Today we’ll take a break from Her Noodliness and discuss Emerge, one of the mechanics from Eldritch Moon. It saw some play at the Pro Tour last weekend, so we’ll go over a few things so you know what to do when you’re playing it, or playing against it this weekend at Game Day! Emerge is a pretty simple mechanic, and feels like a modified version of “Offering” from the Kamigawa block. Put simply, these scary Eldrazi have their normal cost, and also their Emerge cost. For example, Elder Deep-Fiend has a mana cost of 8, and an Emerge cost of 5UU. Emerge is an alternate cost that you can choose to use instead of the normal cost, but part of Emerge is sacrificing a creature! It’s not an optional part, either- you can’t just Emerge an Elder Deep-Fiend onto an empty board by paying 5UU. On the upside, the sacrificed creature gives you a discount equal to its CMC; if you pop a 4 drop for Deep-Fiend’s Emerge, it’ll only cost you 1UU to cast instead of 5UU. This will only ever reduce the generic portion of the cost- even if you sacrificed a Nephalia Moondrakes to cast your Elder Deep-Fiend, it’d still cost you UU. The Emerge creatures are also colorless despite the colored mana symbols in their Emerge costs; Deep-Fiend is not a blue spell, nor a blue creature, so it won’t be in danger from Ultimate Price (but it does have a blue color IDENTITY for the purposes of Commander!).
So, what if your opponent wants to kill your creature so you can’t Emerge? Well, they’ll have to be thinking ahead of you, because you don’t say what you’re Emerging until you’re actually casting the spell, and they can’t respond in the middle of that! They can kill your biggest creature during, say, your Upkeep so you can’t Emerge with it during your Main Phase, but they can’t wait for you to start casting your nasty Eldrazi to interfere. By the time they can respond, your creature’s been sacrificed, your Emerge spell is on the stack, and the trigger is above it- because all the Emerge creatures (except Drownyard Behemoth, that pattern wrecking Crab!) have triggers that fire when you cast them. Those triggers are independent of the Emerge spell itself; if your opponent has a counter for your Elder Deep-Fiend, you still get to tap stuff down! The triggers will resolve before the creatures, as well; if you cast Decimator of the Provinces it won’t be on the battlefield as the “When you cast” trigger resolves, so it won’t give itself the +2/+2 and trample for the turn. Finally, Emerge doesn’t change WHEN you can cast a spell; Deep-Fiend and Behemoth both have Flash so you can drop them in response to things, but that’s because they HAVE Flash. The other Emerge creatures don’t, so you’re stuck casting them at the normal time: during your own Main Phase while the stack is empty. No surprise Vexing Scuttlers or Wretched Gryffs as combat tricks without something like a Leyline of Anticipation!
Today’s Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez