UR Delver (splash W) at GP Madrid

Posted in Daily Deck on January 7, 2015

By Shuhei Nakamura

Shuhei Nakamura is a member of the Pro Tour Hall of Fame, former Player of the Year, and is one of just six players with more than 400 lifetime pro points.

Today's deck can be considered a direct descendant of yesterday's, one modified for the Modern format.

Tracing the lineage of the deck, we should start with the blue-red Delver of Secrets archetype in Legacy. Using that as the base, one must look to how to adapt it to Modern with the restrictions of that format. The resulting deck is clearly a child of the Legacy version, as can be seen from the fact that a majority of the cards are exactly the same between the two. The creature lineup barely changes, and the spell list is different insomuch as there are some cards that are legal in Legacy only—we see Thought Scour has been swapped in for Brainstorm, and since Ponder is banned in Modern, Serum Visions takes its place. The form may be different, but the dance is the same.

Of course, there's no real replacement for Force of Will. Mana Leak just doesn't quite do the same job, but there's just no getting around that there's nothing as good as Force of Will, even if you're hard-casting it. The existence of this one card is probably one of the two biggest defining differences between Legacy and Modern.

The other is land. In Legacy, you can use fetch lands to bring out the classic dual lands, but in Modern you have to use the shock lands, which force you to take 2 damage if you want them to enter the battlefield untapped. It may not seem like much on the surface, but in a race against an aggro deck, that can mean the difference between a win and a loss. Considering that it costs 1 life to activate a fetch land in the first place, if you have to bring in the shock land untapped you've essentially cast Lightning Bolt on yourself. Throw in things like Gitaxian Probe—another 2 life—and you're just digging your hole faster. It's for reasons like this that it's not realistic to think you can completely replicate a Legacy deck in Modern.

Ivan Floch's UR Delver (splash W)—Top 16, GP Madrid

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