Deck Guide of the Day: Grixis Emerge

Hello Everyone, today’s deck is a new twist on the emerging deck already existing in the pre-Kaladesh Standard.

Let’s start talking about the cards with the keyword that gives the deck his name: Elder Deep-Fiend and Wretched Gryff.

Elder Deep-Fiend is a pretty big body, a 5/6 creature should be the biggest monster on the board. With flash, it threatens to eat other creatures in combat, and tapping down 4 permanents gives you the opportunity to chain them together and lock out your opponent. Having the possibility to come down as early as turn 4 and completely turn a game around the fiend reminds me of Mistbind Clique in Faeries. The Fiend can tap out your opponent and start sending in 5 damage per turn, which is a huge amount of damage. When they can play spells, there are few that deal with or block it effectively. It’s not easy to chain them together in the early turns since you need some creatures for emerge, but this is a typical play pattern in the middle stages of a game. The first Deep-Fiend can come down to set things up, and the second will finish the job. Wretched Gryff doesn’t offer the same blowout potential, but it’s a 3/4 flying creature that gets you some value. It’s cheaper than Deep-Fiend, which is nice, and it draws you a card. It’s also the perfect size for blocking Smuggler’s Copters.


The other creatures we have are almost all here with the purpose of being great emerge terget and recursive threats. The only one that duistinguishes itself from the others it’s Insolent Neonate. The Neonate can do a really amount of work for you. A 1/1 for 1 with menace can get in for a few points if you need it, can crew the Copter while still playing 3-drops, getting in for 3 and loot and it can help load up your graveyard, getting cards where you actually want them. The fact that Neonate can do all of this and then get exiled to bring back a Scrounger makes it a really useful addition.


The other creatures are: Scrapheap ScroungerEternal ScourgePrized Amalgam and Haunted Dead.The Scrounger is not your average creature. You have no interest in playing it to sit on defense, but entering untapped means that it’s able to crew a Vehicle immediately, which is going to be critical in Standard. It attacks well, as a 3/2 creature and it cannot be easily stopped, especially on turn 2. Having an additional option to trigger your Amalgam allows a bonus nice interaction to become a central synergy for an entire deck. Haunted Dead brings together multiple aspects of the deck. First, you have another card you’re happy to have in your graveyard, rewarding you for playing cards that allow you to discard for value or any sort of self-mill. Second, this brings multiple bodies. The Dead will enter the battlefield tapped, but the Spirit token it brings along with it will not. This gives you an instant speed way to block creatures, even those with evasion, while allowing you to discard additional cards that you might prefer in your graveyard (such as the Amalgam or Kozilek’s Return). Third, the Dead’s return is the perfect way to trigger Amalgam. And fourth, the cheap activation compared to the high converted mana cost does exactly what you need. 2 mana to bring this back is cheap, but you still get the full 4 converted mana cost when emerging your Gryffs and Deep-Fiends. Prized Amalgam is  designed basically for this very deck. A 3-mana 3/3 is a reasonable rate, but the fact that you don’t care which zone your Amalgams are in makes them incredible weapons. Eternal Scourge also fill the role as a great target for emerging your creatures, but also is a great recursive creature in combo with the Scourger.


Then we have Smuggler’s Copter. Yeah… seriously. I can’t ever pretend to understand it. While it does push you to play some cheaper creatures, specifically 1-drops to be able to continue to curve out perfectly, you’re more than happy to oblige. Not only can you start getting in for 3 in the air on turn 3, but you’re getting the loot ability that this deck can abuse by putting Amalgams, Scroungers, and Deads into the graveyard while continuing to draw more cards. Scrounger or a Spirit token from the Haunted Dead (since Dead and Amalgam both enter tapped, remember that) can all crew up a Copter. A turn-2 Copter is going to lead to many victories in this format, but this, for me, is one of the best decks to abuse its potential.


Others spells are: Cathartic ReunionKozilek’s Return and Lightning Axe. The Axe is a great removal spell that can destroy basically any creature and the extra cost of discarding a card is more an upside for this deck than a downside. Reunion turns cards that you would rather have in your graveyard into new cards in your hand This allows you to get through your deck quickly to find the pieces you need, especially the big Eldrazi to really get the engine going. Kozilek’s Return is awesome in this deck, just real straight up value. You can get it into the graveyard using self-mill, discard, or just casting it first. Then, even though your emerged Eldrazi will only cost you 3 or 4 mana, they still trigger cards like Kozilek’s Return to come back from your graveyard. The real beauty is that because these are all cast triggers, you get to resolve your Kozilek’s Returns before your creature does, so it won’t be taking any of the damage. Remember that the return ability from your Kozilek’s Return is a “may” ability. The trigger will go on the stack and both players will have a chance to respond to it. This means if your opponent has a Selfless Spirit in play, this is their only one opportunity to sacrifice it and make their team indestructible. If they choose not to, you can bring back the Return and they can no longer respond to it. If they use the Spirit, you can simply choose not to use the Return, leaving it in your graveyard to use on future turns.


Here’s the decklist:

Creature (23):

3 Insolent Neonate
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
3 Eternal Scourge
4 Prized Amalgam
4 Haunted Dead
1 Wretched Gryff
4 Elder Deep-Fiend

Spells (14):

3 Lightning Axe
4 Cathartic Reunion
4 Smuggler’s Copter
3 Kozilek’s Return

Lands (22):

4 Evolving Wilds
2 Island
4 Mountain
2 Smoldering Marsh
4 Spirebluff Canal
4 Sunken Hollow
3 Swamp

Sideboard (15):

3 Ceremonious Rejection
1 Lightning Axe
2 Negate
1 Kozilek’s Return
2 Liliana, the Last Hope
2 Unlicensed Disintegration
4 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

This deck is doing so many great things all inside one tiny package. Pay attention that there are some tricky sequences with this deck. This could definitely be the new take on emerge decks going forward. The graveyard synergies are extremely powerful, not to mention really fun to figure out intricate lines and sequences.

Thanks Everybody for reading,




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