About 4 weeks ago I got bored and decided I was going to build a deck specifically designed to beat delver and a secondary emphasis on G/R Ramp. I had never really built a deck around hating on one or two archetypes before but was surprised at how much it taught me about how to build my decks. I am by no means any kind of MTG Pro or expert but have found my win percentages getting better and better and hope that maybe some of what I share can help at least one other person.
I think one of the most important starting points of any deck building processes is to go back and look through EVERY card available to you. I found that once I knew what direction I wanted to head into, l had found a few cards I never really thought of that fit the deck extremely well. Knowing your metagame is also a huge advantage when considering your card choices. Of course you cant prepare for everything but knowing what your deck is weak against goes a long way in preparing for it or strengthening it in the first place.
Primary case in point... Delver. As im sure most of you know delver often wins from speed and tempo from whats likely the top4 Creatures in standard with some of the best utility spells such as ponder, probe, vapor snag and mana leak. First idea I had was to use creature based answers so that I could cavern of souls through the mana leaks and if they did get vapor snagged, recasting them would be a benefit immediately. In CC order these became... Cathedral Sanctifier, Inqusitor Exarch, Blade Splicer, Restoration Angel, Gheist-honored monk and sun titan. Considering this also gave easy access to Grand abolisher I threw that in to further hinder all the Delver shenanigans. The life gain may seam like a waste but that bit of gain goes a long way when you realize if you make it into the late game, you have a significant advantage. Some other all stars for the deck were honor of the pure which essentially makes every creature in your deck trade up or just smash delvers. Emancipation Angel was another three drop that not only took down any creature in delver(with an honor of the pure or AoJ) but often reset a sanctifier/ Inquisitor exarch/blade splicer. This has also been a heavy hitter against green/red agro allowing you to gain more life and stall the board, forcing your opponent to over commit into a DoJ. Angel of Jubilation is a surprising powerhouse VS Delver for a few reasons. 1. Makes all your stuff Bigger,2 Shuts down there Gut Shots and Dismembers and is big enough to take down just about everything they have on its own. There are also a very limited number of cards in your deck that dont survive the red sweepers and if you have any sort of crusade out things get out of range very quickly. Since the deck is basically mono white you also have easy access to multiple ghost quarters without much mana issue. After a few FNMs I actually did add some white green duals, Sigarda and gavony townships to fight the control matchups. This also gave me access to Garruk which comes in occasionally to deal with mana critters, make tokens and or to cycle life gain fodder for some gas when needs be.
In the end I have only lost one round in the past month with it against a variety of decks. Admitadely, for some reason I got paired late against mono red and tempered steel a few times which just dont have the gas to fight through the lifegain. However I did match up against several deck archetypes and came to the conclusion that I was playing a deck that wasnt always going to win but since I was prepared, knew my deck well and enjoyed playing it... I had as good a chance as any.
The blog was in hopes of stemming thought on building decks, not to just give an explained deck list. I built the original version an hour before an fnm so never really had reason to build it online. If people are interested in the list ill do it after work.
Excellent blog. Geist-Honored Monk with a Cavern of Souls naming human is something that Delver has a hard time beating, and if you successfully blink it, if you're at more than 7 life, Delver can't win. If you're under 5 at any point, though, Delver can Gut Shot and Snag you out of the game pretty often. [Report]
What? Thats stupid. You list creatures that chump or trade with delver as an amazingly good thing, those are also a 1 for 1 (just that you get those turn 3-4, so you have already been attacked 2-3 times. Theres a reason decks without red run up to 4 gut shots. Is Doom Blade suddenly bad because its a 1 for 1 now? No. Card advantage is ridiculously important, but sacrificing one card to remove your opponents best creature is FAR from a bad play. [Report]
Well, having creatures that can trade against an opponent's creatures is a good thing, not because you will use them like kill spells, but because you COULD use them like kill spells. Its a deterrent to discourage them from attacking which will buy you some time. Kill spells are great and all, but their one flaw is that you usually can't get them back, similar to creatures but also different because creatures have the double use of attacking or blocking on top of their already useful abilities. [Report]
Sleazebag. Not sure if you are just trolling at this point or honestly dont understand but when you play cards that not only negate what your opponents plan is but also fit into your game plan, then you are much better off. I concede the fact that Gut shot is better at killing a delver than relying on my opponent to make a combat choice. However gut shot doesnt slow them down by gaining life(you often pay life actually), get bigger via 4 anthems,3 Angels of Jubilation and 3 Gavony Townships, cant be restoration angel'd, doesnt fuel Geist-honored monk, cant be sun titan'd(forgot to mention him as a one of since I rarely see him lol) and doesnt hit back. So yes gut shot is a good card for killing delvers but its weak in this deck compared to just about any creature in the deck. [Report]
But seriously, good blog. Delver, specifically Mage Blade, has pissed me off several billion times since I started playing again. I mean... why is it even called Mage Blade? Shouldn't it just be Blade of St Traft? Honestly. ... anyway.
Delver is gonna change dramatically when Ponders, Vaps, ect. rotate out, which makes me happy. Many of the standard meta decks are going to have to make dramatic changes when they lose key cards from M12 and Scars block.
It's a little exciting that it's difficult to predict where the meta is going to go when RtR drops, but we have this strange purgatory meta while M12 and Scars are still in Standard.