Hello Everyone! Roope is out of town this week, so I will be getting into some discussion of budget modern decks! This week we will be discussing an undervalued archetype that I think is a great way to put yourself on the front foot if you are looking to get into modern with something that is proactive, doesn’t die to combo decks, and has enough punch to get there in a lot of situations!
The first thing I always do when introducing someone into the modern format is by doing two things. First, I give them something proactive. Being on the front foot in the games you are playing is the best way to get into a format, which is why many a player starts the game on a mono-red burn deck. Treating magic like a math problem for you to solve around your opponent is a great way to engage a new player quickly and easily. Second, I like to give my new player something that can interact with more than just a board state. So, If a player wants a proactive deck that can protect itself with more than just board interaction cards for cheap, we turn to the old standby, U/R Delver!
U/R Delver by Forrest Winstead
1x Izzet Charm
4x Mana Leak
2x Spell Pierce
2x Vapor Snag
4x Shivan Reef
1x Spell Pierce
This deck is quite the powerful little ticket into the format, and clocking into the format at just under 110$. I know that doesn’t sound cheap, especially for what one would consider a budget deck, but hear me out on the price point and the deck.
First, the deck has gotten a lot of new and exciting cards that make it extremely tangible. Soul-Scar Mage is an incredibly potent 1-drop that allows you to be on the aggressive with your 12 one drops really pressuring life totals as soon as possible.
Following this, Bedlam Reveler is the top end a deck like this wanted, re-fueling your hand when your cantrips accelerate you into a few extra lands and overall puts a scary body on the board that takes no prisoners in combat, especially with extra spells in hand.
And Together with Reveler, Chart A Course is good before and after combat. Cast it before combat to dig for a specific card you want, bin an excess spell to fuel your Reveler, or cast it after attacking (even if you throw away a Young Pyromancer token) just to draw extra cards. Chart A Course does real work, and I think it could be the absolute perfect card to bring this deck back to prevalence in more than just a budgetary standpoint.
Finally on the sideboard front, U/R has great tools to deal with many cards. Aside from the many potent cards that are found in blue that can counter certain combo decks, roast and izzet staticaster are primed right now for this creature based meta (thought Knot Seer, Champion of the parish, empty the warrens, etc) So the sideboard is great here as well. Now lets talk about the hard part. Price.
I know that 110 dollars is alot of dough, but hear me out. Aside from the same argument you always hear, think of the price point this way. If you have played magic for any amount of time, you probably have a vast array of cards to pick from, and have most of the cheaper cards listed here already. If you don’t have them already, I’m sure there are some local game stores who could use a few more rares and bulk rares for store credit and trade in that you aren’t using. Go help them out and get a deck rolling while you’re at it. Following this, purchasing into this deck fills your library with some vital staples that can be used to expand to a different deck for later.
Most notably: serum visions, lightning bolt, young pyromancer, delver of secrets, monastery swiftspear, mana leak, spell pierce, izzet staticaster, ceremonious rejection, spirebluff canal.
You would be hard pressed to see these cards lose relevancy in older formats going forward, and being so close to legacy and other modern decks mean you can trade out of them if you don’t want them anymore, making this deck really more around a 60-70 dollar investment. And given that cards like Chandra, Torch of Defiance and The Scarab God are currently sitting at 40 dollars, 70 dollars for a whole deck that is up-gradable with fetches, shocklands, splashing a third color, and is highly customizable, you really can’t go wrong picking up this deck at this price point, if even to just bring it with for a friend at friday night magic.
But what do you think? Do you think this is a good deck to get into the modern format with? Let me know in the comments!