Poding into Delver

Hey readers as you may have realized I am new to AlteReality games crew. I am heading up the magic team and going to get it kicked started. A little information about me before I jump into the real article. The name's Jeff Rasmussen, I just started writing for AlteReality games and am excited to be a part of the crew. I am a Magic: The Gathering writer and player, which may be a shocker to some since AlteReality is known for having some of the most amazing Yugioh players around and have been focusing on them, which is understandable, but the guys at AlteReality thought they would expand and see if they can be just as dominant as they are with their Yugioh squad. Which is awesome because they chose me to be one of the first of hopefully many Magic: The Gathering writers for them. I appreciate and thank the guys at AlteReality for giving me the chance to be a part of AlteReality Games.

So to give a little history on me and what my accomplishments are as of thus far. First the name, my name is Jeff Rasmussen, I have been playing Magic: The Gathering for almost 10 years now, I am a standard, modern, and legacy player and I have always been a competative player just not as good as some. When future sight came about I decided to take a break from Magic on a few different reasons. One being who makes sideways cards? and for that matter Planeswalkers lets add another elemental to a game thats already awesome and understandable and now confusing and looking weird. The other would be I just needed a break (secretly I found that World of Warcraft existed). After my tour in the world and other gaming adventures I found myself bored with the mumbo jumbo of online gaming, not that online gaming is bad or anything trust me stick a controller in front of me and its game on, but I felt like I needed to pick up where I left off with something I had loved and still loved dearly. The love for the card game Magic, I started playing again when Scars of Mirrodin dropped, and let me tell it was not a pretty sight with being back in the pilot seat of a deck that I just concocted, but the feeling was great maybe even greater than before. From there I became completely engulfed in the competative nature of Magic: The Gathering. I started slow, but then boomed forward and it only took me about a year from when I started to start doing well top sixteen in most of events at starcity and some pro tour qualifiers. I just recently went back to back to back top 8 at starcity games open series which landed me 3 invitational invites, which I plan on going to all, one of them I was already at. The one I attended was in the grand gaming city of Indianapolis, IN. I didn't do so hot there day 1 or day 2. I unfortunately did not top 8 or top into money at all and went to play the legacy open that Sunday where I got 38th playing RUG Delver. I had fun the entire weekend and plan on having even more fun when i go to the next 2. So now that you guys know a little more about me and what I have done lets get to the real point on why I am here and that's to write about Magic, whether it be deck tech of the week ,or whether it be about banning, or even randomness about the game that I find amazing and interesting. I hope you guys will enjoy and comment i will be there with ya guys talking with you and commenting with you. I am looking forward to writing some awesome articles for you guys.

Well with all that said, I think its time to dive right into some deck tech and what I chose to use and why at my last tournament which was the TCG Player 1K Platinum event at Pastimes in Niles, Illinois.  I went into this going a little out of my element (which is not playing blue), reason being is honestly I am tired of the big blue flying aberration known as delver of secrets. I have played delver in the last 6 months and not to say I did not do well with it which I did, does not mean I don't hate the little bugger still, but as of late it has not been performing as well as the months before. Another reason is that like most of you, I am bored of it, and the mirror is terrible I think, basically its who can draw more threats from their deck and the more vapor snags which I just don't want to do right now. As of right now hands down it is the best deck in the format with the proof of it constantly being on top in any and all major events. So I thought I would try and dethrone the queen bee and take a home brew naya pod list, which in testing has proven  to dethrone the best deck, but my record proves other wise coming out of the tournament. Here's the list I took

Main Deck:

2x Birthing Pod

2x Phyrexian Metamorph

4x Birds of Paradise

4x Avacyn's Pilgrim

3x Strangleroot Geist

1x Borderland Ranger

4x Blade Splicer

4x Huntmaster of the Fells

4x Restoration Angel

1x Acidic Slime

1x Zealous Conscripts

1x Wolfir Silver Heart

4x Bonfire of the Damned

2x Green Sun's Zenith

6x Forest

1x Plains

1x Mountain

4x Copperline Gorge

3x Razorverge Thicket

4x Rootbound Crag

2x Sunpetal Grove

2x Gavony Township


2x Arc Trail

2x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

2x Crushing Vines

2x Oblivion Ring

1x Fiend Hunter

1x Virridian Corrupter

1x Phyrexian Metamorph

1x Stingerfling Spider

2x Zealous Conscripts

1x Sun Titan

I went into this tournament with high hopes, thinking it was going to be an easy day playing all delvers, since every Magic player that wants to win a tournament badly flocks to delver. The day started out on a high, so I though when I sat across from my first opponent and playing creatures into his lands and draw spells at first, as Isaw his land drops, what is this guy playing and though this would be an easy clean up. As the match went I saw he was playing grixis and seen myself starring down the barrel of 4 board sweepers which is really bad for this kinda deck. He ended up getting game 1 after slamming a grave titan with my board clear. Going into game 2 I felt confident even though I knew my opponent was bringing in more board sweepers if he had them in his side, because I was bringing in Mr. Sunshine, Oblivion Rings, Thalia, and Conscripts, so I felt pretty good. Started a hand at 6 after a mull and proceeded to play creatures around his board sweepers which I saw plenty of in game 2 as well. He ended up being able to control my board and slam a titan which put me far behind, I tried to mirror it with a Metamorph but than he Phantasmal Imaged and got even further ahead and put me out of the game ending the round X-1. Found out after the round my opponent was running 12 board sweepers in his grixis list, talk about genocide to one side.

Going into round 2 I felt pretty bleak about the deck and its abilities against its control match up with board sweepers witch i had tested and knew the ramifications of , from testing Thursday night with my buddy and his solar flare list. Round 2 postings went up and found out that I had to play my better half  and the day got bleaker if I won I would go to the dog house for sure and if I lost well then I go X-2 and get to sleep in my bed. I got to the table and she's like, "are you kidding me"? I was like nope its happening, as we laughed, so shes like,  "I am hungry," and I agreed and she scooped me to the next round since I payed for her entry. After we turned in the slip she turned to me and said, "guess whose buying me lunch today"? I did not need to guess as I am sure you guys know where that was going.

Round 3 Started and I found out by a player shuffling poorly, which this should be a less shuffle to your side and avoid riffle shuffling towards your opponent, was playing delver. I jumper for joy inside! We went into game 1 with him on the play ( Just a note I did not win a single die roll all day!!!) and just out creatured him, because a delver deck can barely handle a turn 2 blade splicer and the creature potential of the deck out weighs their ability to vapor snag them all back to my hand so I thought. I won game 1 and went into game 2 with the same issue for the delver player, where he could not keep up with my bonfires and creatures. I got that round as I thought I would and was proving myself I could go the next 4 rounds with an X-1 and finish top 8.

Round 4 started and eager to play another delver list, which amazingly after my opponent won the die roll proved to me he was playing delver. I again jumped up and down inside. Game 1 went poorly though for me, my opponent saw all 4 vapor snags and all four snap casters with a couple restoration angels which my draws following those plays could not handle. Game 2 went a little bit differently had to mull to 6 on the play and ended up doing what the deck is suppose to do. Game 3 with my opponent on the play went as poorly as the first game as he saw 3 of his vapor snags and 2 of his snapcaster mages with some restoration angels thrown in the mix the gaming winning card for my opponent when I was at 1 life is a play like so, tap island, ponder, all on top, draw, vapor snag for the win. Bah I do not know how I lost, but that's magic for ya sometimes you run hot and sometimes not, but it does help when your playing blue and have the cantrips at your fingertips.

After that round I was dead with an X-2 Record and stayed in to play for fun. All in all I think the deck is very good and very strong especially with the help of the restoration angels in the main to be able to blink all the neat abilities of your creature tool box has to offer, imagine blinking a zealous again to take an elesh norn again, those are fun plays. The deck has its weak spots as most decks do unless your the invincible blue bug deck, then you just vapor snag your way to freedom, but I think it can do very well in a major tournament setting, RUG Pod is another one that I think can do well in this format as of right now, but for now I think I might have to go back to my old ways and play the blue insect. Blue is really consistent with ponder and another card I have been itching to play,  forbidden alchemy, I think that card with ponder lets you see sooo much of your deck it may be just too powerful, thus why I might be exploiting the two in an upcoming deck I threw together. Which I will post in here shortly if it keeps doing as well as it has been.

I also have deck set up for my better half that may just do too well at some of the upcoming events and I might have to just spoil it in here for you guys to check it out. The deck is pretty insane, it does have the draw back of either I can drag it out and win or not, but surprisingly it does the drag out and win more often than not. We shall see how it does and go from there, but as of right now guys I think dinner is almost done and my better half wants to test some more with me and as do I with my concoction, so until next time thanks guys for reading and checking out the article I hope you guys stay tuned in for more.


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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