Pro Tour Eldritch Moon has come and gone. We have two new overlords to welcome: Liliana and Emrakul. All of the top decks were playing one of these cards, if not both. Bant Company still had some decent finishes and is still one of the better decks in the format, but the sky -is-falling reaction to the power level from the first few weeks was easily put to rest. The greatest Magic player of all time tweeted “I know I’m doing badly in this tournament when there are no Emrakul decks playing around me.”
Emrakul promised the end, and in this PT, she absolutely delivered. For the Hall-of-Fame-elect Owen Turtenwald, Emrakul, the Promised End was the card that made his ramp strategy work. Casting the powerful Eldrazi for 7-8 mana means she’s already hitting the board faster than the converted mana cost of 13 would suggest, and ramp spells speed that up even further.
Nissa’s Pilgrimage is already a good Magic card, but given the incredible ease with which you’re able to hit delirium, you should have spell mastery and draw a couple of extra cards. That’s value.
Savvy teams quickly learned the power of new common Grapple with the Past. This instant will allow you to help find the lands you need early and the power you need late. Bringing back milled Emrakuls in the mid- to late-game means that the stream of power is inevitable.
Gather the Pack may not be a new card, but it’s one that has found new legs with delirium. A single Gather for 2 mana will often enable delirium on turn 2, providing card advantage while also putting key cards in the graveyard. Vessel of Nascency has a similar effect, albeit at a total investment of 1 additional mana. Vessel is a great enchantment to help add to your Emrakul reduction count while also finding you lands or threats.
While Vessels, Gathers, and Grapples won’t get you a Kozilek’s Return in your hand, your graveyard is exactly where you want them. Undercosted Eldrazi allow the return of Return early in the game, making life tough for any deck relying on creatures. The fact that you also have Emrakuls and giant Eldrazi against the decks that don’t have tiny creatures means you’re fighting the good fight on all levels.
Besides Emrakul in the creature count, you have the overpowered Elder Deep-Fiend to ambush creatures, tap down creatures or lands, and bring back your Kozilek’s Return. Casting the Fiend on turn 4 is incredible. To help insure that this happens, Pilgrim’s Eye will provide card advantage, mana fixing, and be the perfect casting cost to emerge out a turn-4 Deep-Fiend.
If that wasn’t enough emerge bang for your buck, Wretched Gryff will do. It’s slightly cheaper, gets you a card even if it doesn’t resolve, and can help block flyers. Definitely some serious value.
Gnarlwood Dryad is a truly exciting new card. As a 1/1 deathtouch for a single mana? I already like where I’m at. This can help get you to the late game, and a Reflector Mage won’t set you back much. It’s also extremely well set up against Dromoka’s Command. Growing to a 3/3 deathtouch creature as early as turn 2 thanks to cards like Gather the Pack makes the Dryad a real threat. You’re also happy to trade off with your Dryads since you’ll always be trading up and it will help fuel delirium.
Finally, you have Ishkanah, Grafwidow. Play with this card. It’s completely game-breaking. Creating 4 creatures that can all block flyers and have resiliency against both Reflector Mage and Spell Queller is perfect for the format. This card takes a warped format and warps it right back in delirium’s direction.
This was easily one of the coolest decks in the format and put up some really solid results. I’m sure there will be plenty more to come from the Pantheon about their newest creation, but as for me, I’ll be sleeving it up both digitally and in paper to try out all of these awesome new cards for myself immediately!