G/B Delirium was a world beater in previous iterations of Standard, but it hasn’t shown the same ability to compete with the big guns today. Luckily, there is nothing holding you to just two colors if you want to maximize the archetype’s power level.
The monumental delirium payoff Emrakul, the Promised End may be no more, but Ishkanah, Grafwidow is no slouch. An army of Spiders will prolong the game until you’re ready and able to win it. In fact, the Emrakul versions of delirium rarely actually needed Emrakul to win the game, as Ishkanah would have gotten the job done, but it was a great way to speed up the process.
Catacomb Sifter points to a deck builder after my own heart. It can accelerate your mana and give you decent power and toughness for just 3 mana. Throw in the incidental advantage granted by scry and you have a solid creature.
Rogue Refiner hasn’t had many opportunities to perform in decks that don’t care about energy, but it’s more than sufficient here. Aether Hub is the only energy sink in this deck, but a 3/2 for 3 that draws a card is still strong.
3-drop creatures that grant you an advantage are exactly what you need to make emerge work. Distended Mindbender’s value keeps rising as the “aggro deck” of the format, Mardu Vehicles, adopts playsets of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and multiple copies of Archangel Avacyn. Elder Deep-Fiend also has great stats and the ability to tap your opponent out of mana, creatures, or both to sweep the leg.
Noxious Gearhulk and Torrential Gearhulk give you late-game advantage that can allow you to close the door with your Ishkanahs. Walking Ballista gives you similar late game as a mana sink and additional reach. That all of these creatures are artifacts is critical for making sure you can turn on delirium.
World Breaker’s stock has continued to soar as well. This is not an easy creature to deal with, and the value you get from casting it literally can’t be denied.
Sam Pardee recently Tweeted that we’re all going to look back on Standard and be upset we didn’t run 4 Traverse the Ulvenwald. Pilots of this deck will not share that regret. With 4 colors of mana plus some huge late-game threats in Ishkanah, Gearhulks, and World Breaker, Traverse is the most powerful spell in the deck.
Grapple with the Past was once the ultimate fuel for Emrakul, but it still gets the job done here. Whether you’re getting more lands, another Rogue Refiner, turning on delirium, or finding a big threat, Grapple is always useful.
Kozilek’s Return can take care of any smaller creatures, but the real value comes in having World Breaker and huge Ballistas late to trigger the flashback. Dealing 5 to everything while putting a giant threat on the battlefield should lock up most games.
A playset of Fatal Push makes sense—it’s a great removal spell—and early delirium can make To the Slaughter an MVP against Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Saheeli Rai. The oddball is Sinister Concoction as one of the best delirium enablers around. This is a cheap early play that gets an enchantment into your graveyard every time, as well as whatever you choose from your hand, and potential value from milling your top card. This rarely-used card may be the difference that makes this deck a success.
G/B Delirium wasn’t doing much to impress in the format, but if the mana is good enough to get both blue and red in there, we may have the makings of a powerful shell.