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By: TheVlagh, That-Which-Is-Called-The-Vlagh
Sep 04 2017 12:00pm
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 Delver of Secrets is a very powerful magic card, it is one of the best one drops in the game for getting aggressive early and it is blue, the color with some of the best tools for a tempo deck to protect its threats. It also is a common! Delver has been a pillar of many powerful decks in Pauper since its printing, usually in Mono Blue or Blue-Red strategies. With the printing of Gurmag Angler a 5/5 that can potentially be played as early as turn 2, the two seemed like they would play together very well. But the Blue-Black Delver variant lost a lot of popularity, and is almost unseen on MTGO now a days. But after seeing Grixis Death Shadow rise to the top tier in Modern, I was tempted to revive the deck I saw had many similarities.

I recorded a deck tech, much of the same information is also written below.

Deck Tech


Card Draw

UB Delver gets to play the classic one mana cantrips like Brainstorm and Ponder but it also gets to play Thought Scour and Mental Note, which not only replace themselves but put two more cards into your graveyard for delve. So the deck plays 10 cantrips for digging and drawing through the deck, which is a very powerful way to add consistency. At the top end there is two copies of Gush, a free draw two that is powerful enough to be restricted in Vintage.  


A blue deck wants to play counterspells and Pauper gives some powerful options. The deck plays a full set of Counterspell and one Deprive, the best 2 mana hard counters in Pauper that can deal with anything, be it a threat or removal. The deck also plays two copies of Daze a free Force Spike can be amazing early game, protecting your Delver from a removal spell even when you are tapped out. Playing more than two is tricky, you run the risk of drawing more than you want late game.


The deck is fairly light on removal as far as Pauper decks go. It plays two Disfigure for early game creatures, generally saved for blockers or troublesome creatures that need to be removed, like an opponents Delver. Ghastly Demise is a very powerful removal spell for only a single mana, since the deck tries to fill the graveyard so much, there is almost always enough cards to deal with any non-black creature in the format, even an Ulamog's Crusher. Unfortunately it cannot deal with an opponent's Angler. There is a one of Echoing Decay as a potential hedge against token decks, generally the Kuldotha Boros deck that plays Battle Screech. There is also the pseudo-removal in two copies of Vapor Snag, a great card to have against things like Angler, or any other creature that needs to be out of the way for just a single attack to win the game. 


The Delver of Secrets and Gurmag Angler have already been discussed, they are the best threats in the deck and there is a full set of each. There are also two Sultai Scavenger, which take advantage of the graveyard filling and have flying. Lastly there are two Stormbound Geist, while a 2/2 flyer for three is less than ideal, its undying ability is what makes it especially good, playing them before an Angler and any opponent relying on black removal will have a very hard time removing our 5/5, and if they do, it will take a lot of their resources. 


There are two more copies of Stormbound Geist for the Bx matchups, two Dispel for the counter wars, three Zombie Outlander for the green stompy matchup, three Choking Sands for the tron matchup, two Shrivel for tokens, and a Chainer's Edict for decks with big creatures we need to be able to deal with. The last two cards are Nihil Spellbombs, which I think is better graveyard hate than Relic of Progenitus because it doesn't cost mana to activate from the board and doesn't remove cards from our own graveyard.



This deck has the potential to make huge tempo plays and I think could do very well, here is the Five match league in video form.

Round 1


Round 2


Round 3


Round 4


Round 5


I will admit, I am disappointed by the lackluster performance. Granted, five matches isn't very many, and I have played a couple more games where the mana has not tripped up as much, but the deck did not feel as consistent as I would have liked. I think that it might be a good idea to cut two Mental Notes in favor of two more Ponders. Ponder is a better card for making sure we get exactly what we need. Over all, it felt like playing a two color deck built around tempo was asking a lot, the mana fixing in Pauper is not very good and not being able to consistently play Delver on turn one, even when it is in the opening hand felt miserable. But there were some moments, playing angler makes the Affinity matchup better than the Mono Blue Delver list, and when we were able to play all of our creatures on curve we could overwhelm almost anyone. Let me know if there are any changes you think would make the deck better, I think there is something there, just didn't quite tap into it. Also, if you want to see some more MTGO content on other formats, check out my YouTube channel! Until next time, take it easy guys.