Today I want to discuss some of the brews I came up with while I was on a cruise with the family. One of these decks was the Sultai Delirium deck I played at last weekend's Columbus Open. I unfortunately didn't get to test these decks since I was on a boat and wasn't sure how good they were but since I finished second with the Sultai deck I decided I'd share what other options I was considering for the weekend. You're going to need your brew helmets for these!
In Shadows over Innistrad Standard Zombies was not a real deck. Eldritch Moon has some new zombies, but are they enough? I believe they are.
The deck plays the best zombies along with Jace Vryn's Prodigy. The plan is to get some creatures onto the battlefield and fill the graveyard with zombies from the help of Jace, Gather the Pack, and Haunted Dead. An ideal turn would be turn one Cryptbreaker, turn two Gather the Pack, putting one or more Prized Amalgam and a Haunted Dead into the graveyard, then turn three, activating Haunted Dead discarding another Prized Amalgam and then triggering all the Prized Amalgams to start beating down or drawing some cards with Crpytbreaker. Dark Salvation is good in this deck since we don't have to invest too much mana into it if we already have zombies in play. It can act as a cheap removal spell or a big removal spell that puts zombies into play. While this deck isn't groundbreaking by any means it does have some legs for a zombie deck.
Next up we remain in the same colors but we are now going a control route. This is what I ended up taking to the Columbus Open:
This is one of the better Emrakul, the Promised End shells that isn't all-in on Emrakul. We have Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and Oath of Jace to fill up the graveyard and make Emrakul, the Promised End as cheap as possible. This deck isn't all-in on delirium but it will get it online over time and when it does you will have a handful of payoff cards.
Some things to note: when the Oath of Jace trigger goes onto the stack during your upkeep, you can activate Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and flip him and get to scry before you draw your card. This can be huge!
What if you have delirium and Traverse the Ulvenwald but don't know what to get in the current situation? Fetching a Den Protector when you have six mana is always a safe bet — it allows you to progress the board and buy back Traverse the Ulvenwald right away. With Traverse the Ulvenwald, don't be afraid to cast it a turn early so you can cast Emrakul, the Promised End the next turn. People can try and prepare for a Mindslaver all day, but when it happens, it's still going to hurt… a lot. And this time, it leaves a 13/13 behind! I will have another article this week about this deck and the changes I would make to it. I'm going to test the changes and then I will try and have that up before the weekend!
Another card that was exciting but I didn't know where it went when it was first spoiled was Splendid Reclamation. While I'm still not quite sure where the best home for it is I have a sweet brew for you!
What a beauty!
We are trying to put as many lands into our graveyard as possible with Gather the Pack, Grapple with the Past, Contingency Plan and Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, and follow it up with. We have Jace and Den Protector as insurance in case we mill our Splendid Reclamation. Contingency Plan is card disadvantage but it does help us dig into Splendid Reclamation while we fill our graveyard with lands and Take Inventory. Speaking of Take Inventory, we can turn that card online really quick and that should help us off set the card disadvantage of Contingency Plan. Crush of Tentacles can help offset all the durdling we did while setting up for our Splendid Reclamation. After we get going we can win a plethora of ways thanks to Coax from the Blind Eternities.
Sticking with Simic, here's an Emerge shell:
For card advantage we have Palace Familiar, Duskwatch Recruiter, Elvish Visionary, Wretched Gryff, Matter Reshaper, Sanctum of Ugin, and Zendikar Resurgent. All these cards are great and work well with the rest of the shell. Instead of running Kozilek's Return I am trying to make our opponent wipe our board or risk dying to a bunch of card advantage and later big Eldrazi.
After Eldrazi Skypawner, Elvish Visionary, and Foul Emissary do their thing they are perfect fodder for our pay off cards in Elder Deep-Fiend, Wretched Gryff, and Decimator of Provinces. We even have more creatures that are great to emerge from like Matter Reshaper and Palace Familiar. I would run a couple of Youthful Scholars but with Incendiary Flow and Declaration in Stone running around I'd rather not have my four-drop get exiled and do nothing.
Coax from the Blind Eternities lets you get any number of finishers or threats. Playing against a grindy opponent? Get Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger or Emrakul, the Promised End. Need to draw cards and counter some spells? Kozilek, the Great Distortion is your best choice. Your opponent has a bunch of fliers or an annoying land, enchantment, or artifact? World Breaker will hold down the fort. You can also just finish them off with Decimator of the Provinces. Void Winnower is excellent against ramp decks and Eldrazi Deep-Fiend, and Conduit of Ruin can tutor up a Deep-Fiend for you if you don't have quite the mana to cast it and still want it in your hand. You can also tutor up Eldrazi Displacer if you have Cryptolith Rite or Loam Dryad going and want some blink shenanigans.
Is there a way to combine the green card advantage and still run Kozilek's Return?
This list forgoes Coax from the Blind Eternities completely and instead plays Kozilek's Return and Spatial Contortion. While some decks can handle the front side of Kozilek's Return, not many can handle the backside since it also means you're casting a creature that costs seven or more mana while wiping the board. This is a greedy deck but it has so many answers and threats. Chaining Elder-Deep Fiend over and over again will usually close out a game. You can even tap down every creature except their biggest one and then cast Eldrazi Obligator and swing for 8+ damage in one fell swoop. You can even Eldrazi Obligator a creature they have and then emerge it into something else!
In closing, Spell Queller strategies are the easiest to implement and do well with. That card is powerful but I know we can adapt to and hopefully overcome it. We need to keep an eye out for good five-mana spells. Things like Gilt-Leaf Winnower and Silumgar's Command should get much better now. Just don't Overload on five-drops or you'll die with a bunch of spells in your hand.
Enjoy Eldritch Moon Standard and brew up something sweet. I'm gonna work on this Sultai deck a little more and I'll hopefully have a tuned list by the end of this week, so make sure to keep an eye out for that one!