Over the past few days, a ton of Murders at Karlov Manor spoilers have been revealed. Some spoilers, such as No More Lies, are well-suited to become multi-format Constructed staples. However, one interesting aspect we’re beginning to notice quickly so far for the set is just how many strong legends there are for EDH.
Recently, we covered a cool Orzhov Commander centered around the Investigate theme. Teysa, Opulent Oligarch is far from the only powerful legend this new set has to offer, though. In fact, one particular newly revealed legendary Creature has everyone talking. This card is none other than Delney, Streetwise Lookout. As a three-mana Creature that can cause the enters-the-battlefield triggers of other Creatures you play to trigger twice, some are comparing it to Panharmonicon.
That alone has a lot of players sold on the card, but as we will see, Delney has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Delney synergizes well with a ton of other Commander staples, making it a strong addition to the format. It even has some unique potential in a popular Standard deck that may help take the deck to the next level. To help understand what makes Delney so versatile, it’s important to break down the card’s various abilities.
Much like Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, Delney does a great job doubling enters-the-battlefield effects. While Delney only works in conjunction with Creatures with power two or less, there’s a surprisingly large number of Creatures with solid triggered abilities that fit the mold. Even if you choose to play Delney as your Commander and therefore are limited to just white cards, there’s plenty of ways to build a deck around him.
Cards like Solemn Simulacrum and Knight of the White Orchid help you keep up with opposing ramp decks, while Loran of the Third Path, Skyclave Apparition, Werefox Bodyguard and more provide a wide range of solid interaction. From there, you can utilize the likes of Recruiter of the Guard and Karmic Guide to generate tons of value.
Triggered Abilities Galore
Where things really get interesting, though, is with the fact that Delney synergizes with ALL triggered abilities of your small Creatures. This drastically opens the door for a whole new wave of possibilities. For example, there are a ton of different cards that allow you to draw cards whenever you cast Enchantments. Mesa Enchantress, Verduran Enchantress, Sythis, Harvest’s Hand, and Argothian Enchantress, to name a few, all allow you to draw two cards for each Enchantment you play.
Synergies like this give Delney a role alongside a ton of really powerful generals, even if Delney isn’t your Commander of choice. Delney is a really nice new tool for Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle decks to have access to. As a legend, Delney adds to your historic spell count. As a three-drop, you can constantly bring Delney back to play every time you play a historic spell. Additionally, with Delney in play, every historic spell you cast will allow you to bring back two Creatures, keeping the value engine rolling.
Speaking of value engines, Delney is an incredible addition to Brago, King Eternal decks. Brago decks are naturally filled with small Creatures that you can blink, so Delney already fits in nicely. On top of that, when you connect with Brago with Delney in play, you will get to blink all of your value-oriented non-Land permanents twice!
If that weren’t enough, Delney also makes all of your small Creatures, including Brago, difficult to block. Big Fliers no longer brick wall your chances to connect in combat, making it that much more likely you will be able to set off a cascade of triggers.
Clearly, getting to double triggered abilities of smaller Creatures is where most of the power from Delney lies. Still, giving those Creatures extra evasion can be a big deal for certain strategies. Perhpas no Commander makes better use of this portion of Delney’s abilities than Alesha, Who Smiles at Death. Alesha does have three power, so you won’t naturally be able to copy the ability to bring back more Creatures.
However, one potential weakness of Alesha decks is that because the Creatures you return are tapped and attacking, if all of your opponents have bigger blockers, your Creatures may have a tough time sticking around. Delney helps mitigate this problem, and as a two-power threat itself, it can be returned to play easily thanks to Alesha. Not to mention, Alesha decks are often jam-packed with small Creatures with triggered abilities, such as Blood Artist and Judith, the Scourge Diva.
Even a deck built around Najeela, the Blade Blossom could make use of Delney, making it easier for your 1/1 tokens have a higher chance of survival in combat. For only three mana, it’s incredible the amount of value Delney adds in an EDH setting.
Beyond an EDH Environment
As a two-toughness Creature that requires other synergies to get going, Delney has their work cut out to see play in Constructed. Some niche decks like Bant Soulherder in Modern could make use of this gem, but the number of tier one decks this card fits well into is limited. One interesting home that’s worth considering, though, is Bant Poison in Standard.
Delney can help this deck in multiple ways. First, as pointed out above, the combination of Delney and Venerated Rotpriest is certainly strong. Any removal spell your opponent casts or protection spell you cast on a Creature you control will cause your opponent to get multiple poison counters, which can add up fast. This combination of cards makes March of Swirling Mist an extremely scary card, since if you have a big enough board, you can simply target a bunch of your small Creatures and kill your opponent out of nowhere.
With regards to other triggered abilities within the deck, Annex Sentry can exile multiple threats from the opponent and Crawling Chorus can make multiple Toxic threats when it dies. This alone likely doesn’t earn Delney a slot, but the fact that Delney makes your Creatures impervious to big blockers is huge. A major weakness for this deck is that, even with Skrelv’s Hive pumping out attackers, it can be tough to get through the opponent’s board without a well-timed March of Swirling Mist.
Delney lets you freely attack into opposing copies of Bloodtithe Harvester and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse without missing a beat. It should be noted that there are some popular cards with low power and high toughness, like Raffine, Scheming Seer and Preacher of the Schism, that may still cause some problems. As such, it remains to be seen if Delney will indeed earn a slot here. Delney’s uniqueness and versatility can’t be denied, though, so it’ll be cool to see all of the different ways players make use of the elite legend.