My last article on the color fixing available Pauper was one of my most popular in a while, and it drew a fair amount of comments. One of the comments I got most often on both the site and on Twitter was that in the opening few paragraphs I mentioned Delver of Secrets and then completely neglected to mention the Mono Blue Tempo deck featuring the card that was rising in popularity at the time. At the time I didn’t think anything of leaving the deck out of the article since it was just another mono-colored aggressive tempo list that helped prove the point that most decks of that style are only one color in Pauper. The response about the deck though was great enough that I decided to share the Delver list @setzkin and I have been playing recently. Without further ado:
Mono-Blue Delver by @setzkin and Pitlord
The maindeck we played isn’t too much different than the typical Delver deck with a few notable exceptions. Probably the biggest departure from the common builds of the deck is our inclusion of Accumulated Knowledge. Many lists are playing some number of Think Twices, so we decided to try AK instead. The reasoning there is that three mana to flashback can be a heavy burden at times for the deck and that Accumulated Knowledge gives the deck a better late game after a few have been cast.
One of the other odd inclusions in our list is the full set of Ninja of the Deep Hours. Some lists play a few Ninjas, other eschew them completely. In our list, we felt that the Snaps included in the maindeck, along with the bevy of draw spells, meant that Ninjas could get through pretty frequently. Additionally, re-buying Spellstutter Sprites with Ninjas or Snaps is very useful, and we felt that the interaction was strong enough to warrant the full set of Ninjas.
The sideboard was rather loose, but it included hate designed to be brought in against the Infect deck, as well as additional counters that can be used against controlling or combo decks, and finally, Hydroblast for the red decks like Goblins and Burn. We didn’t play any Affinity decks during our recorded testing session, but because of their presence in the metagame, the last card I would strongly recommend for the sideboard is Steel Sabotage.
Now we’ll get to a few recorded games, with apologies for the mediocre quality in a few of them due to technical difficulties.
Delver Exhibition Match 1
Delver Exhibition Match 2
Delver Exhibition Match 3
Conclusion and Changes
In addition to the above videos, we also played several other games, including a pair of narrow losses against Infect and Goblins, and a win against MBC. We lost to a Turn 2 nut-draw kill from Infect against our mulligan, and a pretty terrible misplay/misclick against Goblins involving clicking OK one too many times and failing to Daze a crucial creature in Game 3.
Overall, I was fairly happy with the deck, though I’m not sure it’s really as incredible as the results dictate. I think deck is solid, in the same way that a deck like Landstill is decent in Vintage right now. The deck puts up results when people play it, but the deck isn’t doing anything inherently powerful and doesn’t have any incredibly good matchups. On the other hand though, the deck is very good at rewarding pilots who make good plays and has the tools available to win just about any match with tight play and decent draws.
As for our list, I think I’d probably cut a Ninja for a land, since we had to mulligan a little more than I’d like and there were very few times we wanted more than one in a game. The jury is still out for me on Accumulated Knowledge. In more than one game, it was basically a two mana cantrip, and would have been better as Think Twice. The games where it worked though, nothing else in the slot would have been nearly as effective, so more testing is probably needed to determine if it’s worth the risk of being worse than Think Twice. Right now I’m leaning towards thinking Think Twice will be better more often, but I’m not positive. The sideboard was surprisingly fine, and for now I’d be happy to run it again. If anyone has any suggestions for the list or sideboard, feel free to leave comments or hit us up on Twitter.
- Grant Champion
- Pitlord on MTGO
- @Grant_champion on Twitter
- With thanks to @setzkin on Twitter and thelastgnu on MTGO