Modern Izzet Delver with Archmage's Charm

archmage's charm art

Izzet Delver is an archetype that appeals to many Modern players due to its tempo-based playstyle, but has never really enjoyed sustained success in the format. However, CHA21 was able to achieve a good result with the deck in the first big Modern event on MTGO with Modern Horizons by including four copies of Archmage's Charm.

Modern Izzet Delver with Archmage's Charm

4 Delver of Secrets/Insectile Aberration
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Vendilion Clique
3 Young Pyromancer
3 Serum Visions
1 Burst Lightning
2 Cryptic Command
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Logic Knot
2 Mana Leak
4 Opt
2 Spell Snare
4 Archmage's Charm
1 Magmatic Sinkhole
1 Faerie Conclave
1 Flooded Strand
5 Island (335)
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Spirebluff Canal
3 Steam Vents
2 Abrade
2 Ceremonious Rejection
1 Dispel
1 Grim Lavamancer
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
1 Spell Pierce
2 Surgical Extraction

Legacy players know the play patterns of Delver-style decks very well. Stick a cheap threat (in this case Delver of Secrets or Young Pyromancer), and then keep mana open for the rest of the game to either disrupt the opponent's plan or protect said threat. Archmage's Charm seems to fit well in a deck that is already planning to have access to triple blue mana and never needs to tap out. While Cancel is obviously a few notches short of the power level we expect in Modern, being able to pack a full four hard counters that doubles as instant speed card draw will shore up quite a bit of the deck's late-game weaknesses. You can leave the shields up (including the threat of Cryptic Command after the third turn), and if your opponent ever has a bad turn you can pull ahead on cards. The ability to steal 1-mana permanents can also be quite useful, though the most common usage will most likely be Champion of the Parish and Death's Shadow.

AEther VialChampion of the ParishDeath's ShadowGrim LavamancerHardened ScalesMonastery Swiftspear

Another minor inclusion from Modern Horizons is Magmatic Sinkhole. This card does a good Dismember impression but does not require such a steep cost of life. It can also hit planeswalkers, which is increasingly important against current builds of UW Control. The ability to Delve does compete with Logic Knot, but this list runs only 3 copies total between the two so there should not be too much of a problem finding fuel. Besides, this is a Delver deck, so we need to include some Delve cards!

Magmatic Sinkhole

This list will certainly be fun to play if Izzet tempo is your style! It remains to be seen whether this is the best home for Archmage's Charm, but it is certainly a valuable tool to keep in mind for any deck that can support its casting cost!

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Michael Schuller