hink back. Back before Restoration Angel and Talrand, Sky Summoner started making the cut into Delver lists. Back before Lingering Souls had people jumping at the gun to splash black in those very same lists. Back before Porcelain Legionnaire was a debate in Delver. Back before white, Moorland Haunt, or Snapcaster Mage were even a consideration for the deck, mostly because they weren't even printed. Back then, the list that would eventually evolve into Delver was mono-blue, and it was known as Illusions.
Reynad thought it would be a good time to bring it back into style with a modern-day spin on the old favorite. Much of the deck remains the same as it did before, though. Phantasmal Bear and Phantasmal Image still provide the deck with its name, being the go-to Illusions of the old archetype. Lord of the Unreal provides you with an actual lord effect and also acts as a flag-bearer, forced to take the first removal spell since none of your other creatures can! The old trick of copying Lord of the Unreal with Phantasmal Image is still incredibly powerful, as now your lord is also an illusion, giving himself hexproof as well!
But the new additions to this deck are the exciting part. Of course Delver of Secrets and Snapcaster Mage made this list, because, well, its blue! But check out that new one-drop that I am such a huge fan of. Jace's Phantasm is a new Illusion that provides the deck with a strong late game, as well as some nice pokes of damage early. While a turn-one Jace's Phantasm into turn-two Lord of the Unreal does not get in as much damage as a Phantasmal Bear on turn one, it does provide you with evasion and a potential lone threat, something the Bear can only hope to become. If nothing else, this list should hammer home the lesson to constantly be looking at the best decks of yesterday for inspiration today!
Reynad's Mono-Blue Illusions
Standard – 4–0, Magic Online Daily, Week of July 30