Apologies for the delay with Modern Monday this week. I was in Florida this past weekend visiting friends and family and I ended up getting a little sick. Instead of regaling all of you with my coughing and sniffling in the videos, I decided to postpone things to minimize the suffering you would have to endure.

We had quite the difficult time finding an interesting list to cover this week, and while I’m not usually a fan of Delver of Secrets, when you combine it with cards like Disrupting Shoal and Psionic Blast, you begin to pique my interest. That’s exactly what Jake Willingham did this past weekend as he took the following list to a 14th place finish at the SCG Classic event in Indianapolis.

3 Cryptic Command
4 Delver of Secrets
1 Deprive
4 Disrupting Shoal
4 Flooded Strand
4 Gitaxian Probe
9 Island
2 Mutavault
2 Polluted Delta
1 Prairie Stream
3 Psionic Blast
1 Redirect
4 Remand
4 Serum Visions
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Thing in the Ice
4 Vapor Snag
2 Vendilion Clique

2 Flashfreeze
3 Geist of Saint Traft
3 Hurkyl’s Recall
1 Jace Beleren
1 Redirect
2 Spellskite
3 Vedalken Shackles

You guys familiar with U/R Delver? How about Grixis Delver? Well, this is pretty similar, only we’re solely using blue cards. Well, okay, we have three white cards in the sideboard, but that’s literally it. Otherwise we’re winning with Delver of Secrets, Snapcaster Mage, Thing in the Ice, and Psionic Blast (which is pretty exciting). Now I’m not completely certain we have all the tools we need in Modern using only blue cards, but we do have access to counterspells and one of the best tempo creatures ever printed, so who knows!

Well, that did happen to go surprisingly well. I think the thing that stood out to me the most was how frequently we didn’t actually have targets for Vapor Snag. So many decks in Modern simply don’t have creatures we can bounce, or if they did, it wouldn’t impact the board any due to some sort of swarm strategy (Elves). I’m not sure whether or not that means we should cut back on the number of Vapor Snags, but it is worth thinking about.

Turns out this deck has a pretty easy time flipping Thing in the Ice. I was as surprised as you were, I bet. The one problem I did feel we had with the deck was not drawing enough lands. I could definitely see adding one more Island, or even removing one colorless source for one more blue source; this is of course worsened when our opponents are messing with our lands. The deck definitely requires a lot of blue sources and drawing two Mutavault and only one or two Islands can be pretty back breaking for us.

Similarly, I didn’t feel like we would even have enough mana to cast and activate Vedalken Shackles, and I rarely felt like I would ever be able to flashback something that cost two or three mana with Snapcaster Mage. Just something to consider I think.

Complaints about mana and Vapor Snag aside, I think the deck was solid. It had enough threats and having a manabase that is mostly basic Islands is actually very good in Modern. You take infinitely less damage and you’re not immediately dead to cards like Blood Moon, which is great. While I’m also not 100% on four copies of Disrupting Shoal as one of our counterspells, I do think the deck has enough oomph to compete, and if you enjoy a good mix of tempo and control, this might be right up your alley. And besides, dealing four damage at instant speed shouldn’t be something blue is capable of…yet here we are!

Thanks for catching up with me so late in the week and I’ll see you all again next Monday!

Frank Lepore
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