There are several members on the Pantheon that are always naturally drawn to the green/black midrange and control strategies. This leads to some sub-optimal deck choices sometimes, but it also means we generally have one of the best, if not the best version of those decks at every Pro Tour. For Pro Tour Eldritch Moon, we think there are good reasons to play black/green and we love the version we have.
The deck got three big additions:
Liliana, the Last Hope does a lot for the deck. It helps slow down the game against aggressive strategies, especially shining against decks like White Weenie and Spirits. It helps you find your powerful creatures in the mid-to-late-game, recurs them when needed, and it helps you get delirium.
Ishkanah, Grafwidow is why having delirium is important. When she comes into play and brings 3Spiders with her, it puts a stop to most creature-based attacks, giving you time to set up your powerful, late-game finisher.
Emrakul, the Promised End is that finisher. When you are already going for delirium, it’s not that hard to get the cost down to 7 or even 6 mana. The game doesn’t always end when you cast Emrakul, but you’re very likely to win after controlling their turn and having a 13/13 flying trampler in play.
Here is the list that Andrew Cuneo, Matt Sperling and I are planning on playing:
Grapple with The Past, Vessel of Nascency, and Liliana are the main delirium enablers. The payoff comes from not just Ishkanah and Emrakul, but also in Traverse the Ulvenwald to be a tutor for any of your creatures. Mindwrack Demon has virtually no drawback in this list.
Both Languish and Grasp of Darkness play well with Liliana, taking out any creature with 5 or less toughness. Dead Weight is the best cheap removal spell and the enchantment type is hard to get otherwise, so it fills a role in getting delirium and reducing Emrakul’s casting cost as well.
We expect Bant Company to be the most popular deck, so we are somewhat pre-sideboarded against it. We only board in 5 cards. The game plan is still to control the board, sit behind Ishkanah in the midgame, and then get them with Emrakul. We don’t need a second Emrakul as the first one is unlikely to die and if it gets bounced by a Reflector Mage, we’re fine with that.
Though we don’t expect this deck to be that popular, it did win the last big tournament before the Pro Tour, so we need to be prepared to face it. To the Slaughter is very important here to keep their planewswalkers under control. Mindwrack Demon is great against those too. When boarding out the Dead Weight, we always bring in the Vessel of Nascency to make sure we still have enchantments for delirium.
Against White Weenie, all we want to do is survive. If we get to cast any of our late-game spells, we’re in great shape. Liliana is especially good against them as they have so many creatures that it kills outright. A turn-4 Languish often wins the game.
Green/Red Ramp and RUG Eldrazi
Against other Emrakul decks, we maximize the amount of discard effects we have. The game is all about getting Emrakul into play, so if we can Infinite Obliteration or Pick the Brain them, we’re a huge favorite from there. The Dark Petitions mean we have an even better chance of getting to our discards spells and executing our plan of leaving them without access to Emrakul. Having an Ob Nixilis in play and 6 or more loyalty is a good way to make sure you can kill their Emrakul if they do get to cast it.
Black Control Decks, Including the Mirror
Against other black control decks, we fall back on the Seasons Past plan. It’s likely that they have similar ways to get Emrakul out of our hand, so we can’t fully rely on that card being our win condition. Infinite Obliteration is generally only good if they play Emrakul themselves, which might not be the case for some of the black/white planeswalker decks.
This is what we’re going to do—hopefully our testing pays off and we all make Top 8!