Octopus, zombies , eldrazi , oh my!

I’ve played quite a few standard decks in this format, but none have been nearly as in depth and interesting as 4 color emerge. The emerge mechanic stuck out to me from the first time I read it. I tried various decks based around Sanctum of Ugin powered by dinky creatures and Cryptolith Rite. While this deck sounds cool and was in fact “cool”, Reflector Mage was a complete hoser. It also didn’t help that most, if not all, of your creatures to emerge off of could never have hopes of even keeping pace with the “big booty” threat base of Bant company. So I resigned myself and decided “if you can’t beat em Bant em”. It’s not like I’m saying the deck is bad it was just not for me.

So back we went to the emerge drawing board by this time the pro tour had concluded leaving Owen Turtenwalde’s Temur Emerge list as a front runner for a new hot brew, featuring my favorite octopus Elder-deep Fiend. But this time instead of dinky 1/2s and 2/2s. The archetype focused on using the graveyard to get off an early Kozilek’s Return by having a 5/6 flash threat emerge on your opponent’s upkeep hopefully causing their team to hit the bin and you to cripple their resources for a turn.

The plan B of the deck was to use that fueled graveyard and some amount if ramp to produce an often game ending early Emrakul. But sometimes the pieces didn’t fully align or you lacked enough payoff cards to truly end the game. Some situations could come up in which you spent resources to set up a timely return/emerge only to have your opponent rebuild or simply spend a removal spell that previously had no worthwhile targets. Leaving you looking like a gourmet chef who spent 45 minutes cooking the equivalent of a hot pocket. But thanks to my actual best friend Bartholomew Joseph Grap IV and I quote, “If you’re trying to be broken, why not just do every broken thing.” I recounted a point in which I had pondered it before even pulling the necessary pieces aside. I made a terrible mana base cut all the low pay off cards from Emerge for Haunted Deads and Prized Amalgams. And played a few games. To my surprise, I found that the zombie engine fixed some of my key issues with the deck. Kozilek’s Return found its way into the yard easier and the deck had a great follow up play if an emerge target was killed in Haunted Dead. This isn’t even mentioning the broken board states in which I could Plague Wind an opponent whilst spending 6 or 7 mana and have 8+ power board all at the expensive of 2 random cards in my hand.

I became like a small child with a katana made several small changes and managed to reach the quarter-finals of an IQ that weekend. Only to lose to a pseudo-mirror that I had no practice against. I was floored. Before I knew it, I was on the front page of MTG goldfish for the archetype. And of course sporting my last minute inclusion of Lashweed Lurker which was relevant approximately zero times throughout the whole day. I made a few changes and settled on a main deck very similar to my peers at team META GAME GURUS to take to the invite. Accusing the RUG mana base for a stronger BUG base and bringing a previous sideboard all-star of Noose Constrictor to the main stage spotlight. I’ve played in a few tournaments since then haven’t changed much and I still love the deck plain and simple. And I’m happy to say, I believe it will survive rotation here is a very rough draft with a little inspiration from my boy Bart.

3 Wharf Infiltrator
4 Prized Amalgam
3 Haunted Dead
4 Elder-deep Fiend
1 Distended Mindbender
1 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
1 Emrakul, the Promised End
2 Scrapheap Scrounger
2 Vessel of Nascency
4 Grapple with the Past
4 Perpetual Timepiece
4 Kozeliek’s Return
4 Traverse the Ulvenwald

Terrible mana base not included for previously stated reasons A few things stand out here one being scrap yard scavenger allowing as a way to fuel early Amalgam assault and making for a late game emerge target/enabler when cards in hand are often a hot commodity especially in a deck that includes cards that don’t always replace themselves. There’s another card in their but I’ll leave it to my teammates to educate everyone on the power of Shriekhorn.

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