It's strange for me to think that U/W Delver, the dominating Standard version, is five years old. 2012 was my first year as a committed player on the SCG Tour®, although I didn't think of it that way at the time. The tour was expanding and I simply played events that were close to me. My first Open win came with U/W Delver at the Season Two Invitational that year, oddly enough after flaming out of the Invitational itself with an 0-4 finish with the deck.
So it's unsurprising that U/W Delver triggers a lot of nostalgia in me. It was brought to the surface upon seeing today's list, which, despite belonging to a much larger format, is surprisingly similar in construction. Back then, we often joked that playing Delver in Standard felt akin to playing Legacy or Modern against Standard decks, and I guess those jokes were at least somewhat grounded in reality.
There's the typical selection of cantrips, albeit with Ponder downgraded to Serum Visions and no Gitaxian Probe. Path to Exile upgrades the removal suite, but Vapor Snag, Dismember, and Gut Shot all make it in reduced numbers. Delver of Secrets, Snapcaster Mage, and Restoration Angel all come back for this encore, but Geist of Saint Traft is replaced by a committee of Spell Queller, Vendilion Clique, and Blade Splicer. And honestly, Geist would be a fine addition if you need more help against Death's Shadow.
The major difference is in the counter suite, where Mana Leak only makes a token appearance while Remand, Spell Snare, and Cryptic Command are the stars. The manabase receives an upgrade with Flooded Strand and Celestial Colonnade, especially important because this deck has more white cards than the old Standard lists.
Despite drawing so heavily from a Standard deck, nothing about this list is underpowered for the current Modern format, even after adding five years of cards. If you're not Magic-old enough to remember that era firsthand, just believe those of us who tell you how messed up that deck was. And if you are old enough, give this deck a spin for old times' sake. It's just as sweet as it used to be.
- 1 Blade Splicer
- 4 Delver of Secrets
- 2 Restoration Angel
- 4 Snapcaster Mage
- 2 Spell Queller
- 1 Archangel Avacyn
- 1 Vendilion Clique