I have been unhappy with the build I have been experimenting with. Dropping down to 20 lands hurts as it really cuts down on my options. An interesting game I had with a build I’m very dissatisfied with almost makes pursuing the concept of a 20-land delver list worth the effort:
Increasing the potential for craziness and dumb luck is always nice, but I am unsure where to take the deck. I want a list that I don’t have to worry too much about hitting land drops in, as that has been quite an issue in the several games I have with the build featured in the video above (could simply be variance). The mana cost of the spells is another factor. Forbidden Alchemy is one of my favorite cards in the earlier builds of this deck, but I fear not being able to cast it when needed if only using 20 lands. Moving to 21 or 22 lands might be correct. Mana cost wise, it is less efficient than Thought Scour… but having selection over what you draw and pitch is worth it more often than not. There are enough Delver decks in the format at the moment to prey on, so it may be correct to just hope for the best against Frites and other decks that ‘go big’ in a hurry. Nonetheless, I’d like to have a puncher’s chance against Frites and Wolf Run Ramp. That is why I am upping the Dissipate count to 3. Erring towards being more reactive may be incorrect, but even in the most aggressive builds I have played with, Frites has a pretty good shot of casting Unburial Rites on Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobyte before I can kill them. Elesh Norn is nigh impossible to come back from. I’ve survived Gideon Jura, Day of Judgment and other difficult-to-deal with shenanigans, but Elesh Norn takes the cake. A few Surgical Extraction or a couple Phantasmal Image would put Frites on its back heels, but $10 each is more than I am willing to pay.
An article on Wizards’ website used Grand Architect in their budget Delver deck, but Grand Architect has underperformed for me. Granted, the deck on the site had more artifacts than my list does. I like the card, but I would prefer something else in that slot for my list. 2 Dungeon Geists may be where it’s at, along with a fourth Forbidden Alchemy. Dungeon Geists has performed very well for me against the decks that go big in a hurry. He also helps to nullify the effects of Elesh Norn until I can bounce and counter him.
I decided to get a few Butcher’s Cleavers for the sideboard in case mono-red decides to be a pain.
Here’s the list I’m thinking about putting through a Standard queue on MTGO:
I’ll try and remember to record everything so you have an accurate idea about how this deck ends up performing.