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Mono-White Bear Beats with Delney!


Hello awesome multiplayer and Commander aficionados! Long ago, I built a Five Color roughly 120 card deck around running as many ETB stuff that I could recur, self-bounce and trigger like Erratic Portal kickers of Thornscape Battlemage and more! I called this deck Bear Beats, and it was very powerful at my multiplayer game and loads of other folks ran something similar. You can find the initial decklist here (SCG Daily - A Deck a Day: Bear Beats - Star City Games). Then I made a 5C Commander version for fun here around Reaper King (https://articles.starcitygames.com/articles/scg-daily-a-deck-a-day-bear-beats/). Then a few years ago I decided to build a real life Abzan deck around partners, which you can find here (Real Life Commander: Abzan Bear Beats | Article by Abe Sargent (coolstuffinc.com)).

As soon as Delney was printed, I saw a way to try and make this around a Mono-White shell now. Sure, it's just one color, but we have many more choices too.

Delney, Streetwise Lookout

Here's Delney! This three-mana 2/2 has two abilities that play into Bear Beats. The first is that your 2 power or fewer stuff cannot be blocked by big stuff. They get some evasion. Then this lady will double your ETB triggers of 2 or fewer power stuff, so that Eternal Witness, Mulldrifter or Gravedigger in other colors will net two ETB triggers. Note this will work for triggers that aren't just ETB, like Ravenous Chupacabra, but from other places too. Nasty!

Mana, Ramp, Land

Knight of the White Orchid
Solemn Simulacrum

Now let's start with ramp, rocks and lands! The Knight costs two, rocks a fun 2/2 Bear body, and then has first strike. Then when it ETBs, if someone else has more lands, you ramp out a Plains tapped, note any Plains. The Golem costs four for a 2/2 too with ETB ramping a basic land tapped, and then a death trigger to draw that precious card, which would be doubled with Delney.

Now let's turn to these two two-drop uncommons! Cartographer's Hawk has a smaller 2/1 body but with flying and a combat damage trigger to ramp out a Plains (any) if they had more lands and then self-bounce this fun thing! Oreskos Explorer has a bigger body at 2/2 but lacks evasion. It's ETB will fetch you Plains equal to your opponent count with more lands into your hand. So, ideally, you'd love 2nd turn Hawk, 3rd turn, attack open player with three lands, get free ramp, drop land and Delney, 4th turn drop Sad Robot, ramp twice.

Now let's turn to this pair! Archaeomancer's Map costs three, ETBS with two basic Plains into your hand. Then you can drop lands from your hand for free if your foe drops a land with more lands than you, so that's like a reverse landfall. Discerning Financier costs three too, in your upkeep this 2/3 will make you a Treasure. Then you can give it away for three mana to draw a card. Nice card flow and Treasure giving. Give it to the player with mana screw.

Minas Tirith
Access Tunnel

Now let's turn to lands! The White tapping rare will usually ETB tapped. Then you can tap it with a pair of mana to draw, but only if you attacked with at least two dorks this turn - quite likely here. I also tossed in War Room which is card draw in your lands. The uncommon taps for colorless and can be tapped with three to make a three or smaller power dork unblockable like the Hawk above. Then I also am running Rogue's Passage here for getting in those hits!

Cavern of Souls
Emeria, the Sky Ruin

The first land above will choose a dork type when it ETBs, and then will tap for colorless and any uncounterable dork mana for the type you chose. It was just reprinted, by the by. We just just randomly have a lot of Humans here accitendally so run this. The second taps for W, ETBs tapped, and then you can Resurrection a dork of yours for free in your upkeep if you control at least seven Plains. Unlikely, but possible here, so I tossed it in.

Fun Bears with ETB Stuff

Charming Prince
Dawnbringer Cleric

Now let's turn to fun small stuff with ETB triggers! Each of these costs two, and has three options on arrival. The former has a 2/2 body, and then you can scry 2, gain three life, or flicker something of yours. The latter has a 1/3 body, and you gain two life this time, destroy an enchantment or exile a card. I love this pair after you control Delney to net two triggers since they are like Charms. Nasty pair!

Court Street Denizen will force your foes to tap their precious dorks when White stuff ETBs on your side of the channel, and then you can get in free smashes. Nasty with Delney. Evangel of Heliod uncommon 1/3 has devotion to make 1/1s equal to your count, and when comboed together you can tap down an entire board of stuff.

Synergies and Winning-Conditions

Erratic Portal

Now let's turn to synergies! The enchantment costs three and then will stop non-White stuff with a power of 3 or more from untapping, so it's like a Meekstone, which is also here, for most colors. I am also running forgotten Marble Titan as well. The artifact costs four, was in my first deck, and then you can tap it with one to self-bounce and save a dork from chump blocking, reuse an ETB trigger, from removal, bounce an opposing dork if they tapped out and loads more!

Now let's turn to a rare White trio of three different types! Storm of Souls costs six and returns all of your dead stuff to the battlefield as 1/1s with flying. You are about to net all of the ETB stuff again, and get those swings in! Teleportation Circle costs four and will blink/flicker one of your dorks or artifacts for free in your end step. I am also running more blink things here and there like Eerie Interlude. Wilfred Mott also costs four for a 2/4 legendary body. In your upkeep toss a time counter here and then dig that many on your library and drop a nonland for free with a 3 or fewer mana value so it's probably quite likely here! Love this trio loads!

Now let's turn to more synergies with this rare pair. Saradoc, Master of Buckland four for another 2/4 body and when a dork with power 2 or less that ain't a token ETBs, you make a free 1/1 token of the Halfling style. Note that there are no brakes here like once/turn or spending mana, just the nontoken one. Then you can tap two Halflings for free to give this a double power pump and then lifelink for the swinging. Citanul Flute costs five, and taps for X to Tutor out an X cost or fewer dork and toss it into your hand. Since we have a deep grouping, that's pretty likely to get anything from win-con to defensive to answer. I also tossed in small creature fetcher Recruiter of the Guard.

Now let's turn to hand size matters stuff in this colorless artifact pair. Bridge of Khazad-dum prevents people from attacking with a greater power than your hand count, you as well. The idea here is to shut down opposing attacks whle allowing your smaller stuff smash. Noetic Scales will bounce in each player's upkeep all of their stuff with a power greater than their hand count, so again, your foe's may be forced to keep a big fist of stuff but you won't. You'll love recasting the good stuff like your Prince.

Cloudstone Curio
Elspeth, Sun's Champion

Let's finish synergies with this pair. The artifact costs three and will let your non-artifact stuff bounce non-artifact stuff of their type when they ETB, so you get a free bounce to save your stuff or reload a dork's trigger! Note it doesn't work on artifacts. The planeswalker costs six, has four loyalty, can +1 to make a massive three 1/1 White dorks and is here for her -3 to sweep big stuff off the table! She's so good at sweeping and then making dorks fast!

Card Flow

Assemble the Players
Inspiring Overseer

Now let's turn to card draw and flow. The two-drop enchantment printed in the same set as Delney will let you look at the top card of your library at any time, and then you can cast, once per turn, a 2 power or less dork you control. Getting one cast each turn from your library will really add to card advantage over time. Then we have cantrip dorks like the three-drop flying 2/1 ETB trigger. You'll love doubling those draw and then you gain life from it too. Many of these are here.

Now let's turn to repeating card draw like Mentor of the Meek or Rumor Gatherer. This works for your tokens too, by the by. Then I am running the flying 2/3 Welcoming Vampire with this same ability, no mana needed, but just once/turn. The uncommon above also costs three for a 2/1 dork with an ETB for any sized dork to scry 1, and the second time it happens you draw that card instead! Then I am also running Clue-maker Bygone Bishop.

Militia Bugler is three for a 2/3 with vigilance! When it ETBs, you dig four and then reveal a small dork and draw it, so it's better than a cantrip since you can draw gas. Skullclamp is a classic. You drop it first turn before counters, equip for one, give +1/-1 and then when it dies draw two to replace it. That's a nasty amount of card flow, and with my 1/1 token makers like Castle Ardenvale through Elspeth, or with my X/1 stuff like the Hawk, we have loads of options to kill for tons of cards!


Teferi's Protection
Flawless Maneuver
Selfless Spirit

Now let's finish with answers! Let's start with answers to answers, enter this trio. The first instant will set you back three mana, and then your stuff phases out, everything, even lands and such so nothing can be taken out. And you cannot be targeted or take damage until your next turn so you are safe from a wave of stuff. I am also running flashable phasing out Guardian of Faith which is too big for our stuff at 3/2 but worth it.

Then the other instant above will never cost more than three and gives your stuff indestructible for the turn. It's free if you control your Commander, so you can tap out and bait it. Then the 2/1 flying two-drop Spirit above can sacrifice to give your team indestructible, and you can do it as soon as it is resolved.

Now let's turn to targeted removal. I like running emergency spells that can destroy anything like Generous Gift or Loran of the Third Path, a 2/1 dork with vigilance who can ETB and destroy multiple things with Delney.

Winds of Abandon

Now let's finish with mass removal. The overload sorcery costs two, overloads for six, and then exiles (not destroys) and then they get basics for your foes like a mass Path to Exile. They'll grab a ton of lands and you can swing on a naked board! And then Dusk // Dawn costs four to sweep all 3 power things, and then you can aftermath it to Raise Dead them all back to your hand for the small stuff. Then I am also running three-cost The Battle of Bywater to destroy big stuff and make Food in mass.

Let's look at our deck!

Delney Beat Beats | Commander | Abe Sargent

Card Display

Alright, there we are! We are running just 36 lands since I want a land light early hand for you to drop your ramp into since if you are keeping up you will miss your ramp stuff. I am running a bunch of Plains to fetch out and then trigger Emeria with too. I hope you enjoyed my new take on Bear Beats!

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