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:

  1. 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.
  2. An ABSURDLY high ratio of Sorcery/Instant to non S/I cards, utilizing the synergy between Delver of Secrets  Flip and Runechanter's Pike.
  3. A ton of draw to hasten the process of needed card gathering and Sorcery/Instant dumps into the graveyard.
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Comments, questions?


#6 in tournament @ Wizards — Sept. 14, 2012

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.

#32 in tournament @ Wizards — Sept. 7, 2012
#13 in tournament @ Borderlands Games — July 6, 2012
#4 in tournament @ Borderlands Games — June 29, 2012


spectre501st says... #1

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.

spectre501st says... #2

Hey check out my version Innistrad Corrupted

June 24, 2012 6:55 p.m.

Avanth says... #3

nice deck, but I would add a couple of Snapcaster Mage to cast spells again, especially Tainted Strike . see ya ;)

July 5, 2012 12:33 p.m.

Axton says... #4

Do you really only run 14 land?

July 5, 2012 12:50 p.m.

Twosocks42 says... #5

@ 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.

zoso414 says... #6

This deck can benifit off of one Inkmoth Nexus

July 7, 2012 5:11 a.m.

Long_Con says... #7

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.

Twosocks42 says... #8

@ 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.

sharkhunter66 says... #9

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.

Twosocks42 says... #10

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:

Turn Aside

card:Apostle's Blessing


Gitaxian Probe

Surgical Extraction

Mana Leak

Mental Misstep

in addition to losing the infect capabilities (Tainted Strike , Blighted Agent ) as well as Mutagenic Growth .

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.

Long_Con says... #11

Agreed on the Rancor ... awesome spell, but not for Delver.

July 9, 2012 7:42 a.m.

pumpkinsword says... #12

You should consider Wild Defiance . Pumps up your creatures even faster and is another win con. Get's around burn, abilities, and with only 2 Mutagenic Growth you can give it +10/+10.

July 9, 2012 10:54 p.m.

thundernick says... #13

i second Wild Defiance i have a wild defiance deck myself that does quite well :) check it out, it's called Defiant Soulmates

July 12, 2012 3:09 a.m.

MR H3AT says... #14

4x Phyresis ?

July 12, 2012 3:34 a.m.

Inces_Velus says... #15

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.

Inces_Velus says... #16

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 decks? XD

July 12, 2012 11:06 a.m.

Inces_Velus says... #17

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 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.

Inces_Velus says... #18

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.

Twosocks42 says... #19

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.

Lama says... #20


August 19, 2012 7:37 a.m.

TrainedPanic says... #21

Just FYI, your current deck list has only 59 cards...

September 6, 2012 4:16 a.m.

Twosocks42 says... #22

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.

CrimsonKing says... #23

Congrats on your FNM victory! I really love the deck it's just nasty!

September 7, 2012 4:05 p.m.

whitecow says... #24

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.

whitecow says... #25

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.

casey says... #26

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.

Twosocks42 says... #27

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.

Now- lands:

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.

casey says... #28

right on. makes perfect sense. nice deck in any case.

September 11, 2012 6:44 p.m.

engrish says... #29

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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