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My Deck Choice for Eternal Weekend 2021: UR Delver

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Eternal Weekend is this weekend, with Legacy events taking place Friday through Sunday. Like last year, the events will take place on Magic: Online. For those who aren't familiar with the tournament, Eternal Weekend takes place every fall and is the premier event for the Vintage and Legacy formats. The winner of each event walks away with a sweet painting of a classic Magic card. The paintings can be sold on the secondary market for large sums, making these events quite exciting to compete in. This year there are three Legacy events, with a unique painting going to each winner, and two Vintage events. Today I will discuss the UR Delver deck I plan to play for the Legacy events. Here's a breakdown of my list:

To Delver or Not to Delver?

The number of Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration to play is currently a contested debate. Modern Horizons 2 introduced an interesting proposition: winning solely with Dragon Rage's Channeler or Murktide Regent. Rather than play Delver, you could just focus on these creatures carrying you across the finish line. 

It's a reasonable theory, and I subscribed to it for a while before changing my mind. I trimmed on Delvers because I wanted to make my Dragon Rage's Channeler better, but Delver is great with Channeler. Having both of them in your opening hand is super explosive. Delver is also a great way to pressure removal spells before sticking a Murktide Regent in the midgame. It also plays excellently with Daze, Lightning Bolt, Wasteland, and basically every other card in the deck.

My Mainboard Considerations

Most people play around six burn spells, generally complimenting Lightning Bolt with Gut Shot or Unholy Heat. I like Dead//Gone to beat a resolved Murktide Regent or Marit Lage, that are difficult to deal with otherwise. Dragon's Rage Channeler can help you dig for answers to these cards, but it is important to have cards to actually dig for. This is even more true when you take into account Murktide/Marit Lage are giant fliers that a delirious Channeler will be forced to attack into.

If you are lucky you will even be able to bounce a creature your opponent stole with a Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer for some crazy value, or maybe remove a creature when there is a Chalice of the Void or Sanctum Prelate out.

I have a strong guttural aversion to basic lands. I've found myself in bad situations too many games, stumbling due to basics. Too many headaches trying to decipher if I should fetch a dual or a basic (this second point is somewhat nonsensical since adding options is a pure upside, however, magic is pretty hard to play, and severely reducing the difficulty is a nice side effect). Now, I wouldn’t say I have the expertise to know what manabase will yield a higher win rate but figured the shock lands will look odd to some people so I figure it's worth mentioning.

Sideboard Selections

Meltdown is a premier answer to Urza's Saga. There are plenty of other artifact-centric decks around, which this is also good against. I feel pretty good about having two currently.

I currently have this piece of graveyard interaction over something like Surgical Extraction, as it’s a reliable way to interact with Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. With surgical, you will end up in situations your opponent will cast Uro and you won’t be able to use your graveyard interaction to stop it. Feel free to choose whichever graveyard interaction you feel is most suitable as any should be good.

The alternate threat. Versus those decks trying to remove all your threats, you should have plenty of time to find this. I love having one for that reason. Prismatic Ending made it so control decks can remove any threat you throw at them. Previous alt threats like Klothys, God of Destiny, and Sylvan Library ain’t as unbeatable as they once were. This however nicely gets around removal spells.

I wanted a couple of cards for Death and Taxes, so I could side out all my Ragavans for a couple of Meltdowns (many D&T players now run Urza’s Saga) and two other cards of choice. Ideally, it would work vs Elves too, as Dragon's Rage Channeler lets me dig for cards, but you need to have actual targets to find and many lists don’t have any bombs to find vs Elves. I also kind of wanted a card for Delver mirrors. I wanted to side out all my Force of Will and Wasteland in the mirror, as I don't feel either card is really that good in the matchup. That is a whopping eight cards to side out though, so I needed to find eight cards to side in.

Gut Shot is a reasonable card at filling this role. It's not an insane bomb to find vs Elves but you can’t go too wrong with it. It's not unbeatable vs D&T, but again a great spell nonetheless. It's also quite a nice way to not fall behind to Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer. I have it in my most recent list but feel free to change it around if you don’t like it. I am likely to register the list as I posted it above.

Final Thoughts

Cheers and good luck to those playing this weekend. I am excited to bring this ultra-powerful version of the classic archetype to the table. To me, it plays like RUG Delver did a decade ago, with Murktide Regent acting as the Tarmogoyf, Dragon's Rage Channeler as the Nimble Mongoose, and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer as the Stifle.

Daniel Goetschel

Daniel Goetschel started playing Magic while in middle school and quickly became interested in competing in events. He has participated in numerous tournaments over the last decade, with top finishes including second place in the 2021 Magic Online Championship Showcase (MOCS), and winning Grand Prix Niagra Falls, a Legacy GP, in 2019.

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