The Combo

The aim of the deck is to play an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn as early as possible (usually done on turn 4, but can be done on turn 3), by using one of our 6 'polymorph' Indomitable Creativity // Polymorph spells on a creature or artifact token. These 'polymorph' spells destroy a creature or artifact and reveal cards from the top of our library until we reveal another creature or artifact (this is why we dont play any artifacts) and then we put that creature on to the battlefield (not cast) to replace the one we destroyed. With our only creatures in deck being Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Iona, Shield of Emeria (sideboard), we will always hit one of these 2 and force our opponent to have a few answers to beat these creatures.

Deck Gameplan:

We play a land on each turn so that on turn 4 we have the chance to go for the combo and overwhelm our opponent with an Emrakul on turn 4. To do this we will need to cycle, loot and filter through our deck using Serum Visions , Izzet Charm , See Beyond , Sweltering Suns and Prismari Command . While also making our land drops we want to make sure that we are also searching for our combo pieces, (token generator, artifact maker, polymorph), while ensuring that our Emrakul stays in our library by scrying away or discarding it so it can be shuffled in.
When we hit turn 4 we will want to play a land for turn to enable us the possibility of hitting the combo straight away if we believe our opponent wont have a spell to prevent Emrakul. However sometimes its better to wait until we can target multiple creatures/artifacts with Indomitable Creativity as an opponent can fizzle the spell by targeting the creature/artifact we want to polymorph with a removal spell, so by targeting 2 creatures/artifacts we will usually avoid this situation.

Popular Cards that can get rid of Emrakul once it hits the battlefield: Wrath of God , Supreme Verdict , Teferi, Time Raveler , Jace, the Mind Sculptor , Oblivion Ring , journey to knowhere.

Cards to play around if you know you're opponent has them: Smallpox , Gatekeeper of Malakir , Liliana of the Veil , Blessed Alliance , Kaya's Guile .

If we know our opponent is holding up a problematic spell or you don't need to rush into a quick polymorph then we can wait until 6 lands which will enable protection of our combo by having multiple creatures on the field or a counter with Izzet Charm or Dovin's Veto // Dispel (sideboard).

We want to be closing out the game very soon as other decks will be making big plays or closing in quickly on our life total or their combo and we aren't going to win a game by out-valuing our opponent. So when we hit 6 lands we can successfully hold up additional spells to help our Emrakul survive the turn: Izzet Charm , Dovin's Veto // Dispel (sideboard) to protect our Emrakul when we pass the turn, this should hopefully allow us to counter any spell our opponent may use to get rid of Emrakul before it annihilates their board.

Budget Considerations

Arid Mesa // Flooded Strand // Steam Vents // Spirebluff Canal ----- Sulfur Falls -> Riverglide Pathway   -> Shivan Reef - You generally want to be making a play on each of your first four turns, which will enable your looting effects to help find your combo pieces fast, so untapped lands are important to enable this. The lands are also the most expensive part of the deck, but creates consistency to comboing off on turn 4 and also enables you to fetch Dwarven Mine to instantly tutor out a creature token. If you drop the fetchlands, I would suggest dropping the Dwarven Mine 's also as these will mostly come in tapped and not create you a token.

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn ----- Progenitus -> Iona, Shield of Emeria - Any big creature that can win the game either instantly, or in 1 or 2 attacks is important (try find one with protection though), so if you are going to buy 1 card for the deck, I would suggest making it your finisher.

Teferi, Time Raveler ----- Chandra, Acolyte of Flame -> Remand - Teferi doesnt really have a direct replacement, as not only does it protect our combo by not allowing instant speed reaction to our polymorph, it can also bounce any permenant and find us our combo pieces. If you are going to replace this card, make sure its with either another combo piece (chandra for the tokens), or a protection piece, (remand for the counter).

Boseiju, Who Shelters All ----- Leyline of Anticipation -> Quicken -> Counterflux - There aren't really any replacements for Boseiju so its best to save your money on this one and play Leyline, Quicken or Counterflux. The leyline will enable you to polymorph at the end of the turn, thus trying to avoid counterspels. Quicken changes the deck direction to be able to play on your opponents end step and waiting until turn 5 minimum, however it is a good replacement when you are trying to force through your spell. Counterflux is the only other real consideration but will delay you until turn 7 to polymorph successfully.

Surgical Extraction ----- Ravenous Trap -> Scavenger Grounds -> Extirpate - One of the hardest problems for blue/red decks is to stop opposing graveyards and they have to utilise artifact cards like Tormod's Crypt or Relic of Progenitus . However our cards stop the use of artifacts, so we will need to use of our only option of Ravenous Trap or Scavenger Grounds . As we create treasure tokens we can use this to splash black for Extirpate or similar graveyard hate, but dont rely on this method. If you want more graveyard hate, invest into exile effects like Anger of the Gods , Lava Coil . Any graveyard hate you use should only exile the opposing graveyard as we use our for shuffling in our emrakul, so Rest in Peace isn't a valid option.

Other Reasonable Replacements

The below cards are all reasonable replacements for this deck and some have been in previous iterations of this deck during the last few years. So if you already own any of these cards and want to include them into your version of the deck, it should be easy enough to make some sensible replacements without hindering the polymorph gameplan. This is by no means a definitive list, so if you have other suggestions or want some advice on other replacements, I'll be happy to discuss in the comments.

Remember that artifacts like clue tokens, can be targetted by our polymorph spell (Indomitable Creativity).

Rune Snag , Trail of Evidence , Mission Briefing , Depths of Desire , Thought Scour , Cathartic Reunion , Jace, the Mind Sculptor , Opt , Spawning Breath , Spreading Seas , Drake Haven , Censor , Goblinslide , Goblin Assault , Remand , Raise the Alarm , Omen of the Sun , Lingering Souls

Card Choices

Hard Evidence can be replaced with any token generating card in our colours but this not only slows down aggro but gives us 2 tokens for 1 card for indomitable creativity and gives us more late game with the card draw from the clue tokens. Honestly the perfect card for our deck.
Prismari Command enables us to put an artifact token onto the field at instant speed, this artifact can help us cast our sideboard Iona or can be used to polymorph onto. Artifacts are inherently more difficult for opponents to deal with, specifically game 1. This also helps us loot for our combo pieces and can even keep us in the game early. The biggest upside of this card is that its instant speed and can create an artifact at the end of turn to polymorph straight onto.
Dwarven Mine allows us to utilise our Arid Mesa 's to grab this card and instantly make a token when we need one. We usually dont care about hitting 4 mountains by turn 4 but this isnt a rare occurence so make sure you dont forget about this little trick.
Strike it Rich Allows us to combo on turn 3. If we cast this card before turn 3 and have another token on the field (crab / clue / treasure) then we can use the treasure to cast a turn 4 polymorph. Dont forget about the flashback of this card which is a good way to get a treasure by discarding it earlier and flashing it back later.
See Beyond is a card that allows us to avoid graveyard hate on both of our finishers, and also allows to shuffle in our Iona, Shield of Emeria , as this card cant come back if it hits our graveyard. See Beyond also allows us to have a better late game against control decks by drawing us cards, as most of our early game effects only cycle or loot, and don't generate card advantage.
Timely Reinforcements gives us a lot of game against aggro decks by creating blockers and tokens for our polymorph, but also gaining us life. The reason this doesnt appear in the mainboard is the sorcery speed of the card.
Iona, Shield of Emeria is in the sideboard if you need to add in a different threat from Surgical Extraction or other search and exile cards. Iona, Shield of Emeria also can beat decks like burn/8 rack/scapeshift/combo by not giving them an extra turn, as she shuts down these combo and mono coloured decks as soon as she hits the board.
Boseiju, Who Shelters All is in the sideboard for control matchups, which is one of the harder matchups to win and should allow us to force through a polymorph in what will be longer games of magic. Cycling and looting should allow us to find this one of land and the reason for 1 not 2 is we dont want to see multiple as our mana base is already very demanding in red.

FNM Results

Overview: This is a difficult matchup for us, as this deck runs multiple cheap disruption spells, Inquisition of Kozilek , Thoughtseize and Collective Brutality as well as multiple cheap removal spells, Fatal Push , Lightning Bolt , Dreadbore , Terminate and Kolaghan's Command so keeping our combo pieces in hand or keeping creatures on the board is very difficult.

Matches: I won the first game by beating down with 1/1 goblin tokens while removing enough young pyromancers to get around 12 points of damage in, meaning after my opponents fetch lands I could cast a bolt to win.

Sideboard: +4 cloudform, +2 pyroclasm /\ -4 censor -1 izzet charm, -1 serum visions

The second game I got hit with a lot of hand disruption and couldn't find any board wipes for the go wide nature of this deck and got quickly overwhelemed with no answers in hand, a good draw from this deck though.

The third game I managed to get a turn 3 Cloudform down following it up with a Hordeling Outburst for enough chump blocking to find and resolve a polymorph onto the cloudform, which has hexproof, so i knew as soon as found this, it would be the game, and with the high amount of filter, i found one quickly.

Overview: This match is very easy as naturally soul sisters sets up for a longer grindy game of gaining lots of life and not having much removal, usually just the 4 main Path to Exile , so we can use indomnitble creativity to target multiple creatures and win without trouble. Be careful of sideboard oblivion rings though, as this can target Emrakul.

Matches: I won game 1 on turn 4 with an end of turn Spawning Breath after my opponent tapped out for Ranger of Eos which meant turn 4 i had an unchallenged polymorph which won the game.

Sideboard: +1 iona, shield of emeria, +2 pyroclasm /\ -3 censor

The second game was much of the same with my opponent not playing very fast and always holding back mana, however this meant that they werent putting any pressure on my life total and giving me more time assemble more goblins and more mana. I eventually had my first polymorph fizzled by a path, while holding my second polymoph for the next turn and this time targetting 2 creatures and getting both emrakul and iona, naming white. My opponent scooped and this matchup seems like nearly impossible to lose.

Overview: This game is quite difficult game one as the speed of this deck can cause us an issue, even if emrakul hits the board turn 4, so we need to disrupt the opponents fast start and then play the aggresive polymorphs, these colourless big mana decks are the reason for 3 sideboard ceremonious rejections.

Matches: Game one my opponent dropped a few eldrazi temples and lead a turn 2 thought-knot into a turn 3 reality smasher. I managed to chump block until a turn 4 polymorph but got hit by the 1 of Warping Wail which countered my polymorph and managed to give my opponent the turn to swing for lethal.

Sideboard: +3 ceremonious rejection /\ -1 sweltering suns, -1 drake haven, -1 faithless looting

The second game I managed to censor a turn 2 reality smasher from my opponent exiling a simian spirit guide, then turn 3 mana leak his second reality smasher, enabling me to drop 6, 1/1 goblins on the next 2 turns getting in some damage and enabling me to find a polymorph. The first polymorph got countered by Warping Wail but the second one got through while my opponent could only attack with mutavault and blinkmoth nexus's.

The third game I found some of my sideboard ceremonious rejections, having 1 in my starting hand and the island to cast it turn 1, so i countered my opponents first play of a matter reshaper, although another matter reshaper got through and my opponent was playing very defensively, so i waited until turn 6 to leave up a polymorph and mana leak came at a time where my opponent only left up 2 mana after casting another reality smasher. As expected my opponent left up a Warping Wail which was quickly mana leaked and let emrakul resolve and meant my opponent couldnt attack and fell victim to anhilate 6 which cleared his whole board and put me 3/0.

Overview: A matchup that we have slightly unfavorable odds, as our opponent is backing lots of counterspells and waiting for us to make the first move. and can sometimes overwhelm us with snapcaster value and beatdowns.

Matches: Game one took the expected route of both players dropping lands and passing the turn and this really felt like a game where drake haven would make a big play if i could get it resolved on the table, but unfortuantly didnt find it. My opponent started playing snapcasters on turn 7-10 and getting in damage while always leaving up Cryptic Command and Logic Knot 's. I eventually got beat down by snapcaster and deciever exarch while having 3 of my polymorphs countered. Managed to even include a backup counter on my last try, but my opponent had 2 counterspells to beat this.

Sideboard: +2 dispel +1 iona, shield of emeria, +2 relic /\ -4 censor, -1 sweltering suns

The second game was much of the same although I didnt get a great draw and all my filtering couldnt find my main cards of the deck of Hordeling Outburst and Drake Haven and my opponent managed to play the kiki jiki on turn 7 without me getting a counterspell or dispel in my hand. Slightly disappointing game as i also had a few draws where my opponent tapped out to play cards but i didn't find the right cards.

I came second, losing only to the person coming first, and with a bit more luck and more games with the deck, I could have stolen a game in the last match if not taken the 4-0 record.
Overview: This matchup is a little bit favoured towards us as we have counter spells and it even gets better after sideboard, however these matchups are always close as we are both looking to get Emrakul into play as fast as possible. We need to play the control deck in this matchup unless we can get a turn 4 Emrakul or see our opponent having a slow start either missing lands or cantrip artifacts.

Matches: The matches went quite smoothly and I managed to keep all krark-clan ironworks off the board while assembling combo pieces, usually theres isnt much cards we care about which enabled me to always hold up counters with my combo. I managed to get Emrakul out turn 7/8 and my opponent scooped immediately.

Sideboard: +3 Ceremonious Rejection, +1 Cyclonic Rift /\ -1 sweltering suns, -2 lightning bolt, -1 spawning breath

The second game went very similarly to the first, but with better counterspell options and again I managed to combo off around turn 7/8 and my opponent scooped up his cards.

Overview: Difficult game but ultimately lost to mistakes i made during both games in what creatures to counter and which to bolt. The matchup is decided on counterspells as Bant spirits plays a tempo based game where they want to flash in spirits at my end step or when casting my spells for value. The decks most problematic creatures are Spell Queller and Mausoleum Wanderer both allowing my spells to be countered, however Indomitable Creativity can be cast for 5 to get around the queller.

Matches: The games both went very similarly with my opponent making a few early game spirit plays which kept picking up a few points of damage while leaving up counterspells, queller and Collected Company for end of turn plays forcing me to make my moves first or I would lose to the incremental spirit damage. I need more time with the deck to work out the best path to victory for this deck as it was a relatively easy win for my opponent.

Sideboard: +1 Boseiju, who shelters all, +2 pyroclasm /\ -3 remand

Overview: This deck is another difficult matchup for us with a lot of their deck being a natural counter to what we want to do and I always found myself 1 turn behind pulling off the combo or stabilising, which is kind of the point of Eldrazi and taxes. However I may need to find some sideboard tech against this matchup as it can swarm the board quickly and disrupt my combo in multiple ways. upgrading pyroclasm to anger of the gods may be a good swap.

Matches: The first game my opponent managed to play a turn 1 Aether Vial which made most of my counterspells pointless and quickly followed it up by a turn 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben which meant all of my looting and low cost spells were now less effective and I didnt find a Lightning Bolt or Spawning Breath all game. I got finished off by a turn 3 Reality Smasher from 2 Eldrazi Temple 's, which killed me on turn 6.

Sideboard: +3 Ceremonious rejection /\ -1 trail of evidence, -1 spawning breath, -1 faithless looting

The second game had similar cards with a turn 1 aether vial off of a eldrazi temple, however a turn 3 Thought-Knot Seer pulled out my combo piece which i found again after cycling cards, but then again on the turn before playing it I got hit by a Thalia to make it 1 extra mana to cast, so by the time I could pull off the combo I would be dead anyway as the board was full of thraben inspectors an eldrazi displacer and a blade splicer.

Overview: Mono black control is a 50/50 matchup for us depending on how much early game removal I get hit with, and its generally better sticking with looting effects in your hand than combo pieces so that Thoughtseize Inquisition of Kozilek and Collective Brutality doesnt hit us too hard. Usually after the early game disruption we can assemble the combo while my opponent plays planeswalkers and creatures to finish the game off which allows us to hit Emrakul unchallenged. You will need to be careful of Liliana of the Veil -2 and keep an extra goblin around if she hits the field.

Matches: Game one I got hit by a little bit of removal and then some slow creatures like Geralf's Messenger and Gifted Aetherborn which allowed me enough time to polymorph into a Emrakul while my opponent was tapped out and quickly finish the game before life loss became an out.

Sideboard: +1 iona, shield of emeria, +1 dispel /\ -2 remand

Game 2: I got hit by a lot of discard and then a Liliana, the Last Hope which systematically picked off all of my goblin tokens, which allowed a few turns to get in at me for enough damage to seal the victory before I could assemble the combo.

Game 3: I found a few counterspells and managed to play really defensive with making a land drop and passing to protect my combo pieces which was lucky I did, as I would have been hit by a Lost Legacy and Liliana, the Last Hope and after getting rid of these threats I could simply put 6 goblins on the field and Indomitable Creativity into both Emrakul and Iona causing my opponent to be locked out of the game. I finished the game with my opponent on 0 life and 0 permanents.

I came Fifth, having an average night and making some bad decisions in games and needing to take a slower route to victory and enabling Emrakul can come out with haste would have made a big difference in the controlling matchups. Edrazi and taxes is a bad matchup for the deck, with most of the cards hitting the decks natural weak spots (aether vial - counters arent useful, Thought-knot - to disrupt the combo pieces, and Thalia to tax all of my non-creature spells). May need to find some sideboard tech to help against this matchup.
Overview: This matchup is probably slightly favoured to the bogles player and it all depends on how fast our opponents starts. We generally don't mind the lifegain from cards like Daybreak Coronet but the damage stacks up quickly and puts a very fast clock on. The matchup doesnt get much better after sideboard, but to truly gain advantage in this matchup, we have to make use of our counterspells to really hinder our opponent to keep us in the game until we can polymorph.

Matches: I was able to sneak out the first game after my opponent drew lots of bogles and flooded the board with creatures but very little enchantments (I believe he had 2 enchantments total), which enabled me to play a turn 4 polmorph, stop his next attack and allow me to annihilate his board at 6 life and get the first win.

Sideboard: +2 Anger of the gods /\ -2 remand

The second game went very similarly to the first however i set up for a perfect turn 4 polymorph for the win, however was halted when i drew the singular Emrakul off the top meaning I would now not hit anything with a polymorph. I was able to loot it away with izzet charm but it was too late as that extra turn allowed my opponent the last attack he needed to end the game. Although this cost me the game and subsequently the match, I still feel 1 Emrakul is correct for the deck and this slight bit of misfortune wont happen often.

The final game finished quite fast as I looted into about 12 lands in my top 18 cards which meant i allowed my opponent enough time and no pressure to assemble a lethal attacker and win. A rather disappointing end to the game where I felt we should have taken this 2-0.

Overview: This matchup was against a newer player with a standard izzet drakes deck which meant I was allowed enough time in both games to find a way through and pull off a relatively easy win. Matches: The first match my opponent stumbled on spells while i drew all of my hordeling outbursts and attacked for lethal over 3 turns finishing with 8 goblins on the field at the end of the game.

Sideboard: N/A

Game 2: I didnt feel the need to sideboard on this matchup as I knew I had enough mainboard potential to win this matchup based on my opponents skill level and cards and this time won with a turn 8 emrakul. However credit to my opponent to after my turn 4 polymorph was negated after leaving open mana to disrupt my normal combo kill.

Overview: This matchup is nearly identical to the previous time i played against bant spirits and is a generally awful matchup for us, with a near impossible path to victory. A strong sideboard plan is needed to beat this matchup and after discussion with my opponent after the game, he suggested maybe a transformational young pyromancer sideboard change would probably work best. I need to consider the best options for this matchup and am open to all suggestions.

Matches: The first game I was tempo'd out of the game by lots of turns of incremental damage and cards held back to be played at instant speed (spell queller, masuleum wanderer, rattlechains). After a final collected company on my end step I fell to a mass of small but deadly spirits. Although I was able to get to 5 mana in this game and have all the pieces I could never find a spot to successfully resolve my combo.

Sideboard: +2 Anger of the gods, +1 Boseiju, who shelters all /\ -3 faithless looting

The second game had a different feel as I was now on the play and managed to answer all of his early threats up until turn 5, but the instant speed nature of the deck slowly overwhelmed my board and my only chance to polymorph was unfortunately hit by a path to exile and i got quickly ran over by geist of saint traft and drogskol captains. Quicken is a card I may be interested in to respond end of turn when they tap out.

Overview: I feel like this is a very even matchup as my opponent is running lots of discard to remove key combo pieces from my hand, however I am able to answer his high cost dragons and planeswalkers effectly with my counterspells. However the games we had felt completely in my control at all points and I never really felt like I was going to lose.

Matches: Game one went very back and forth until I allowed my opponent to resolve a thunderbreak regent, which allowed me to resolve a polymorph after taking 1 attack worth of damage. I then managed to sneak the win at 1 life after attacking with Emrakul and finishing off my opponent with a bolt, however I did calculate the damage output from my opponent and my damage output after attacking and potential sacrifice targets from the annihilate.

Sideboard: +1 iona, shield of emeria, +4 dispel /\ -1 sweltering suns -4 lightning bolt

Game 2: Although the lightning bolt won me game 1, I knew that it had very few targets and was the best spell to get rid of, in search of protection to my combo. Game 2 started with my opponent hitting me with 3 inquisition of kozileks and 1 collective brutality with 4 good choices from my hand each time, however without resolving an early threat, my opponent never pressured the board or my life total. The rune snags slowly started to find its way to my grave after discard and looting effects and allowed me to hold a counter and dispel when resolving my polymorph after a long topdeck war where I could play a land and wait for the best opportunity. My opponent had a goblin rabblemaster in play but I eventually polymorphed into a Iona which allowed me to name red and almost guarantee the win as cards started collecting in my opponents hand which he later showed me to all be red.

Overview: A deck looking to play a emrakul or griselbrand to win the game on turn 1-4. I am very much favoured in the late game (turn 4+) but am very unfavoured in the early game (turn 1-4). Sideboarding really swings the match in our favour and we hope to pick up game 1 to allow us a mistake in match 2 or 3.

Matches: Game 1 took a while even though I only got to turn 2 and only managed to play a single see beyond. This was because my opponent untapped turn 3 and played griselbrand comboed off and assembled emrakul and griselbrand for a hasty 22 damage. I would have been able to start leaving up counter magic from turn 3 but unfortuantly the game didnt get to that turn.

Sideboard: +4 dispel /\ -4 lightning bolt

Game 2: Game 2 I had to mulligan down to 6 but it enabled me to find a island and dispel in hand which allowed me to cruise through the early stages always leaving up 1 mana. My opponent didnt have a quick start and it slowly became evident how important getting to 6/7 lands was, as I always looted to find counters and knew at one stage I would have enough for combo + haste, or combo + counter enabling the perfect protection against a deck not looking to disrupt what im doing. I finally finished game 2 with a hasty emrakul and 2 goblin tokens after fighting through 2 through the breaches and a goryo's vengeance.

Game 3: Luckily I again found a dispel in my hand at the start of the game and although I went down to 5 cards and my opponent went down to 4, I knew this slow start gave me enough time to find the pieces to win the game. I managed to again hastily emrakul after about 20/25 turns when i absolutely knew I wouldnt be interrupted which not only nearly cleared the board, allowed for a backup counter in case my opponent could find a final hurrah.

I came Fourth and was very pleased with the way I navigated the matchups and learnt from my previous mistakes. The most valuable lessons were that Poly'M'Rakul is one of the slowest combo decks in modern, although it has the ability to control the board until you create an opportunity to win. So slow concise play is better than hitting the combo on turn 4 consistently; although always be mindful to play a fast Emrakul if the opponent is ever in trouble. With a bit more luck I would have won the bogles matchup and finished second, however I have some work to find a workable matchup against bant spirits which still proves to be a strong and popular force in modern. Some cards that I feel havent performed that well are: Remand and Mission Briefing and I will be looking to replace these in the future.


Updates Add


Top Ranked
  • Achieved #53 position overall 3 years ago
  • Achieved #17 position in Modern 2 years ago
Date added 3 years
Last updated 5 months

This deck is Modern legal.

Rarity (main - side)

5 - 1 Mythic Rares

25 - 7 Rares

12 - 6 Uncommons

13 - 1 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.32
Tokens Clue, Crab, 1/1 R Token Creature Dwarf, Elemental 1/1 R, Soldier 1/1 W, Treasure, Treasure
Folders Budget Modern, Interesting Modern Decks, modern, Decks to build, Nice Decks, Possible Modern Decks, Buildable, Ideas, Stuff, Cool Deck, See all 11
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Revision 32 See all

5 months ago)

-1 Ceremonious Rejection side
+2 Leyline of Sanctity side
-1 Timely Reinforcements side