Burn to Delver

Written by Kevin King on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Legacy

Burn to Delver

Kevin King

Kevin King is from Baltimore, has finished in the top 4 of the 2015 Legacy Championships, 2nd at SCG Worcester and top 64 of Grand Prix Chiba. When he is not blind flipping a Delver of Secrets, you can find him on Lands. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @Yahappynow

So you want to play Legacy.  What’s more, you want to play Blue.  You want to cast Force of Will and you want to crack a fetch and get a Dual Land without taking a Lightning Bolt to the teeth (Take that Modern!).  The catch is, slapping $2000 down on the counter at your LGS just isn’t an option.  This guide will take you from Red Deck Wins, a deck which always very successful, to UR Delver, an even more popular and successful deck with a slower clock and better combo matchup.  It will take a nine month commitment to see it through, $350 startup money, and $200 a month to go from no cardboard to an optimized Legacy UR Delver deck.

Don’t let the price tag scare you.  Between taking your LGS prizes in credit and selling some other cards in your collection that you don’t use, you stand to significantly offset your costs.  Plus, if you’re cash-light one month, just wait.  The prices on most of these cards are relatively stable and for every price spike you miss, you hit the other end of some other card’s spike.  With Eternal Masters coming out, who knows what cards will drop?

Month 1
$340

Legacy Red Deck Wins (Burn)

For your Day One, less than $350 average market value gets you a playable burn deck.  Other than the fetches, which are coming later, this is a burn list I would register and play.  If you have any red fetches, slot them now.  If not, just wait until next month.

The Eidolons are the biggest ouch here.  Unlike the Goblin Guides which will be useful all the way through the aggressive UR Delver shell, Eidolon is the only burn card over $5 you will need to bench when you move to Delver.  Think of it as collection building.  Always having the ability to fall back on Burn when the meta is ripe is a great feeling.

Month 2
$200
List changes: -6 Mountain, +1 Scalding Tarn +5 Red Fetches
Month 3
$220

List changes: -2 Mountain, +2 Scalding Tarn

Months 2 and 3 are about the fetches.  These are two collection building months that will show marked improvement in the performance of the deck.  The thinning effect of fetches is measurable, if slight, and feeding a turn two Lavamancer activation can be a big upside against Death and Taxes.   That said, if you’d like to skip the three fetches that will not be slotted in Delver, go ahead. It won’t hurt the deck too too badly and it will save $60.  However, Tarn is the important and non-negotiable fetch here.  UR Delver needs basics and this is the only fetch that gets both.

Month 4
$190

List changes: -1 Mountain, +1 Scalding Tarn
Get: 4 Brainstorm, 4 Ponder, 2 Spell Pierce, 4 Delver of Secrets, 4 Gitaxian Probe

Month 4 sees your last fetches and the bulk of your Delver list.  I do not recommend building Delver this month though.  Burn is playable Day One.  Delver is a different story.  It will be frustrating waiting for your Volcanic Islands to sling that deck that’s almost done, but it’s worth it.  Absolutely feel free to slot two Steam Vents and try it, but three damage to the face to cast your turn one spell will really put you behind in the aggro mirror, especially when you’re already being so aggressive with your Gitaxian Probes and Price of Progress.

Month 5

$150-$250
Get: Volcanic Island
Month 6

$150-250

Get: Volcanic Island

Duals.  They are the iconic financial barrier to Legacy.  Legacy players’ dirty little secret?  We all play HPs.  If it fits in a sleeve and shuffles like a Magic card, I’ll take that crusty scratched Volcanic Island for 50% off.  Do not at all feel like you need to pay sticker for these.  I recommend things like vendors’ HP cases and word of mouth.

Month 7
$180

UR Delver

Get: 2 Force of Will, 2 Sulfuric Vortex, 1 Blue Fetch

List changes: -1 Burn Deck, +1 Delver Deck

Congratulations!  Sleeve up your blue cards, because this is a Delver list.  Two Force is perfect for an aggressive shell and Pierce protects your early creatures better than Force does.  Take a breather; you’ve done it.  You own UR Delver.  Upping the Force count gives you some points against combo while losing some against the already good aggro matchup and having access to Waste lets you steal some games and is a real speed bump for Lands, but this is a very real UR Delver list and you should be proud to sleeve it.

4 Scalding Tarn
4 [Red Fetch]
1 [Blue Fetch]
2 Volcanic Island
4 Island
3 Mountain
4 Goblin Guide
4 Monastery Swiftspear
1 Grim Lavamancer
4 Delver of Secrets
2 Searing Blaze
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Chain Lightning
2 Price of Progress
2 Spell Pierce
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
2 Force of Will
1 Sulfuric Vortex

Sideboard

3 Surgical Extraction
3 Smash to Smithereens
2 Pithing Needle
2 Sulfuric Vortex
1 Grim Lavamancer
2 Pyroblast
2 Price of Progress

You already have owned duals for a few months now, but this is the month where you officially become the owner of 2 Force of Will.  If you get a good deal on a set (they exist), buy the whole set now.  This article is based on average market value, but it’s possible to find HP sets of Force near $200.
Month 8
$200

-2 Searing Blaze, -1 Island, -1 Mountain, +2 Force of Will, +2 Blue Fetch
Forces 3 and 4 are going to give you huge points in those bad matchups like combo that had been a problem for you until this point.  Being able to cast a creature on turn one and protect it with Force is huge too.

Month 9
$120

-2 Red Fetch, +2 Wasteland

Wasteland is big for playing the tempo game and steals some situations like Academy Ruins locks and quick Depths combos back from The Enemy.  Think of it as more of a spell than a land as it casts very few of your spells.

4 Scalding Tarn
2 [Red Fetch]
3 [Blue Fetch]
2 Wasteland
2 Volcanic Island
3 Island
2 Mountain
4 Goblin Guide
4 Monastery Swiftspear
1 Grim Lavamancer
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Chain Lightning
2 Price of Progress
2 Spell Pierce
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
1 Sulfuric Vortex

Sideboard

3 Surgical Extraction
3 Smash to Smithereens
2 Pithing Needle
2 Sulfuric Vortex
1 Grim Lavamancer
2 Pyroblast
2 Price of Progress

And with that, Congratulations!  You own UR Delver, one of my favorite strategies in Legacy today.  More than that, you play a Blue Deck in Legacy.  You did it.  What’s next?

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