Tribal Fun in Modern #6: Elves

elvish visionary art wide

Today we will be looking at the infamous tribe of elves. This deck has a minor combo in it, but here is the list:

[d title=”Elves (Modern)”]

4 Arbor Elf
4 Devoted Druid
3 Elvish Mystic
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Heritage Druid
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Elvish Archdruid
2 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
1 Imperious Perfect
1 Elvish Champion
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
1 Regal Force
1 Reclamation Sage

Instants and Sorceries
3 Chord of Calling

12 Forest
3 Cavern of Souls
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

3 Choke
2 Creeping Corrosion
3 Dismember
1 Plow Under
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Tajaru Preserver
2 Spellskite [/d]

A deck rather similar to this top 16ed at a Grand Prix fairly recently, so I like to think that this is quite a good deck (and it is fairly budget). As always, I am going to give you the run-down on card choices, strategy, play style, matchup and sideboarding guide, and some different versions of the deck.

Of course the deck is very creature-heavy, running 38 creatures. [c]Arbor Elf[/c], [c]Devoted Druid[/c], [c]Elvish Mystic[/c], [c]Llanowar Elves[/c], and [c]Heritage Druid[/c] all are the mana dorks of the deck. [c]Devoted Druid[/c] is part of a combo I will get to later. These all help accelerate into the bombs.

The [c]Nettle Sentinel[/c]s are great aggressive cards that basically always have vigilance and can help accelerate a lot with [c]Heritage Druid[/c].

The 1-of [c]Reclamation Sage[/c] helps toolbox against annoying artifacts and enchantments and can help game 1 against affinity.

The lords of the deck include [c]Elvish Archdruid[/c], who not only pumps you elves but also generates a lot of mana, [c]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/c], who provides protection and an overrun effect to all of your elves and is the second piece to the combo, [c]Imperious Perfect[/c], who not only pumps all of your elves, but also churns out elves him/her/itself, and a 1-of [c]Elvish Champion[/c] to fetch against anything that runs forests. So the combo, 2 [c]Devoted Druid[/c]s and [c]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/c] and 1 untapped land means that you can not only get infinite overruns, but also infinite mana.

Use that infinite mana to cast some of your big finishers. [c]Craterhoof Behemoth[/c] and [c]Regal Force[/c], who both provide tremendous advantage and [c]Craterhoof Behemoth[/c] could win you the game on the spot.

The list only has 3 [c]Chord of Calling[/c] because I couldn’t really tell the difference and I really wanted the 19th land.

Speaking of lands, they are pretty basic. The [c]Nyxthos, Shrine to Nyx[/c] can generate a lot of mana most the time and the only reason I run 3 [c]Cavern of Souls[/c] rather than 4 is because [c]Chord of Calling[/c] requires triple green.

The strategy is fairly simple. It is a bit like an aggro deck. Play your mana dorks then very quickly you will be able to dump you whole hand and either beat down with the elves you already have or fetch a finisher via [c]Chord of Calling[/c] well before they’re ready to deal with it.

The deck feels very aggressive. Unlike the aggro decks of today, it feels very old-school. As well, it has a combo feel. It also is a big beatdown deck. To compare it to another deck, it feels like Storm or Affinity. There is one turn where you “go off.”

The matchups for the deck are decent. Generally it can beat Abzan and most control decks (UWx Midrange, Tron, etc.).

It has more 50%/50% match-ups against traditional aggro decks, RDW, Boros Burn, Infect, Scapeshift, and Affinity and probably has about a 40%/60% matchup against Twin, despite little interaction.

The [c]Choke[/c]s are for anything that is blue (Twin, control, etc.), the [c]Creeping Corrosion[/c] is for Affinity, the [c]Dismember[/c]s are for Abzan, Twin, and other creature-heavy decks, the [c]Plow Under[/c] is for Tron and Scapeshift, the [c]Relic of Progenitus[/c] is for Abzan and any graveyard-based strategy (Dredgevine, reanimator, etc.), the [c]Tajaru Preserver[/c] comes in against Abzan, Death and Taxes, and basically anything that runs [c]Liliana of the Veil[/c].

Finally, the [c]Spellskite[/c] is for Twin, Burn, and anything else relevant.

Some other spins on the deck include removing the [c]Chord of Calling[/c]s and going for an all creature deck. Some creatures to add include [c]Wilt-Leaf Liege[/c] and [c]Joraga Warcaller[/c] as another lord. As well, [c]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/c] can be cut to 1 to make room for 4 [c]Chord of Calling[/c]s.

Also, you can change the numbers, finisher package, and play around with some spell-based interaction.

That’s it for this week. Again, feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments and I can talk with you about them.

Thanks! -Dylan