Daily Digest: Merging Emerge

We’ve established that Emerge decks are for real, but now everyone is working to find the very best one! Ross Merriam takes a look at the latest incarnation of one of #SCGNY’s top Classic contenders!

Emerge was one of the primary talking points at #PTEMN and for good reason. Elder Deep-Fiend, Wretched Gryff, and Distended Mindbender are incredibly powerful, but finding the right combination of cards to support them is very difficult.

Coming out of the Pro Tour, we have several established shells for anyone who wants to cast some undercosted Eldrazi. But #SCGRegionals has given us a different approach, one that combines emerge with the powerful Azorius cards in Standard.

It’s bad enough when your creature gets Reflector Maged and you can’t cast it on your next turn. But now that Reflector Mage turns into an Elder Deep-Find that taps all your lands on the following turn, so you have to wait again. Then, when you finally get to cast your creature, it gets Spell Quellered. That is, if the Elder Deep-Fiend didn’t trigger a Sanctum of Ugin to Time Walk you again or kill you with a Reality Smasher.

Unlike the Temur variant from the Pro Tour, this list isn’t dependent on leveraging emerge, merely using it because you can easily splash for Matter Reshaper while already having good fodder in Reflector Mage and Knight of the White Orchid. You can still play a normal aggressive game with the potent combination of Selfless Spirit and Archangel Avacyn.

You could further emphasize this half of the deck by finding some space for Eldrazi Displacer as a pseudo-removal spell and mana sink. Even as a singleton to find with Sanctum of Ugin, Displacer could be very effective.

There is a nice bit of crossover between the two plans in the deck when you use emerge as a means to trigger your Archangel Avacyn. The Elder Deep-Fiend survives Avacyn, the Purifier’s trigger and now you have eleven power on the battlefield and your opponent has presumably had most of their lands tapped and most of their creatures destroyed. That is a swing that few decks can come back from, if they even get to untap.

What I like the most is that by integrating Elder Deep-Fiend into an existing shell, you have a deck that doesn’t fuss around with its graveyard trying to set up the biggest possible blowouts. Instead you have an already powerful strategy that gets an excellent new tool with little cost. The two-color manabase can handle a splash fairly easily, especially when you have Knight of the White Orchid as a fixer, and you get a great utility land to boot. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one.