The Temur Emerge deck looked to be one of the strongest following Pro Tour Eldritch Moon, but the banning of Emrakul changed things dramatically. Losing its top end changed the way the deck was played, and success didn’t follow. But some incredible new tools from Hour may have made Temur Emerge a tier 1 deck again.
The biggest addition comes in the form of Champion of Wits. This is exactly what the deck wants on many levels. First, Champion is a 3-mana creature, meaning it has the perfect converted mana cost to emerge out an Eldrazi off of 4 mana. Second, the Champion allows you to dig deeper into your deck while putting cards into your graveyard. Finally, the Champion comes back from the graveyard to both give you a 4/4 creature and some card advantage. Temur Emerge cares greatly about putting key cards into the graveyard and finding important cards in a timely manner. Drawing 2 to discard 2 is strong, and drawing 4 to discard 2 is amazing. Champion is a game-changer.
Elder Deep-Fiend is the Eldrazi of choice and the way that these decks win the game. This is the perfect combo enabler with Kozilek’s Return and you have tons of ways to get the Return into the graveyard. Deep-Fiend will be cheap to cast in many situations, and tapping an opponent out while sweeping their board is an unbeatable combination.
Prized Amalgam can’t actually be cast in this deck. There’s no black mana—not even Aether Hub. With lots of ways to put cards into the graveyard both from your library and from your hand, that isn’t a real issue. Amalgam has gotten even better with Champion of Wits as an additional way to get it out of your hand and into the graveyard where you need it.
Stitchwing Skaab is another card you’re happy to mill, and that you can discard for value with cards like Champion. This is your Amalgam “combo” as you can discard Amalgams to the Skaab or just bring back Skaab to trigger Amalgams. Either way, this will add a ton of power to the battlefield, and since you’re getting incidental card advantage through your mill, your late game is amazing.
Ishkanah, Grafwidow and Glorybringer give you additional ways to control the board. You have no trouble getting delirium, so Ishkanah should almost always make three Spiders. You can use these finishers to remove key creatures or blank your opponent’s board, and you have ways to bring both back from the graveyard.
Grapple with the Past is a key card to the archetype. You’re looking for specific cards, and are happy to mill extras into your graveyard. Being able to “tutor” back Ishkanah or Deep-Fiends late is absurdly powerful. Vessel of Nascency isn’t as powerful as Grapple since you can’t actually return something like Ishkanah, but it does put lots of cards into your graveyard and dig you to your powerful threats.
Traverse the Ulvenwald will be a 1-mana tutor for a creature more often than not. You can get a land when needed, but fetching a Champion, Eldrazi, or Ishkanah is going to be the more common and more powerful mode.
Strategic Planning is another new addition as a mini-Grapple that can get spells. Again, cards that dig while incidentally adding to your graveyard are fantastic. You have delirium, Champions, Amalgams, Skaabs, and Kozilek’s Returns that all want to be in the graveyard.
Lightning Axe is the removal spell of choice. It’s efficient, kills almost everything, and can put key cards into your graveyard in a pinch.
Champion of Wits may have been the piece of the puzzle that Temur Emerge was missing. It’s an incredible card early and late that fits perfectly!