Several articles have been written about the new blue flying Wild Nacatl.
Delver of Secrets first made it's debut in Legacy (in arguably the best deck, as well), with RUG Tempo dominating several SCG Opens.
It didn't take long for people to begin experimenting with the powerhouse in standard, too. Several Lists began popping up, ranging in colors and success rates.
Dever of Secrets Tempo is so good and so versatile that it has splashed into literally every other color of magic. The following color combinations feature Delver (In order of popularity):
Each featuring the same basic core cards, but splashing into each color to compliment the core in different ways.
- Monoblue (With Moorland Haunt)
Delver of Secrets: The archetype's namesake and main win condition. The ultimate goal of the archetype is to resolve a Delver on turn 1, have it flip as soon as possible, and protect it with countermagic and tempo- based bounce spells. This is also the reason that a minimum of ~18 sorceries and instants are seen in these decks, and the reason most of the decks run between 18-22 land (VERY small land count). It is NOT uncommon to have 1 Delver do all 20 points of damage or close to it.
Snapcaster Mage: This card has near perfect synergy with the Delver Tempo Archetype. At best, this rebuys countermagic that keeps delver swinging for 3 per turn in the air or rebuys bounces that do the same or help you race faster than the opponent. At Worst, it rebuys a draw spell.
Mana Leak: Countermagic is the key in an aggro-control deck. If you can resolve an early threat (delver), countermagic is there to protect it hopefully long enough to win the game. Obviously, Mana Leak is the best counter in standard and
Ponder: This card allows you to Dig for answers, run a lower land count in the deck, smooth out your draws, and (perhaps most importantly) almost guarantees you an Insectile Aberation after you cast it, as it can
Vapor Snag/Disperse: Deals with any creatures (or permanents) that are troublesome that you could not counter or otherwise deal with. Can also be used in a pinch to bounce YOUR creatures, saving them. One interesting play is to bounce your beatstick when they play Oblivion Ring. They must then exile one of THEIR permanents. Overall, these function as a psudo Time Walk in the best situations, forcing the opponent to do nothing but replay the same thing he just played. The Ping for 1 on Vapor Snag is also relavent as you are the aggro deck.
All deck support options:
Dissipate: Unconditional counter with a HUGE upside. In a world of Geistflame, Snapcaster Mage, Think Twice, Forbidden Alchemy, Reassembling Skeleton, Unburial Rites, etc, the value of exiling the spell cannot be underestimated. This card usually sees play in either the sideboard, or in some of the slightly slower versions of the deck, such as UG. This is easily powerful enough to see MB play in all versions, however.
Gut Shot: A killspell that is GREAT in this metagame. Birds, snapcasters, infect creatures, Inkmoth, and turn 1 1/1s that grow is ALL OVER standard at the moment. Hell, our namesake card gets demolished by this. Can also be re-bought with snapcaster to great effect.
Gitaxian Probe: A sorcery that gives us many, many things. This allows us to keep our land count low and our spell count high for delver, while also allowing us to run an effectively 56 card deck with higher concentrations of threats, and also lets us see what we need to deal with and how we should by showing the opponent's hand.
Think Twice: Think Twice and Counterspells have obvious synergy. If you do not counter their spell, you have wasted your mana for the turn. Instead, you can Think Twice to get nice value and card advantage.
Dismember It's Dismember. It kills things really well.
Stitched Drake: A card with a bit of dissynergy with Moorland Haunt, but has great game against the worst MU for the deck, RDW. It is very similar to Serendib Effreet and in many situations, better.
Lord of the Unreal/Other Illusions: This basically merges the old Delver tempo shell and the Illusions aggro together with great effect. While delver may not be pumped by the lord, it is not uncommon to see a Phantasmal Image of Insectile Aberation which becomes +1/+1 and Hexproof. This does lower the total sorcery/instant count in the deck, but it allows for a much higher sustained aggression that is REALLY hard for most decks to deal with.
Moorland Haunt: While the goal is to protect your creatures with countermagic and bounce spells, sometimes that just isnt possible (especially with the illusion downside), so monoblue splashes 7-8 white sources to have this extra bit of lategame inevitability.
Manabase: While this is not a card, it is important. This version has by far the best mana. You almost never get color skrewed and can run as low as 18 land with little downside because of the strong manabase.
Incinerate/Arc Trail/Other small removal/burn: I don't think I need to explain the worth of burn to anyone. Red Deck WINS for a reason, and this is basically a red deck that splashes blue for the Delver tempo shell because it is THAT GOOD.
Brimstone Volley: GREAT synergy with Snapcaster Mage. You can cast snapcaster, block, and burn face for 5. This ends games QUICKLY. Sometimes, Delver gets in loads of damage but just cannot go the extra last bit. This gives you the end game power to just win the game where the opponent thinks he has stabilized.
Grim Lavamancer: You're running tons of sorceries and instants that go to the bin. You shoot them at stuff.
Stromkirk Noble: Another agressive 1 drop that gets bigger. This card is the centerpiece for RDW and does the job damn well here too.
Chandra's Phoenix: Another inevitability card. Gives you late game reach to finally win the game.
Mayor of Avabruck: Turn 1 Delver, turn 2 Mayor is insane. You can easily be swinging for 4 in the air on turn 2 while threatening to make 3/3s every turn for free. Werewolves find thier home best in a blue deck with counters but also have great aggro potential. Sounds perfect for delver.
Green Sun's Zenith + Friends: Lets you run a virtual 5-8 mayors, while also giving you tons of options. You can have melira, thrun, Acidic Slime, Birds, and Veridian emmisary in the deck as needed.
Garruk Relentless: A kill spell in green who also make lots and lots of wolves. Note the synergy with Howlpack Alpha.
Naturalize: Sideboard goodness.
Ancient Grudge: Do I need to explain this?
Daybreak Ranger: Demolishes White based decks, and small flier strategies like infect or wolf run (as long as you can handle the ground guys) and can be fetched with Green sun.
Doom Blade: It kills bigger things than Dismember can handle without the 4 life issue.
Forbidden Alchemy: Similar to a mix between Think Twice countermagic synergy and Ponder digging power.
Tribute to Hunger: Deals with pesky Hexproof that evade the countermagic.
Sever the Bloodline: Reassembling Skeleton, Wurmcoil, and Chandra's Phoenix are fairly popular. Also, This is contstructed, so multiples are common.
Wring Flesh: 1 Toughness guys all over the format.