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Video Daily Digest: Four Delvers, Two Colors, No Worries

Does that Delver deck really need three colors? Ross Merriam found a Top 16 list from a Magic Online PTQ that points to a simpler, two-color direction that takes advantage of creature-lands!

Because of the power of fetchlands in combination with shocklands, manabases in Modern are often quite forgiving. As a result, many players opt to push their mana as far as it will go, splashing for any card they might need, usually at the cost of adding a shockland or two and being more careful about your selection of fetch lands.

But there is a hidden cost that comes with that exchange on top of the slight decrease in consistency: you lose the ability to play the many sweet utility lands that are available in Modern, or least the ability to play them in significant numbers.

Frequent readers of my content are no doubt aware of my love for creature-lands, and today’s deck sacrifices the power of an additional color in order to play a ton of creature-lands. Delver decks in any format are known for their low land counts, but this one has a healthy 23 because seven of them attack and that means you have plenty of mana sinks.

Even better, the two creature-lands in the deck, Creeping Tar Pit and Mutavault, are aggressively slanted, so they play well with a Delver strategy that wants to beat down. Normally you’d see a splash color here, likely red, so the deck can play the cheapest removal spells, but Fatal Push is the new sheriff in town and it works nicely in the U/B shell, no splashing necessary.

The increased land count also lets you play some more powerful spells that Delver decks typically can’t afford, like Cryptic Command and the sideboard copy of Damnation. Cryptic Command’s versatility is incredibly valuable here, since your non-Delver threats very much appreciate having a path cleared for them and the tempo gained from pairing the Counterspell mode with the Boomerang mode is obscene enough that parents with young children should consider whether or not it’s appropriate for impressionable players.

Three-or-more-color decks are so ubiquitous in Modern that you might ask yourself, “Why not try to splash?”, but that additional color is always going to come with some sort of cost. There are no free splashes and there are plenty of other ways to extract value from your lands. Let’s start exploring them.