Hymn Delver vs. Esper Deathblade
Hymn Delver vs. RUG Delver
Thoughtseize Delver vs. Painted Stone
Thoughtseize Delver vs. U/W/R Delver
As you can see, I don’t delete videos where I lose, and I don’t delete videos where I throw games away. Besides being a lie by omission about how recording went, I think that losing games because of play errors is incredibly instructive. It’s all well and good to win games, but the games where you lose are the ones where you should ask yourself what you could’ve done better.
In these games, the answers were generally “attack better,” “cast your cards,” and “don’t play into their on-board effect.” Although I threw away about a game per match, we still have some good information on our core A/B comparison: the maindeck discard spell slot.
Hymn to Tourach lived up to its reputation as a card that can create free wins in multiples. Its power skyrockets with Deathrite Shaman in play, as one of its biggest downsides before the printing of Return to Ravnica was its general slowness against Delver tempo decks. With Deathrite Shaman, though, Dazeing a turn 2 Hymn to Tourach may not always mean countering it. That is a world of difference.
Thoughtseize also lived up to its reputation as a card that can pick apart an opponent’s strategy by taking away their hinge point, whatever that may be. Against Painted Stone, that card was Sensei’s Divining Top. Against U/W/R Delver, it may have actually been Ponder despite my decision to take Delver of Secrets. The value of having another one-drop in a deck sporting four Abrupt Decays, four Tarmogoyfs, and four Dazes is worth considering, especially when you have a hand that wants to alt-cast Daze on the draw. Being able to cast a one-drop, cast Daze, and then cast a disruption spell on turn 2 is important, and it’s one of Hymn to Tourach’s bigger downsides.
Ultimately, I actually disliked both Delver of Secrets and True-Name Nemesis. Neither card was particularly good in its respective shell. Successful decks playing Delver of Secrets have tended to restrict an opponent’s ability to cast spells, not their ability to keep them in their hand. It is absolutely a flying Wild Nacatl in spell-heavy decks, but I have never seen a Wild Nacatl deck play Mind Rot or Trained Armodon. Too often their life total just didn’t matter because the deck doesn’t have Lightning Bolt to close out games.
If you want to play Hymn to Tourach, I think there are better threats with which to pair the card than Delver of Secrets. If you want to play Thoughtseize, I think you want more ways to get ahead on cards. If what we really want to do in Legacy is grind people out with a green and black “good stuff” deck touching on blue for consistency, I have a few good ideas about where to look. How about you?