I Have Seen The Light And It Is Silver!!!

Hey guys!  I am back again with my weekly magical article.  Last week was my first article for ARG and I was excited to have it posted.  It was exhilarating.  This week I promise my article to be a little bit more grammatically correct and easier to understand.  I just want to say thanks to everyone that tuned in last week and checked out the article.  Also thank you for all of the healthy criticism on it as well.  It is only going to help me with my writing and make it a more enjoyable read for you.

Last week I gave you guys a war report on how I did in the Windy City, at the TCG Player 1k event, along with what deck I took.  This week I want to talk about an amazing discovery I stumbled upon while testing with my buddy Jeff Hoogland.  We actually stumbled upon a couple of things.  However, I want to keep the other amazing discovery for next week’s article.  This is mainly because of the Star City Open, in St. Louis, coming up.  I want my readers to have exclusive knowledge before anyone else.  This article will revolve all around the amazing creature that is Silverblade Paladin. I came upon this awesome creature after not doing so well with NayaPod.

I decided I needed to go back to blue and cast draw spells, like ponder and/or Gitaxian Probe.  As much as I hate to admit it, the Delver of Secrets archetype deck is the best deck in the format.  However, when I play the deck, I don't know about anyone else, but I hate it when I cast a Geist of St. Traft only to have it dead the next turn because my opponent played their own Geist of St. Traft.  I also hate it when I have to turn around and cast mine just to kill theirs.  It feels like I just experienced a loss of a turn and that's not what you want to do.  Nevertheless, you cannot just sit and wait with it in your hand to play it after theirs somehow dies.  Sure it's a powerful card, for very little converted mana cost; including hex proof and a 4/4 flying angel when it attacks, though it does have its’ draw backs.   For example it cannot protect itself when going into combat.  You always have to have some way to defend it or protect it so you can attack again and get that 4/4 flying angel token.   Most ways people like to defend their Geist is with a Restoration Angel or by a piece of equipment.  Then again maybe you are crazy, like me, and pay two life to use Mutagenic Growth (which is an amazing card btw, giving your creature +2/+2 until end of turn).  Either way you look at it you are losing card advantage just to protect something that cannot protect itself.  When you use those cards to save it the one turn are you going to have those same cards again the next turn?   Most of the time the answer is no; then what you’re stuck with is a small legendary 2/2 that does not want to attack because he is afraid to die.  Some people are cutting them from their decks because of this reason and are finding better ways to use their Restoration Angel.  This includes replacing Geists with Blade Splicers.  When this creature comes into play it produces a 3/3 golem token that has first strike; combine that with Restoration Angel and you have got a pretty neat trick on the back burner.  What this allows you to do is use Restoration Angel’s ability and blink (which is to remove a creature from the game and return it to play immediately).  When you use the blink ability with the Blade Splicer you get another 3/3 golem token!!   The reason why some people think that Blade Splicer is better than Geist of St. Traft is because the golem is bigger (by that I mean it's a 3/3) and has first strike.  First strike is an ability that allows the creature to deal damage first when in combat with another creature.  The Geist does not have first strike so the Blade splicer golem wins the war, between the two, in combat.  The one major downfall of Blade Splicer is that neither the golem, nor the Splicer have hex proof; making it vulnerable to spot removal.   That is why you run Restoration Angels so you can blink it before it dies or gets bounced back to your hand.

I went beyond that and found a card I believe has just as much value as the Blade Splicer and even more than the Geist, (Value meaning the most bang for the mana cost).  The card is Silverblade Paladin.  I believe this creature has a ton of potential in the Delver archetype.  It can protect itself as well as something else.  Let’s run a scenario using the mirror match.  For example, you play a Silverblade Paladin for your turn and then pass the turn to your opponent.  Your opponent attempts to attack with their Restoration Angel for their turn.  You also have a Restoration Angel, in your hand.  You cast the Restoration Angel during their turn and pair it with the Silverblade Paladin to use as a blocker.  Now instead of just blocking and bouncing off of each other, your angel kills their angel (bouncing, meaning not killing each other). You now have the advantage and are able to attack next turn for ten! Meanwhile, if your creatures were to be blocked, they’ll have the upper hand in battle.

Silverblade Paladin also makes your Snapcaster Mage not a useless 2/1 creature after you use its’ primary ability (which is to give an instant or sorcery card in your graveyard flashback).  It feels good when you are attacking with a Silverblade Paladin and a Snapcaster Mage for a total of eight damage, thanks to double strike (double strike is an ability that gives your creature(s) the ability to deal first strike damage plus normal damage, which is bonkers because you literally attack twice).  Imagine having any sword on one of those creatures and having the effects go off twice!!  Well without further ado, here is the list that I believe is the new Delver archetype; at least the breaking of the archetype:

Main Deck:

4x Delver of Secrets

4x Snapcaster Mage

4x Silverblade Paladin

4x Restoration Angel

1x Dismember

2x Mutagenic Growth

2x Gut Shot

4x Gitaxian Probe

4x Ponder

4x Vapor Snag

4x Mana Leak

2x Sword of War and Peace


2x Moorland Haunt

4x Seachrome Coast

4x Glacial Fortress

4x Cavern of Souls

7x Island


2x Mental Misstep

2x Divine Offering

2x Celestial Purge

3x Phantasmal Image

2x Grand Abolisher

2x Timely Reinforcements

2x Gideon Jura

There is the list; pretty solid, I believe.  The synergy it has with each and every card in the deck is just amazing.  Going from only having a 2/2 Paladin in play, to activating a Moorland Haunt, if need be, to put pressure on an opponent, while giving the token double strike.  It is insane!  I am using four Cavern of Souls because I am pretty human heavy in the list.  The list requires a little more white than usual and the Caverns help balance that out, while still making everything I cast un-counterable.  Other than Silverblade Paladin the list is pretty stock, with the other exception of Mutagenic Growth.   I just think that card is absurd with Silverblade.  Look at it this way, instead of paying two life and giving something +2/+2 why not pay two life and give something +4/+4, completely absurd!  I am also going with two swords in the list instead of Pike.  Although, Pike would be just as insane, I like the fact that I get two triggers off of the sword.  Allowing me,  if I am down on health, to climb right back up.

To delve into the sideboard a bit, I think you guys might be surprised by some of my choices; one of them being Grand Abolisher.   I really think that card is just ridiculous right now with every Delver deck wanting to play spells on your turn.  Well, with that card we put a stop to that rickety tick, and it goes along with the other humans in my deck, allowing my Caverns to get even more value.   I also chose Mental Misstep.  I am not normally a fan of this card but with a lot of decks playing one drops, such as mana dorks or draw spells like Ponder to get ahead, I feel like it’s a great choice.  Mana dorks are creatures that are cheap and produce mana, like the commonly known Birds of Paradise.  Another card, that is kind of out of the loop a bit and that many might find odd, is good 'ol Gideon Jura.  When that guy comes into play you immediately know his presence.  I have always had a spot in my heart for this guy since Caw-Blade (a deck that dominated the format for some time).  He is incredibly good, but hasn't gotten the recognition as of late, but I hope to change that.  When you play this guy he saves your life for at least a turn, or he wins you the game; especially in a tempo deck.

I am itching to test this deck out later this Friday at my local shop.  So far this deck has been smashing the competition it comes in contact with.  I am incredibly excited about this list, mainly because I do not have to worry about fighting to keep my Geist alive due to the legend rule or a mana dork with Rancor on it (legend rule is a rule that states when there are two identical legends in play, each player must sacrifice their copies).  The deck also is not susceptible to Vapor Snag unlike Blade Splicer.  I can just recast Paladin and pair it with something better.  Whereas, with the Splicer they can just bounce the token and then you’re left dead in the water.  At least with the Paladin I always get value out of it.   Leaving my opponent  no choice but to deal with it.  By deal with it, I mean kill it or it will just win me the game.

All in all, I think this deck is a great build for anyone sick and tired of the mirror match and anyone who likes to win in a competitive nature.  If you take a look at the deck, you’ll see you would be playing the best deck but with better cards and card advantage.  I hope you guys found this article helpful for your next deck choice (if you were having a hard time deciding that is).  I also hope that you have enjoyed reading the article.  Now I am going to go test some more on the other amazing card, that I cannot wait to tell you guys about next week, so tune in for that.  Thanks again guys for reading and tuning in.  I appreciate it!  I hope you guys had a great 4th of July with spectacular fireworks.  See you next week!


Jeff Rasmussen

Jeff Rasmussen
Name's Jeff been playing magic for at least a good 10 years now and was competative at one point and then when future sight came around i took a break. Came back in when scars of mirrodin dropped and have been playing competatively ever since. Lately i have been making a splash on the scene and got 3 top 8s back to back to back at star city opens. I look to play better and win more. I am a Constructed Standard, Modern and Legacy competitive grinder.
Jeff Rasmussen

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