Grixis Delver by Kaji Taro on MtGO

Creatures (14)
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Delver of Secrets
2 Gurmag Angler
4 Young Pyromancer

Non-Creature Spells (28)
2 Cabal Therapy
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
1 Dismember
4 Force of Will
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Spell Pierce

Lands (18)
2 Flooded Strand
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
1 Tropical Island
2 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
1 Cabal Therapy
3 Flusterstorm
3 Grim Lavamancer
2 Kolaghan’s Command
1 Pyroblast
1 Red Elemental Blast
4 Surgical Extraction


The printing of Delver of Secrets in Innistrad forever changed the shape of Legacy. Aggressive decks loved the powerful 3/2 flyer, and then shifted to a more tempo-based deck. The eventual printings of Deathrite Shaman and Young Pyromancer would have their big impacts too. When the dust settled, many players believed that using all three of these powerful creatures was the best way to build an aggressive, tempo-based deck in Legacy. Thus, Grixis Delver was born.

As mentioned, Delver of Secrets, Deathrite Shaman, and Young Pyromancer are the keys to the deck. Delver of Secrets itself needs very little help to be a powerhouse, as a 3/2 flyer for 1 mana is just about the most powerful creature ever printed. Deathrite Shaman does just about everything in this deck. It adds extra mana each turn, giving you a mana advantage over the opponent, it gains you life when you need to stabilize, helping massively when you’re behind, and it drains the opponent out, helping you close out games without relying on attacking.


It didn’t take long for the skeptics to be proven wrong about Young Pyromancer. The 2 mana creature’s ability to pump out an army of creatures in no time (especially in Legacy where there are so many free spells) is an incredibly valuable addition to this type of strategy. Additionally, it powers up cards like Gitaxian Probe and Cabal Therapy, which were already played, but not in decks like this one.

This deck also plays 2 copies of Gurmag Angler, as it has no hard time putting cards into its graveyard. The Zombie Fish took a little while to make an impact on Legacy, but the format’s generally large graveyard size alongside its great sizing against the other delve threat of the format, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, makes Gurmag Angler a staple of the format.

The combo of Gitaxian Probe and Cabal Therapy is incredibly powerful, but has taken a slight hit due to metagame changes recently. Daze and Force of Will are the free counter spells of choice, while Ponder and Brainstorm are the card draw spells, allowing the deck to filter through cards quickly, and Lightning Bolt is the main removal spell available.

This leaves 1 copy each of Dismember and Spell Pierce as the flex slots. Dismember is almost always a 1 mana unconditional removal spell, but the downside is massive. Spell Pierce‘s applications are more limited than other counter spells, but it’s good value for mana when you can nab a spell with it.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Spell Pierce

+1 Cabal Therapy


-1 Cabal Therapy

-1 Grim Lavamancer

-2 Surgical Extraction

+1 Red Elemental Blast

+1 Pyroblast

+1 Marsh Casualties

+1 Life from the Loam

This is day 162 of’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 161 here, where we featured a Modern Burn deck that’s not the color you might expect it to be.

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