Revel Yell: Introducing Traverse Delver

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I remember scrolling through Eldritch Moon spoilers and passing over Bedlam Reveler, the last card I hadn't read that day. The image was in Portuguese, and my hopes were low. "A 3/4 for 8," I actually thought to myself. "There's no way I could ever have a use for this card." But I read it anyway, and immediately knew I could not have been more wrong.

insectile aberration-cropped

The first Bedlam Reveler decks I built explored the card's force in midrange archetypes, but it's no secret my favorite kind of Magic involves attacking with a certain 3/2 flyer. I set the bar pretty high with Delver decks, and have taken so long to publish an article on Reveler in Delver because I wanted to make sure I had something worthwhile. It might have taken a couple weeks, but I feel that way now.


Aggressive Beginnings

My first go at marrying Bedlam Reveler and Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration involved maxing out the Devil's numbers in an Izzet shell. This deck sought to play as low-to-the-ground as possible and use reach to put games away quickly.

Early bouts of testing with the deck showed promise. Drawing Reveler against midrange decks made games very easy. UR Bedlam still struggled against faster linear decks, which it lacked adequate interaction for. It also had a hard time beating midrange decks that could deal preemptively with Reveler (often with Thoughtseize, but sometimes with Kolaghan's Command plus Liliana of the Veil or something similar) when it didn't naturally draw more copies.

Splashing Green

I inevitably dipped into green to compensate for this weakness with Tarmogoyf and stronger sideboard options. Here are the changes I made to the mainboard, not counting manabase specifics:

-4 Goblin Guide
-1 Bedlam Reveler
-4 Thought Scour
-1 Vapor Snag
-2 Mutagenic Growth
-1 Land

+4 Tarmogoyf
+1 Snapcaster Mage
+4 Traverse the Ulvenwald
+4 Tarfire

Green also let us run Traverse the Ulvenwald, a card that perfectly complements Bedlam Reveler. Early, Traverse grabs a land to help us cast the cards in our hand. Since we run so few lands to begin with, Traverse functionally costs 0 mana in this stage---we tap one land for it, search up another, play it, and finish the turn cycle with the same amount of mana we'd have had if we hadn't cast Traverse. In this sense, Traverse is another zero-mana cantrip like Gitaxian Probe.

traverse the ulvenwaldProbe and Traverse not costing us mana makes them the best way to fill the graveyard for Bedlam Reveler. Thought Scour underwhelmed me in testing, as any copies accumulated post-"threshold" essentially taxed us mana to draw for turn. As with the Treasure Cruise decks of bygone days, Bedlam Reveler-based aggro decks tend to want all of their mana every turn, even with five or more lands in play. In Cruise decks, spare Scours would at least fuel future delve spells; here, they only slow us down.

Obviously, Traverse is bonkers in the late-game. Temur decks with multiple copies of Bedlam Reveler can easily chain Devils by Traversing for one, resolving it, drawing into either Traverse, Snapcaster Mage, or another Reveler, and repeating the card-grab the following turn.

Traverse the Ulvenwald makes it much easier to access Bedlam Reveler when we need him, turning our midrange matchups into massacres. But it didn't do much to address the UR deck's other weakness: its difficulty interacting with certain linear strategies. Failing to draw boarded-in permission against decks like Grishoalbrand meant certain doom unless we managed to race to 20, a feat complicated by turn-eaters like Phyrexian Unlife or fast mana from Simian Spirit Guide. Our wealth of cantrips also made us worse than dedicated aggro decks such as Burn in these matchups.

To be totally clear, I would not return to this deck, which I now consider unfocused. Testing has shown me that a more interactive strategy compliments Reveler better than one watered down with Lava Spikes. Adding green slows the deck down but improves its interactive capabilities, making the Spikes even more out of place. I do think Reveler has potential in a straight UR shell more slanted toward aggression, but I lack the desire to explore that shell for myself.

Becoming a Delver Deck

After a week of testing, I cut the red sorcery for actual interaction. Mainboard permission would turn this deck into a true grow strategy and potentially supplant my darling Monkey Grow. This prospect scared me at first, but now I'm learning to stop worrying and love the Bedlam Reveler.

There's a lot to unpack here, so I'll break down the list in terms of its primary components: threats, permission, and removal. Then, we'll look at the sideboard and compare Traverse Delver to Monkey Grow.

The cantrips and manabase are relatively straightforward, so we'll leave those for another day. Much of what I have to say about Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration, Tarmogoyf, Lightning Bolt, and other Temur Delver staples remains constant for this deck, so we'll also be skipping over those.


Bedlam Reveler: The reason to play Traverse the Ulvenwald in Temur Delver, and perhaps the reason to play Delver in Modern. Reveler is a nightmare for interactive decks and creature decks alike, refilling us on damage outputs and cheap removal at the same time. I don't like more than three since we can find him with Traverse, and a resolved Devil wastes others in hand by discarding them.

Snapcaster MageSnapcaster Mage: I started with one Snap in the deck, and moved to two when I realized I wanted to draw one naturally and have the other in the deck as a Traverse target. The second Snap may still get cut in the future, but I'm a fan right now. Having two allows us to pitch one to Disrupting Shoal without losing Snap's immense versatility later in the game. Snapcaster's main purpose in this deck is to drastically improve Traverse the Ulvenwald, turning the sorcery into either a permission spell for next turn, a bounce spell for an enemy wall, or a burn spell for lethal. Snap is also great in attrition matchups and against blue decks, but we can't run more than a couple, since he cannibalizes Bedlam Reveler. We also don't need much help against those decks.

Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration: I'm only including a section on this little guy to mention that we frequently board him out. We can blank an interactive opponent's Lightning Bolts by removing Delvers, further putting them at a disadvantage.

Ryan Overturf pioneered the now-standard sideboard playset of Ancestral Visions in Grixis Delver, and often cut Delver for them in Game 2. We already have the Vision mained, and on a 3/4 body to boot. Swapping the easily-killable Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration for efficient disruption like Dispel and Blood Moon makes our already-positive midrange matchups even better without costing us any sideboard slots.


Disrupting Shoal: I messed around with Spell Pierce, Mana Leak, Spell Snare, and Stubborn Denial before even trying Shoal, but the free counterspell seems like the best one for us. Even Lightning Bolt decks can struggle against the format's linear behemoths; just look to Infect and Affinity's recent success despite inhabiting a field heavy on Jund and Jeskai. Shoal allows us to get very aggressive early on against midrange while giving us extra points against these linear decks.

Disrupting ShoalSince Reveler's draw power lets us make so many land drops, Shoal's hard-cast mode always comes up by the mid-game, and gives us the same invincible feeling we get while beating down with a threat and holding Stubborn Denial or Simic Charm in Monkey Grow. Few decks can claim a hard counterspell in the late-game, and those that can don't count on that counterspell (usually Cryptic Command) doing anything in the first four turns. Conversely, Shoal interacts as of turn zero.

The main issue with other counterspells is that they're sometimes dead---some in the late-game (Leak, Pierce), some on an empty board (Denial), and others at random times (Snare). Dead cards usually end up being lost to Reveler triggers in this deck. Monkey Grow can "go Infect" on interactive decks, stockpiling Denials and Charms until it finds a Hooting Mandrills, at which point those protection spells turn on and ensure victory against opponents loading up on Path to Exiles. Bedlam Reveler doesn't allow this plan, since he throws all those cards away when he hits the field. Shoal is never dead---since mid-game Shoals counter one-, two-, three-, and sometimes four-drops, we're happy to simply pass the turn to opponents behind or even on the board until we can trade it for one of their cards, and then play Bedlam Reveler.

Remand: Like Disrupting Shoal, Remand is always live in some capacity. That doesn't mean it's always good. Against decks like Affinity and Burn, it's actively abysmal. Luckily, we already have enough game against linear aggro decks thanks to our burn suite, sideboard hosers, and Disrupting Shoal to cede a few "Leak points" with this old Twin staple.

Those linear decks we already beat can almost never play around Mana Leak, but Leaks die in a multitude of other matchups as games progress. As explained above, it's too volatile to run alongside RemandBedlam Reveler. Remand at least cycles into something else during topdeck wars, unlike more situational counterspells.

The card is also just better than Leak against a host of Modern strategies. It steals huge amounts of tempo from Tron, Valakut, and Chord, and even blows out spell synergy decks abusing Eldritch Evolution (the creature is still sacrificed) or Ad Nauseam (the Angel's Grace is still wasted). In blue mirrors, Remand is our best card, bouncing cards opponents try to counter and ruining Snapcaster Mage abilities. Remand also shines against Lingering Souls, a card that has always posed some issues for Delver players.

Monkey Grow prefers Mana Leak because it needs hard answers to cards that interrupt its gameplan. Siege Rhino, Tasigur, Tarmogoyf, and Liliana of the Veil can all stop Monkey Grow cold if they resolve, either on this turn or the next. Traverse Delver cares less about those cards, since it out-resources interactive opponents with Bedlam Reveler.


Tarfire: I've found loading up on relevant instants and sorceries far more efficient than running pure air like Thought Scour. In many matchups, playing a functional seven Bolts makes things a breeze (Infect, CoCo/Chord, Affinity, etc.). That Tarfire turns on Traverse the Ulvenwald so much faster brings the card over the edge.

Vapor Snag: One of Modern's strongest tempo cards, Snag mainly helps us push through damage. It also disrupts creature combos and saves our threats from removal (if inefficiently). It combines with Remand to severely disadvantage players with pricey threats, and nerfs cards that might otherwise hassle us like Scavenging Ooze and Threads of Disloyalty.

Vapor SnagSnag also interacts well with Bedlam Reveler, allowing us to continue drawing by bouncing our own Reveler and casting him again. Bouncing Reveler in response to a removal spell generally makes it impossible for interactive opponents to come back from the card deficit.

Simic Charm: I started with three Snags in this deck before cutting one for Simic Charm. Charm is another two-drop to pitch to Disrupting Shoal, and its other modes are relevant enough that I'm happy to have a copy in the deck. With so much draw power, having a protection effect handy isn't as crucial as it is to Monkey Grow, and Charm is a two-mana Vapor Snag in some cases. Given these faults, I wouldn't play more than one right now, especially since Snapcaster can provide us with extra Charm effects if we need them.


Traverse Delver's sideboard takes after Monkey Grow's in many ways, but defects in others. We'll consider the discrepancies.

No Huntmasters: The main difference is the absence of Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells. Huntmaster fulfills two roles in the Monkey Grow sideboard: he stabilizes against aggro when we take on a midrange role, and he combines with Blood Moon to give us a viable plan against dedicated midrange decks. Reveler already does both of these things in this deck, handing us more interaction against aggro and more threats against midrange.

Some colleagues have asked me if we could play one Huntmaster, which we can find with Traverse. My response is in that stage in the game, we'd almost always find a Bedlam Reveler. Additionally, drawing tap-out bombs like Huntmaster doesn't mesh with our primary gameplan of tearing through the deck with Reveler.

Anger of the GodsAnger over Pyroclasm: The sweeper package also gets an update, transitioning from Pyroclasm to Anger of the Gods. Anger is a major upgrade in decks that reliably hit RR, which is trivial in a deck accommodating Reveler. To its credit, Pyroclasm is significantly better against Affinity, where it comes down a crucial turn early to take out Springleaf Drum's operators and slow the robots down. But Anger outshines it versus Abzan Company, Zoo, and Dredge.

State over Revelry: The Revelry package plays Natural State instead of Destructive Revelry, which isn't efficient enough for what we want to be doing: killing Rest in Peace. Since State costs one less mana, it's naturally better in a deck that wants to rapidly load up the graveyard with cheap interaction and maximize mana efficiency even in grindier games. Monkey Grow didn't mind spending a little extra post-board, since it had less to do with its mana anyway, and preferred gleaning value from flashier cards.

New flex spots: Removing Huntmasters suddenly gives the Temur Delver sideboard a bunch of flex spots. I'm currently trying 2 Dispel, 2 Roast, a Feed the Clan, and a Vendilion Clique in these spots. I like them all, but time will tell which cards (if any) could better address the deck's issues as they begin to manifest themselves. Other possible options include Disdainful Stroke, Send to Sleep, and Negate.

Comparing Traverse Delver to Monkey Grow

I've cast enough Gitaxian Probes in my lifetime to guess what readers are thinking as they skim my article for decklists. Your current burning question: what does Traverse Delver have over Monkey Grow? I've kept this question in the forefront of my own mind during every game I played with the new deck, and here's what I've found.

Pros: Instead of almost always losing to BGx, we crush BGx. We also crush other midrange decks, which went either way for Monkey Grow.

rest in peaceCons: We lose Stubborn Denial (somewhat impacting our Tron and combo matchups) and are weaker to grave hate. Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells gave us a plan that totally ignored grave hate, which Traverse Delver notably lacks. Luckily, most grave hate currently played in Modern is of the Grafdigger's Cage variety. Ancient Grudge and Natural State come in from the board to address this issue by cleaning up copies of Relic of Progenitus and Rest in Peace. (Nobody plays Leyline of the Void.)

Neutral: Traverse Delver plays more reactively, as Reveler rewards us for playing this way. Unlike Monkey Grow, we can't rush out Hooting Mandrills on turn two with Denial backup, and therefore can't be as proactive. Remand also gives us a compelling reason to play more slowly against blue decks. This point is possibly a con, since Modern favors proactive decks, but we interact so well I'm not sure it's something to be concerned about.

The Start of Something New

As soon as Bedlam Reveler was spoiled, I knew Traverse Delver was the Reveler deck I was bound to play. I'm happy I finally got around to putting it together and feel I've engineered something very powerful. Barring some unforeseen revelation, I'll be playing this deck deep into the summer, and taking it to high-profile events in August. Modern Nexus will be the first to hear about Bedlam Reveler's successes and failures in my supple hands. Wish me and our hot-headed newcomer luck!

Jordan Boisvert

Jordan is Assistant Director of Content at Quiet Speculation and a longtime contributor to Modern Nexus. Best known for his innovations in Temur Delver and Colorless Eldrazi, Jordan favors highly reversible aggro-control decks and is always striving to embrace his biases when playing or brewing.

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29 thoughts on “Revel Yell: Introducing Traverse Delver

  1. I think this deck looks rock-solid. Being a bit softer to Tron doesn’t move the needle for me when that deck looks to be on the decline (thanks, Infect!), and Temur (unlike Grixis) can respond to enchantment-based graveyard hate. Given that I think that Anger of the Gods and Disrupting Shoal are both well-positioned at the moment, I’m excited to see what this deck can do. Roast is also some sweet tech against beefy midrange threats.

    The only card in the 75 that feels a bit like a flex spot is that 3rd Tarfire – I definitely understand its role and importance in the deck, but 3 feels like a bit much. Would Magma Spray or a Forked Bolt be under consideration?

    1. Having Goyfs be 5/6 almost invariably in my games has been reeeeally good, and in some matchups we want to Traverse in the mid-game and can’t count on opponents killing our threats. Those same matchups see us throwing burn spells at opponents, so Tarfire is a great enabler there. I can see Forked Bolt working in its place, but I’m happy with Tarfire for now.

  2. I always appreciate your constant brewing with the temur archetype

    I really like the look of this iteration of the temur delver deck,
    it still seems strong against your linear aggro decks because of shoal and 7 removal spells ,while most importantly it gives you game against BG/x decks and I am assuming Grixis decks as well.

    If you playtest it against Tron and jeskai control, I would be curious to know how it fares against those two and how the matchups play out?

    1. Jeskai is very good thanks to Reveler, and we can always use the free lands from Path. Feed the Clan in the board was a last-minute addition and concession to Jeskai and other decks that want to throw Bolts at our face. That card pretty much seals the deal against them, since Moon takes care of Colonnade.

      Tron is pretty good thanks to Remand, Delver, and Goyf. Shoaling early pieces is also great against that deck. Their best card against us is actually Oblivion Stone, which we can’t easily Shoal and which is cheap enough to kind of get around Remand. It also blows up Moons, as well as all our threats. The matchup is good but it could be better. I’m thinking about cutting Dispel in the side for Disdainful Stroke, which incidentally hits all the “big” instants in Modern (Cryptic, CoCo, Chord).

  3. Hi Jordan.
    I am a fan of your brews and your reports about them, the insight is unique. A question related, but a bit off topic: do you think Whispers of Emrakul is enough of a payoff for achieving delirium in a midrange/aggressively slanted strategy? I am trying to make my Mardu list work, but every setup I tried seems to have shortcomings, and I was wondering if the card, along with the Reveler, could be a way to go. Let me know what do you think about it.

    1. Thanks! I don’t think so. I tried Whispers in my Sultai deck from a few weeks ago, just to see what it felt like. It wasn’t at all tuned, but I wanted to cast it a little bit. It really underwhelmed me. There are way better things we can do with delirium, like Traverse into powerful threats. Also, since delirium is usually on by the late-game, cards like Traverse are great in top-deck wars. Whispers is pretty much dead in those cases.

      Speaking to Mardu specifically, I think that kind of midrange deck prefers to interact with the board than dedicate resources to having an efficient hand interaction effect, especially considering it already has access to IoK and TS which are tremendously efficient on their own. Stuff like the one-mana discard spells, Path/Bolt/Terminate, Lili, and Nahiri seem much better to me and I doubt you’d find much space to turn on delirium quickly and pack Whispers. Doing so would also make your opponent’s Tarmogoyfs huge. But I’m no Mardu expert!

      As for Reveler in Mardu: I don’t think it’s good, for the same reasons Cruise wasn’t good in Modern control decks. Sure, it made them a lot better, but it made another archetype so much better that control would never be able to hold a torch in the format despite its newfound power boost. Since Reveler encourages deckbuilders to construct in a very specific way and prioritize mana efficiency, he slots better into a UR shell than a BWR one. You’ll end up playing a worse Reveler deck than UR or RUG by warping a Mardu shell around him.

      This is different from cards like Nahiri, who interacts very efficiently with the field and doesn’t require any deckbuilding concessions besides including a single copy of Emrakul. That’s why we’re seeing Nahiri splashed into decks as diverse as Kiki Chord, Jeskai Control, Mardu Midrange, 4c Goodstuff, and WR Lockdown. Such a scenario won’t occur with Reveler, who imposes more deckbuilding constraints.

  4. Why cinder glade? That has to be an abysmal draw in your opener and I find it unlikely that you don’t want one of your first two lands to be a shock so that you can bolt traverse or cantrip/counter as needed. Did you find fetching two basics then the glade to be a common and viable line of play in most games? Did it win more games by saving two life than it lost by coming in tapped?

    1. I did, and it did. I watched this slot very carefully. Pre-Glade, I badly wanted another red source that came into play untapped, but could never consider a second Mountain in a 17-land deck. Glade is superb because it allows us to painlessly fetch red off a Misty or green off a Tarn. That surprise factor has even won me a game when an opponent burned himself down to 3 with fetch shock to make a game-winning play, seeing that I only have Misty up and would have to kill myself to fetch shock into Bolt. That’s definitely a corner case, but having Glade in the deck once we start resolving Revelers keeps things running very smoothly. It does suck in openers though and I’m still watching to see how badly.

  5. What’s the reason for not playing any traverse targets in the sideboard? Staticaster, lavamancer, scooze, sulfur elemental (I’m sure there are others) all seem like great options for hosers

    1. Against the decks I’d want a Staticaster, a Thrun, a Rec Sage, a Scooze, a Sulfur Elemental, or pretty much anything else, finding Bedlam Reveler and trying to draw relevant interaction is almost always better. And it doesn’t cost us any sideboard slots!

  6. Hello Jordan,

    I’m a big fan of your articles, thanks for the content.
    You didn’t tell us clearly how the midrange version (the one you talk about in the second article about delirium, with a toolbox of magus, clique etc..) went: was it competitive enough? Was it dismissed because it was bad or just because you wanted to focus on sultai and delvers?
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Reveler seems like it performs best in Delver shells, which means there’s little reason to play it in a midrange deck. Check out my response to Luca above for more on this. Traverse already gives us such a great grind game and we usually just want to search Reveler anyway so a toolbox is less important.

      1. I have been trying out Reveler in a Grixis Midrange shell, and I’m not saying that the build is perfect, however I have found it to be quite powerful so far. Obviously the normal amount of delve creatures don’t work very well with Reveler, so at first I just subbed some Thing in the Ice. Then I realized that Reveler is a horror (who knows why?). After this, I bumped up the number Things since Reveler also helps make sure that your hand stays stocked with spells so you can flip even lategame Things.
        I’ve also found Collective Brutality to be very solid in this shell. It kind of functions in a similar role to your Disrupting Shoals to give the deck tempo positive plays at the cost of cards so you can make sure you get to live to your Reveler and have him refill your hand. (its also insane against burn, which is a big plus for Grixis)
        This is what I have been working with so far, I would love to hear your thoughts on the Thing in the Ice and Reveler combination, and the idea that a proactive Grixis deck (giving you hard removal) could also take advantage of the draw 3 strapped to a 3/4 body:

        While you may be right that this just ends up being a worse Reveler deck than Delver, I do think it could warrant a look!

        1. I tried splashing a Traverse package into my Monkey Grow sideboard for help with Jund, and Bedlam Reveler was really bad with delve creatures. Granted, I was also trying to keep delirium on, but it’s something to think about.

          Shoal’s purpose is to interact with hyper-fast linear decks of all flavors without tapping mana in the crucial early turns, and to defend threats from removal as we deploy them, so I don’t see how Brutality plays a similar role.

          I also don’t think the Horror synergy is worthwhile since casting Bedlams should win you the game anyway. You gain little from not having to bounce Bedlam because of his card type.

          The real reason to play Grixis Bedlam decks is Kolaghan’s Command, which performs a similar function to Traverse by grabbing the Devil when you need him. But yeah, we have Traverse in Temur colors. I don’t think you gain anything by ditching Goyf and running Thought Scour to enable inferior threats, especially if you’re not even running Command.

  7. Hey Jordan, love your constant dedication to and work on tempo decks in modern, a format which is so hostile to the archetype. I was wondering if you’d considered Unsubstantiate in the Simic Charm slot, and possibly one more copy over a remand, as a drawing extra cards seems less good in a deck with reveler.

    1. Unsubstantiate is even less versatile than Simic Charm, which I’ve recently cut to go back to triple Vapor Snag. We’d rather draw a card (possibly a land drop, or a spell we can cast) than not draw one, which is the trade-off here with Remand.

      1. Thanks for the reply, I played with the deck a bit and it feels insanely powerful, but it also feels like you could probably build it in a more aggressive shell similar to old UR cruise delver, similar to your first build, and it might be better, as there were a lot of game where I was close to being able to burn out my opponent, but wasn’t able to. However I did win most of my games (not against top tier decks though). Do you feel the lack of a counterspell that sends things to the graveyard hurts the deck? There were a lot of times I felt it would have been really nice to have one, but I’m not sure if it’s more important than the anti-synergy with reveller.

  8. Great article Jordan! I’ve been looking forward to seeing your work in this shell, and I am excited to see how the deck performs for you. I’m curious why you ended up scrapping the Stubborn Denials, since you still have 7 targets that can enable the spell to go off. Reveler in play with prowess turns on Denial, as should the Tarmogoyf since you’re playing with later game Delirium in mind. Was it just too slow to reliably get a power 4 creature in play?

      1. True, and I apologize for framing my question incorrectly. On rereading my post I was hasty and inconclusive in my explanation of my thoughts. Here’s round two :).

        When looking at stubborn denial, have you found that it’s Force Spike mode isn’t relevant? If you’re wiling to force spike earlier in the game, then you move in a direction that supports keeping the spell in the deck, and seems to support the willingness not to hold onto spells in your hand, which is necessary to enable an effective Reveler.

        With a resolved reveler, you have a ferocious active Denial if you draw one off the trigger or subsequently. In addition, an early Goyf will likely net you a ferocious active Denial as well for earlier full usage. I guess I’m unsure if the downside is really large enough to discredit the upsides of the spell.

        1. I have found that. Denial is one of my favorite cards but it just didn’t work me for in this deck. The benefits are obvious though, and it went right into my first draft of the deck. The idea of drawing it off a Reveler with a mana up was very enticing to me. I have thought about trying one copy again but I’m just not sure we want a card that’s dead half the time.

  9. A couple of suggestions for the R/U deck

    First, as thoughtscour is not near as good with bedlam as it is with delve, I suggest you take a second look at modern’s 1 CMC cantrips. My current favorite (after SV, Sleight of hand, and Gitaxian) is Quicken. Quicken is especially great because it lets you leave mana up for …

    COUNTERSPELLS! The UR list is just so much better if you merely play 2x Remand and 2x Spell pierce main! Delver decks have *never* been as fast as all-out-agro so why try to make a worse version of an already existing deck? You don’t need so many counters as to protect *all* of your threats, you just need enough to protect the *last* one (aka the one that kills them)

    Going along with the counterspell suggestion, I also think that you should consider playing Young Pyromancer over one of the red one drops (I think I favor swiftspear over guide). YP is great with cantrips and great with counterspells.

    The U/R list has a lot of potential, as playing superundercosted threats and answers has traditionally been a winning strategy in older formats

    1. That list was my starting point with Bedlam Reveler and is totally unfinished. I would not recommend anyone play it card-for-card; it needs a lot of work. Personally, I also wouldn’t play UR at all, so i doubt I’ll return to it anytime soon. But good luck to anyone working on it!

      1. My (relatively tuned) list is as follows:

        4x Delver
        4x Bedlam
        4x YP
        2x V clique

        Delver was selected for his evasion+quick clock, pyromancer because he goes wide and is the best defensive and offensive creature if you can enable him. (Thing in the ice could also be played in this same slot).

        4x SV
        4x Sleight
        3x Gitaxian
        2x Quicken

        One of the reasons quicken is amazing is because we are stuck playing so many efficient sorceries. Quicken has a hidden mana-gain mode: you get to represent a counterspell with the option of still progressing your game plan if the counter wasn’t needed. I *hate* playing the full four gitaxian probes in non-combo decks, It might be even more correct to skew the split more in favor Quicken given the above

        4x Bolt
        2x Rift Bolt
        3x Lava spike

        The numbers on lava spike vs Rift bolt vary, on the one hand waiting a turn for RB really sucks, on the other hand we still want to be able to point burn at creatures. RB gets much better with quicken

        2x Remand
        2x Spell Pierce
        2x Vapor snag

        Four snags was way too many, but some number are definitely needed. One of the strengths of this list is that chump blocking a goyf forever is a real plan, so we don’t necessarily need to go to hard on removal

        18 lands

        What surprised me most about this list was just how fantastic spell pierce was. I quickly found myself adding the third and fourth to the sideboard. I also like how the deck isn’t so “all in” on one drop threats like delver, because even if they bolt him and the next one, you still get to re-load and burn them out with bedlam later.

  10. Jordan, have you considered an 18th land for a singleton Alchemist’s Refuge? The card hasn’t seen Modern play, but being able to flash in a Reveler or Goyf as the game goes longer (which this deck seems designed to do) looks like it could be exceedingly strong. The land also enables (to my mind) a more efficient way to achieve the Quicken effect discussed above without taking up valuable answer slots.

    1. I have considered it and am now playing an 18th land. But I really dislike utility lands in this kind of deck, and in most Blood Moon decks. It doesn’t cast our spells and the ability will almost never be relevant. The 18th land is a Foothills.

    1. I’m running a pair of Baubles in the main now and they help a lot with hitting delirium against linear decks. This deck is too mana-hungry to profit much from Architects IMO.

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