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Playing Pauper: Simic Emerge

Welcome to another week of Playing Pauper! This week's deck is built around the Eldritch Moon mechanic emerge. We've added a lot of valuable two and three cost creatures to sacrifice, and we're hoping this deck can stand up in the Pauper metagame.

Check out the matches, then read the discussion below. If you enjoy Playing Pauper, subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube channel! It helps us draw more people to the channel, and it helps you to never miss any of our great video content.

Simic Emerge Intro

Simic Emerge vs Slivers

Simic Emerge vs GW Hexproof

Simic Emerge vs Slivers

Simic Emerge vs Infect

Simic Emerge vs Izzet Drake

The Deck

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The deck is built around casting these creatures as quickly as possible and with a large discount in their costs.

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Most of the small creatures in the deck draw a card. The goal is to not fall behind in card advantage when having to sacrifice our creatures to pay emerge costs.

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While the smaller creatures help dig for lands, these larger ones offer a better chance at finding our emerge creatures. If we can't draw Wretched Gryff or It of the Horrid Swarm, we're just playing a lot of 1/1s for no reason.

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Epic Confrontation is the deck's singular way of interacting with the opponent. In retrospect, there should be more cards in this category. I'm not sure whether fight spells or bounce spells or counterspells are the way to go, but the deck definitely needs more disruption main deck.

The Sideboard

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Aerial Volley shoots down flyers from Mono Blue Delver or Izzet Drake.

Hydroblast is hyper efficient removal against any deck featuring Red.

Relic of Progenitus is a cheap solution to opposing graveyards.

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Gleeful Sabotage is great against Affinity and can sometimes work against GW Hexproof as well.

Tangle is good against all in aggressive decks when you need to win a damage race.

Stormbound Geist is nice against control decks and decks with lots of flyers since it has to die twice.

The Matchups

After taking this deck through a league, I am not convinced that it has any good matchups. This deck's ideal opponent would be one that attacks with lots of 1/1 ground creatures and doesn't have any individual creatures that need to be removed. Unfortunately nothing fits that description in the current metagame.

Beating Simic Emerge

If you happen to see this deck in a league, just save your removal for the emerge creatures and find a way to get past all the 1/1s on the ground.


What looked like an efficient deck that could generate some value turned out to be too slow for Pauper and lacking sufficient interaction to survive to the late game. If you want this deck to be competitively viable, you'll likely have to make several changes. If you figure out the key to solving this deck, let me know!

If there's a lesson to learn from this poor showing, it's that decks should either have a plan to win quickly or not lose quickly. Your opponents are allowed to try to win the game, and if you don't have a way to prevent that, your deck will be powerless to resist its 0-5 fate.


Viewer submissions are open! I'll still be playing known decks occasionally, but I'll mostly be playing:

  • Decks submitted by viewers
  • Decks created from viewer challenges (e.g. build a deck around Horned Kavu)
  • Decks created by Jake (especially ones comprised of cards from new sets such as Eldritch Moon)

Email me at or Tweet to me @JakeStilesMTG with your decklist or challenge, and I'll give you a shout-out if I use your submission!

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