Delver Humans with Nicholas Spagnolo
Nicholas Spagnolo has brewed up an interesting take on Delver with a Human theme.
There are a number of different Delver decks in the room today; Nick Spagnolo’s tweaks have made his one of the more interesting builds around. Combining the power of Innistrad’s Humans with its most notorious Human Insect, Nick’s deck amps the aggression.
Eschewing the traditional power three-drops—Drogskol Captain, Lingering Souls, or Geist of Saint Traft—Nick’s leaning on Gather the Townsfolk’s synergy with his one-drops to turn his one-drops into major threats early. “Half the time, you get opening hands with like Delver, Champion, and Mana Leak, and can’t lose to anything,” he said. “Eight Delvers is better than four Delvers.”
Never has that been more relevant—the field is packed with Seachrome Coasts, but Nick’s confident in his mirror matchup. “I think I’m a little bit faster. The Swords are really slow; Sword of War and Peace was good, but by the time you can equip it and get in a hit now, both players are low on cards,” he explained. That means a more aggressive deck can continue to race, even if faced with an unblockable equipped creature.
Phantasmal Image is the glue that holds everything together. “That card’s broken,” Nick said. In addition to its utility as a modern-day Hero’s Demise, it’s a major threat considering this deck’s one-drop slot. “If I Probe them and they don’t have a Slip or a Snag, you can just copy your one-drop. It’s more copies of flipped Delvers, Champions, or
Packing a few bullets, Nick has some surprises in store. “The Dismember is kind of like the fifth Vapor Snag,” he said. The stranger pair are his one Blade Splicer and his one Mikaeus the Lunarch, but they both work out. “I wanted a couple more Humans for Champion, and both those cards give you something the deck doesn’t have,” Nick said. “Blade Splicer gives you a creature with more than two toughness, and Mikaeus is good with all the tokens.”
He’s not a fan of equipment—even the one Pike in his own deck. “The Pike is the worst card in the deck, I’ll cut it in every game post-board.” In the meantime, it’s a major threat.
Nick’s most sweeping change was the decision to add Negates to the maindeck, trimming a Mana Leak and adding a hard counter to his response suite. “You need to counter Whipflare and Black Sun’s Zenith—Negate does a way better job of it,” Nick explained, citing how often control players could dodge Mana Leak with the cheap sweepers. Even more importantly, Nick must keep Curse of Death’s Hold off the field.
Nick’s got some spicy options in the sideboard. Gideon Jura lets him get even bigger than the opponent in other aggressive matchups. Nick’s bringing that in against Zombies, G/R Aggro, and the mirror, at a minimum. The one Act of Aggression is Nick’s favorite, and he can’t wait to get someone with it. “My favorite is doing it to a Huntmaster of the Fells during the upkeep with the trigger on the stack!”