Today, we will be covering one of my favorite decks in all of Pauper, Blue Black Delver. Blue and Black just seem to work perfectly together in Pauper. Blue is full of great utility like counterspells, bounce, and card draw. But other than bouncing creatures to delay them, blue really doesn’t have a good way to deal with threats. That’s where black comes in.
Black is the best color in Pauper when it comes to removal. From it’s sac effects like Chainer’s Edict that can deal with decks that rely on a single creature like Delver of Secrets and Gurmag Angler, to targeted removal like Doom Blade, Disfigure, and Dead Weight, that deal with the important things like Sliver lords and again Delver of Secrets. These two colors compliment each other, giving this deck the tools it needs to deal with most strategies.
But that’s enough rambling, let’s take a look at a deck list:
Blue Black Delver
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Augur of Bolas
4 Gurmag Angler
2 Dimir Infiltrator
Instants & Sorceries (26)
4 Thought Scour
2 Muddle the Mixture
3 Ghastly Demise
2 Doom Blade
2 Chainer’s Edict
3 Soul Manipulation
3 Dismal Blackwater
4 Evolving Wilds
1 Bojuka Bog
Now let’s take a closer look at the cards and why they were included:
Delver of Secrets: The main wincon of the deck. It’s super aggressive and it comes at a pretty low price. You really want to get one of these out early and attempt to flip it as soon as possible with a lot of deck manipulation.
Augur of Bolas: An all around great card that gets us the tools we need. It also leaves behind a nice body to slow down your opponent.
Mulldrifter: Three mana to draw two is pretty steep, but can also be played in the late game as a decent flier.
Gurmag Angler: Our other main win condition. This deck is going to have a fair bit of cards in the graveyard and this is the payoff. Your opponents removal options are very limited as it has a fairly high toughness and since it’s black it is immune to Doom Blade.
Brainstorm[/mtg_card]: Great for setting [mtg_card]Delver of Secrets up to flip, and you can also tuck away useless cards with some of the tutors in our deck.
Thought Scour: Mill two and draw one for one is not bad at all. It fuels Gurmag Angler and replaces itself afterward. You could also use it to mess with an opponent who is setting their own Delver to flip, but that’s a gamble and not really worth it.
Muddle the Mixture: Slightly worse version of Counterspell, but it can also be transmuted into a kill spell in a pinch. If this really isn’t your thing you can swap it out for Deprive or another good counter.
Disfigure: This card is great because it kills a lot of things in the format. Most notably Delver of Secrets even when flipped. It can also be used to weaken opposing large creatures like Gurmag Angler so you can take them out easier.
Chainer’s Edict: Good against decks that play very few, but very strong creatures, and for things that dodge other forms of removal like Slippery Bogle. It’s a bit pricey in both terms of mana (and in price) but you can flash it back during the late game, but if you don’t feel like buying this card because it can be a bit expensive you can swap it out for something cheaper like Geth’s Verdict, Diabolic Edict, Imperial Edict, or Cruel Edict.
Bojuka Bog: It doesn’t really cost us much and can throw a wrench into some opponents plans so why not play one? It also makes them play carefully in fear of possible other hate.
And while your sideboard should be based on your personal meta some nice non-colorless sideboard options are:
Vampiric Link: Can be placed on your creatures to heal against more aggressive decks, or you can place it in an opponent’s creature to possibly neutralize them or even make them an asset.
Shrivel: Great for strategies that go wide, something this deck struggles with.
Devour Flesh: A nice mindgame you can play with your opponent to try to tempt them to get rid of something a bit bigger, but mainly used to gain yourself life.
Now that you have an idea of what the deck runs, let’s talk about how it fairs against various archetypes:
Aggro: If the aggro deck you are up against plays fewer, but more relevant creatures then you’re in luck since this deck deals with that very well. If you’re against something that spits out small creatures like no tomorrow, then you’re in a bit of trouble. Try to play aggressively and rely on your evasive creatures to get damage in. Side in cards like Shrivel and try Echoing Truth (it’s especially good against token decks).
Combo: Our deck does very well in this matchup as long as you know what to watch out for and how to respond to it. Remember to learn the combos in your meta so you know how much mana to hold up, what you need in your hand, and signs they are about to combo. You really don’t want to go all in, because that may give them an opening, and lead to a loss.
Control: If the control variant is mainly counterspell focused, then focus on getting something to stick and protect it the best you can. If it’s one using burn spells then you want to focus on getting out Gurmag Angler as it’s harder to kill, or protect your smaller creatures with counterspells. If it’s a deck playing Black then play Dimir Infiltrator as a creature since it’s out of range of Disfigure. Additionally, since Dimir Infiltrator is black, it can’t be targeted with Doom Blade or Ghastly Demise. For the same reason you can also safely use Gurmag Angler, but be wary of sac effects.
Tempo: This is a very tricky matchup because you want to slow them down, without holding up too much mana, but you also don’t want to go all in yourself just to have your threats countered or destroyed. Remember that your deck has very few threats, so it’s important to protect them as best as you can. See the control section for how to play against the more common control spells.
I hope this article has shown you the wonders of pairing Blue and Black. While they may not be an unbeatable union, they work exquisitely together to make something stronger than the sum of its parts.
But what do you think? Are you interested in this deck? Do you enjoy the Pauper coverage I can’t stop writing about? Do you have any suggestions for my next deck breakdowns? As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to say something in the comments section below.