Deck Tech: G/B Delirium Pro Tour AER

Pro Tour Aether Revolt has now been and gone. All eyes were on the Pros to see what they would make of this new standard format. Over four hundred players descended upon the city of Dublin in Ireland, to seek fortune, glory, and maybe the title of Pro Tour Champion.

It is fair to say that the break out deck, was the updated Mardu Vehicles, SIX versions of this deck made it to top 8, and lead Lucas Esper Berthoud to victory. There was also a strong showing from Black/Green Aggro, combining both Delirium and Energy builds into the mix. Most surprising of all, was the Saheeli Copy Cat’s lack of a top place showing, given the decks performance at last weekend’s SCG Open, in Richmond.

Given the dominance of these decks, you would be forgiven for thinking that there were no other alternatives for you to try out at your local FNM. But you would be wrong. Jun Ishihara managed to get the impressive achievement of eight wins in the standard portion of the event, with an interesting Sultai Delirium Control deck.

How did Jun Ishihara manage to do so well? The answer, we believe, was the dominance of the Mardu Vehicle decks. Fatal Push proved its worth over the weekend, being able the hit almost all the creatures in the Mardu deck, such as Toolcraft Exemplar and Scrapheap Scrounger, as well as the powerful Heart of Kiran. At the top end to the list, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar can quickly close out a game if left unchecked, but To the Slaughter can not only handle the Gideon, but the token he creates as well. Pick the Brain acts as jack of all trades, allowing Jun to hunt for any problematic pieces the opponent may have in hand, and when Delirium is on line, in their deck too.

We must also acknowledge the usefulness of Ishkanah, Grafwidow and Liliana, the Last Hope. Both cards can help control the board in their own special way, with Liliana effectively stopping and three power creatures from crewing the Heart of Kiran, and Ishkanah can throw down a wall of blockers with reach, allowing Jun to outlast the more aggressive Vehicle decks. Finally, we come to the win conditions of the deck, in the form of both Noxious Gearhulk and Torrential Gearhulk. Not only can these two artifacts help control the board, but provide big hitters, that can fight through most creatures in the format.

Creatures (8)
Tireless Tracker
Ishkanah, Grafwidow
Noxious Gearhulk
Torrential Gearhulk

Planeswalkers (2)
Liliana, the Last Hope

Spells (23)
Fatal Push
Traverse the Ulvenwald
Grapple with the Past
Grasp of Darkness
Pick the Brain 
To the Slaughter
Glimmer of Genius
Overwhelming Denial

Enchantments (3)
Vessel of Nascency
Lands (24)
Aether Hub
Blooming Marsh
Botanical Sanctum
Evolving Wilds 
Lumbering Falls
Sunken Hollow

Sideboard (15)
Fatal Push
Grim Flayer
Transgress the Mind
Appetite for the Unnatural
Pick the Brain
To the Slaughter
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet 
Overwhelming Denial
Yahenni’s Expertise
Ishkanah, Grafwidow


So why then did Jun miss out on the coveted top 8 finish? Well it’s important to note that the Pro Tour is a duel tournament, needing players to focus on not only their standard skills, but also their draft abilities. So, no matter how good your standard deck maybe, if you scrub out of your draft pod, you can’t make it to the top tables. So, will the deck make a mark on standard? If the rise of Aggro Vehicle decks come to pass, then I do believe control decks such as this, could be the answer.

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