This week in Magic: Modern UR Delver pt. 2


Welcome back to another segment of “This week in Magic.” The last time we were here, I discussed some main board options for UR Delver for Modern. This week, I’m going to go over some side board options. If there is time, I’ll try to go over a local Modern tournament I 4-0’d with UR Delver. So, as a quick reminder, here is the full list that I ran:


Main board
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Young Pyromancer


4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Serum Visions
3 Thought Scour
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Forked Bolt
2 Vapor Snag
2 Spell Snare
2 Mana Leak
2 Spell Pierce
1 Electrolyze
4 Treasure Cruise


2 Polluted Delta
3 Flooded Strand
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Bloodstained Mire
4 Steam Vents
2 Island
3 Mountain


Side board
2 Blood Moon
2 Electrickery
1 Negate
1 Dispel
2 Dragon Claw
1 Pithing Needle
1 Counterflux
1 Relic of Progenitus
2 Combust
2 Smash to Smithereens


I’ve been playing the deck for a couple of weeks now, and I can say with much certainty that Electrickery is now open. I initially had it in the side board for the mirror match. However, I realized the main focus in the mirror tends to be taking care of your opponent’s Young Pyromancer. A really interesting option I came across was running Izzet Staticaster. As an 0/3, the only way to kill it is with a Lightning Bolt, and it can survive most attacks.


I’ve been very happy with the many one of’s in the side board like Negate and Dispel. Some of the problem cards I’ve been running into have been other counterspells and Lightning Bolts. In those situations, Dispel really shows its strength. Negate has been great in countering some of those random spells that you were expecting or even forget exist in the format. Mana Leak and Spell Pierce are great early counters, but later on, their power takes a big dip. Having a hard counter like Negate is great during those times.


As for the rest of the side board, I think I need more time with it. Up to now, I’ve had no problem, but there haven’t been many opportunities to test it. For example, I have yet to try the deck against Affinity or Tron. What have I played against? Good question. To answer that, I’ll go over a local tournament I attended and won.


In the first round, I played against Merfolk. As someone who has played Mono Red Burn, and played against this match up a lot, I was not a fan. However, I have to find a way to remind myself, that I’m not playing burn anymore. My opponent had an okay start. They opened with a Cursecatcher and then followed that up with one of their lords. I was on the draw and I opener was a Swiftspear. I followed that up with a Lightning Bolt, then another Swiftspear. Now, I know I could have done it the other way around, but with Cursecatcher on the board, I needed to be sure I could pay for the one mana in case they sacrificed it to counter the Bolt. My opponent didn’t and let their lord die. When I followed the Bolt up with another Swiftspear they were a little confused.


Now with two Swiftspears on the board, things began to get out of hand. I played spells without hesitation to help grow my monks and eventually take game one.


Unfortunately, for my opponent, the only creatures he saw were two Spellskites. I would land a turn two Young Pyromancer and it would stick. Numerous spells later, I had acquired a fleet of elementals and the game was over.


For the sake of time, I’m going to skip ahead to the fourth and final round. This was a match against Splinter Twin that had no Tarmogoyfs. Game one did not go well for me. However, it went as well as it could for the Twin player. How perfectly well did it go? At the end of my third turn, they played Deceiver. It resolved and tapped my only other blue source. Of course they could just be leading me on, but my opponent untapped, drew their card, and then played their Twin. On to game two!


In game two, I brought in a Dispel, a Negate, and two Combusts. I took out an Electrolyze, both Forked Bolts, and a Gitaxian Probe. Something tells me that a probe is the wrong thing to take out here, but I am still unsure what is better. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.


Game three, I realized I needed to get an aggressive start. So I mulled with the intent to get turn one creature down. I know Lightning Bolt is a serious issue here, but if I can get it to stick, I’ll feel a lot better about the match. If I remember correctly, I mulled to five cards before I was satisfied. I landed a first turn Delver, but it didn’t last long as it was bolted the next turn. I got very lucky and drew into a Young Pyromancer. I was lucky enough to have the Pyromancer stick around for quite a few turns. My opponent even had landed a Ratchet Bomb at one point, but hesitated in blowing it up. Later in the game, I played a Delver with the Bomb still in play. My opponent had made a big play mistake when they ticked the Bomb up to one counter. When my Delver finished resolving it’s flip, they had decided to blow up the Bomb forgetting that it’s converted mana cost was now zero.


The third and final game was still a little exciting even though my opponent didn’t do much but draw cards. Once again, a Young Pyromancer had made an early appearance only to be followed up by a handful of spells to create an army of Elementals. The thing about Twin is that sometimes it can win without any kind of warning. I guess that’s why the game was a little exciting for myself. It may have been a bit boring for my opponent, but how was I supposed to know they were drawing blanks most of the game.


Well it seems I’ve gone of my time for this week. Tune in next week as I wrap things up and give some final thoughts on the deck for now. Thanks for reading!


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!


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