Delver of Secrets and Snapcaster Mage are like two inseparable high school girls who schedule every class together, meet after school to do their homework, and then have a sleep over at each others house on the weekend. These two cards were meant for each other!
Delver of Secrets is a real card! Over the past two weeks it has stormed into the Standard and Legacy metagames. Have you played against it yet? Are you prepared? You better be! This innocuous little draft reject packs a powerful punch. You know he comes in a neat little package with Mana Leak and Snapcaster Mage along with a bunch of card drawing. Be ready or be dead!
In all seriousness though, sometimes he is still a horribly unplayable card. It’s frustrating when after five turns with the right spell density you have almost a one hundred percent chance to flip him but you still don’t. You probably were not winning that game when you were so flooded anyway though.
Where is this guy showing up in Standard? Well Fish of course. You could call it Counter Burn if you are old school but the deck is basically Fish and it was a blast to play! Play a little dude and counter or kill everything else they play. I guess it wasn’t very fun for my opponents, but it was for me! Once you flip Delver of Secrets, he starts taking chunks from your opponents life total. Being on the play with a turn one Delver of Secrets puts your opponent on their back foot immediately. What do we do when there is no flying blue Wild Nacatl? Well, my back up plan was Stromkirk Noble. I have a lot of love for the Slith Firewalker of today’s Standard. As long as you can hit the first time, he becomes hard to deal with quickly. These are exactly the types of cards that Fish wants. Most likely there should be Grim Lavamancers and possibly a few Chandra’s Phoenix as well.
Here’s the list my FNM ADD-self took this past week.
The deck was amazing and so much fun, did I mention that? Yeah it was. Some players know about this deck already because it did well at a State Championship but most people don’t even know it exists. I actually was working on the deck already when I stumbled upon an article here on Quietspeculation.com. My list is a little different but all the main cards are still there. Delver of Secrets really wins a lot of games and with Ponder to set him up, that happens quite often. I found Ponder to be unimpressive many times though. Take a look at Caleb Durward’s article also if you like this deck, he advocates swapping two of the Ponders for two Divinations. I think that would be amazing but I have not tested it myself yet.
I think my favorite part of the deck was Galvanic Blast and more players should definitely be playing this card right now. Sure it is no Lightning Bolt, but the role it serves in Standard is essential. Think about how much it kills also? Llanowar Elves, Birds of Paradise, Avacyn’s Pilgrim, Puresteel Paladin, Vault Skirge, and Mirran Crusader are just a few of the frequently played creatures that die to two damage. Factor in the times you can kill a planeswalker with that last two damage and you start to see how good it is. My favorite part about Galvanic Blast, or Shock if you prefer, is the ability to play it on turn one or two and then flash it back with Snapcaster Mage turn three. That sequence of plays takes the wind right out an aggro deck’s sails. If you have red mana, consider Shock in your list.
The reason I like this deck and other aggro control decks is because you have game against every type of deck. You have enough control to beat the aggro decks and you have enough aggro to beat the control decks. Last Friday I beat both Mono Red and Solar Flare as well as a rogue deck. Being able to beat both ends of the spectrum is pretty amazing.
What did I lose to? Well typically all my variance happens in the same round and that was no different. Remember when I mentioned above about not flipping Delver of Secrets? Yeah, that. I, in fact, had three of them and if they would have flipped instead of me drawing six lands, I would have easily beat the Wolf Run Green Player game one. He drew Thrun the Last Troll that game also and that didn’t help. Game two I smashed him with Delver of Secrets plus tons of counters and burn to finish him off. Game three he draws the Thrun the Last Troll again and I am light on lands and blockers. I played well and put myself in a position to win but my final plea of rip a land off the top to cast and equip Sword of Feast and Famine was moot since he drew his one of Karn Liberated to kill the creature and swing for lethal. I was happy I played well but disappointed because typically when you out play your opponent, you are supposed to win the game. Oh well. It’s just FNM and I had a blast anyway.
Fish is a real deck in Standard right now and a viable option especially with all the one mana dudes that make mana floating around. I would definitely go up to the fourth Shock and do the swap for two Divinations. I wanted to try Azure Mage out, but it should just become a second Grim Lavamancer. I’m sure there would be more changes but I don’t know what. A couple more win conditions wouldn’t hurt though.
This deck is able to control the game almost as well as other control decks but specific cards like Thrun the Last Troll, Dungrove Elder, and Geist of Saint Traft might pose a problem once they are in play. More Phantasmal Images in the board should help with two of those and Shocking the Llanowar Elves should help slow down the Dungrove Elder Decks.
Overall, this deck is in a pretty good spot in the metagame right now so give it a shot.
Until next time,
Unleash the Fish!