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If dropping a 4/4 flyer with haste, lifelink, first strike and hexproof on turn 2 is of any interest to you, then a delve deck may be worth your consideration. The Tarkir block has reminded people that delve exists, and Gurmag Angler has seen play in several decks already.

But for my (minimal) money, Soulflayer is definitely the definitive demon for delicious deep-dish delving.

The goal of this deck (unsurprisingly) is to mill with Shriekhorn or Memory Sluice on the first turn, hoping to garbage-bin a Vault Skirge, Gurmag Swiftwing and/or Xathrid Slyblade. Then on turn 2 if you have four cards in the bin, launch a Soulflayer. A 4/4 hasty lifelink attack on turn 2 can, on occasion, end the game. With any luck on turn 3 you can attach a Mask of Memory to the big, build-your-own flying demon. (Note: turn 3 is also when you’ll find out if your opponent is holding removal or counters, because no one with even cursory knowledge of the game will let you attach a Mask to a 4/4 flyer on turn 3 if they can stop it.)

If you don’t have Demons-R-Us in your opening hand, then attaching the Mask to one your small flyers will help dig it up. Grave Strength supports delve and can also turn your small flyers into more respectable offensive forces. Gurmag Angler is your nose tackle on offense and middle-linebacker on defense.

Card advantage is created by Mask, Sign in Blood and a single Bitter Revelation. The latter is perfect for this deck, fueling delve as well as card advantage, but at 4-cmc it is sadly one-too-many-mana to be playable. As a one-of it’s okay. But how awesome that card would have been at 3-cmc!

Here’s what we have:

Mono Black Delve (Modern)

Land (22)
Bojuka Bog
Ghost Quarter
Evolving Wilds
16 Swamp

Creatures (18)
Vault Skirge
Gurmag Swiftwing
Xathrid Slyblade
Soulflayer
Gurmag Angler

Spells (20)
Despise
Duress
Disfigure
Memory Sluice
Shriekhorn
Doom Blade
Smother
Grave Strength
Sign in Blood
Mask of Memory
Bitter Revelation
Sideboard (15)
Despise
Duress
Doom Blade
Geth’s Verdict
Smallpox
Necromancer’s Assistant
Infest
Nihil Spellbomb
Desecration Demon

Smallpox is in the sideboard because it’s an awesome card. But it’s not great for every match-up and I have to admit I’m not sure what decks to bring it in against. Infect, Auras, and Elves come to mind.

The sideboard has Desecration Demon as a back-up for game 3 if your opponent has boarded in loads of graveyard hate. Demigod of Revenge would be even better. Against any deck that doesn’t have direct removal, take out Xathrid Slyblade for Necromancer’s Assistant, which better supports delve. Sprinkle in removal as needed.

Let’s take a look at some gameplay videos of this fun deck. Next week will be a round-up article, as episode 10 will bring Cheap as Chips to a close!

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