Emerge – MTG Mechanics Explained

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Emerge is an alternate cost that appears (so far) on large colorless creatures (I mean, Eldrazi) from Shadows Over Innistrad. To pay the emerge cost for a creature (which was always a discount, but included colored mana where the normal cost did not), you sacrifice a creature and pay an amount of mana equal to the emerge cost minus generic mana equal to the sacrificed creature’s total mana value. So you add in some colored mana, but get a potentially huge discount on the Emerge creature overall.
There’s not a ton else to this, but a few notes:

  • You still have to follow the normal timing restrictions on casting a creature even if you are paying the emerge cost.
  • You choose which creature you’re sacrificing as you choose which costs to pay for the spell. Technically, this happens after you’ve put the spell on the stack, so once you’ve started casting it there no chance for someone to try to remove a creature in response before you can sacrifice it.

Emerge went over fairly well, and had some high-profile cards with it that did well in Standard at the time. It’s currently flavored very heavily towards involving the Eldrazi, and needs and environment where expensive creatures are a part of the landscape, but if those hurdles can be overcome you could expect to see this again someday.

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