If you’re anything like me, you expected Temur Emerge to port over to a post-Kaladesh Standard and be one of the top decks. It wasn’t losing much, and one of the early reveals in spoiler season was Filigree Familiar, which seemed to fit the theme perfectly.
It certainly hasn’t worked out that way. Emerge has seen play, but put up no real impressive results. Still, with so much power, it’s unlikely we would be able to keep it down forever.
Wretched Gryff was included in nearly every version of Temur Emerge as a cheaper way to get on the battlefield and replace what you sacrificed.
Gryff doesn’t appear in this version, so you’re relying much more heavily on the more expensive Eldrazi as your way to flashback Kozilek’s Return.
Elder Deep-Fiend is such a massive swing that a deck built to abuse this powerful weapon is always going to be competitive. You’re paying such a low rate when you sacrifice a 3-drop to get a huge creature that should dominate the battlefield alongside a massive effect. Tapping out your opponent or making sure that none of their creatures can block are both game-swinging abilities.
Whether you love to emerge Deep-Fiends or are just in the market for extremely cute cards, Filigree Familiar delivers. Robot dog has seen a little bit of play, but you’re including an entire playset here. It’s a life buffer, replaces itself, and gives you an artifact to help turn on delirium and make it easier for Emrakul to come down.
Ishkanah, Grafwidow is changing everything in Standard. With the format revolving so much around Smuggler’s Copter, Ishakanah comes down and shuts the door. Even though there are no black lands in the deck, the inclusion of some Aether Hubs with no other use for energy means that you may be able to get an activation or two late.
Traverse is the other delirium payoff card that encourages you to play more card types. This deck has plenty of artifacts to go with the always easy land and creature to get into the ‘yard with self-mill. It doesn’t take much else to turn on delirium early.
Corrupted Grafstone requires some dedicated self-mill to make work, but the payoff is there. It won’t provide anything but green mana in this deck, as Elder Deep-Fiend and Kozilek’s Return don’t actually have colors.
For additional ramp and real color fixing, you have the Standard staple Weirding Wood! Not a card I’ve seen played too much, but a nice way to make sure you have red for Kozilek’s Return, blue for Deep-Fiend, and maybe black for Ishkanah!
The self-mill options are really strong. Vessel of Nascency and Grapple with the Past load up your graveyard, have low mana requirements, will dig you deeper to find what you need, and make sure Emrakul is cheap. The fact that they each provide their own card type is a great synergy.
The end game, when Deep-Fiends don’t do the trick, is to use Kozilek’s Return to kill all the medium-sized creatures while an Emrakul, the Promised End or World Breaker come in to finish off the game. Having a big late game that can go over the top of G/B Delirium is a strong place to be in Standard right now.
Temur Emerge gets to utilize some of the very best cards in Standard and is sure to make an impact for quite a long time.