snag is overkill (itís the weakest card in the deck) and Dismember is actual removal.
    Vapor Snag does beat Dismember for answering stuff like Griselbrand and 20/20s, and it lets you reuse your own ETB creatures. But it sucks against enemy ETB creatures (Snapcaster, Strix,... ), while Dismember answers threats like TKS and Angler quite well. 3rd Dismember or maybe an Echoing Truths would be better?

    Counterspell seems bad. Only slow control decks like Landstill play it, but you never see it in blue-based tempo decks. Holding up UU is bad tempo. Tempo wants to make maximum utility of every single mana on every single turn. Although if you're running Spellstutter Sprite and a lack of hard removal, maybe it's worth it.

    Not completely sold on Maindeck Back to Basics here as well.
    Really? I think it's the main reason to play monoblue.

    Against which top decks is this useless? Grixis Control, Grixis Delver, Sneak Show, ANT, Eldrazi, Death's Shadow, Slow Depths, and similar variants all get wrecked. Miracles can play around it, but they also run enough nonbasics that you can catch them off guard. Even against mono-colored decks like D&T or Goblins, you shut them off Caverns and Port which both can have a big impact on the matchup. If you end up facing some basic-heavy deck like Burn, use Brainstorm to bury it in game 1 and then board it out.

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