After hearing about the Delina, Wild Mage and Pixie Guide splinter twin combo in Episode 605 of Limited Resources I was keen to try it out for myself. Luckily I already had a couple of each card in my MTG Arena account, plus some Barbarian Class and Brazen Dwarf which both assist the loop.
In this article I’ll outline the ideal game scenario, discuss my attempts to build around the combo and include a video demonstrating the loop in action.
Ideal Game When Playing Delina Splinter Twin Combo
- Turn 1: Play Barbarian Class.
- Turn 2: Upgrade Barbarian Class to level 2.
- Turn 3: Play Pixie Guide and a second Barbarian Class.
- Turn 4: Play Delina, Wild Mage.
- Turn 5: Play 2nd Pixie Guide and upgrade 2nd Barbarian Class. Now that Delina is free from Summoning sickness you can attack with her. Triggering her ability, and likely – infinite combo.
How Does The Delina, Wild Mage Combo Work?
When you attack with Delina, choose Pixie Guide to be the target of your ability. You will then get to roll an extra d20, and if either of these dice land a 15 or above, you can choose to make a copy of Pixie Guide and repeat the roll.
You then have an extra Pixie Guide, which means you get an extra d20 roll, making it much more likely that you’ll land a 15 or above and repeat the above loop with even better chances of it repeating. After a few iterations of this combo it can get to a point where it’s likely that the loop will continue forever, until you choose to finish it.
When you do finish the loop, if you’ve unlocked level 2 of Barbarian Class, you can add +2/+0 and Menace to a creature for each iteration of the dice rolling loop. What this means in practice is that every copy of Pixie Guide that you’ve created is now a flying 3/3 with Menace. If you also had a Brazen Dwarf in play, your opponent loses 1 life for each of those dice roll iterations.
The ideal game outlined above starts you off with five dice in your roll, meaning that you’re very likely right off the bat to land the 15+ and trigger the recursion. But this is feasible even with one Pixie Guide and no Barbarian Class.
Is The Delina, Wild Mage Splinter Twin Overpowered?
The short answer is no. It might be due to my lack of skill with brewing up a deck to support this combo, but my experience so faris that it takes too long to set up the combo. There’s also too many opportunities for it to be disrupted in the meantime, to make this a viable option in a serious deck.
The mana cost of  and a [red] for Delina, Wild Mage means you’re not going to be in a position to attack with Delina and trigger the loop until turn 5. Ramping up isn’t really a thing with Blue Red, so it’s difficult to shortcut this. There are some treasure producing cards but by the time you get them into play you’ve likely missed out on playing other cards that could help the loop.
In addition to the issues around mana cost, another hurdle is actually drawing Delina. Without this card in your hand, the whole build falls apart. I did try a deck using loot and draw cards like Prismari Command, Curate and Contact Other Plane. But this meant that I was either slowly building up my combo or playing cards that didn’t do anything offensively (or defensively) to try and get the cards needed to start the combo. This configuration failed dismally.
If you do manage to draw Delina early and get her attacking with a Pixie Guide in play, this is also not a guaranteed win. With only one extra dice roll, I’ve failed to get the 15+ on my first roll before. So you’re much better off building up some Barbarian classes if you can before you have your first attempt. But then of course we’re back to the issues around card selection and mana availability.
How To Build Around Delina, Wild Mage Splinter Twin Combo
What I’ve ended up with in version 3 of this deck is a focus on venturing as my support mechanic. My thinking here is that the treasure generation can help play out the combo faster, the scrying can help bypass unwanted cards at draw and there is some protection afforded by abilities like Twisted Caverns in Dungeon of the Mad Mage (Target creature can’t attack until your next turn). You also get a bit of board presence with rooms like Goblin Lair in Lost Mine of Phandelver (Create a 1/1 red Goblin creature token).
- 3 Fly
- 4 Secret Door
- 4 Silver Raven
- 4 Pixie Guide
- 3 Bar the Gate
- 4 Barbarian Class
- 4 Kick in the Door
- 4 Brazen Dwarf
- 4 Delina, Wild Mage
- 3 Treasure Chest
- 3 Volatile Fjord
- 11 Island
- 9 Mountain
What do you think? I definitely don’t think I’ve figured out the best implementation of this combo yet. At the moment it’s managing to hold off average decks long enough to start some version of the combo about 50% of the time. Against stronger players and decks though I’m often wiped out before I get very far. If you’ve brewed up a better deck built around this combo, let me know in the comments!
Below is a video of the deck in action when it works. Not a perfect run by any standards but good enough to make my opponent quit before I was able to finish playing out the recursion.