Preparing for GP Chiba with UR Delver


Hello everyone!
I would like to give you a bit of insight of the preparation for GP Chiba (Legacy).

Deciding to go to GP Chiba

I always liked going to Japan, I went few times for work and once for GP Shizouka 2015 + vacation. In GP Shizuoka I had a good time, even though I didn’t do great.
After the GP Shizuoka experience, I always wanted to go back to Japan for a GP. I’ve been discussing with few friends and finally decided to go after my good friend Edward Nguyen told me he was planning to go there.
Ed notified me when the registration was available; the GP sold out of his 2500 spots in less than 24 hours. Luckily I registered on time!

Choosing and tuning a deck

The choice

Historically I play UR delver, I like the combination of blue counter spells and card selection with red burn spells. I believe that Price of Progress is an unfair card in legacy, abusing that card is great. I also prefer aggressive decks.

For this GP I had a lot of time to prepare for, I wanted to challenge myself and play Death and Taxes. I picked up the 3 Karakas that I was missing to complete the deck and played a bit at my local store.
With Conspiracy: Take the Crown coming out, 2 great additions to D&T got printed: Sanctum Prelate and Recruiter of the Guard. I read articles at the Thraben University by Phil Gallagher and decided to test out the following list and variation off the list:


I have played a decent amount with Death & Taxes, but still I was no confident enough to play the deck on a major tournament. I will practice more with Death & Taxes during local tournaments.
I also saw an updated list of UR delver popping up on Magic Online leagues piloted by Olle Råde.
After the first few games on Magic Online with the list I was really impressed with Stormchaser Mage and especially with Bedlam Reveler. Those 2 cards were able to solve problematic match ups that I was struggling to face before.

The tuning

After some testing, tuning and discussions with Ben Friedman and updated lists from Olle Råde I decided to make the following changes:
Mainboard i saw Olle cutting a Stormchaser Mage for a Fireblast. After testing this change I liked it a lot. Several times having too many Stormchaser Mages in hand was a problem, whether having a Fireblast to close out games quickly was beneficial. If I had a Fireblast in hand by Turn 3, it meant I would kill my opponent that turn. Running Fireblast made the manabase change a little, removing 1 blue Fetchland for 1 red Fetchland.

In the sideboard, after discussing a lot with Ben Friedman, we wanted to cover the more problematic matchups better and be more flexible in the sideboarding process.

Here is the updated list:

Sideboarding with UR Delver

Once I decided the deck, I did my research of what the top 20ish popular decks are and created sideboarding guide (guidelines) for the deck.
Just a quick note, sideboarding isn’t an exact science. I’ve been finding myself sideboarding slightly different based on what the opponent deck configuration.
The most expected decks for GP Chiba is the following: Miracles (really popular in Japan), Eldrazi, Death & Taxes (thanks to the new cards) and combo decks. I’ll explain a bit how I would sideboard against those decks. If you want to know more details, please let me know and I will respond to your comments.

In: 2 Pyroblast, 1 Sulfuric Vortex, 1 Pithing Needle
Out: 2 Price of Progress, 2 Daze on the Draw, 2 Force of Will on the Play

Mentor Miracles
In: 2 Pyroblast, 1 Sulfuric Vorex, 1 Pithing Needle, 1 Electrickery, 1 Izzet Staticaster
Out: 2 Price of Progress, 1 Gitaxian Probe , 3 Daze on the Draw, 3 Force of Will on the Play

In: 3 Smash to Smithereens, 1 Price of Progress, 1 Dismember
Out: 2 Chain Lightning, 3 Daze on the Draw, 3 Force of Will on the Play. Counterspells are important only for Chalice of the Void in this matchup.

Death & Taxes
In: 3 Smash to Smithereens, 1 Electrickery, 1 Izzet Staticaster, 1 Pithing Needle
Out: 2 Price of Progress, 5 cards between Daze and Force of Will

“Generic” combo SB
In: 2 Flusterstorm, 2 Pyroblast (if blue deck), 2 Surgical Extraction, 1 Pithing Needle (if it can stop the combo)
Out: 2 Price of Progress, X Chain Lightning, 1 or 2 Bedlam Reveler. Even though those cards are good, I don’t think they are right in the combo matchups.

Thank you for reading. I am off to GP Chiba. I will be back with an article about the trip and the GP Report.

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Andrea Biaggi

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