Maybeboard


Yeah, I know this looks weird, but hear me out.

According to Hoyle, Derevi plays all the usual prison staples with particular focus on tax effects. These pieces are very powerful when assembled early, but their performance drops rapidly as the game goes on. This is because most players use their mulligan to posture the most explosive opening as possible. Playing all your fast mana through a T1 Sphere of Resistance is much harder than navigating a Sphere after you've got all that mana on the table. Moral of the story is that taxes are really good early, less good later.

Beyond that, all those tax effects disrupt your own spells. This incentivizes avoiding interactions via instant spells to instead focus on slamming as many stax pieces as you can as early as possible. Thus, typical Derevi builds are all in on speed of stax assembly. If you get there fast, great, you're probably going to win. If you don't, well, you're probably not.

Wizardball is a somewhat novel approach at Derevi, aimed at addressing the shortcomings of existing approaches by leveraging tap effects as the main method of interaction.

  • Derevi is well known for excelling at exploiting tap/untap effects. The more creatures you have, the more flexibility and power you've got access to. Creatures serve both as targets of untapping and as outlets for generating untaps so they naturally form the foundation of the list.
  • Wizard tribal winds up lending itself to this model surprisingly well. Azami, Lady of Scrolls turns all your wizards into draw sources, no haste required. Patron Wizard and Voidmage Prodigy turn all your wizards into counterspells, also no haste required.
  • Having your draw and counter suite present on the table means that you have ongoing deterrents available that double as card advantage if unused.
  • The envolope is pushed further with Seedborn Muse and Quest for Renewal for control and Intruder Alarm and Paradox Engine as a combo engine.
  • Aside from all of your wizards potentially being draw sources and counterspells, they also tend to have interesting powers printed on them like: Aven Mindcensor, Jace's Archivist, Magus of the Unseen, Magus of the Candelabra, Sylvan Safekeeper and more.
  • Laboratory Maniac wins off any of the myriad ways to draw your deck.
  • Stonybrook Schoolmaster is bonkers with Patron Wizard or Azami, Lady of Scrolls and wins outright if you have Intruder Alarm or Earthcraft.
  • Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is superb during combat. Swing with your team and divide the untaps between draw effects and mana (like Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx) then cast everything you draw at instant speed and with assurance that your opponents can't cast spells to interact.
  • Sakashima the Impostor is loaded. Copy Derevi to double up on triggers. Copy Sanctum Prelate or Meddling Mage or Phyrexian Revoker if you're having trouble naming just one thing. The self bounce is very relevant to change as the need arises. Hate having your Yisan, the Wander Bard all stacked? Copy him with Sakashima and run another line.
  • Speaking of Yisan, the Wanderer Bard, as usual he does lots of work. My favorite line is Sylvan Safekeeper, Gaddock Teeg, Sanctum Prelate [cmc 2], Sakashima, the Imposter as Sanctum Prelate [cmc 3], Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir. Obviously there's great flexibility to deal with many situations.
  • Wild Growth and Utopia Sprawl serve a similar role to dorks in that having one in your opening hand generally implies a T2 Derevi. They don't die to wraths and will only rarely be the target of removal, so they tend to stick. They also wind up playing very well into the whole exploiting untaps plan, i.e., they wind up being good for the same reasons Bloom Tender, Gaea's Cradle, and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx are good.
  • Candelabra of Tawnos and Magus of the Candelabra play a pivotal role in mana fixing. Yes, the ability to reuse Cradle, Nykthos, etc is great, but more importantly, you get the ability to translate between green and blue mana. Given the density of U symbols in the list, having a means to convert all the G into U is crucial.
  • Earthcraft fills a similar role to the Candelabras. Yes it has a pretty Stonybrook Schoolmaster interaction, but turning all your creatures into mana dorks that can generate G or U has a phenomenal impact on consistency. The conspicuous number of basic lands in the list serves to afford better synergy along this line.

More to come as refinements materialize.

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