• David

Delina's Wild Ride

Hey guys, David back with another commander deck list, today Delina, Wild Mage. Originally I made this deck for my girlfriend to play, her name is Delana so it’s a perfect fit, but this deck can put out some serious hurt even without getting lucky on the die roll. If all your friends say you are the luckiest person they know, this deck will be unstoppable in your hands. Delina makes you roll D20s to copy your creatures in combat and if you roll high enough you get to keep rolling and keep copying. This deck is a ton of fun but you will live and die by the dice roll. Let’s get into it.

Delina in her own right is quite strong. She is still a 3/2 for 4 mana that doesn’t do anything until she attacks but we have ways to mitigate these downsides. Notably, as long as you roll the dice at all, you make at least once copy of whatever you are targeting and if you roll high you could make as many as you can as long as you keep rolling well. There are many ways to abuse this but a few things that happen to our creatures because of how Delina’s effect works. The targeted creatures don’t get attack triggers because they come in tapped and attacking they miss the timing window for getting any attack triggers. This means cards that say “whenever this creature attacks” won’t trigger and therefore aren’t much good in this deck. Also the creatures exile at the end of combat, not end of turn, and not destroyed. That means no second main phase shenanigans with them and no dies triggers. If you’re looking to adapt this deck to what you want to play, keep these things in mind. With that disclaimer out of the way, let's look at some cards

First, the kind of boring stuff. We need to be able to cast our cards and that means ramp and card draw. Solemn Simulacrum is the best of both worlds here since Delina allows us to copy up the ETB trigger and get a bunch of lands to our hand. While the dies to draw a card trigger won’t work if the token lives the battle, most players don’t want to take a random 2 damage especially when they have 3/3s as blockers that can just eat the damage, so sometimes the draw trigger does matter. Cursed Mirror is cute since it can let us copy an opponent's creature and then multiply it with Delina if it is useful in combat. Bare minimum, cursed mirror acts as ramp but can lead to some pretty serious blowouts in the right scenario. We are a mono red deck so a lot of our ramp is going to either be rituals or colorless mana rocks. I don’t like the unreliable nature of having too many rituals in the deck, there’s one or two even still, so most of my ramp is in the form of mana rocks. Delina gets a whole lot better when she comes out turn 3 so any ramp you add should aim to help that goal. Turn 1 and 2 plays are perfect for the job. What we are lacking in mana ramp we make up for in card draw. Red has some of the best card draw of any color allowing us to draw lots of cards for not much mana at the cost of discarding some cards along the way. There isn’t a whole lot of graveyard interaction in this deck, but drawing lots is still very good.

Good removal is scattered all around the red card pool. From Lightning Bolt to Abrade and Blasphemous Act to Star of Extinction, getting dudes off the board isn’t hard for our deck. These options just work a little more synergistically with our specific deck. Earth Cult Elemental and Silverclad Ferocidon are admittedly a little high on the mana cost front. The good news is that if Delina is already out, we functionally give these creatures vigilance and haste since we can attack with the token copies the turn they come down but keep the real thing back on the defense. The elemental and the dinosaur also help us get rid of pesky voltron commanders that we can’t target with our burn based removal, or creatures that just have too high a toughness forus to get over. Plus they represent a healthy amount of damage especially in multiples. Pia and Kiran Nalaar give us some much needed blockers and they also happen to fly and can be turned into little bomber drones. Goblin Bombardment most of the time is used to sacrifice our tokens after they have done damage, but before combat ends when they go away, to do damage to players and close out the game. But when desperate times call for throwing creatures at dudes and planeswalkers, we are not above doing that as well. I didn’t put any up here, but never go anywhere without at least 3 board wipes in your commander deck. Red board wipes are all pretty much the same, along with the single target removal spells that you should run alongside these pics, those should just be tuned to your budget and power level of your play group.

This is the real juice of the deck. The high impact creatures we want to copy multiple times every game. Harmonic Prodigy is huge in this deck though we don’t actually want to copy it. Prodigy will double up any of our Wizard or Shaman triggers which includes Delina as well as other creatures like Fanatic of Mogis. Speaking of the minotaur, this card puts out some serious damage really really quickly. Normally tokens don’t have a mana value and therefore don’t add to our devotion, but Delina makes token copies and those have both a mana value and add to your devotion. So as you are making more Fanatic of Mogis tokens that are attacking as 4/2s you are also dealing increasingly more damage to every opponent at the table. Combat Celebrant and Port Razer both represent infinite combats as long as they can’t be blocked. Oftentimes this is just one or two players at the table, but if you can ramp fast enough you can play Combat Celebrant on Turn 3 and win right there. Combat Celebrant specifically needs to exert itself while it is attacking, which you can do even though it won’t get an attack trigger, you can still exert it. Purphuros acts as an Impact Tremors that we can copy and do additional damage with. Terror of the Peaks is truly a terror in this deck since copying it only a few times is enough to take one player out of the game without even hitting with the combat damage that a bunch of 5/4 fliers represents.

Some good supporting cards go a long way in this deck. Barbarian Class works excellently here, especially with all the ways we have to copy Delina’s ability, this makes it more even more likely that we keep rolling high and keep adding creatures to the line. Even leaving Barbarian Class at level 1 is honestly fine, but bringing it to level 2 or 3 is not hard and very beneficial. You can stack the triggers to that the token copies you make with delina gain the menace from the level 2 Barbarian Class making them even more lethal. Speaking of copying Delina’s ability, Helm of the Host and Strionic Resonator are here to do just that. Helm of the Host makes more Delinas while Strionic Resonator just literally copies the ability for just 2 mana. Embercleave is often always 2 mana with the amount of attacking creatures and importantly can be sued to keep Delina alive through combat. After about turn 5 or 6, it can be hard to swing the Delina and still guarantee that she survives the combat. Whispersilk Cloak comes in to solve all of our problems in that department making our opponent unable to target her as well as making her unblockable. Warstorm Surge is hopefully self explainable, it kills people really really fast.

These round out the high impact picks from the deck. Critical Hit returns to your hand a surprising amount of the time with the number of ways we have to copy or reroll or duplicate Delina’s ability and can help push for game. Jaya Venerated Firemage and Torbran Than of Red Fell perform similar functions, making our combat numbers bigger, but do so in slightly different ways. Torbran can be copied by Delina, but honestly there tends to be better stuff on the board to copy. While Jaya can’t be copied, she is harder to remove being a planeswalker over a creature, and comes with some nice removal or face damage should the situation call for it. Cathedral of War is exceptional in this deck since often we are only declaring an attack with Delina, thus giving her the Exalted trigger and making her bigger, only for her to bring a bunch of friends in for the party. Den of the Bugbear can act as both an emergency blocker and a nice copying target if we run out of creatures in hand that leaves behind a nice goblin blocker for defense. Rogue’s Passage acts as an expensive Whispersilk Cloak sneaking Delina in through combat so she can’t just be blocked and killed.

That’s the major juice of the deck. As always the full deck list will be below to check out the cards i didn’t mention but a lot of them are flex spots that can be changed out for both budget and power level of your playgroup. Most of the cards i left out are various mana rocks, card draw spells, removal, and board wipe options but take a look for inspiration on what I was looking at when making the deck. Overall this deck can be a high rollers dream or a deck that does basically nothing based on how hot you roll. With a bit of money, mostly the Helm of the Host, Purphuros, and Terror of the Peaks, you can hedge your odds and just straight up kill people. It’s a fun red deck that isn’t just on Kikii-Jikki and Dockside Extortionist as its main gameplan, though those would be good cards in this deck for sure. Thanks for reading and happy rolling!


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