Cruise Control

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Having only played a couple of paper events with the card in question, but after a few dozen games against other Delver decks on Cockatrice, here’s the blunt conclusion: Race to the finish of casting and resolving the first Treasure Cruise, and then it’s highly likely that you win the game. It’s that simple, and the card is that good.

Delver mirrors were always swingy affairs and quite unpredictable. Sometimes, all the effective removals in both decks kept Delver of Secrets and friends off the board, and the game turned into a stall-fest. Sometimes someone draws a hand full of Stifles and Wastelands and the opponent just can’t cast any spells. Sometimes, someone draws two Delver of Secrets who flips early enough to close out the game while the opponent is desperately digging for removal. However, getting to six or seven cards in the graveyard and then resolving Treasure Cruise is another dimension to the Delver mirror, and one that should never be underestimated.

This means that several cards have now effectively increased in value, which is what I wanted to talk about today.

pyroblast.hqPyroblast and Red Elemental Blast is even more important in red Delver sideboards these days. Not only does it hard-counter opposing Treasure Cruises, it also destroys Delver of Secrets, as usual. Pyroblast remains the most useful of the two, since it’s strange wording means you could in a pinch target a land in order to get that last card for a fully-powered Treasure Cruise. It’s a very narrow situation, it’s probably almost always better to cast Treasure Cruise for 1U or 2U instead of wasting a red blast, but you never know. It is more versatile than Red Elemental Blast in any case. They’re both huge selling points for UWR and UR Delver decks.

dimircharm.hqDimir Charm is steadily gaining in value in my books. I used it in paper for the first time just last weekend. There was a time when I tried to play a BUG midrange-type deck, think Next-Level Threshold but with Abrupt Decay over Lightning Bolt. Tarmogoyf, Jace, Brainstorm, Force of Will, the lot. I also played two Dimir Charm and a full set of Portent over Ponder. The idea was to utilize all three modes of Dimir Charm effectively, and control the topdecks of the opponent. It didn’t work out, and even if I’ve tried Dimir Charm in several different shells, it has never worked out. It was always a worse Abrupt Decay with a dream tacked on to it. There were a few decks, like Sneak and Show, where it was awesome to have extra countermagic for their Show and Tell, but since it can’t hit Sneak Attack, having more Spell Pierces was better most of the time. Nowadays, with Treasure Cruise rising in popularity, I think Dimir Charm is a lot more relevant in BUG Delver and similar builds. 1-2 in the maindeck feels correct, though there’s testing to be done.

envelop.hqAnother elegant counterspell is Judgment’s Envelop. Simple, one-mana, but narrow. It’s been played as a sideboard card on rare occasions, since it can’t be played around like Spell Pierce or Daze. Perhaps, if more decks other than Delver builds adapt Treasure Cruise, Envelop will become more relevant too? These are but a few examples, there are a lot more cards that become more powerful if Treasure Cruise (and Dig Through Time) becomes more popular – Rest in Peace, Deathrite Shaman, Relic of Progenitus to name just a few.

How are you handling Treasure Cruise? Are you giving in to the dark side and playing it yourself? Are you upping the number of graveyard hosers in your sideboard? Leave a comment!

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