Video Daily Digest: Fail To Find

When did Delver of Secrets become an underdog? Modern is a strange place these days, and Ross Merriam has all the reasons why! Are you on Delver for SCG Dallas? We bet it doesn’t look like this!

Most of the time when I see a mash-up between two decks, I’m left wondering “why?” The result usually has all the weaknesses of the constituent decks and few of the strengths, a strict downgrade. But today’s deck is an exception.

Delver of Secrets wants to be put in a tempo shell since it’s an undercosted, evasive threat. There’s no better way to stymie your opponent’s development and thereby gain tempo then to efficiently destroy their lands. Wasteland is a staple of Delver decks in Legacy and among the best cards in every variant of the deck. So let’s take the Leonin Arbiter/Ghost Quarter package from Death and Taxes and pair it with Delver of Secrets!

The white splash is easy to facilitate with Modern mana, even when you have six colorless lands in the deck and the fact that Arbiter doesn’t play nice with fetchlands. The cantrips in the deck also go a long way towards supporting the manabase.

Path to Exile also comes along with Leonin Arbiter, giving you access to the most versatile removal spell in Modern, and importantly not give up the land in the process since jump-starting your opponent’s mana is the last thing tempo decks want to do.

As for blue cards, the usual suspects of cheap counterspells, cantrips, and Snapcaster Mage are all here, but the standout card is really Disrupting Shoal. Delver of Secrets has not had the impact on Modern that it has had in Legacy, and that’s largely due to the Modern versions of the deck being forced to function more like midrange decks with a low land count rather than true tempo decks since they don’t have access to Force of Will and Daze.

The removal in Modern is very similar to that available in Legacy, so protecting your threats is nearly as difficult. Without the sufficient tools, Modern Delver decks haven’t been able to protect their threats often enough. Disrupting Shoal is no Force of Will, but it will give you that one turn of protection when you tap out for a threat so you can untap and start pressing an advantage.

Every card, no matter how powerful, needs to be put in the right context to succeed. This is a Delver deck that embraces what it’s supposed to be and maximizes the potential of a one mana 3/2 flier rather than simply trying to surround it with a critical mass of powerful spells.