Return of Ninja Bear Delver

Modern has been my favorite format by far for a while now. I love a deep card pool and I love the constant twists of printings, bannings, and unbannings. It’s shown to be a very unstable format and that’s the perfect place to live as a brew addict.

On the other hand, the instability can be a problem for players investing in the format. I know there are players who could only afford one deck, chose Birthing Pod, and got their heart wrenched out. What to do?

If you are looking for a safe investment in a top-tier deck, I recommend choosing Legacy. Wizards has shown they have no problem nerfing top-tier decks in Modern time and time again.

So if you choose to buy into Modern I would advise that you don’t copy the best deck. Choose something a little more rogue—your own brew, a Woo Brew, or whatever you want. It’s a safer investment and could give you a competitive edge in the long run as well.

New Modern Format

With Pod and the delve draw spells banned, all the doors open, and I couldn’t be happier. While Cruise and Dig were a lot of fun to play with they limited a lot of options as to what could compete.

For instance, with Treasure Cruise, Blue/Red Delver overnight became the cheapest deck, the best deck, and the most popular deck. Any deck with a poor Blue/Red Delver matchup became a poor competitive option.

One of these decks was Ninja Bear Delver. Lightning Bolt, Young Pyromancer, and Treasure Cruise were trumps in the matchup, but with the bannings, Ninja Bear Delver is back!

Ninja Bear Delver

Since the printing of Treasure Cruise I have been waiting for it to get banned specifically to play with Ninja Bear Delver again. Finally that time is here, and as soon as the bannings take effect online I will be adjusting my list against the new metagame.

Ninja Bear Delver

There’s a certain purity of feel in an 18-Island aggro deck. And Ninja Bear Delver has the perfect playstyle to go along with it.

Ninja Bear Delver is both a tempo deck and a draw-all-the-cards deck. Ideally we slide under, stick a Ninja, and start snowballing. At every point we can get ahead of them on time—remove a creature for 1 mana with Vapor Snag or counter their 4-drop for no mana.

Eventually the game reaches a Cryptic Command/SnapcasterCryptic Command point which is insanely fun, and also a position that is very hard to lose from.

When we play with 18 Islands, we also get to take advantage of 4 Vedalken Shackles, which is one of the most overpowered blue cards of all time. This repeatable Control Magic becomes unbeatable for a lot of decks that aren’t ready with artifact removal.

Ninja Bear Delver has been personally one of my favorite decks to play with, and it’s even LSV-endorsed!

Stay tuned for more videos coming next month.

Open Doors in Modern

Ninja Bear Delver is the first deck I’m looking to revisit in the new metagame but not the only one. Living End is a prime option as well as the Negative Life Combo deck. Now is a great time to be brewing in Modern.

I’m interested in what you think. What archetype gains the most from the bannings? What previously forgotten deck can now come back to life? What has you excited about the format moving forward?


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