Deck Tech: U/W/R Delver with David Gearhart
David Gearhart's U/W/R Delver deck is an aggressive spin on the Modern deck.
If you’ve been a fan of the Modern U/W/R Delver decks, then David Gearhart’s Legacy brew is right up your alley. Combining aggressive creatures within those colors with some of Magic’s best burn spells of all time, David is putting a new spin on attacking for 20 today.
Known to have an affinity for Thopter+Foundry and Tezzeret, it was a surprise to see David not piloting those in the Invitational. “I’ve been working on Shot in the Dark, obviously, for quite a while. I could not think of a way to solve some matchups that I wanted to, but I’m going to come back to it,” he explained. “I was trying to think of a deck for Legacy, and James Pogue, Tyler Edwards, and Dan Signorini told me I should play this deck.”
David was skeptical at first. “They hand me the seventy-five—and it’s this insanely aggressive U/W/R deck, but you don’t Snapcaster+Mage any cool things. Then I looked at the sideboard, and BAM!” He was sold. “The sideboard has two Ensnare, which is a card I love,” he said. “It has a card that I’ve been dying to play for years, and I think my matchup against like Stoneblade is good. They cast Lingering Souls… you just Ensnare and get in with your Steppe+Lynx and the land you returned. Ensnare also has some applications against other decks, like Sneak+Attack.” Though he loves it, they did think about other options for the slot before settling on David’s favorite spell. “I wouldn’t mind figuring out a better way to answer Lingering+Souls—we tried Sulfur+Elemental, Forked+Bolt, Echoing+Truth—but we settled on the Ensnares.”
For David, the deck is a real walk on the wild side. “This is the first event I’ve played where the decks have not been created by me,” he admitted. “This deck came around after Indianapolis—they brewed it on the way back, and I was partially involved; I saw the list as it was evolving. They played it in some weekly events and both 4-0’d, so I decided I’d give it a go.”
Seeing the deck in action confirmed a number of the things David liked most, and convinced him it was worth his attention. “I think Path+to+Exile is a really strong card right now because there are very few decks outside of Maverick that can really take advantage,” he said. “With such a low curve, losing to RUG is really hard. Mongoose can be a problem, but Geist is a big deal for them. With Lavamancer and eight Bolts, you can just kill them.”
David doesn’t normally play creatures, especially double-digit amounts, but he’s found this deck to be an enjoyable change of pace. “It’s very easy to get trapped in the Legacy mindset of durdling and doing something—that’s why I’m not that impressed by Lingering+Souls,” he added. “I think this deck has a reasonable position within the metagame, even though it’s way outside what I normally play.”
For now, he’ll be battling in the trenches. “I lost Round 1 to Patrick Sullivan playing Burn—that’s a closer matchup than I would like, but the sideboard is so tight right now.” Take a look below and decide for yourself: Does David’s deck have what it takes?