Writing Elsewhere :: Insectile Aberration (I guess) :: … and Delver of Secrets
Delver of Secrets
So last week in my Mother Ship column I briefly discussed how some other noted Magic writers and websites talked about Standard (actually cross-format) All-Star It! Girl! Delver of Secrets was perceived when Innistrad first broke. Today it is no stretch at all to call Delver of Secrets the #1 overall card in Standard, but when it first came out, many writers had a hard time even putting it in the playable pile.
Quiet Speculation saw it as marginal.
LSV at ChannelFireball thought it might be sweet (but loved the flavor).
Our boy Conley Woods, rogue deck design favorite of the modern age, rated it best among the elsewhere media… But Conley is quite proudly one of Magic’s broadest thinkers. Who else plays Sorin Markov in Extended Martyr or Vindicating Hippos in any format, anyway?
Now keeping in mind I once rated Compulsive Research as Constructed Unplayable in a set review, I do know that — at least this time — BDM and I got this one right on the Top 8 Magic podcast, in our Innistrad Set Review over there.
I said “This is just a Constructed Playable card, isn’t it?”
What is really exciting is that at first blush, BDM and I even jimmy-jammed Delver of Secrets into our first pass at a new deck. These are the cards we wanted to play:
- Gitaxian Probe
- Mana Leak
- Mental Misstep
- Twisted Image
- Snapcaster Mage
- Delver of Secrets
The amazing thing is… The rest of the deck, at first pass, closely resembles elements that would grow to be the realized Standard Delver deck. Yeah, we had Dismember instead of Gut Shot, but as recently as Matt Costa’s win in Baltimore just a little over a month ago, he had Dismember over Gut Shot (I — and most other Delver players — re-added Gut Shot mostly as a reaction to other Delver Players, not based on overall power and efficacy).
Mental Misstep hasn’t taken off, but based on my playtesting for the Star City Invitational, I think Mental Misstep is one of the best cards in Delver, both for the Delver mirror match and as a foil to a G/R opponent’s Galvanic Blasts and Birds of Paradise openings.
Yeah, yeah… We overrated Twisted Image, but the Delver archetype has room for ~10 one mana cantrips, and most folks are running Thought Scour as a 2-of if not a 4-of over the once ubiquitous Gitaxian Probe.
… Plus, we had no Thought Scour to compare against when Innistrad first came out.
Just thought I’d throw this out there.
Blue beatdown / aggro-control decks at the dawn of Innistrad were typically Illusions-centered. Maybe it was because we just liked certain “pet cards” but greedy and I were already spitballing Invisible Stalkers.
Now if only we played more tournaments instead of covering them… 🙂
(Speaking of which, I will be in the booth in a couple of weeks in for a Star City Open weekend with Joey Pasco. Lots of people seemed to like our one-two last time… So please tune in! Don’t worry, I’ll remind you again then!)