Abzan Delirium by willyblake on MtGO

Creatures (16)
1 Demon of Dark Schemes
4 Gnarlwood Dryad
4 Grim Flayer
2 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
1 Manglehorn
3 Mindwrack Demon
1 Noxious Gearhulk

Non-Creature Spells (25)
3 Liliana, the Last Hope
2 Never // Return
4 Traverse the Ulvenwald
1 Dissenter’s Deliverance
3 Fatal Push
1 Grapple with the Past
3 Grasp of Darkness
4 Renegade Map
4 Cast Out

Lands (19)
4 Blooming Marsh
4 Concealed Courtyard
3 Evolving Wilds
4 Forest
1 Plains
3 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
1 Fatal Push
1 Grasp of Darkness
2 Descend upon the Sinful
1 Felidar Cub
2 Fragmentize
3 Scrapheap Scrounger
2 Shambling Vent
2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
1 To the Slaughter


In this odd time between the banning of Aetherworks Marvel and the release of Hour of Devastation, Standard appears to be a very healthy format, where many archetypes are viable! Over time, B/G Constrictor has moved towards a more energy-focused package that abandons the Delirium sub-theme and plays much lower to the ground. However, Delirium is still viable, and the deck we’re featuring today takes a much more grindy, control-focused route to victory and splashes a third color.

Grim Flayer is the go-to low drop in Delirium decks, as it allows you to get in early damage while filtering your draws and turning on Delirium very quickly. However, Gnarlwood Dryad is certainly more unexpected. The 1 mana deathtouch creature was thought of as a really powerful option when it was printed, but it’s barely seen any play. However, it’s an excellent option against the rise of Longtusk Cub decks, and it can be a sizable beater if you need it to be in the late game.

This deck also has several easy ways of getting card types into its graveyard. Mindwrack Demon is an extremely under-costed flyer that at its best has no drawback and the cards turned over help you turn on Delirium. The combination of Traverse the Ulvenwald and Renegade Map help you hit your land drops, with Map being a way of getting an artifact into the graveyard very easily and Traverse being the payoff for reaching Delirium. The presence of both of these cards also lets the deck play only 19 lands, usually a criminally low amount for a grindy midrange deck. This deck also plays Liliana, the Last Hope as a way of blunting the opponent’s assault as well as rebuying creatures that found their way to the graveyard.

This deck has a large Traverse the Ulvenwald package, with Demon of Dark Schemes, Ishkanah, Grafwidow, Manglehorn, or Noxious Gearhulk being the usual targets. Demon of Dark Schemes is a powerhouse against Zombies draws when they go wide, Ishkanah, Grafwidow helps you play from behind and stabilize the board, Manglehorn is a valuable mainboard inclusion against Mardu Vehicles, and Noxious Gearhulk helps you in the grindy midrange mirrors or against any large creature in the format.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Dissenter’s Deliverance

-1 Fatal Push

+2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis


-1 Grasp of Darkness

-2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis

+1 Demon of Dark Schemes

+1 To the Slaughter

+1 Manglehorn

This is day 182 of Spellsnare.com’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 181 here, where we featured a Standard deck that is built around an oft-forgotten mechanic…

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