Aetherworks Marvel seems to be taking over Standard. The R/G and Naya variants of the deck have been tuned to the point where they are no longer as vulnerable to Spell Queller and other counterspells, giving them the ability to play a normalized, midrange game and have success doing so.
The rise of Marvel has been bad news for B/G Delirium, causing some upheaval in the metagame after weeks of stagnation. The time is now for those Delirium decks to adapt, and it appears that process has already begun.
Few decks can compete with B/G Delirium in an attrition battle, since it has plenty of card advantage, high-powered threats, and enough answers to stop its opponent’s most powerful cards. The issue is that the Aetherworks Marvel decks have a normal gameplan that goes over the top of all of that attrition-based nonsense, plopping Eldrazi onto the battlefield as early as turn 4. If you can stop that ramp-esque gameplan, you can have success.
A few counterspells, while not being great on their own, are a great addition to this deck to help it in the new metagame. You have the mana fixing to make everything work, although your fail rate will increase by a nonzero amount, but the gains are significant. You have plenty of instants to sit back on once you land an early threat, so Glimmer of Genius is a solid addition on top of the Spell Shrivels.
Blue also offers Torrential Gearhulk, another flash threat that also plays well in normal attrition games, although I’m sad not to see any copies of Grapple with the Past so it can function as two threats in one when necessary.
Where this variant is going to suffer is in the W/U Flash and aggressive matchups. Ishkanah, Grafwidow has been trimmed to a single copy, so you aren’t going to have it on turn 5 that often unless you can turn on delirium early enough to cast an early Traverse the Ulvenwald. The more inconsistent mana is also going to lead to more slow starts that those decks can readily punish.
Make no mistake: this is a metagame deck, so should things change, you’ll likely want to go back to the B/G version. But as long as Emrakul, the Promised End rules the metagame, the blue splash can give you a serious edge in a matchup most people are dismissing right now.
- 1 Pilgrim's Eye
- 2 Tireless Tracker
- 1 Emrakul, the Promised End
- 1 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
- 4 Grim Flayer
- 2 Torrential Gearhulk