Finding Homes for Janky Cards - Delina, Wild Mage

(Storm Caller | Art by Manuel Castanon

Is Your Bulk Pile Staring You in the Face?

Well, we're going to change all of that!

Hey there, my name is Jordan, and I run the EDH Jank Center on Youtube. Welcome to Finding Homes For Janky Cards, the series where we rifle through that big pile of bulk you've got lying around and find a package of five janky, budget, or under-utilized cards and pair them with a commander that will help them shine! The deck we get out of it might not be the fanciest or most extravagant at the table, but we're still going to build it because every card deserves a loving home!

This week, the hospitable host for our janky cards is Delina, Wild Mage.

Delina is a personal favorite commander of mine, and I originally built her as a $20 budget build back in 2021. However, as we can see here, the average Delina build on EDHREC runs much higher than $20:

As expected, a ton of people are taking advantage of doubling up on ETB abilities, like those of Dockside Extortionist, Meteor Golem, and Zealous Conscripts, and really just going for accruing value. However, not all of us have the money for expensive staples like Ruby Medallion and the aforementioned Extortionist, and sure, value is nice, but some of us hunger for something more.

So, inspired by our package of five janky cards, today we're going to be building a Delina, Wild Mage brew that's a lean, mean, groupsluggin' machine! We're throwing caution to the wind and doubling down on dealing damage to EVERYBODY. We might be losing some value in the process but:

  1. We're here for a good time, not a long time (as is the spirit of Red decks anyways), and
  2. We'll be saving a good bit of cash in the process!

Now that we know where we want to take the deck, let's look at our janky selections!

Storm Caller

In 0% of 956,980 decks

Outside of (maybe) some draft decks that focused on burn strategies, the stats clearly tell us that this card doesn't really see much play. Maybe that's because it's a 3/2 that throws around some damage and then just kind of sits there on the board. Listen, I get it, but hear me out! For just $0.16, you now have a staple in this build!

Storm Caller's ability is perfect because it deals two damage to each opponent! All we gotta do is swing with Delina, choose Storm Caller as our target, and watch as our opponents go down in flames! Pair this with cards that multiply damage, like Gratuitous Violence or Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, and the game can be within your reach quicker than your opponents can say, “You kept your bulk from Core Set 2021?”

Not to mention, these token copies of Storm Caller that we'll be making are all 3/2s, which is nothing to laugh at, and that damage can add up quite quickly once you throw in our aforementioned damage multipliers. I also just really love that it synergizes with another Delina staple: Harmonic Prodigy.

More damage triggers? Yes, please! 

Speaking of damage, next up we've got:

Angrath's Marauders

In 2% of 964,774 decks

This card is surprisingly missing from the average Delina decklist on EDHREC. While I understand that seven mana is a good chunk of change, the effect it gives us for our strategy is invaluable! 

The one big weakness that aggro decks have in EDH is that they have to deal (more or less) 120 damage in order to close out a four-person game. This can get difficult if you're not moving fast enough with your engine, or if your opponents have established sufficient defenses, so the more damage we can do, the better. That's where damage multipliers come in! Basically anything that increases the damage we're already doing is a friend to us in a group slug build, and luckily there's plenty of awesome budget selections to choose from: 

Multiplying our damage is the perfect way to accelerate our strategy and close out the game. For example, Angrath's Marauders on the field essentially turns an army of 3/2 Storm Caller copies into 6/2s, and I don't know about you but I need that in my life) 

Also, it's a crew of Pirates, and Delina loves Pirates (see Coercive Recruiter, Dire Fleet Daredevil, and Port Razer).

And who could ARRRRgue with that? 


Puns are not my vibe, clearlyLet's move on, shall we? 

Crossway Vampire

In 0% of 970,807 decks

I suppose I have an affinity for three-mana 3/2s that rarely see the light of day, but for good reason! I believe that in the right strategy you can make most any card work, and this card is no exception.

Like I mentioned before, in a deck that cares very much about dealing (and multiplying) damage, a 3/2 for three mana is not anything to laugh at. Moreover, once we take a look at that ability in the text box, it's quite clear how we can use that to our advantage. 

A good amount of our strategy relies on us being able to consistently turn Delina sideways and get that sweet ability to trigger. However, a large drawback to our commander being in combat every turn is that people are going to be able to block and kill her, making it much much harder to do our thing

But never fear: this twelve-cent common from Innistrad is here! When this card enters the battlefield, we'll be able to select a creature that's threatening our commander during combat and ice it, and this effect will scale up as we make more copies, so hopefully by the end of the sequence we'll have made sure Delina can attack with no stress or worries.

$0.12 for all of that? I'm down!

Grenzo's Ruffians

In 0% of 970,807 decks

Ooooooh, baby, this is one of my favorite cards for this deck! Not only is a gang full of Goblins looking to rough people up a perfect aesthetic for a group slug strategy, but man oh man, that ability! 

We're not going to go into much detail about the Melee ability because it doesn't really synergize with what we're doing with Delina. Instead, let's direct our attention to the text directly below it that says whenever it deals combat damage to an opponent it deals that much damage to each other opponent

Let's say this card deals three damage to Opponent 1. Its ability will trigger, and it'll deal three damage to Opponents 2 and 3, resulting in 9 total damage being spread around after all is said an done. Now, let's say there are three total Grenzo's Ruffians after having activated our commander's ability; this would mean each of them would deal their respective damage and once that happens all three of their abilities would trigger, resulting in 27 total damage (9 to each opponent) being done! Obviously, it scales up from there if you get super lucky with Delina or have the Marauders on the field.

Anyone else salivating, or is it just me? 

Just me? Cool. 

Now, you've maybe been reading this article thinking: “But Jordan, if we take out the expensive value pieces, how will we ramp? How will we get our precious value?” 

Never fear: for four cents, I will make all of those worries disappear!

Exhibition Magician

In 0% of 613,808 decks

Get it? 'Cause she's a magician? Eh...

Exhibition Magician is an excellent common from Streets of New Capenna that has a really awesome enter-the-battlefield ability: we either get Treasures or a 1/1 token, and both have their merits in this build.

The Treasure is obviously ramp for us, and if we can make copies of this with Delina, we will be cooking with gas in no time, especially if we run other cards like Wily Goblin and Rapacious Dragon! Dockside who

Honestly, most of the time we're going to be making Treasures with this card, but I do want to point out the upside of having a bunch of 1/1s in an aggro deck. First of all, this deck includes a lot of cards that just passively make tokens when they ETB, and while the tokens that Delina makes will leave us at end of combat, the tokens that cards like Exhibition Magician make stay on the field

For most of the game, we'll be turning our cards sideways, leaving us open for being attacked on the crackback by our opponents. Having 1/1s up and at the ready as blockers will help us preserve our life total and stay alive long enough to blast everybody with damage! And hey, if our 1/1 Citizens stay alive long enough, we'll be able to use them as attackers on our next turn and deal even more damage! 

Now let's take a look at the jankified decklist: 

That's it for this installment of Finding Homes for Janky Cards. What cards would you like me to find homes for next? Let me know in the comments down below.

Until next time! 

Jordan is an actor, music producer, and gigantic nerd who runs the EDH Jank Center on Youtube! Through various tier lists, janky deck techs, and budget-friendly guides, the Jank Center hopes to show people that you don't need to be rich to have fun playing this wonderful game. Think outside the box, baby!