There are a ton of new cards in Eldritch Moon already seeing play and the Standard format is feeling their effects after the first two weekends. Personally I’m most excited about the black and green cards. Not only was BG Seasons Past one of my favorite decks, it showcased how black and green had enough tools to survive on their own. The delirium cards were given a strong boost in Eldritch Moon, and the mechanic might have enough support to make it a legitimate part of your strategy.
Let’s take a look at a preliminary list that I’ve brewed up for the new Standard format:
BG Delirium Control
I’m not going to bother with a sideboard, because who knows what kind of crazy decks are going to at Pro Tour Eldritch Moon? But I am definitely looking at cards like Languish, Clip Wings, and Infinite Obliteration.
Grim Flayer is an awesome addition to this archetype, especially in conjunction with Grapple with the Past. As one of the most expensive cards in the set, I shouldn’t really have to explain why Flayer is great, but I will contest that Grapple with the Past is an upgrade to Gather the Pack from Magic Origins. Sure, you only look at 3 cards instead of 5, but you can also grab a land with it, and you get to return any creature to your hand, not just one revealed with Grapple. Ishkanah died 2 turns ago? Get her back with Grapple with the Past! The versatility in both card choice and the ability to turn on delirium makes this a huge bonus for the deck. Oh, did I mention it’s an instant? Being able to suddenly make your Flayer a 4/4 is a huge perk.
A lot of people were on the fence about Liliana, the Last Hope. I don’t think it’s that hard of a call anymore. She does so many things that you want out of a planeswalker, and she’s basically perfect for your deck. Her +1 ability protects her the same way Jace, Telepath Unbound does, only Liliana is able to actually kill certain creatures like Zulaport Cutthroat, Dragon Hunter, Kytheon, Hero of Akros, Elvish Visionary, and Hedron Crawler. This is a huge upgrade. As for her -2 ability, you’re actively trying to make that ability great here. With 17 creatures you have a ton of awesome targets to mill and a good number of utility creatures, like Den Protector, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, or Gilt-Leaf Winnower to get back if you need them.
I really wanted to include 2 Drownyard Temple, simply its synergy with Grim Flayer and Grapple with the Past is excellent, but black and green’s spells are too color intensive to include many colorless lands. I mean, if you drew a Temple as your second land, you couldn’t play Flayer on turn 2. Your 3-, 4-, and 5-drops also need BB. It’s a double-black world you’re living in. I even omitted adding any Grasp of Darkness in favor of Ultimate Price simply because it was easier on the mana base. It also kills opposing Ishkanahs and Sylvan Advocates.
One thing I felt was too simple not to add was the Seasons Past package. While more copies are often preferable, you actually only need 1 Dark Petition and 1 Seasons Past to go off. Cast Dark Petition to get Seasons Past, grab your things back including Dark Petition, and search for Seasons Past again. This gives you a lot of late game, not to mention a significant amount of card advantage.
You also have a couple 1-ofs in the deck to search out with Dark Petition, like Gilt-Leaf Winnower. This kills a ton of creatures currently, like Elder-Deep Fiend, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, and more. I also like 1 Ob Nixilis, not only as a late-game form of card advantage and removal, but also as another way to get a planeswalker in the graveyard for delirium. I definitely wanted 2 copies of Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, but this is actually the perfect deck for Mindwrack Demon. He not only helps you turn on delirium, he also has the potential to give you some targets for Grapple with the Past.
Other cards that I considered and wanted to find room for were Tireless Tracker (especially with Evolving Wilds) and The Gitrog Monster. I think this is good because it tells you that there’s more than one way to build a delirium-based BG deck. While his delirium ability isn’t amazing, I was also struggling to find room for Deathcap Cultivator. Does Kindly Stranger make the cut if you can consistently flip her? You can see how many variations on the deck there can be. You could even add something like Elusive Tormentor and focus more on madness with cards like From Under the Floorboards (2 of my favorite cards from Shadows over Innistrad).
I also think Gnarlwood Dryad would make a fine addition to the sideboard if not the main deck in a different version. Seeing as you are a deck focusing on getting numerous card types into your graveyard, I wonder if 1 copy of Emrakul, the Promised End is too much to ask. Hmm…
I have no idea what the decks that show up this weekend will look like, but considering that BG was a decent choice before the newest set was legal, I have to assume that all the new toys could definitely make an impact.
Thanks for reading—I’ll catch you later.