Elder Deep-Fiend into Elder Deep-Fiend (into Elder Deep-Fiend)

Elder Deep-Fiend
Elder Deep-Fiend is one of five Eldritch Moon cards that have completely revolutionized Standard

After a pair of weeks that saw a Spell Queller-fueled Bant Company and a retro-inspired G/W Tokens take early crowns at Star City Games Standard Opens, Pro Tour Eldritch Moon became a showcase for a number of new strategies, many of which were centered around Elder Deep-Fiend.

Turbo-Emrakul, by Owen Turtenwald

1 Chandra, Flamecaller
3 Emrakul, the Promised End
3 Elder Deep-Fiend
1 Wretched Gryff
4 Gnarlwood Dryad
3 Pilgrim’s Eye
2 Ishkanah, Grafwidow

4 Gather the Pack
4 Nissa’s Pilgrimage
4 Kozilek’s Return
4 Grapple with the Past
2 Corrupted Grafstone
4 Vessel of Nascency

3 Shivan Reef
4 Yavimaya Coast
1 Mountain
3 Island
7 Forest
3 Game Trail

sideboard:
2 Dispel
1 Coax from the Blind Eternities
2 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
1 Den Protector
2 Fiery Impulse
2 Invasive Surgery
1 Summary Dismissal
1 Clip Wings
1 Negate
2 Shaman of Forgotten Ways

Elder Deep-Fiend is a transitional card in Owen’s deck. It buys time and can be a powerful threat… But it’s not the end game for this deck. Owen uses Pilgrim’s Eye as his preferred Elder Deep-Fiend setup man, which is subtly important. Pilgrim’s Eye is an artifact. It’s perfect in every way, actually… A three mana creature that generates card advantage into chaining into a “four” mana “seven drop”. The basic land undoes the inherent disadvantage of the Emerge mechanic, but getting an artifact into the graveyard (and for that matter an artifact creature) makes Emrakul, the Promised End that much faster.

Owen’s deck is all about Emrakul, the Promised End. If he can buy enough time with Elder Deep-Fiend, Emrakul will win it. That is the bet.

Temerge by Andrew Brown

4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
4 Primal Druid
4 Matter Reshaper
3 Shaman of Forgotten Ways
1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
4 Wretched Gryff
1 Lashweed Lurker
3 Elder Deep-Fiend

4 Gather the Pack
4 Grapple with the Past
4 Kozilek’s Return

4 Yavimaya Coast
4 Shivan Reef
4 Sanctum of Ugin
4 Lumbering Falls
1 Woodland Stream
4 Forest
2 Island
1 Mountain

sideboard:
4 Traverse the Ulvenwald
2 Noose Constrictor
2 Radiant Flames
2 Kiora, Master of the Depths
1 World Breaker
1 Emrakul, the Promised End
1 Eldrazi Obligator
1 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
1 Thought-Knot Seer

Elder Deep-Fiend has a completely different role in Andrew Brown’s deck. Rather than Emrakul being “the thing” in this deck the Deep-Fiend itself is not just a transitional card but a potential end game lock.

This deck wants to chain Elder Deep-Fiend into the next (and next) copies via Sanctum of Ugin. It is quite feasible to Time Walk the opponent four or so times, attacking for 20 with massive tempo generators. Sometimes you just draw multiple copies; sometimes Grapple with the Past keeps your Eldrazi flowing.

It is pretty natural for Elder Deep-Fiend-based Emerge decks to be Temur. Green is the best setup color due to cards like Grapple with the Past or mana accelerators like Primal Druid or Nissa’s Pilgrimage. Elder Deep-Fiend itself is colorless (but requires blue mana).

Rounding out Temur is of course Kozilek’s Return.

It is difficult to exaggerate how compelling Kozilek’s Return is in this format. It ruins all the small creature decks, and the fat casting costs on Wretched Gryff; Emrakul, the Promised End; or of course Elder Deep-Fiend buy this card back famously.

POST SCRIPT:
We didn’t have access to all of our usual recording equipment this week. (Slight) apologies on sound quality this week.

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