It’s time! With the release of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt soon upon us, and the entire set previewed, we can now officially start brewing decks with full blown information. This week leading up to release on Magic Arena, we’ll be taking a look at a few different deck ideas for Standard and some lists that you can use to start building your new deck of choice. Today, we’re taking a look at everyone’s favorite Bug Wizard.. Thing… Delver of Secrets.
Flavors of Delver
Delver of Secrets is a card that wants to be in decks that have a high density of instants and sorceries. It starts to put a clock on our opponent’s life early and the goal is to protect it. We have 3 flavors of delver today and while the lists may look similar in style, each will bring a different set of tools.
Mono Blue Delver
Our first deck is going to be Mono Blue Delver, by @johnramosmtg. In recent history, Mono Blue decks have been strong in new formats, as the deck is very consistent. Normally, these decks are going to be playing at instant speed, and the same is generally going to be happening here.
Our goal is to stick a Delver, and use our high instant / sorcery density to flip it early. Then we have a bunch of cheaper counter magic in Lofty Denial, Jwari Disruption, and Saw It Coming to protect our Delver from removal or serious threats. Concerted Effort is an interesting inclusion as well, as we are also running Ascendant Spirit which can turn into a warrior, and Delver is a Wizard on it’s front. This makes Concerted Effort basically a Spell Pierce.
Additionally, we have a few different bounce spells that we can utilize to keep the way clear for our creatures to get in for damage. Fading Hope is a new spell that lets us scry 1 if the target of the spell is 2 mana value or less. This is very helpful because if our opponent has a turn 1 creature play, we can bounce it and scry to help set up Delver flipping. Into the Roil is also good in that it can draw us a card when we kick it, which can help fuel our hand.
Lastly, our draw suite includes Suspicious Stowaway, which is effectively Looter Il-Kor, and Memory Deluge. Memory Deluge is a pseudo Dig Through Time and gives us a greater degree of card selection, which can help the deck in a bind.
Next up on the list, we have Izzet Delver. This is a bit of a spell slinger style deck that looks to also take advantage of Smoldering Egg / Ashmouth Dragon as our new Thing in the Ice / Awaken Horror.
Unlike the mono blue version of this deck, we look to take advantage of more removal spells rather than counter magic to help advance our game plan. I think this plan makes sense, as creature / aggro decks are often what’s popular in a new meta, so this serves us well. This deck aims to be a bit more aggressive than the mono blue version, and we’ll see why in a second.
One of the benefits of playing red is that we get access to some of the most powerful spells in the format in Expressive Iteration and Prismari Command. These cards provide the deck it’s much needed card selection, but also can give us some other versatile effects.
The deck is rounded out with Dragon’s Fire and Goldspan Dragon to give us a bit more punch. Having access to Dragon’s Fire dealing 4 damage I expect is going to be very relevant in this new metagame, and Goldspan is a premier top end threat. It also helps us generate a bunch of mana from our treasures so that we can flip our Smoldering Egg much easier.
Our last deck is more of a control shell with Dimir Delver. The game plan here is closer to the Mono blue version, but we take it a step further. We really want to play as much control as possible. I will note that some of this list is not finalized, but more of a proof of concept.
In addition to Delver, our game plan is to try and take advantage of Poppet Stitcher to help swarm the board with tokens while controlling the game state. We utilize Alrund’s Epiphany, Lolth, Spider Queen and Sedgemoor Witch to help us generate tokens for this purpose.
Outside of this plan, we have a host of various instant and sorcery spells such as Bloodchief’s Thirst, Check for Traps, and Disdainful Stroke. We do play 1 Blood on the Snow just in case things get a bit out of control. Ultimately, this deck’s plan is to go slow at first, while using Delver to pressure our opponent’s life total and then overwhelm them with tokens in the end.
At the end of the day, I’m very excited to see this iconic Magic card return to Standard. I think the best way to play this card personally is the Izzet version, and there’s definitely a lot of room to optimize for the meta here as well. What decks are you excited to try out Delver of Secrets in? Let us know in the comments! Make sure to stay tuned for our other deck brewing articles this week. Tomorrow we’ll be talking Werewolves!
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is the first of two new Innistrad sets coming to Magic: the Gathering. It’s being released in tabletop on September 24th, 2021, and online on September 17th, 2021. Previews started on September 2nd, 2021. Be sure to check out our Preview Gallery to stay up to date with all the new previews. You can also preorder Innistrad: Midnight Hunt product here.