November 29, 2016

Image Credit:

Test Drive – Standard Black/Green Delirium

Welcome all to the weekly Standard Test Drive, where I will be taking a deck from the current Standard metagame and giving it a test drive. Today I’m going to be looking at Black/Green Delirium and all it has to offer. Delirium has been a mechanic that has always intrigues me since it came out in the Shadows Over Innistrad as I’m a big fan of using all your cards as a resource, including your deck and your graveyard. Delirium rewards you for having cards in your graveyard, but to take advantage of it you must be able to craft a deck that can not only get cards into your graveyard, but assure that they have different card types associated with them as well. You must also get a balance of cards that take advantage of Delirium.

There have been a lot of variations on this deck that have come up at recent tournaments and top 8’s at local and large events near you. Here is the version of the deck that I decided to try out to see how it would fare.

“Black/Green

Creatures: (15)
Ishkanah, Grafwidow
Pilgrim’s Eye
Emrakul, the Promised End
Grim Flayer
Tireless Tracker
Noxious Gearhulk
Mindwrack Demon

Spells (15)
Traverse the Ulvenwald
Grapple with the Past
Murder
Ruinous Path
Transgress the Mind
Grasp of Darkness

Enchantments: (3)
Vessel of Nascency

Planeswalkers: (4)
Liliana, the Last Hope

Lands: (23)
Blooming Marsh
Hissing Quagmire
Evolving Wilds
Swamp
Forest

Sideboard: (15)
Transgress the Mind
To the Slaughter
Pick the Brain
Natural State
Dead Weight
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Emrakul, the Promised End
Ob Nixilis Reignited
Tireless Tracker

Here are a few things I learned from playing the deck over a couple of tournaments.

Make sure that two of your first three mana sources are black, if not the first two. There are so many important cards that you will need to have at the ready in the first three turns that require two black mana. If you can’t cast cards like Grasp of Darkness, Murder, Ruinous Path, and Liliana, the Last Hope during the first three turns you will often fall behind and not be able to catch up. There were many games that I could play an end of turn Grasp of Darkness before my third turn, followed up by a Liliana, the Last Hope. This combination of cards often meant an almost guaranteed victory.

Getting out a turn two Grim Flayer is very important. Most of the time you can back it up with removal on turn three, which will allow you to get in an important hit with this creature. Even one hit from Grim Flayer to smooth out your draws and fill your graveyard will set you up great for the rest of the game.

To the Slaughter will absolutely win you games against decks playing Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. While playing against 4-colour Vehicles and Blue/White Flash, To the Slaughter provided a resource advantage in games in which my opponents line was to win with Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Being able to clear out both Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and one of their creatures was often too much for them to overcome.

Bringing in Dead Weight out of the sideboard came in handy against aggro decks. Having a one mana kill spell that you could play easily on the draw allowed you to not fall behind early. With it also being an enchantment removal, it helps with hitting your Delirium count as well.

Mindwrack Demon could shut down a lot of decks that aren’t able to remove it. There isn’t much out there when it comes to creatures that can get through the five toughness that Mindwrack Demon brings to the battlefield. Once you have control of the battlefield it can than start to finish off your opponent.

I would probably remove Noxious Gearhulk from the main deck. There isn’t much out there that your current removal suite can’t handle, and rarely did I ever feel the need to search for this creature. I would probably replace it with either a second Tireless Tracker or a Verdurous Gearhulk.

So how did I end up doing in the two tournaments I played with Black/Green Delirium? I ended up winning both tournaments and only losing one match total during the tournaments against a Mono-Green Energy deck that could get a 20/20 trample kill me on turn four and turn five. Overall the deck was very consistent and didn’t seem to have very many bad matchups. There is a learning curve to playing the deck, but probably not as steep of a curve as some other decks.

Thanks again for joining me on a Standard Test Drive and I will see you next week when I Test Drive another deck from the today’s Standard metagame!