Grixis Emerge by katubuta on MtGO

Creatures (23)
1 Distended Mindbender
4 Elder Deep-Fiend
4 Haunted Dead
3 Insolent Neonate
4 Prized Amalgam
3 Scrapheap Scrounger
2 Stitchwing Skaab
2 Wretched Gryff

Non-Creature Spells (14)
4 Cathartic Reunion
4 Kozilek’s Return
3 Lightning Axe
3 Perpetual Timepiece

Lands (23)
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Island
3 Mountain
2 Sanctum of Ugin
3 Smoldering Marsh
3 Spirebluff Canal
4 Sunken Hollow
2 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
1 Distended Mindbender
1 Lightning Axe
2 By Force
1 Drownyard Behemoth
2 Hazoret the Fervent
3 Negate
3 Sweltering Suns
2 Unlicensed Disintegration


Emerge decks were previously a go-to strategy for many players in Standard, but the arrival of the past few sets has made it a very unappealing option. It simply got overpowered by much of what the other decks in the format were doing. With the latest banning and the metagame shifts it caused, it may be time for this archetype to… emerge.

The overarching strategy of this deck is emerging powerful creatures by sacrificing creatures that can be re-bought cheaply, effectively negating the emerge cost. The first part of this equation is getting creatures that don’t mind dying into play. Haunted Dead, Prized Amalgam, Scrapheap Scrounger, and Stitchwing Skaab are those creatures. Prized Amalgam plus any of these other creatures is excellent card advantage. Haunted Dead and Stitchwing Skaab are the most powerful of these. They’re 4 mana creatures that can be brought into play as early as turn 2, making them great emerge targets on turn 3, and Haunted Dead‘s ability to bring along a Spirit to further press board advantage is great.

In order to get these cards into the graveyard easily, this deck plays Cathartic Reunion, Insolent Neonate, and Lightning Axe, along with Perpetual Timepiece which is, as the name would suggest, a perpetual way to get cards into your graveyard. Lightning Axe is an excellent removal spell, and the discard is actively good when it discards a recurrable creature. Cathartic Reunion‘s main reason for inclusion is that it can find the emerge creatures you need while putting graveyard-centric cards into the graveyard. Perpetual Timepiece doesn’t necessarily gain you card advantage, but the extra cards it gets into your graveyard turn after turn lets your engine get online quickly and is a steady source of cards.

The emerge creatures in this deck are Distended Mindbender, Wretched Gryff, and certainly the most powerful one, Elder Deep-Fiend. Each of these cards have their strengths and weaknesses, making the number of each included an imperfect science. Distended Mindbender is excellent against slower, plodding decks, Wretched Gryff replaces itself and is a solid evasion creature, while Elder Deep-Fiend locks down the opponent for a turn, further pushing the mana advantage you gained by emerging it in the early turns.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Insolent Neonate

+1 Lightning Axe


-1 Lightning Axe

+1 Distended Mindbender

This is day 181 of’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 180 here, where we featured a Standard W/U aggressive deck that’s happy to see the game go long and grind out small advantages.

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