So I’m writing this on January 1st, and every form of social media even if they are related to MTG is going bonkers with everyone making resolutions and promising to be a better person all that jazz. Let me start by saying the only thing I’m trying to resolve this year is more Delver of Secrets. Sorry, I had to say that. Enough with the old man jokes though. I’m playing a butt load of Legacy lately and my Flavor of the Season is U/R Delver. I know you’re a little upset. You’re used to me throwing it down with Fish. But ever since I’ve got a taste of casting Brainstorm in a format with cheap shuffle effects I’ve been hooked. Let me explain that. I’m still relatively new to Legacy. I have one Grand Prix one SCG Open and a few side events and a few months worth of weekly tourneys at Twenty Sided Store. I’m still exploring the format. But back before I took a break from Magic for 10 years I played Blue Decks, of course I included Brainstorm in my decks. At that time it was little better than Index. You drew three out back some and eventually drew the cards you didn’t want in your hand. If only 20 year old Zac knew how good Brainstorm would one day become.

That’s besides the point though. U/R Delver is a nice intro into the world of Delver of Secrets decks. Comparatively it’s a cheaper deck to build (especially if you already have fish built) the main culprits in price for this deck are the 8 Fetches, 4 Dual Lands, Vendilion Cliques and a couple True-Name Nemesis. The rest of the deck is largely very powerful commons and Uncommons. Here’s the list I’ve been running.

UR Delver

Lands (19)
Scalding Tarn
Volcanic Island
Misty Rainforest

Creatures (12)
Delver of Secrets
Snapcaster Mage
Vendilion Clique
True-Name Nemesis
Grim Lavamancer

Spells (29)
Force of Will
Fire // Ice
Spell Pierce
Gitaxian Probe
Lightning Bolt
Sideboard (15)
Blood Moon
Surgical Extraction
Vendilion Clique
Price of Progress
Umezawa’s Jitte
Sword of Fire and Ice
Swan Song

If you’re not hip the the Delver decks in Legacy. This deck’s objective is pretty simple. Play a threat protect it and stop your opponent from doing anything relevant and get 20 damage in as quickly as you can.

How it does this is a little more involved. Delver of Secrets and True-name Nemesis are your main creatures, with Snapcaster Mage, Vendilion Clique and Grim Lavamancer playing support roles and are fine bodies themselves. Wasteland, Daze, Stifle, and Force of Will work to keep your opponent off his game plan and protect yours. Brainstorm and Ponder are in the deck to find the cards you need when you need them. Brainstorm when combined with Fetchlands are amazing as they can shuffle away cards you don’t want to see and find new cards during your next draw/draw spell. Gitaxian Probe lets you ensure that your threat is safe to play and gives you a heads up about what to expect from your opponent.

Good in Theory, Good in Practice

The reason this deck (and most Delver decks) are so good right now is due to the large presence of combo decks like Show and Tell and Tendrils. It’s a deck the fairs well against decks that aren’t fair. Against decks that are more midrange Delver tends to have a little trouble. If a deck can neutralize the early threat U/R puts up it’s very easy to get a head fast. Most of Its power comes from getting in early and maintaining a lead. Due to its lack of solid removal, many creatures can be hard to remove from the board and racing becomes hard.

It’s very important in Legacy especially with tempo decks, to see beyond the next few steps. Knowing whether it’s right to play a Delver on turn one or to leave mana open for a stifle is often the difference between winning a game or falling swiftly behind in a matter of turns.


This deck’s sideboard is unique among Delver decks. Because we play most one and two mana spells with a couple of threes we can afford to not have as many duals. This means Price of Progress and Blood Moon can be back breaking for our opponent while effecting us in almost no way. Decks like Jund or 12 Post rely on their lands to act as part of their deck not to mention cast their mana intensive spells. Blood Moon can brick large parts of a deck. Adding to our already potent disruption package. Flusterstorm and Swan Song offer help against decks that rely on spells to win their game. Misdirection is great for decks with Hymn to Tourach and Abrupt Decay. The extra Cliques can disrupt Combo Decks and set a clock against them, in a pinch they are great for decks that run a lot of creature removal. Surgical Extraction is for Storm decks and Loam as well as Reanimator. Umezawa’s Jitte and Sword of Fire and Ice are for mid range decks, and are great friend to stick on True-Name Nemesis.


After playing this for about two months I’ve begun to understand Delver decks much better. If I were to play a Grand Prix tomorrow I’d still play Fish over this deck but I think UWR offers a little more stability with the addition of Stone Forge Mystic and Swords to Plowshares. Maybe I’ll try to build that next.

Zac Clark, @DurdleMagus

Zac started playing during Fallen Empires. He began taking the game seriously during Alliances. Stasis, Titiania’s Song, then a long love affair with Mono Blue Control, finally settling on Replenish before taking a 12 year break. Now that he’s back he’s been favoring control and combo decks. Constantly, on the prowl for a new deck Zac often looks at the Meta in Modern and Legacy formats.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.