Manifesting Emrakul

A lot of people want to see Manifest Emrakul, so I’ve been working on it. Any new way to cheat out the 15/15 spaghetti monster deserves attention.

Manifest is a new ability from Fate Reforged that can flip an Emrakul face down on the battlefield. Use a blink effect like Cloudshift and bam—Emrakul is in play.

We have a lot of options to fill out the deck based on preference/budget so let’s take a look at some of them.

If we’re going to flip anything face up, how about Emrakul or Omniscience to cast the Emrakul in our hand? These are the two best options and nothing else comes close.

There are cards like Iona, Shield of Emeria and Griselbrand but if we’re going big we should go biggest.

Congregation at Dawn would be the most consistent way to set things up, though it’s not the fastest. Dig up 3 creatures: a Whisperwood Elemental to manifest an Emrakul followed by a Restoration Angel to flip it, followed by an Emrakul attack.

A slow but methodical way to go that could fit as a finishing package in a green/white deck with mana dorks.

Cloudform is the most popular option because hexproof ability. This guarantees no shenanigans from the opponent. Protection from Lightning Bolt and Path to Exile please!

Soul Summons and Write into Being are decent, cheap manifest spells with pros and cons.

Reality Shift is a great one as it can double as a removal spell to take out a key creature or a manifest if we have a creature in play.

We have a lot of blink options available in Modern: Cloudshift and Momentary Blink may be the best between cost and flashback.

But between Voyager Staff, Turn to Mist, and Ghostly Flicker we could go for a mono-blue option as well. If we are starting from basic Island, this is good news.

If we are going to manifest off the top it’s very important that we have ways to stack our deck! Consider these scry dorks.

Sage of Epityr and Sage Owl can both dig 4 cards deep to set up a combo. These creatures also combo well with blink effects in a pinch. Ghostly Flicker on Augury Owl and a Sage dig SEVEN cards deep to set up a manifest.

If we use this as our team we won’t be nearly as consistent as Congregation at Dawn but we have the potential to be faster. Also, the randomness of this strategy is pretty appealing.

Some more ways to stack the top of our deck. These don’t dig as deep and they don’t combo with our blink effects but they will do the job.

Fetchlands have the potential to be very good in this strategy. If we dig 4 cards deep off a Sage we can draw the one we want and shuffle away the rest.

However, fetchlands have their drawback as well—they might force us to shuffle when we don’t want to. It’s nice to have access to some amount of these but not too many.

Emrakul or Omniscience will get into our hand, and these are the best ways to get rid of them. See Beyond or Thirst for Knowledge can be used to turn those blanks into relevant cards.

Alternatively, Fold into Aether can combo with a Sage to dump Emrakul directly into play. This could be a nice back-up plan.

These are attractive disruption spells. Reality Shift has the manifest mechanic. Similarly, Path to Exile can target our own creature to ramp/shuffle.

Disrupting Shoal is a nice option for any combo deck looking to protect itself, and is a worthy consideration here.

Windbrisk Heights is another great back-up plan. We all know how powerful this card can be, and with a version stacked with scry dorks Windbrisk Heights could be a viable alternative to give the deck much-needed consistency.

Aethermage’s Touch is another more consistent option as it looks at 4 times as many cards. An end-of-turn Aethermage’s Touch gives us one attack and with Emrakul that’s frequently all it takes.

Putting it Together

While I encourage you to explore green/white, I am starting with blue/white and mono-blue versions, so here’s a taste of what that could look like:

U/W Emrakul Manifest

Mono-Blue Emrakul Manifest

Manifesting Emrakul

If you’re into manifesting Emrakul in Modern this could be a great way to go. The white version feels a lot more competitive, but the mono-blue version may be cheaper and easier to put together.

Neither is likely to win the next big Modern tournament, but as a thought experiment to combo the new cards with the old, these decks are successful. Of course, there are more options as well.

Is there another version you like? Have your own version? Think there’s a crucial card I missed? Let’s hear it!


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