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Deck Spotlight - Temurge Eldrazi


I want to start off with a word of thanks - I really want to say thank you to all the people who contacted me in person or through facebook or in the comments and provided me with feedback and their opinions on the subjects I wrote about. You guys are great, keep it coming, I'm always up for a talk.

Recently, many of my articles criticized GPs for a number of reasons, and it is no secret that I am no fan of the GP system and what it brings to the players. Despite that, I tend to get talked into trips that include playing in a GP from time to time. My weakness once again got the best of me and I got talked into attending a Standard GP in Utrecht, Netherlands.  

In my last article, I mentioned how Standard is very weird right now and I can't really say what the best deck is at the moment and that I have no idea what I would sleeve up for the next GP. Well, when I decided to attend Utrecht, I still had no idea, so I looked for help. Since I have the privilege of knowing Aleksa Telarov, a gold pro from Serbia, I went to him to work on some ideas. I wanted to create a deck that is using and abusing Kozilek's Return and Elder Deep-Fiend, but Aleksa argued that Kozilek's Return is often too slow and inefficient against B/G Constrictor which is quickly becoming the most popular deck in the metagame. On the other hand, Elder Deep-Fiend was something he was trying to test out in different shells anyway, so we went to work on that. The first step was figuring out creatures that are good to 'eat' with the Fiend, and several came to mind. The first one we tried to abuse was Maverick Thopterist. We tried out both Jeskai and Grixis shells, but even though some draws were very good, the deck felt rather unstable in both versions. Other creatures that came to mind were Rogue Refiner and Matter Reshaper - since the Fiend's Emerge cost is 7, if you sacrifice a three drop, you can curve out a Fiend on turn four. We started experimenting with Sultai, Temur and other combinations and generally liked how the deck performed in all the different iterations. Temur was particularly interesting and a similar list to what we might play in Utrecht appeared in a recent SCG IQ top 8.

Temurge Eldrazi

Elder Deep-Fiend
Eldritch Moon (Foil)

I must admit that I forget from time to time that Eldrazi exist at all in the current Standard. We got spoiled by insane things those aliens did in Modern, so it often feels lackluster to run them without Eldrazi Temples or Eye of Ugin. This is understandable, though Eldrazi aren't really weak in Standard either, especially now when chaining Elder Deep-Fiends wins the games against pretty much every other Standard deck.

This is pretty much the whole plan that the deck has - try curving out (mostly from turn three sadly) into strong Eldrazi creatures, then top it all off with Elder Deep-Fiend, sacrificing Sanctum of Ugin to get more Fiends and finish the game in one or two unopposed attacks.

The card choices really tell you a lot about how Fiend-centered this deck is. The three drops are basically all cards that work well with Elder-Deep Fiend, and obviously, there are four Fiends and four Sanctum of Ugin in the list to maximize the chances of playing as many Fiends in a game as possible.

Maybe the most interesting card in the list is Metallic Mimic, which is not really a card I expected to see a whole lot in Constructed, but is featured in this deck as a four-of. It can also be found in the Grixis Improvise list from the same SCG IQ, which was even more of a surprise to me. It might seem that Mimic is here only because it boosts the Eldrazi, playing the 'Warchief' role for the tribe, but it is just a part of the truth. Mimic is the only two drop in the deck, since, well, Eldrazi aren't really known for their great two drops (no, Thought Knot Seer is not a two drop anymore) and while it might be a problem for the deck to basically start their game from turn three, Mimic allows for some far more explosive starts. Also, it is worth mentioning that his ability works on tokens as well, turning Eldrazi Scions into 2/2s and making turn three Eldrazi Skypawner a 5-power drop which is nothing to sneeze at. Other creatures are mostly just the usual Eldrazi creatures - Thought-Knot Seer, Reality Smasher, Matter Reshaper... all of these are here to actually provide the needed power on the table to finish the game once the Elder Deep-Fiend starts clearing the way.

The removal suite consists of Shock and Harnessed Lightning which are both cheap and efficient enough to make sure you can stem the bleeding a bit when you play against a fast deck that might take advantage of the slow start that Eldrazi have.

The sideboard is a mix, but has pretty much a decent idea what it wants to do. There are more ways to battle quick(er) decks with additional two burn spells (Incendiary Flow) and three sweeper cards (2x Radiant Flames 1x Kozilek's Return) these cards are mostly replacing the more expensive Eldrazi creatures in matchups where you don't have as much time to deploy those. These sideboard cards are often complimented with the artifact removal suite (2x Natural State, 1x Release the Gremlins) - especially against Mardu vehicles and other aggressive decks that run vehicles and/or artifact creatures. Artifact removal is getting more and more useful lately, with all the Improvise decks sprouting up in recent weeks. A playset of Negates for control decks is an obvious addition, and is a direct replacement for the Harnessed Lightning in the main deck. The last sideboard slots are here for Baral's Expertise which is just amazing against B/G decks and for Skysovereign, Consul Flagship which is... well, great against pretty much everything that has things with three toughness.

All in all, if you are looking for a new way to attack Standard and want a relatively cheap deck that is not hard to play, search no more - Temurge Eldrazi is the deck for you!

Good luck and have fun!

Stjepan Sučić
Stjepan Sucic

About Stjepan Sučić

Stjepan started his Magic career in 2003, and had some decent finishes over the years, including a World Magic Cup top 8, Pro Tour and Worlds top 32 finishes, and a GP top 8, with 61 pro points total.

During the summer months he is also a Magic Online grinder who you can easily find in the draft queues. Stjepan boasts a 74% win rate in his real life Magic career. When he is not playing Magic, Stjepan enjoys watching Starcraft and playing MOBA games.

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