A deck with many surprises up its sleeve, this is the Delver deck that promises you a night of fun, but leaves you along in the morning with a nasty case of STDs.
Yes, this is a Delver Infect Deck. ;)
The Infectious Delver operates on a few key principals:
- An ABSURDLY low converted mana cost- the calculator is a bit off in that it includes phyrexian mana, which I never straight cast, and the few big cards in here make it seem like the converted mana cost is higher. The Plan A takes off on two mana, with 3-4 the ideal load when going into your win. The big cards are Plan B for when the deck is giving me one of my infamous mana floods.
- An ABSURDLY high ratio of Sorcery/Instant to non S/I cards, utilizing the synergy between Delver of Secrets Flip and Runechanter's Pike.
- A ton of draw to hasten the process of needed card gathering and Sorcery/Instant dumps into the graveyard.
- A myriad of surprise plays to throw off an opponent, often utilizing cards whose colors have nothing to do with the main build- Blue with a splash of Black.
Like many Delver and Infect predecessors, this deck wants to win as fast as it possibly can. I have had matches won in three turns. I tend to average around five, but I find games to be viable up until about turn 8. After turn 8, the chances of winning decrease, but assuming my stall out is due to excessive mana pulls, I have a back up plan. Diabolic Tutor lets me grab what I need for the win, or to grab the other mana heavy card, my Blight Dragon. He makes for a "I'm struggling to wrap this game up" card to help get the win anyhow.
Getting to a win condition is easy- slap one of the three creatures down- Delver, Stalker, or Blighted Agent, or get your Ink moth nexus out, get a pike on them and swing. If one of the two non-infect, use Tainted Strike if you have it. If not, you can always go for traditional 20 life agro depletion.
The fun thing with this deck is that there are so many ways to get instants and sorceries into your graveyard.
- Utilize the card draws- helps get what you need, and dumps those into the graveyard. Thought Scour also does this really well- if I am not searching for anything (got what I need in my hand), I just use it to draw and dump.
- Utilize your pumps- mutagenic growth is handy, and Tainted Strike grants the infect. If you have a pike on the creature, Mutagenic growth becomes worth 3pts, not two, and if you use Tainted Strike, it is worth a +2 and infect, not just one.
- Protect your fragile creatures- Blighted Agent and Delver get targeted a lot- no surprises, right? Apostles blessing is a wonderful way to counteract their attempts to get rid of your creature when you need it dearly. Giving it protection from that color (often black or red) truly helps a lot. It also allows a flier going in for the kill to circumvent blocking.
As you can see, there are a couple of unexpected options here- no one expects infect (especially when Delver shows up, LOL), so few can sideboard to deal with it, and some will let damage come through thinking it is 8pts, not soon to be 10pts of infect. Size jumping creatures also helps, as sometime people have a card with nice abilities, but low power, and will attack with them if the battle is mostly clear (one delver). Again, I cannot say how much I just love Apostle's Blessing, which not only protects creatures from harm, but allows them get around blocking as well.
All in all, I have fun with the deck, and the deck is cheap. I have no idea where Coolstuffinc is coming up with its pricing, because I paid less than $65 for this whole thing, including the Darkslick Shores. With sideboard,looking closer to $90.
I went into top 8 undefeated this time around, and that felt really awesome. Unfortunately, my deck decided that was the time to go haywire, and I lost the first round of it. Here's the rundown:
Round 1: Mono Black Control- This is typically my worst match up, and this was against one of the more successful players in our Venue, so I was worried coming into this one. Fortunately, his deck was sputtering and mine came out screaming, and I swept this one easily.
Round 2: RWG Kessig Wolfrun with a Sword of Feast and Famine. This one could have gotten uglier, but I out paced him and his forced discarding was benefiting me. I wrapped this one up cleanly with a 2-0 finish, although game 2 came right down to the edge.
Round 3: A RG Keesig Wolfrun with the more traditional build. Game one was a breeze, and I clobbered the guy out on life using an invisible stalker. Game two I had a bit of a limping start and his went well and he got me. Game three, I quickly dumped my fuel into the graveyard, stacked a pike onto a Blighted agent and I sank him in one hit. 2-1
Round 4: ANOTHER Kessig Wolfrun- seriously, you really start to wonder if anyone is playing anything else tonight @_@. This guy was doing another RGW, using a similar build to the one from round two- utilizing Angel of Jubilation and Blade Splicer among others. I came out fast on this round and smashed him twice without too much trouble. Game two I had a moment where I was thankful for sideboarding in control aspects, because it save my arse on a couple of those turns. 2-0
Round 5: This time, it was NOT a Kessig deck. It was a Delver ala Geist of St Traft deck, and this one was a fun match up. I came through on round one and got the surprise infect in- always fun to do to people. On game two, I got mana screwed while he got a geist out nice and early. That did not go well. Game three, I gutted those geists with a surgical (he milled himself with Thought scour and lost it) and then I quickly cleaned up thereafter. 2-1
5-0 going into Top 8, in 2nd place due to tiebreakers.
Top 8 Round 1: Playing against a BR zombies deck, going the usual zombie route- dropping zombies in a hurry, while running a splash of burn to get rid of creatures. Game one I knocked him out with 10 infect in a hurry, and it gave me confidence that I was going to be alright. That was when my deck decided to go its usual way, and everything went downhill. I had a massive mana flood (on turn 6, I had 8 lands. I mulled down to 6 and kept a 2 land hand, and then drew almost nothing but lands- via cantrip, I added a couple extra cards to hand, but I was at 8 out of 14 cards being land). Lost that one. Game three, I had one creature, some stall cards, but nothing to get me to a win. My mana was light, but manageable (3 mana about turn 5), but the lack of draws I needed to push my one little guy to the win never came up, and I ended up not getting to where I needed to be at the end. I got the guy to 8 poison counters when he got me to 0 life. If I had one more turn, I would have had it, but that's how it goes.
I hate losing due to my deck going on the fritz, for whatever reason it does, but all in all, my first 5-0 run at an FNM felt really damn good. :)
Looked up my final placement, looks like the 1st place guy must have stumbled as well- I ended up in 6th.
Another night, another FNM. 56 players, official placement 32, but in reality it was much lower.
Overall 3-1, but I had to drop for work. It was a shame, because I had a good feeling about it in the second half of the night. On the FNM record, it shows 2-2, because even though I swept the guy I was playing, I gave him the two wins so he could go on with his night. Hurt my overall placement, but oh well, I couldn't stay for top 8 even if I made it (I was on track to).
Round 1: Went 2-0, played against a mill deck. I love mill decks. I love to play them, but I loving playing AGAINST them with my deck. The more this guy milled me, the more my pike swelled the creature it was equiped to. Needless to say, it was over rather quickly.
Round 2: Went 0-2. My deck pulled the classic Mana Flood on me, again. Game one, I had a total of 8 lands on turn 6 (one in hand, one was evolving wilds, so it took another out of the deck). I only started with three in the hand, which was a bit heavy, but the hand looked decent. Instead, I could do nothing but draw mostly lands. Four out of six card draws were lands, and this guy was playing a Geist of St. Traft Deck. I did not last long. Game two: Same story, but even worse. Started with one land after a mull, but with ponder I left it. Ponder showed three lands- I would have shuffled this, but I was hurting, so I kept. Well, those three turned into 4 straight, with one card reprieve and another two lands in a row after. By turn six, I had six lands, and had only drawn one non-land card. My opening hand was alright, but not enough to get through this. 0_0
Round 3: Went 2-1. I played a kid using a goblin deck. I liked it, but it started a bit suspect. He had his deck shuffled awfully fast, and drew his hand out before I could cut. I let it slide- shouldn't have. He had a Goblin War Driver, Two Goblin War Chieftans, Pillar of Flame and three lands (I probed him)- how convenient right? No surprise that by turn four, he was swinging for 12pts of damage while I was trying to get stabilized. In game two, I made sure to get a good cut on his deck, and I clobbered him pretty hard. Game three- it went on a little longer, but I still nailed it down, and got him on damage. Not to be a sore loser, but that first game was throwing up red flags for me.
Round 4: Went 2-0. Played a Monoblack infect with control. First game, I came in strong, while he stalled out a bit, and just as he began to get what he needed, I slammed through with a 14pt infect attack on turn 6. Game two, I sideboarded out my late game (Tutors and The Blight Dragon) and put in Mana Leaks, Tragic slips, and a Go/Throat. It helped a great deal, as he got some more control, and I used mine to hold him back. He used T. Crypt to exile my library- and that made me really sad. I took me longer to get him, but with the right combo of cards and an Inkmoth Nexus, I managed to slip in for the win on three swings. Not sure what turn that was, it took a little while.
Round 5: Dropped due to having to go to work. :(
So, I am not sure what place I was in or would have been in had I gone on, or what place I really was, since I gave away the win. Other than the godawful mana flood, the night went well. :)
Looking forward to next week, I have that Friday Night off, so no leaving early. This build seems to be working, let's see if I can keep it up.
With the build as listed above, I went 4-1, 2-0 in all wins (1-2 in my one loss) and made top 8. Of course, my luck being what it is, my deck decided to mana flood massively in both games of the first round of top 8, and I did not go any further.
For some reason, I cannot fully remember all the matches from that night (several days ago, and I am running on little sleep right now), but I do recall what my 1-2 loss was against.
I was playing against a U/W Delver, running lots of spirits and good old Geist of St Traft (man I hate that card). I lost the first round after having a bit of a stall. The second game I came back and stomped it in on turn four, with a straight up shot of 11 infect in one swing. Third round was a grueling close match, where either side was poised to take it. I had a stall after he mana leaked a ponder (I was digging for lands), which annoyed me- who counters a cantrip, right?
Later on, I was setting up the win. I had enough mana to equip a Runechanter's pike to an Inkmoth nexus and use it to swing, but I was trying to get it done, because I was dangerously low on life. I played a ponder, so I could get one more instant into the graveyard. I dug through and found a land, as well as a Gitexian Probe. I pulled the probe, so I could get one more instant into that graveyard, grab the land, and use the four lands to equip and swing. I paid for the probe off life, and then he missteped it. I could not believe it. A second counter of a cantrip.
Because he pulled that- I lost on the next turn. Frustrating! We were both laughing about it though- how often do you win a matchup by countering someone's cantrips- twice in a match no less. It was good that he did though, because I had it on that turn had he not pulled that off.
All in all, it was a great night. I cruised through the first three and the final match at 2-0, which posted me up into the best placement I had managed (previous top four occurrence I was in 8th place and then managed to move on). If others had not done as well that night, I would have been higher on the chain, but I came in through at 5th and the loss dropped me to 7th overall. Still can't complain though. :)
Sometimes, having to go to work just stinks. Don't get me wrong, glad i have one, just sometimes, it's really tempting to call in lol.
They got going 20 min late, so that did not help.
5 round Swiss, I was in 7th after four rounds. Only loss came to a major mana screw (twice!!!) against a fast paced token pooper. Otherwise, deck did really well, the new additions quite helpful. I added tutors for mid to late game assistance, to grab cards I need to win (pike, the blight dragon) and I added The Blight Dragon for muscle and a quick finish. Now, if I stall due to mana flooding, I am much more likely going to be able to stabilize. It made a difference in two of the three wins tonight (first round mirror match- fast infect, blue green, had to remove slow cards for kill cards and mana leaks).
Round 1: G/U infect. Pulled the V emisary & titanic growth combo on me in two of our damn games, glad I had a vapor snag inone of those. 2-1.
Round 2: Haunted humans white with black splash. Fast and hard to deal with when mana was stubborn. Game two the worst, no second land until turn four. Mulligan'd to no avail.
Round 3: Haunted humans again. This time deck was better, took it 2-0
Round 4: G/W Angels and humans aggro, utilizing soulbond and heavy mana ramp. Took it 2-0.
Round 5: Had to drop, grr. Was in 7th at time.
39 participants, 5rd Swiss
First round great, 2-0, all came together.Second round totally fizzled, inconsistent draws and a mana flood.0-2Third round mono black removal- terrible matchup, I never kept a single creature on the field long enough to get rid of summon sickness. Even the stalkers got tossed, due to Geth's verdicts. 0-2Fourth round- Great, 2-0Fifth round- Great, 2-0
I went 3-2 overall, 2-0 in all of my wins, but 0-2 in my losses. One I would certainly par up to a terrible matchup with a deck I never see (Mono Black removal does not hold up well in the heavy token meta) and hope not to see again. The other loss was a combo of some bad plays (I need to get better sleep) and some really bad luck, again.
I went to Top 4 out of 43 opponents (if I remember correctly), losing only once, and then funnily enough playing the only person who beat me in top 8 (he was #1, I was #8), where I had my revenge, taking his deck out instead.
Honestly, based on the skill level of the other person I faced in top four, I should have won. The problem I ran into was that in game 1, my deck totally flooded again (I had 7 lands to 12 total cards, go figure- through 20% of the deck and 50% of the lands- I'd say the ratio was just a tad off), while this guy just leveled the field with zombie creatures. Game two, it just stalled out, and I got a lot of support/counter (mutagenic growth, Tainted strikes, negates) and no creatures to apply it with. Also went a little land heavy. I lasted longer, but fell out in the end.
I am hoping this week to do even better. For one thing, I changed the sleeves over again, to see if that helps smooth this out some more. I really need to work on the sideboard some, so any suggestions for that would be greatly appreciated.
All around, stoked to have gotten some good success out of this, considering this is one incredibly cheap deck. :P
Two weeks ago went 3-2, this week 2-2 and dropped due to time constraints.
Issue two weeks ago was excessive mana at 20 lands, so I dropped to 18. This week, I still managed to have one match (Both games) where I just flooded like crazy- I had more lands than my opponent by turn 6 (My 6 to his 5) than his 25 land deck. Made it worse was I only started out with two, so four of my six card draws were lands. I had two creatures, both were eaten by removal. The other loss came after a creature screw (Just could not draw creatures!) followed by a total mana screw. Particularly game 2, if I had gone into Mana even a little faster, I would have had it. Game 1 if I had creatures I would have had it, based on all the support cards in my hand. >_>;;
I'm going to keep working on this one for a while, I enjoy playing it, and people seem to find it interesting, as no one runs an infect Delver. I need to continue looking into some other options, maybe more card draw. I would love to get Cavern of Souls for this, but they are up to $30ea and I just do not have it- cash or trades I am willing to give up. :(
HAHA REALLY like this deck. Stopped running infect because it started to get old but this may be enough to get me to try it again +1. Well done, sir!
June 24, 2012 5:28 p.m.
July 5, 2012 12:33 p.m.
@ Avanth: If I owned them, I might work them in, but I made this deck really cheap on purpose- I have not had as much extra money, so I decided to see what success I could have with a low cost deck. It took me a long while to be willing to spend the money on the Darkslick Shores , and even those I got for a really good price ($23 for 4) on Ebay. All in all, this deck rings in at less than $50, not including the sideboard. By adding two snapcasters, I double the cost. 0_0
@ Axton: Yes I do, and I totally went top four with it, and I totally had 4 mana floods that night as well, despite running only 14 lands. I seem to be prone to the most horrendous mana floods, and it baffles the people I play with, as I often draw lands at a 50/50 rate with lands to non-lands. This deck is set up to be EXTREMELY mana light- I can get started on one, two means I am in the game, and three is just making things easier. The only time I want four lands is if I am within a turn or two of winning, since four lands gives me a little more flexibility with instants.
Basically, at running 14-15 lands, I should see a land every 4 cards. If I start as player 1, I will in theory see 2 by turn two most games, and if I am player 2, I will see two lands by turn 1 the majority of the time (about 70%). With all the draw options I have, I typically see one of those every 5 cards, and these help me dig out lands sooner. When the land to non land rations go the way I want them, I have three lands by turn 3-4, and if I got to a turn 6, I might have four lands.
Most often, I do not get screwed, I get flooded. I start with two in my hand, and then 5 out of 7 of my next draws end up being lands some how, meaning I am at a 50/50 ratio, more than double what I should have. This is incredibly frustrating, and implausible really. But it happens.
Anyway, the statistics behind it state I should get the land counts I want most of the time, and that is the best we aim for. If I wasn't such a flooder, I'd probably drop negates and go to 16. >_>
July 5, 2012 8:36 p.m.
Ha! Zoso, I was just about to suggest that. I just put two Inkmoths into my Delver a la Drake deck, and it got me thinking about Infect a little.
I Deckcycled, and there on the first page was The Infectious Delver! I had to have a look. Nice deck! Sounds like the mono-black can give trouble; I found that yesterday with my Delver deck.
Can you tell me about the performance of Turn Aside ? I hadn't considered it, how often does it rock/fail?
July 8, 2012 7:48 a.m.
@ Zoso: I've thought about it, just haven't tried it, because I've been cheap. :P
I might give it a shot though.
@ Long_Con: Turn aside has done well for me. It is a one mana counter that takes care of problem cards, especially if I don't have card:Apostle's Blessing on hand. The way I decide between the two is usually dependent on the amount of open mana left. If someone drops a removal on the delver/agent and they are tapped out, then turn aside works great. If they are still holding cards in hand and they have open mana, I am going with the blessing just to kill the color all together.
Apostle is great for sneaking around flying blockers too. :)
July 8, 2012 9:37 p.m.
in all honesty, i think you should just drop the whole infect business all together. drop the black and instead use green for Rancor and other green buff spells. i see this winning just as well without infect and it can be used post rotation.
July 8, 2012 11:56 p.m.
Infect makes it fun; I enjoy the looks on people's faces as I they think I intend to swing for 8 damage on a Pike led creature, only to drop tainted strike and do it for 10. And it's funny how nervous people get when they see a blighted agent hit the field.
And aside from mistakes I've made in gameplay myself (a lot of overtime= poor thinking) and some wacky mana issues (mana flooding on a 14 land deck, wtf?), this deck does quite well.
Post rotation this deck is done anyway. I lose:
Setting this up to run on green mana and green pumps requires a complete and utter overhaul, changing this deck into something else entirely. And while Rancor is a good enchantment, I am not liking it for Delver deck- Delver wants less permanents and more buffs- just because rancor can bounce from a graveyard, does not mean it fits this.
Appreciate the feedback nonetheless.
July 9, 2012 1:47 a.m.
Agreed on the Rancor ... awesome spell, but not for Delver.
July 9, 2012 7:42 a.m.
July 9, 2012 10:54 p.m.
July 12, 2012 3:09 a.m.
Something that is a must...and cheap (might I add) replace the Negate s for Corrupted Resolve s, they do the same, and turn two, I bet you spend most o your mana anyway to get a poison couter strike on your opponent anyway, so by turn 3 (I have played this alot) you have the use of that mana finally to counter things and they are poisoned....yay counter anything! I sideboard negates to swap out though if they are really defended well
July 12, 2012 10:56 a.m.
if you had the money, is this what you would run? deck:poisonous-delver
+1 as I love infect, and honestly, never really agreed with running over 20 lands...people always say I need more, but I always draw into the perfect number of lands every game :P we should talk, u have great ideas and I have tons of money....co-made decks? XD
July 12, 2012 11:06 a.m.
Also, ever thought of running card:Runechanter's Pike in here? it is a dollar card, run maybe 2...only 2 mana to play and 2 to equip, kinda a later game card when you need a buff for attack...you get one card equiped with it, then use tainted strike, gives about a +5-6 buff late game....on your delver that is a 9 swing
July 12, 2012 11:11 a.m.
and sorry to comment so much, but Virulent Wound is a great card, a one drop instant, gets your opponent a poison counter...can be used for Corrupted Resolve if you have not yet gotten them poisoned and kills off small creatures or weakens big guys
July 12, 2012 11:14 a.m.
Wild defiance is an excellent card, and one that would probably sync beautifully into a Delver deck, but getting actual green mana into this deck would require some serious overhaul, as well as increasing CMC while decreasing the amounts of Instants and sorceries. That is not to say that the idea does not interest me, I will undoubtedly spend hours playing with it, especially because there is no FNM tomorrow (Draft only, I don't feel like drafting).
I just doubt I can make that work. Btw- I like the soulbond deck, I happen to be a fan of the Champion of Lambholt
I had four phyresis in here before, and I found that this actually performs better without them. Adding so more counter/protection stuff in place of the enchantments made it more likely my stuff would live, added more fodder for the Runechanter's pikes, and made little difference in the infect run.
I had Corrupted Resolve in here at one time, early in development, but found I rarely used it. Often, I don't have infect counters on my opponent, unless I get a blighted agent out early and him able to stick despite removal. Typically, my infect swings are one time- I don't swing for a few points here and a couple there, I am swinging turns 3-6 for 10-12 infect, all in one go, for an instant win.
Mainly, negate is to deal with Geth's verdicts, board wipes (hate that bonfire of the damned), and low mana problem planeswalkers (Liliana is a pain).
As for Runechanter's pike- the card is present and very much used. Runechanter's pike is what fuel's most of the early wins, assuming I can get one down on turn 2 or 3, I equip it asap, burn phyrexian mana spells, and then go for the killl.
I had virulent wounds, but the only time it ever helped is against mana dorks and occasional mirror matches (Delvers), where I had one in time to go after their delver before it evolved. Just found it didn't work for me.
I appreciate the feedback, as well as the compliment. I always try to come up with something different or unique- I'm a total Johnny, lol. Keep an eye on my profile, I periodically put up odd ideas I get and find some measure of success with. :)
July 13, 2012 3:18 a.m.
Just FYI, your current deck list has only 59 cards...
September 6, 2012 4:16 a.m.
That would be because there is supposed to be four probes in there. Thanks for the headsup, got it fixed. :)
September 7, 2012 12:36 p.m.
Congrats on your FNM victory! I really love the deck it's just nasty!
September 7, 2012 4:05 p.m.
if this is a mana light deck why 2 Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon and 3 Diabolic Tutor? seems like a waste of cards since most games you probably dont get to use them and even if you do get to that lategame will probably lose to a lot of decks
September 10, 2012 2:12 p.m.
sory for double postand if you would actually use diabolic tutor to get Skithiryx you still wont be able to cast it due to 1 more needed mana
September 10, 2012 2:14 p.m.
nice deck. maybe i'm missing something but wouldn't you be better off with 4x Drowned Catacomb over Darkslick Shores ? just seems like you don't have any use for black on turn 1 or 2 and after that the Darkslick Shores are much less useful.
September 10, 2012 2:36 p.m.
I can and have easily had enough mana to cast Skithiryx.
The deck itself is incredibly mana light, and Plan A could get me the win on 1 mana in theory, 2 has been done on multiple occasions, three being about the sweet range (although four does not hurt when I draw into a pike a bit late). However, I noticed that I was having a lot of trouble with the mid game, if the game were to drag on to that point (bad draws, control decks). I added the Blight Dragon and Tutors as my back up plan.
They are also added because I am a notorious mana flooder. I have the strangest ability to mana flood horrendously, even on this mana light deck. I seriously have many people at my hobby shop who are utterly confounded by my inability to draw into a reasonable ratio of lands- no matter what shuffling technique I employ. So, for those games I flood out (try 8 out of 11 cards lands at times 0_0), I keep the heavier options to help save my butt later.
Actually, the tutors especially have come in handy. I have won games by tutoring for a mutagenic growth- kid not. Tutor for it, and then play it off life, and now I have just swung for game, by giving my piked creature +4 to power (+2 growth, +2 spell cards in grave). I have also one it by getting a Tainted Strike in my hands, to use on a piked Stalker.
The Tutor really can help save you in the middle game scenarios.
I used what I had. Drowned probably would be better, but I am on a budget, so I am using what I got right now. I also had more earlier use black cards at one time, so there was some need for earlier black. Now, the sideboard is a bit black, so it evens out when I board in control for dealing with other fast aggros.
Thanks for the comments. :)
September 11, 2012 9:36 a.m.
right on. makes perfect sense. nice deck in any case.
September 11, 2012 6:44 p.m.
Love the deck, the idea, and the tempo, awesome
It's gonna suck when Return to Ravnica comes in and every cycles.
But i want to see what the next brew you make up is.
September 20, 2012 2:49 p.m.
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|Date added||3 years|
|Last updated||2 years|
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|Top rank||#2 on 2012-07-11|