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By: Motu, Aaron Kahler
May 01 2013 10:46am
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Champion of the Parish, go. The inevitable thought that runs through your mind when you're on the other side of that board state  is, "hope they don't have the Burning-Tree Emissary."

Naya Blitz is capable of some blazingly fast starts thanks to the ridiculous tempo generated by Burning-Tree Emissary. Having a 3/3 and a pair of two power creatures on the board on turn 2 puts the opponent squarely on the back foot. It didn't take long for people to realize the power of the Gruul emissary and ever since its printing its seen consistent competitive play. Recently however, folks are beginning to recognize that there's a blue version of Burning-Tree Emissary... Rapid Hybridization. While on the surface the functional Pongify reprint appears to be nothing more than a terrible removal spell, when combined with the evolve mechanic and undying creatures like Young Wolf and Strangleroot Geist the card generates an effect similar to that of Burning-Tree Emissary

Experiment One Young Wolf Rapid Hybridization

It's true a turn one Experiment One can't be evolved by your turn two Young Wolf, but the Rapid Hybridization changes all of that. When you resolve Rapid Hybridization on the Young Wolf you get to put a 3/3 Frog Lizard into play and an evolve trigger goes on the stack. By stacking the undying trigger from the Young Wolf on top of the evolve trigger from the Frog Lizard entering play your Young Wolf comes back first as a 2/2 wolf. Your now 2/2 wolf causes a second evolve trigger to go on top of the stack and when it checks it finds that your 2/2 Young Wolf is larger than the 1/1 Experiment One and causes it to evolve into a 2/2. Next the evolve trigger from the Frog Lizard finally resolves and finds that your 3/3 Frog Lizard is bigger than your now 2/2 Experiment One and places another +1/+1 counter on the little experiment to turn it into a 3/3.

When the dust settles on turn two you'll be attacking with a 3/3 Experiment One while also having a summoning sick 2/2 Young Wolf and 3/3 Frog Lizard.  BUG Aggro has seen some fringe play on MTGO for a while now most notably by MarthaJones



When piloting lists like the above I found that Duskmantle Seer in an aggressive shell was bonkers. A 4/4 flyer is already a reasonable clock but when your opponents are playing cards like Angel of Serenity, Aurelia, the Warleader, and Blasphemous Act you can easily dome them right out of the game. The added ability to evolve an Experiment One all the way up to a 4/4 was just gravy.

Evil Twin was as almost as impressive as Duskmantle Seer. The ability to clone opposing Thragtusks, Restoration Angels, and Angel of Serenity was good. The ability to legend rule opposing Olivia Voldaren was better. The ability to clone your own Young Wolf or Strangleroot Geist and then have it come back into play as your opponent's best creature with a +1/+1 counter was the best. Zameck Guildmage on the other hand seemed terrible. While the guildmage has plenty of cool tricks to play, allowing you to draw cards while resetting your undying creatures, it just never seemed like you had enough mana or enough time to activate him.

The deck has quite a bit of play to it and perhaps its best quality is that it offers your opponents plenty of opportunities to misplay. However, it seemed like the deck's best interaction was Rapid Hybridization on an undying creature with a Experiment One in play so why not maximize those opportunities?



Schmirglie's list is focused on Rapid Hybridization. By including full playsets of Experiment One and Cloudfin Raptor the deck has the potential for more busted openings and as it to speeds up the clock at the cost of some permission and Duskmantle Seer.


Hands with multiple "buddy lands" and no shockland or basic are frustrating. But I'm not sure there is much you can do to improve the manabase.

Dryad Militant deserves more play than it's seeing at present. Think Twice, Snapcaster Mage, and Lingering Souls are hamstrung when by the innocuous 2/1 and forcing Unburial Rites to be cast from the hand rather than the graveyard makes life more difficult for the Junk Rites player as well.

However, going forward I really want to be playing Duskmantle Seer. I've already been impressed by the card and with the arrival of fuse cards in Dragon's Maze the average converted mana cost of your opponent's deck is bound to be increasing. Turn//Burn, take 5. Flesh//Blood, take 7. If Beck//Call is a thing... take 8. Catch//Release, take 9. You see where this is going?

Perhaps Deathrite Shaman, Dryad Militant, and either some number of Rancor or Lotleth Troll should hit the bench for some additional land and Duskmantle Seers.